The return of the Nigel Mustill run Riley prototype has brought pole position for the first Britcar Endurance Championship race of the weekend at Donington Park. The John Martin and Craig Dolby driven machine romped to the top spot as the only car to exceed an average of 100mph round the Grand Prix layout of the East Midlands circuit. 1.739 seconds behind the all-white closed cockpit LMPX came Mike Millard’s Rapier SR2 whose best effort came a lap after the Riley hit the top spot but couldn’t get close.
Championship leaders Manuel Cintrano and Javier Morcillo took third place on the grid after setting an early marker and early provisional pole followed by the #12 Ginetta G55 GT3 of Ian Stinton and Nathan Freke from Stark Motorsport. The Neil Garner Motorsport Mosler held the slimmest of margins at the end of the session, besting the British built GT3 car by only 0.155 seconds.
Callum Lockie and David Mason took fifth overall and pole in class 2 in their Ferrari 458 Cup from FF Corse. They were split from their similarly, though not identically, equipped class rivals, the BAMD Ferrari 458 Challenge of Darren Nelson and Nigel Greensall by the Spice LMPX of Karun Moudi. The #31 BAMD car could have been higher if their best time had not been disallowed for exceeding track limits. The #7 MacG Ultima and #66 Emin Sadiq and Wil Arif driven BMW Z3 were similarly denied their fastest times in class 1 and 3 respectively.
The removal of the Jonny MacGregor driven MacG machine dropped them behind the second placed class 2 machine though they still outpaced the Marcos of Jon Finnemore and Chirs Beighton. They Audi R8 LMS of Peter Cook and Frank Pelle grabbed third in class with 10th place overall.
Best of the class 3 runners went to the Saxon Motorsport entered BMW 150 GTR. This re-engined 1-Series BMW, powered by a 5.0l V10, held a two second advantage over the best of the Britcar Endurance Sports and Touring Car Championship runners and the better part of three seconds over their nearest class rivials. That was Adam Hayes and Marc Radcliffe in the Intersport Racing BMW E46 M3 who led their team car, the #41 Ginetta G50 of Andrew Donaldson and Jeremy Cottingham by seven tenths.
Mike Moss and Tom Howard claimed the pole for the Sports and Touring Car Championship in their Moss Motorsport run BMW. The black and green machine had one of the closer pole scraps, battling the SEAT Leon Supercopa of Mark and Peter Cunningham for the top spot which they claimed by 0.705 seconds. Third in the Sports and Touring field went to the #77 Tracktorque SEAT of Martin Parsons and Andy Yool.
The only car to fall drastically out of position was the #33 Chevron GT3 of Alistair Lindsay and Jensen Lunn. The Capitol Compactors backed class 2 runner qualified stone dead last almost 25 seconds off the pole pace and will start the first race in 26th.
The class 4 field will only take part in the first of two Britcar Endurance Championship races, each of ninety minutes length, which takes place on Saturday afternoon.