Relentless Reid Retains Sizeable 240 Challenge Lead At Silverstone

Kyle Reid maintained his stranglehold on this year’s Sunoco 240 Challenge last weekend at Silverstone where a further victory, fastest lap and pole positions helped Mini Challenge Cooper Pro’s runaway leader remain on course for a fully-funded GT4 seat in the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona’s support race.

With the next round of Sunoco Whelen Challenge-eligible series not in action until early July, all eyes were on Silverstone where both the Mini Challenge Cooper Pro and F3 Cup championships had assembled for their latest 240 outings.

Reid arrived at the event on 124 points, 21.78 more than nearest rival Steve Burgess whose tricky recent Radical Challenge UK appearance at Spa had helped the Mini ace inherit a comfortable advantage.

Reid’s season average was so good – drivers can accumulate a maximum 140 points per race – that only a similarly strong showing at Silverstone would keep him on course for the highest score in the competition’s 10-year history. And although he was beaten for the first time this year, a victory to go with second place, two pole positons and a fastest lap meant his overall total was trimmed by just 0.43 points.

Race 2 victory went to Robbie Dalgleish, whose earlier podium and fastest lap also helped increase his season’s average by more than five points. That vaulted the JRD Motors driver up to fifth overall behind Dominic Jackson (Radical Challenge UK) and Kelvin Fletcher (British GT4 Am).

F3 Cup’s unpredictable season also continued at Silverstone where the spread of winners, podium finishers, pole positons and fastest laps again prevented a leading Sunoco 240 Challenge contender from emerging.

Stuart Wiltshire started and ended the weekend as the championship’s best placed representative, albeit seven positions and 11.5 points lower than where he started after only scoring points for two podiums. On the flipside two wins and a fastest lap helped Cian Carey jump 20 places to 14th, while former front-runner Shane Kelly is one spot further back after suffering another inconsistent outing.

Reid Keeps Racking Up The Points

Cooper Race 1

A superb race which settled down to the top 3 racing each other. Kyle leading for most of the race up until the lap 10 when both Simon Walton and Robbie Dalgleish passed him. Kyle re-took the lead on the next lap. Fingernail biting to watch. Kyle’s race craft clearly showing, track position and calm overtaking with late braking. the fastest lap going to Robbie Dalgleish.

The Am class was also great to watch as Alex Nevill and Andy Godfrey were lapping very tightly. Andy getting the lead on the 4th lap only to lose it 2 laps later. Meanwhile, Adrian Norman was driving like a seasoned pro to claim 3rd place. Fastest lap in the class went to Andy.

Cooper Race 2

The reverse grid had the 1st 6 places reversed. This left Kyle way down the field in P6. Could his unbeaten run finally come to an end? Andy Jordan was in pole position, next to Richard Newman. Jacob Andrews got a great start from P3 and led the race for the first 3 laps. Robbie Dalgleish, the race winner, clearly had a race win on his mind as he took the led on the 3rd lap. Meanwhile, it was all a bit untidy as Kyle was climbing through the front 5. P3 on the 2nd lap only to take a grassy moment and slip down to P5 on the 5th lap. He finally made it back to P2. Simon Walton was keeping them both honest and crossed the line in P3.

In the Am class, it was the usual 3 slugging away. Having a great race. Andy Godfrey leading the class for the first few laps to finally giving the place to Alex Nevill. Neal Clarke was in P3, making up for his non-finish in the earlier race. Adrian Norman was way down the track and had a P4, some 8 seconds behind Neal.

A great end to the racing in the Cooper class, exciting and full of surprises. Not 1 red flag and very few waved yellows.

Lundqvist & Reid Continue To Set Sunoco Whelen & 240 Challenge Pace

Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps welcomed BRDC British F3, British GT, Mini Challenge JCW and Radical UK Challenge drivers last Saturday and Sunday on a bumper weekend of Sunoco Whelen and 240 Challenge action.

