Datum Motorsport made a clean sweep of Race 2, locking-out the overall podium with the Ginetta G56As of lone drivers Maurizio Sciglio, Axel van Nederveen and Marco Anastasi.

Callum Bates had a rather spirited drive sharing Chris Murphy’s BMW Z4

Polesitter Chris Bialan floored the Cupra away from the rolling start, but Axel van Nederveen dived down the inside at Riches and took the lead in the white Ginetta G56A, and already Noah Cosby was punching above his weight in the Team BRIT BMW240i, tailing Lee Goldsmith’s more powerful E90, while Steve Fresle was frustratedly locking-up in attempts to get by the impudent Clio of Rhys Lloyd, which had got ahead of it’s classmates. The Class 3 frontrunners were together, and the BMW Z4 of Callum Bates was in a Westbourne sandwich, between the Clios of Ben Colburn and Daire Flock. The leaders were keeping station, van Nederveen heading Bialan, with Sciglio, Anastasi and Goldsmith stringing along, and it took 10 minutes before the Clios got serious,with Hadley Simpson harrying Lloyd for a while before taking the lead at the Esses, this allowing Alex Nevill to draw up too.Chris Bialan was maintaining a healthy position between the Datum Ginettas of van Nederveen and Sciglio, putting co-driver Simon Mason in a good place come the pit stops, though with a 15-second pit stop success penalty, he could have done with a five-second buffer. And it was Marco Anastasi from the front group to pit first, then the top three simultaneously. The time penalties did their job, and the top runners emerged back into the race as expected, with Sciglio leading van Nederveen, with Anastasi breaking into the top three ahead of Simon Mason, who had taken over the Cupra from Bialan. A stop/go for Ben Green after taking over the Century G56A from Fresle effectively thwarted any chance of major recovery, though Green did punch in the fastest lap of the race as redemption, and a similar penalty for Harri Reynolds after taking over the Dragon Sport Clio from Lloyd stymied any chance of a class win. The gap between the leading three Datum machines stayed fairly stable to the flag, and Sciglio, van Nederveen and Anastasi made it a one-two-three for the team, earning the whole squad not just a podium lock-out but also the Britcar Outstanding Achievement award. I t might have been different though, as Simon Mason, around five laps from the finish, sniffed a podium place, and was progressively taking a second a lap out of Anastasi’s advantage, the gap to the pursuing Cupra being just 0.216 at the flag. Lee Goldsmith finished fifth after a lonely race in the Geoff Steel-run BMW E90, and the Steve Fresle/Ben Green Ginetta G56A completed the Class 1 field.

Both Class 2 finishers were struggling at the end – Rob Ellick had taken over the TSR Audi from Mark Jones, and had reeled in Asha Silva, who had relieved Noah Cosby in the Team BRIT BMW 240i; they kept those class positions, but the Audi lost pace due to a broken exhaust, and the BMW crawled round the last lap with a puncture. The Clio win went to High Row again, Maurice Henry and Hadley Simpson taking the victory, and the Sunoco Drivers of the Day award, while in the second-placed Dragon Sport #1 car, Harri Reynolds, clinching the Rowe Driver of the Day trophy, finished 26 seconds adrift, despite a stop/go penalty in his stint, so it could have been much closer. Travis Coyne/Alex Nevill were third for Dragon Sport, ahead of High Row’s James Harrison and Ben Jenkins, while the Spires Motorsport Clio did finally make the race after a fraught weekend in the pits; three engine changes (loaned by Dragon Sport), and expert advice from Westbourne and High Row was eventually diagnosed as fuel contamination. Andy Georgiou wasted no time in moving up the order from a back-row start, and new recruit Travis Chapman was clearly on a mission in his stint, bringing it home fifth in class.

Two of the three SVG Ginetta G40s

The Class 3 contingent continued their close battle – in the first half of the race, Callum Bates in the Whitebridge BMW Z4 led the Westbourne Gen 5 Clios of Ben Colburn and Daire Flock, but teenager Flock was sidelined with accident damage and bent steering, leaving Colburn to take the class win ahead of second-stinter Chris Murphy in the Z4, while an exemplary lone-drive from Team BRIT’s Caleb McDuff in the BMW 1-series netted the final class podium place. Also in Class 3, but really racing in their own sub-class, the three SVG Ginetta G40s again provided some close racing; Paul Murphy explored the limits as he got to grips with his machine, while Stephen Moore and Jez Sussex fought hard all through the race, with Moore leading Sussex across the line by just 0.297 seconds at the flag, proving this has the potential for a fun-packed and entertaining mini-series – more please!

Datum Motorsport Ginettas took the top three in the second of two Trophy races

Words: Steve Wood, photos: Chris Valentine and Paul Cherry