Sugden snatches victory from Le Bas at Castle Combe Tim Sugden picked up victory in round seven of the British GT Championship after former race leader, Peter Le Bas, tripped over a back marker in the closing stages of the hour long race at...
Sugden snatches victory from Le Bas at Castle Combe
Tim Sugden picked up victory in round seven of the British GT Championship after former race leader, Peter Le Bas, tripped over a back marker in the closing stages of the hour long race at Castle Combe in Wiltshire.
The start of the race was thrown into chaos after the start-lights failed to trigger, causing many of the drivers, including pole position starter Mike Jordan, to maintain grid formation.
A handful of drivers started as normal and the Dailysportscar.com Cup Class Porsche of Phil Hindley charged into the lead on the opening lap. The rest of the field realised that the race had got underway and begun to hunt down the Porsche.
Ricky Cole managed to get past first and led before a recovering Jordan moved into the lead on lap four. In the confusion, Nathan Kinch had spun the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari and the safety car was scrambled to deal with it.
At the re-start Jordan stayed out to the end of the pit-window. However, team-mate Mark Sumpter was unable to get out ahead of the Corvette, now in the hands of Peter Le Bas. Sugden was in second place and tried for several laps to close the gap to the Xero Competition car but looked resigned to second place.
A battle between the Cup Class Porsche of Colin Broster and the Vauxhall VX220 of Dan Eagling was reaching fever pitch when Le Bas came across them at Camp Corner. Broster had a slide through the corner and Le bas had to take to the grass on the inside of the circuit to avoid contact. The loss of speed allowed Sugden to dive past and onto the top step of the podium.
"I had some bad luck last weekend at Le Mans so I thought I might be due some good luck here," smiled Sugden. "The Corvette was incredibly fast and Peter was laying rubber down out of some of the corners and I don't think I'd have caught him without that moment," he added.
The Dailysportscar.com Cup Class victory went to the Lotus Sport Elise of Gavin Kershaw and Barrie Whight. The Lotus dominated the class throughout the race, picking up its second win of the season.
"The car is reliable and really quick now," said Kershaw. "I was chasing the N-GT Ferrari and when I got in the tow I was catching it. We can carry so much more speed through the corners than the heavy cars and it helps so much, especially here."
"The car was really good and it is just so quick now," added Whight. "I had no problems and it was really good fun for us."
Second place went to the Team Tiger Marcos Mantis of Jon Finnemore and Chris Beighton, this was despite a 10-second stop/go penalty for overtaking other cars while the safety car was on track. The Morgan Aero 8 of Keith Ahlers and Aaron Scott also lost out on a possible podium result for the same reason.
Third place went to Dan Eagling and Colin Blower in the Vauxhall VX220. A brilliant drive by Eagling and reliability and speed from the Vauxhall reaped the team its first podium result in only its third race start.
<pre> British GT Championship -- Round seven Results:
N-GT 1 Sugden/Cocker Porsche 911GT3-RSR 47 laps in 1h01m02.583s 2 Cole/Le Bas Corvette C5R 1h01m03.628s 3 Jordan/Sumpter Porsche 911GT3-RS 1h01m21.848s 4 Stanton/Pearce Mosler MT900R 1h01m30.239s 5 Niarchos/Mullen Ferrari 360 Modena 1h01m49.350s 6 Brady/Bonner Ultima GTR 1h02m13.740s
Dailysportscar.com Cup Class 1 Kershaw/Whight Lotus Sport Elise 46 laps 2 Beighton/Finnemore Marcos Mantis 45 laps 3 Eagling/Blower Vauxhall VX220 45 laps 4 Ahlers/Scott Morgan Aero 8 45 laps 5 Broster/Brown Porsche 911GT3-Cup 45 laps 6 Wilcox/Amorim Ferrari 360 Modena 45 laps