However, two familiar names remain top of their respective standings after Linus Lundqvist defended his Whelen lead thanks to another winning British F3 performance, and Kyle Reid extended his 240 advantage despite the Mini Challenge Cooper championship enjoying a weekend off.

 Whelen: As you were at the top

 Linus Lundqvist maintained his healthy lead in the race for January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona prize drive courtesy of another fast and consistent British F3 outing at Silverstone. A victory, pole position and second place in the championship’s two Sunoco points-paying contests helped him average 102.5 for the weekend, the same number as his pre- and post-event totals.

A slight improvement from his nearest rival Phil Keen – who finished second in British GT’s race at the same venue – saw the overall gap between them close by 0.18 points. However, Lundqvist’s new 9.92-point advantage remains significant as the season enters its second half. Indeed, the Swede will likely require a poor weekend if the likes of Keen and third place driver Stuart Moseley are to make serious inroads.

Lundqvist’s F3 title rival Nicolai Kjaergaard remains fourth, albeit 24.37 points adrift, while a second victory and third podium in as many British GT3 races has brought Nicki Thiim into play. The Dane made a sluggish start to the season but has risen up the rankings in recent weeks and now lies just 2.05 points behind his fellow countryman.

TF Sport team-mate and ‘Dane Train’ partner in crime Marco Sorensen picked up extra marks for a third consecutive British GT3 fastest lap at Silverstone and lies sixth, one place ahead of Kush Maini who added 10 to his season’s total by claiming two British F3 podiums, a pole position and fastest lap.

British GT3 rivals Yelmer Buurman and Jonny Adam are next up, while the same championship’s best placed GT4 Pro driver, Patrik Matthiesen  rounds out the top-10.

240: Reid extends lead without turning a wheel

 A weekend off for leader Kyle Reid offered his Radical UK Challenge, British GT3/4 Am and Mini Challenge JCW rivals an opportunity to close the gap.

Steve Burgess went into the weekend as Reid’s nearest challenger after enjoying a strong start to this season’s Radical UK Challenge campaign. However, high average scores are only maintained through consistently strong results, and at Spa Burgess suffered his weakest weekend of the season so far. Indeed, just one podium and pole position across the three races reduced his average by more than 20 points to 102.22.

That’s 21.78 fewer than Reid and just 3.33 more than Radical rival Dominic Jackson who added 10 points to his season’s average by claiming three wins, two fastest laps and a pole position in Belgium.

Kelvin Fletcher also continued his climb up the standings thanks to another excellent British GT4 Am performance. Class victory and fastest lap sees him move up two places and nine points to fourth ahead of F3 Cup’s Stuart Wiltshire, who didn’t race last weekend, and Jon Minshaw who finished second in British GT3.

A perfect British GT3 weekend for Mark Farmer, which featured victory, fastest Am lap and pole position, sees him lie less than two points behind championship rival Minshaw and a similar number ahead of Mini Cooper Pro racer Robbie Dalgleish.

Ant Whorton-Eales picked up a brace of podiums to remain best-placed Mini Challenge JCW driver in ninth, while British GT4 Am Nick Jones rounds out the top-10.



First Win Of The Season For Collard & Smith In JCW’s

Jordan Collard took his first win of the 2018 MINI Challenge JCW campaign at Silverstone. The MINI UK VIP driver was on-form and fought his way back to the lead despite a poor start off the line.

A clean opening sector was soon shattered when a number of cars found each other at Club. George Sutton punctured his rear tyres but limped back to the pits without losing a lap, but retirements for Rory Cuff and Steve King brought out the safety car.

Despite starting third, Ant Whorton-Eales made a lightning start, taking the lead into the first corner, controlling the restart, as polesitter Collard hounded the leader. The threat was soon eradicated though as Collard’s failed overtake into Club put him behind Nathan Harrison and into chasing pack.

