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Aston Martin blasts to pole position to set up intriguing race at Snetterton
Saturday 12th August 2017
Matt Manderson set a blistering time of 1m49.033s to take the Ultimate Speed Aston Martin GT3 to pole in Saturday's GT cup qualifying with team-mate Mike Brown sharing duties.
In an incredibly close GTO Group battle, the Aston GT3 beat Gareth Downing's Mosler by 1.183s, which in turn beat the third place Aston GT3 of Nigel Hudson and Adam Wilcox by less than half a second. Downing led the qualifying session for Saturday's GT Cup race until Manderson charged to pole with five minutes of the session remaining.
“I'm so chuffed with that,” said pole sitter Manderson. “Unfortunately I got [slowed down] on that lap but I was a second up in the second sector so potentially we have another second to come. Mike and I, there's a difference in speed between us so we've just worked out that it could be quite close at the front of the GTO Group. The sprint race this afternoon should be a really good one to watch.”
“I'm very pleased,” added team-mate Brown. “We had a few set-up issues with the car yesterday. Hats off to Matt. That's nearly two seconds quicker than he's done around here before.”
Bonamy Grimes secured pole position for the GTC group. He will line up behind championship leader and GTO front runner Graham Davidson in his FF Cores run Ferrari 458 Challenge car.
“The car's running really well,” said Bonamy. “For me, that was my best ever qualifying lap on my favourite circuit. I'm well pleased with that.”
Team Webb took the GTB qualifying honours with an effort of 1m55.900s, just beating Neil Huggins' Lamborghini Gallardo by 1.1s.
“I wasn't expecting to be quickest here at Snetterton said Tom Webb. “It's a bit of a power circuit and I think we're down on power comparatively. It's nice to be able to set some good times.”
In the GTA Group battle, Dominic Paul, second overall in the GT Cup standings, took qualifying honours in his Ginetta G55 by just over half a second as Amigo Motorsport's Ginetta G55 filed in second with Darren Standing and Ian Goodchild at the wheel.
“I haven't driven on the new Snetterton layout before,” said Paul. “It's fantastic actually. We knew it was a good time pretty early on as w ere were two seconds up so I parked it after four or five laps. Then we saw the guys get closer and closer and had a nervous moment!”