It was not probably the most encouraging of begins to a title-deciding assembly. Factors chief Dan Zelos crashed at Westfield throughout Friday apply, and that meant his Excelr8 Motorsport crew had a busy night forward of themselves. “That harm my confidence a bit,” admitted Zelos – not that you’d have recognized it as he emerged with the crown after a dramatic finale.
He certified down in ninth, however work to enhance his automobile earlier than the primary race paid dividends. A storming opening tour left Zelos in fifth earlier than a prolonged safety-car interval restricted his progress. He did bounce Brad Hutchison on the restart, however was unable to climb greater and misplaced out to the guesting Bobby Thompson on the ultimate lap.
Third place behind race-long chief Lewis Brown and Sam Weller for Zelos’s key rival, team-mate Max Chicken, meant the hole was narrowed on the entrance of the factors.
And Chicken flew as much as the highest of the desk, on dropped scores, thanks to a different third place in race two, with Zelos fourth and Brown once more profitable. Chicken had briefly climbed as excessive as second earlier than working extensive and dropping behind Thompson, however the end result gave him a lift heading into the winner-takes-all finale.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed,” stated Chicken, after grabbing a slim three-point benefit. “There was a number of nerves heading into the weekend and I didn’t really feel very effectively. I dropped again to 3rd however Bobby’s not scoring factors [as a guest] and it’s all about factors at this stage.”
Dan Zelos, 2021 Mini Problem champion, Manufacturers Hatch 2021
Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey
Predicting a champion forward of the final encounter was not possible – and that proved to be the case all through the race too. Each Chicken and Zelos have been a part of a six-strong lead battle that supplied loads of leisure.
Initially, Jack Davidson was on the entrance, however he was shortly reeled in by Max Coates and Zelos. The latter pair ran aspect by aspect, with Zelos bravely edging forward into Sheene. However, whereas Zelos was progressing, Chicken was dropping again and had fallen to the tail of the group in sixth.
Issues then got here to a head on lap eight of 10, with Thompson passing Davidson out of Hawthorn earlier than Thompson then went off at Stirlings. The entire commotion left Coates main from Davidson, Zelos and Chicken – simply sufficient for Zelos to take the title by the narrowest of margins.
Zelos was then given extra respiration house, with Chicken dropping behind Weller on the penultimate tour. Whereas Coates received, Zelos handed Davidson for second on the drag to the road. That transfer price Davidson third within the standings, on countback, to Brown, and meant Zelos emerged as champion by seven factors.
“I received it with a combat and a half – it’s definitely a race I’ll always remember,” he stated. “I used to be attempting to suppose, ‘It’s only a race’, however I couldn’t assist wanting in my mirror and seeing Max there and he was there on a regular basis!”
However that didn’t matter – and neither did his concern after his apply shunt, for Zelos resisted the strain to take a deserved crown.
Dan Cammish, 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion, Manufacturers Hatch
Photograph by: Porsche
Dan Cammish was not feeling notably upbeat about his title possibilities after the primary Porsche Carrera Cup GB race at Manufacturers Hatch. He was categorised third however his closest rival, Lorcan Hanafin, had received and subsequently narrowed the hole to Cammish to simply three factors.
However what was notably troubling Cammish was his straight-line pace. “We’re simply sluggish,” stated Cammish, including that his Redline Racing squad was mystified by what was responsible for the issue. The qualifying pace lure figures have been particularly telling. Regardless of setting the fourth-fastest time, he was slowest of all of the drivers – together with the Ams – at two of the 4 checkpoints.
And Cammish’s fortunes had taken a flip for the more serious in that opening race when Group Parker Racing team-mates Harry King and Kiern Jewiss bought too shut for consolation. It at all times appeared like bother would strike the leaders, with Jewiss, King, Hanafin and Cammish all circulating as one, King surprisingly not changing pole into an early lead when Jewiss went across the exterior of him at Paddock Hill Bend at the beginning.
Hanafin knew he wanted to assault to shut the deficit to Cammish, however his makes an attempt solely resulted in Cammish slipping forward of him. The order behind Jewiss then continued to alter, with King dropping again after sliding extensive, earlier than retaking Cammish out of Clearways.
However issues got here to a head on what proved to be the penultimate tour when King made a wildly optimistic transfer at Stirlings, succeeding in nerfing Jewiss off and permitting Hanafin to cross them each. A crimson flag with Josh Caygill off at Paddock Hill Bend prevented any additional drama.
Lorcan Hanafin, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Manufacturers Hatch 2021
Photograph by: Porsche
“It was not the way in which I anticipated to win that race!” stated a delighted Hanafin. “I used to be pondering, ‘One thing goes to occur right here.’” It definitely did, and King was given a five-second penalty for his half in it, which demoted him from second to sixth. That promoted Cammish to 3rd behind Will Martin, and meant it was all to play for within the finale.
