Lockie and Mason start where they left off at the BEC first round

Race 1 start (Photo by Marc Waller)The British Endurance championship (BEC) kicked off last weekend with two races on the Silverstone National circuit.

Both races were dominated by the 2014 champions FF Corse with David Mason and Callum Lockie behind the wheel of their Class 2 Ferrari 458 Challenge car winning the races overall as well as their class.

There had been three Prototypes entered for the race but two pulled out before the weekend. The Third, a Wolf CN2000 driven by Pete Storey and Ollie Chadwick. They had an accident in testing and then faced a race against time to repair the car to compete in the races. This included parts being rushed over from Italy. They missed qualifying and also the first race but the team kept working in the hope of starting race two.

So with most of the FF Corse team’s opposition withdrawn or facing problems they took an easy pole. On paper the Gibson family with their ex British GT Mclaren F1 which was in class one but an unfamiliar car together with some technical problems saw them start towards the rear. With the depleted class 1 field though, they managed to win their class

Luck was clearly on Calum Lockie’s side as their nearest rival on the grid, the Class 1 Simpson Motorsport Audi R8 spun on the first lap, leaving Frank Pele and his team mate Peter Cook with a lot to do to catch back up in the remaining 90 minutes.

Lockie is always mighty around Silverstone and once again pulled away from the field. Even allowing for his team mate David Mason’s slower pace, they never looked in doubt of taking the win.

Class 3 rollcentre BMW (Photo by Marc Waller) Ff Corse were dominant (Photo by Marc Waller) The Wolf made an excellent recovery drive in race two (Photo by Marc Waller) The Simpson Audi R8 struck trouble in race one (Photo by Marc Waller) The Gibsons were still learning about their Mclaren (Photo by Marc Waller) Lockie and Mason win again (Photo by Marc Waller)

Nick Holden in his Aerial Atom took an excellent second place beating several cars which theoretically should have been much faster. The Rollcentre centre BMW of Richard Neary and Martin Short completed the podium and won class 3. Towards the end of the race there were several collisons which resulted in the retirement of the 22GT Aston Martin, the Backdraft Audi S3 and the Simpson Audi which had been making a decent recovery. It was still classified in last place. The only female driver in the field, Amanda Black took seventh overall with Ian Anderson in their Lifetime Racing Ginetta G55. Class 4 which is made up of the production championship cars was won by Mike Moss and Kevin Clarke in their BMW M3.

Race two was with a smaller grid as the Production championship cars only complete 1 90 minute race per meeting. The second race had to be cut to 60 minutes again due to other races in the day being delayed and meaning there was only an hour left before the noise curfew. Amazing the Wolf prototype was now repaired and joined the race from the back. The question was could it catch the leaders before the end?

Perhaps if the race had been the full 90 minutes the Wolf would have won but despite a strong drive by Storey and Chadwick they could only second behind the dominant Lockie and Mason. But with a gap of just over 16 seconds at the end and with the Wolf lapping 2 seconds a lap quicker it was clear that if the race had been the full 90 minutes, it would have been a different result.

The Gibson family Mclaren Mp4/12c had a much better race this time, holding second for a lot of the race and taking the final podium spot. Class three was taken by Alistair Barclay and Charlie Hollings in the Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55. Nick Holden couldn’t manage his giant killing performance of race one but took third in class in seventh overall. Amanda Black and Ian Anderson were Eighth.

Britcar now concentrates on the non-championship Silverstone 24 hours over the 24th and 25th April. There is a break for the championship itself until Zandvort, the championship’s foreign round, in June.
Full results are available from TSL timing.   By Marc Waller


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