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Storming Simonsen Inspires Rosso Verde To Brit GT Win

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The Rosso Verde squad signed off this year's British GT Championship with a comeback stint from Dane Allan Simonsen at Donington Park in the second half of the series' first ever 'twilight' race.

Simonsen had put the Ferrari on pole for the Saturday evening race, but teammate Hector Lester (and the rest of the grid) was confronted with rain shortly before the green flag. Though the shower turned out to be short, it was far from harmless. Some of the teams opted to pit for wet tyres, only to have to switch back to slicks soon after as slaves to the conditions. Those who remained on track, however, had to contend with the slippery track.

Lester was one of those caught out, spinning on the first lap, picking up slight damage and dropping to next-to-last as a result.

The poleman's misfortune left newly crowned champion David Ashburn in the lead in the Trackspeed Porsche before he was overhauled by the Ferraris of Duncan Cameron and GT3 rookie Benji Hetherington running for Mtech and Chad Racing respectively.

Both took their turns at leading, Hetherington leading into the mandatory pitstops to hand over to BTCC driver turned Carrera Cup regular Stephen Jelley.

Lester meanwhile, handed over of Allan Simonsen a lap-and-a-half down on the race leaders, only for the Dane to lay down one of the drives of the season in the second half of the two hour endurance race.

Indeed it was the endurance of the 430 Scuderia that helped Simonsen's cause as those ahead struck problems.

After 74 laps both Jelley and Glynn Geddie – the Scot in the Trackspeed car – limped into the pits. Jelley was forced to retire the Ferrari with gearbox problems, while Geddie returned to the track and the lead once a punctured tyre had been replaced.

Matt Griffin, charged with bringing home the Mtech Ferrari was also suffering from gearbox problems and Stuart Hall in the Vantage Racing Aston Martin led before power steering problems dropped him down the order to finish sixth – four laps off the pace.

Simonsen continued trouble free, picking off each ailing rival as he worked his way to the front. After dispatching Griffin for second he was left facing Geddie for the lead. It was an unfair fight – Geddie's Porsche now also suffering gearbox woes that him with stuck in fourth gearbox for the closing laps.

Even Simonsen was sceptical of his chances of taking the win from the lowly point he began his stint but Lester had total confidence in his teammate. “The greater the challenge, the better Allan rises to it,” said the Ulsterman. “We had a bit of luck with other cars having misfortunes, but the more Allan has to do the harder he goes at it. Maybe I did him a bit of a favour by making a mess at the start.”

Geddie clung onto second place ahead of Griffin's Mtech Ferrari and the Rollcentre Racing Mosler of Martin Short and Gregor Fisken, the first four all completing 96 laps. The Preadator CCTV Ferrari – one of the cars to stop and stop again for the earlier rain – of Phil Burton and Adam Wilcox finished fifth

G4 champs Dick and Stanley ended season with a win.

G4 champions Jaime Stanley and Christian Dick closed off their season at Speedworks with a dominant class win – five laps ahead of Vibe Smed and Nathan Freke of Century Motorsports. In the Invitation Class the Chevron Racing Cars entered Chevron GR8 of Chris Hart and Anthony Reid took the victory by a lap over the ABG Motorsport KTM X-Bow, the result coming in no small part thanks to Reid's stint that earned the former BTCC star the Driver of Day Award from Sunoco.

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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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