Mixed fortunes for Kirkcaldy’s British GT racers

Andrew Howard with Jonny Adam - Beechdean Racing - British GT
Andrew Howard with Jonny Adam - Beechdean Racing - British GT

Kirkcaldy racer Jonny Adam claimed a pole position, race win and lap record at Snetterton to help Beechdean AMR move to the head of the standings in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

The team entered the double-header event at the Norfolk circuit in good form, having finished on the second step of the podium in their previous British GT outing at Silverstone.

Qualifying on Saturday saw Adam’s team mate and defending champion Andrew Howard place the Beechdean Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 seventh on the grid for race one, while Adam stormed to pole position for race two.

The pair battled against their success penalty from the previous round to finish race one in seventh, but were later promoted to sixth following the exclusion of two of their rivals after the chequered flag.

The second race of the day saw Adam break away from the rest of the field after the lights went green, only to have his flying start erased as the red flag came out following a serious three-car incident.

When the race restarted Adam once again streaked away from the chasing pack, clocking up a new lap record in the process, before handing over to team-mate Howard with a comfortable lead in hand.

The reigning champion drove a faultless final stint to bring the team home in first place and secure Beechdean’s first win of the season.

“To get the first win of 2014 is a great feeling, and it’s even better to take the lead in the championship,” said Adam following the race.

“The car felt really good and the drop in ambient temperature in the afternoon actually helped to improve the balance.

“I was able to build a lead and the team did a great job in the pits to turn the car round quickly at the changeover.

“Andrew did brilliantly to manage the gap and cruise to the finish, although in those situations you have to be careful as it’s easy to make a mistake so all credit to him.

“This gives us a perfect boost in confidence heading to the next round at Spa.”

The weekend proved a less memorable one for Kirkcaldy’s other representative in the British GT Championship.

Rory Butcher, racing with new co-driver Jeff Smith in the Oman Racing Team, showed good pace but a rare mistake during race one saw him slide the Aston Martin Vantage onto the grass, dropping him from the top six to 11th at the flag.

The first lap red flag in race two also hindered the Fifer’s hopes as he and Smith eventually finished the race in 13th.

Butcher said: “In the first race we were chasing fifth place and I made an error – I was just pushing too hard.

“It was a shame that the second race was red-flagged as I’d got up to seventh on the first lap and then had to go back to tenth for the re-start.”