Ahmad Al Harthy and Michael Caine took the #4 Oman Racing Team Aston Martin to its second win of the season with a strong victory to end a glorious day of racing in the Silverstone 500 third round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship.
Caine took the chequered flag by almost a minute from Jonny Adam in the #1 Aston Beechdean AMR, as shared with reigning champion Andrew Howard.
Steven Kane took third position on track in the #17 M-Sport Bentley Continental as shared with Rembert Berg but was to lose the position post-race. The final podium spot had been taken late in the race through contact with the #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 of Alexander Sims and Marco Attard with Sims at the wheel for the final stint. The incident was adjudged as being avoidable by Kane resulting in a 30 second penalty for the M-Sport car, dropping it to fourth in the final order and returning the Ecurie Ecosse to third position in the standings.
In GT4 it was the #46 Twisted Team Parker Ginetta G55 of Adrian Barwick and Bradley Ellis which ended a great class battle victorious. The #41 Optimum Ginetta of returning former GT4 champion Ryan Ratcliffe and Matt Draper took second with the GT4 podium rounded off by the #49 TF Sport Aston of Andrew Jarman and Devon Modell.
GT4 provided a great race-long battle with the duo of Tom Oliphant and Rick Parfitt it the #42 Century Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4 intermittently topping the class, but Parfitt's collision with second-placed Andrew Jarman in the #49 TF Sport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge left teammate Oliphant with it all to do.
Oliphant was able to chase down the recovering TF Sport Aston Martin, but Bradley Ellis and Adrian Barwick had mounted an unassailable lead. Behind them, both the TF Sport Aston Martin and Century Motorsport Ginetta closed the gap on the second placed Ryan Ratcliffe and Matt Draper. With Oliphant's fire in the rear of the car, his challenge fell to the wayside as Draper defended second position to the chequered flag.
Over the three hours at Silverstone there were a number of notable incidents amidst the racing. Early on in the proceedings it was the #23 United Autosports Audi R8 LMS Ultra in the hands of Mark Patterson battling Phil Dryburgh in the #6 PGF - Kinfaun AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3, before Dryburgh's late braking heading into brought a premature end to the battle with the Audi retired and the Aston driver punished with points deducted.
Another battle that ended in a retirement saw the #77 ISSY Racing Lotus Evora GT4 collide and take the wheel off the #28 HorsePower Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. In the midfield battle, the pick of the scraps was Pasin Lathouras in the #29 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia had to deal with Chris Hoy's defending in the #80 Nissan Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R GT3.
As Lathouras passed the former Olympian, a new battle brewed at the top as Rembert Berg and Steven Kane both demonstrated the pace of the #17 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 as it moved from outside the podium to the verge of third battling not only Alexander Sims in the #79 Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 and Phil Keen in the #33 Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R, but also Lee Mowle in the #8 Triple Eight BMW Z4 GT3 proving to be stern opposition.
The #8 Triple Eight of Lee Mowle and Joe Osborne proved how quick the BMW is when sitting in second place. Joe Osborne made great strides on the huge lead Michael Caine possessed, breaking the gap from 47 seconds down to a bare minimum. Their pace was soon to be slowed when the Triple Eight car was hit with a drive through penalty for not respecting the yellow flags. Osborne did end the day with the fastest lap of the day, a 2mins 03.885secs.
Early on there was incident when the #55 Academy Motorsport G55 Ginetta GT4 collided with the #77 ISSY Racing Lotus Evora GT4, which was soon followed by #1 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3's Andrew Howard having to go onto the grass to avoid a collision too.
After the halfway mark, the then top two of #42 Century Motorsport's G55 Ginetta GT4 and the #49 TF Sport Aston Martin GT4 Challenge hit wheels with the two entering a spin. Both continued, but soon the #42 endured more issues with Tom Oliphant behind the wheel. With two laps remaining, a seal caught fire that spread across the Ginetta's rear, retiring it from the race.
The Mobil 1 Service Centre Master of the Weekend award was presented to Ryan Ratcliffe for his superb return to action in the #41 Ginetta whilst Andrew Howard took the ‘Driver of the Weekend’ Blancpain Gentleman Trophy.
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship now heads to Norfolk for the next round on June 21/22 with the Snetterton 300.