The second round of the Britcar Endurance Championship has been won by the Neil Garner Motorsport run Mosler of Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano. In a combination of strategy and dogged determination the pair led all but nine laps of the 90 minute race, ceding only to the #26 FF Corse Ferrari during the pit stops. The victory puts them to the top of the points table heading to rounds three and four at Donington Park.
The second round of the championship wasn’t run in conjunction with the Britcar Endurance Sports and Touring Car Championship which left a smaller field and less traffic to contend with. Despite this the race winning Mosler MT900 GT3 was unable to match the race distance set by the Rapier SR2 in the first race and it had no need to compete on pace. The Rapier had one of those races to forget, losing pole to the Mosler in qualifying and the outside of the front row to the Stark Racing Ginetta G55, mechanical problems plagued the Louis Jewellery entered LMPX for each of the 14 laps it managed to turn in. Repeated calls to the pits for checks and attempts to repair the car were all in vein and one hour in to the race the team retired.
That did leave a battle to be had though, despite the early withdrawal of the MacG Racing Ultima due to a broken gear and no spare. The fight was between the Mosler and Stark’s Ginetta in the hands of Ian Stinton and Nathan Freke. Knowing that Cintrano wouldn’t be able to maintain the pace of Freke in the second stint, Morcillo shot off like a scalded cat at the start. By the time he pitted on lap 43 he had lapped, with the aid of the pit stop cycle, the Ginetta which had been taken over by Freke.
Cintrano then went on to put in his best ever performance on the Silverstone International layout, earning the high praise of his younger team mate. “It feels very good,” enthused Morcillo. “I’m really happy. We have been working with Manuel over the winter and he did a fantastic race. He won the race, we are so happy.”
That victory was taken in true endurance racing style with Cintrano not going for out and out pace, risking the car and stressing the drivetrain but putting in a measured stint to slow the rate at which the Ginetta caught him. He managed the gap perfectly, keeping Freke to a 21 second margin at the line.
The retirement of the Rapier, and later withdrawal of the only other class 1 runner the Chevron, left the overall podium open for a class 2 runner. That was the Calum Lockie driven Ferrari 458 of FF Corse, who battled early on with the 458 Challenge of BAMD, driven by Darren Nelson and Nigel Greensall. The problem for the BAMD team is that they waited too long to plug Greensall into the car and overdid their drive time. They were excluded from the result of the race for missing their mandatory pit stop.
Free of the BAMD team, Lockie went on to claim the class victory by six laps from his nearest class rival. That was the Porsche 997 Cup of Newbridge Motorsport‘s Guillume Gruchet which was also the last classified class 2 car. The Toyota GT86 of Nick Holden started the race but fared worse in the second outing than the first tuning in only two laps with a best time some thirteen seconds off the best in class.
Between Lockie and Gruchet came the Ginetta G50 of Andrew Donaldson who continued his streak at the head of the bottom BEC class. The Intersport run GT4 Ginetta was almost two and three quarter laps clear of its nearest rival by the end of the race with team cars in second and third. Class 3 was the only class which had a full podium at the end of the race. The BMW E46 M3 of Intersport Racing may be an aging warhorse but two laps of advantage over the E92 version of the car and a miniscule fifty second deficit to the purpose built racer which is the 997 Cup showed well. Adam Hayes and Mark Radcliffe were visibly delighted when they took to the podium.
Ian Donaldson and Anna Walewska rounded out the classified runners in the Intersport BMW V8 GT4 and were actually the third car to finish the race though they were nine laps down. There is a classified class 5 car, the Civic 2000 of Ryan Cefferty and Dave Whitmore but with no other class five cars running, or for that matter any class 4 entries, this must have been a timing error.
The other Britcar championship is the new for 2014 Britcar Trophy Series, which is designed for gentlemen drivers and will run over one day at all meetings except Spa. With the class structure identical to that of the first BEC race of the day and three thirty minute races it allows drivers to practice or keep sharp for the bigger events when they can join the BEC field and race in the main game.
The three races at Silverstone were dominated by Dan Welch. The Sopp+Sopp Proton driver arrived at the track to, “shake down and put some miles on” a brand new Porsche 991 Cup car. One pole and three wins later the car appears to have passed its test with flying colours and while Welch would not be drawn on the chances of his returning to the Britcar Trophy with the 991, he would not rule it out.
The next round comes on 10th May from Donington Park where all three championships meet again.