BARWELL DUO SNATCH A DOUBLE
Keen and Minshaw beat the odds to top GT standings. By Rob Ladbrook
It was one win each for Phil House and Tom Witts in the VW Racing Cup, but it was House that left Snetterton as the championship leader.
In race one House got the better of Dennis Strandberg at Oggies on lap three before easing clear to victory. Having fought his way past Paul Ivens for third, Simon Rudd was then excluded on a technicality, which handed the final podium place to Rob Allum.
Witts started the second race from pole and held off a determined Kenan Dole for the entire race. Ivens, Strandberg and House made it a five-car lead battle, with Strandberg heading the challenge to the lead pair, after he and Allum both took Ivens at Agostini.
Allum spun at Wilson Hairpin on lap five and House came through to snatch a late third, as both he and Ivens ousted Strandberg on the last lap.
Strandberg had been a double winner the day before in the VAG Trophy. He led the first race from the opening lap, while Darelle Wilson’s pursuit of Dole for second finally paid dividends on lap five. Ivens, Paul Taylor and Matthew Wilson battled over fourth, with Taylor finally securing it a lap from home.
Although Taylor led from the start of race two, he couldn’t shake off Darelle Wilson, who had the lead from lap five. But Taylor proved determined and was back in front on the last lap. Darelle Wilson challenged and tried to shoot down the inside into Murrays but as Taylor went to turn in, there was contact. Third placed John Stevens was also delayed, so having started the last lap fifth, Strandberg had taken Ivens on the Bentley Straight and then darted ahead of leaders’ clash to secure a surprise win. Stevens recovered to take second from Ivens and the recovering Taylor, while Darelle Wilson came in 10th and was excluded.
Rob Keogh took two wins out of three in the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club+. Richard Evans led race one, which had the first two laps behind the safety car. Keogh attacked from the green and made the decisive move into Agostini on lap four, leaving Evans to fight off Shawn Fleming.
Cold tyres caught out Keogh in race two when he spun away an early lead into Nelson on the second lap and collided with third placed Gary Wager. Evans took charge but had Fleming in his wheeltracks for a couple of laps, before the latter took the lead around the outside at Riches a lap from home, securing a maiden victory. Adrian Campbell-smith was a solitary third with Keogh recovering in fourth.
A great duel for second between Evans and Jac Constable allowed Keogh to take a race three win. But second was enough to give Evans the title, while Campbell-smith pipped Constable for third on the last lap.
Phil Ingram took a double win in the Ginetta Drivers’ Club. Richard Isherwood headed Jack Oliphant to complete the podium finishers in the first race, but Oliphant spun a lap from home in race two as he challenged Isherwood for second again. Richard Tetlow grabbed third, but Oliphant managed to retain fourth.
Having shadowed Patrick Sherrington’s MCR for 10 laps, Michael Gibbins led the Sports 2000s from Agostini for a solid victory, with Paul Trayhurn’s Van Diemen third after Tim Tudor broke his throttle cable and David Houghton’s MCR expired.
Johnston deposed Mowle with a handful of laps left, but couldn’t catch Minshaw.
“We had no idea what happened to TF, but it’s an awesome result,” said Keen. “We came in fully expecting to lose the race, and I couldn’t believe it when Jon rejoined in the lead! It’s been the perfect weekend, but all we’ve done is keep things clean and been gifted two wins!”
Farmer completed another strong weekend in the second TF Aston in fourth as Parfitt and Morris salvaged a fifth place after Morris started ninth in the lesser-boosted Bentley.
Following his runner-up spot in race one, Gunn made no mistake this time in GT4 to help team-mate Bartholomew to a dominant victory and keep Beechdean in the title picture.
Gunn put in a commanding opening stint to lead until handing over to Bartholomew, who simply stroked it home ahead of points-leader Johnson. “It’s a great result and one Jack needed for the championship so it feels really good,” said Gunn.
Reed and Foster overturned a stop-go penalty for a pit error to secure third after superb stints from both drivers. The Ecurie Ecosse Mclaren lost time when Haggerty had to make an extra pit stop to fix frontal damage but finished fourth.