Vannelet and Quaife-Hobbs win for McLaren at Silverstone
Gilles Vannelet and Adrian-Quaife Hobbs took the new-for-2015 McLaren 650S to its first British GT win at Silverstone, the second for VonRyan Racing in as many weekends.
Vannelet quickly took the lead at the start after a mistake from the polesitting Beechdean Aston Martin Vantage, Andrew Howard misjudging the extent of the treacherous conditions.
From there, Vannelet built a 10 second lead over the rest of the field, but the Frenchman’s work was unravelled by a Safety Car deployed in response to Gary Eastwood’s FF Corse Ferrari 458 collecting the TF Sport Aston Martin of Derek Johnston.
Once the race got back under way, judging the correct moment to pit would prove crucial. The Beechdean Aston Martin of Jonny Adam inherited the lead as the team decided not to pit for slicks straight away, seemingly anticipating more rain that never came.
Jon Barnes in the 22GT Racing Aston Martin later emerged with a huge lead of almost a lap, although it quickly became apparent that his car had only made one of its three mandatory pitstops, whereas his rivals had completed two.
But this was rendered redundant when Mark Farmer, having taken over the car from Barnes, lost the back end coming out of Club corner and sustained terminal damage to the Vantage.
That incident triggered another Safety Car period, setting up a four-way 20 minute sprint finish between the VonRyan McLaren, the Triple Eight BMW Z4 (Joe Osborne/Lee Mowle), the Motorbase Aston Martin (Daniel Lloyd/Ahmad Al-Harthy) and the Ecurie Ecosse BMW (Marco Attard/Alexander Sims).
After closing in on the McLaren out front, the Triple Eight car looked in a good position to take victory with Osborne at the wheel, but the 650S in the hands of Quaife-Hobbs proved to be too quick in the latter stages, surviving an onslaught of traffic on the final lap to seal the win.
Ecurie Ecosse took third ahead of the Motorbase Aston, the Beechdean Aston of Adam and Andrew Howard completing the top five, while a frantic GT4 battle was won by the Beechdean Aston Martin of Jamie Chadwick and Ross Gunn.
Sims and Attard score Rockingham British GT win
Howard and Adam cruise to Spa victory