We had a new entrant for this round, Nigel Mustill entering a Riley MkXXII which is aimed as a track day version of a Daytona Prototype. Despite it being sold as a track day car it’s still extremely quick and Mustill along with his co dirvers, the experienced Bob Berridge and WEC Driver John Martin took pole.
Just before the race was due to start a massive downpour started and the resulting water on the track meant the race had to be started behind the safety car.
Despite the rain stopping within a couple of laps, it was a full twenty minutes before the water had cleared enough for the race to properly get underway. The Riley shot off into the lead but the water logged track took it’s toll on the cars electrical system forcing them out with a failing paddle shift.
The Paul Bailey and Andy Schulz Aston had spent the first part of the race battling with their usual rivals, the Morcillo and Cintrano driven Mosler. Sadly the Mosler also fell victim to electrical problems leaving the Aston Martin free to head off into a big lead. It was briefly headed after the first round of pitstops when the small but quick Chevron GT3 of Jordan Witt and Marcus Clutton took the lead and again when the rapid class 3 BMW M3 GTR driven by Tom and James Webb also tasted a brief moment at the head of the field. But with the demise of its main rivals no one else really looked like taking the win and they took the chequered flag .
The Rapier SR2 of Millard, Greensall and LeBlanc looked like it was going to have an excellent weekend after taking second on the grid but the wet conditions in the race didn’t seem to suit them and they dropped down the field. A change to slicks saw them set fastest lap of the race during a dry spell but a further shower of rain spoilt their plans. They eventually took seventh just ahead of the recovering Mosler of Cintrano and Morcillo after their earlier electrical issues.
In second was the Webb BMW M3GTR and excellent result for the class 3 car. Third place was taken by the Team Parker racing Porsche 911 GT3 of Logie and Jones.
The works Chevron GT3 took fourth place and second in class after a strong drive. Fifth was the other Porsche 911 GT3 in the race run by Simpson Motorsport and driven by Peter Cook and Anthony Mott. Behind them was the GT4 Chevron of ex BTCC star Anthony Reid and Ray grimes. Jeff Smith, a current BTCC driver was again at the wheel of the BPM Renault Megane trophy car sharing with Simon Leith and Ashley Woodman. The car had crashed in practice and although repaired it clearly wasn’t right. They struggled home in ninth.
Earlier in the day the Britcar production championship race had taken place in much drier conditons than the main event. Mark Cunningham took the victory in what has become a popular event for Ex Seat Supercopa cars. The Cockhill brothers similar machine took second just 5 seconds behind. The Barclay Dougall BMW M3 took the final podium spot ahead of Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson’s Seat. They had taken pole but a first corner incident saw them having to mount a fight back drive.
Fifth was Henry Dawes Supercopa who was joined by young ace Nigel Moore.
The race winners were also Class 2 victors. Class 3 winners were Nick Adams alongside his son Tim who is still a novice. They were in a Damax run BMW M3.
Class 4 saw a popular victory for Alyn James in the Synchro motorsport Honda Jazz. The well loved little car was in it’s last race for the team with it being superseded by a new Honda Civic at the next event. A class victory was a fine way to see off the faithful Jazz.
The production sports car races were both won by Chrissy Palmer who was impressively quick in his Mazda Mx5. His main rivals, Richard Bennett and Guilamme Gruchet were taken out in a first corner incident in race 1. Gruchet was out for the day but Bennett got his car fixed for race two. Still with chassis damage it’s handling was severely compromised and despite giving it everything, Bennett was unable to catch Palmer.
The next meeting is Rockingham aat the beginning of June. By Marc Waller