Michael Meadows and team mate James Sutton took their first, long overdue, win in the CR Scuderia Ferrari F430 at Silverstone this weekend. The penultimate race in Meadows' maiden season of the British GT Championship produced one of the most exciting race finishes, with the young duo fighting hard throughout the two hour endurance event to capture victory. Meadows, en route to his best performance of the year, posted the fastest lap, a time which set a new GT3 record at the Silverstone track. The pairing has looked strong throughout the season, but up until this weekend the two young racers had never translated their efforts into a race win. Capping the victory was CR Scuderia's sealing of the GT3 Team Championship crown with all three of the team's cars contributing to this success.

In testing on Friday Meadows and Sutton topped the time sheets, and followed this up in Friday free practice with fourth fastest lap, the highest placed CR Scuderia car. Saturday's qualifying session didn't bring the young Brits the pole that they had targeted, having to settle for seventh spot just 0.4 seconds off pole position Meadows was the driver selected to take the start, and with the expected rain holding off, the Banbury driver was determined to put on a good show at his home circuit. Start incidents and slower cars frustrated Meadows' early efforts, and in his eagerness to improve an over ambitious move on a Viper resulted in a spin for him.

After this excitement Meadows then settled into the race and began turning a succession of fastest laps, elevating the No.14 Ferrari to third position by the time he pitted to hand over the car to Sutton. Sutton took the wheel and began to consolidate on Meadows' efforts, moving up to second with the retirement of the Aston Martin. However with 30 minutes remaining Sutton had to return to the pits for a pit-stop rule infringement stop-go penalty, dropping the No.14 car to third, but within this, Sutton jumped the sister car. Passing the second placed Viper in the closing stages and with only the lead Viper ahead Meadows' team mate chased it down in search of the elusive win. On the penultimate lap he snared his quarry, took the lead and sailed past the chequered flag for the well-deserved victory.

Meadows said after the weekend, "We finally broke our duck and proved we could do it. It was a tough race and I made it harder with my spin at the start, but the car ran well and I was able to put the hammer down, even getting a new lap record, which was very welcome news. I really enjoyed driving the car this weekend, I'm really pleased that I was able to help CR Scuderia take the Team Championship, which is a great achievement for a team in its first year of competition."

The final round of the British GT Championship takes place at Donington, 10-12 October. Prior to this engagement, Meadows will race in the Formula Master series, heading to Oschersleben in less than two weeks time.

-credit: mm