This is an example of a HTML caption with a link.

Britcar Endurance Sports and Touring Championship – Race Report. Silverstone Int’l 12th April 2014

The Rapier SR2 of Mike Millard has claimed the first win of the 2014 Britcar Endurance Championship season in a 90 minute race combined with the Britcar Endurance Sports and Touring Car Championship field. The #8 Louis Jewellery backed LMPX shot off from the pole secured in a close qualifying session and built almost a minute of advantage in the race , besting the #2 Mosler MT900 GT3 of Neil Garner Motorsport in both contests.

While the Rapier had the legs to stay ahead of the Mosler through the rolling start and the first stint, disaster struck during the pit stops. The two cars came in nose to tail for service but Millard was delayed while Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano pulled off a flawless stop, exiting the pits nineteen seconds ahead of the erstwhile race leader. That nineteen seconds was easily overcome though as Millard set blistering lap times.

Cintrano did his best but the amazing pace of the Rapier let him pass and build a lead of 57 seconds on the seventy-ninth and final lap. On the way Millard obliterated the Britcar lap record on the Silverstone International layout with a 1:03.927, six seconds faster than last year’s record.

The retirement of Karim Moudi’s Spice LMPX on the 43rd lap left Nathan Freke and Ian Stinton’s Stark Racing Ginetta with an uncontested run to third in class, two laps off the lead battle. The bigger challenge to the G55 Cup came from class 2 where Darren Nelson and Nigel Greensall kept the Ginetta’s advantage down to just one lap in the BAMD Racing Ferrari 458 Challenge which claimed the class 2 victory. Calum Lockie and David Mason did their best in the Cup version of the Ferrari GT racer, losing a lap to the BAMD machine over the course of the race but holding a three lap advantage over their nearest class rival.

That rival was Guillaume Gruchet who made the jump from the Britcar Production and Sportscar Championship in a Porsche Boxter to the race focussed Porsche 997 Cup in the main championship. The car, however, couldn’t match the pace of the rest of the class, Gruchet finishing in seventh overall behind the Britcar Endurance Sports and Touring Car entry from Lifetime Racing. Ian Anderson and Amanda Black left nothing on the table as they charged to the first win in the new endurance championship, splitting the class 2 field and keeping all the class 3 entrants behind him.

The class 3 battle was the closest of the four classes in action. Intersport took the victory thanks to Andrew Donaldson. Leading the field alone in the Ginetta G50, Donaldson battled with his father and Anna Walewska, eventually triumphing by 35.494 seconds. The BMW M3 V8 of Donaldson Snr and Walewska was safe in second with the Paul Phipps and Robert Day driven E36 BMW two laps behind.

The action wasn’t restricted to the Endurance Championship field however and eight Sports and Touring Car Championship entries shared the track for the first 90 minute race of the year. Best of the class 4 entered cars was the Lifetime Racing Ginetta G50 of Ian Anderson and Amanda Black which didn’t just claim the class but sixth overall. The duo held a five lap advantage over their nearest class competition.

A brace of SEAT’s rounded out the classified field, though a third Leon Supercopa made the finish it was too many laps down to count. The best of the front drive hatchbacks was Tony Shemmans and Skid Carrera for Track Torque Optical Express. They carried a lap over the line ahead of the Zest Racing entered SEAT of Taylor and Cox.

The Sports and Touring Car field didn’t fare too well over the course of the race. Nine cars were entered but the #44 Paul Phipps and Robert Day driven BMW was bumped up to class 3 in the Britcar Endurance Championship rather than running in the second Endurance category. Of the eight remaining only three classified. The SG Racing SEAT of Mark and Peter Cunningham were the car which made the finish but lost too many laps. Emin Sadig and Wil Arif made it just past half distance before hitting problems with their Z3 M-Coupe, dropping out a lap after Nick and Tim Adams, their class rivals from Damax.

Moss Motorsport’s BMW M3 GT4 let down Mike Moss and Tom Howard just before the halfway mark, sparking off seven laps of disappointment. Sandwiched between the Moss machine and the Damax car were the class 3 BMW of Saxon Motorsport and the class 1 Spice of Moudi. Barclay Dougall’s Simpson Motorsport BMW made it to thirty laps before dropping out.

Intersport’s day wasn’t all song and dance either, as the battle hardened BMW M3 of Adam Hayes and Mark Radcliffe turned in 29 laps before grinding to a halt. Nick Holden’s impressive looking class 2 Toyota GT86-F was another casualty of the race, completing only five laps before retiring.

Still more unfortunate were the teams from both MacG Racing and Team Tiger, with neither of their charges making it to the grid of the season opener.

MacG’s Ultima GTR stripped a gear in qualifying beneath driver Jonny MacGregor and couldn’t continue while the #9 Marcos was the victim of a warm up accident The Chris Beighton and Jon Finnamore driven Mantis broke loose on the way out of Stowe corner, fishtailed the length of the straight and backed into the wall at pit in, wrecking the car. The damage was far too extensive for the team to continue but they are hopeful that they will have the car repaired in time for the next round.

Written By – Nick Smith

Comments are closed.