Frustrating day for Vale-based duo at Snetterton
Seventeenth in Sunday's opening one-hour race at the former WWII airfield track, in part due to a mid-race 45-second stop/go penalty, hopes were high for success in the day's second race which saw Ross Gunn start from pole position in the number 97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Jumping away when the lights turned green, Gunn stamped his authority on proceedings for well over half an hour, pulling out a sizeable lead ahead of the squabbling cars behind. However, things began to go wrong when the number 97 car visited the pits for its mandatory driver change stop, and to allow Andrew Howard to take over driving duties.
With Howard installed in the car, and recycling back to the head of the field, the Beechdean team was informed of a pit lap speeding infringement that required Howard to return the car to the pits and carry out a 30 second penalty. The penalty effectively ended the team’s challenge for success, and to later pour salt into an already open wound, a further one second stop/go penalty was handed to the team by the British GT BRSCC race officials as a result of a short pit stop.
Crossing the line 15th at the fall of the chequered flag, it was a case of what might have been for the local team who were understandably disappointed with the weekend's outcome.
Speaking afterwards, Gunn said: "We had superb pace and to really come away with nothing is a great shame. We have to just learn from this and move on for the next race, when we will travel to Portugal for the only race outside of the UK this season."
The British GT Championship battle remains tight. With three rounds of the British GT Championship remaining, Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn are placed equal sixth in the points standings with a total of 64. James Cottingham and Jonny Adam (Mercedes) lead the way with a total of 102.
* Tom Ingram is just six points away from the lead of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship following last weekend's three races at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The Vale-based Bristol Street Motors EXCELR8 Hyundai racer has 212 points on the board so far this season, with Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing Ford Focus) leading the way with 218.
Ingram recorded two second place finishes in his opening two races at Oulton Park, finishing behind Jake Hill (BMW), before claiming a fourth in his final race of the weekend which was won by Colin Turkington (BMW).
British Touring Car Championship racers now enjoy a early summer break due to TV schedules covering other sporting events including the Tour de France, with racing action set to resume at Croft in North Yorkshire at the end of July.