It’s been a good year for Martin Short and Rollcentre Racing. Having started 2016 with an overall victory in the Silverstone 24 Hours, the team followed this up with a strong return to the British GT Championship. To round off the year, Short and British GT co-driver Richard Neary blew the dust off the Rollcentre Super GT Mosler and drove it to victory at Oulton Park in the penultimate round of the Dunlop Britcar Endurance Championship.
The car hadn’t turned a wheel since a brief outing at a time attack event at Brands Hatch two years ago. With little time to sort out the best set-up for a likely wet race, Richard Neary found himself starting from the third row of the grid, nearly six seconds behind the pole sitting Ferrari of Calum Lockie.
Pre-race favourites were championship leaders Tockwith Motorsports with Nigel Moore and Phil Hansen, looking to sew up the championship they’ve more or less dominated this year in their Audi R8 LMS GT3. Despite a first-corner coming together with the ING Sport BMW Z4 GT3 of Kevin Clarke and Ian Lawson, they were able to keep on the tail of Lockie’s Ferrari 458 GT3 whilst the BMW recovered at the back of the field.
At the front Nigel Moore followed the Ferrari for six laps before squeezing past into the lead and the story of the race seemed to have been written. However, thirty minutes in, the Audi pitted for some running repairs after more contact on the track. Phil Hansen took the controls and had barely left the pit lane when there was yet another collision with the luckless ING Sport BMW. The contact saw both cars pirouette off together with the symmetry and co-ordination one might expect from this particular German ballet.
For the second time the BMW was able to get underway, but the Audi was stranded with little hope of a rescue truck getting to it and thus their race was run. Having avoided all the trouble, Neary found himself in second place behind the FF Corse Ferrari which Lockie drove for the maximum allowed stint of ninety minutes before handing over to David Mason. Martin Short took over the Mosler from Neary with 68 minutes remaining and very quickly caught and overhauled Mason to take the lead and eventually the win.
Despite its off-road adventures, the ING Sport BMW with Kevin Clarke behind the wheel was up to third by the time the pit stops arrived. Ian Lawson took over the driving, but couldn’t improve on a third place finish behind David Mason’s Ferrari and Martin Short in the winning Mosler.
Further down the field, fourth went to the only Class 2 car in the race, the Shaws Glass Porsche 997 of Mark and Peter Cunningham who had a solid race with no issues. Class 3 and fifth place overall went to Stephen Fresle and Jacob Mathiassen in the Century Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4, whilst their main rival, the Whitebridge Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Chris Murphy and Jonny Cocker, struggled home in eighth with gearbox problems. Sixth went to the Lanan Racing Lotus Exige GT4 of Joey Foster and Chris Headlam whilst Synchro Motorsport took the Class 5 victory with Alyn Jones and Martin Byford bringing their Honda Civic home in seventh overall.
The final round of the championship will take place in November with the Brands Hatch Indy circuit hosting Britcar’s annual ‘into the night’ championship finale.