Ant failed to break away though, as Collard came back, retaking the lead into Luffield. This closed up the group with Rob Smith and Jac Maybin making up the leading quintet.

Collard though finally got his break, pulling away in the final two laps to take the win by 1.8 seconds. Rounding out the podium would be Whorton-Eales and Harrison, with the trio now establishing themselves as the championship leaders.

Smith would lead home Maybin with the latter continuing his strong run of results from Snetterton. Rounding out the top eight would be Ollie Pidgley, some five seconds behind, as he held off Louis Doyle and Jack Davidson.

“I think I did the most I could, putting it on pole gets me a few extra points.” said Collard. “I knew Ant was going to be quick so I had to finish in front of him. He’s grown a few points on me in the championship recently, but the next few weekends I hope I can draw some back and make it closer at the front.”

“Ant’s one of those rare drivers that’s hard but very clean, we must have been side-by-side for about half a lap. It was a ‘close your eyes and hold your breath’ moment, but overall it was a mega race.”

Race 2

In a shortened second MINI Challenge – JCW race at Silverstone, it would be Rob Smith who survived the affair to come out on top, taking his first win of the year with MINI UK VIP.

The second MINI race of the weekend started with a dramatic circumstances as Jac Maybin hit Ollie Pidgley on their formation lap. Maybin broke his front right tyre and was out almost immediately while Pidgley was forced to start from the pits, with rear left damage.

Even with the missing second row, the start was still a dramatic affair, as Jack Davidson after taking the lead into the first corner, lost control at Maggots, spinning into the gravel. This upset Jordan Collard behind, with the MINI UK car taking a trip across the grass at Becketts.

Polesitter Brad Hutchinson didn’t have it any easier either, dropping back behind the charging Smith as he too fell into the pack.

With an extended safety car, the race came down to a final lap shootout, as Smith held on to his advantage for his first win of the year. It proved to be a surprisingly regular podium set as Ant Whorton-Eales led home rival Nathan Harrison due to both avoided the drama in the opening lap.

Despite his off, Collard charged from eighth to fourth in the final lap ahead of Henry Neal, who will pleased to have recovered after his disaster of a Saturday. Lewis Brown started outside the top ten, but eventually moved up to sixth ahead of Hutchinson as David Robinson rounded out the top eight.

Lundqvist Fends Off Late Maini Challenge To Extend F3 Championship Lead At Silverstone

Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist converted his first qualifying pole into victory at Silverstone today (Saturday), but the Swedish driver was made to work for it after a race-long challenge from Lanan Racing’s Kush Maini. Douglas Motorsport’s Jordan Cane almost made it a three-way fight for the lead after closing up on the duo in the latter stages.

Lundqvist’s win, his fourth of the year, continues his trend of taking victory at every venue visited so far this year, and extends his championship lead to 48 points over Carlin’s Nicolai Kjaergaard.

Lundqvist had been fastest in both Friday test sessions on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, and continued his testing form into qualifying this morning, securing pole position by just 0.051s from Maini.

Maini topped the times for much of the session before the championship leader took over at the top with less than five minutes remaining, with Maini’s second his best qualifying performance of the year so far.

A late effort for Carlin’s Clement Novalak put him third on the grid, with the British driver 0.171s away from Lundqvist’s time, and 0.040s ahead of fellow Brit Cane.

Carlin’s Billy Monger equalled his best qualifying result so far with fifth, just 0.013s behind Cane, with Jamie Chadwick 0.017s behind in sixth for Douglas Motorsport.

Championship challenger Kjaergaard was seventh, but still less than a quarter of a second off the outright pace and only 0.006s behind Chadwick. A late effort from Hillspeed’s Jusuf Owega put him eighth on the grid, with Pavan Ravishankar taking his best qualifying result of the year with ninth.

