Cocker and kirkaldy take pole honours at Brands Hatch
Jonathan Cocker showed why he has been crowned 2004 British GT Champion by snatching pole position for the penultimate round of the series at Brands Hatch this afternoon. The GruppeM Porsche topped the times by just one-thousandths of a seconds from the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 360 of Nathan Kinch. Gavan Kershaw put his Lotus Sport Elise onto the dailysportscar.com GT Cup Class pole.
Traffic was always going to be a problem around the tight Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Kershaw was out early and held overall pole position for the first five minutes, until the NGT class cars found gaps and got up to speed.
Alan Bonner was the first NGT car to go quickest. The Ultima seemed well hooked up before Bonner had a spin at Clearways. The loss of rhythm put him out of the order and Mark Sumpter -- driving by himself this weekend -- moved to the top of the timing screens.
Steve Hyde put the Eclipse Motorsport TVR into second place for a brief moment before Kinch set a time good enough for provisional pole, dropping the Oulton Park winner to third. Mark Cole put the Tech 9 Porsche into second place a lap later.
Cocker had been languishing in eighth place for the first half of the session. However, a quick lap was enough to just snatch the top spot away from the Ferrari, giving the newly crowned champion his first ever pole position of his career.
The session was cut short when Jonathan Coleman parked his RSR TVR T400R at the bottom of Paddock Hill with a blown engine. The result of the expired motor was a huge stream of oil and fluid all over the circuit into the first corner. Mark Sumpter and Phil Barton found it first and were both pitched into the gravel, Barton's Ferrari finding the tyre wall.
Kershaw's time was more than enough to take the dailysportscar.com GT Cup class pole. Marco Attard put the Damax Ferrari 360 into second place, while Adam Wilcox kept his and Ni Amorim's title hopes on track with third place.
The second qualifying session was an all Ferrari affair in NGT. The Scuderia Ecosse cars of Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Mullen dominated the front row. Tim Sugden managed to put the GruppeM Porsche third on the grid after trading times with Adam Jones in the Tech 9 car.
Nigel Greensall proved that the second RSR TVR was in full working order by taking fifth on the grid.
The Cup class pole went to title contender Adam Sharpe. The Tech 9 Porsche swapped places on a number of occasions with Barrie Whight in the Lotus. Alan Simonsen finally put the Glenvarigill Ferrari second in class, just ahead of Whight and Aaron Scott.
<pre> British GT Championship -- Rounds 15 & 16 Brands Hatch
Round 15 -- NGT 1 Sugden/Cocker Porsche 911 GT3-RSR 47.032s 2 Kinch/Kirkaldy Ferrari 360 Modena 47.033s 3 Cole/Jones Porsche 911 GT3-RSR 47.612s 4 Niarchos/Mullen Ferrari 360 Modena 47.727s 5 Sumpter Porsche 911 GT3-RS 47.897s 6 Hyde/Johnson TVR T400R 47.930s
Dailysportscar GT Cup 1 Kershaw/Whight Lotus Sport Elise 48.665s 2 Wilcox/Amorim Ferrari 360 49.518s 3 Ahlers/Scott Morgan Aero 8 49.574s 4 Lester/Simonsen Ferrari 360 49.622s 5 Bilmoria/Wandless Porsche 911 GT3-Cup 49.972s 6 Lesniewski/Sharpe Porsche 911 GT3-Cup 50.183s
Round 16 -- NGT 1 Kirkaldy/Kinch 46.673s 2 Mullen/Niarchos 46.937s 3 Cocker/Sugden 47.133s 4 Cole/Jones 47.154s 5 Tomlinson/Greensall 47.585s 6 Hay/Cunningham 47.965s
Dailysportscar.com GT Cup 1 Sharpe/Lesniewski 48.951s 2 Lester/Simonsen 48.975s 3 Whight/Kershaw 49.046s 4 Ahlers/Scott 49.549s 5 Attard/Adams 49.569s 6 Horsfield/Corbyn 50.403s