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Thiim Tops Morning Warm Up

Finally, dry running at Rockingham!

For the first time this weekend the cars ventured out onto a dry, if still very cold (8C) track this morning in the Warm Up.

The GT3 Am drivers headed out to try and get some experience of dry running, given the elevated level of the Pro pilots this season, they can be trusted to adapt accordingly.

The times were instantly unrecognisable from those in the wet sessions, being some 15 seconds quicker. Flick Haigh set the first sub-1:20 lap with a 1:19.841 before the session was red-flagged, ahead of Andrew Howard (#99 Aston Martin), Shaun Balfe (#101 McLaren) and Ian Loggie (#7 Bentley) and Mark Farmer (#11 Aston Martin).

Keen, Thiim, Sorensen and Cocker took the chance to jump in to their respective mounts for the restart, with five minutes left to run. Unsurprisingly they jumped forwards, but Balfe, who remained in the car throughout, also managed to trump Haigh’s time with an impressive 1:18.927.

Thiim and Sorensen set about the 1:18s, but Thiim was always out front with an ultimate best of 1:17.602. Buurman popped up right behind him on the timing screen with a 1:17.718, ahead of Sorensen, Keen, Balfe, Cocker, Howard, Ratcliffe, Loggie, Haigh, Davidson and Modell.

In GT4, before the red flag mid-way through the 10-minute session, GT4 polesitter Charlie Fagg (#4 Tolman McLaren) had once again set the pace, recording a 1:24.674 in the cool and dry Sunday-morning conditions. Behind him were Finlay Hutchison (#10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren), Lewis Proctor (#5 Tolman McLaren), David Pattison (#56 Tolman McLaren) and Ben Green (#42 Century Motorsport BMW), the fastest non-McLaren.

The red was caused by one of Invictus Racing Jaguars coming to a halt on the outside of the final turn. Once green-flag running resumed, Callum Pointon improved to fourth in the #55 HHC Ginetta, with a 1:24.875. Mike Robinson then hauled the #501 Balfe/PMW McLaren into third in class with a 1:24.760, but Fagg and Hutchison’s first and second-fastest times from earlier in the session were not bettered.