The Stratton Motorsport pairing of Andrew Jarman and Olivier Bouche secured their second victory of the 2013 Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain at Donington Park, the third round of the season, despite having slipped to the back of the pack on the first lap.
Round two victors Mike Brown and Paul Cripps finished a lap down in second, narrowly beating Tom Brown and Chris Kemp.
After qualifying third on the grid, the #22 Vantage GT4 of Jarman and Bouche fell to last position away from the line. The pair – full of confidence having finished first and second in the opening two rounds of the series – suffered a further setback later on as they were handed a drive-through penalty at the mid-way point of the race for overtaking under a yellow flag.
The duo had built a sufficient lead over the opening 35 laps that they were able to re-join the circuit ahead of the pack, however, before racing into the distance to stretch their championship lead.
The #7 MB Racing machine of Brown and Cripps effected a recovery of its own after a disappointing qualifying session, which netted only sixth on the grid. Their runner-up position in the race looked to have been lost on the last lap as the #24 Vantage Racing entry of Brown and Kemp squeezed past, only to overshoot at the final corner and hand the position back.
After the treacherous weather conditions of round two of the series at Oulton Park, all teams were relieved to see the sun shine on the qualifying session at Donington Park. The #27 Track-Club.com car of Kevin Norville and Calum Lockie secured pole position by a clear 1.568s ahead of Richard Taffinder and Tim Eakin’s Hills Racing machine.
Norville was unable to capitalise on his team-mate’s strong qualifying performance, however, as he spun into the barriers at Schwantz corner on the opening lap. Further off-track excursions saw a total of four of the ten-strong entry registering DNFs.
Andy Bruce and Charlie Mizon concluded their Aston Martin Racing driver training programme in fine style as they narrowly missed out on a podium result. After a full day of tuition on the Leicestershire circuit, the pair finished fourth.
The race weekend was supported by Stratstone Derby, which took the opportunity to entertain 40 guests at its nearby showroom on the Friday evening. As well as mingling with the GT4 Challenge drivers, the guests were able to get up close and personal with a Vantage GT4 before enjoying VIP hospitality at the circuit during the race.
Paul Goddard, Managing Director of Quicksilver Exhausts – sponsors of the GT4 Challenge – commented on his relationship with the series: “Our partnership with Aston Martin Racing combines business and pleasure. The competition may be fierce on the track but you can’t walk from one end of the paddock to the other without at least three interesting encounters with friendly Aston Martin folk.”
Steve Westerby, Regional Sales Manager for Arco – supporters of the Donington Park round of the GT4 challenge – added: “With safety at the heart of everything we do, Arco is proud to be a partner of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge, supplying PPE and branded clothing for the race support team. We are at the forefront of innovation in workplace safety and we see the opportunity to partner with such an exciting and prestigious event as a way to inspire our customers and staff to strive for excellence.”
The next round of the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain takes place at Brands Hatch, Kent, as part of Aston Martin’s Centenary Festival on July 6 and 7. Competitors wishing to enter the race should contact James Walters by emailing [email protected].
For further information about the Challenge visit astonmartin.com/racing/series/gt4-challenge.