Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano took a double victory in the night British Endurance Championship race at Donington Park but Calum Lockie is the 2014 champion.
The race started under the moonlight with Calum Lockie starting on pole position setting a time two seconds faster than Neil Garner Motorsport’s Morcillo in night qualifying.
At the start the field managed to negotiate Redgate without difficulty with Lockie’s Ferrari 458 Cup storming into a significant lead before the first lap had even ended. Cintrano couldn’t keep the pace in the pitch blackness.
However, four minutes into the 90 minute race the safety car was called for as the Intersport Racing BMW went off at the Old Hairpin.
As the saying goes, cautions breed cautions and not long after the safety car came back in, it was called for again as the #53 of Mark & Peter Cunningham went off at McLeans.
The safety car then didn’t even stop at the end of the pit lane as it went in and then came straight back out for a car beached at the edge of the gravel trap at Starkeys Bridge. That was bad news for Cintrano in the Mosler MT900 GT3 as he had slipped to third behind Euan Hankey’s Ginetta in the one green flag lap between the two safety car periods.
That all happened before the hour to go mark with FF Corse’s Lockie still holding on to the lead after the multiple restarts.
Around the 50 minute to go mark was when the pit lane buzzed into a hive of activity as the Mosler became the first of the leaders to pit for a driver change with Morcillo sent in to take the fight to the leader.
It was a whole 20 minutes later that the Ferrari man pitted without changing to his race one co-driver David Mason who decided to sit out the only night race of the year.
Coming out in first place it seemed likely that Lockie would remain untroubled for the rest of the race – especially as the Neil Garner Motorsport car went for a brief excursion at Coppice – but the Spaniard was not to be underestimated as a 15 second deficit with 20 minutes left on the clock turned into an almost four second lead with ten minutes left.
Morcillo’s cause was helped after Lockie made an uncharacteristic mistake going into Redgate and left a Mosler sized gap on his inside.
As the time hit zero joining Morcillo and Lockie on the podium was the JHM Automotive Ferrari which, at the hands of Darren Nelson and Nigel Greensall went from a pit lane start to third with their only real challenge coming over the battle for fifth with the Nissan GT Academy car of Ricardo Sanchez and Gaetan Paletou.
Indeed the pair, in a 370Z GT4 finally finished in fourth place – an excellent result considering it was their first night race.
However, at the sharp end of the field – and the championship – Lockie and team mate David Mason, who sat out the final race, ended up walking away with the title by just a single point to the delight and relief of their FF Corse crew.