While the 2021 Britcar Endurance Championship made its first appearance of the year at Silverstone on Saturday, Sunday marked the Trophy Championship’s turn to take to the track. Featuring a packed grid of 40 cars, the variety is like none other. Two 50 minute races saw four different classes compete for supremacy out on the track with cars ranging from Ferrari 355s to Smart Four Fours.
The late entry of Simon Baker / Chris Clarke in their BMW 1M Coupe proved to be the car of choice as they swept the day’s races. Race one wasn’t all plain sailing as constant battles with the E46 M3 of Jans Sapra and Mark Lee in his Ginetta G55 early on kept them all on their toes.
An early safety car saw Sapra in the lead but a bold attempt by Matty Street saw him send his BMW up the inside into Abbey slowing both him and Sapra. Baker took the opportunity and flew around the outside of both of them in an audacious maneuver.
A further battle ensued between Sapra, Lee, and Baker with Baker leading as he pitted to hand the car over to Britcar veteran, Kevin Clarke.
Things settled down from then on with Clarke cruising to an easy victory. Lucky Khera had taken over from Sapra in the BMW but emerged behind Lee, who ran longer on his stint. Khera quickly despatched of Lee in a borderline move which saw the Ginetta dart from one side of the track to the next with the BMW still alongside.
Khera wasn’t to be so lucky as his car developed a major clutch issue and Lee easily cruised back by and into an 11-second advantage. That was until Lucky figured out how to drive around the problem and only finished 0.8-seconds behind Lee in a dramatic finish.
Class 2 went the way of Richard Higgins in his Porsche 996 911. Having run second for the majority of the first stint, he kept his car out of trouble and managed to take over the lead after the previous class leaders hit trouble after an earlier incident.
The class leader just so happened to be Stephen Chandler who made contact with Simon Khera (ending his race) on lap one and suffering front-end damage to his Golf. This didn’t seem to hinder his performance but a long pitstop to rectify the damage cost them dearly, dropping them to sixth in class.
Peter Spano and Andrew Bentley claimed second after running a quiet race and maintaining a consistent pace in their Ginetta G40 with Ryan Firth / Andy Mollison finishing third after also having a quiet race.
Class 3 was totally dominated by the classic Ginetta G20 of Steve Griffiths / Jamie Vinnall-Meyer. There wasn’t much in the way of action with the Ginetta clearing off into the distance but it was an impressive drive from Ivor Mairs in the MX5 to finish second in class. However, it was only briefly second as he was later disqualified for running on non-compliant tires.
This left Steve and Edward Cook to take second with Mark Jones / Robert Taylor in third.
Finally for race 1 is the Clio class. Never ones to disappoint, they put on a splendid show for the viewers all day long.
Anton Spires led away from the safety car restart but a battle between him and Ben Colburn soon intensified eventuating in a side-by-side battle lasting half a lap. Colburn eventually coming out on top and then deciding to pit with Spires following him in.
Richard Colburn managed to run as high as fifth before coming in for his late pitstop and handing over to James Black.
It would be James Colburn, having taken over from Ben, who took the victory with reigning Clio champions, Steve and Aaron Thompson following them home in second. Darren Geeraerts finished off the podium after taking the car over from Spires.
Race two was a much calmer affair than the earlier race with no incidents and therefore no safety car period this time around.
Class 1 was totally dominated by the 1M Coupe, started this time by Clarke who with 33 minutes to go, had a 6-second lead over second-placed Khera.
Further back the Smart Four Four of Rob Baker was storming through the field. Making up eleven positions in the first two laps alone before retiring with overheating issues. A day to forget for EDF Motorsport.
Back up the front, the top three positions remained as they started until the chequered flag flew. Baker / Clarke winning from Sapra / Khera and Lee in third.
Class 2 was once again expertly controlled by Higgins. This time leading the entire way through the race, to claim yet another victory in his stunning blue Porsche.
Spano / Bentley once again came home behind Higgins in second with Daniel Crossley third in a VW Scirocco.
Class 3 again saw total domination by the Ginetta G20 of Steve Griffiths / Jamie Vinnall-Meyer. Despite being up against far newer machinery, the classic Ginetta ran flawlessly and the balance of performance within Britcar allowed it to be competitive within the series.
Jones / Taylor once again finished on the podium, this time in second after overhauling the Cook duo who came home in third.
The Clio class, despite being won again by the Colburn duo, had close racing throughout the early stages of the contest with Colburn, Spires, and Ryan Firth separated by just two seconds before the pitstops cycled through. Spires even took the class lead at one stage despite starting last in the race.
Ultimately his pace wasn’t enough as the Colburn duo managed to sweep both races just like the other class victors with Spires / Geeraerts in second and Colburn / Black rounding out the top three.
The next race in the championship will take place at Snetterton on Sunday the 9th of May.
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