WITT LAUGH­ING AF­TER SEAL­ING GT CUP CROWN

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

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.

Bent­ley driver won both sprint races

Keen in the 251 Sher­ardize car stormed through to take the vic­tory

Owen won in FF1600

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.