Cammish lined up second for this encounter however, as a substitute of difficult polesitter Jamie Orton, he fell behind Martin at the beginning. However Hanafin was faring worse. He made a poor getaway and was left weak to Jewiss, who minimize throughout the JTR-run Porsche, making contact and damaging Hanafin’s steering. “I used to be on the again foot from Flip 1,” he stated, figuring out in that second his title hopes have been over. “And Dan wasn’t going to do something foolish.”
Worse was to come back when Hanafin’s spirited efforts to progress have been merely rewarded by a spin at Paddock, and that settled it for Cammish. He cruised round behind Martin and Orton to take third – and his record-breaking third Carrera Cup crown.
“I made a foul begin and was down to 3rd,” stated Cammish. “However Jewiss was doing a unbelievable job of holding individuals up. It might’ve gone one in every of two methods and it might’ve been chaos.”
Luckily for Cammish, it was all very sedate. He could have been down after race one however he definitely was not out, and the Manufacturers Hatch weekend was one other reminder of how fortunes can change.
Matthew Rees, 2021 British F4 champion, Manufacturers Hatch
Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey
Heading into the Manufacturers Hatch decider, the vacation spot of the British Method 4 Championship was maybe the hardest one to name of all of the titles up for grabs. Matthew Rees had a slender 12-point benefit over Matias Zagazeta going into the weekend, and when the pair might solely qualify sixth and seventh – with Zagazeta forward – for the opener, choosing a winner nonetheless appeared difficult.
However these expectations of a detailed combat over the ultimate three races of the 12 months had not factored in an extremely pricey error from Zagazeta within the opening contest. Having already spun exiting Clearways in qualifying, the Peruvian then rotated once more in race one at Sheene when working fourth and bought caught within the gravel. “I went a bit extensive and it was soiled on the skin and I spun,” stated the devastated Argenti Motorsport driver.
Abruptly, it was benefit Rees and, though he fell behind Joel Granfors late on, ending fifth meant he was effectively positioned to safe the title in race two. And that’s precisely what he did. The 2 rivals twice switched locations on the opening lap, however Rees ended it forward. Then a prolonged safety-car interval prevented Zagazeta from launching an extra assault, second-placed Aiden Neate was pressured to pit with a broken rear wing, and Rees handed Kai Askey on the two-lap restart to the end, that means the JHR Developments driver was positive of the crown. To compound the distress, Zagazeta fell to ninth on a tough closing tour.
“It means rather a lot to win,” stated Rees, the single-seater rookie triumphing towards drivers with far more expertise. “It’s a prestigious title. We’ve had Lando Norris win and Zane Maloney, who’s been doing effectively in FRECA [Formula Regional European] and Luke Browning, who’s been doing effectively in ADAC F4, so to comply with of their footsteps is an incredible achievement.”
Away from the title battle, McKenzy Cresswell took a dominant win within the opener after boldly passing polesitter Eduardo Coseteng across the exterior of Paddock Hill Bend on the primary lap, regardless of the pair touching wheels. He additionally triumphed within the finale – the final race of the present F4 period – whereas second place for Zagazeta ensured he pipped Cresswell to runner-up within the standings by a single level. In between, Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak landed his maiden victory within the disrupted reversed-grid contest, changing into the eleventh totally different winner in a season the place making predictions was at all times tough.
Aston Millar, 2021 Ginetta Junior champion, Manufacturers Hatch
Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey
Any barely hard-of-hearing, claret-and-blue-clad West Midlands soccer fan would have been delighted with the proclamation that Aston Millar was champion. In actuality, the newly topped Ginetta Junior king gained simply reward for a super-consistent season. Topped within the first race, he went on to win the second too.
That apart, it was a shabby weekend for Ginetta Junior as the children burst out of the college gates to rejoice half-term. To be honest, it wasn’t totally their fault, because the chronically torpid Manufacturers restoration course of meant safety-car intervals have been far lengthier than they need to be. In consequence, a mere 11 racing laps have been accomplished.
Millar had simply taken the lead from Robert de Haan when the opener went underneath the race-terminating security automobile, whereas Liam McNeilly slipped to fifth and conceded the title. Within the second, it was Millar from McNeilly earlier than crimson flags stopped play.
As soon as Millar had slid extensive at Clearways on the primary lap, McNeilly constructed up a gargantuan lead of over eight seconds within the finale, whereas an enthralling battle raged for second place. De Haan wriggled free, with Edward Pearson third. After which the kids have been short-changed once more: one automobile within the gravel took 10 minutes to take away, and that was it.
Adam Smalley, 2021 Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion, Manufacturers Hatch
Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey
The Ginetta GT4 Supercup finale failed to offer an exhilarating conclusion to the G55 period of the collection, however that didn’t trouble Adam Smalley one iota as he sealed the title with a race to spare.
The Elite Motorsport driver arrived at Manufacturers Hatch with a wholesome 44-point lead over Tom Hibbert, and that was prolonged additional when Smalley headed his rival house in fifth and sixth locations in a desperately uneventful opener.
