MOORE AND HANSON TOP CHAOTIC BRITCAR RACE
Torrential rain curtailed the seasonopening Britcar Endurance race, handing Phil Hanson and Nigel Moore victory in a thoroughly unpredictable event.
The duo took the win having started 11th in their Audi R8, and were aided by a series of early incidents that removed pre-race favourites from contention.
A new-look Britcar series kicked off with more of the same as reigning champions Calum Lockie and David Mason took pole, but the familiarity ended there as their Ferrari 458 GT3 was eliminated after several corners.
Lockie went off at Copse and collided with the barrier, ending his race and handing the Audi R8 of Adam Wilcox the lead.
Glynn Geddie quickly moved ahead in his Mclaren MP4-12C GT3 and, like the favoured Ferrari, the father-son duo of Glynn and Jim Geddie soon retired. Electrical gremlins resigned the Mclaren to the pits, and the early lead appeared to be a poisoned chalice until Javier Morcillo took over in the unfancied Mosler MT900.
Morcillo’s lead looked comfortable but threats loomed behind. Fresh out of the box from Italy on Thursday, Darren Nelson and Nigel Greensall’s Lamborghini Huracan hurtled through the field from the back.
It was a surprise after the pair opted to start at the back of the gird to avoid collisions and perform a shakedown. Nelson had other ideas though, moving into podium contention before handing over to Greensall.
For all their impressive pace, it paled in comparison to Nigel Moore. Moore beat his own fastest lap twice to put himself in prime position for the lead after the mandatory pitstop.
“In an endurance race, you have to be quick out the box,” he said.
His words proved true when the Mosler’s team got their pitstop wrong. Morcillo, unknowing of the 72-minute driver limit, avoided a penalty but a slow stop to hand over to Manuel Cintrano cost them victory.
While the pair admitted they were unlikely to win, it was a disappointing way to lose a long-time lead. Moore seized on their error for victory and the Lamborghini followed ahead of the Mosler.
There was little time for a fight back, with worsening weather drawing the red flag and ending the race 30 minutes early.
While Britcar rued the weather, Kumho BMW Championship driver Michael Cutt revelled in the rain after his wet tyre gamble rewarded him with the top step on the podium.
Aided by the rubber, he built a strong lead after a great launch moved him from fourth to first, but the need to keep his tyres cool allowed James Macintyre-ure to close in.
The two were again rivals in the following race, running three-wide early on with Michael Vitulli. The trio’s battle was shortlived as Tom Hibbert powered through to take victory ahead of the quick Daniel Wylie. Hibbert then replicated his dominance in the non-championship finale.
While the BMWS were entertaining, the star of the supports was the Caterham Graduates Championship. Splitting their huge list of entries between the Mega, Super and Classic classes and the Sigmax and Sigmas, both grids provided plenty of action after a slow start.
Britcar wasn’t the only victim of weather as the Caterham grids were affected in their first races, as the rain prevented any slipstreaming and limited overtaking.
It meant that Glenn Burtenshaw took a relatively simple victory in the Mega, Classic and Super opener. The Sigma and Sigmax encounter fared marginally better, with Scott Lawrence and Lee Bristow battling for the lead. The former came out on top.
The sunnier Sunday helped the Caterhams star with the Sigma and Sigmax race providing a seven-car lead battle, with corners such as Maggotts and Becketts the scene of daring overtaking moves.
Bristow and Lawrence again battled, joined by Cedric Bloch and Dylan Stanley, before Bristow pulled away late on to win the finale.
The Mega, Classic and Super classes also proved lively. Four Sevens battled across the Grand Prix circuit before Luke Cooper darted past Oliver Gibson in the final laps for the honours.
Late twists were also found in the Classic Formula Ford Championship. The opener began with a roll for Stuart Kestenbaum in his Crossle 16F after Adriano Medeiros and Mike Gardner tangled and caught Kestenbaum by surprise.
Medeiros narrowly won after the Crossle was cleared, before the finale had the Brazilian battling with Gardner again. This time they were joined by Daniel Eagling and the trio ran three wide at Brooklands before Gardner edged ahead at the death.
Clubmans didn’t have the same wealth of contenders, but the rivalry of reigning champion Jamie Champkin and Philip Weaver stole the show.
Weaver took a routine win to open their three races, but Champkin hit back in the second. He was aided by Weaver’s spin in the opening corners that forced the rest of the grid to move evasively to avoid a collision.
Recovering to weave his way through the grid from the back, Weaver couldn’t slash Champkin’s large lead.
It was then a reverse of fortunes in the finale, with Champkin slowing and pulling off at Aintree with a mechanical issue to allow Weaver to storm to victory.
Rounding off the weekend, the MSA Superkart Championship proved to be a one-horse race as Liam Morley warmed up for his European season with a hat-trick of dominant victories.
Moore and Hanson took Britcar victory