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Britcar Endurance Race Report 1 – Donington Park 1st November

Photo Courtesy - View Photographic

Photo Courtesy - View Photographic

Manuel Cintrano and Javier Morcillo have given their title hopes a boost by taking victory in the penultimate race of the Britcar Endurance Championship at Donington Park. After qualifying on the pole but losing out to the FF Corse run Ferrari 458 Cup of Calum Lockie and David Mason after a bump in the opening corners, Cintrano spent his first stint recovering before handing over to the professional of the pairing.

David Mason was unable to match the prodigious pace of Britcar, British GT and GT Cup veteran Calum Lockie. Having missed out on two rounds the Am side of the FF Corse duo was playing himself back into the car and was at times up to twenty seconds a lap slower than Javier Morcillo. That turned a Mosler deficit of almost a lap into a six lap margin of victory by the end of the race.

The result brings a twenty-one point gap down to sixteen with the night race still to run.

At the start both of the championship challengers were mugged by a field of hard charging endurance racers. That left the Mosler battling with the second Ferrari, run by JHM Automotive, of Nigel Greensall and Darren Nelson. Contact between the two left the Ferrari in last place and on a recovery run while the Mosler was delayed only slightly.

Ten minutes later the action was further heated when Salih Yoluc rotated at the Goddards Chicane. Thankfully the safety car was not needed to clear the Ginetta G55 GT4 from Optimum Motorsport and the excellent Donington marshals pushed the car back into action. Yoluc handed over to former Porsche Carrera Cup GB racer Euan Hankey at the stops who recovered the car to fourth place, three laps off the leader.

In the stops it was all change, except for in the garage dedicated to the Pro-Sport of Mike Millard. The former Rapier man may have changed his car and class to the class 2 entered LMPX but he continued to race alone. Everyone else handed over to their co-drivers and battle renewed.

The real fight in the second phase of the race was for second, proven as Javier Morcillo blasted past the Ferrari of Mason to take the lead as the 458 completed its first post-stop lap. Javier went on to build a three lap lead over the remaining podium spots, filled by the JHM Ferrari and Mike Millard. Mason fought on valiantly but his pace was too slow to hold off the Optimum Ginetta and he finished a further three laps behind in fifth.

The FF Corse machine was the last classified runner.

The list of cars which failed to make the finish included the Richard Neary entered BMW M3 GTR he shares with Martin Short. The #3 BMW dropped out with fifteen minutes left to run but managed a greater distance than the Saker RAPX of Purbrick and Duckman which was running at the end but over twenty-three laps off the lead.

Suspected clutch problem forced the Century Motorsport Ginetta out of action first, retiring on lap fifteen with Stephen Fresle at the wheel. Nathan Freke didn’t get a chance at the wheel. Neither did Kevin Clarke whose BMW M3 V8 GT4 retired at the hands of Anna Walewska at around the 30 minutes mark.

The final round of the Britcar Endurance Championship and Britcar Sports and Touring Car Championship will get underway at 18:00 hours with qualifying after dark at 17:00.

Author – Nick Smith

Photo Courtesy – View Photographic

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