Group C/GTP Racing - Dijon-Prenois
Last weekend saw the season finale for the Group C/GTP series
with a 16 car entry for the double header at Dijon-Prenois in some
glorious French sunshine.
tentative free practice on a damp track on Friday afternoon,
session on Saturday had David Mercer
(C1 Spice) in a fabulous time 1:12.208 ahead of Chris Randall (Nissan
NPT1 GTP) and a trio in the 1:17s of Richard Eyre (Porsche 962),
Jim Mullen (GTP Spice) and Gary Pearson in the indecently quick,
ADA Cosworth DFZ (Class 2 C2), and the hard charging Andrew Smith
in the first of the two Ecosses, leading class 4! Alas Mercer’s
car had problems with the scavenge pumps and did not make the start,
although they repaired it for Race 2.
1 (40 minutes) – Chris Randall went straight into a
lead that was never challenged but Richard Eyre and Gary Pearson
were having terrific scrap for 2nd with Pearson almost running
under Eyre’s wing. Alas this dice ended when Pearson had
door glass failure and had to retire leaving Mullen perfectly placed
to take 3rd at the flag after a great drive and fastest lap of
1:16.389s. See Race 2 for an interesting take on the Pearson/Mullen
of Andrew Smith (Cosworth) and Alasdair McCaig (Rover) had a
race with McCaig getting passed Smith on
the opening lap and holding onto the ‘lead’ until the
end, although Smith had backed off due to a slow puncture, nearly
being caught by Richard Oddie in the GTP Argo. Real nose to tail
stuff for over 20 laps as were the Mazda of Jim Loftis and the
Bardon of Duncan McKay.
The final overall result was Randall, Eyre and Mullen.
Class winners: Randall and McCaig.
Fastest lap: Jim Mullen 1:16.389 (179.187kph).
2 (40 minutes) - With the track now a bit warmer on Sunday afternoon,
was now in Jim Mullen’s GTP Spice
(as the ADA could not be fixed in time and a flight mix-up resulted
in poor Jim Mullen on his way back to the USA)! So a start from
the back of the grid for Gary and Mercer in the late repaired Spice.
Fireworks were in prospect!
the front of the grid Chris Randall looked all set for win number
motor racing isn’t like that!!
By the start of lap 2 Pearson was in 3rd and Mercer 4th!! Alas,
lap 4 resulted in engine failure for Mercer and Pearson went after
Eyre running in 2nd and passed him on lap 8 only for poor Randall
to blow the Nissan engine and suddenly Pearson was leading, setting
a fastest lap of 1:14.545 (164.067kph)!!! Not bad for his first
race in the Chevrolet engined GTP Spice, and thrilling owner Jim
Mullen, who was now in the airport!
again got in front of Smith in the Ecosse by the end of lap 1
Smith to get back in front by lap 4 and they
ran ‘as one’ for another 5 laps until McCaig’s
brand new engine expired (much to the disappointment of father
Hugh McCaig, watching on the pit wall!).
Oddie, in the GTP Argo, watched all this excitement to finish
4th and the three, non Ecosse, Class 4 cars of Loftis (Mazda),
McKay (Bardon) and Bateman (Tiga) behind him continued their scrap
to the flag.
The final overall result: Gary Pearson, Richard Eyre and Andrew
Class wins for Pearson and Smith
Fastest lap: Gary Pearson 1:14.545 (164.067kph)
Eyre 1989 Leyton House Porsche 962
7 Carlo Del Conte 1989 ALD C289 BMW
12 Jim Mullen 1992 Spice GTP
21 David Mercer 1990 Spice SE90C
28 Richard Oddie 1990 Argo JM20C
33 Henry Pearman 1984 Skoal Bandit Porsche 956
37 Richard Bateman 1987 Tiga Rover GC287
39 Klaus Frers 1990 ‘From A’ Porsche 962
47 Steve Coen 1987 Harrier LR7 – Chevy
75 Gary Pearson 1987 ADA Cosworth DFZ
78 Andrew Smith 1985 Ecosse - Ford 285
79 Alasdair McCaig 1986 Ecosse – Rover
81 Richard Chester 1987 Tiga Buick GTP
88 Chris Randall 1990 Nissan NTP1 GTP
103 Duncan McKay 1984 Bardon Ford DB2
203 Jim Loftis 1986 Mazda 757