Switching from a 3x 30-minute race series last season, Trophy is now a 2x 45-minute race Championship. With a compulsory pitstop, whether the drive is shared or not, Trophy can make an ideal taster for the club sprint racer with endurance ambitions. The FF Corse Ferrari Drivers Championship has merged with Trophy for this year so you can expect to see 458s making regular appearances through the season.
Roger Whiteside’s Morgan Aero Supersport was a victim of the heavy rain that turned the first section of the Silverstone Wellington straight into a virtual ice rink. The car lost control before skittering left across the grass only to bounce back to hit the Armco on the opposite side just after the road bridge. Quickly onto the scene, the marshals’ evacuation team had to remove both roof and cage to extract Roger from the shattered remains of the car.
Darelle Wilson had dipped his toe in the Trophy water at Donington last year, doing a solo drive in his VW Cup Golf but this year shares a drive in a diesel Scirroco with Ian Heward. Class 4 was rounded off with Tony Skelton’s Renault Clio and Lee Allen in a Seat Leon – sadly both were DNFs late in the first of the two races of the day.
TV chef Paul Hollywood took over from team mate and Beechdean co-founder Andrew Howard to bring home the Aston Martin GT4 Vantage in his first ever race in what he described as challenging but enjoyable conditions.
The Gibson brothers’ brand new McLaren MP4-12C behaved better in the Trophy races than it had in the Endurance races the day before and this time it landed 2nd overall and a class win in Race 1. Steve Glynn spun into the gravel at Becketts and required quick recovery from the marshals.
Kevin Riley’s normal drive, a Moseler MT900R, remains damaged from his horrendous crash at Doninton last season but the veteran driver isn’t remotely put off racing and today joined his GT Cup partner Gareth Downing in a Lotus Evora.
Rob Hedley piloted the splendid Chevrolet Lumina CR8 in its first race in the UK. The cars were originally built for an F1 support race at Yas Marina a few seasons ago but have come to the UK to form a new championship next year. Meanwhile they’re available to drive in either of the Britcar Championships.
In the second race of the day, the Hollywood/Howard pairing improved on their first race result with an overall 4th, so the famous chef will take home an important pair of signatures from the weekend – on top of what I’m sure will have been a fantastic debut race experience. Steve Glynn however was again unlucky: he spun the TVR and hit the pit wall on the start. Kevin Riley’s Evora span soon after and he couldn’t re-start the stalled car and retired. With the TVR needing recovery the safety car was called for and a few of the drivers, including the sole Porsche driver Peter Challis, chose to take a pitstop and swap to slicks to take advantage of the drying track.
By the end of the second race, the problems suffered with the Gibson Motorsport McLaren had evaporated – along with at least some of the moisture – and Daniel Gibson took an overall win, posting times as low as 57 seconds which only John Seale’s 458 Ferrari could match. Gary Furst brought his Evo 9 home in third as another solo drive.
Trophy’s next outing is to support the re-launched Dunlop 24 Hours of Silverstone on 24/25th April.
Text and photos: Chris Valentine