MSA Endurance- Bake off star mixes things up at Silverstone

Race one gets underway (photo by Marc Waller)

Race one gets underway (photo by Marc Waller)Great British Bake off star, Paul Hollywood was a welcome addition to the grid as the MSA British Endurance championship had it’s penultimate rounds at Silverstone.

Hollywood was competing in one of Beechdean’s Aston Martin GT4 cars, the same car that won the 24 hours earlier in the year. Team boss and newly crowned British GT champion, Andrew Howard was joining him in the car.

Hollywood is gaining experience ready for an entry into the British Gt championship in 2016. Together with Howard, they put their car fourth on the grid during a fog delayed qualifying session. The FF Corse Ferrari of David Mason and Callum Lockie took its usual pole position ahead of Mike Moss and Tom Howard (No relation to Andrew) in their BMW M3 and Luca Demarchi in the Saxon Motorsport BMW diesel.

At the start of race one, Callum Lockie launched into his usual lead, gaining 10 seconds over the rest of the field in the first lap alone. Behind him though was a great battle for second between the Moss BMW, The Demarchi BMW and the Beechdean Aston. Behind them though several competitors collided with James Macintyre-Ure and championship Contender Nick Holden colliding. Macintyre-Ure’s BMW was out but Holden continued after some repairs in the pits but with a damaged exhaust.

Rob Hedley had also had a couple of run in’s, the second one breaking a driveshaft and putting him out of the race. Meanwhile the three way battle for second was going strong, the Beechdean Aston briefly held second before it’s pitstop but Paul Hollywood’s lack of experience showed with a spin at the first corner dropping them back to fourth.

Qualifying was delayed due to fog (photo by Marc Waller)Lockie and Mason had their first DNF but won race two (photo by Marc Waller)The Newbridge Boxster was steady but it won them two podiums (photo by Marc Waller)Holden had a challenging day but still could win the title - just (photo by Marc Waller)It seemed inevitable the FF Corse Ferrari would win but as the race headed towards it’s closing stages, the Ferrari pitted with a problem. It had a hydraulic leak and the team decided to go on would wreck the car so the team posted it’s first DNF of the season.

Demarchi and Mike Moss then battled for the lead, Demarchi pressured the Moss BMW for several laps before passing at Stowe. Sadly for Demarchi, he then also had to retire with mechanical issues handing the lead back to Moss.

So Moss and Howard took their first overall win of the season from a very happy Paul Hollywood and Andrew Howard. Chris Valentine and Fareed Ali took the final podium spot, inheriting a great result as their car remained reliable when faster rivals ran into trouble.

Race two proved a much more straightforward affair with Callum Lockie and David Mason returning to their usual dominant form to win. Hollywood and Howard were again second with the Newbridge Porsche of Ali and Valentine again showing their steady but reliable pace got them results.

There is now one final round at Donington Park with Mason and Lockie looking set to succcesfully defend their title that they won last season. Only Nick Holden can deny them but his position now looks weaker after his problems at Silverstone. The points he did score, keeps his title bid, just alive.  By Marc Waller

Demarchi lost a win after his car let him down (photo by Marc Waller) Moss and Howard took their first win (photo by Marc Waller) Howard and Moss win race one (photo by Marc Waller) Hollywood and Howard were happy with their two second places (photo by Marc Waller)


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