Britcar Trophy Series – Race Report. Silverstone Int’l 12th April 2014


Dan Welch Dominates Trophy Opener.

Touring car driver Dan Welch has dominated the first Britcar Trophy Series meeting of 2014. The visiting driver swapped his Proton Gen-2 for a Porsche before taking each of the three race wins on Saturday, only the pole eluded his grasp as he struggled with the brake balance on his new 991 spec Carrera Cup racer. Having sorted out his stopping power between the qualifying session and first race, Welch set about besting Kevin Riley on the third racing lap of the season and didn’t look back.

The first race started with a dash to Abbey between Riley’s Mosler and Welch’s 911. While Riley set about keeping the BTCC star behind him, Welch was working on a plan of action. He passed the Mosler on lap 3 then immediately pitted for his mandatory stop. He dropped to the penultimate spot while in the pits but as others came to the garage for service Welch returned to the fore. By lap fifteen he had returned to the lead of the race with Riley almost a lap behind.

With the class 1 battle decided, class 3 came to attention and more particularly the battle for second in class. James MacIntyre-Ure had the class pretty much sown up after the stops in the #46 BMW E46 M3, a lap off the leading pair. Behind him William Lynch and Martin Schiele battled from the eighth lap of the 25 lap encounter after Arjo Ghosh pitted his Porsche Boxter, getting out of the 3-Series Compact’s way. The fight was a close one, with just 0.204 seconds splitting the E36 Saloon from the E46 Hatch come the chequered flag.

Ghosh took the class 4 victory after the retirement of Chris Valentine on lap 9 while Alyn James took a similarly easy first win of the season in class 5 following Alistair Lindsay’s drop out ten laps later. It is only fair to note however that Ghosh was never headed by the similarly equipped Valentine. Likewise, the returned for one weekend only Honda Jazz led all but three laps in the bottom class.

The second race was an uncontested win for the #4 991 after the Mosler of Riley dropped out on lap 8. The loss of Chrissy Palmer’s Mazda two laps earlier and the lap 4 retirement of James MacIntyre-Ure’s BMW knocked 30% of the field out early. That didn’t mean that the remaining runners left anything on the table, as indicated by Dan Welch setting a 1:09.380 as Riley was parking the Mosler.

With class 1 uncontested, class 2 was the next place to look for a battle but a 41.483 gap between Lynch and Schiele and two laps between the two class 5 runners left us with a lack of tension. Lynch once again triumphed over the Compact of Schiele with class 5 besting class 4 for the next top spot. The class 5 victory went to Chris Hayes and Andy Thompson who joined in the second race after skipping the first to prepare for the Britcar Endurance Sports and Touring Car Championship race in which they took second in class 4.

Ryan Cefferty and Dave Whitmore were the final finishers and second in class 5, with a similar story to the class victors. They only managed two laps in the 90 minute race but got 22 laps covered in their second clash of the day.
Arjo Ghosh took an uncontested victory in class 4 after Chris Valentine sat the race out in his Boxter. The Honda Jazz of Alyn James didn’t take part either. Alistair Lindsay would have been on for a definite podium finish after his DNF in the first race but he failed to make his mandatory pit stop under the regulations and was disqualified from the result.

The final race of the day was not only much closer, it had much more in the way of mechanical reliability. There was no Mosler, so once again Dan Welch had an unopposed run to victory, carrying  a lap across the line over the #46 BMW of James MacIntyre-Urn. Still, Welch wasn’t letting any grass grow under his Dunlops and he went on to set a 1:08.458 as the fastest lap of the race. That time would run competitively in class 1 of the Endurance championships.

The real battle for supremacy was in class 3 where the BMWs of MacIntyre-Ure, Lynch and Schiele crossed the line covered by twelve seconds after twenty-five laps of close action. MacIntyre-Ure led the race overall after Welch continued his pattern of pitting as soon as possible and while the early part of the race saw Schiele stuck behind the class 4 leading SEAT Leon Supercopa. When Hayes and Radcliffe pitted on lap six, the battle began in earnest.

MacIntyre-Ure pitted first and surrendered the lead of the class, while the Porsche of Welch complicated the battle for the lead of the class by storming through from his call to pit lane. Schiele then inherited the lead of the class by ten seconds from Lynch. The switch around came on the eighteenth lap though MacIntyre-Ure had already recovered the lead of the class.

The sole surviving class 4 runner after Chris Valantine retired on the first lap took the victory. It was Arjo Ghosh in the Porsche Boxter who claimed his third win of the day.

Class 5 was a dominant win for the Mk.7 Honda Civic of Cefferty and Whitmore. Honda also took second place in the class with the return of the Honda Jazz to action in the hands of Alyn James. The Jazz will go back into retirement until the Dave Allen Memorial Race at Castle Combe and Synchro Motorsport’s new Civic will return to action with revised mechanicals from Donington Park. Hayes and Thompson were the final running car in eighth place in their SEAT.
The Britcar Trophy Series returns to action with three more thirty minute races at Donington Park on 10th May.

Written By – Nick Smith

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