Michael Caine and Bobby Verdon-Roe swept to a dominant victory in the eighth round of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship at Brands Hatch, while the GTO TVR Tuscan crew of Martin Short and Rob Barff also climbed to the top of the podium.

The TVR Cerbera Speed 12 team won easily after a first-lap accident eliminated the Lister Storm of David Warnock/Mike Jordan and the Chrysler Viper of Rob Wilson/Tim Harvey, along with four other cars. The Tuscan R of Short and Barff scored a closer, and more thrilling, victory over the Porsche 911GT3RS of Kelvin Burt/Marino Franchitti, giving TVR an historic double victory for the first time.

Jordan and Warnock clinched pole position for the race, their Lister topping the times nearly three-tenths of a second faster than the Viper of Harvey and Wilson.

''We just want it to rain now,'' joked Jordan after the first session.

Typically, the afternoon session was dry, but few times were improved. Jordan, however, trimmed the Lister's best to 1min 25.547secs to underline its status as pre-race favourite. Caine's hopes of challenging for a front row grid position were thwarted by brake problems on the Speed 12.

Fourth best on its return to the championship was the Marcos LM600 of Robin Liddell/Geoff Lister.

''We've closed the gap to the top three,'' said Liddell, who was just ahead of the Porsche 911GT2 of Calum Lockie/Dave Welz.

The ten-car field represented the strongest field to date for the GT category, amidst a 31-car grid for the race, with a superb line up of 21 GTO cars. In the latter category, the TVR Tuscan R of Short/Barff set a scorching pace to head the class and take sixth fastest overall. Short turned in a stunning performance to head the GTO times, putting the Tuscan R ahead of the leading Porsches.

Three-tenths of a second slower than Short was the Porsche 911GT3RS of Kelvin Burt/Marino Franchitti. Burt set the time, but was hampered by the problem of finding a clear lap with 30 cars on the circuit. Ed Horner/Matt Turner were next up for Parr Motorsport in the team's other Porsche, while the Steve Hyde/Richard Stanton in their TVR Tuscan R, despite an exhaust problem.

The Porsches of Terry Rymer/Adam Simmons, Adam Jones/Tony Littlejohn and Mark Sumpter/Shaun Balfe were next up in GTO, although the Chrysler Viper of Curtis Hayles/Stephen Day missed the session. An engine problem that struck on the first lap of testing on Friday has forced the team to fit a new engine, which was still at the engine builder's by mid-day Saturday. The Hayles Racing team will work into the night to change the engine in time for the drivers to qualify in the untimed warm-up session on Sunday morning.

The expected race drama happened right from the start of the 60-minute event, as Warnock and Wilson battled for the lead into Paddock Hill Bend. Wilson claimed that the cars touched as he turned into the corner clearly ahead. What was clear, however, was that both cars spun and chaos erupted in the following pack as cars went all ways.

The Lister was hit heavily in the driver's side by the Porsche of Tim Sugden, which flew up in the air as a result of the impact. In an instant, six cars were in the gravel, all with some degree of damage, except the second Marcos LM600 of Mike Newton, which was later able to rejoin after being pulled out of the gravel trap.

The safety car was sent out immediately, as marshals and recovery crews moved into action. The main cause for concern was Warnock, who complained of back and neck pain after the impact. He was removed from the car under medical supervision and taken to hospital as a precaution. The Viper was undamaged, but was out of the race as it would not restart when pulled out of the gravel. Also out went the GTO cars of Rob Croydon (Lotus Esprit) and David Dove (Marcos Mantis), as well as Sugden.

After six laps behind the safety car, racing resumed and it was the TVR Speed 12 that took an immediate lead. Calum Lockie gave brilliant chase in the Porsche 911GT2 of Dave Welz, but eventually had to concede that Caine had greater pace. However, Caine considered himself lucky to miss the first corner accident, and was happy still to be in teh running.

''When they all spun, I thought I'd caught David, but I hadn't,'' said a relieved Caine.

In truth, this was now an easy win for the TVR, as Verdon-Roe was able to complete the work started by Caine. By the end of the race, BV-R was almost a minute clear of the rest, as the Speed 12 stormed into the title race.

''It's brought us all level,'' said Caine as they took second in the points, just six behind Warnock and Jordan.

Up into second in GT with a storming drive came the Marcos LM600 of Robin Liddell/Geoff Lister. In the second half of the race, Liddell hunted down Welz and went ahead despite a broken exhaust.

''When the exhaust broke, the heat in the cockpit doubled,'' said Liddell, who battled on despite suffering burns to his leg, ''It got hard at the end, but I was just doing enough to stay in front.''

Welz never stopped chasing and was only a second and a half behind the Marcos at the finish.

''That was great fun,'' said reigning champion Lockie, who had led the race during the pit-stop window, ''The team has done a fantastic job.''

With the Porsche of Ashley Ward/Phil Hindley failing to start after a rear hub problem and the similar car of Neil Cunningham and Peter Cook going out with battery failure, there were few other GT finishers.

Most of the leading GTO cars managed to avoid the first corner drama and slotted in behind the safety car in the order of the Porsches of Kelvin Burt, Matt Turner and Terry Rymer. The pole position TVR of Rob Barff got boxed in at the start and dropped to fourth place, although its driver admitted that, in the circumstances, that was no bad thing.

''I made a poor start, which probably meant I didn't get caught up in the shunt,'' admitted Barff.

From the green, Burt set about building a lead, although Rymer was soon through to second and chasing hard for Harlow Motorsport. Barff tagged along behind the Porsches, but was unable to get ahead of them. That prompted a very early, and very smart, stop for the Rollcentre TVR to give Short the chance of getting some clear track.

Up front, Burt built his lead before handing over to Franchitti. Kelvin commenting that the team's only problem was ''the green TVR behind us''.

After the mandatory pit-stops were completed, Short had worked his way up to second and started to hunt down Franchitti. Lap by lap, the time gap reduced, but the pair had the added complication of catching the Welz GT Porsche and being caught by Liddell's charging GT Marcos.

Short knew that he could take the fight to the Porsche, and despite a determined defence by Franchitti, the Tuscan reeled the Porsche in before diving ahead into Paddock with five laps to go.

''I thought 'he's not gonna fall for this one', but he did,'' said Short, after swooping down the inside into Paddock to take the lead. The TVR veteran then shadowed Welz to the flag, as Franchitti stayed in his mirror over the final lap.

''We've finally done it and we won fair and square,'' said an elated Short.

Despite being beaten, Franchitti and Burt retain a healthy championship lead with second, while Richard Stanton and Steve Hyde brought their TVR Tuscan R up into third with a strong race. Terry Rymer/Adam Simmons took fourth, while Ed Horner/Matt Turner slipped to fifth after hitting gear selection problems during the pit-stop. Horner brought the car home despite losing third gear.