Wins for JMH Ferrari and FF Corse in the Sprint Category while MacG Racing wins both Endurance Class.
Heavy rain all day meant that qualifying was run behind the safety car with each driver completing 3 laps. The grid was therefore a mixed bag as it was formed up by class then championship positions within that class. Two non starters would the Porsche 911 of Michael Igoe / Adam Wilcox and the Smart4Four of Rob Baker as they both spun and crashed heavily in the mornings Free Practice session. Baker suffered broken ribs as the session was red-flagged just seven minutes into the planned twenty minutes.
A very confusing start saw David Mason and Jonny MacGregor ahead of the pace car and situation made worse when Mason followed the Pace Car as it came into the pits as the rest took the start. Going into Abbey it was a huge cloud of spray as it was three wide for the lead, and emerging out front was Fulvio Mussi in the FF Corse Ferrari 458.
At the back end of the field Richard Neary in his BMW M3 was making good progress along with the Lotus Exige of Joey Foster. Further back Mason was doing his best to catch the field but the weather has hampering the Ferrari, so an early pitstop for Ross Wylie to take over and try and make the best of the situation.
As Mason / Wylie stopped early they were now three laps behind. Mussi was one of the last to stop in his Ferrari before handing over to Ronnie Garrick took over for his debut. Unfortunately his debut didn't last long as he hit the wall at Abbey damaging the rear-end of the Ferrari. Garrick though wasn't the only to be caught out. Alex Day retired his Audi A4 suffering the same fate, Chris Murphy's Aston Martin was assisted into retirement by Ollie Willmot's Astra, who managed to get his car back to the pits.
With all the pitstops now taken place, Wylie, despite the conditions, was now back onto the same lap as race leader Stanley. Time ran out for Wylie to challenge for the lead, but was only 4s behind the race winner Stanley. Completing the podium was the Taranis of Jonny MacGregor, the first of the Endurance category.
Second in the Endurance category went to Mike McCollum and Sean Cooper in their Track Focused KTM X-Bow while Simon Rudd and Tom Barley finished third as they chase the title in their Ginetta G55.
Due to the weather conditions, the Endurance category would only have a 50 minute race instead of their normal 2 hours. Race 1 winner John Searle and Jamie Stanley sat this race out due to a broken brake calliper. Also missing was the Astra TCR of Wilson / Willmott and Garrick's Ferrari (damage sustained in race 1 for these crews). Also in trouble in race 1 was the Aston of Chris Murphy and the Audi of Alex Day, but the respective teams managed to work their magic and get both out for the race.
Ross Wylie took the lead at the start with the Taranis behind and then Neary in the BMW. Hassling Neary was Ross McEwen in the Track Focused KTM. Starting at the back was Alex Day in his Audi and he was making huge moves and was up to 13th.
Despite leaving it late to stop when the pit stop window opened, David Mason, who had taken over from Wylie, emerged still out front. Ben Sharich was now at the helm of the Taranis and was making grounds on the Ferrari, chasing down the 45s gap and a massive 5s a lap with 15 minutes left on the clock. Mason though responded and managed to stave off the charge and claimed the win by 11s. The Taranis of Sharich finished second while completing the podium was the Track Focused KTM of McCollum / Cooper, again the first of the Endurance Category.
Further back a great race was going between Tom Barley in his Class 3 Ginetta, Jon Watt's Class 4 BMW M3 and Max Coates in the SEAT Cupra TCR. Barley and Watt were racing hard and this brought them up to Coates. Watts made a move 2 laps from the end that saw Coates lose 2 places and Watts now leading the trio.
The Endurance Category with only 50 minutes of racing were mixing more racing with the Sprint runners and involved in those battles. Despite this, The KTM X-Bow of McCollum claimed another win with the sister KTM X-Bow in second followed by the Ginetta pairing of Simon Rudd / Tom Barley.
The next race is at Brands Hatch (17-18 November) and racing into the night round the Indy Circuit. Lots of points on offer over the weekend it looks like both the Sprint and Endurance Categories will be going down to the wire.