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Britcar Endurance/Sports & Touring Race Report – Spa 7th June

The Mosler MT900 GT3 of Manuel Cintrano and Javier Morcillo has taken victory in the first of two foreign adventures for the Britcar Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps. The Neil Garner Motorsport run machine dominated the opening clash, taking a full lap advantage over the line compared to the nearest rival, the MARC Focus V8 of Racer Industries and Jake Camilleri. The Focus is one of four single round entries into the championship for the Belgian round.

An early safety car held up the leaders for a while as marshals dealt with the Delahaye Racing Team Porsche 997 GT3 #228, another visiting race car, which failed to turn in a single lap after the inevitable carnage. Once the safety car returned to the pits however Morcillo set to work building the unassailable advantage over half an hour which Cintrano would carry to the line.

With the abrupt end to the class 1 Porsche’s race and problems for Chris Beighton and Jon Finnamore in the Marcos GTC, only Mike Millard could properly challenge the speeding Mosler. He hit problems 22 laps into the 45 lap race though and would eventually classify 18th, fourth of the cars which hit problems.

That left it up to class 2 not only to try to rival the sole class 1 survivor but to provide the spice in the race. While a battle was promised it never really turned up, the Racer Industries entered #393 romped away to a 70+ second margin of victory in the class with the first of the full time Britcar entrants, Peter Cook and Frank Pelle taking the final spot on the overall podium. David Mason and Calum Lockie in the #26 Ferrari 458 Italia crossed the line forty seconds later for FF Corse.

The main drama in class 2 came from the second Ferrari, the 458 Challenge of BAMD who ran well in the class until the dying moments of the race. A tyre failure at Eau Rouge put paid to their chances of a podium finish, no doubt scaring the life out of Nigel Greensall in the process. The #31 machine made it back to the pits but lost drastic amounts of time, finally placing 13th overall, in the penultimate spot in class.

Class three went to another visiting racer, the returning friend of Cor Euser and Osman Yusuf. The pair in the semi-regular Britcar feature, #450 Lotus Evora lost just two laps to the class 2 battle and one of those was when the car failed to complete the final lap of the race. Andrew Donaldson, joined in Spa by John Stack for Intersport Racing took the honour of best of the regulars in class with the Ginetta G50 GT4 ahead of team mates Adam Hayes and Mark Radcliffe in the BMW E46 M3.

The #42 BMW was embroiled in a battle at the line, followed to the end of the race by the #53 SEAT Supercopa of Mark and Peter Cunningham. The father and son team were just over two seconds distant from the BMW at the end of the race and over eleven seconds clear of the third Intersport machine, the BMW E92 M3 of Ian Donaldson and Anna Walewska.

The fight with the BMW of Hayes and Radcliffe guaranteed the SEAT Leon their class victory, by a lap over the similarly equipped Westlake Motorsport team of Chris Hayes and Andy Thompson. The #54 SEAT Leon could have taken 13th place overall from the struggling BAMD machine in the dying minutes of the race but it was not to be. Still Jonathan and Rob Cullum can celebrate a podium in class.

Joining the aforementioned troubled runners in class one was an impressive list of hobbled race cars. Zest Racecar Engineering head the list after their duo of Robert Taylor and Graham Cox managed only 34 laps. It is worth noting that according to the time keepers anyone who started the race classified. Good news for the Ian Mitchell driven V8 powered BMW, Track Torque’s SEAT of David Webb and Andrew Gibbs and the matte black BMW Z3 M-Coupe of Emin Sadig and Wil Arif.

The Chevron GR8 of Jensen Motorsport managed only 13 laps while Track Torque’s similarly equipped duo of Martin Parsons and Chrissy Palmer produced only 4 tours of the jewel in the Ardennes forest.

Author – Nick Smith.

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