EERC Preview – Donington Park, November 4
Into The Night

Winter’s on its way, and the EERC’s two-race winter series kicks-off at Donington Park on Saturday with the now well-established “fireworks” meeting.

Also well-established is the winter series format; the Britcar and ProductionS1 competitors combine for a day race – the “Open” – and then a night race, which follows immediately after a short qualifying session. A pair of Britsports races are interspersed between the Britcar sessions.

As usual, these races provide a winter playground for competitors from other championships, and the Britcar GT3RS class sees the Rollcentre Mosler of Kevin Riley and Ian Flux, and the similar Eclipse car of Craig and Elliot Cole, join the fray. Eclipse's John Griffiths joins them for the night race. Regulars Peter Seldon / Eugene O’Brien (BMW GTR) and Richard Chamberlain / John Allen (Porsche 935) will be doing both races, as will insurgents Bobby Verdon-Roe and Brian Cordwell, in the Cirtek Porsche GT3 RS.

There are more British GT refugees in the GT3 class too – Paul Drayson and Martin Stretton, runners-up at Brands Hatch in June in the Barwell Aston Martin DBRS9, and what is probably the last hurrah for the JMH Ferrari 360 of Phil Burton and Adam Wilcox. There are two further Ferraris entered under the AS Motorsport banner, for Aaron Scott / David Back, and David Foster / Andy Ruhan (Schilteck is the more formal name for this team, which has admirable ambitions for the future) and a Motorbase Porsche is also coming out, though drivers are yet to be confirmed.

The ultra-professional GTS Motorsport team took the overall win in the Vallelunga six-hours earlier in the year, and was well placed in the Brno six-hours a fortnight ago. The BMW GTR will be driven at Donington by Stuart Wright and Philip Walker, and is joined by the similar Willie Moore machine, runner-up in September’s Britcar 24 Hours at Silverstone. Joining in for the night race only will be Keith Ahlers, taking a busman’s holiday from British GT, sharing his Morgan Aero 8 with Lee Atkins.

Topcats has been with the EERC from the get-go, probably ruing that a missed round (Pembrey, 2003) spoils a potential 100% attendance record. Warren and Charlotte Gilbert have entered their TVR Sagaris and a single Marcos Mantis this weekend, with the full driving squad yet to be determined. The GT Cup class is further bolstered by Colin Willmott’s ex-Dick Barbour Porsche 996, the Tony Rodriguez / Phil Hopkins BMW GTR, and popular duo George Agyeton and Dave Coyne in the former’s self-built, and heavily be-winged, BMW M3.

The ProductionS1 classes feature a host of familiar names, and cars. An 11 month
hibernation has obviously refreshed the Big Fish BMW Z3. Largely unused since September 2005, Alastair Davidson and Chris Wilson pulled of the dustsheet, and were immediately on the pace here at Donington in August, challenging for the lead in possibly their best race ever in the car. The Butler Motorsport BMW M3 of Tony Brown and Ian White was chief among their rivals that day, so maybe we’ll see a replay this Saturday. The other Butler M3, the 24 hour class-winning machine of Paul White and Calum Lockie also has rising star Anna Walewska on board, and hopefully the Team Wireless Lotus Elise of Marc and Patrick Charlton will make an appearance too.

An eclectic field of small prototypes pepper the Britsports field. The BMW-engined PRC of Steve and Will Hodges seems to have been cured of its clutch problems, and is becoming a contender, though it will be difficult to beat one of the Junos – Tony Allison’s works car is complemented by the privateer entries from James Richardson / Ben Devlin, and stunt pilot Will Curtis. Wily old campaigners Flux and Christopher will be looking to upset things, though, in the Rapier.

Class Two features Chad Racing boss Iain Dockerill, racing the team’s franchised product, the Norma, plus a pair of Chirons, a Zeus, a Jade, and the ADR of Michael Richardson and Phil Bennett.

With the 150-minute Britcar night race due to finish at 8pm, spectators will be treated to a firework display to complete the day’s events.
Steve Wood

 

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