WITT LAUGHING AFTER SEALING GT CUP CROWN
In an absorbing trio of GT Cup races, Jordon Witt’s Bentley Continental proved the car to beat, notching a pair of emphatic wins in the sprint races to shrug off the competition – leading every lap both times – before sealing the overall title in the finale.
Chasing him in the early stages of race one was the Ferrari 458 of the ever-improving Bonamy Grimes. Having earlier claimed his maiden pole position, Grimes looked comfortable running second in the race before hitting fluid left by Mike Sellar’s Porsche 997 and sliding off at Palmer. Unfazed, he recovered to secure GTC class honours. Meanwhile, Gareth Downing took advantage of the dramas to claim runner-up spot.
Although race two was another Bentley benefit, Grimes overtook Peter Littler’s Aston Martin to secure second spot. The season culminated with race a pro/am pit-stop enduro to finish. Despite needing overnight suspension repairs, Grimes’ prancing horse was up to third by mid-distance before handing over to Jonny Mowlem for the final stint. Mowlem joined the fray in
OULTON PARK: BRSCC BY PETER SCHERER
After four hours of frantic action, there was still only 0.401s covering the top three in the Fun Cup final.
The Team Sherardize pair, Peter Belshaw and Phil Keen, were never far from the lead, trailing the ECO 209 trio of Tom Mills, Paul Abraham and Paul Turner at half distance. But it was the final 30 minutes when the race really livened up, after James Littlejohn had taken over the Despatchbay.com car from Andy Bicknell, with Racelogic, Team Lane Roofing and CCS Media all in contention, and Keen down in ninth for Sherardize.
With the light fading, a safety car period left a 19-minute sprint to the flag, with 17 cars still on the lead lap. Team Lane Roofing had an off after contact and Jon Tomlinson was also punted in the Racelogic car while Nigel Greensall closed on Littlejohn’s lead for CCS Media.
Three laps from home, Keen snatched second at Old Hall, leaving the lead trio running in line. Keen made the decisive, race-winning move into Druids, with Greensall following a lap later, giving CCS their first UK podium. Littlejohn took third, well clear of the Jones family MCAC Racing car. “I was just getting ready for another go at him at Old Hall and the flag came out,” said Greensall.
Track Focused claimed fifth from Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos with a lap to go. Sixth was still enough for Henry Dawes/neil Burroughs to clinch third in the championship, with runners-up ECO 209 coming home in seventh.
Despite only finishing 11th, three times winners JPR Uvio’s Farquini Deott and Graham Roberts took the championship honours.
Jamie Jardine’s Reynard 84FF was a double winner in the Northern FF1600 Pre-’90s. Jaap Blijleven ran with Jardine in both races, but almost went off in race one as he made a last-lap challenge for the lead at Knickerbrook. Christopher Stones’ Van Diemen RF88 eventually escaped from the duelling Nick Barnes and Mike Bibby to complete the race one podium. Barnes was a comfortable third in the second outing of the meeting.
Having lost out to Michael Blackburn’s XR3I at the start of the first XR Challenge race, a safety car intervention gave Justin Roberts’ XR2 a second chance, which he took with both hands to head Blackburn at the flag. Ralph Fernihough just retained third, with inches to spare, over Greg Speight.
There was a lights-to-flag win for Roberts in race two as he completed his winning double. Speight came back from a first corner spin to claim second on the last lap, as Lee Shropshire went grass tracking along Lakeside, dropping to fourth behind Steve Poole.
Chase Owen’s Ray proved unbeatable in both Post-’89 Northern FF1600 races. Joshua Smith’s Van Diemen initially ran second in race one, but lost out to David Mcarthur down the Avenue on the second lap, leaving Smith under attack from Matthew Cowley. Mcarthur briefly closed on the lead, but Smith recovered to reclaim second on the last lap. Doug Crosbie just took fourth place from Cowley.
A four-car battle for third in race two allowed Owen and Smith to mount an early escape. Crosbie led the chasing quartet, but Mcarthur moved into the final podium spot on lap seven, leaving Crosbie in fourth, well clear of Cowley.
1 Team Sherardize UK (Peter Belshaw/ Phil Keen); 2 CCS Media (Nigel Greensall/ Bob Tomlinson/ Ciro Carannante/alan Honarmand) +0.103s; 3 Despatchbay.com (James Littlejohn/andy Bicknell); 4 MCAC Racing (Matthew Jones/ Morgan Jones/ Philip Jones/ Gareth Jones); 5 Track Focused (Sean Cooper/ Michael Mccollum/ Neil Smith); 6 Track Torque 2Rent Dominos (Henry Dawes/ Neil Burroughs). Fastest lap Keen 2m00.579s (80.36mph). Pole Team 7 Racing. Starters 30.
1 Jamie Jardine (Reynard 84FF); 2 Jaap Blijleven (Reynard FF88) +1.276s; 3 Christopher Stones (Van Diemen RF88); 4 Nick Barnes (Van Diemen RF87); 5 Mike Bibby (Reynard 84FF); 6 Will Alterman (Reynard FF89). Class winners Blijleven; Colin Williams (PRS RH01). FL Jardine 1m48.781s (89.08mph). P Jardine. S 16.
1 Jardine; 2 Blijleven +3.287s; 3 Barnes; 4 Ian Wolfenden (Reynard FF87); 5 Bibby; 6 Scott Guthrie (Crossle 25F). CW Blijleven. FL Jardine 1m49.999s (88.09mph). P Jardine. S 15.
1 Roberts; 2 Speight +4.024s; 3 Steve Poole (XR2); 4 Lee Shropshire (XR2); 5 Noble; 6 Luke Johnson (Puma). CW Noble; Johnson; Michael Taylor (XR3I). FL Clare 2m06.147s (76.81mph). P Roberts. S 27.