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Sutton, Meadows win at Silverstone.

Michael Meadows and James Sutton took their maiden Avon Tyres British GT Championship win at Silverstone, ending the two-hour race ahead of the ABG Motorsport Viper of Craig Wilkins and Aaron Scott to help secure the British GT team title for CR Scuderia.

In a race of attrition only nine cars took the chequered flag but the lack of finishers didn't detract from the action packed racing throughout the 120 minute race. GT4 Champions Matt Nicol-Jones and Stewart Linn took their sixth class win in fifth overall to secure the team title for their IMS Motorsport team.

Craig Wilkins in the ABG Motorsport Viper led the 21 car grid towards the first corner at Copse with David Jones challenging in the Ascari. Wilkins held the inside line to emerge from the first corner still in the lead with Michael Bentwood now up to third in the Aston Martin. Phil Burton and Hector Lester were now fighting over 4th place as Michael Cullen joined in the fray. Burton's Ferrari emerged under Bridge travelling very slowly with a puncture as did Cullen's Ferrari, with both cars returning to the pits for new rubber.

Newly crowned British GT Champion James Gornall was forced to start at the back of the grid in the Team Trimite Brookspeed Viper after a blown engine in free practice forced the him and Jon Barnes to sit out Saturday's 30-minute qualifying session. However Gornall was soon scything his way through the field and was up to sixth by the end of the opening lap and then gained a further two places by the end of lap two by forcing his way past Nigel Redwood in the Team RPM Viper and the Ferrari of Luke Hines.

Meanwhile Wilkins was still holding onto the top spot as David Jones was coming under pressure from Michael Bentwood and on lap three the Aston Martin moved ahead of the Ascari, with Gornall passing Jones on the next lap at Maggotts to move into a podium position from the back of the grid. David Jones lost further ground on lap six as Meadows and Redwood both passed the Ascari.

Craig Wilkins now had the Aston Martin of Michael Bentwood filling his mirrors and everyone thought it wouldn't be long before Wilkins succumbed to the pressure. However for lap after lap the first year British GT driver was having none of it and defended his line cleanly at every turn. James Gornall joined in the battle and moved ahead of Bentwood at Becketts on lap eight. On the same lap Michael Meadows, who was fighting with Luke Hines for fourth place had a spin at Brooklands, dropping the #14 CRS Ferrari back two places behind Nigel Redwood and the recovering David Jones. Meadows dropped further back on lap 9 but on lap 10 set the fastest lap of the race, setting the scene for a great recovery drive.

James Gornall was now challenging Craig Wilkins for the lead but disaster struck at Brooklands on lap eleven as the Team Trimite Brookspeed Viper didn't brake quickly enough and ran into the back of the lead Viper. Gornall was forced into the pits with smoke pouring from the front right wheel which was rubbing against the broken bodywork. The leading ABG Viper had some rear end damage but was able to continue with Wilkins keeping his race pace unaltered.

Michael Bentwood was now back up into second place, with Luke Hines in third ahead of Nigel Redwood's RPM Viper. These four circulated nose to tail for lap after lap, no one giving an inch to their rivals. David Jones, who was now back up to fifth place had an excursion onto the grass at Becketts but was able to regain the track without losing a place.

Meanwhile in GT4 Richard Evans in the #51 RPM Ginetta was holding off a determined challenge from Stewart Linn in the IMS Motorsport Ginetta after the newly crowned GT4 champion had lost out to Evans at the start of the race. Behind these two Hunter Abbott was keeping track of them in the Rob Austin Racing Ginetta however he was struggling with the handling of his G50 and started to lose tough with the lead pair on lap 14.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Meadows (GBR)/James Sutton (GBR) - CR Scuderia Ferrari 430 GT3
Benny Simonsen Rosso Verde / Hector Lester Ferrari 458 Italia
Aaron Scott AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Aaron Scott AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Aaron Scott AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Hector Lester Rosso Verde / Hector Lester Ferrari 458 Italia
Hector Lester Rosso Verde / Hector Lester Ferrari 458 Italia
Hector Lester Rosso Verde / Hector Lester Ferrari 458 Italia
Pasin Lathouras AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Ron Johnson FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Ron Johnson FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Ron Johnson FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Piers Johnson FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Piers Johnson FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Ron Johnson FF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Ollie Hancock FF Corse Ferrari 430
Ollie Hancock FF Corse Ferrari 430
Ollie Hancock FF Corse Ferrari 430

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