Marco Anastasi took his Datum Motorsport Ginetta G56A to an easy win in Race 1 after making the right pit stop call.
The early part of the race was dominated by Bryan Bransom’s BMW E46, but, with no radio working, failed to capitalise on a short Safety Car period just as the pit window opened, and was left circulating with four other cars while the majority of the field pitted. Jas Sapra took over the BMW, but was unable to claw back the deficit, finishing seventh of the Class 1 field. Maurizio Sciglio’s Ginetta was the first to re-enter the race from the multi-car pit stop, but was called back in to take a two-second stop/go penalty, leaving Anastasi a clear run to the flag. Simon Clark, in the Class 2 FormEvo Clark Racing Porsche 997 was always in touch with the Class 1 contingent, and his second place after the stops was challenged by Sciglio, who got ahead at McLeans on the final lap, but Clark was having none of it and took the place back through the Esses, just 0.367 separating the pair at the flag. Fourt-placed Neil Wallace and Ian Astley had an atypical low-key race in the SVG Ginetta G56A, while Callum Noble had his best result of the season so far in the Thorney Motorsport BMW E46, fifth overall, ahead of Sebastian DuboIs’s Ginetta G56A, another stuck behind the Safety Car at a crucial point. A spin and pit stop penalty for Robin Grimwood in the Assetto Ginetta G56A saw him finish well down the order, and Barry McMahon’s Alfa Romeo 159 retired after nine laps with drive shaft failure.
The fight for the overall title was in the Clio contingent and took an unexpected turn early in the race, when the Max Coates/Andy Tucker High Row car experienced a cutting-out and restarting problem which would continue throughout the race, and when Jack Meakin in the points-leading Dragon Sport machine seized the Class lead from Anton Spires, it was more or less over. Rhys Lloyd took over from Meakin and bagged the class win, a lap ahead of Dragon Sport team mates Travis Coyne and Alex Neville, with Westbournes’s James Colburn and Gary Smith on the bottom step of the podium, former Britcar regular Smith having his first race for five years. Andreas Georgiou partnered Anton Spires to fourth place, ahead of the luckless High Row team, the James Harrison/ Ben Jenkins Clio’s race blighted by an unscheduled stop, then a penalty, and the electronic malfunction for Coates and Tucker, while Darren Geeraerts/Jonathan Christie-Rundle were in the Safety Car/ pit window riddle, Harry Hickton had an early issue, and the Andy Tate/Neil House machine had a first lap excursion into the gravel.
Ed Cook’s Honda Civic led the Class 3 group, responding to the challenge of Mark Jones in the TSR VW Golf, but Cook stuck to Plan A when then Safety Car coincided with the pit window, leaving Steve Cook third until the engine in the Civic let go spectacularly on the last lap. Rob Ellick relieved Jones in the Golf and took the class win, ahead of title aspirant Will Puttergill’s Honda Civic, while returnee Charlotte Birch took the Vinna Sport Ginetta G40 to third place, aided by JSCC graduate Loui Hounsell, who looked very racy in his first outing in a rear wheel drive car. In the G40 Cup class, Brendan Haffner took another win which more or less sealed his title, ahead of ever-improving Alex Turnbull.
Text: Steve Wood; photos: Chris Valentine and Paul Cherry.