Motorsport: Tom Griffiths in class of his own but it's not enough to take the title
PUBLISHED: 10:52 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 30 October 2019
Copyright 2019 Jon Elsey
Tom Griffiths can take some solace having outscored everybody in the BMW Compact Cup series, by quite a big margin, but the Besthorpe driver wasn't to be crowned champion after dropped scores had been factored in.
"Finishing with the most points and being the only driver to get a podium at every meeting would usually be enough to win many championships and shows just how consistent we've been throughout," remarked the local racer. "It's a bittersweet result but on the whole a step forward and a positive year. It's been a real family effort and I couldn't have achieved any of it without their support and providing a brilliant car every weekend."
The final meeting of the season took place at Donington Park with Griffiths holding pole position for much of qualifying only to be pipped to the top spot late on by Ian Jones with Steven Dailly in third ensuring all three of the title contenders were at the sharp end of the grid.
Griffiths made an excellent start to race one and tried a passing move on Jones at the opening corner only to be pushed wide by his rival and therefore lost several places.
Undeterred the local racer fought back to second place setting a fastest lap in pursuit of race leader Dailly, the newly crowned champion, but ran out of laps to challenge for victory.
Second place was still up for grabs with Griffiths fighting Jones in race two until the former slipped up putting both briefly into the gravel at McLeans Corner with Griffiths once more posting the fastest lap time to haul himself back to seventh place but ended up just one point shy of beating Jones.
"What a way to end a very strange season, with a win," declared Carbrooke's Peter Studer.
"Not only just any old win but the final of the Formula Vee Festival at Snetterton Circuit, seeing the TCR Challenger come away not only with the Festival trophy but also the Formula Vee Centre's prestigious Derek Willetts Trophy."
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John Hughes dominated both heats of the Festival with local racer Studer losing second place on the final lap during the opening race to Maurice Gloster while having to fight his way up the race order in heat two to claim a second third-placed finish.
In the final Hughes led away and steadily built a lead from Studer but on the final lap his Scarab Mk5 started to slow eventually stopping altogether at Coram Curve, which is within sight of the chequered flag, leaving the local racer to race by and claim victory and the biggest win of his career.
The Michael Igoe/Frank Perera Lamborghini Huracan dominated the GT Cup races at the Norfolk venue by winning all four of the races with their Italian supercar.
They were never out of the lead in race one to win by just under 10 seconds from the Graham De Zille/Daniel De Zille Ferrari 488.
Race two followed a similar pattern but the pair did briefly lose the lead during the pit stop phase, but quickly reclaimed command, to win by just over 16 seconds from the Ferrari duo once more.
After an early battle in race three the Lamborghini passed the Ferrari to take victory while race four went their way having once more only relinquished the lead during the pit stop phase chased home by the Grahame Tilley/Will Tregurtha Nissan GTR Nismo.
Mid Norfolk's Will Goff had an outing in a Porsche 911 GT3R and finished fourth in class and sixth overall in race one and was again fourth in the GTO class in race two but this time only eighth overall.
The final meeting of the year takes place this weekend at Snetterton with the Time Attack series concluding their season at the Norfolk venue with a firework display ending the meeting on Sunday.
New for this year will be a Night Session which takes place from 4.25pm on Saturday after the action starts at 9am and resumes at the same time on Sunday.