Heavy rain and strong winds prevailed for the first free-practice session of British GT’s 2019 Silverstone 500 weekend on Saturday morning.
Nicki Thiim went fastest in GT3 early on in the #2 TF Sport Aston Martin, recording a lap of 2:19.720, but it was a bittersweet session for the team, as his co-driver Mark Farmer ended up in the gravel with some damage later on, bringing the session to a close a few minutes early.
Jamie Stanley was immediately on the pace in the JMH Lamborghini he shares with John Seale, going round in 2:19.888. The 2010 GT4 champion is working towards a full season of British GT with Seale in 2020, with the duo also contesting GT Cup this year.
The Ram Racing Mercedes is back in action following an enforced absence at Snetterton due to Ian Loggie’s cycling injury, and co-driver Calum Macleod went third-fastest in the session with a time of 2:20.377.
Phil Keen in the #72 Barwell Lamborghini, Marco Sorensen in the #99 Beechdean Aston and Seb Morris in the #31 JRM Bentley completed the top six GT3 runners in the damp conditions.
Fastest in GT4 was Dean MacDonald in the championship-leading #57 HHC Motorsport McLaren he shares with Callum Pointon, with a time of 2:29.347.
Matt George, who’s doing double duty across the Generation AMR SuperRacing Aston Martin and Invictus Games Racing Jaguar entries this weekend, was second-fastest, taking the #14 Vantage around in 2:29.367.
Tolman Motorsport’s James Dorlin was third-quickest in GT4, clocking a 2:29.504 in the #2 McLaren to go ahead of fourth-quickest GT4 man Scott Malvern in #66 Team Parker Mercedes.
Angus Fender (#43 Century Motorsport BMW) and Tom Jackson (#58 HHC McLaren) completed the GT4 top six.
With drier weather forecast for qualifying and Sunday’s three-hour race, four cars elected not to turn any laps at all during FP1, surmising that little could be learned in the wet conditions.
They were the #75 Optimum Motorsport GT4 Aston Martin of Patrik Mathiesen and Mike Robinson, the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini of Michael Igoe and Dennis Lind, the #20 Balfe Motorsport GT4 McLaren of Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien and the #9 Century Motorsport GT3 BMW of JM Littman and Jack Mitchell.
As mentioned above, the session was ended a few minutes early by a red flag, with the #43 Century Motorsport BMW in the gravel as well as the #2 TF Aston.
FP2 follows at 11:50 am.