MSA BEC and Britcar Production at Rockingham

Production start (photo by Marc Waller)The latest round of the MSA British Endurance championship took place at Rockingham last weekend.

The race saw an easy victory for the Paul Bailey and Andy Schulz in their Aston Martin Vantage GT3 after their main rivals hit trouble before the start.

The Azteca Mosler suffered an engine failure at the end of qualifying putting them out of the race and the Rapier of Mike Millard and Adam Sharpe which had taken pole, missed the first 14 laps when their water pump failed putting them completely out of contention.

So the Aston Martin ended up winning by 3 laps after putting in a faultless drive. Behind them was Class 2 victors, Ian Loggie and Chris Jones who although unable to catch the leaders, were always comfortably ahead. There was however a battle for third overall with Flick Haigh and Ryan Ratcliffe initially looking like favourites to take it in their Ginetta G55. However a long pitstop which involved a small fire dropped them back. Peter Cook and Anthony Mott then took over third in their Porsche 997RSR but behind them the Webb Production winner (photo by Marc Waller)brothers BMW M3 was flying, passing first the Ratcliffe Ginetta and then the Mott Porsche although this put up more of a fight and they stayed together to the end of the race. So we ended up with a podium made up of the victors of each of the three classes. Pretty much every other competitior sturck trouble with both the works Chevrons popping in and out of the pits all race long.

Andy Schulz was happy to win but admitted he would have liked some competition;

“It was a bit quieter thanwe would have liked, it’s always more fun when there are more cars in your class so you can have a good race.”

It’s hoped that the next BEC round should see some extra entries but it appears it may be without Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano for at least some of the rounds as Manuel is looking into racing in some other series. They are aiming to be back full time in 2014 to go for the championship.

The earlier combined Production and production Sportcar race proved to be a much closer affair. Intially the battle for the lead was from the pole sitting Seat Leon Supercopa of Mike Robinson and the similar machine of Mark Cunningham. Things fell apart for Robinson on lap 16 when his car lost all power and he crawlled into retirement. With Robinson’s car perceived to be in a dangerous postion the safety car was scrambled enabling the BMW M3 of Michael Symons and Kevin Webster to close the gap to the new leader of Cunningham in his Seat.

Despite this Cunningham soon pulled away again and was even able to serve his “success penalty” pitstop of 30 seconds without losing the lead. The stops are this chmapionships way of trying to eqaulise the field and preventing anyone dominating.

So it looked certain that Cunningham was heading for another victory when disaster struck while lapping one of the production sports car entrants into the final chicane. The two cars collided putting Cunningham out of the race.

BEC start (photo by Marc Waller)BEC Winner (photo by Marc Waller)So Michael Symons and Keith Webster took the win in their BMW M3 from Kevin Clarke and Wayne Gibson in their newer BMW M3. Third was another Seat Leon Supercopa of Simon Roche and Simon Mason with the Cockhill brothers Harry and Ed in fifth in their Seat. The final car in the top six was yet another Seat Leon Supercopa of Henry Dawes and Chris Hart.
The next Britcar race meeting with be at Thruxton on 21st July for the Production categories only. By Marc Waller

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