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Jones brothers double up at Knockhill – provisionally
9 May 2010
Reigning champions David and Godfrey Jones emerged the controversial victors in the second of the Knockhill rounds of the 2010 Avon Tyres British GT Championship, their win remaining provisional - along with the rest of the race results - pending investigation by race stewards.
The incident at the heart of the inquiry was a 16th lap clash between the Jones brothers' Team Preci-Spark Ascari and the Mtech Ferrari of championship leaders Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron, which occurred at Leslie's Bend as Griffin attempted to pass Godfrey Jones for second. The collision left Griffin to limp back to the pits and retirement, and the team has lodged a protest.
Griffin had earlier in the race broken David Jones' hours-old lap record, and he and Cameron maintain the championship lead despite their no-score.
This was far from the only incident in the championship's fourth round, which was led initially by Adam Wilcox in the Predator CCTV Ferrari. Wilcox had started from the pole thanks to his supreme effort in qualifying in claiming the first sub-50 second GT lap of Knockhill; he led Godfrey Jones in the early laps, with Glynn Geddie slotting the Trackspeed Porsche into third ahead of Tom Ferrier in the Chad Ferrari.
Griffin was soon on the move; the Irishman had started seventh on the grid (in reality sixth, because the STP Ferrari of Chris Hyman and Dan Brown failed to make the start with gearbox woes) and had scythed his way up to third by the 14th lap. The incident two laps later allowed Geddie to take advantage in the confusion and nip through for third. Ferrier pushed Jones back to fourth a few laps later.
Taking his cue, Godfrey was the first of the frontrunners to pit, with Wilcox coming in three laps later and handing the leader's baton to Ferrier. The Preci-Spark squad executed the best stop to put David Jones back on to the track and into a handsome lead which he would hold to the chequered flag.
Pre-stop leader Wilcox had earlier clashed with Geddie, a collision which led to the Porsche's retirement and which is another incident set to be investigated by the stewards. Not that was that the last of the dramas. A late-race safety car period, brought about by a spin into a gravel trap by Osman Yusuf's Ginetta, caused further chaos when the restarting bunch tried en-masse to negotiate the SEAT Curves and Leslie's. Two of the victims were the Viper of Craig Wilkins and the Lotus of Chris Bialan, both of which were in contact with other cars and left the track.
That same lap, Paul Warren, who had taken over the Chad Ferrari from Ferrier, spun away second place at the hairpin. That promoted the sister car of Argentine duo Jose Balbiani and Juan Garriz to second, with the Wilcox/Burton Ferrari taking third ahead of the recovered Warren. The Wilkins/Scott Viper was the only other classified GT3 finisher, Stephane Daoudi having retired the Rosso Verde Ferrari early on.
The late-race accident for Bialan was cruel luck after a character building weekend for the Piranha Motorsport crew. After setting the pace in first qualifying, the Lotus struck gear selection problems which blighted second qualifying and the first race. All was sorted for race two and the car was on target to win the G4 class when disaster struck.
Nathan Freke's Century Motorsport Ginetta led G4 to the stops, but it was class points leaders Christian Dick and Jamie Stanley who took the win – their third in four races – ahead of the KTM of Rory Butcher and Benjamin Harvey.
It's expected that the stewards will start to review video footage of the race incidents later this week.
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