Sugden and Cocker Take Victory at Brands
Tim Sugden and Jonathan Cocker took victory in round 15 of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch this afternoon. The victory gives Sugden second place in the NGT Championship after the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari of Nathan Kinch and Andrew Kirkaldy failed to finish. Adam Wilcox and Ni Amorim clinched the Dailysportscar.com GT Cup class title.
Cocker and Kinch went wheel to wheel at the start of the race with Kinch finally coming out in the lead after the new champion had tried to make a move at Paddock Hill Bend stick on two occasions.
Cocker managed to hang on to the rear of the Ferrari up until the pit-stop window, where Sugden was able to get out ahead of the Ferrari, as it took a longer stop. A safety car period during the pit-stop window put an element of confusion amongst the teams, as Neil Cunningham took over the Embassy Corvette from Richard Hay, but lost a lap on the leading pack.
As Sugden pulled out a strong lead at the front, Cunningham was under the impression that he was in the thick of the front-runners and as Sugden came up to lap him he refused to give way.
Andrew Kirkaldy had set an incredible pace trying to catch Sugden. However, the exhaust manifold on the Ferrari cried enough and the Scot had to retire into the pits, gifting Sugden the runner-up position in the championship.
"It was great to have a good battle at the beginning," said Cocker. "We knew we had to push and try to win to help Tim take second in the championship, but in the end they [Kinch and Kirkaldy] had a problem with their car, so it wasn't necessary to push so hard," he added.
Nigel Greensall pushed Sugden hard after the safety car pulled in. The RSR TVR looked to have the measure of the success ballasted Porsche. But, Sugden was able to react and managed to pull out a lead over the rest of the field before crossing the line. Greensall was able to bring the TVR home to equal the team's best result of the season.
Piers Johnson brought the Eclipse TVR home in a well deserved third place. He was under immense pressure from Mark Sumpter throughout the second half of the race and the Porsche driver managed to close within a handful of seconds on the final lap to take fourth, after driving by himself for the hour-long race.
Nick Adams and Marco Attard took victory in the Dailysportscar.com GT Cup Class. Gavan Kershaw hassled the NGT pack in the opening half of the race in the Lotus Elise. However, the car developed a mis-fire, ending its impressive run.
"We're really happy with that result," said Adams. "We were lucky that the Lotus retired as it was going so well," he added.
Allan Simonsen took a hard fought second place to lead the Morgan of Keith Ahlers and Aaron Scott.
Wilcox and Amorim were fourth across the line, but when Adam Sharpe's team-mate Dominic Lesniewski beached the Tech 9 Porsche in the Paddock Hill gravel trap, it gifted them the Cup Class championship.
British GT Championship -- Round 15 Brands Hatch -- Race Results
NGT 1 Sugden/Cocker Porsche 911 GT3-RSR 1h00m46.257s 2 Tomlinson/Greensall TVR T400R 1h01m08.041s 3 Hyde/Johnson TVR T400R 1h01m10.310s 4 Sumpter Porsche 911 GT3-RS 1h01m10.992s 5 Niarchos/Mullen Ferrari 360 Modena 1h01m27.588s 6 Hay/Cunningham Corvette C5R 1h01m34.837s
Dailysportscar.com GT Cup 1 Attard/Adams Ferrari 360 +3 laps 2 Lester/Simonsen Ferrari 360 +3 laps 3 Ahlers/Scott Morgan Aero 8 +3 laps 4 Wilcox/Amorim Ferrari 360 +3 laps 5 Burton/Flux Ferrari 360 +4 laps 6 Bilmoria/Wandless Porsche 911 GT3-Cup +4 laps