Chad­wick re­mains un­stop­pable in GT5S Ginet­tagt5 Chal­lenge

Motor Sport News - - Btcc Report: Croft - By Tom Er­ring­ton

Ol­lie Chad­wick’s dou­ble at Croft means he can seal the Ginetta GT5 Chal­lenge at Spa at the start of July, but a photo fin­ish with Ryan Had­field in race two al­most dis­rupted his dom­i­nant show­ing.

Had­field’s nar­row miss came after he took ad­van­tage of a race restart that al­lowed he and Chad­wick to pull clear of even­tual third placed man Jonathan Had­field and the rest of the field.

“The restart is a hard one at Croft,” said Chad­wick. “Ev­ery­one ex­pects you to floor it out of the hair­pin and there’s not many other op­tions to catch peo­ple out.”

Had­field showed that at the half race dis­tance as he fi­nally passed Chad­wick on the Jim Clark Esses.

Both driv­ers would dis­pute the le­gal­ity of their moves through the sec­tion, but it would count for lit­tle when Had­field went deep at the hair­pin on the fi­nal lap, al­low­ing Chad­wick the cru­cial gap to take the nar­row fin­ish.

“I knew Ol­lie had pipped me at the fin­ish by about two foot,” said Had­field. “My wheels ran along­side his door.”

A close fin­ish was in com­plete con­trast to the opener. Had­field’s clutch prob­lems forced a jumped start and a 10s penalty, which aided Chad­wick’s un­trou­bled run to the flag from pole ahead of both Had­field run­ners.

Bent­ley’s re­turn to Le Mans, 71 years after its pre­vi­ous vic­tory, was with the Volk­swa­gen Audi Group-blessed EXP Speed 8. Wallace be­came one of the mod­ern-day Bent­ley Boys, shar­ing his 3.6-litre Audi V8 turbo-en­gined coupe with Butch Leitzinger and Eric van de Poele.

“The Bent­ley was a good look­ing car,” says Wallace. “It had a vari­ant of the Audi V8. It didn’t rev very high be­cause of the re­stric­tor, but it had a mas­sive amount of torque.”

The Bent­leys ran with the Audi R8s early on, but a rain shower caused havoc among the lead­ers.

“Early in the race I was in a line with the Audis and the other Bent­ley,” re­calls Wallace. “Ahead of me was Ste­fan Jo­hans­son in the Gulf Audi and be­hind was Ralf Kel­len­ers in the Cham­pion Audi. As we got to­wards In­di­anapo­lis the sky opened and it pissed with rain – it was so hard it was hit­ting the road and bounc­ing up again. We were all on slicks and all tried to get off the throt­tle with­out spin­ning or mak­ing the guy be­hind hit us.

“Then Ste­fan started spin­ning round and round. Just be­fore we got to the cor­ner he speared left and this piece of or­ange and blue flew into the air. I thought it was the whole car, but it was just the nosecone. I made the apex and the nosecone hit the roof, but didn’t do too much dam­age. On the way back to the pits one of the Joest cars flew into the gravel as well.”

Both Richard Lloyd-run Bent­leys later suf­fered prob­lems with wa­ter in the gear­box com­pres­sor, jam­ming the cars in a high gear. The #7 ma­chine even­tu­ally re­tired, but Wallace coaxed his back to the pits – with the help of some cor­ner cut­ting – and went on to fin­ish third.

“It was the whole pack­age and did ev­ery­thing well,” he adds. “To fin­ish third over­all on its Le Mans de­but was a pretty good ef­fort. The Bent­ley was very drive­able, we just weren’t quite able to beat the Audis.”

8 was a good pack­age Wallace says that Bent­ley EXP Speed Jbk jkkb jkkb jkjkkk Le Mans brought drama

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