After the disasters of last month's Oulton Park opening rounds of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, in which reigning champions David and Godfrey Jones failed to score a single point to assist their title defence, the twin brothers turned the tables completely on Sunday at Knockhill to win both of the championship's Scottish rounds.
However, the Joneses' round four win remains provisional pending investigations by the stewards of a protest lodged against them by championship-leading team MTECH.
David and Godfrey Jones started their championship defence in earnest by leading the third round from pole position to chequered flag. David Jones, who set the fastest lap time in qualifying in the Team Preci-Spark Ascari, pulled clear at the start from Chris Hyman's STP Chad Ferrari and the Predator CCTV Ferrari of Phil Burton. Burton spun third away on the 12th lap but Hyman held station behind Jones all the way to his 27th-lap pit stop.
Alas for the Chad men, a gearbox problem halted their Ferrari shortly after Dan Brown took over at the wheel from Hyman.
The Ascari was the last of the frontrunners to pit for its driver change; when Godfrey Jones exited pit lane he found himself sitting on a 25-second lead over the David Ashburn/Glynn Geddie Trackspeed Porsche. Godfrey eased back and nursed the Ascari home to an 8.7-second win. Said Godfrey: "A win was what we needed. It doesn't really put us back on track because there's a lot more work to be done. We have to keep on working hard to reduce the deficit." Added David: "The Ascari takes a while to get its tyres warm so the first few laps were tricky. After lap four or five I was able to pull away."
It was not the Porsche which took the runner-up position: Matt Griffin, having taken over the MTECH Ferrari from Duncan Cameron, snatched second away from Geddie at the hairpin on the 41st of the 69-lap race.
Ashburn and Geddie were the final drivers to finish on the leader's lap. The Chad Ferrari of Argentine drivers Juan Garriz and Jose Balbiani placed fourth, a lap behind but eight seconds clear of the GT3 Racing Viper of Craig Wilkins and Aaron Scott.
Burton and Wilcox placed seventh, a good way ahead of the Hector Lester/Stephane Daoudi Rosso Verde Ferrari, which lost time with a damaged tyre. The Paul Warren/Tom Ferrier Chad Ferrari joined its sister car in retirement.
Jamie Stanley and Christian Dick enjoyed a trouble-free, if lonely run to G4 Class victory after qualifying frontrunner Chris Bialan suffered gearbox trouble on the opening lap and retired. Another likely challenger, the KTM X-Bow of Benjamin Harvey and local hero Rory Butcher, also retired.
The sole GT Cup class challenger, the Porsche of Steve Hunter and Duncan Pierce was a creditable eighth overall.
The Jones brothers emerged the controversial victors of the second of the Knockhill rounds, their win remaining provisional - along with the rest of the race results - pending investigation by race stewards.
The incident at the heart of the inquiry was a 16th lap clash between the Jones brothers' Team Preci-Spark Ascari and the MTECH Ferrari of championship leaders Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron, which occurred at Leslie's Bend as Griffin attempted to pass Godfrey Jones for second. The collision left Griffin to limp back to the pits and retirement, and the team has lodged a protest.
Griffin had earlier in the race broken David Jones' hours-old lap record, and he and Cameron maintain the championship lead despite their no-score.
This was far from the only incident in the championship's fourth round, which was led initially by Adam Wilcox in the Predator CCTV Ferrari. Wilcox had started from the pole thanks to his supreme effort in qualifying in claiming the first sub-50 second GT lap of Knockhill; he led Godfrey Jones in the early laps, with Glynn Geddie slotting the Trackspeed Porsche into third ahead of Tom Ferrier in the Chad Ferrari.
Griffin was soon on the move; the Irishman had started seventh on the grid (in reality sixth, because the STP Ferrari of Chris Hyman and Dan Brown failed to make the start with gearbox woes) and had scythed his way up to third by the 14th lap. The incident two laps later allowed Geddie to take advantage in the confusion and nip through for third. Ferrier pushed Jones back to fourth a few laps later.
Taking his cue, Godfrey was the first of the frontrunners to pit, with Wilcox coming in three laps later and handing the leader's baton to Ferrier. But the Preci-Spark squad executed the better stop to put David Jones back on to the track and into a handsome lead which he would hold to the chequered flag.
