SILVERSTONE, ROUND 3

4 June 2015

The fourth round of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Silverstone’s iconic GP circuit brought both success and setbacks to Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer and the Derby-based 22GT Racing team.

After qualifying with a combined fastest lap time of 4:09.439 on the 3.66 mile Northamptonshire circuit, the 22GT Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 started from twelfth place on the grid for the only three-hour race of the 2015 British GT season.

Fortunately, the heavy showers of Sunday morning did not persist, and the grid lined up for the 4th race of the 2015 season. 22GT’s Amateur Bronze driver Mark Farmer took the wheel first, confident with the capabilities of the Vantage GT3 having had a positive warm up session on Sunday morning.

Farmer made consistent progress through the first five laps, moving up to P8, however Ross Wylie in the VonRyan McLaren was keen to retake P8 from Farmer; the pair continuing to catch each other until Lap 13 when the safety car was deployed after an incident involving one of the TF Sport Astons and the FF Corse Ferrari.

It was at this point that 22GT Racing executed a strategy that would later give them the lead for seventy-five minutes. Whilst all other teams called their cars into the pit lane for their first of three compulsory pit stops, opting to remain on wets, 22GT Racing decided to keep Farmer out on wets as he reported the track was drying out. Farmer then continued to take P1. Farmer pitted on the 18th lap to hand over to Jon Barnes, with the team fitting slick tyres to the GT3 Aston. Barnes then went onto set fastest sector times on his out lap on the strategically chosen slicks.

Team Manager, Nathan Harrison said: “Our pit stop strategy was always to pit after the 20th minute if the safety car came out, when the safety car was deployed on the 32nd minute we made the decision to leave Mark out as the track was drying but it was too wet for slicks, 18 minutes later and as the safety car was still out we decided it was the correct time to pit for slick tyres, we managed to carry out the pit stop and get back out to catch the train of cars behind the safety car, just as the green flag came out to continue racing.”

As Barnes joined the race in P10 for Lap 19, the safety car returned to the pits shortly after at the end of Lap 20. The green flags saw several of the race leaders take the opportunity to pit for the second time – finally swapping onto slick tyres. By the end of Lap 24 Barnes had reclaimed P1, setting his fastest lap of the race on Lap 42 (2:05.747) to open the gap between the 22GT Aston and the Oman Racing Aston in P2 to 1:54.672. After 24 laps leading the race, and with 1 hour 10 minutes left on the clock, Bronze driver Mark Farmer took the lead once again.

Farmer held onto P1 for a further twelve laps, setting his fastest lap time on Lap 53 (2:09.479). However, on Lap 58, as Barnes prepared for his final stint, in the hope of giving 22GT Racing their first British GT podium, Farmer spun exiting Club Corner and proceeded into the International Straight’s pit-wall.

Although initially unresponsive, Mark Farmer suffered mild concussion and was later given the all clear by race medical staff. The team’s well-executed approach to changing track conditions and pit stop strategy meant that 22GT Racing still classified as a finisher of the fourth round of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship in 26th place. Currently, Barnes and Farmer are joint 14th in the British GT3 Drivers Championship.

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