SNETTERTON: BRSCC BY DOM D’ANGELILLO
Not even heavy rain, multiple safety cars and a stop-go penalty was enough to prevent JPR Uvio from earning its first win in the 2016 Funcup. An impressive first stint by Farquini Deott from 16th meant that by the first driver change, Graham Roberts had a solid position to build on at the front.
His lead of one-minute was reduced to just a second at the halfway mark, when the safety car was deployed in conditions deemed unsafe for racing, handing Deott the mammoth task of rebuilding the deficit after the third stop and Roberts’ double stint. Despite holding off attacks from Honeywell’s Neil Plimmer, the lead he built was extinguished after making contact with a backmarker, forcing a penalty and pushing the team down to fourth.
By the final hour, a lightning fast final driver change and some bold overtaking, JPR Uvio, was back in the lead, with a 57-second cushion.
Once again though, and with 20-minutes left, another safety car was brought out when standing water sent Honeywell’s Tim Wheeldon off, cutting the gap for a second time. It meant there was just enough time for Despatchbay.com’s James Littlejohn to carve past both Eco Racing cars into second at the restart. He finished behind Deott, who sealed the victory JPR Uvio had flirted with all afternoon.
It was an exciting weekend for the Fiesta Junior Championship as Ronan Quinn took victory from 10th on the grid ahead of Lochlan Bearman and Harry Gooding in race one. An early charge up the field from the start put him in the best position to take advantage of the retirements of James Hillery and leader James Waite, putting him into second. A move past Gooding through Murray then sealed the win. He couldn’t make it a clean sweep though as in race two, an overzealous move meant Quinn retired after hitting the rear of winner Gooding, who celebrated his third 2016 victory.
Simon Horrobin took both wins in the Fiesta Championship. After leading Sam Priest to a Specialised Motorsport one-two, ahead of the returning JJ Ross, Horrobin knocked Priest off the track in race two. While Priest recovered to sixth, a bold move on Ross into the Brundle chicane on the final lap meant Horrobin took away a clean sweep of wins.
There were two races in the BMW Compact Cup as for the first time this season the cars formed a single grid. Ian Jones made it seven different race winners from the first seven races after beating James Gornall off the line and continuing to hold off the 2008 British GT champion. It was a different story in race two though, where Gornall made amends, claiming victory.
Snetterton also played host to two HRDC grids. In the Academy race, William Lynch’s Mini Cooper was victorious in a race cut short after Richard Butterfield’s Austin rolled multiple times at Brundle. Mike Jordan took the Touring Greats race, narrowly beating poleman Michael Caine.
1 JPR Uvio (Graham Roberts/ Farquini Deott); 2 Despatchbay.com (Andy Bicknell/ James Littlejohn) +2.281s; 3 Eco Racing 61 (Alan Brown/ Rory Brown/jay Sheppard); 4 Eco Racing 209 (Paul Graham/ Tom Mills/ Paul Turner); 5 Team Lane Roofing (Nigel Griffiths/ Christopher Weatherill/ Geff Fawcett); 6 Global Racing (Scott Mansell/john Gilbert/ Sarah Reader. FL JPR Uvio (Graham Roberts) 2m17.871s (77.52mph). P MCAC Racing (Matthew Jones/ Philip Jones/ Gareth Jones). S 26.
1 Ronan Quinn; 2 Lochlan Bearman +3.166s; 3 Harry Gooding; 4 Bradley Burns; 5 Elliot Wilson; 6 Jack Davidson. FL James Hillery 2m22.510s (74.99mph). P James Waite. S 17.
1 Gooding; 2 Davidson +1.980s; 3 Burns; 4 Lewis Kent; 5 Wilson; 6 Waite. FL Burns 2m20.944s (75.83mph) P Quinn. S 16.
1 Horrobin; 2 Ross +0.147; 3 Skriczka; 4 Sanderson; 5 Faulconbridge; 6 Priest. CW Kellet; Tim Bennett (Fiesta Si); Robinson. FL Horrobin 2m16.457s (78.32mph). P Priest. S 33. P Gornall. S 41. 1 Gornall; 2 Jones +0.084s; 3 Hunter; 4 Jon Watt; 5 Wiggin; 6 Declan Mcdonnell. FL Jones 2m22.887s. (73.92mph). P Gornall. S 41.
1 William Lynch (Mini Cooper S); 2 Brian Small (Ashley MG Midget) +0.397s; 3 Thomas Grindall (MG W&P GT); 4 James Dorlin (Austin A35); 5 Tony Shirtcliffe (Austin A35); 6 Nick Powell (Austin A35). CW Dorlin. FL Grindall 2m31.839s (70.39mph). P Lynch. S 28.
MONDELLO PARK: MEC BY LEO NULTY
Peter Barrable and Sam Moffett starred in the Supercars. Series leader Andy O’brien had qualified on pole but an ill advised choice of wet tyres saw him slip down the grid as conditions dried out.
Barrable took the lead from the outside of the front row and was unchallenged on the way to the win. Moffett was second with Graeme Colfer just holding off the charging Bob Cameron for third.
In race two, Moffett took the lead early on as Barrable and O’brien battled in his wake. Moffett controlled it beautifully and when the chasers collided at turn two on the final tour, he was assured of a debut victory.
Jonathan Fildes qualified on pole for his SEAT Supercup Ireland debut. He led away but a grassy moment out of Paddock handed the lead to Rob Butler with former A1 GP driver Niall Quinn also displacing Fildes by mid-race. A safety car period changed it all though as Fildes cooled his tyres before diving by Quinn and charging up to challenge winner Butler at the final corner.
In race two, Erik Holstein benefitted from the reverse grid to ease away from the battles behind and even a late-race charge from Dave O’brien could not stop him taking a popular win.
Jackie Cochrane took a pair of HRCA wins with Bernard Foley’s MGBGT V8 the only machine to keep the rumbling Tiger in sight on both occasions.
Alan Watkins took a double Irish Sportscar win, with Des Bruton his closest challenger in both.
Sean Lillis took a pair of Fiesta ST wins, but only after former ITCC star Kev Doran retired from the lead in race one, the damage preventing him from starting race two.
Mondello’s Phil Lawless won twice in Zetec Fiestas to increase his championship lead, but had to work hard for both, Darren Lawler even snatching the lead briefly in race two.
Grzegorz Kalinecki took yet another pair of Super Touring ITCC wins in his Volkswagen Golf with Keith Campbell’s Corrado-honda taking two runner-up spots. Ian O’driscoll and Robert Doherty shared the Production class wins.
Kevin Sheane returned to winning form in Formula Sheane with two wins. Dave Parks was runner-up in race one, with Robbie Allen relegating Parks to third in race two.
Dan Polley dominated the first Formula Vee race but in race two fellow Mondello Park instructor Kevin Grogan snatched the lead into Lola corner and held on despite Polley’s best efforts.
Robbie Parks’ Mitsubishi FTO took Future Classics honours after Rallycross ace Patrick Donoghue was penalised for breaking the barrier time on a number of occasions. Aidan Byrne was next up in a Chevette with Timmy Duggan’s SEAT completing the podium.
Scottish series visitor John Paterson took the first Legends race despite the best efforts of Niki Meredith and Paul O’brien. Meredith redressed the balance with a home win in race two and repeated it in race three, despite the best attentions of brother in law James Holman. Holman reversed the order in the fourth race, while Paterson took another impressive win in race five, with Meredith and Holman right on his bumper. In the final race O’brien took a great win from Paterson and Holman.