Fortec’s Tom Gamble completed a top-10 separated by just 0.687s on the second longest circuit of the year. Less than a second covered the top-13 drivers, with the top-16 separated by 1.339s,

Race one
Lundqvist stretched his championship lead with a lights to flag victory in the opening race at Silverstone, holding off a late charge from Maini to take his fourth win of the season.

Maini was just 0.392s behind at the chequered flag, with Cane taking third for Douglas Motorsport, having closed right up to the top-two in the closing stages.

Novalak claimed fourth for Carlin, holding off a race long threat from Douglas Motorsport’s Chadwick in fifth, with Kjaergaard sixth for Carlin. Owega claimed seventh for Hillspeed after a late move on Carlin’s Monger, with Double R’s Krishnaraaj Mahadik and Fortec’s Gamble completing the top-10.

Lundqvist and Maini both made good starts to lead into Copse on the first lap, with Cane getting off the line well to claim third from Novalak. Further back, Kjaergaard passed team mate Monger for sixth place, while Mahadik had a great opening tour to rise from 15th on the grid to claim 10th at the end of lap one.

Lundqvist’s lead was almost eight tenths after the opening lap, but from then on Maini was fractions quicker, and brought the margin down to just under half a second by lap seven, with Maini setting a new BRDC British F3 lap record around the newly resurfaced Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in the process.

On lap eight, Maini was close enough to Lundqvist to attempt a move. Exiting Aintree corner, he was firmly in the slipstream down the Wellington straight, and challenged at Brooklands. He was alongside but took the outside line at Luffield, with Lundqvist holding him off across the line starting lap nine, with the pair separated by just over a tenth of a second. The pair were close again at Copse at the start of lap nine, with their scrap almost bringing Cane into the battle for the lead.

Lundqvist stretched the margin back out to almost half a second starting the last lap, and held off the Indian driver to win by just under four tenths, to increase his championship lead to 48 points. Maini’s second place puts him much closer in the championship standings to Kjaergaard, while Cane climbs to seventh overall.

The top-three drivers were presented with their trophies on the podium by BRDC member and GT racer Martin Plowman.

Jackson Cleans Up in Thrilling Spa-Francorchamps Encounters

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – Sunday 10 June 2018; Dominik Jackson walks away from the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit as a triple Radical Challenge race winner, coming out on top of an insanely close three-way battle to the flag for the final spoils of the Radical Festival weekend in Belgium.

After a smooth getaway for the last 40-minute endurance showdown, Jim Booth streaked ahead in the Invitational SR8 class, leaving Jackson to take the Challenge lead. Marcello Marateotto made the most of a run wide from Steve Burgess at La Source to take second ahead of Jérôme de Sadeleer and Brian Caudwell, leaving Burgess to slot into fifth.

While Jackson streaked away in a bid to negate his forthcoming maximum success pit stop penalty, all eyes turned to the battle for second when an excursion from Caudwell at Pouhon on lap three released Burgess to chase down the front runners.

An intense four-way battle unfolded but as Marateotto and Burgess diced coming out of La Source on lap six, de Sadeleer pulled off an awesome move to take them both through Eau Rouge. As Burgess remained stuck behind Marateotto, Team Challenge driver Tom Gladdis joined the fray for third in Challenge, Burgess and Gladdis regularly swapping order as they explored every opportunity to pass the Italian ahead of the stops.

With class leader Jackson, de Sadeleer and Burgess all to serve success second penalties in the pit stop cycle, Marateotto moved into the outright and class lead ahead of his RAW Motorsports teammates, Jackson and Burgess.

From there, the RAW trio fought hammer and tong to the chequered flag, dicing millimetres apart and changing order every tour. In the end it all came down to the final lap, Jackson finally finding a way around Marateotto’s robust defence in a move that started at the Bus Stop and concluded at La Source. Then a spin from Burgess at Bruxelles in turn delayed Marateotto, leaving Jackson to sprint to the flag. But the story didn’t end there.

