Ashburn eyes Brands Hatch title chance

Avon Tyres British GT Championship leader David Ashburn stands a chance of clinching the title this coming weekend on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, venue for the penultimate meeting of the season.

The London-based veteran and Glynn Geddie, his co-driver in the Trackspeed Porsche, will need to out-point Ashburn’s only realistic rivals for the crown, the MTECH Ferrari-driving duo Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron. Ashburn currently leads Cameron and Griffin by 20 points. Only one race remains on the schedule following Brands Hatch - next month’s double-points two-hour epic at Donington Park - so if David can extend his lead to 21 points by the close of play at Brands, his tally will be unbeatable.

Ashburn and Geddie have won three races together: both Rockingham events and the Silverstone endurance race. Those successes brought them a heavy penalty in terms of success ballast, and last month at Snetterton their power-sapped Porsche struggled to keep up. With 30kg shed since then, however, their 997 GT3R ought to be a much quicker prospect next weekend. “Snetterton was a waste of time for us,” says Geddie. “Hopefully with some weight out at Brands Hatch we can settle this thing with two race wins. That’s the plan, anyway.”

Cameron and Griffin have no intention of making it easy for the Porsche duo, however. The MTECH couple have enjoyed a season of highs and lows with their Ferrari 430 Scuderia, leading the championship for much of the year after opening their campaign with twin wins at Oulton Park in April. Second-place finishes at Knockhill and Rockingham were the closest they came to the podium’s top step until last month, at Snetterton, when they put in a storming drive to win the championship’s 10th round and keep alive their title ambitions.

“We are going to push 100 per cent,” says Matt Griffin. “We may have won one race at Snetterton but we should have gone better in the other one, and that would have left us only about 12 points behind. Now we have no choice but to try to win all the races left, which I think we can do, and see what happens. If Trackspeed make no mistakes they will win the championship; it’s theirs to lose. But we will fight to the death.”

The only other driver with a mathematical chance of the title is Hector Lester. It’s a slim prospect for the Rosso Verde man, as he trails Ashburn by 32 points, but that is not to rule out Hector and his ultra-rapid co-driver Allan Simonsen from the reckoning at Brands Hatch - they were the GT3 victors there last year and are hungry to claim their first win of the 2010 season having finished second on four occasions.

Reigning champions the Jones brothers, Godfrey and David, returned to the podium at Snetterton for the first time since their twin wins at Knockhill in May. In between times their Team Preci-Spark Ascari has been beset by all manner of mechanical maladies, hopefully now cured.

Dan Brown and Tom Ferrier teamed up successfully at Snetterton to claim a win and a second for Chad Racing; at Brands they will be back with their regular driving partners, respectively Chris Hyman and Paul Warren, and looking for further honours with their Ferraris. The other Ferrari in the field - and one which will be carrying no success ballast at all - is the Predator CCTV Scuderia of Phil Burton and Adam Wilcox.

Two Aston Martins are expected, both fielded by Barwell Motorsport: one in Beechdean colours for Andrew Howard and Russian racer Leo Machitski, who, alongside Phil Quaife in the Barwell-prepared Ginetta G50Z, was the final-round victor at Brands Hatch in 2009. The other DBRS9 will be in the hands of Cadena men Paul Whight and Michael Bentwood.

The mighty Mosler of Rollcentre Racing’s Martin Short is expected in action also, Martin to be partnered on this occasion by Lotus Cup racer Steve Quick.

In the G4 class, Christian Dick and Jamie Stanley may also have an opportunity next weekend to secure the class championship for the Speedworks Motorsport team; the Ginetta G50 drivers are currently 11.5 points ahead in the race for the title.

The Piranha Motorsport Lotus pairing of Chris Bialan and Simon Mason are the most likely G4 title rivals for Dick and Stanley and their 2-Eleven has shown considerable pace on several occasions. They’ve yet to win the class, though, while Stanley and Dick have triumphed on four occasions.

Barwell Motorsport is to enter a car in the G4 division for the first time this season: a Ginetta G50 for championship debutants Julien Draper and Chris Dittmann. Former Caterham racer Draper and his co-driver are both experienced G50 Cup competitors. “They are both looking to move on in the careers to GTs and endurance racing,” said Barwell’s Chris Needell, “and the G4 class of British GT is an excellent starting point for them.”

It’s hoped that double Rockingham G4 class winners Athanasios Ladas and Michael Mallock will reunite for Brands Hatch at the wheel of the Chad Racing KTM X-Bow, while the Hetherington brothers, Freddie and Benji, will be out in the Century Motorsport Ginetta with which they scored twin class wins at Snetterton last month. Further class action will be provided by the Ginettas of Nathan Freke/Vibe Smed and the Team Osborne Racing Ginetta, which will be in the hands of championship newcomers Dean Hawkey and Jake Rattenbury.

British GT is sponsored by UK tyre manufacturer Avon Tyres and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and The Independent.

You can win tickets to the event by clicking here.

Provisional race weekend timetable:

Saturday 25 Sep: 0900-0955 & 1150-1245 practice, 1525 qualifying

Sunday 26 Sep: 1240 Round 11 (60min), 1653 Round 12 (60min)

Provisional UK TV schedule:

Sunday 10 Oct: 0730 Channel 4 & 2115 Motors TV

Full UK & Euro TV schedules:

Provisional championship standings after round 10

GT3 & Overall

1 David Ashburn 77 points

2= Matt Griffin/Duncan Cameron 57

4 Glynn Geddie 51

5 Hector Lester 45

6 Allan Simonsen 43

7 Tom Ferrier 33

8 Philip Walker 32

9= David Jones/Godfrey Jones & Alex Mortimer 30 etc

G4 Class

1= Christian Dick/Jamie Stanley 49.5

3= Rory Butcher/Benjamin Harvey 38

5= Simon Mason/Chris Bialan 32.5

7= Nathan Freke/Vibe Smed 24

9 Athanasios Ladas 22

10= Joe Osborne, Matt Bell/Rob Bell 20 etc

The Independent Cup

1 David Ashburn 84

2 Duncan Cameron 62

3 Hector Lester 51 etc

footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Paul McCartney backs the
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone