General Formula 3GT Cup

Dominant Steele Stretches Grand-Am 200 Challenge Lead

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A perfect weekend at Brands Hatch means MSV F3 Cup driver Aaron Steele increased his lead at the top of the Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge.

The series' pair of races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit had packed grids thanks to the series sharing time with the Monoposto series. However, the increased traffic bothered the Grays Motorsport driver little during a succession of dominating displays.

Having already taken pole position victory in the opening race was made slightly easier by a sfatey car period that ate up nearly half the 15 minute race duration, the intervention necessary after one car had failed to get away from the line at the start of the race.

Steele then got a good restart, catching his nearest rival unawares as he accelerated for the line, and then pulled away to take the checkered flag with second place Matt Draper 15 seconds in arrears in second place. Mark Terry and Kat Impey followed in third and fourth with Chris Needham – the only F3 Cup man aside from Steele in the Challenge top ten – completing the top five.

Needham moved up to third in the second race – taking 55 points for the Challenge – but it was Steele who eased away from the field to beat Terry by 20 seconds. In the course of the weekend Steele also ran the fastest lap in both races, giving him two maximum scores for the Grand-Am 200 Challenge.

There were also Challenge points being scored at Oulton Park in Cheshire where the Legends series was in action with three races.

Frontrunner Stephen Treherne suffered a difficult first race, a DNF denting his Daytona ambitions, though he bounced back with a sixth, then a win in the following two races. The other winner on the day was Dean Brace, taking victory in both of the 'heat' races.

The double victory moves Brace to tenth in the Challenge standings, and he may have climbed even higher had it not been for his retirement in the final race of the day after an accident when Ben Power had to brake sharply to make room for a rejoining racer.

The next action in the eligible series will include the Production Touring Car field with Adrian Churchill, Steele's nearest rival, in his Vauxhall Astra trying to respond to Steele's Brands sweep.

Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge standings as of August 22

  Driver Team Series  Points
1 Aaron Steele Grays Motorsport MSV F3 Cup       112.00
2 Adrian Churchill Courtenay Sport Production Touring Car       102.86
3 Stephen Treherne Handy Motorsport Legends         84.85
4 Luke Caudle EXCELR8 MINI Challenge         75.83
5 Chris Knox EXCELR8 MINI Challenge         74.17
6 Gary Duckman Exceler8 Production Touring Car         72.11
7 Andy Ruhan JMH GT Cup class 1         70.40
8 Lee Allen Truck Align MINI Challenge         56.25
9 Chris Needham   MSV F3 Cup         53.63
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