Post-race penalties for short stops for both Marateotto and Burgess promoted Jim Booth to second overall and the Invitational class win, in turn shooting de Sadeleer up to second in Challenge. Kristian Jeffrey completed the podium slots after a solid run from 13th on the grid.

Mark Crader rounded out a strong weekend with fourth in class, comfortably ahead of John MacLeod, while Marateotto then completed the Challenge top six.

Peter Tyler built on teammate Gladdis’ stellar opening stint to take their second Team Challenge win of the day.

Challenge driver quotes:

Dominik Jackson: “That was one of the best races I’ve ever been involved in. Having the 20 second [success] penalty made it particularly hard. I managed to come out on top of a very, very close battle with Marcello [Marateotto] and Steve [Burgess]. It was as close as you get without ending up in the wall, but it was fair. Very good fun but very challenging. During the first half of the race I just kept putting in times as though I was in a qualifying session and I couldn’t do anymore than that. I just kept my head down and hoped I’d see the right car behind me when I came out of the pits. It’s been a fantastic weekend and we’ll crack on to Oulton Park.”

Jérôme de Sadeleer: “I had a perfect drive in my eyes for race three so I was really excited. I had the success penalty that put me behind a couple of guys [Marateotto and Burgess], but I heard they got penalties so I got bumped up to second place. I kind of feel like I deserved it because that drive was a very strong one – I didn’t make any mistakes and kept pushing, kept being focused. Being at Spa and getting two podiums is a dream come true. This is amazing. The car, I’m really starting to get used to it, to be able to drive it on its limit, to be able to set it up properly with the guys. It can only get better from here on.”

Kristian Jeffrey: “This was a really difficult one. In race two we couldn’t downshift so I was hoping the car was working on the warmup lap. The crew came together to strip the car and put everything back together in time so kudos to them. I didn’t expect to be on the podium coming from 13th. I think Steve [Burgess] and Marcello [Marateotto] had some penalties but we’ll take the gift. It’s good for the championship and points. I’m always knocking on the door for podiums, two this weekend, hopefully I can challenge for the win in the coming rounds.”

BGT: Back-To-Back Wins For Century’s BMW M4 GT4

An absorbing GT4 race eventually went the way of Century’s Aleksander Schjerpen and Jack Mitchell who moved into contention before the final driver change and then benefitted from the team’s sister BMW serving a 20s success penalty for winning at Snetterton.

Their victory also owed much to Equipe Verschuur’s bad luck, which saw pole-sitters Finlay Hutchison and Daniel Mckay retire with front suspension failure while leading by 35s at the start of the final hour.

That handed Ben Green and Ben Tuck the lead after the duo had worked their way up from sixth on the grid. However, their advantage over team-mate Schjerpen – who fought back from 13th after the first 30 minutes – wasn’t enough to overturn the full pitstop success penalty, which dropped them to a net third at the start of the final stint.

Meanwhile, late stops for Matthew George and Callum Pointon helped Mitchell inherit a 17s lead, which he extended by a further 10s over the closing stages thanks, partly, to setting a new GT4 lap record – 2m12.263s – and, with it, claiming the Sunoco Fastest Lap Award.

Two of Tolman Motorsport’s three McLarens retired through separate incidents, but its third – shared by Jordan Albert and Lewis Proctor – was the model of consistency en route to second despite carrying a 15s success penalty. Proctor’s incredible start helped the #5 570S leap from seventh to first, which became second by the time Hutchison had recovered after a slow getaway. There they remained throughout the race despite the various strategies moving others ahead and then behind.

Further back, the battle for the last step on the podium came down to the final laps. Tuck initially held the upper hand but eventually lost out to Matt Nicoll-Jones, whose Academy Motorsport Aston Martin he shares with Will Moore remained a top-five fixture all afternoon. Nicoll-Jones looked to have settled the matter with three laps to go, but the battle had also brought Patrik Matthiesen into play, and after the Dane dispatched Tuck at the same corner one lap later, the race was on for third. The HHC driver’s subsequent move at Luffield, which included contact with the Aston Martin, set up a grandstand run to the line. And although the Ginetta crossed it first, the positions were ultimately reversed post-race.

