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Race Reports - Donington Park GP 29/30 March

Mon 31 Mar 2014

Safety Devices | Gaz Shocks BMW Compact Cup

Yet another large BMW Compact Cup entry list meant that the cars were split into three groups to start the 2014 season, with two groups racing at a time.

Groups B and C kicked off proceedings with a red flag when Daniel Kirby span in front of the pack and was collected by James Nutbrown. When the restart arose, Stuart Voyce leaped in front of Alex Dew who started from pole and held on to his lead to take the race victory. Dew was also passed by last year’s champion Steve Roberts in the closing stages of the action. Mike Tovey came home fourth in his first Compact Cup race ahead of ex-Locost champion, Declan McDonnell. A strong race was driven by Simon Roche who fought his way up from the back to tenth.

Groups C and A produced the second race of the weekend. Despite Voyce taking the early advantage, David Drinkwater took the lead which he would never loose on the second lap at Goddard’s. Voyce was able to fend off Alan Kirkaldy despite the Scottish driver applying a couple of challenges. Michael Gray and Eric Zaleski passed Kirby on the penultimate lap in the battle for fourth.

Groups A and B were the final two groups to take to the circuit of the day. Despite an incredible start to move up into the lead from fourth on the grid from Roberts, Drinkwater passed Roberts around the outside at the end of the first lap and held onto the lead to take the victory. Dew also managed to pass last year’s champion to finish second ahead of Roberts. Kirkaldy, who ran fourth, had to retire on the fifth lap which allowed McDonnell and Farard Darver to complete the top five.

Millers Oils Toyota MR2 Championship

Matt Palmer started his title defence with a lights-to-flag race victory, although he did have to watch his mirrors all the way with Jim Davies on his tail. Stuart Nicholls had a rather lonely race, as did Ben Rowe and Nigel Ralphson who finished third, fourth and fifth respectively. John Wilson managed to hold off Alex Knight and Matthew Wallis in the battle for sixth position.

Palmer continued in victory form with another win in race 2. Nicholls held onto second place until the final metre when Davies squeezed in front as the cars passed the chequered flag. Wilson held on to fourth place after plenty of changes, Kristian White finished in fifth place ahead of Matthew Wallis and Mick Nicholls. Ian Burgess and Alex Knight were both involved in that battle but retired.

Two drivers were gaining signatures for their license before they go on to race in single-seaters this season. Firstly, George Russell who will race in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship and Formula Renault in Europe as well as Toby Sowery who will race in the MSV F3 Cup.

Spire Sports Cars Bikesports Championship

Jon-Paul Ivey took the victory in the first Bikesports race after two red flags. The latter being caused by Charles Harvey-Kelly and Elliot Goodman when they got caught up at the Melbourne Hairpin. Mark Conroy should have held on to second position despite James Breakell passing him on the lap before the red flag but the positions were reversed when the results went back one lap. However, Conroy was excluded for being underweight which meant Steve Burgess won class B. Class C was won by Richard Wise from Scott Mittell.

Ivey took an early advantage to assert his authority on the race lead; however after a strong drive from Burgess he took the lead at Coppice on the eighth lap. Ivey was able to fight back at the Craner Curves on the following lap to take the lead back and that allowed Dimmack to join in the battle. Ivey was just able to defend off Burgess and Breakell who came through in third when Dimmack peeled into the pits on the final lap. Ivey and Burgess both claimed class victories. Class C was won by Wise for a second time.

World champion and Olympic gold medallist cyclist Sir Chris Hoy took part in his first Bikesports driving his Radical SR1.

Disklok RGB Championship

Reigning champion and pole man Matt Higginson stalled and dropped to the back of the field in a breathless few seconds as the field scattered to avoid his stationery car. However, Higginson clawed his way back up to thirteenth by the end of the first lap.

A red flag was called after four laps by which time Higginson had got himself back into fifth. John Cutmore led from Alastair Boulton when the red flag was called and a 4 minute plus one lap restart occurred. However, Boulton had to take the restart from the pit lane and Paul Rogers, who started third, stalled and once again a collision was narrowly avoided. Cutmore held on to his lead to take until the final corner when Higginson squeezed his way through to take a fantastic race victory by just 0.04 seconds.David Wale came home in third. Boulton recovered to fifth behind Jonathan Thackeray. Paul Rickers finished in seventh and won class F.

A multi car collision between David Wale, Richard Wise and Tony Gaunt duing the second race of the weekend caused a red flag, then a six minute plus one lap restart. At the restart, Higginson wasn’t able to restart his car and was only able to re-join one and a half laps later. That allowed Cutmore to take a convincing victory from Rogers and Boulton who had to recover from two slow starts. Rickers took another Class F victory.

