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Jones’ win Knockhill opener
13 June 2009
David and Godfrey Jones scored the Team Preci-Spark Ascari's first legitimate race victory in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship at Knockhill, leading the championship's seventh round from the pole to chequered flag.
It was a win all the sweeter given that their 2008 Knockhill win was taken from them by officials who judged them to have overtaken under yellow warning flags.
This time there were no mistakes from the pair, with David blasting into the lead from the lights and hanging on in front all the way to his pit stop despite fearsome pressure from the Rollcentre Momo Mosler of championship leader Dan Brown.
Brown tried everything in his power to muscle the Mosler past the Ascari, but wily old Jones had an answer for all the youngster's tricks.
"It was tough," said David, "because the Mosler was right on my backside most of the time. There were areas where I could get away and I didn't have to defend, and then other laps when I had to defend hard. It seemed to come in waves. It all worked out in the end..."
Jones pitted from the lead on the 38th of the 66 laps, with brother Godfrey taking over in front for three laps and pitting at the lost possible moment for his hand-over to Gregor Fisken, the Scottish-born driver making his Knockhill racing debut. Fisken exited the pits just as a charging Godfrey Jones crested the rise of the main straight, and the Ascari dived past to resume the lead.
"I got really on it on my first lap out," said Godfrey. "I saw Fisken pulling out of the pits, but there was no way that I wasn't going down the inside. That worked out fine and then was able to get on with it."
It wasn't all plain sailing for the Ascari from then on, however. A brief safety car period 15 laps from the end, called so that marshals could collect tyre debris from the track, allowed the pack to bunch up behind the leader. Jones timed his restart to perfection, however, and was able to show a clean pair of heels to his pursuers.
It was Fisken who lost out most after the safety car was withdrawn. A couple of laps afterwards the Mosler was jumped by the VRS Ferrari, in the hands of Adam Wilcox after an impressive first stint by Phil Burton, and Fisken was then bumped back to fifth by the Hector Lester/Stéphane Daoudi Ferrari and the Craig Wilkins/Aaron Scott Viper.
Daoudi was delighted with a podium finish on his maiden British GT outing, the Frenchman standing in for Rosso Verde's regular fast man Allan Simonsen, away at Le Mans.
"It was a special welcome to British GT for me," said Stéphane. "It was a big, big fight, very interesting. The car was oversteering a bit but the safety car helped us a lot and I made a good restart, and set the fastest lap."
The Chris Hyman/José Balbiani Ferrari was classified seventh, behind the Philip Walker/Michael Bentwood Ford GT, despite pulling out of the race eight laps from home with mechanical problems.
The only other finisher was the GT4 Ginetta of a lonely Jody Firth, driving solo as his regular partner Nigel Moore was another driver tackling Le Mans. Firth inherited the class lead after six laps when Ian Stinton's Ginetta lost drive and he continued to the flag.
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