Victories for ERC Sport and HHC Motorsport in the seasons first two hour endurance race.
Starting from pole, Jon Minshaw in the Barwell Motorsport lead the way until the first of four safety cars was deployed. Oulton Park winner Optimum’s Flick Haigh was chasing Minshaw, but lost out to the sister Barwell Motorsport of Sam De Hann. Shaun Balfe’s stricken McLaren at Turn 12 after hitting it was the cause for this safety car.
Racing resumed once the McLaren had been removed and at Tarzan Haigh had an off as she was chasing down the Barwell Lamborghini which allowed Graham Davidson through. The Jetstream Aston Martin started down in ninth and now was running up in third place. Just before the second safety car period which was triggered by David Patterson’s McLaren, Davidson made his move on De Haan and was up to second.
Davidson was on the back of Minshaw’s Lamborgini courtesy of the safety car wiping out the 10s gap. Unable to shake of the advances of the Aston Martin of Davidson, Minshaw held the lead until the pitstops where it had to serve an extra 20s due to winning at Oulton Park.
Davidson handed driver duties to Maxime Martin and rejoined 15s ahead of Phil Keen in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini. Two safety cars in quick succession eradicated that lead. Once racing got back underway again, the Jetstream Aston Martin was handed a drive-through due to multiple track violations.
Keen was passed by Buurman in his ERC Sport Mercedes AMG just before Martin pitted and was now in the lead. Buurman’s co-driver Lee Mowle was seventh by half way after others around had troubles. Mark Farmer’s Aston Martin suffered electrical glitches, Derek Johnston had to sucumb to a drive-through after contact and Rick Parfitt Jnr was turned round in his Bentley.
Barwell Motorsport’s afternoon was about to change. De Haan’s Lamborgini had to retire due to clutch problems even before co-driver had Jonny Cocker got a chance. The other Lamborghini had a 10s stop/go penalty for an infringement.
With the demise of the Barwell Lamborghini’s, ERC Sport had a straight run to the flag. TF Sport’s Aston Marting of Sorensen was second 4.3s behind, but had an extra 30s added to its time as a consequence of spinning Parfitt Jnr round.
Completing the podium was Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod in the Team Parker Racing Bentley after overtaking Beechdean AMR’s Aston Martin of Darren Turner on the penultimate lap.
Pole-sitter Charlie Fagg in his Tolman Motorsport led away, but it was HHC Motorsport’s Patrik Matthiessen who made it up to second from starting in fourth. Ben Green in the Century Motorsport BMW M4 soon made it three cars for the lead scrape. Unfortunately for Green an off-track excursion dropped him down to seventh.
With the demise of the BMW, the top two were joined by Equipe Verschuur’s McLaren. The HHC Ginetta was able to close up to the McLarens around the infield sections, but down the straights lost out to the 570Ss. Eventually after lap after lap of this back and forth action, Matthiesen made his move past Fagg and into the lead.
As the pit window opened both Tolman Motorsport and Equipe Verschuur pitted while HHC decided to wait before pitting. Stopping an extra 20s Pointon rejoined still in the lead from Michael O’Brien in the Tolman Motorsport McLaren.
Pointon extended his lead and by the flag the lead was 23s. O’Brien was falling further behind. Antilla in his UltraTek was now up into second after having a short minimum pit stop time while third was Academy Motorsport’s Nicoll-Jones. In fact Nicoll-Jones charged from seventh after the pit stop to claim that final podium spot.
Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars won PMW Expo Team of the Weekend Award after repairing the #88 Ginetta after it suffered huge damage in practice two so it was able to compete in qualifying, plus other problems with the cars throughout the race.
The next outing is at Snetterton May 26/27 where there will be 2x 60 minute races.