Britcar Snetterton Report - 13 May
Sharpe and Haynes Take The Win In The Falcon

Just a 60-minute race – a relative sprint in Britcar terms – on Saturday afternoon, saw Adam Sharpe and ace spannerman George Haynes take a well-earned victory, after a spate of punctures sidelined the potential race-winning Porsches.

It was one of those Porsches that grabbed pole during the 30-minute qualifying session, Richard Chamberlain posting 1:10.072 in his Porsche 935 replica. The BMW M3 of an on-form Peter Seldon and Eugene O’Brien was just under a quarter of a second shy, followed by the ASM Falcon, then the Porsche 911 GT2 of Peter Cook and Franck Pelle.

It was welcome back to Bill Cameron and Barry Horne in fifth, the Porsche GT3 now being run by Team Parker, with the Ferrari 360 of Bo McCormick and Calum Lockie alongside, and the similar Damax machine of Craig and Elliott Cole seventh. Best of the GT Cup runners was the re-engined GTS Motorsport BMW M3 of Harry Handkammer and David Leslie.

The first attempt at a rolling start was aborted, the officials dissatisfied with the formation, and an impatient Haynes getting a bonnet-full of John Allen’s (in the Chamberlain Porsche’s) dramatic flame-outs, but once they were let loose, it was first O’Brien, then Cook, who seized the initiative round the first lap, Allen slipping down the order, and David Leslie hauling the BMW up to third. Also on the move was Steve Hall, sharing the Opel V8Star with owner Nigel Mustill, up to fourth by lap four.

It would be a race of mixed fortunes, and surprises. A stop/go penalty for O’Brien was followed by a smokey demise. “Oil lines keep blowing out,” explained Peter Seldon, “and we need to find out why it’s happening, maybe too much crankcase pressure.” Cook and Pelle suffered two punctures, and Chamberlain’s puncture was followed by a drive shaft failure that finished the orange Porsche’s race ten minutes from the flag.

David Leslie led for much of the first half of the race, a lead sustained by Harry Handkammer until Adam Sharpe, in the more powerful Falcon, overhauled him with fifteen minutes to go.

Calum Lockie made his usual progress through the field, passing the #96 RPM Motorsport Porsche GT3 of Chris Panayiotu and Bradley Ellis for third in the final stages of the race.

It was a quiet race for the Topcats Marcos Mantis duo, Mick Mercer and team boss Warren Gilbert coming home seventh, and the Jon Harrison / Paul White car tenth.

The glorious Ferrari F40 of Jacopo Sebastiani and Anthony Mott improved on its qualifying performance, finishing sixth after some spirited driving.

Adam Sharpe was delighted to take the win, under adverse circumstances; “This is the T-car, which we were saving for the 24 hours, because we had a fire in the main car during testing. We had no radio, but I knew I had to catch Handkammer.”

David Leslie was actually glad the first start was aborted; ”It helped us, because I had another lap to get some heat in the tyres. I was running out of fuel when I came in, though.”

1 23 GTRS Sharpe / Haynes Ford Falcon 48 laps
2 1 GTC Handkammer / Leslie BMW M3 48
3 44 GT3 McCormick / Lockie Ferrari 360 48

4 96 GTC Panayiotu / Ellis Porsche GT3 48
5 33 GTC Smith / Cuff BMW STW 47
6 29 GTRS Sebastiani / Mott Ferrari F40 47
7 6 GTC Mercer / Gilbert Marcos Mantis 47
8 27 GT3 Cameron / Horne Porsche GT3 47
9 18 GTRS Cook / Pelle Porsche 911 GT2 45
10 4 GTC Harrison / White Marcos Mantis 45
11 11 GTC Edwards / Hampshire Marcos Mantis 44
12 20 GTC Johnston / Rose Mercedes 190DTM 43
13 42 GT3 Back / Foster Ferrari 360 43

The results of Race 1 set the grid for Sunday’s three hour race (report to come).
Steve Wood


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