Tor­ren­tial rain cur­tailed the sea­sonopen­ing Brit­car En­durance race, hand­ing Phil Han­son and Nigel Moore vic­tory in a thor­oughly un­pre­dictable event.

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

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.

Photos: Mick Walker, Ol­lie Read

Moore and Han­son took Brit­car vic­tory

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