Webster wins Britcar production battle at Thruxton

Race start (photo by Marc Waller)The Britcar Production cup made an unusual solo appearance without the British Endurance championship as it visited Thruxton in Hampshire last weekend.

With the British endurance championship supporting F4 and F3 cup at Brands Hatch on the 26th and 27th July, it gave the production cup an opportunity to headline its own event.

It was dominated by one car, driven by a solo driver, as Keith Webster without his usual team mate of Michael Symons took the Geoff Steel run BMW to an easy victory the winning margin in the end being 42.625 seconds. The only time he was headed was after his pit stop, when his nearest rivals, Ed Cockhill in his Seat Leon Supercopa took a brief lead as they ran later before their stop.

Other than that it was a lights to flag victory. Unusually Ed was not joined by his brother Harry this time.

Cockhill Puncture (photo by Marc Waller)Behind Webster though, there was plenty of action to keep the spectators at Thruxton entertained. The Cockhill’s moved into second at the start but behind them, there was a four way battle for third between the BMW’s of Clarke/Gibson and Howard/Moss who battled the Seat Leon’s of The Cunninghams and Roche/Mason. The positions changed over several laps with all four cars swapping positions. Amazingly, such was the speed of Webster at the front that he was catching up to lap the battling foursome by now, the process of being lapped started to split the battle.

The safety car came out on lap 31 to recover Nicola Gillatt’s Mzda MX5, stopped with a broken gearbox. It was roughly halfway through the race, hugely benefiting the cars yet to stop, including Webster! It also helped the Clarke/Gibson BMW M3 into second now being driven by Kevin Clarke who had taken over from Wayne Gibson at the pitstop. Ed Cockhill, now down in third looked certain to take back his second place but late in the race a puncture sent him wide at the chicane and the resulting pitstop left him at the back of the field. Mark Cunningham, having taken over from Peter was now in pursuit of Clarke. He got his man with eight laps to go and things got even worse for Clarke with a puncture on the final lap although he hung onto third. The Simon Roche and Simon Mason Seat Leon took fourth. Mike Moss and Tom Howards BMW 3 took fifth in the end having faded from their pace earlier in the race when they had battled the eventual second place finishers but they were the class 2 victors. Father and son duo Mike and Anthony Wilds had been running strongly but had to pit near the end of the race to secure a loose battery but they still took sixth overall and the class 3 win. Another father and son duo, Nick and Tim Adams had late race heartbreak when they ran low on fuel. Their BMW 321i is a low budget effort and has no refuelling gear, the car was fuelled before the race using the circuit petrol station! This meant they lost their hard fought class 3 second place as there was no way of refuelling their car in the pits.

Class 3 winner (photo by Marc Waller)Class 2 winner (photo by Marc Waller)Class 4 winner (photo by Marc Waller)Winner (photo by Marc Waller)Class 4 was won by Chris Knox and Duncan Rogers in the MINI Cooper. Pre-race class 4 favourite the new Synchro Motorsport Honda Civic, built by Honda factory works in their spare time, retired with driveshaft failure. He car had proved rapid when it had run, having been easily fastest in class 4 so they look set for success once the early teething troubles are ironed out.

The MSA British Endurance championship races this weekend on the Brands Hatch GP circuit, before both championships join up once more to race at Snetterton on 17th August. By Marc Waller

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