Niall Bradley, in the Invitation entry BMW E36, dominated Sunday’s 50-minute race, while second-placed Axel van Nederveen was the first points-scorer home in his Datum Motorsport Ginetta G56A.

Some sterling work over the previous 24 hours saw three cars make the grid for the Sunday race, so starting at the back would be the EDF BMW E46, engine issues fixed but not track-tested, the Century/SGM Ginetta G56A, Simon Green having fitted a new gearbox, the Essex and Kent Hyundai, tyre issues hopefully worked-out, and the two Team BRIT BMWs, having had considerable work in the engine bays.

Despite a storming start from the back, Charlie Kennedy’s Hyundai (right) was forced to retire with a misfire

Bradley took his BMW into an immediate lead at the rolling start, ahead of Race 1 winner Maurizio Sciglio’s Ginetta, stablemate van Nederveen, with Simon Mason’s Cupra splitting Marco Anastasi from his Datum colleagues, while by lap two, Charlie Kennedy had cut through the whole pack to seize fourth place in the Hyundai, and Steve Fresle was aggressively pushing though as well in the Century/SGM Ginetta, a bit too aggressively perhaps, as he survived a long trip through the Paddock Hill gravel, losing ground, while fellow back-of-the-grid starter Dave Farrow was having a torrid time too, the debuting EDF BMW circulating smokily in the pack, a pit stop identifying a leaky power steering pump – Farrow gamely elected to continue, but even “DT”, the most muscular of Britcar competitors, found the lack of PAS a big ask, and the car was retired, denying co-driver Martin Byford what would have been his landmark 80th Britcar race. Trouble, too, for Kennedy’s Hyundai, slowing, then pitting with a misfire that couldn’t be cured, ending the race for the Essex and Kent team. In the Clio group, Nevill, Simpson, James and Lloyd were squabbling over the class lead, and Fresle, still aggressive in the Ginetta, did the job properly this time and was bedded in the Paddock Hill gravel, calling for the intervention of the Safety Car, just as the pit window was opening. Once the caution was lifted and the pit stops were over, it was clear that the success penalties had done their job, with van Nederveen just over two seconds ahead of penalty-free Lee Goldsmith’s BMW, followed by Anastasi and Chris Bialan, now in the Cupra started by Simon Mason, and erstwhile leader Bradley, and Sciglio, playing catch-up somewhat down the order. Anastasi had been harrying Goldsmith for second place, and there was contact at Druids, with the Datum Ginetta slipping through as the orange BMW was delayed by a half-spin. Tony Whitney made short work this time of extricating his Porsche 911 from the precocious post-puberty Clios, which now had Henry heading the argument between Neser, Hickton and Reynolds. The Century/SGM Ginetta G56A had now rejoined the race, having been recovered from the gravel, but had now lost too many laps to make an impression on the results, though pro-driver Jack Mitchell did set the fastest lap of the race, a clear second faster than any other runner. In the lead group, Goldsmith’s BMW had no answer for the marauding Bradley and Sciglio, but Bialan was a little more problematic, Bradley getting past, but the wily old hand in the Cupra managing to keep Sciglio’s G56A at bay. Bradley continued, taking Anastasi for second place with 10 minutes of the race left, then having to chase down van Nederveen’s fairly comfortable lead, taking the white Ginetta on what would be the penultimate lap of the race.

The Sim Dynamics Seat of Simon Mason and Chris Bialan chases Marco Anastasi’s Ginetta through druids to challenge for third

So, despite his 10-second success penalty, Niall Bradley took the win in his BMW E36, while Axel van Nederveen, with no time added, was second and bagged the top championship points, ahead of penalty-free Datum stablemate Marco Anastasi. Chris Bialan and Simon Mason did the best they could in the Sim Dynamics/Jabbasport Cupra, taking the flag just a quarter of a second ahead of Maurizio Sciglio, who carried the maximum success “ballast” in his Ginetta, with Lee Goldsmith’s BMW sixth overall and in Class 1. Rob Ellick took in some of the scenery in the early stages in the TSR Audi TT, but retained the Class 2 lead that race returnee Craig Fleming took to the class win, while, with refuelling being difficult, the tank of the Team BRIT BMW 240i was brimful for Asha Silva, who handed over to Noah Cosby to take second place in class, redemption for the woes of Race 1, finishing ahead of lone driver Tony Whitney’s Porsche 911, which lost time with an additional pit stop, finishing two laps down on its classmates. In Class 3, the win might have gone the way of Jez Sussex’s Ginetta G40, but confusion over a stop/go penalty that wasn’t his to take handed victory to SVG stablemate Stephen Moore – nonetheless, Jez had done enough to earn the Rowe Driver of the Day award for his performance over the weekend, while the Team BRIT BMW 1-Series was third, but not without its issues –Caleb McDuff did a solid job in the opening sequence, but Bobby Trundley pitted mid-stint with a very hot machine, and endured a stop / start experience on the circuit, salvaging the final class podium spot. The Clio battle eased towards the end, the High Row Maurice Henry /Hadley Simpson car was nearly three seconds clear of Dragon Sport’s Harri Reynolds/Rhys Lloyd at the flag, with seconds rather than tenths covering Dragon Sport’s Harry Hickton / Alex Nevill and Sam Neser / Jack James, while fifth –placed James Harrison and John Cooper’s efforts in their High Row machine were thwarted by a stop/go penalty for a pit stop infringement.

Words: Steve Wood, photos: Paul Cherry and Stevie Borowik.

Overall podium from Race 2

Jez Sussex landed the ROWE Driver of the Day award for his drive of a Ginetta G40