Failures and weather cause Britcar surprises at Donington

Race one start (photo by Marc Waller)The Britcar Endurance championship had it’s second two races of the season last weekend at Donington Park.

Unusually for Britcar, the races were split over two days with the first which also featured the production class cars held on the Saturday and then a second qualifying and race on the Sunday for the endurance championship alone.

It initially looked as though Nigel Mustill’s Riley that was joining for this round would be a certainity for victory. Nigel had hired two quick young drivers in the form of John Martin and Craig Dolby. Sure enough as race one got underway, Martin got away to what seemed like an unassailable lead. Behind him though things were closer with Javier Morcillo in the Mosler second ahead of the Callum Lockie and David mason Ferrari with the rapid Lockie at the wheel. He was battling with the Ian Stinton and Ian Freke Ginetta G55 GT3. But disaster struck for the Riley a third of the way through the race when it pulled off on the back straight with no drive. The problem wasn’t fixable at the track so the Riley was withdrawn from the weekend before poor Craig Dolby had even managed to do a lap. It Mike Millard (photo by Marc Waller)Unlucky riley (photo by Marc Waller)was becoming a race of attrition with the Ginetta next to pull out with steering problems. This too wasn’t fixable in the garage and another car was forced to pull out of the weekend. Mike Millard’s Rapier was now up to second behind the Morcillo/Cintrano Mosler which had inherited the lead. The Peter Cook and Frank Pelle Audi R8 was another new entry for the weekend and had looked set for a strong race but had problems early on. With all the retirements it was now climbing up the field.

The Mosler ran strongly all the way to the flag leaving the Spaniards to claim an easy but unexpected victory. Millard’s car pulled off on the final lap after he ran out of fuel but such was his lead over the Ferrari of Darren Nelson and Nigel Greensall that he still took second place overall. Fourth was the Lockie/Mason Ferrari which also took the class two win with the Cook/Pelle Audi in fifth and MarkRadcliffe in his BMW taking sixth and the class three win. Class four and so also the production class winners were the Cuningham father and son team in their Seat Leon.

So with the withdrawls and the fact that only the endurance championship cars do the second race, we had a much reduced grid on Sunday for race two. The track was wet and drying at the start of the race and Callum Lockie went for Slicks. This gained him a huge lead as the track dried out. But it was inevitable that the faster cars would eventually catch and pass him and as the race entered the second half, the Morcillo/Cintrano Mosler was again in the lead. A further shower of rain had turned everything on his head. Mason, now Race one winners (photo by Marc Waller)Race two winners (photo by Marc Waller)Race one podium (photo by Marc Waller)Winning Selfie (photo by Marc Waller)in the car from Lockie had spun as he rejoined and although he continued this is what gave the Mosler the lead. But soon Cintrano himself spun and became beached in the old hairpin gravel. He was eventually dug out but the victory was gone. The Darren Nelson/Nigel Greensall Ferrari was now battling for second place with the cook Pelle Audi and both cars were gaining on Mason in his Ferrari. Greensall first passed Cook and then around a lap later he was past Mason into the lead. Mason was unable to hold onto second place either as Cook also surged past. That was how it finished with three class two cars filling the podium. Mike Millard took the class one win from fourth place overall ahead of Guillaume Gruchet in fifth with Morcillo salvaging sixth overall. The Barrow and Hall BMW 1 series took the class three victory this time.

Full results from the weekend’s races can be found on TSL timing’s website;  

Britcar now take their championship to Spa in Belgium in June. by Marc Waller



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