Griffin and Butcher ease to victory in first Snetterton race
Oman Racing Team duo Liam Griffin and Rory Butcher took their Aston Martin Vantage to the top in the first race of British GT's double-header.
TF Sport driver Andrew Jarman, who had claimed race one pole in a very close AM qualifying, led most of the race's opening stint, albeit under pressure from Griffin and Ahmad Al Harthy.
as the pit stop window approached, Jarman got boxed in behind a GT4 car and slipped down to third over a couple of corners.
Griffin took over in the lead, but both him and Jarman stopped as soon as the pit window opened. The race off pitlane saw both teams lose out to the Von Ryan McLaren, although the Ross Wylie / Andrew Watson team were then penalised for a short stop.
Al Harthy, meanwhile, had stayed out a lap further and set up enough of a gap for his teammate – ex-WTCC racer Alex MacDowall – to emerge in front.
The #2 car's victory bid, however, came apart in a few minutes when MacDowall collided with the GT4 Aston Martin of Mike Hart and went off at Murrays.
As such, Butcher was into the lead and cruising to a comfortable victory, allowing him and Griffin to remain within contention for the GT3 title.
Jarman's teammate Jody Fantin narrowly held off fellow TF Sport car of Matt Bell and Derek Johnston for second place, while standings frontrunners Jonathan Adam and Andrew Howard made up an all-Aston top four.
Points leaders Alexander Sims and Marco Attard were just sixth behind the BMW Triple Eight of Joe Osborne / Lee Mowle and saw their championship cushion shrink to 23 points.
The GT4 class went to Lotus duo Gavan Kershaw / Oz Yusuf, who gained ground on Beechdean's runaway leaders Ross Gunn and Jamie Chadwick. The latter two were just fifth, surviving a scare when the car hit trouble after the pit stop and had to be restarted.
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