EXCELR8 enjoy British Touring Cars ‘double’ at Croft
- Credit: Archant
The locally-based EXCELR8 British Touring Car team finished the latest round, at the Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, with both cars crossing the finish line in the final race.
It was a tough weekend for drivers Rob Smith and Sam Osborne, with the latter unable to post a finish in either of the two opening races, with his MG6 having taken to the rallycross track in the opening event before spinning while Smith, who was feeling more comfortable in his version, raced to 22nd and 24th in the opening two races.
However, the best was left until race three with Smith running in 18th place after a tremendous start, but falling behind team-mate Osborne on the 13th lap, fighting for position, to finish in 22nd place once more.
"Very happy to have a 21st place finish in the last race," said Osborne on seeing the chequered flag for the first time. "Still have a lot of progress to make."
Shipdham's James Hillery found Oulton Park a tough venue in his second ever Mini Challenge meeting, bringing home his Pro-Class car in fifth place in the opening race.
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The local racer was challenging for a podium place in the early laps of race two before a front wheel bearing hobbled his efforts and he rolled home in 10th place.
Harry King regained the Ginetta SuperCup GT4 lead after taking the chequered flag first in all three races in his Elite Motorsport-prepared car - but a penalty in race two dropped him to fourth place in the results.
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"Lights to flag victory in race two only to be spoiled by a 10-second penalty for being slightly out of our grid slot. We still managed to pull through and finish P4. Rules are rules but this was tough," admitted King.
The opening Ginetta Junior race was halted and not restarted leaving the youngsters only one race at the North Yorkshire venue.
James Hedley claimed pole position for the Shipdham-based Elite Motorsport team, but it was Will Martin who grabbed the early lead with the mud splatted Hedley narrowly failing to unseat the winner.
Attleborough's Jeremy Clark claimed his first 70s Road Sports victory in the second race at Cadwell Park having beaten race one winner, Charles Barter, away from the starting grid.
Barter recovered to breeze past Clark's Lotus Elan, but when the fan belt jumped off the leading Datsun 240Z, putting it into a spin, the local racer reclaimed the lead.
Meanwhile, John Dickson's season may have come to an end when his Ferrari 308 GTB's engine ingested an errant bolt, leaving the Rickinghall racer watching from the sidelines.
"Wow, brutal 24 Hours of Le Mans for us," said Alex Brundle, who was lead driver in the #32 United Autosports LMP2 entry.
"We got the car to the finish, thanks to the incredible perseverance of the pit crew," added the King's Lynn racer.
"I had a left rear tyre failure, which isn't a pleasant feeling, at around 6am. The rear snapped away and I did well to keep the car out of the wall and get back to the pits."
The badly-damaged rear bodywork was replaced on the way to 14th place, having held eighth at half distance.
Meanwhile, a 12-Hour endurance race for the Ford Ka was taking place at Snetterton, which became a shoot-out between Burton Power Racing and Kool Airunnings with the latter relying on Ralph Fernihough to see them home by 12 seconds.
Attleborough's Jordan Honeybone took the chequered flag first in the Trackday Trophy event, but the race officials adjudged him to be at fault in a collision, elevating Craig Sampson and Kester Cook to the top spot.
The Ferrari Challenge is new to the UK this year with Snetterton the venue for the second of four events which feature twin races for the 488 Challenge and three Classic races in support.
The action starts from 9am on both days, intermingled with Ferrari customers sampling the Snetterton layout with their prancing horses.