Lee Goldsmith, driving the Invitation-entry BMW E90 built and prepared by Geoff Steel Racing, broke the Ginetta stronghold in Race 2, but it was a close run thing, with Marco Anastasi’s G56 GTA just half a second adrift at the flag.
It was the first time that Simon Clark had started the FormEvo Clark Racing Porsche from pole, and he was maybe a bit too eager on the run up to the lights, breaking the formation and hurrying away, followed by a train of Ginettas – van Nederveen, Edwards, Sciglio and Anastasi, with Goldsmith’s BMW eager to break them up. Clark’s fast getaway attracted the attention of the serious shirts upstairs, who penalised him with a drive through, and as the Porsche entered the pit lane, van Nederveen assumed the lead and Goldsmith split up the Edinburgh-domiciled Sicilians Sciglio and Anastasi. The Clio lead battle resumed, Andy Tucker just ahead of an enthusiastic Rhys Lloyd, and Mark Jones was on the move in the TSR Golf, taking first Will Puttergill’s Honda, then Class 3 leader Ed Cook, who was driving alone for this race in the Mauger Motorsport Civic. Jim Edwards resisted a move from Goldsmith, then seized the lead from van Nederveen, while back in the pack, the Clios of Jonathan Christie-Rundle and Steve Harrison had a coming together at Murrays, and both pitted for inspection and re-joined, though Christie-Rundle only did a further lap before retiring, joining the recalcitrant #92 Clio of Travis Coyne, which had expired earlier, re-joined and eventually retired again. Goldsmith now made his move on van Nederveen, but the Dutchman was having none of it and got the place back, and Ed Cook assertively re-passed Mark Jones for the Class 3 lead, though the Golf was pit-bound anyway, to and over to Rob Ellick, as the pit window had now opened.
Once the pit stops had all cycled through, the effectiveness of success penalties for the top three in each class pit stops became apparent – the unpenalised Goldsmith now had his orange BMW in the lead, and in threatening mood were Sciglio, Wantling, Anastasi, and Ian Astley, now burning up the track with fastest laps in the Ginetta started by Neil Wallace. A short pit stop by the Lloyd/Meakin Clio was punished with a five-second stop/go, effectively putting them out of contention for the class win, while Max Coates and Rob Gaffney indulged in a bit of friendly tit-for-tat bumper-to-bumper racing. Sciglio had a one second stop/go penalty slapped on him, which put paid to any further attempt at a win, but it was now Anastasi who sniffed victory, and for the final few laps he shadowed Goldsmith, the black Ginetta trailing the Geoff Steel-entered BMW by just 0.555 seconds at the flag. Julian Wantling was two and a half seconds further back, a great performance by the Assetto team, co-driver Jim Edwards claiming the Driver of the Day award for his contribution in both races, with Axel van Nederveen just under half a second shy in fourth. Fifth was the best Ian Astley could achieve, scant reward for a phenomenal performance, and penalty-stricken Sciglio rounded-out the Ginetta G56 GTA contingent. Callum Noble’s Thorney Motorsport BMW E46 split the Class 2 podium, which was headed by Simon Clark, who’s FormEvo Clark Racing Porsche came out just in front of the County Classics Porsche of Ken Briddon/Jackson Goodrun after the early drive-through penalty, and retained the place through the rst of the race. Ed Cook, driving solo in the Mauger Motorsport Honda Civic due to dad Steve’s ankle condition, took the Class 3 win over lone driver Will Puttergill’s Civic, with early class leader , the TSR VW Golf of Mark Jones and Rob Ellick, third. The fight for Clio honours became rather sanitised after the Lloyd/Meakin machine received a five-second stop/go for a pit stop infringement, leaving title rivals Andy Tucker and Max Coates to an easy class win in the High Row #88 car. Rob Gaffney claimed another podium on his racing return, the Sim Dynamics Clio of Chris Bialan / Simon Mason received a massive post-race penalty for a pit lane infringement, but still finished ahead of the unfortunate James and Steve Harrison, who were delayed by that mid-race clash.
Text: Steve Wood, photos: Paul Cherry.