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GT Race 1: RAM Racing Mercedes charges to Oulton Park victory

Sunday, September 12 2021

RAM Racing's guesting Mercedes-AMG shared by Kevin Tse and Tom Onslow-Cole claimed victory in Sunday's first Intelligent Money British GT Championship race at Oulton Park, while Team Abba Racing held off Barwell Motorsport's title-leaders to score maximum points in second overall.

Further back, Matt Topham and Darren Turner converted their class pole position into a second GT4 win of the season despite the best efforts of Century's Will Burns and Gus Burton who are now all-but assured of the Drivers' title after their team-mates failed to score. Steller Motorsport's Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding completed the podium.

GT3: TSE AND ONSLOW-COLE ON TARGET

RAM's race-by-race Mercedes-AMG might have missed out on pole by 0.3s but there was no stopping Tom Onslow-Cole or Kevin Tse in race trim after the Macanese was in the right place at the right time to pass Kelvin Fletcher in the opening stint.

The Paddock Motorsport Bentley initially built a small advantage over the chasing pack, which initially featured Tse, Morgan Tillbrook and Michael Igoe. Fully up to speed, Tse was then able to close down Fletcher while WPI's Lamborghini lost time and slipped to fifth after taking avoiding action when Enduro's McLaren spun out at Cascades.

It wasn't long before Fletcher was under real pressure, but it was ultimately clashing GT4 cars ahead that forced the Bentley onto Old Hall's grass and allowed Tse to breeze past. Richard Neary, who'd already benefitted from Igoe and Tillbrook's travails, then seized second just as GT3's pit window opened.

RAM and Team Abba's Pro drivers emerged from their stops together, but - after initially rebuffing Sam Neary - Onslow-Cole was able to build a small but comfortable gap that would ultimately help RAM's Mercedes-AMG claim victory by five seconds.

That was partly due to Neary's mirrors becoming increasingly full of Dennis Lind's Lamborghini, which had taken advantage of Success Penalties during the pit window to move into fourth. That became third with a neat move on Martin Plowman after the Bentley overshot at Hislop's and fell into the Barwell Huracan's clutches.

However, there was no dislodging Neary who held firm to take second place by seven tenths.

Paddock's race, which began with so much promise, then went from average to worse when multiple track limits offences added up to a 30s post-race penalty in lieu of a drive-through. Plowman thus dropped to 10th in the corrected result.

Instead, Team Parker Racing's Porsche shared by Nick Jones and Scott Malvern came through to finish fourth on the road but scored points for third as a result of RAM's race-by-race status.

WPI Motorsport's Huracan, driven in the second stint by Phil Keen, rebounded from its earlier off and Success Penalty to complete the top-five ahead of Barwell's other championship-chasing Lamborghini of Adam Balon and Sandy Mitchell, while Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie - who enjoyed an opening stint-long battle with Lind's co-driver Leo Machitski - slipped to seventh after serving the maximum 10s handicap.


GT4: DOUBLE TOP(HAM) FOR MATT AND TURNER!

Matt Topham and Darren Turner scored theirs and Newbridge Motorsport's second win of the season in the first outing of the weekend at Oulton Park, while Will Burns and Gus Burton moved to within touching distance of this year's championship crown by coming home in second place.

It was a tactical drive from Aston Martin's Pro-Am crew who overcame the early challenge of Century's champions elect.

When the lights went out it was Burns' BMW that made the better launch, running around the outside of pole-sitter Topham to steal the lead into Cascades. From that moment Topham opted to simply follow the M4 rather than risk a move on Oulton's tight sweeps, knowing full well it would have to serve a longer pitstop due to its Silver Cup status.

Indeed, Topham stayed within touching distance of Burns until the pit window opened, and then ran a few laps longer into the stint before handing across to Turner who re-joined with a comfortable 10s advantage. Game over.

Burns' fine work also meant Burton re-joined in a secure second, and the pair now have one hand on the championship title after trouble befell Century's second BMW of Chris Salkeld and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke.

The latter was attempting to work his way up the order when he tried a move on Jack Brown's Balfe McLaren at Lodge. The two cars made contact, putting both out of the running, and leaving Burns and Burton almost certain to clinch the championship in today's second race.

Behind the runaway top two, Sennan Fielding built on strong early work from Richard Williams to take third in the Steller Motorsport Audi, ahead of Jordan Collard and James Kell's Team Rocket RJN McLaren. Mark Sansom/Charlie Robertson's Assetto Motorsport Ginetta G56 took fifth, but only after a tight battle with another Team Rocket RJN McLaren shared by Michael Benyahia and Alain Valente. Robertson eventually got the job done with a fine move around the outside at Island Bend.

Nick Halstead/Jamie Stanley were seventh in Fox Motorsport's McLaren, ahead of the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Supra of John Ferguson and Jamie Caroline. That crew had a nightmare race with Ferguson earning a stop-go for a clash with Dave Whitmore's Ciceley Mercedes-AMG and Caroline then copping a drive-through for straying beyond track limits too many times.

Report from BritishGT.com