CARTEK Roadsports Endurance Series

Despite a brief off for both Rob Horsfield and Gary Goodyear, the pair had a good battle throughout the first part of the 45 minute Roadsports race. Goodyear in his Lotus Exige eventually made his way through ahead of Horsfield’s Toyota MR2.

Le Mans racer, Martin Short bought out his Toyota GT86 and finished in third position and won the Supersport Class ahead of the Porsche 924S of Steve Hewson and Robert Gilham. Gilham led the early stages of the race after Goodyear and Horsfield both had an off on the first lap at the Old Hairpin.

Jim Davies finished in fifth overall and took the victory in the Sport Class, in his Toyota MR2.Davies had a scrap with Russell Hennessey during the first part of the race. However, when John Wilson took the car over he dropped back to seventh overall behind the Supersport Class MR2 of Leon Bidgway and Andy Chapman.

Rebecca Jackson finished eighth overall and fourth in Supersport in her debut Roadsports outing in her Porsche Boxster. Jackson was closing Wilson throughout her second stint but wasn’t able to pass him. However the pair were passed by Bidgway on the final lap of the race.

5 Club Racing MX5 Cup

A good grid of twenty-four cars turned up for the first ever meeting for the 5 Club Mazda MX5 Cup. After a strong qualifying session Will Blackwell-Chambers dominated proceedings in the first race and won by eighteen seconds. After breaking away from the pack, Martin Tolley managed to assert his authority in second position. A fantastic battle broke out between Gary Hufford, James Rogers and Ben Short. The three drivers traded positions all the way through the race. At times the three were side-by-side. Eventually Hufford managed to pull out a tiny gap to hold on to third ahead of Rogers and Short. Andrew Coombs held on to sixth in another big battle. He finished ahead of Stephen Craggs and Sam Gendy after Gendy had an off on the final lap.

Blackwell-Chambers took another dominative victory in the second MX5 race where he took a fourteen second victory. Tolley managed to hold on to finish in second position after another competitive race for second position where there were plenty of order changes. Hufford marginally beat Rogers to the line for third position, with Short in fifth. Marco Aghem managed to close the battle for second in but could only manage sixth position. Craggs took seventh ahead of Paul Montieth, Andrew Coombs and Gendy who all scrapped for that place.


Tegiwa Civic Cup

In the first race Rich Hockley took the early advantage from the pole man, Robert Baker. Baker fought back to take the lead away from Hockley at the end of the second lap. Despite a couple of mistakes, Baker shortly took the lead back. Hockley lost time at the Old Hairpin on the sixth lap which allowed Baker to take a convincing victory. Luke Sedzikowski was the best of the rest and finished on the third step of the podium ahead of Mark Anderson and Nicholas Chatburn.

At the start of the second race Sedzikowski made a good start to lead the race for the first lap. However, Baker managed to take the lead at Redgate at the beginning of the second lap and would continue to take the race victory. A couple of laps later, Hockley managed to pass Sedzikowski at the same corner. However, at the end of the lap there was contact between the two out of the Melbourne Hairpin which fired Hockley into the wall. Tim Evans who was battling for a podium position with Anderson and Chatburn had an off at the Goddard’s Hairpin which put him out of the race. Anderson dropped back to seventh on the final place which allowed Chatburn to take third position.

Premier Choice Group 750 Formula

Billy Albone made a strong start to take an early lead from Ed Pither and Robin Gearing in the first race. He managed to hold the gap to the pair to take the victory. After a long-race battle with Pither, Gearing had a spin at the Melbourne Hairpin which meant he wasn’t able to take second place but held on to third. Bill Cowley managed to take fourth position after an early spin after passing the experienced Bob Simpson and Dave Robson. Simpson came home in fifth but Robson span out of the race at Redgate which allowed Andrew Kemp to finish in sixth place.

Albone continued his Saturday form into Sunday with another dominant race victory; although the victory was only by four seconds due to Albone slowing his pace in the second part of the race. Gearing and Cowley completed the podium positions. Pither had a slightly weaker race and finished in fourth.

750 Trophy

John Schultz took a dominant victory in the first 750 Trophy race of the season in his JoMo. He took a victory of a staggering twenty-six seconds to Danny Ruta in his DNC, with John Gaskin in a career best matching third. Michael Inglis was the best of the Austin 7’s and therefore won class A in fourth overall ahead of David Whetton who just fought off Alistair Frayling-Cork. Michael Harvey took the victory in the second race in his JB Special after not making to the end of race one. Schultz took the battle to Harvey but wasn’t able to beat him to the flag. Michael Dorsett in his HCS Reliant took third position from John Gaskin on the final lap after the pair traded positions. Inglis took the victory in the Austin 7 part of the race from Whetton and Pearson.