Promising start to new championship series

Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)The opening race of the new Endurance Racing Series took place this weekend at Rockingham Motor Speedway with the Radical RXC Coupe of Osman Usef and Rob Weldon taking the honours ahead of a small but diverse field that contested the 3 hour race.

With low numbers entered into this inaugural event the Endurance Racing Series entries combined with the 360 MRC All Comers race to create an entry of 13 cars with the MRC cars taking the chequered flag after 2 hours.

Pole position was claimed by Zac Chapman in a Radical SR8 who from the start took a healthy lead in front of Mike Wilds in the ING Sport BMW Z4 GT3. He was followed by Usef’s Raw Motorsport Radical and the Intersport prepared Lamborghini Supertrofeo of Mark Radcliffe.

An hour into the race Chapman held a 40 second lead until his first pitstop which handed the lead to the BMW. Within a few laps the BMW fell prey to the RXC which then took the opportunity to build a lead of its own. By the time he pitted his lead was such that his co-driver, Rob Welden was able to rejoin still holding the lead over Chapman’s Radical.

Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)Track Action (photo by Jurek Biegus)Just over two hours into the race and Chapman was forced out after his car began to overheat. This left the RXC with a strong advantage but the BMW now had Anthony Wilds behind the wheel. Despite gaining several seconds a lap after the Radical hit gear box problems Wilds was able to get back onto the lead lap thanks to a safety car with 5 minutes of the race remaining.

Taking the final podium place was the Porsche of Guillaume Gruchet who completed an impressive solo drive. Despite a late stop and go penalty the Frenchman was able to keep Radcliffe’s Lamborghini at bay as the SuperTrofeo car struggled on worn out tyres.

The 4 entrants from the 360 MRC saw Karl Cattliff and Nigel Innes take the win in their BMW M3 followed by the Ginetta of Chris Whitely and Nic Hayes. Duncan Rodgers and Danny Russell finished third in their Mini whilst the 4th placed BMW of Intersport regulars Anna Walewska and Kevin Clarke posted the fastest lap but didn’t complete the full distance due to gearbox problems. By Jurek Biegus

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