2016 SEASON REVIEW: BRITISH GT – GT3
Jonny Adam became the first driver to win back-to-back British GT titles – Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Having led all the way from the opening Brands Hatch round to the penultimate weekend at Snetterton, Derek Johnston and Jonny Adam kept their cool to re-take the championship lead when it mattered most and, in the process, seal their first and second British GT Championships, respectively.
Arguably, the TF Sport pair should have been out of sight by the time teams and drivers headed to Donington Park in early September. That they weren’t owes as much to Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen’s relentless point-scoring as their own mid-season wobble.
The Barwell Motorsport crew failed to finish at Brands before hauling themselves back into contention with victory at a sodden Silverstone. Two GT3 wins over the same weekend – the first time any crew had achieved the feat since 2010 – at Snetterton helped them head to Donington with the Huracan’s nose 11.5 points clear of Johnston and Adam’s Aston Martin, while the Team Parker Racing Bentley driven by Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris also retained an outside chance of pinching the crown.
The points gap meant the Lamborghini only had to shadow its rivals to win the title. However, when Minshaw’s misjudgement in traffic saw him exit stage left into the Old Hairpin gravel, Johnston and then Adam only had to cruise to the chequered flag knowing the championship was as good as theirs.
While Johnston won the title at the same venue as he’d claimed a maiden British GT victory 12 months earlier, Adam entered the record books as the first driver ever to retain a British GT crown.
He might have ultimately just missed the championship but, after frequently demonstrating his talent in previous seasons, 2016 was the year Keen finally emerged as a bonafide GT star, while Morris’ four pole positions and victory alongside Parfitt Jnr at Oulton Park during his first season of GT racing marked him out as a future talent.
Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes claimed their maiden British GT victory together at Spa-Francorchamps (and the latter’s first since 2008!), and there was also joy for Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s new partnership with McLaren which finally delivered its maiden victory at the final round. Liam Griffin looked like a potential title challenger early in the season after winning at Oulton, but ran out of steam down the home stretch aboard Barwell Motorsport’s second Lamborghini.
TF Sport might have scored one less victory than Barwell but their two-car operation’s superior consistency helped win them a first teams’ title.
2016 victories: drivers
3x Jon Minshaw & Phil Keen
2x Derek Johnston & Jonny Adam
1x Rick Parfitt Jnr & Seb Morris
1x Mark Farmer & Jon Barnes
1x Alasdair McCaig & Rob Bell
1x Liam Griffin & Adam Carroll
2016 victories: teams & manufacturers
4x Barwell Motorsport, Lamborghini
3x TF Sport, Aston Martin
1x Team Parker Racing, Bentley
1x Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse, McLaren
2016 pole positions
4x Seb Morris
3x Rick Parfitt Jnr (all with Morris)
2016 fastest race laps of the weekend
2x Jonny Adam
2x Phil Keen
1x Seb Morris
1x Joe Osborne
1x Alexander Sims