Race Report for Race Two
Bailey and Glew make it stick for first win of the season at Spa-Francorchamps
- Retuning champion Bailey takes first win of season
- Downing adds second victory for National Motorsport Academy
- Saxon Motorsport V10 BMW emerges as victor in Group GTB
Two-time GT Cup champion Paul Bailey returned to winning ways as he and Phil Glew claimed victory at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Bailey fought with FF Corse’s similar Ferrari 488 Challenge in the early stages before taking advantage of a puncture for the latter to ensure triumph for the Horse Power/SB Race Engineering outfit.
“It’s taken us a bit of time,” said Bailey. “There have been a lot of different racing drivers turn up be quicker than me, but Phil has been working hard with me on improving that. Today I had a great scrap with the FF Corse Ferrari, but unfortunately, he got a puncture – something we had the day before. On Friday, we wondered if we were going to race at all, because we couldn’t get the car to run. It was tough, but today it ran smoothly and I’m over the moon.”
“It’s amazing because we thought we were going home on Friday, but the team did a great job to get it fixed,” said Glew. “Paul’s been working really hard and he’s getting quicker every time he races. His race craft has come on a lot now and we had a really good race. After all the bad luck we’ve had, it’s nice to get a result for the team.”
Taking overall race honours as well as the spoils in Group GTO was the National Motorsport Academy Mosler MT900 of Gareth Downing. Downing took the advantage with a tactical pit stop under safety car conditions to grab the lead from the Gibson Motorsport McLaren, surviving a late scare that almost denied him a second win of the season.
“It was a very hot race,” said Downing. “The start was great and myself and the McLaren were fighting with the quicker cars, but we still had an issue with the alternator that raised its head again which meant I was nursing it home at the end. Today, we made it just by half a lap! The more laps of Spa that you do – it’s only the first time we’ve been here with the Mosler – you get used to it.”
The Group GTB winning streak of Topcats Racing was broken by Saxon Motorsport and its V10 BMW 150 after father and son duo Nick and Tom Barrow came out on top in a tight scrap with the Marcos Mantis of Warren Gilbert and Neil Huggins.
“It was a bit of a difficult start,” said Nick. “We had to change an engine between qualifying and the first race, but the boys did a cracking job, put some modified rear suspension on it and it was working much better today after we made some adjustments. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“It’s been brilliant for our first time at Spa, and it’s one hell of a track!” said Tom. “The car has handled really well all weekend and especially in that race, so I’m really pleased with the end result. A great weekend. The Marcos is very quick down the straights but through corners like Blanchimont I was catching him; it was a great battle, but we managed to beat them in the end.”
Missing out by less than a second in race one, Century Motorsport made amends by winning Group GTH with Phil Ingram and David Holloway. Ingram started the Ginetta G55 GT4 and kept the close attentions of Team HARD’s similar machine in the first half of the race, before handing over to Holloway who would be untroubled for his third Group win of the year.
“I’m really, really happy with that result,” said Ingram. “It was a tight race with the Team HARD car at the beginning. They were quick in the first sector but in the second sector the car was very good. When the safety car came in it mixed things up a bit, and then after that we were fighting toe-to-toe. We came in at the same time and David jumped in and roasted it. I’m really chuffed with that and we should be very happy with the team effort.”
“Phil did a really good job,” said Holloway. “He was gapping the guys, but then the safety car came out and made it a bit more difficult. All I had to do then was drive some great laps and not stick it in the wall. This one’s really for the team and for Phil as they did a great job.”
1 – Gareth Downing – National Motorsport Academy (Mosler MT900)
2 – Nigel Hudson/Adam Wilcox – HUD Motorsport / JMH Automotive (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
3 – Dan Gibson/Paul Gibson – Gibson Motorsport (McLaren 650S GT3)
1 – Paul Bailey/Phillip Glew – Horse Power Racing / SB Race Engineering (Ferrari 488 Challenge)
1 – Nick Barrow/Tom Barrow – Saxon Motorsport (BMW V10 150)
2 – Warren Gilbert/Neil Huggins – Topcats Racing (Marcos Mantis)
3 – Mick Mercer/Jon Harrison – Topcats Racing (Marcos Mantis)
1 – David Holloway/Phil Ingram – Century Motorsport (Ginetta G55 GT4)
2 – Steve Ruston/John Whitehouse – JMH Automotive (Ginetta G55 GT4)
3 – Chris Murphy/Adam Hatfield – Team HARD (Ginetta G55 GT4)