Eclipse Team Take Victory on GT Return The Eclipse Motorsport team took a hard-fought victory in round nine of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park this afternoon. The victory came after a six-car accident at the first corner that...
Eclipse Team Take Victory on GT Return
The Eclipse Motorsport team took a hard-fought victory in round nine of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park this afternoon. The victory came after a six-car accident at the first corner that eliminated current series leader Jonathan Cocker from a decent points finish, ultimately finishing sixth.
As the lights went green Mike Jordan took full advantage of pole position and headed Cocker and Peter Le Bas into Old Hall. Le Bas' Corvette looked up the inside of Cocker's GruppeM car and made contact. The result was a spin which took the Embassy Corvette and the Jones' brothers Porsche out of the race.
The safety car was scrambled to help clear the Corvette from the circuit which wiped out Jordan's hard- earned lead over Jonathan Coleman in the RSR TVR. Cocker was able to limp round to the pits with a puncture but the spin and the stop cost him dearly and he rejoined a lap down on the rest of the field.
Steve Hyde took full advantage of the chaos after finding himself in third place once the safety car came in. He worked his way past Coleman and held second place before handing over to Piers Johnson. Jordan handed over to Mark Sumpter a few laps later, leaving Coleman in the lead, before he too handed over to Rob Croydon.
Johnson managed to pass the success-ballasted Porsche of Sumpter on lap 18 for the lead, leaving the former champion to battle with Croydon. The TVR looked up the inside of the Porsche on a couple of occasions but Sumpter kept his lines covered.
The Porsche driver pushed too hard though and spun on the exit of the Knickerbrook chicane on lap 31, handing second place to Kinch and Kirkaldy, who had staged an incredible recovery drive to snatch a podium result.
The hard work by the RSR team came undone when Croydon made contact at the barriers at Druids just two laps from the chequered flag.
"It was difficult being chased in the second half of the race," said Johnson. "I was basically trying to keep everything smooth and tidy and it worked really well. The whole team is really pleased as it was here lat year that we last stepped onto the top step of the podium," he added.
The Dailysportscar.com GT Cup Class lost one of the front-runners in the first corner mayhem. Peter Chambers was caught out and was unable to continue.
Gavan Kershaw drove a superb race to hand the Lotus Sport Elise over to Barrie Whight with a good lead. Whight thought that his team was joking when they gave him a 17-second lead on his pit-board, but the Lotus was the class of the GT Cup field, leaving the Marcos Mantis of Jon Finnemore and Chris Beighton to come home a lonely second ahead of the Porsche of Colin Broster and Tony Brown.
"This is just the result we were looking for after Castle Combe," said Kershaw. "The first corner was a bit of a nightmare but we went from 5th to 2nd straight away, so we won't complain!" he added.
A fantastic battle between Adam Sharpe and Steve Wood kept the action level high in the class. However, Sharpe was forced to drop out of the contest after a spin left him to limp over the line in seventh place.
British GT Championship -- Round 9
Oulton Park -- Results
1 Hyde/Johnson TVR T400R 33 laps in 1h00m45.863s
2 Kinch/Kirkaldy Ferrari 360 Modena 1h00m53.423s
3 Jordan/Sumpter Porsche 911 GT3-RS 1h01m12.923s
4 Hartshorne/Mundy TVR T400R 1h01m47.401s
5 Stanton/Pearce Mosler MT900R 1h02m01.005s
6 Hughes/Cocker Porsche 911 GT3-RSR 32 laps
Dailysportscar.com GT Cup Class
1 Kershaw/Whight Lotus Sport Elise 32 laps
2 Beighton/Finnemore Marcos Mantis 32 laps
3 Broster/Brown Porsche 911 GT3- Cup 32 laps
4 Lester/Simonsen Ferrari 360 32 laps
5 Wood/Scott Porsche 911 GT3-Cup 32 laps
6 Ahlers/Scott Morgan Aero 8 31 laps