Mosler, Mclaren and As­ton Martin split GT Cup hon­ours

Autosport (UK) - - NATIONAL REPORTS - PETER SCHERER

DON­ING­TON PARK MSVR SEPTEM­BER 8-9

A dra­matic week­end at Don­ing­ton Park pro­vided three dif­fer­ent win­ners in the GT Cup, with Mosler man Gareth Down­ing, As­ton Martin racer Neil Hud­son and Mclaren ex­po­nent Daniel Gib­son each tak­ing the che­quered flag in front.

Down­ing took the spoils in the restarted opener, while Andrew Howard held a race-long sec­ond in his As­ton Martin GT3. The sim­i­lar As­ton of Hud­son ousted John Seale’s Fer­rari 488 Chal­lenge for third on the sec­ond lap, and had the Mclaren 650S of Paul Gib­son clos­ing at the flag.

Howard led race two un­til Down­ing surged ahead as they passed the ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre. Into the Mel­bourne Hair­pin, Howard went into the back of the Mosler un­der brak­ing. As the As­ton headed pit­wards, Down­ing kept the lead un­til he was flagged to pit and re­pair his dam­aged rear body­work. Hud­son was left clear to take the win, with Gib­son sec­ond from the re­cov­er­ing Down­ing.

Daniel Gib­son took over the fam­ily Mclaren for the fi­nale and com­fort­ably led through­out. Al­though Down­ing pushed his Mosler hard to chal­lenge early on, he had over­heat­ing prob­lems and let Howard through into sec­ond be­fore half-dis­tance.

Howard was the only other un­lapped run­ner, but lost ground in the lat­ter stages with clutch prob­lems. Down­ing com­pleted the podium, af­ter Hud­son’s As­ton broke a drive­shaft as he passed the pits mid-race.

In the wet first Rad­i­cal SR1 Cup race James Pinker­ton led into Redgate as Pa­trick Lay tried to take sec­ond from Ryan Harperel­lam around the out­side, run­ning wide and briefly drop­ping to fourth be­hind Will Hunt. Hav­ing re­claimed third at the Esses, Lay chal­lenged Harper-el­lam again into Mcleans a lap later, and emerged in sec­ond with Pinker­ton’s lead in sight. Start­ing his chal­lenge into Mcleans again on lap three, it took un­til Cop­pice be­fore Pinker­ton’s de­fence was fi­nally breached.

While Lay eased clear to a maiden vic­tory, Pinker­ton spun as Harper-el­lam chal­lenged, with in­evitable con­tact. Harper-el­lam was out with a dam­aged ra­di­a­tor and split­ter, but Pinker­ton man­aged to re­tain sec­ond, still well clear of Hunt and Mark Williams.

On a dry­ing track, Harper-el­lam and Pinker­ton soon got away to hold first and sec­ond through­out the sec­ond race af­ter they opted for slick tyres, while Lay and Shane Stoney went for wets and held sta­tion in a dis­tant third and fourth.

Ja­son Mcin­ulty snatched a last-cor­ner win in a ter­rific Lo­tus Cup UK & Elise Tro­phy opener. John La­mas­ter had set the pace from the start as Joe Tay­lor and Mcin­ulty dis­puted sec­ond and Craig Den­man closed in. Mcin­ulty had a brief spell in front mid-race, be­fore La­mas­ter re­took the lead at Mel­bourne, but a lap later Tay­lor had the ad­van­tage as La­mas­ter dropped to third. The bat­tling had al­lowed Den­man to latch on and he went for third at the Esses, nosed in front and spun out on the exit.

Tay­lor had kept his nose ahead as they started the last lap, but got side­ways as he ex­ited God­dards for the fi­nal time, leav­ing Mcin­ulty to take the win by

0.088 sec­onds from Tay­lor and La­mas­ter.

Tay­lor and Mcin­ulty again dis­puted the race two lead from La­mas­ter. But La­mas­ter had an ex­cur­sion at the Old Hair­pin and lost third to Macken­zie

Walker, and Tay­lor made what proved to be the de­ci­sive move on Mcin­ulty at Mcleans on lap seven of 12. Mcin­ulty was later ex­cluded in post-race scru­ti­neer­ing, hand­ing sec­ond to Walker, with La­mas­ter and Den­man com­plet­ing the top four.

Both Den­man and La­mas­ter re­ceived post-race track-lim­its penal­ties in a pro­ces­sional race three, drop­ping them to sec­ond and third and hand­ing

Tay­lor a sec­ond win.

There were two dom­i­nant wins for

Nigel Innes’s BMW M3 in the Rac­ing Sa­loons. Roger Knee­bone’s sim­i­lar car se­cured sec­ond in race one, af­ter de­mot­ing Colin Philpott (Jaguar XJS). In race two, Philpott re­claimed sec­ond from Matt Swaf­fer’s BMW 120d two laps from home.

The Norma of Dun­can Williams and Bradley Smith only lost the lead in the first LMP3 Cup race dur­ing the pit­stops, but Colin Noble’s Ligier had closed in when red flags brought a pre­ma­ture end. Jack Bu­tel lost third as a spin at Mcleans meant he wasn’t run­ning at the time of the red flag, pro­mot­ing Neil Prim­rose’s guest­ing Norma.

Noble and Tony Wells took the race-two spoils from Smith/williams. Dominic Paul re­tired from sec­ond, crash­ing into the pit en­trance.

Daniel Gib­son’s Mclaren tri­umphed in race three

Down­ing’s Mosler (right) took on the As­ton Martins and scored a win

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