Donington Park Grand Prix
Sat 21 Sep
READ THE ROUND 2 RACE REPORT
READ THE ROUND 2 RACE REPORT
Sun 12 May 2019
There was a dramatic start to race day, with the early withdrawal of Donington Park Championship front runner JRG Racings James Goodall, who ended the day before it began with technical gremlins. Goodall wasn’t the only car with problems though as the Darkside Developments Seat Ibiza struggled to find form with geometry problems. It was the Championship newcomer Ben Davis, in the Foz Motorsport who took advantage of the gap at the front with a pole time just two tenths of a second ahead of the Norfolk Cars Mini of Neal Clarke and Andy Langley, Chris Howes-Roberts in the Lego Racing 88 Energy Honda Integra rounded out the Class B and overall top three. Foz Motorsport took Class C pole as well with Pete Bennett heading the campaign in that class. The Honda Civic of G&M Motorsports Colin Tester and Sam Gay became the meat in the Class C Foz Motorsport sandwich, with a late effort to take second just ahead of Simon Harrisons Foz Motorsport Clio in third. Class D was dominated by the Fiestas with Ronan Quinn taking the top spot in the Ronan Quinn Racing car, ahead of Tom Starkey in the Greenstar – Supatune car, Phil burden in the sister Supatune car rounded out the top three in Class D.
When the lights went out, the front row of Davis in the Clio and Langley and Clarke in the Mini got away well, but a stalled car on the second row scattered the field. This allowed the Apple Car Centre Clio to climb from seventh, to fourth, and third in Class B just behind the now Class C leader G&M Motorsport who was now in third on the road after finding a way past the Lego Racing Integra round the outside of turn one. The Class C Pole sitter Bennett in the Foz Motorsport Clio managed to hold second in Class C ahead of the sister Foz Clio of Harrison. Class D leaders Quinn and Starkey, second also managed to stay clear of the stalled car, but it was the 93R Motorsport and the Beaufort Fiestas who got the best from the start as they found themselves in third and fourth when the safety car appeared at the end of the opening lap.
As the leaders rounded bombhole corner, the safety car was called to clear the stricken car on the start line.
With the lights on the safety car out, Davis in the lead Foz Motorsport Clio backed the pack up and waited for his moment. That moment came just a corner later at Coram, when a sprinting Davis caught the pack napping only taking the Norfolk Cars Mini with him, albeit a car and a half length behind. Apple Car Centre was pushing hard to catch the leaders, and made their way to third ahead of the Class C leaders G&M Motorsport. This clear air instantly brought the Apple Clio on the pace, and they started closing the gap to the second placed Norfolk Cars Mini. With Lego Racing on their own for fourth in Class B, the battle for fifth down was heating up! With the FTP Motorsport, Redseal Racing, LWD Racing, FinSport Premier Racing and Saxon Motorsport all trying to stake their claim on the “best of the rest” position. Going into the pit stops, it was the Redseal racing BMW of Daniel and Patrick Seal who held the position, ahead of FTP Motorsports Chris Payne.
The Class C lead was held by the Civic of G&M Motorsport, ahead of the chasing Foz Motorsport Clio’s. Pushing hard Bennet in the Clio was trading lap times with the G&M car for most of the first stint of the race, while sister Foz Motorsport Clio was under mounting pressure from the Pro-Am Clio of Thompson and Johansson behind in fourth in class. This was how it stayed until the pit stop window opened, but with the gaps coming down, a good stop would be crucial.
The good start from 2018 Class D Champion 93R Racing saw Jack Youhill hold third in class behind the Fiesta of Starkey until the pit stops. Just behind the Beaufort car fought valiantly, but the Supatune Fiesta of Phil Burden eventually found a way through, as did Mike Devine in the Old Boy Racing Fiesta with a move on the Beaufort Fiesta under pressure in Hamilton Corner. This is how it stayed until the pit stops, with an early stop for the Beaufort car.
When the dust had settled from the pit stops, it was the Davis Foz Motorsport Clio who emerged in the lead. Apple Car center had climbed to second in pit stops ahead of the Norfolk Cars Mini. Fourth in Class B was safe with Lego Racing. Class C had also seen a change in the pits, with the Foz motorsport Clio of Bennett jumping the G&M Civic to take a class lead for the first time in the race. Pro-Am Racing’s Thompson and Johansson had also climbed to third with the retirement of Harrison from the podium place. The top two in Class D remained the same, while third place fell to Burden who had managed to the cutback Youhill with an early stop.
When the flag came down, it was the Clio of Foz Motorsport’s Ben Davis who took his debut TDC win ahead of the Clio of Apple Car Centre. Third in class was held by Norfolk Cars ahead of the Lego Racing – 88 Energy Integra of Howes-Roberts, who had been pushing hard to close the gap following a drive through penalty for the Mini. Class C was won again by Foz Motorsport this time at the hands of Pete Bennett, ahead of the G&M Motorsport Civic Type R and the Pro-AM Clio in third. Class D finished as it started, with Ronan Quinn in the Ronan Quinn Racing Fiesta taking the class win ahead of second places Tom Starkey and Phil Burden in third, four tenths of a second ahead of Youhill in fourth.