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Tandy heads GT practice two as Motorbase take Porsche honours

Saturday, April 07 2012

Nick Tandy powered the Motorbase Porsche to the head of the timesheets in second practice for this weekend's Avon Tyres British GT Championship opening rounds at Oulton Park today (Saturday). The Mtech team salvaged a close second place for Ferrari after the Porsche drivers battled for honour over much of the session.

A morning of track action and moments of sunshine had all but dried the tarmac by the time the GT contenders returned for second practice, giving the crews more work to do as they prepared for the afternoon's qualifying sessions.

The number 10 Motorbase Porsche set the early benchmark, already nine seconds faster than the morning's efforts, before Rosso Verde attempted to restore honours for Ferrari. However the early headlines were being stolen by Germany, as the Trackspeed team commenced a battle between Richard Westbrook and Motorbase's Nick Tandy - both drivers regarded as the world's best Porsche exponents.

Just as the Porsches were heading the leaderboard, a red flag was shown for the Century Motorsport Ginetta, which had left the circuit. Enjoying considerably better fortunes at the time was the United Autosports Audi R8, sitting third ahead of the Rosso Verde Ferrari.

The pitlane exit was filled with cars as the session restarted and the Porsche rivals immediately got down to business. With Westbrook and Tandy trading sector times, Michael Caine joined in with the other Motorbase 911, making it a Porsche 1-2-3 in the order Tandy-Westbrook-Caine.

In GT4 there was drama as the leading WFR Ginetta crawled into the pitlane and needed a push from the marshals. The team's class contender was only just ahead of the leading Lotus Sport Evora as the red-and-white cars continued to circulate. There was more trouble for Chevron, as their GR8 stopped out on the circuit, and the session was interrupted once more.

In the final part of practice, the number 33 Trackspeed entry picked up speed, with only the Rosso Verde Ferrari preventing a top four lockout for Porsche. The rear-engined 911's traction clearly helped it accelerate out of Oulton Park's many corners in the dry, as they were the only cars to lap under 1:37 seconds at this stage.

However the Porsche domination was threatened by the Mtech Ferrari, which had headed this morning's first session. It lapped just eight thousandths slower with five minutes remaining, before pitting for further adjustments ahead of one last run. However the team couldn't beat the leading Motorbase car and the team ended the session quickest overall. With the top ten dominated by Porsche and Ferrari cars, Beechdean claimed a late eight place with their Aston Martin, ahead of the United Autosports Audi.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship practice 2
1, Motorbase, Steve Parish/Nick Tandy, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3, 1:36.621s
2, Mtech, Duncan Cameron/Matt Griffin, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3, +0.076s
3, Trackspeed, David Ashburn/Richard Westbrook, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3, +0.119s
4, Motorbase, Danielle Perfetti/ Michael Caine, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3, +0.209s
5, Rosso Verde, Hector Lester/Allan Simonsen, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3, +0.598s
6, Trackspeed, Jon Minshaw/Tim Harvey, Porsche 997 GT3 R, GT3, +0.917s
7, Scuderia Vittoria, John Dhillon/Aaron Scott, Ferrari 458 Italia, GT3, +1.017s
8, Beechdean, Andrew Howard/Jonathan Adam, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, GT3, +1.130s
9, United Autosports, Matt Bell/Charles Bateman, Audi R8 LMS, GT3, +1.240s
10, Predator, Phil Burton/Adam Wilcox, Ferrari 430 Scuderia, GT3, +1.427s

Tickets for the British GT/F3 Championships at Oulton Park on 6,7 & 9 April are available on the gate from £16, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.