The early drizzly rain that disrupted the massive Monoposto grid soon dispersed and the GT Cup Championship enjoyed two dry sprint races on the Silverstone GP circuit today after their single endurance race on Saturday.
Although not able to match Shaun Balfie’s blistering pace – including a 2:03.547 fastest lap – from the day before, Jim Geddie put his McLaren MP4-12C on pole for the morning race and proceeded to land the first of two GTO class and overall wins, beating Richard Chamberlain’s ex-LeMans Porsche 935 and Chris Hall in the Radical RXC.
David Whalley also had much to celebrate taking home two GTB class wins in his Porsche 997 Cup.
The #62 Ginetta of John Saunders was the worst victim of a three-car crash at Village on the opening lap of Race 2, which also claimed the Porsches of Steven Brewster and Gary Marsh. With the Ginetta stranded on track, the safety car was immediately deployed but some drivers we oblivious to this and continued at race pace down the Wellington straight. The Ferrari 458 of Peter Parsons realised suddenly he was about to violate the no overtaking under yellows rule but on braking lost control and spun off to hit the Armco – another retirement.
With the cars now bunched up, Chamberlain led the second race from the green flag but Geddie’s McLaren slipped through and held on to the lead while Chamberlain and Seam Balfe battled for P2.
The bright yellow Radical RXC, which had guested in Britcar at Snetterton the previous weekend, landed a third with Chris Hall at the wheel in the morning but retired on the very last lap in the afternoon – the seventh DNF of that race.
Dave Bearman was looking for success in the Towergate Ginetta G50 after the bad luck of a double engine failure earlier in the season and he was rewarded with a GTA class win in the first race. But his luck paled in comparison with the misfortunes of Team RPM’s 997 Cup where a gearbox failure during Friday testing, replaced after an overnight dash to fetch a spare, was followed by a coolant leak for Saturday’s endurance qualifying which then saw drivers Gary Marsh and Nigel Armstrong start from almost last place. Even then the car suffered slight impact damage but their woes were added to by the collision at Village which saw Gary retire from the afternoon race with the right front wheel nearly ripped off.
After fifteen races, the Championship now could not be closer with David Walley leading Jim Geddie by a single point and Shaun Balfe in third. GT Cup heads to Donington Park for three races on the GP circuit on 20th/21st September.
Words and photos: Chris Valentine.