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Team Trophy – Donington Park

The second Team Trophy race of the year visited Donington Park, as part of MSVR’s Donington Weekend. Taking part were a number of teams from the previous day’s Trackday Trophy, and also motoring journalists in the form of Ben Anderson (Autosport), Ben Barry (CAR Magazine) and Rob Ladbrook (Motorsport News). Club MSV’s very own Trackday Organiser Nick Rice swapped his ‘official’ role to take part in the Team Trophy and experience a race from the driver’s point of view.

Ben Anderson paired up with Ian Parsons to drive Ginetta’s new G40 road car in Class B whilst Ben Barry ran CAR Magazine’s long termer BMW M3 in Class D and Rob Ladbrook and Nick Rice were team mates in a Class D Proton Coupe.

Qualifying took place in dry, overcast conditions. Prestige Wheels set the early pace with a 1m23.235 in their BMW M3. Team Sam, who finished 5h in the Trackday Trophy race then went quicker, recording a lap of 1m22.376.

Paul Roddison went off into the gravel at Craner Curves but had set a time which would eventually place him 12th on the grid. Matt Walton then went second in his Jetstream Motorsport Clio. Two laps later Team Tactic’s James Cameron went up to second and with just three minutes of the session left, Walton went quickest and Cameron improved dumping Team Sam to third.

Matt Walton claimed a Team Trophy debut pole position. In Class C, Chav Motorsport were the highest qualifiers in 7th. Ray Honeybone and Steve Brown kept up their good record in Class D by qualifying 17th. Ben Barry, who had set a time good for 19th on the grid had to pull out of the event at the very end of the qualifying session due to engine trouble. Rob Ladbrook and Nick Rice qualified 24th in their Proton. Autosport’s Ben Anderson did not take part in the qualifying session but did do his mandatory 3 laps to allow him to take part in the race, albeit doing so during a Lotus Cup UK session!

Conditions remained dry for the race and Team Tactics lead into the first corner. Prestige Wheel’s Alistair Stenhouse battled with Matt Walton down the Craner curves with Stenhouse taking 2nd place at the old hairpin. Starting dead last, Ben Anderson worked his way up the field, passing fellow ‘wildcard’ Nick Rice in the process.

The top three managed to pull a gap on fourth placed David Thomas, and then started the battle for the lead. Prestige Wheels looked to take first place from Team Tactic’s George Wright, and did so at Redgate, running with Wright down to the Craner Curves before establishing their lead. Team Cream Slice’s David Thomas came under pressure from Team Sam’s Steve Smee whilst further down the field there was a battle of the MX5s as Roddisons, ACS Networks and JRC Racing got up close and personal, almost running in flying formation. Steve Smee then took fourth place from David Thomas.

There was a quick off at the old hairpin for Darren Cox in his Nissan 350Z who quickly rejoined the fray. After passing Thomas, Steve Smee closed the gap on second and third place. Matt Walton got second at Schwantz, managing to cope well with the lapped traffic and one lap later Walton, Wright and Smee were three abreast at Redgate but it was Smee who came out best as he took second place, as Walton’s Clio got loose mid-corner.

Ben Anderson in the distinctive orange Ginetta G40 caught up with the MX5 club and moved up, making it good for the spectators to see a driver start at the back and fight their way up the placings. Class C team Chav Motorsport were running well, and were in a tight battle with Class B runners Skelly’s Heroes and Big Skidz.

Fifteen minutes in and the pit-lane window opened. On lap 13, front running debutants Jetstream Motorsport suffered a front right puncture which forced them out of the race. A great effort by Matt Walton who will be one to keep an eye on in future races.

Team Cream Slice’s David Thomas reduced the gap to fourth placed George Wright, and then came in his for his 3 minute pit-stop. Autosport’s Ben Anderson came into the pits and MSV’s Nick Rice came in for his pit-stop, with Motorsport New’s Rob Ladbrook taking the second stint. Second placed Prestige Wheels then came in, while the leading Team Sam Integra stayed out.

With the pit-lane window soon to close, spectators and rival teams assumed Team Sam’s Steve Smee was making a late pit-stop, a tactic that worked well with John Hamilton in the previous day’s Trackday Trophy race. ACS Networks seemed to enjoy rally-crossing at Redgate, doing so twice in the space of a few laps but with no damage incurred. Skelly’s Heroes took fifth place, and while they did so, the pit-lane window closed. The officials gave Smee a stop/go penalty for not taking the mandatory pit-stop and proceeded to display the boards on the pit wall.

Another driver who did not take his pit-stop I the window was Phil Capstick who served his penalty and rejoined. Skelly’s Heroes were also served a penalty. One person not taking his penalty however was Steve Smee who continued to lead the race, ignoring the boards indicating his stop/go. With Skelly’s Heroes taking a penalty for a short stop, Big Skidz moved up to fifth in their Fiesta ST.

With 90 seconds left of the race, Steve Smee came in for his stop/go penalty, the pit-lane offering the Team Sam driver sarcastic applause! Team Sam were disqualified from the race which meant the victory went to Prestige Wheels. James Cameron brought his Team Tactics Porsche 993 across the line in second and David Thomas finished third. McQ Motorsport won the Class C honours, topping off a successful weekend for the Surrey based father-son team. Apple Car Centre finished highest of the Class D entries, finishing 13th overall. Nick Rice and Rob Ladbrook saw the chequered flag, finishing 18th in their Team MN/Advent Motorsport Proton.

The Team Trophy next moves to Brands Hatch in November and with ever increasing numbers entering the series, it’s one to keep an eye on in the future.

Full Results (link)

Links:

Trackday Trophy (link)
Club MSV (link)
MSVR Racing (link)

Twitter:

Club MSV (@ClubMSV)
MSV Racing (@MSVRacing)
Team Cream Slice (@TeamCreamSlice)
Littlewood Racing (@LWDRacing)
Bubble and Kick Racing (@bubbleandkick)

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