Tuck and Green finished fifth, while Jan Jonck and Tom Wood’s retirement with just five minutes remaining helped UltraTek Racing RJN Motorsport’s Pro/Am winners Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman complete the top-six. Fletcher’s performance in the opening stint against the Silver-graded drivers particularly caught the eye, while Plowman was as rapid as ever in his pursuit of sixth over the final hour.

George and his Generation AMR co-driver James Holder led the Pro/Am class until a late drive-through penalty dropped their Aston Martin behind Plowman and Fletcher, but they still finished seventh overall on a one-off GT4 outing together. George was also scheduled to drive the #44 Invictus Games Racing Jaguar before Paul Vice retired from the race early.

HHC’s second Ginetta of Will Burns and Mike Newbould, plus Team HARD’s two G55s, completed the top-10.

BGT: Farmer & Thiim Win Thier First RAC Trophy

Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim picked up their second victory and third podium in as many races to vault into championship contention at Silverstone after recovering from a spin and overcoming a 10s success penalty.

The Aston Martin was running second behind Ricardo Sanchez’s RJN Motorsport Nissan when Graham Davidson spun Farmer around at Maggotts in the opening stint, for which the Jetstream Motorsport driver was handed a stop/go penalty. That gave Sanchez a 16s lead before the first pitstops began after 60 minutes.

TF Sport’s decision to swap Derek Johnston with Marco Sorensen early helped the #17 Aston Martin jump ahead in the second hour, while Sanchez’s co-driver Struan Moore dropped into the clutches of the chasing pack after his seat mechanism slipped backwards, shifting his feet away from the pedals. The resulting early pitstop to rectify the issue effectively ended the pole-sitters’ hopes.

At the same time Thiim was making progress back through the field and moved into third behind Sorensen and Phil Keen when Adam Christodoulou’s Team ABBA Racing Mercedes-AMG retired with front suspension damage. Stopping later then helped the Dane inherit a lead that Farmer would retain when the second round of driver changes shook out.

However, the race was far from over thanks to the crew’s 10s success penalty for finishing third at Snetterton, which would be served at the final mandatory pitstop. Farmer pitted with exactly that advantage over Jon Minshaw, and when the Barwell Lamborghini followed TF Sport’s V12 Vantage in on the same lap it became a battle between mechanics and the stopwatch. Thiim then narrowly beat Keen off pit road and, with it, retained a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Instead, Keen’s attention switched to keeping Jonny Adam at bay behind. The Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin also driven by Flick Haigh started sixth but enjoyed four clean stints en route to its first podium since Oulton Park’s season opener.

Fourth should have gone to last year’s winners Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris who were reunited aboard Team Parker Racing’s Bentley as a result of Ryan Ratcliffe being taken ill with food poisoning this morning. So late was the call that Morris didn’t arrive at Silverstone until five minutes before his first stint began, by which time Parfitt Jnr had twice charged through from the back of the GT3 field after starting last – a penalty for changing drivers during the event – and then spinning mid-stint. However, the pair’s efforts were stymied by Morris’ yellow flag infringement, which resulted in a post-race two-place penalty.

Moore and Sanchez were also left to rue what might have been but still achieved RJN and NISMO’s best result of the season with fifth on the road and fourth in the final classification after finishing just 0.4s ahead of Johnston and Sorensen, whose 20s success penalty for winning at Snetterton took them out of podium contention. Nevertheless, the Dane’s pursuit of Moore over the final stint saw him claim a new GT3 lap record – 1m59.725s – and third-straight Sunoco Fastest Lap Award.

