David Mason and Calum Lockie are celebrating victory in the first round of the 2015 MSA Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship at Silverstone. The reigning champions got their title defence off to the best possible start, dominating both qualifying and race on the 1.64 mile National layout of the Northamptonshire circuit. The victory ensures that the FF Corse run Ferrari 458 Challenge will start on the front row of the grid for the second round this evening.
A strong start by Lockie was aided by Franck Piele in the Simpson Motorsport run Audi R8 LMS almost from the off. The Audi shared the front row with Lockie and piled on the pressure until an unforced error at the link saw the R8 take a trip through the gravel. The competition continued to self-destruct through the rest of the 90 minute race.
The other potential competitor was the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 of Daniel Gibson and Paul Gibson but the duo, unfamiliar with the new Gibson Motorsport machine, struggled to match the pace of the battle tested Ferrari. Several pit stops left the McLaren in last place, twelve laps behind the #66 BMW M3 Compact of Martin Scheile. It was only an accident which forced the R8 into the pits and retirement which allowed the Gibsons to take eleventh place.
Second place in the race went to a class 2 machine with the two class 1 entrants struggling. Nick Holden had no such problems and cruised to a 28 second advantage over the #88 BMW M3 from Rollcentre Racing. Martin Short and Richard Neary continued the two by two theme, taking a lap over the Optimum Motorsport run Ginetta G55 GT4 of Alistair Barclay and Charlie Hollings, also from class 3.
Neil Primrose and Nick Barrow broke the pattern with their 5.0l V10 powered 1-Series, taking fifth place in the final class 2 entry ahead of Mike Moss’ BMW M3 and the Ian Anderson and Amanda Black driven Ginetta G55 GT4 from Lifetime Racing. Eighth place went to and impressive debutant. Luca Demarchi made his series debut in a new car from Saxon Motorsport. The 130d looked just like its V10 stablemate, running an almost trouble free run to second in class 4.
Michael Smith’s SEAT Leon Supercopa from PDS Racing fell a lap further behind to classify at the back of the pack ahead of the delayed Scheile.
Big problems hit three of the series’ new arrivals starting with the #55 Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Licence issues stopped the ex-British GT ‘Baby Beechdean’ from running, which left the 22GT entered machine for Chris Brown and Mika Brown as the only Aston Martin Drivers Club entry to the race. A strong start to the day was destroyed when the Audi S3 of Nick Jarvis collided with the Vantage, piercing the gearbox oil radiator and sending the car to the garage for the rest of the race.
That little mishap also ended the Back Draft Racing S3’s day, leaving Jarvis unclassified in the penultimate spot. James Thorpe and Sean McInerney were the only other entry. The Brunswick BMW 130i was stranded out on track with suspected engine failure.