Calum Lockie and FF Corse are celebrating the overall win in the Britcar Endurance Championship at Snetterton. Lockie grabbed the victory after driving the full 90 minutes and 37 seconds alone due to family issues for his regular co-driver David Mason which prevented the Am side of the pairing making the trip to Norfolk. The victory cements the class 2 entered Ferrari 458 Challenge’s hold on the top of the title table.
A disastrous day for the Neil Garner Motorsport run Mosler of Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano added to the margin which the #26 machine will hold heading to Silverstone.
The initial leader of the race was a new arrival to the series in the form of the Radical RXC-V8 of James Abbott and RAW Motorsport. The yellow closed cockpit LMPX machine hit early gearbox problems though and was forced to the pits. While the car was running at the finish it turned in only 17 laps of the Snetterton 300 layout, failing to classify.
A similar story hit the Rapier of Mike Millard. The solo racer survived a worrying moment at Nelson when he bounced across the grass and spun in the path of the Jensen Motorsport Ginetta G55 of Jensen Lunn and Alistair Lindsay. He continued on only to retire on lap 36 with damage from a second curb hopping experience. Fortunately the brand new Ginetta, which replaces the totalled Chevron GR8 GT3 which was damaged at Oulton Park, avoided contact with Millard’s first mishap.
The #2 Mosler was started by Cintrano who struggled for the entire 40 minute stint. He lost time to the leading trio of Lockie, Nathan Freke and Darren Nelson who handed over to Nigel Greensall, to the point that nothing Javier Morcillo could do would return the car to even a podium spot. Morcillo crossed the line a lap down on the class 2 winner and overall victor.
That left the thrilling fight between the two Ferrari’s and the Solution Team Ginetta G55 GT3 of Nathan Freke. Ian Stinton was also entered in the Ginetta but didn’t race in the first outing. Following the pit stops it was Calum Lockie who held the lead after a stonking service by the FF Corse pit crew. Things didn’t go as well for the #27 FF Corse run, Carnell Racing entered 458 GT3 which fell in behind the second placed Ginetta and dropped to almost a lap off the lead by the dying laps.
The resulting, confusing, chain of cars saw the #27 lead the #12 on the road though Nigel Greensall was managing issues with the car and trying to stay on the lead lap. Lockie had the Ginetta of Freke almost the same distance behind and so it stayed for almost 15 laps. Eventually the #27 made its break clawing back fifteen seconds of deficit by the end of the race but Freke wasn’t able to close the gap to the leader down to any less than five seconds at the flag.
Morcillo and Cintrano took fourth place ahead of the ever present Guillaume Gruchet in the Newbridge Motorsport prepared Porsche 997 Cup two laps further back who took second in class 2.
Kevin Clarke and Anna Walewska took the class 3 victory after battling the pair of Ginettas early on. The Intersport BMW E92 M3 V8 GT4 eventually clawed out a lap over the Century Motorsport Buckler entered G55 of Stephen Fresle and Zoe Wenham to take the win. The #36 machine built up a 35 second advantage over the #29 of Lunn and Lindsay by the end of the race but lost five seconds of that lead after a penalty for exceeding the limits of the racetrack.
The only other car to race in the first Britcar Endurance Championship action of the day was the #7 Ultima GTR of MacG Racing. The team have struggled continuously with equipment failures or accidents on this car and Snetterton offered a driveshaft failure which retired the car on lap 5 of the eventual 47 lap clash. A spare was available and the team laboured through the lunch break to prepare the car for action in the afternoon.
Lockie told us, “Boy, Nathan made me work for that, he made me go really hard! Try as I might I couldn’t pull the gap out. I must say that most people were really generous in letting me through as I came round to lap them. Kevin Clarke in the BMW was more than generous in moving over and so the guys in the Ginettas. Nobody held me up and that was appreciated.
“I knew Nigel was in the class 1 car and he was driving slowly to preserve the car. I managed to catch him at the Bentley Straight and here on the Senna Straight which gave me a bit of a tow which really helped keep me clear of Nathan.”
Javier Morcillo blasted Britcar for allowing Lockie to race solo and for allowing the use of Pirelli tyres on the #26 machine. Apparently Dunlop didn’t have sufficient tyres for the Ferrari so the car was allowed to run the rubber which the team had available.
“The way Britcar has managed the weekend is crazy,” Morcillo said. “We had a car racing solo with a professional driver and another make of tyre which is two seconds faster. This is just totally off.
“They found reasons for justifying that, Dunlop didn’t bring their tyres but we have had that before with other cars and they had to run on old tyres. So I am really disappointed.”