© Bute Motorsport Limited 2015
Hudson and Wilcox battle to race one
glory in Belgium
Saturday 10th June 2017
Nigel Hudson and Adam Wilcox claimed their first GT Cup Championship win of the season at the picturesque Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium after a tense battle for the top spot with championship leader Graham Davidson.
The JMH Automotive squad headed the GT field for much of the 60 minutes, Hudson keeping his rivals at bay in the opening stages of race one. “It was a good race”, Hudson said. “We had a massive time penalty in the pits to make up. I had more speed through certain sectors and I had to keep the car planted to make sure they had nowhere to go.”
Maintaining a solid pace behind the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship cars that shared the grid with GT Cup, battle was resumed with the charging McLaren of Graham Davidson, this time with Wilcox behind the wheel of the lead Aston Martin.
“Nigel drove fantastically in the first stint, but I obviously hadn’t had any testing in the car in the dry here”, Wilcox said. “I’ve had many races like that in the past, so I knew where was best to place the car to keep him at bay and brought it home for the team.”
Davidson almost completed a remarkable comeback from the rear of the field after stalling from pole position, unable to find a way around his GTO rival despite numerous attempts to pass in the final 10 minutes.
Jake Rattenbury was victorious in the GTC group, the MTECH/Wildwater Lamborghini driver recovering time lost from a crowded pit lane after an early safety car period.
“We had a good start, built up a good lead and then the safety car came out”, Rattenbury said. “That put us further back, but then another interruption actually helped us out so we caught back up and I found myself back in the lead.”
Dominic Paul continued a strong run of form with victory in the GTA group, the Spy Motorsport man making it four wins in a row off the back of his triple Brands Hatch GP success in his Ginetta G55 GT4.
“It was a fantastic race and really exciting – loads of action!” he said. “The safety car ultimately helped me overturn my pit stop penalty time, so I could immediately get back on it and edge out a gap. Great fun!”
Honours in the GTB group went the way of the Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo of Neil Huggins, coming out on top after being embroiled in a race-long battle with the rapid BMW of Tom Webb.
“As the race went on, I gained a lot of my penalty seconds back with the safety car interruption”, Huggins said. “I thought the BMW wasn’t far away so I hoped to keep pressure on him. I just kept reeling him in and reeling him in, then suddenly I caught and passed him. They picked up their pace, but I just had to hit every apex – it was the longest four laps of my life!”
RACE ONE RESULTS:
1: Nigel Hudson/Adam Wilcox – Aston Martin GT3
2: Graham Davidson – McLaren MP4/12 GT3
3: Gary Eastwood – Ferrari 458 GT3
1: Jake Rattenbury – Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo
2: Chris Papageorgiou/Andy Demetriou – Porsche 991 GTC
3: Graham Lucking/Leyton Clarke – Ferrari 458 GTC
1: Neil Huggins – Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo
2: Tom and James Webb – BMW M3 E46 GTR
3: Warren Gilbert/Joachim Bolting – Marcos Mantis
1: Dominic Paul – Ginetta G55 GT4
2: Brent Millage – Ginetta G55 GT4
3: Jeff Wyatt/Geoff Steel – BMW M3 GTR