David Warnock and Mike Jordan took a commanding win in the final round of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship round at Silverstone in a spectacular night race (Saturday 29 September).

In the GTO, Kelvin Burt and Marino Franchitti took another victory, but only after an electrical problem sidelined the challenge from the TVR Tuscan R of Martin Short and Rob Barff.


The Stealth B6 of Nigel Greensall and Mark Pashley clinched pole position for the final round of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship at Silverstone.

The new car set the pace in qualifying on Friday night ahead of the spectacular night race. Second fastest was the Lister Storm of Mike Jordan and David Warnock. In GTO, the Porsche of Kelvin Burt and Marino Franchitti again set the pace, with the TVR Tuscan R of Martin Short/Rob Barff close behind.

There was a superb atmosphere as the cars headed out for two qualifying sessions on Friday, the first in rapidly failing light and the second in full darkness. For many drivers, it was their first experience of competitive driving at night.

In the first session, Greensall set a scorching pace to head the times, but that was later disallowed after the car was adjudged to have a technical infringement regarding the front wing settings. ''I was determined to go out and do it again,'' said Greensall, who promptly went out in the later session and put the car back onto pole position. ''I love racing in the dark,'' said Greensall.

Jordan put the Lister into second slot, but third fastest was enough to clinch the GT Teams' Trophy for Hayles Racing. Tim Harvey had to push hard in the second session to get the Viper into third slot, which gave them the team trophy by just two points from the Lister.

Fourth fastest was the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 of Michael Caine and series returnee Ian McKellar, while the Chamberlain Motorsport Chrysler Viper moved into fifth in the hands of Stephen Watson and Xavier Pompidou. Despite missing most of the test sessions due to an electrical problem, they went strongly in second qualifying to make it five GT cars covered by just seven tenths of a second.

Despite a couple of scary moments with slower cars in the darkness, the Burt/Franchitti Porsche continued its pace-setting form in GTO, with a relaxed Short second fastest in the Tuscan. Matt Turner/Ed Horner (Porsche) and Curtis Hayles/Stephen Day (Chrysler Viper) were well in contention in third and fourth.

Race: 40 laps:

In front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, the GT field made a great sight as it lined up for the rolling start in the darkness. Greensall got the start he wanted from pole to head the field into Copse with Pompidou immediately firing the Viper through into second.

This pair quickly pulled clear of the pack with McKellar slotting into third from Wilson and Warnock. Despite stern pressure from Pompidou, Greensall was on a charge in the Stealth and led brilliantly in his first GT race of the season. Greensall's plan was to hold the lead as long as possible to give Pashley the best chance of staying ahead in the closing stages.

However, that plan was dashed by a safety car period just as the pit stop window approached. The TVR Tuscan R of Rob Barff was stranded on the pit straight and needed to be moved, so the safety car was scrambled. In the inevitable flurry of pit stops, Greensall stayed out, but his advantage was lost. Warnock had moved the Lister ahead of Wilson and another superb stop from the Lister team sent Jordan storming out of the pits ahead of Caine, who took over the TVR. With Pompidou stopping a lap later, Jordan now led as they filed round behind the safety car.

''The safety car came earlier than we had hoped, but I really enjoyed leading the race,'' said Greensall after handing over to Pashley. The Stealth actually pitted in a second safety car period that came only two laps after the first one when the Porsche of Matt Turner/Ed Horner was left stranded at Bridge with damaged suspension.

From the green, Jordan charged away into a lead that would never be threatened. He scythed through the slower traffic with some stunning moves and took the winning margin out to more than 11 seconds at the flag. ''That couldn't be better,'' said Warnock. ''This is a fantastic result for the team!''

Caine kept the TVR running strongly in second, while the Harvey/Wilson Viper was a secure but rather muted third. ''We just didn't have the car working particularly well this weekend,'' said Harvey. Watson, meanwhile, brought the other Viper home fourth after hitting brake problems that led to a quick spin early in his stint. Pashley fought back to fifth in the Stealth having lost out badly in the pit stop period, but it was still a highly encouraging weekend for the new car.

In the GTO category Burt and Franchitti signed off their title season in fine style with another victory, but what turned into a relatively straightforward win could have been very different had the Short/Barff Tuscan not hit trouble.

In the early laps there was little to chose between the Porsche and the TVR, with Turner chasing hard in third. But on the sixth lap the TVR suddenly slowed and stopped at Luffield with a major electrical gremlin. Barff eventually got the car re-started and continued, but had lost a lap in the process. ''It kept turning itself off, it was quite alarming! I flicked all the circuit breakers and pulled all the fuses and finally it fired,'' said Barff. But the problem remained and the car later stopped on the pit straight. Short managed to get it moving once more, but retirement soon followed.

Franchitti then consolidated his lead prior to handing over to Burt. ''The track was changing so much. It was really, really tough,'' said Marino after Burt swept the car to it's eighth win in 13 races. However, a one-two for Parr Motorsport was denied when the Turner/Horner car was eliminated after 12 laps. ''I got put off by a lapped car,'' said a disappointed Turner after the car suffered suspension damage.

Second place in GTO then became a cracking battle between the flying Viper of Curtis Hayles/Stephen Day, the TVR of Richard Stanton/Steve Hyde and the Porsche of Mark Sumpter/Shaun Balfe. The Viper had a superb race, with Hayles having the best drive of his season to set them up for second place. However, the TVR was only a second adrift at the flag after a race-long contest.


GT category:

1 David Warnock/Mike Jordan (Lister Storm) 40 laps in 60m34.420s
2 Michael Caine/Ian McKellar (TVR Speed 12) 60m46.126s
3 Rob Wilson/Tim Harvey (Chrysler Viper) 61m03.105s
4 Stephen Watson/Xavier Pompidou (Chrysler Viper) 61m25.568s

GTO category:

1 Kelvin Burt/Marino Franchitti (Porsche 911GT3RS) 61m56.774s
2 Curtis Hayles/Stephen Day (Chrysler Viper) 61m59.104s
3 Richard Stanton/Steve Hyde (TVR Tuscan R) 62m00.251s
4 Shaun Balfe/Mark Sumpter (Porsche 911GT3RS) 39 laps

Provisional final championship points:

GT category:

1 Warnock and Jordan, 163; 3 Harvey and Wilson, 138; 5 Caine, 125; 6 Verdon-Roe, 113; etc.

GTO category:

1 Burt and Franchitti, 164; 3, Turner and Horner, 98; 5 Sumpter and Balfe, 95; etc.