Davies Lays Down The Gauntlet to Open Bahrain Test

Rhys Davies put the GT Super Series paddock on notice as he topped the times on day one of the official GT Super Series Pre-Season Test in Bahrain.

The off-season did not slow the relative pace shown by the Australian F1 and ARWS Champion in the latter half of 2019. Davies blitzed to the fastest time on the opening day of the test, after Ford showed middling pace this time last year. His fastest time during a qualifying simulation was more than six tenths ahead of the fastest lap done by 2019 championship runner-up Nathan McKane. McKane topped the times on the opening day of the test last year, but with a time that was nearly two seconds better than what Davies did on Sunday. The decrease in pace seen throughout the field contributed to the warmer weather compared to last year, and the increased minimum weight for 2020.

McKane led the way for the rest of the pack, with the rest of the top six being the only drivers within a second of Davies’s time come the end of Sunday’s running. Completing that group was both entries from Carson Speedworks and 2019 Teams Champion Racing Team Solvalou. Joey Alliot lead the way from this quartet, with 2019 World Driver’s Champion Chris Winter less than two hundredths behind the factory Corvette driver in fourth. Two tenths behind Winter in the times would be his teammate Emma Pescatore, with Li Qi nearly three hundredths behind the Italian.

Darren Older Jr., Davies’s teammate, finished day one of the test ninth in the times, more than a second and a quarter off of the top time in his MacMillan Ford, and rounded out the lead group of factory entries that made up the top nine. Not far behind Older Jr. was the first of the Independent entries, that being the Czechmate Ferrari driven by Phil McCracken. The former open-wheel driver had a major breakthrough when he was brought into the Czechmate fold part way through last season, finishing third in the Independent’s Trophy on a partial schedule. He was more than a tenth clear of the 2019 Independent’s Trophy Champion Melanie Bourne in the Boutsen Ginion Corvette.

The new teams to the series suffered mixed fortunes on their opening day in the series. The newly rebranded Prodrive AMR outfit, previously Gulf Racing AMR, put in the eighth fastest time of the session with returning Matteo Rossi. While customer Aston Martin team Blokkmonsta Motorsport only put in the combined nineteenth best time of the day, after putting in the sixth best time for an Independent during the morning session. Paul Travesen got used to his new team immediately on Sunday, putting in the equal-most mileage on Sunday at Lumenition-RMR, equal with the amount of laps done by Peter Oliver.

There was trouble at Pagani early on Sunday, with both of their new cars suffering mechanical issues and stopping on track minutes apart early in the morning’s running.  The team received the cars over the lunch break and elected not to run during the afternoon session.  Both Euromotor International Listers were setup in their garage but neither car turned a lap on Sunday, with only Helena Bertinelli being nominated to run.

Test Results – Day 1

Pos#ClassDriverTeamBest TimeLaps
140MRhys DaviesMacMillan1:51.78450
22MNathan McKaneRavenwest+0.64051
363MJoey AlliotCarson+0.71155
401MChris WinterSolvalou+0.72543
503MEmma PescatoreSolvalou+0.94746
664MLi QiCarson+0.97344
728MAndrea ConstantiniScuderia Italia+1.07049
86MMatteo RossiProdrive AMR+1.26652
943MDarren Older Jr.MacMillan+1.30353
10550IPhil McCrackenCzechmate+1.34355
1115IMelanie BourneBoutsen Ginion+1.47352
1255IJoel MelroseTom Douglas+1.48347
1327MEvgeny RestovScuderia Italia+1.59742
148ILaurindo CoehloBest In The World+1.61741
1504IPaul TravesenLumenition-RMR+1.66556
1619IPeter OliverOliver+1.68356
1788IHarrison WilkinsonLKM+1.71051
18555IAntonio Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+1.79045
1952ILasse TilkessonBlokkmonsta+1.82151
2087IDarren CardelFerdinand United+1.90050
2191ILuke Gilson-ClarkeOliver+2.25354
2242ISylvain FabronMinster+2.35042
2314IGerald PereriaGP+2.42455
2482IPaul JenkinsGlobex Scorpio+2.48754
2511IKoyomi SetouBest In The World+2.59953
26801IJans ZeitnerAMG+2.69945
2725MFrank ZimmerPagani+2.8165
2824MAmato AgostiniPagani+3.0236
29007IJohn MagnusFalken Tire+3.04449
3051IGabriel MacenaPowerSport-Dunbarton+3.23848
3117IWulfric WombesiCzechmate+3.89051
3244IHelena BertinelliEuromotorNo Time0