Barwell’s second Lamborghini driven by Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker finished seventh after a mid-race spin during a feisty battle with Thiim, Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell’s McLaren was eighth, and Beechdean AMR’s Andrew Howard and Darren Turner ninth. ERC Sport’s Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman completed the points finishers in 10th.

Team Parker Racing’s 2am finish on Saturday morning, the result of removing one car’s engine to rectify an oil issue and taking the whole front end off the second Bentley, saw it named PMW Expo Team of the Weekend, while Minshaw’s fault-free run from 12th to second helped him win the Blancpain Driver of the Weekend Award.

2012 Whelen Challenge Winner – Felipe Nasr Wins Chevrolet Grand Prix In Detroit

Detroit, Mich. (2 June 2018)   Whelen Engineering Racing used teamwork, strategy, and great race pace to score its first victory of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season on Saturday in the Chevrolet Dealers Grand Prix in Detroit.

This was Whelen Engineering Racing’s second victory in three years at Belle Isle comes on Sonny Whelen’s Birthday!

Drivers Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr, (Sunoco Whelen Winner 2012),  shared the driving duties in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing DPi-V.R to capture their third podium finish of the 2018 season. The post-race celebrations, which included a jump into the Victory Circle fountain for both drivers, were further boosted by the fact that the race victory came on the birthday of long-time motorsport and Team Fox supporter Sonny Whelen.

A crash in Friday’s practice session could have set the team effort back, but instead the group rallied to make repairs in time for qualifying. Curran started the race from sixth in the order and was able to move to run in fifth before taking to the pit lane for a stop for fuel and a driver change. Nasr returned to the field 18th in the order but worked his way forward to the top five by lap 38.

A final fuel-only pit stop on lap 39 set the stage for Nasr’s run to the front as he claimed the lead on lap 44 and refused to relinquish the point to score a big win for the team.

“It is a combination of everything,” said Gary Nelson about the teams run to victory. “The drivers did one heck of a job and we are really thrilled with what they did today. The pit stops were great. I think we have the best pit crew out there and we nailed the timing of those stops with the 31 today.”

“A big shout out to the Action Express, Cadillac, and GM guys who helped us get this win,” said Curran. “This is the place to be, and the place to win in our Whelen Cadillac. Hats off to the engineering team who took a not so perfect weekend and turned it around. The team did an awesome job with the car. This is my second win in the last number of years and if you are going to win a race, this is the best place to win one. It feels so satisfying to have our first win of the year. It is also a special win as it is Sonny Whelen’s birthday from Whelen. Felipe Nasr did a killer job and put it together perfectly. Again, hats off to all the guys.”

“It was a tough race but I will take it! Eric (Curran) and the entire Action Express Racing team did a great job,” said Nasr. “After our first practice, we ended up hurting the back of the car. The guys put the car back together and we had an amazing qualifying. The race itself was all about getting the right calls and we took the Continental tires to the very end, which they hang on amazingly so I was able to drive the car fast until the end. We didn’t have a great start to  the weekend but here we are,  and I couldn’t have asked for a better day to be honest. I am super happy!”

The next race on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be the Sahlen’s Six Hour at Watkins Glen International on July 1.

BGT Race 1: First Win Of The Season For TF Sport

A beautiful morning greeted teams and drivers at Snetterton where the first of two 60-minute races began under blue skies and bright sunshine.

Mark Farmer led away from pole and remained there for much of the opening stint until Graham Davidson and Rick Parfitt Jnr passed the Aston Martin on the same lap as the race clock ticked past one-third’s distance.

However, the timing of a Safety Car – to recover Balfe Motorsport’s stranded McLaren GT4 – would turn the race on its head. The contest was still neutralised when the pit window opened on the 25-minute mark, prompting all-but two cars – both of them GT4s – to stream into a busy pitlane.

With no success penalty to serve Jetstream’s Aston Martin should have re-joined with its advantage intact. However, a radio issue and subsequent confusion allowed TF Sport’s Nicki Thiim to assume a lead he would never lose. Indeed, the Dane completed a straightforward run to the chequered flag 7.4s ahead of Maxime Martin, who claimed his and Davidson’s maiden British GT podium.

