The perfect season continues.
Calum Lockie and David Mason won the second MSA Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship at a canter, taking a sixth win in six races for the FF Corse team in the series.
Without the Dunlop Endurance Sports and Touring Championship entrants on the grid for the final race of the day the grid was cut still further, leaving Lockie to start from pole position in the #1 Ferrari 458 Challenge on a grid that featured just four cars, with two more starting from the pitlane.
Those controlled by the marshal at the end of the lane included Mark Cunningham in his Cup-spec Porsche 997. However, like in the first race once underway he was able to make his way up the order, taking second from Nick Holden in the Ariel Atom after less than ten minutes of racing.
By that time Lockie was already a minute up the road, and working his way up (or down) to a pace that would put his race one fastest lap in the shade as he went two tenths faster, the experienced driver able to focus on his own driving in lieu of direct competition on the track.
“I turned it into a competition with myself where I’m trying to match a lap time on every lap or try to go a little bit quicker every lap, to look at the specifics of what I’m doing in each corner,” said Lockie. “Our predictive timing is going all the time so if I can match a corner really well it says ‘minus two tenths’ I think ‘right, what have I done there that gave me two tenths’ and try and replicate it. That’s how I keep focussed and if you look at the fastest lap I was nearly two-and-a-half tenths quicker this race.”
This victory was not quite as dominant as their race one win for several reasons. Firstly the closing laps of Lockie’s stint where shaken by a vibration that forced the team to change tyres as David Mason took over the car “rather than have him do his stint with his eyeballs rattling up and down” said Lockie. The cold rubber beneath the four corners of the lead car, in turn, forced Mason into a more considered stint, never achieving the same pace as he did to wrap up the duo’s first Snetterton win simply because he didn’t have to.
The slower pace allowed Nick Holden – stopping late again in his Neil Garner Motorsport run Atom – to undo one of the laps Lockie had put on him in the first half of the race. That put the solo driver on the same lap as Peter Cunningham in the Porsche started by his son. However the margin that Mark had built over the first half of the race was sufficient to keep the family entered car in second place with 35 seconds between them at the end of the race.
It was a strong result for the Cunningham’s in their first races with their new car, starting to build towards a potential championship campaign in 2016.
Canadian driver Fareed Ali and Christopher Valentine finished fourth – despite Valentine pitching the car violently sideways at Riches during the early laps. Team BRIT finished fifth, though their race was blighted by a repeat of the issues with the ECU governing the hand controls in their adapted VW Golf.
The MSA Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship continues on September 19 with a single 180 minute on the schedule.