Shane Kelly lead the field to bring University of Wolverhampton Racing its first win of the 2023 season. Kelly won with an eventual margin of 14.9 seconds over second-place Scott Mittell in race two in wet conditions.
Following on from Rodolfo González’s inaugural win in race 1, Ruben Stanislaus started the race from pole position in the number 18 Idola Motorsport car. Going into turn one, Stanislaus defended his lead from Scott Mittell on the inside line. Mittell went to the outside and with superior grip off the slick racing line, promoted the number 77 Mittell Cars Praga into the lead.
Shane Kelly took advantage of Stanislaus’s compromised run out of Copse and moved into second-place going into Maggots. Behind, Ben Stone in the TGM with Private Leads car moves into the podium position overtaking Ruben Stanislaus.
Shane Kelly caught Scott Mittell and proceeded to have a back-and-forth battle in sector three with Kelly eventually prevailing. On the second lap, Ben Stone caught Scott Mittell as they began their race-long battle for second place.
After the first two laps, Shane Kelly had a steady lead of 7 seconds ahead of Scott Mittell and Ben Stone. Will Stowell in the number 14 Idola Motorsport car began applying pressure to Ruben Stanislaus for fourth position. With the number 18 Idola Motorsport car keeping a half-second gap on average, Stowell was unable to pass the sister Idola Motorsport car.
On lap 4, John Davis in the sole Radical under braking into Vale, veered right onto the grass causing some damage to the right-rear of the car but Davis was able to get the car back onto the track.
Up front, Shane Kelly began extending his lead on lap 6. “The guys [on the radio] said Scott’s was trying to match me … so we got a push on in the second sector and we pulled a bigger gap” Kelly stated after the race.
Ben Stone continued to push and spun the number 4 TGM with Private Leads car into Aintree and dropped to fifth place. “He [Scott Mittell] seemed to pick up his pace, like he was getting quicker every lap, but we were doing different lines. It was quite close and then I just made that mistake, which was frustrating. It’s so easy to do. It’s just when that turbo kicks in when you’ve got lock on and it’s wet, it snaps very quickly” Stone said after the race.
Stone began chasing after Will Stowell and made the pass on lap 7. Lapping 5 seconds a lap quicker than Mittell on lap 8, Ben Stone attempted to make a move on Ruben Stanislaus into Copse but backed out, waiting instead until the heavy braking zone of Vale with a smooth pass around the outside of Stanislaus. Two consecutive laps in the low 2:19’s for Stone allow the TGM with Private Leads car to come within less than four tenths of a second behind Scott Mittell at the end of the race.
Shane Kelly lead Scott Mittell and Ben Stone to round out the podium. Stone finished just 0.434 seconds behind Mittell after setting the fastest lap of the race with a 2:19.146. Ruben Stanislaus came home in fourth, Will Stowell in fifth and John Davis pitted on lap 8 due to the damage occurred on lap 4 but classified as the Prototype 1 Class winner.
Words: Kieran Mogg, photos: Chris Valentine