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Brands Hatch Indy circuit hosted the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship


Race Start at Druids Hill Bend

Race Start at Druids Hill Bend

 

Britcar, Brands Hatch, 29 July, 2017

The Brands Hatch Indy circuit hosted the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship in association with Trico, to give its full rather unwieldy title, as part of a widely varied 18 race BARC programme over the weekend of 29 – 30 July. There are any number of national and international GT series around the world, and along with the British GT Championship, this is the one of the foremost in UK. It is also probably the most diverse, as the entries in its five classes at Brands Hatch embraced everything from a Smart to a Ferrari 458 GTE, with a wide mix of makes and models in between.

There were two races for the Britcar competitors, both being on the Saturday of the meeting, with a 50 minute sprint race in the morning and a 2 hour endurance race bringing the afternoon activity to a close. The endurance race also incorporated another 50 minutes sprint race within its time frame, with some competitors electing to only participate in the latter, including one of the three Ferrari 458s in the races. Whether it is a sprint or endurance race in the series, there is a mandatory pit stop, and if there are two drivers then there is a set minimum period for each driver. 

The sprint race on the Saturday morning was held in cool but dry conditions, as had been the qualifying session earlier in the morning, where Calum Lockie had put the FF Corse entered Ferrari 458 GT3 on pole position. In the race he proceeded to pull out a healthy lead from the various class battles raging behind him, making his mandatory pit stop to hand over the car to David Mason just before the pit stop window closed. He couldn’t match the lap times of Lockie, and on the short Indy circuit his pursuers hauled him in relentlessly, and then a late race safety car period when a BMW ended up in the gravel at the notorious Paddock Hill Bend, saw the pursuing pack on his tail. So when the track went green again they were swarming all over him, and trying everywhere to get past, with first Joe Macari in the Ferrari 458 GTE passing to get back on the lead lap, then Johnny Mowlem in the Ferrari 458 Challenge passed him shortly afterwards to take the overall lead, which he held to the end. Mason was then tipped into a half spin at Clearways by a pursuing Ginetta, allowing the Lewis/Knight Ginetta G55 GT4 to slip through followed by the Cunningham’s Porsche 997 Cup, finishing the race in that order, with Macari also slipping past before the chequered flag.

The afternoon mixed sprint/endurance race was started in the finishing order of the morning race, and by the time it started rain had fallen, making for a wet tyre choice. Over the course of the two hours the rain kept coming and going, eventually getting heavier towards the end of the race, such that rooster tails of spray were being thrown up by the cars. After the first few laps it was the trio of Ferraris at the head of the field, in the order # 7 of Mason/Lockie, # 5 of Grimes/Mowlem and # 43 of Gamski/Macari. As the rain eased there was the agonising decision of whether to go for slicks, as competitors were starting to seek out wet parts of the circuit to keep their tyres from overheating. Some opted to pit for slicks whilst others braved it out on their wet tyres, the latter being the wise choice as it turned out, because before long it started raining again. The constantly changing conditions was a wild card, and upset planning for a number of the teams, including the MJC/Furlonger Ferrari of Gamski/Macari, who were unsure whether Witt Gamski had spent enough time in the car. After consulting race control they found that he was 4 minutes short, so had to bring the car in from a strong 2nd place late in the race, dropping them to 3rd place at the chequered flag. The win once again went to the Ferrari 458 Challenge of Grimes/Mowlem, with the Lewis/Knight Ginetta once again finishing 2nd, and as mentioned the Gamski/Macari pairing filled out the podium. The Mason/Lockie Ferrari 458 GT3 was only competing in the sprint section of the race, and won that from the Porsche Cayman GT4 of Sean Cooper.

 

Ferrari Entry

Race #

Model

Chassis #

Team

Colour

Drivers

Position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R1

R2

5

458 Challenge

186905

FF Corse

Red-White

Grimes/
Mowlem

S1st

E1st

43

458 GTE

2842

MJC/Furlonger

Red-White

Gamski/
Macari

S4th

E3rd

7

458 GT3

3212

FF Corse

Red

Mason/
Lockie

S5th

S1st

E= Endurance, S=Sprint

 

Keith Bluemel         
08/2017