13 October 2018
Paul Gibson made a statement with a sterling victory at Silverstone in his McLaren 650S GT3. Taking the lead at Copse from pole-sitter Kevin Riley, Gibson pulled away to an untroubled win in the first of the weekend’s races on the full Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire.
“It was pretty straightforward,” said Gibson. “Once the first corner was over I just had to bring in the tyres – we were on fresh tyres after flat-spotting the others in qualifying. I looked round and couldn’t see anybody, so I concentrated on keeping the car in the right direction. I was nowhere near the ultimate pace in the car. We’ve only had the car for five weekends so we’re learning with it. My son is telling me to turn up traction control – I don’t even know what that is!”
Overall Championship leader Adam Hatfield took a big step towards the title as he secured another victory in Group GTH in his Whitebridge Motorsport Aston Martin GT4. After taking the GTH title last time out, he maintained his a 19-point advantage over GTA’s James Reveler and Gary Smith.
“It was a nice race and keeps things calm,” said Hatfield. “We’ll keep racking up the points, not getting involved in battles that we don’t need to be involved in. We don’t get any extra points for beating other Groups, so we’ll keep doing the same in race two.”
Continuing a dominant season, James Reveler was the victor in Group GTA in the Topcats Racing Ginetta G55 GT4, keeping the pressure on Hatfield in the overall battle, while leapfrogging GTB teammates Warren Gilbert, Mick Mercer, and Jon Harrison for second place by a single point.
“It’s been good fun,” said Reveler. “We have a little point deficit, but we’ll keep doing what we can and hopefully we’ll get some luck. We only had 20 minutes to test and didn’t do the practice this morning, but the car is good. The race was a bit lonely but that is what we need.”
In Group GTB, James Webb fought back after a first lap incident to keep his narrow championship hopes alive, catching and passing rival Jon Harrison to take the win.
“It was very hard work,” said Webb. “I thought I did the job at the first corner and got pushed out, dropping eight places. I had to work hard to get back through, making some aggressive overtakes but everyone gave me room. There was some hard racing, but the car was great so a big thanks to GTS Motorsport. It was very hot so I’m glad to have a rest before race two.”
Winning from pole in GTC and taking an impressive second overall was John Seale in the JMH Automotive Ferrari 488 Challenge. Seale battled with the fellow Ferrari of Paul Bailey in the early laps before pulling clear before being reeled in by the Invitational entry of Bob Berridge in his V8 Volvo S60 but holding on to the flag.
“I ran wide at the first corner as the two GTO cars were close and Kevin [Riley] started to twist and that let Paul through,” said Seale. “As the race wore on the tyres started to go and I saw the Volvo catching me, but I thought I would stick where I was. Bob got past at Luffield but ran wide and I got back through.”
1) Paul Gibson – Gibson Motorsport (McLaren 650S GT3)
2) Tim Richards – MTECH (Lamborghini Huracan GT3)
3) Kevin Riley – National Motorsport Academy (Mosler MT900)
1) John Seale – JMH Automotive (Ferrari 488 Challenge)
2) Paul Bailey – SB Race Engineering (Ferrari 488 Challenge)
3) Chris Yarwood – MTECH (Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo)
1) James Webb – Team Webb (BMW M3 GTR)
2) Jon Harrison – Topcats Racing (Marcos Mantis)
3) Gary Marsh – In2Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Gen I)
1) Adam Hatfield – Whitebridge Motorsport (Aston Martin Vantage GT4)
2) Barry McMahon – Whitebridge Motorsport (Aston Martin Vantage GT4)
3) David Holloway – Century Motorsport (Ginetta G55 GT4)
1) James Reveler – Topcats Racing (Ginetta G55 GT4)
2) Lee Frost – Butler Motorsport (Ginetta G55 GT4)
3) Lucky Khera – Butler Motorsport (Ginetta G55 GT4)