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Phil Keen secures dramatic last lap British GT race one win

Monday, April 01 2013

Trackspeed Porsche driver Phil Keen claimed a last lap win in an exciting first round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Oulton Park this morning (Monday 1 April).

The win looked set to go to team mate Nick Tandy, who had staged a brilliant recovery drive from 11th on the grid, but a late mechanical issue forced him to slow late on, and Keen was able to pass at Dentons on the final tour.

Sharing with David Ashburn, Tandy had taken over the Porsche on lap 11 and then carved his way through from the midfield, catching the leader Ollie Hancock in the Fortec Mercedes AMG SLS on lap 18. The pair then had an entertaining dice for the lead over the next two laps, before Tandy forced his way through.

From then on, it seemed there was no looking back, and the former single seater racer extended his lead to over six seconds. But with three laps to go, he lost large chunks of time, and on the penultimate lap lost four seconds to Keen, who was able to make an easy move.

The early stages of the race had been led by Benji Hetherington in the Fortec Mercedes. Despite an early safety car intervention due to a collision at the first corner, he was able to keep an advantage and build a lead until the obligatory driver change pit stops.

The majority of the field elected to pit at the start of the window which fell on lap 11, mainly due to the arrival of the safety car on the circuit, due to a fire for Ginetta runner Richard Sykes at Lodge.  

With the driver changes, the dynamic of the race changed considerably, with Hancock taking over the Mercedes from Hetherington, and then going on the defensive. Keen was closing rapidly, but it was Tandy who was the main mover, catching the pair of them and moving into the lead, where he would stay for over 10 laps until his late misfortune.

Michael Caine finished fourth in the Motorbase Porsche, moving up from third on the grid, while Richard Westbrook came close to pipping him, missing out on fourth by 0.103s in the Trackspeed Porsche. Allan Simonsen rounded out the top six in his Rosso Verde Ferrari 458, moving up from 21st on the grid.

The next British GT race at Oulton Park takes place at 14.55.

Avon Tyres British GT Championship - Round One - Oulton Park

  1. Phil Keen, Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R, 33 laps
  2. Nick Tandy, Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R, +1.190s
  3. Ollie Hancock, Fortec Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, +24.428s
  4. Michael Caine, Motorbase Porsche 997 GT3 R, +25.264s
  5. Richard Westbrook, Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R, +25.367s
  6. Allan Simonsen, Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 Italia, +25.607s

Tickets for the Avon Tyres British GT Championship featuring F3 Cup at Oulton Park are available on the gate today (Monday 1 April) for £22 with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.