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Needell and Clark win Silverstone GT race
8 October 2000
Tiff Needell, the winner of today's Silverstone GT race declared “No points - only prizes” after winning his second GT race in succession, however he and co-driver Dave Clark were not racing for championship points.
The rolling start had seen Steven Day take the lead from third on the grid, in Viper number 28 with Lister Storm teammates Dave Warnlock (second on the grid) and Tiff Needell (sixth in qualifying) second and third respectively. Pole sitter's Lockie and Eusier having dropped down the field. Tiff Needell was immediately looking for a way past along the hangar straight and made his move inside Warnlock at Stowe on lap two.
Needell was visibly the fastest of the leading trio and it was only a lap later that he took the lead from Steven Day by passing him on the inside at Luffield. Needell, obviously reveling in the fact that, unlike those around him, he did not have a championship to consider.
By lap five the order was; Needell (Lister) - first, Warnock (Lister) – second from McKellar (TVR) – third, and remained this way until lap ten when Mckellar made his way around the outside of Warnock into second.
Mid-way through the one-hour race dark clouds began to form ominously above the circuit, as the majority of cars made their compulsory pit stop, Verdon-Roe swapping with McKellar who said “We had problems with the car in qualifying – I'm shocked how good it is today.” Clark then took over from Needell who as equally enthused about his car saying “The Lister Storms a lovely car to drive”. The lead car of Clark calmly built a lead of eight seconds over Verdon-Roe before disaster struck when approaching a backmarker.
As the lead Lister approached Stowe corner it made contact with a spinning GTO class car, immediately halving his lead to three and a half seconds over Verdon-Roe's TVR Speed 12 – and possibly damaging the car. Verdon-Roe inspired by this, pushed hard to get on terms with Clark and reduced the gap further to one and a half seconds with ten minutes remaining.
The gap between the leaders then fluctuated as they negotiated backmarkers, with Clark eventually responding to the pressure of Verdon-Roe by inching ahead once again. Until with six minutes remaining Verdon-Roe was slow through the stadium and was passed briefly by Bailey along the start finish straight – before retaking the position into Copse, as rain began to fall on the circuit for the first time all afternoon.
With just two minutes remaining rain began to fall much more heavily and the race was red flagged as conditions worsened further. The race order being taken at the end of the previous lap - when Bailey had briefly overtaken Verdon-Roe.
The partnership of Lockie and Euser finished fourth with a measured race performance to win the championship. The pole position holders having pushed Warnock and Bailey hard in the closing stages.
Full results to follow….
1. Clark/Needell 53mins 59.851secs
2. Warnock/Bailey +14.404secs
3. McKellar/Verdon-Roe +14.499secs
4. Lockie/Eusier +37.081secs
5. Harvey/Day +58.302secs
6. Ellias/Astley +1min 5.138secs
7. Youles/Cunningham +1min 30.369secs
8. Erdos/Purvis +1min 45.826secs
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