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Short Changed: Trackspeed make it two from two

4 Mins read

Glynn Geddie helped Trackspeed and David Ashburn to a second victory of the day at Rockingham in the British GT Championship, Ashburn moving to the driver's title lead ahead of the MTECH drivers Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin, who finished second to the Porsche.

Geddie spent all by the opening yards of his stint in the car behind the MTECH Ferrari. The rolling start saw Geddie immediately challenged for the lead. The black CCTV Ferrari trying to slip down the left hand side of the Porsche as they crossed the line. Understandably Geddie took a defensive line, trying to force Adam Wilcox onto the grass. He refused and both cars had a nervous twitch as they made contact.

The brief loss of momentum was all the opportunity Matt Griffin in the MTECH car needed, sweeping into the lead from second on the grid, Geddie quickly assuming a vigil on the Ferrari's rear bumper that was to last for the first half of the race. The Scot could easily keep stuck to the rear bumper, but though he tried several times he was unable to make his way past.

Geddie would try a different exit line out of Brook, pull to the inside of the Ferrari, pull partly alongside before Griffin started away down the front straight, pulling ahead to take an unchallenged line into the first corner. With the battling holding up the leading two the battle for the lead welcomed more fighters. First the RPM Ford GT that had held third since the start joined the snake around Rockingham, then the Rollcentre Mosler.

Martin Short had alreay had an eventful race by this point, battling just outside the top five the Argentine Chad Ferrari the two had come together at Deene, both dropping through the order.

While Jose Balbiani retired the car – with engine woes rather than anything directly related to the accident – Short was scything back up through the field, regaining his previous position plus interest. Passing the Dodge Viper and the other two Chad entries Short had found fourth, and with the leading trio joined in a single train, it was easy pickings for the Mosler veteran to heave the Mosler up to the rear of Alex Mortimer's Ford.

But just as Geddie was being frustrated by the leader, Short was continually fended off by Mortimer's defensive driver, cutting off the inside line for Short's preferred move at Deene on several occasions, all it would emerge to the ire to Short who criticised the amount of blocking involved in the racing.

After having the door slammed in his face one too many times Short launched a lunge up the inside of Yentwood, unseen by Mortimer – Short excusing him the error as the Ford is left hand drive. The contact sent the Ford spinning into the scenery on the outside, and delayed the Mosler, allowing the leading pair to resume their fight alone.

The contact was to end the competitive outings of both cars. Short brought the Mosler to the pits – the window for driver changes wide open, though none of the leaders had opted to haul their better drivers from the cockpit before the accident – the front bodywork was repair and teammate Gregor Fisken installed behind the steering wheel.

Then the car wouldn't start.

The Rollcentre team pushed the Mosler down the pitlane willing it into life, before giving up and bringing the car to a halt. The car did eventually burst back into life, though Fisken rejoined two laps down. RPM were even less fortunate, Mortimer limped the car back and the team dutifully replaced the punctured right-rear Avon tyre before beginning a more thourough inspection of the no.4 car's rear quarters.

The diagnosis evidently was not good, the team pushing the can back into the garage to end their day early.

Short's move, or Mortimer's blocking depending on which side you take, had ended one of the finest GT races of recent seasons, the thought of the four different cars maintaining their battle to the end enough to send the senses running wild, and only making it harder to live without.

It was almost as if the race gave up being close. A high attrition rate had seen the Ferrier/Warren Chad car join its teammate in retirement, and when the two remaining leaders came in for their stops the result was even more disappointing. Geddie was the first to blink, Griffin handing over to Duncan Cameron a few laps later.

Considering the pair had been barely separated at all for the first half of the race the seven second lead that Ashburn had somehow found looked astounding, and never looked like being troubled.

In fact the gap continued to extend under Ashburn's nurturing, expanding to over 15 seconds by the race's end in an anti-climax compared to what the earlier four, three or even two way fight had promised.

Those behind had almost been forgotten. The GT3 Racing Dodge Viper took the final podium position, ahead of the sole surviving Chad Ferrari – that of Chris Hyman and Dan Brown – and the Predator CCTV car, which never repeated anything like the challenge it gave Geddie at the start.

The G4 class podium was a repeat of race one, the Chad Racing KTM taking the victory, this time having led the entire race. The Lotus 2-Eleven of Piranha Motorsports ended the team's good weekend in second, the main championship beneficiaries of Team Osborne Racing double DNF and ABG Motorsport's absence from the weekend.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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