Hibbert did bounce forward of Smalley at the beginning of race two earlier than a warning interval thwarted the Rob Boston Racing man’s cost. On the restart, he ran aspect by aspect with Joe Marshall out of Surtees however couldn’t seal the transfer and as a substitute misplaced out on fourth to Smalley at Hawthorn. That was the way it stayed to the flag, with Smalley securing the crown.
“Once I bought out the automobile, I used to be crying!” admitted a relieved Smalley, who added: “These final two weekends have been about retaining our nostril clear. Huge due to all of my workforce – they’ve performed an unimaginable job.”
These two races have been each received in dominant style by two-time GT5 Problem champion James Kellett. Tom Emson then secured his maiden win within the finale, whereas a hat-trick of podiums meant Josh Rattican beat Hibbert to runner-up within the factors.
Silverstone 750MC: RAF strikes late for Birkett handicap glory
Royal Air Power Motorsports, Birkett Six-Hours Relay handicap winners, Silverstone 2021
Photograph by: Steve Jones
The Royal Air Power Motorsports workforce have been categorised solely forty first out of 70 runners in Saturday’s seventieth anniversary Birkett Six-Hour Relay on Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit. However their pilots and technicians snuck up underneath the radar during the last two hours to regain the handicap prize final landed in 2011, veteran Chris Slator (Peugeot 306 GTI) once more a lynchpin.
Second after an hour, behind the Ark Racing workforce – which misplaced its 1971 Thruxton Birkett-winning ArkSprite in apply, then had Derek Drinkwater’s Cadillac Le Monstre evocation succumb to an oil leak, leaving solely Ivor Mairs’s BMW 325Ti serviceable – the RAF crew slipped to thirty eighth by the second hour, two laps down on Triple A Racing’s BMWs. Constant driving and well-drilled pitwork underpinned the rise to first when the chequered flag fell 4 hours later.
Darkside Developments – the Parkin twins, Scott and Ryan, driving the fuel-efficient VW Golf Mk5 diesel and shorter-ranged Audi TT respectively – made the working mid-race. They climbed to fourth on distance coated, better of the non-Radicals, earlier than the Golf was stranded on the Hangar Straight, a sensor having gone.
Triple A’s combined workforce thus went again atop the handicap desk, whereas preventing for fourth on scratch with Prep’n’Lay Racing’s trio of BMWs, of which Bryan Bransom’s orange E36 M3 flew. The Mini Kievs’ BMW Mini saloons and Clubman property circulated exterior the highest six till the ultimate hour. Whereas they accomplished 5 extra circuits than the RAF servicemen, that they had fewer credit score laps, however nonetheless climbed to second, a lap down within the closing reckoning.
Prep’n’Lay, for which Russell Dack drove his BMW Compact (the workforce’s slowest automobile) arduous, snared third from the Triple As, headed out by Andrew Rath’s vivid inexperienced Lotus Europa. Winners for the previous two seasons, The three Amigos’ 4.0 software program improve fell simply in need of their hat-trick goal. They settled for a category win, however such have been handicappers Tim Moore and Colin Ayre’s calculations that the highest 12 have been cut up by two laps and the highest 21 by three after one other intriguing marathon.
RJ Motorsport 3 with Daytona, Birkett Six-Hours Relay scratch winners, Silverstone 2021
Photograph by: Steve Jones
No one was going to catch the Radical groups for outright pace. A devastating opening stint by Simon Freeman in the one SR10 at the moment racing in Britain broke the chasing pack. With Charles Graham (SR3) and Alistair Good (1340cc PR6) following on from the 425bhp, 2.3-litre Ford EcoBoost-engined automobile, Josh Smith’s RJ Motorsport 3 with Daytona workforce coated 160 laps, a tour greater than sister squad RJM1 for scratch victory on a dry day the place the protection automobile was deployed solely as soon as, briefly, to retrieve the Parkin Golf.
Radical SR3 trio Mike Chen, Ash Hicklin and Chris Quick by no means stopped chasing, regardless of Hicklin’s automobile throwing its left-rear wheel dramatically at Becketts. As soon as repaired, it was shortly sidelined by a leaky hose.
Third-place finisher M&M’s problem was derailed when its double-driven SR3 misplaced its gear-downshift facility, whereas RJM 2’s effort was sidelined by a driver being disqualified (and his 24 laps expunged) for a collection of flag infringements. Prep’n’Lay’s Paul Wooden (BMW E46 M3) repassed Triple A’s Chris Etheridge’s related automobile within the closing sprint for fourth.
The 7 Sequence – Midlands squad, one in every of only a few Caterham groups this 12 months, was a high-quality sixth, forward of the Darkside workforce, which deserved greater than a category win.
Experiences by Stephen Lickorish, Marcus Simmons and Marcus Pye. Pics by Jakob Ebrey Images/Motorsport Images and Steve Jones.
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