Rick Parfitt Jr and Seb Morris claimed their third victory of the British GT season by dominating the penultimate two-hour event at Brands Hatch, handing the pair the championship lead.
Parfitt put in a superb first stint to help the Team Parker Racing Bentley, which had started a lowly sixth after struggling in the wet Saturday qualifying, to put the car into the lead before handing over to Morris.
Parfitt’s pace was such that he pulled a good 20 seconds clear of the pack, handing Morris a sizable advantage at the head of the field for the second half of the race, with the car not having to serve any form of success penalty in the pit stops.
“That was one of the stints of my life,” said Parfitt. “I was delighted to get into the lead as we knew we’d have good race pace around here. But more importantly we got in front of Jon [Minshaw, title rival].
The win hands Parfitt/Morris the championship lead with just the final two-hour outing at Donington Park in September to come.
Minshaw and Phil Keen had been at the head of the table coming into Brands, and started on pole after a magnificent lap from Keen in the wet, but they struggled in the race.
The Barwell Lamborghini couldn’t live with the pace of the Bentley and Minshaw slipped from pole to sixth by the stops, leaving Keen to salvage fifth.
Sam Tordoff and Liam Griffin vaulted the sister car to finish second after a fine display from both drivers, while Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes finished third in their TF Sport Aston Martin, just ahead of the sister car of Derek Johnston/Jonny Adam.
The GT4 fight was an absolute thriller, with the Macmillan AMR crew of William Phillips and Jan Jonck securing their first win.
The Garage 59 McLaren of Sandy Mitchell did much of the early running until a safety car at quarter distance eroded its early advantage.
That, and a host of issues for many of the front-running Ginettas, helped Phillips to close into second place before handing over to Jonck.
Jonck latched on to the rear of the lead McLaren, now in the hands of Ciaran Haggerty, and eventually scraped his way into the lead with a lunge at Druids.
Joe Osborne also deposed Haggerty to snatch second in the Tolman McLaren he shares with David Pattison. Sadly Haggerty’s race ended in the barriers as he skated into the barriers at Paddock hill Bend while fighting over the final podium place with the HHC Ginetta of Stewart Middleton/Will Tregurtha.
That result puts HHC well clear in the championship, aided by the Lanan Racing Ginetta of David Pittard/Alex Read retiring with a steering issue.