A cold and damp Brands Hatch indy circuit was the setting for the opening round of the 2010 Britcar championship. Grid numbers were slightly down but this didn’t seem to affect the quality of the racing, with some great battles going on in all classes.

The Britcar GT race saw last year’s champions Witt Gamski and Keith Robinson take the win in the MKC team Ferrari F430 GTC, while in the production event the race went to the no. 58 BMW M3 E36 driven by Keith Webster of Geoff Steel Racing... [read more]

The morning started off with qualifying sessions taking place on the damp, but drying indy circuit with the forecast predicting no further rain for the day. By the end of the first set of qualifying sessions the track was still damp in places, but a bit of welcome sunlight soon dried this up. 

The production class set out for a half hour qualifying session with Mike Jordan and Steven Wood taking pole position in the no. 77 Eurotech Ford Mustang, lapping the damp circuit in 53.715. Taking the second grid spot was the no. 80 Rover MG ZR driven by Thomas Carnaby with the no. 58 BMW E36 of Keith Webster in third. 

The race got started after two formation laps with the Mustang tearing down the Brabham straight with its V8 roar, while holding onto first place. Keith Webster took second place early on by passing the MG ZR coming out of Paddock Hill bend, setting his sights on Steven Wood in the Mustang. As the cars came out of Druids the no. 64 Seat Leon Supercopa driven by Mark and Peter Cunningham and qualified 4th, pulled off with a problem and limped back to the pits, rejoining shortly after albeit 2 laps down as they attempted to fight their way back up the field. 

As the leading class 1 cars started to pull away from the rest of the field, it was clear Keith Webster had good pace keeping close to Steven Wood in the Mustang. As the Mustang started to pull out a bit of a gap, Webster pulled into the pit for fuel on lap 37, emerging 2 laps down but with the rest of the race to make up the gap. 

The Mustang took its decision to pit on lap 59, where a driver change saw Mike Jordan step into the car. The stop took a bit longer than expected and when the no. 77 Mustang emerged with Jordan at the wheel, they were 27 seconds down on Webster who now had a comfortable lead, with uncertainty on how long he could hold it for. 

The remaining laps saw Jordan closing the gap on Webster’s M3, getting it down to 20 seconds on lap 70. An exciting prospect of a close finish between the two ended after 91 minutes with Webster winning by over 8 seconds from Mike Jordan in second place on lap 103. An impressive effort by Mark and Peter Cunningham saw them finish 3rd after problems on the first lap left them 2 laps down. 

Other notable finishes were Gino Ussi in the no. 56 BMW M3 E46 finishing 5 seconds ahead of Angus Dawe and Mike Wilds in the M3 E36. A moment at druids in the closing laps left the no. 65 Ford Escort Turbo stranded in the gravel trap, which then had to sit out the rest of the race being classified in 10th. 

Britcar Production Class Race Results:

01 Keith Webster - BMW M3 E36 - Geoff Steel Racing
02 Mike Jordan/Steven Wood Ford Mustang - FR500GT4 - Eurotech Racing
03 Mark Cunningham/Peter Cunningham - Seat Leon Supercopa - SG Racing
04 Gino Ussi – BMW E46 M3 - Geoff Steel Racing
05 Angus Dawe/Mike Wilds – BMW M3 E36 - Intersport
06 Don Norchi/Piers Johnson – Volvo S60 T5 - Kalmar-Union.com
07 Thomas Carnaby – Rover MG ZR - Gary Carnaby
08 Ian Lawson/Anthony Wilds – BMW 320i E46 - Ian Lawson
09 Mick Mercer/Gary Smith – Ginetta GT4 - In 2 Racing
10 Dave Cox/Jason Cox/Michael Cox – Ford Escort Turbo - Race Car Spares Motorsport 

In the GT class qualifying took place on a now much dryer track, with the sun poking through the clouds for some of the session. The top spot was taken by Sean and Michael McInerney in the Mosler MT900R with a quick lap of 46.253, almost 8/10ths quicker than last years champions in the Ferrari. The 3rd and 4th spots were also taken by F430s, that of the no. 12 JMH racing and no. 21 M TECH Motorsport respectively. The 5th spot was taken by Stephen Brady and Michael Millard in the no. 8 Ultima, but a trip through the gravel at Druids left the car stranded in the last 10 minutes unable to put in any more lap times. 

As the cars piled into Paddock hill bend at the start of the race, the positions at the front stayed the same, with some overtaking going on further down the field. The Azteca Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3 climbed up to 8th position from 11th in the opening laps before being passed by the no. 46 Lotus Exige, driven by Chris Headlam and Jamie Stanley. The Porsche then took the position back at Druids hairpin. 

At the front the Mosler powered its way round catching the MJC Ferrari, but determined not to go a lap down the F430 driven by Witt Gamski put up a fight resulting in him being tapped into a spin by the Mosler on the exit of Graham Hill bend, leaving the helpless Ferrari on the grass. Luckily Gamski got the car going again and after a quick pit stop and driver change over to Keith Robinson, the car gradually climbed its way back up to second place. 

A close battle was going on between the no. 41 Azteca Porsche 996 and the no. 50 Eurotech Ginetta G50 driven by the Jordan pair. Both cars were jostling for position as the Porsche was closing right up on the straights but couldn’t quite hold it like the Ginetta in the corners. 

By now the battle at the front had gotten even more exciting with the second place MJC Ferrari having caught up on the same lap as the Mosler and chasing him down, clearly giving it everything he had. After seemingly a final pit stop from both cars, the Mosler was in the lead and clearly had the race in the bag. That was until lap 153 when the Mosler dived into the pits yet again for its actual final pit stop, where the Ferrari went into the lead. Some uncertainty followed as to whether the Ferrari needed to pit again, but on lap 181 the no. 1 MJC F430 driven by Witt Gamski and Keith Robinson took the chequered flag to claim the race win of the first round of the Britcar Championship. 

A great result for the no. 21 M-TECH Racing Ferrari F430 saw Duncan Cameron and Mike Edmunds take the final spot on the podium winning their class, with the Ginetta G50 driven by Andrew and Mike Jordan in 4th spot also winning their respective class. 

Overall an exciting race which could have been made better with a few more cars but some great racing was seen in all classes. The grids should fill out a bit as the season goes on but it looks set to be an exciting year for Britcar. 

Britcar GT Class Results:

01 Witt Gamski/Keith Robinson – Ferrari F430 GTC - MJC Ltd
02 Sean McInerney/Michael Mcinerney – Mosler MT900R – Eclipse Motorsport
03 Duncan Cameron/Mike Edmunds – Ferrari F430 – M-TECH Racing
04 Andrew Jordan/Mike Jordan – Ginetta G50 GT – Eurotech Racing
05 Javier Morcillo/Manuel Cintrano – Porsche 996 GT3 – Azteca Motorsport
06 Aaron Scott/Andy Ruhan/Arwyn Williams – Ferrari F430 - JMH
07 Owen O’Neil/Henry Fletcher – Marcos Mantis GT3 – Topcat Racing
08 Neil Huggins/Raphael Fiorentino – Marcos Mantis GT3 – Topcat Racing
09 John Dhillon/Nima Khandon-Nia – Ferrari F430 – M-TECH Racing
10 Colin Mowle – KTM – ABG Motorsport 

For more information on the 2010 Britcar Championship, click here 

For more photos from the opening round of the 2010 Britcar Championship at Brands Hatch, click here

Photo/Editorial: Seamus Rafferty

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