On paper, Nigel Mustill’s Riley looked set for two wins, the car is the quickest on the grid and with the fast Craig Dolby as his team mate they looked set to take two wins.
But things didn’t go so well for them in qualifying when wet weather and a lack of intermediate tyres slowed their pace. This left them third on the grid behind the Morcillo/Cintrano Mosler and the Rapier of Mike Millard.
As race one got underway, Dolby got a great start and drew alongside the Mosler with the rapier the other side. Unfortunately three into one didn’t go and the Riley brushed the Mosler which immediately snapped sideways and slid into the Rapier. As the Riley continued on, the Mosler and the Rapier both slid into the tyre wall before rebounding and hitting each other again. The end result was two very wrecked looking cars and the red flag was bought out. Both drivers were unhurt but there was a delay while the wreckage was cleared and the tyre wall fixed. The Rapier was out for the weekend and the team started packing up. But Neil Garner Motorsport, who run the Mosler set about trying to fix their car. It didn’t look possible, certainly not in the small gap until the race two quailifying session later in the day but this didn’t put them off. But before that, the rest of the entrants had race one to run. The race would now be run over seventy five minutes instead of 90. As expected, Dolby shot off into the lead at the start ahead of three Ferrari 458 Challenge cars in class 2 and fighting with them, the Peter Cook and Frank Pele Audi recovering from a disappointing qualifying position. As the pitstops approached it still seemed it’d be an inevitable Riley walkover although the Audi was now second. It soon became clear something was wrong with the Riley as it’s laptimes were getting ever longer. Nigel Mustill, the car’s owner is the slower of the two drivers but this was something more.
Before long the Audi had caught and passed the Riley and stayed in front to take an unexpected win, Cook And Pelle taking overall as well as class two honours. Mustill managed to hold onto second place and still got first in class. Third was Guatamm Singhania, who is new to the championship with an FF Corse Ferrari 458 Challenge, he was helped to the podium by ace team mate, Adam Carroll. Fourth was the sister car of Nigel Greensall and Darren Nelson. Fifth was the class three winner, Optimum Motorsports Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Euan Hankey and Salih Yoluc. Rounding out the top six was the Third FF Corse Ferrari of Callum Lockie and David Mason. Anna Walewska took second in class three sharing her BMW M3 V8 with Kevin Clarke, the car suffering from some handling issues.
The second race had its qualifying session next with the Riley taking pole but it was clear all was not right with the car. An examination in the garage found it was only running on seven cylinders. There was no way to fix it in time and it was pointless to run with the damage with the engine likely to destroy itself so the pole sitters were out without even taking the start. The Azteca Neil Garner Mosler however was fixed and ready to go. There was no first corner crash this time but the chazrging Audi took the lead with the Mosler taking things steadily initially. Although the car was fixed it clearly wasn’t perfect with a large amount of the car put together with duct tape! Once again however there was a red flag when the Chevron of Alistair Lindsay had a heavy accident just after Clay Hill. He was taken to the medical centre with chest injuries and later was air lifted to hospital. He has since been allowed home to recover.
The race restarted once the accident was cleared up although the safety car had to be scrambled when the air ambulance left. The Mosler took the lead as the race entered the second half and although it didn’t pull a huge gap they won in the end by just under 5 seconds from Cook and Pelle in the Audi. Callum Lockie and David Mason’s Ferrari completed the podium. The Saxon Motorsport BMW 1 series won class three with Richard Corbett and Nick Barrow. The second race also had the production touring car class cars; Tom Howard and Mike Moss won class four in their BMW M3.
Sadly Anna Walewska failed to finish this race after being knocked off at Druids in the closing stages by a Ginetta.
The next races are at Snetterton in Norfolk during August.
Full results are available on TSL timing (PDF File); By Marc Waller