A busy month of July for drivers eligible for the Sunoco Daytona Challenge has put an entirely new complexion upon the top ten in the quest for a Daytona Prototype drive at the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The newest name to join the chase to hunt down Felipe Nasr is that of Irishman Matt Griffin. Avon Tyres British GT Championship driver Griffin scored his first win of the season at Spa-Francorchamps, adding to the second place he and teammate Duncan Cameron has scored in the first of the two races at lengendary Belgian track.
The impressive points haul moved Griffin from a lowly 25th in the Challenge points to third in the week immediately following the races. Though the British GT field now doesn't return to racing until next month, Griffin continues to climb the Challenge points, now lying second after problems for British Endurance Championship (BEC) racer Javier Morcillo dropped him to third.
At the latest round of the BEC at Castle Combe the Spaniard returned to qualifying form, taking pole position, and the 20 points towards the Challenge. However, an accident whilst fighting for the lead put the Mosler well down the order. Though the damage from the off was repaired and the car returned to the track with co-driver Manuel Cintrano in the cockpit, the car failed to complete enough laps to be classified, leaving both men with no points to add to their respective Challenge totals.
The travails dropped Morcillo to fourth, behind Griffin and GT4 front runner Marcus Clutton who maintains third place despite restrictions to his KTM X-Bow after dominating the class before the Spa round.
Aaron Scott and Craig Wilkins break into the top ten in the Challenge after another strong BEC run in the GT3 Racing Dodge Viper in the BEC. The American muscle car has finished every race so far this season, their consistency finally showing up in the race to Daytona.
They are all, however, still chasing Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr, who with two wins from the British Formula Three Championship at Paul Ricard strengthens his vice like grip on the Challenge lead.
The Brazilian had to withstand challenges from series newcomer Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlin teammate Kevin Magnussen.
The battle came to a dramatic conclusion at the end of the final race of the weekend when da Costa and Magnussen collided on the final lap, allowing Nasr to emerge from a three way battle to add to his 2011 win tally.
Sunoco Daytona Challenge Standings as of July 25
|1||Felipe Nasr||Carlin||British Formula 3||95.00|
|2||Matt Griffin||MTECH||British GT||58.33|
|3||Marcus Clutton||ABG Motorsport||British GT||56.33|
|4||Javier Morcillo||Azteca Motorsport||British Endurance||55.92|
|5||Matthew Bell||United Autosports||British GT||49.17|
|6||Michael Guasch||United Autosports||British GT||49.17|
|7||Lucas Foresti||Fortec Motorsport||British Formula 3||47.50|
|8||Jay Shepherd||Hawthorn Motorsport||British Endurance||47.42|
|9||Craig Wilkins||GT3 Racing||British Endurance||46.46|
|10||Aaron Scott||GT3 Racing||British Endurance||46.46|
The Checkered Flag race reports
British GT race one – Trackspeed Duo Score Second Win
British GT race two – MTECH Men Open Season Win Account
British F3 race one – Nasr Clinches Sixth Victory
British F3 race three – Nasr Snatches Round 18
British Endurance Championship – Victor Vittoria At Castle Combe