The Mosler MT900R of Shaun Balfe and Jamie Derbyshire topped qualifying at Brands Hatch ahead of the crucial final round of the BRDC British GT Championship.

Into second fastest went the TVR T400R of Rob Barff/Michael Caine, from the Porsche 911 GT2 of Peter Cook and Mike Youles. Championship contenders Martin Short/Tom Herridge and Piers Johnson/Shane Lynch were fourth and fifth fastest. In the GT Cup category, the Porsche 911GT3 of Patrick Pearce/Matt Griffin set the pace.

From a superb 29-car field, the Balfe Motorsport Mosler headed the times by nearly half a second to stamp its authority on qualifying.

"We really want to win the race and the championship," said Balfe after posting the only sub 1min 28secs lap of the session, "It was a very good lap."

Barff and Caine will share the front row of the grid for the rolling start in the leading TVR, while Cook and Youles were a strong third fastest. However, the latter pair will run in the GT category and face the prospect of having to make a time consuming fuel stop during the 75-minute race. Short and Herridge were fourth, with a best lap nearly a second shy of the lead Mosler. Meanwhile, Johnson and Lynch, the third of the three title contenders, were fifth, but over a second and a half slower than the Balfe car in qualifying trim.

Completing the top six were Bob Berridge and Amanda Stretton in the other DeWalt-backed TVR T400R. Neither of them has raced a TVR before, but Berridge's qualifying lap has put them firmly in contention.

Having already clinched the category title, Pearce and Griffin again set the pace in GT Cup in the Tech 9/Gruppe M Porsche 911GT3 Cup. With important guests from the Taiwan embassy on hand, the team is even more determined than usual to add another victory to its superb 2003 tally.

However, the story of the class in qualifying was the superb pace of the Lotus Elises, notably the cars of Chris Yandell/Dean Lanzante and Phil Whight/Gavan Kershaw as they took second and third slots in GT Cup.

The pace of the Elises pushed the Morgan Aero 8 of Neil Cunningham/Adam Sharpe back to fourth and the Porsche of Tom Shrimpton/Liz Halliday back to fifth in the ever-growing GT Cup class.

 

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