The Barwell Motorsport crew headed to Spa last week with the Team Russia by Barwell with Demon Tweeks BMW Z4 GT3, to compete in the fourth round of the 2015 British GT Championship.
After the disappointing end to Silverstone back in May where they were set for victory until being taken out by a backmarker, Jon, Phil and the team were looking forward to having another shot at stepping onto the podium. They kick started the weekend by dominating Free Practice 1 where they sat a comfortable 0.288 of a second ahead of the rest of the 33 strong grid. The success continued through Free Practice 2 where they placed in the top three overall.
Unlike the previous rounds so far this year, the lesser-powered GT4 cars were placed in the same qualifying sessions, which saw a new challenge for the Demon Tweeks duo. Jon was completely unfazed by this alteration and flew around the twists and turns of the Ardennes circuit to set the fastest time by a Bronze driver, which placed him second overall in his session, not far behind the silver-graded driver Stuart Leonard. Phil maximised the potential of the car in challenging conditions, considering the blistering heat and increased traffic. The combined times positioned the #63 BMW in the 3rd spot on the starting grid.
Jon drove a fantastic opening stint, which saw him completely surrounded by Aston Martins. He did a superb job of holding on to third position and keeping the #100 Brussels Racing car at bay for just short of an hour before handing over to Phil. Due to the safety car being called out around the pit stop window, the majority of the grid pitted on the same lap, leading to an extremely busy pit lane. But the Barwell Motorsport crew were able to pull out a slick stop and sent Phil out in the minimum time, which enabled him to re-join the circuit still in 3rd position. It did not take long before Phil pulled a fantastic manoeuvre on the #87 Leonard Aston Martin of Michael Meadows, which saw him sit in 2nd for the remainder of the 2 hour Belgian battle! Jon’s exceptional driving throughout the race also led to him being awarded ‘Blancpain Driver of the weekend’!
Jon and Phil, along with Team Russia by Barwell Blancpain drivers Leo Machitski and Jonny Cocker, and the Barwell Motorsport crew will be heading back to Belgium next week for the Blancpain Spa 24 Hours, where they will be looking at achieving a similar, if not better result!