Calum Lockie, driving what will likely prove to be one of the “cheapest” cars he will race this season, took the first stint in the FF Corse Ferrari and co-driver David Mason took over to pilot the car to a pole-to-flag win, immediately making their mark on the series they won by a single point against stiff competition last season.
Showery rain meant all teams lined up in the pitlane on wets and the cold conditions ensured the track never fully dried even after 90 minutes of racing on Silverstone’s National circuit. 15 cars, including those in the Sports and Touring Car Championship, assembled for the first race of the day, delayed slightly by a serious crash in the start/finish straight where are driver needed extraction and air evacuation.
A flurry of driver changes at the 45-minute mark saw the Audi R8 risk a change to slicks – but the risk didn’t pay off because an off lead to moderate damage to the carbon fibre front of their. Forced to quit the race, the car retreated to the garage for the team to being hasty repair work.
Nick Holden, who competed in the Britcar Trophy series last season, had made modifications to his Ariel Atom including the fitting of a ‘dry break’ fuelling system specifically with longer races in mind. This was to be his first test at longer stints and despite only posting 4th in class in qualifying, astonished the Britcar pits by taking and holding on to P2. Keeping a BMW firmly in his rear view mirrors, he posted a 1:05.142 best lap just before the end to take his first Britcar Endurance podium.
Daniel Gibson’s McLaren MP12-4C was a regular visitor to the pits, coming in no less than five times, but still completed sufficient laps to take the Class 1 win.
Kevin Clarke’s BMW collided with rear of the #55 Aston Martin of Chris and Mika Brown, breaking their gearbox oil cooler and forcing their retirement. Kevin, with Mike Moss as co-driver went on to take the Class 4 win.
Nick Jarvis drove the Milton Keynes-based Backdraft Motorsport’s new build Audi A3 in its first ever race but the team retired the car after 30 laps with excess oil loss.
Race 2 was to be a quieter affair with all 10 cars finishing a slightly shortened race due to time constraints. Both the Franck Palle Audi R8 and the #55 Aston Martin GT4 returned to the fray but it was the young Ollie Chadwick who co-piloted the repaired Wolf GB08 CN2 to pots for first-in-Class 1 and overall second place. Towards the end of the race they were just 17 seconds behind and closing on David Mason’s Ferrari, who short-stinted after Calum Lockie set a blistering pace on a drying track – most teams had started on and stayed with slicks this time despite threatening clouds approaching from the West. The Lockie/Mason pairing again took the overall win, given them maximum points for their title defence.
Nick Holden couldn’t match his first race performance and it looked like the drier conditions were favouring the more powerful cars in his class. Along with the #88 Richard Neary BMW, he again left his pit stop until quite late in the race.
The #59 Optimum Motorsport Ginetta G55 took the Class 3 win with a faultless drive from the Barclay/Hollings pairing.
The MSA Dunlop Endurance Championship will next race again on the Zandvoort GP circuit on 20th and 21st June but before then, Silverstone will play host to the return of the 24 Hour race and some of today’s drivers are likely to be taking on this significant challenge.
Text and photos: Chris Valentine