Pre-stop leader Wilcox had earlier clashed with Geddie, a collision which led to the Porsche's retirement and which is another incident set to be investigated by the stewards. Nor was that the last of the dramas. A late-race safety car period, brought about by a spin into a gravel trap by Osman Yusuf's Ginetta, caused further chaos when the restarting bunch tried en masse to negotiate the SEAT Curves and Leslie's. Worst-hit victims were the Viper of Craig Wilkins and the Lotus of Chris Bialan, both of which spun off and were beached.
That same lap, Paul Warren, who had taken over the Chad Ferrari from Ferrier, spun away second place at the hairpin. That promoted the sister car of Argentine duo Jose Balbiani and Juan Garriz to second, with the Wilcox/Burton Ferrari taking third ahead of the recovered Warren. The Wilkins/Scott Viper was the only other classified GT3 finisher, Stephane Daoudi having retired the Rosso Verde Ferrari early on.
The late-race spin for Bialan was cruel luck after a character building weekend for the Piranha Motorsport crew. After setting the pace in first qualifying, the Lotus struck gear selection problems which blighted second qualifying and the first race. All was sorted for race two and the car was on target to win the G4 class when disaster struck.
Nathan Freke's Century Motorsport Ginetta led G4 to the stops, but it was class points leaders Christian Dick and Jamie Stanley who took the win - their third in four races - ahead of the KTM of Rory Butcher and Benjamin Harvey.
It's expected that the stewards will start to review video footage of the race incidents later this week.
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.
Provisional results Knockhill 9/5/2010
Round 3 69 laps = 87.72 miles
Overall & GT3
1 Preci-Spark Ascari David Jones / Godfrey Jones 1h 0m 41.312s / 86.72mph
2 MTECH Ferrari 430 Scud Duncan Cameron / Matt Griffin (IRL) +8.730s
3 Trackspeed Porsche 911 GT3R David Ashburn / Glynn Geddie +13.388s
4 Chad Ferrari 430 Jose Balbiani (ARG) / Juan Garriz (ARG) 68 laps
5 GT3 Racing Viper CC Craig Wilkins / Aaron Scott 68 laps
6 Predator CCTV Ferrari 430 Scud Phil Burton / Adam Wilcox 68 laps
7 Rosso Verde Ferrari 430 Scud Hector Lester / Stephane Daoudi (FRA) 67 laps
Fastest lap David Jones 50.690s / 90.28mph Record
GT Cup Class
1 JHR Developments Porsche 997 Derek Pierce / Steve Hunter 65 laps
1 Speedworks Ginetta G50 Christian Dick / Jamie Stanley 64 laps
2 Team Osborne Ginetta G50 Joe Osborne / Osman Yusuf 64 laps
3 Century Ginetta G50 Nathan Freke / Vibe Smed (DEN) 63 laps
Fastest lap Freke 54.291s / 84.30mph Record
Round 4 66 laps = 83.91 miles
Overall & GT3
1 Preci-Spark Ascari David Jones / Godfrey Jones 1h 0m 19.784s
2 Chad Ferrari 430 Jose Balbiani (ARG) / Juan Garriz (ARG) +7.746s
3 Predator CCTV Ferrari 430 Scud Phil Burton / Adam Wilcox +11.592s
4 Chad Ferrari 430 Scud Paul Warren / Tom Ferrier +39.042s
5 GT3 Racing Viper Aaron Scott/Craig Wilkins 62 laps
Fastest lap Matt Griffin (MTECH Ferrari) 50.468s Record
1 Speedworks Ginetta G50 Christian Dick / Jamie Stanley 63 laps
2 Prestige/ABG KTM X-Bow Benjamin Harvey / Rory Butcher 63 laps
3 Century Ginetta G50 Nathan Freke / Vibe Smed (DEN) 62 laps
4 Piranha Lotus 2-Eleven Chris Bialan / Simon Mason 59 laps
5 Team Osborne Ginetta G50 Joe Osborne / Osman Yusuf 47 laps
Fastest lap Freke 53.876s Record
Provisional championship standings
Overall & GT3
1= Griffin & Cameron 28 points; 3= Jones & Jones 20; 5 Hector Lester 18; 6= David Ashburn, Allan Simonsen 16; 8= Wilcox & Burton 14; 10= Balbiani & Garriz 13 etc
1= Dick & Stanley 38; 3= Rory Butcher & Benjamin Harvey 26; 5= Osborne & Yusuf 21; 7= Bialan & Mason, Freke & Smed 17 etc.
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