Sims and Attard extend championship lead with Brands win
Ecurie Ecosse duo Alexander Sims and Marco Attard were victorious in British GT's two-hour race at Brands Hatch, establishing a solid lead in the standings with three races to go in 2015.
After Attard finished his stint, Sims emerged from the pits in third place and went on to pass the BMW of Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne for the win in the final laps.
Beechdean's Andrew Howard, starting from pole position, kept the #007 Aston Martin in the lead over the opening laps and soon started to stretch his advantage.
Behind them, Triple Eight's Mowle and reigning GT4 class champion Ross Wylie battled for second and the latter spun around and into the gravel as he tried to pass Mowle at Stirlings.
Mowle himself was unfazed by the incident and began to rapidly close on the leading Aston when an incident between the recovering McLaren of Wylie and David Jones' Mercedes brought out the safety car 23 minutes in.
The race restarted shortly thereafter and, by the time the pit window opened, Howard had pulled out a three-second lead on Mowle.
But with the 007 Aston serving a 20-second success penalty in the pits after their Spa victory, Mowle's teammate Osborne lead the GT3 contingent out of the pits.
Shortly after the race arrived into its second hour, the safety car was back on track as the GT4 Ginetta of Jamie Stanley stopped in the middle of the track at Druids.
As the green flag waved again, Osborne found himself comfortably up the road on the second-placed Aston Martin of Rory Butcher, who ended up under severe pressure from a rapid Sims.
Against the odds, Butcher kept Sims at bay for several laps only to lose almost 20 seconds in two sectors, which meant an end to his and ex-BTCC teammate Liam Griffin's victory chances.
Now in clean air after forcing his way past through the slowing Aston at Graham Hill Bend, Sims took little time to catch up with Osborne, moving to within a second of the fellow BMW driver with half an hour to go.
Having done so, Sims became a constant presence in Osborne's rear-view mirror and finally completed the pass with eight minutes to go, getting a much quicker exit out of Graham Hill Bend and securing the inside line into Surtees.
From that point on, it was smooth sailing for Sims on his way to he and Attard's second win of the season.
Osborne took second, while Matt Bell brought the car home to secure the final podium position for himself and Derek Johnston.
Howard's teammate Jonny Adam could only finish fourth, while Adam Carroll fought through to fifth in his FF Corse Ferrari, making up for Gary Eastwood being spun earlier on.
Sims and Attard now lead the GT3 standings by 34 points, with Adam and Howard taking over as their closest rivals from Butcher and Griffin, who recovered to sixth.
In the GT4 class, Luke Davenport and David Pattison won, while Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson completed a Ginetta 1-2. Standings leaders Ross Gunn and Jamie Chadwick of Beechdean made up the class podium.
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