This weekend saw the start of the various racing events. The first round of the Britcar season which was held at Silverstone Race Circuit in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom on Saturday 24th March 2012. The Britcar season consists of two championships and one series. The Arrowpak Euro Saloons and Sportscar Championship, Britcar Production Cup and the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship.
The race day was jam packed with qualifying and four races which took place only on Saturday,rather than the normal Sunday Race days. The first race of the day and of its Series was the Arrowpak Euro Saloons and Sportscar championship, the series holds various classes from A-F which lasted for twenty minutes.
- Class A – Mid and front engined two seater sports or GT cars over 3,000cc or with forced induction, Escort & Sierra Cosworth 4wd, Mitsubishi Evo 4wd, Subaru Impreza 4wd, Nissan Skyline 4wd, FIA classified cars.
- Class B – Touring cars, 2007 onwards model year Seat Cupra challenge cars, Modified over 3,500cc.
- Class C – Modified 1750cc to 3,500cc, Mid and front engined two seaters 1,600cc to 3,000cc normally aspirated, Production modified over 3,500cc, Production over 6,000cc.
- Class D – Modified up to 1,750cc, Mid and front engined two seaters up to 1,600cc, Production modified 2,000cc to 3,500cc, Production 3,500cc to 6,000cc.
- Class E – Production modified up to 2,000cc, Production up to 3,500cc
- Class F – Invitation class catering for vehicles outside of these technical regulations, noting that entry to this class is at the discretion of the organising club.
Pole position was taken by No 7 TVR Sagaris driven by Darren Dowling in a time of 2:17:836 who qualified 1.286 seconds ahead of Andy Robinson’s No 6 Ford Falcon. In third position on the starting grid was Vaughan Fletcher’s No 16 Subaru Impreza.
The twenty minute fuel-frenzied race took place over 9 laps of the 3.6 mile race track. The No 7 TVR Sagaris fought to keep his pole position from theNo 6 Ford Falcon, it was a close race and at times I found nail bitting. Unfortunately for Andy Robinson in the No 6 Ford Falcon he was issued with a two second penalty for not respecting track limits. This inevitably saw the win handed to no 7 TVR Sagaris with a winning race time of 20:44:054 who was closely followed by No 6 Ford Falcon who crossed the line 0.597 seconds later. Third position was won by Barry Squibb who drove his Mitsubishi Evo 9 superbly to clinch the last step on the podium.
The second twenty minute race (race three of the day) in this series was as action packed as the first, it saw the winner of the first race come out of the running after lap 1. This gave a perfect opportunity to the second place winner of race one succeed to victory in Race 2 in a race time of 2:40:976 who finished a staggering 33 seconds ahead of second place driver Barry Squibb’s Mitsubishi Evo 9. Third place was taken by Derke Hale in the No 25 Honda Accord Super Tourer, who was also top of class B.
The second Race of the day was the Britcar Production Cup which lasted for 90 minutes. This championship holds three classes of cars which are:
Britcar Production 1
Maximum Engine Size: 3,500cc
Minimum Weight: 1,200kg Dry Excluding Driver Maximum BHP: 300bhp
Britcar Production 2
Maximum Engine Size: 2,500cc
Minimum Weight: 1,100kg Dry Excluding Driver Maximum BHP: 250bhp
Britcar Production 3
Maximum Engine Size: 2,300cc
Minimum Weight: 1,000kg Dry Excluding Driver Maximum BHP: 200bhp
Pole position was taken by Davies/Jones in the Sub-Zero Seat Supercopa with a time of 2:16:465, second position on the grid was Michael Symons BMW M3 who was 0.645 seconds slower. Third place was taken by Cunningham in the Seat Leon Supercopa who was 1.153 seconds off Pole.
The 38 lap race wasn’t as exciting as the first race of the day with little drama on track. The BMW who held second on the starting grid set the fastest lap of the race of 2.14.833 however due to numerous track infringements the No 11 BMW was black flagged and excluded from the race.
The race winner was Abra/Poole who had qualified in 5th in a race time of 1:30:51:279 who was fourteen seconds ahead of Cunnungham’s Seat Leon Supercopa. Pole position drivers Davies/Jones finished in 3rd place.
The fourth and final race of the day was the Britcar MSA Endurance Championship which was set over three hours. This race was not for the faint hearted and tested the drivers on their endurance driving and stamina. New regulations brought into the championship was the minimum pitstop time of 1 minute 55 seconds. This is designed to help keep the race fair to all classes of car. This championship had an array of beautiful cars which looked amazing going around the track. A few of my personal favourites were the Mosler MT900R, Ferrari 430 and Porsche 997.
Pole position was held by Morcillo/Cintrano/White No 6 Mosler MT900R with a lap time of 2:03:473 followed by Bailey/Schulz in the No 3 Ferrari 430. Third position on the grid was held by Millard/Heward in the SR2.
It was clear from the beginning of the race who the contenders would be for the podium, the only thing that could have a dramatic effect on the expected results would be if a pitstop went wrong or someone crashed out. At the end of hour one the No 6 Mosler was in the lead with a two lap advantage over the No 8 SR2. The No 3 Ferrari 430 was 29 seconds behind in third, However the No 3 Ferrari had to retire at lap 19.
As hour two drew to a close the Mosler was still in the lead but once the first wave of pit stops had taken place the SR2 in second position was only 39 seconds behind the front runner. As the race got closer to its finish and the drivers changed, the race order swapped several times. The overall winner of the three hour race was the No 6 Mosler MT900R who was a full two laps ahead of second place No 35 Marcos Mantis driven by O’Neill/Huggins. The last podium finisher was the No 54 Ferrari 430 driven by Tarrant- Willis/Hollings. I was quite disappointed that the SR2 only finished in 11th place after a strong start. By the end of the race only 16 of the 21 cars which took to the track finished the race.
The first race of the season has had mixed emotions for me but i cant wait for the next round at Donington Park on 21st April. One British upcoming racer who I am keeping my eyes on is Kyle Tilley who didn’t get the opportunity to showcase his talents this weekend but i’m sure he’s a rising star in the making.