BRANDS HATCH, ROUND 5

4 August 2015

It was another disappointing weekend for 22GT Racing in their comeback to the prestigious Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend as a brake failure saw Jon Barnes crash out of the race at the infamous Druids hairpin.

Jon Barnes and Mark Famer saw mixed results in Saturday’s practice sessions, having found themselves second from last in the first free practice session. Both drivers agreed “the car was a handful, we’ve got some changes to make”, and change indeed came in the form of a seventh quickest lap time in the second free practice session from Barnes – 1:27.007, only 0.8 seconds off the fastest lap of the session. However, that same pace could not be achieved in qualifying with Farmer setting a 1:28.896 (P15) and Barnes managing a 1:26.062 lap (P13), meaning the duo started from 13th on the grid for Sunday’s race with a combined fastest lap time of 2:54.598.

Sunday’s race on Brands Hatch’s 2.4 mile GP circuit proved to be an eventful sixth round of the 2015 calendar. Whilst Farmer dropped down one place to fourteenth in the first lap, Farmer successfully set his fastest lap on Lap 4 (1:29.549). Whilst the first of many incidents of the two-hour race involving Rick Parfitt Jnr. (#44) and Gary Eastwood (#18) meant a move up to P12 on Lap 5, for Farmer to then pass Team LNT’s Ginetta GT3(#33) on the following lap whilst Ross Wylie (#10), who was holding P3, spun the McLaren off into the gravel in his fight for second place – subsequently awarding Farmer P10. Lap 11 saw the TF Sport Aston Martin GT3 driven by Andrew Jarman (#27) take a trip into the gravel at Clearways, moving the 22GT Aston GT3 up an extra place on the grid as Ross Wylie reappeared behind, having fought his way back through the grid. Wylie successfully executed an overtake on Farmer on Lap 14, only to end up in the gravel once more with the Preci-Spark Mercedes (#22) in the following lap resulting in the deployment of the safety car. Lap 15 also saw the Oman Racing Team Aston Martin return to the pits with issues, at which point Mark Farmer is P7. The safety car returned to the pits for the start of Lap 21, leaving Farmer fighting for P6 with Derek Johnston in the TF Sport Aston Martin GT3 (#17). As the pit window opened, the 22GT’s #11 Aston Martin was still holding onto P7, with the mandatory driver change and refuelling stop taking place at the end of Lap 31.

22GT’s pro driver, Jon Barnes joined the race in P5, ahead of the previous race leading car – #007, now driven by Beechdean’s Johnny Adam, who was determined to secure another podium with championship standings in the balance. Despite setting his fastest lap time of the day on Lap 35 (1:28.050), Barnes could not get away from Adam, only for the safety car to be deployed on Lap 38 as Stanley’s Ginetta GT4 (#48) was recovered from Druids. The battle for P5 resumed on Lap 40; the gap between the two Aston Martin GT3 cars slimming to just 0.443 seconds on Lap 45, only for Barnes to be handed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane infringement during the mandatory driver change and refuelling stop.

Serving his penalty on Lap 47, he re-joined the race in 10th – at the back of the GT3 grid. Lap 49 saw the Team Russia/Barwell BMW (#63) serve a 1.7 second stop-go penalty, giving Barnes one extra place. It was Lewis Plato in the RAM Racing Mercedes (#30) who Barnes needed to first pass in order to return to his pre-penalty position. Whilst successfully managing to close the gap of almost eight seconds down to just 0.3 seconds, Barnes’ attempt to pass Plato at Druids on Lap 58 proved unsuccessful due to a brake failure which resulted in the #11 Aston Martin slam side-on into the tyre wall with Barnes promptly emerging from the vehicle unhurt. Whilst the race was uninterrupted by the incident, the 22GT Aston was unable to continue but still classified 23rd .

Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes move down to 16th in the driver standings of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship. The next, and also penultimate round of the season will take place at Snetterton – which the pair will be testing at this week, on 22nd/23rd August 2015.

For more information visit Jon's website at www.jonbarnes.com, or you can like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

ENDS

Jon Barnes Racing 2017