Behind, Team Parker Racing’s challenge also faltered in the pits when a slow stop saw Parfitt Jnr’s co-driver Ryan Ratcliffe re-join in 10th. Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw therefore rounded-out the podium after their Barwell Lamborghini completed the opening stint in fourth.

Optimum Motorsport’s Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam came through from ninth on the grid to finish fourth but were penalised 30s post-race in leiu of a drive-through due to contact with Beechdean AMR’s Aston Martin, which retired during the opening stint. Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker therefore recovered from an early spin to take fifth on the road but fourth in the final classification aboard their Barwell Huracan.

While the top-five circulated apart after the pitstops, the battle for sixth raged until almost the very end. RJN Motorsport’s Struan Moore spent most of the stint trying to fend off TF Sport’s Marco Sorensen, who – try as he might – simply couldn’t prise an opening. He finally found a way past with less than 10 minutes remaining when the Nissan’s tyres cried enough. Yelmer Buurman (ERC Sport) also nipped through shortly after, although Moore did manage to claim P8 – which subsequently became seventh – despite Callum Macleod’s best efforts.

Haigh and Adam slotted into ninth ahead of Ratcliffe and Parfitt Jnr’s delayed Bentley.


The Safety Car’s timing had a significant impact on the GT4 result, just as it did 12 months ago at Snetterton. But, when then David Pattison and Joe Osborne’s victory chances eroded under similar circumstances, so they benefitted this time around to claim their first victory together with Tolman Motorsport and McLaren.

The opening stint belonged to Century Motorsport’s pole-sitter Ben Tuck who was more than four seconds clear of the chasing pack when the Safety Car intervened. Silver Cup pairings are required to serve a longer pitstop than their Pro/Am rivals, and when the field streamed in nose-to-tail it was clear the latter crews would instantly enjoy a 12s advantage.

Pattison pitted from third in Pro/Am but, despite Tolman having to service three cars, Osborne re-joined in second overall behind Matthew George’s Invictus Games Racing Jaguar, which was subsequently penalised for a short pitstop. But Osborne didn’t wait for the F-Type to serve its penalty and duly took the lead before cruising to a comfortable first British GT win since 2012.

Behind, similar penalties for UltraTek Racing’s Nissans helped Tolman’s #5 McLaren inherit second overall and first in the Silver Cup class. Michael O’Brien’s fast opening stint saw the 570S climb from seventh to fourth before Charlie Fagg took over. He then spent most of the final 30 minutes fending off Matt Nicoll-Jones, whose Academy co-driver Will Moore also ran third before the pit window opened, as well as Team Parker’s Scott Malvern whose co-driver Nick Jones pitted from 11th in class. Only a second covered the trio at the finish.

Two front-runners caught out by the late pitstop call were Century and Track-Club. The latter’s Adam Balon pitted from the Pro/Am lead and would have likely emerged first overall were it not for an overly long pitstop. As it was co-driver Ben Barnicoat finished fifth ahead of Ben Green, whose co-driver Tuck had seen his hard work wiped out by the Safety Car.

Daniel Mckay and Finlay Hutchison’s Equipe Verschuur McLaren and the third Tolman 570S driven by Jordan Albert and Lewis Proctor completed the top-eight, although the latter crew was penalised 30s post-race in lieu of a drive-through for overtaking before the start/finish line after the Safety Car was withdrawn.

That promoted Patrik Matthiesen and Callum Pointon to eighth after HHC’s duo recovered from their additional 10s pitstop success penalty, while Sennan Fielding and Tom Canning also worked miracles aboard their Steller Motorsport Toyota to finish ninth despite starting from the pitlane. Fox Motorsport’s Michael Broadhurst and Mark Murfitt completed the points-paying positions in 10th.