16 April 2001
Hayles Racing takes first win at Snetterton.
Tim Harvey and Rob Wilson gave Hayles Racing an overdue first win in a rain hit round two of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship at Snetterton.
Race: GT category
In the early laps, Wilson led the pack as a spin pitched Warnock down the order. However, the real star of the first half of the race was Calum Lockie, who was a late nomination to share the Porsche 911GT2 of Dave Welz.
Revelling in the wet conditions, Lockie stormed through the pack to slot into second place, right on the tail of the leading Viper. ''That was a real laugh. I just picked them off as I went and really enjoyed it,'' said Lockie after the drive of the race.
The TVR Cerbera Speed 12 of Bobby Verdon-Roe/Michael Caine ran in the top three until Verdon-Roe slid wide at the Esses and grounded the car on the grass. That produced a safety car period as the big TVR was moved from its dangerous position.
The safety car bunched the field up and from the green, Harvey had an eight-second lead over Jordan. However, Jordan now had another problem as a windscreen wiper drama left his visibility badly reduced. Although the gap reduced a little, Harvey proved to be in control of the situation. ''Rob did such a good job that the pressure was on to preserve it. We monitored the gap and just controlled it,'' said Harvey after giving the Hayles Racing team an overdue first British GT victory.
Third in GT was a magnificent result for Lockie and Welz, while Verdon-Roe/Caine resumed in time to salvage fourth in GT following the demise of the Phil Hindley/Ian McKellar Marcos Mantara with a misfire.
In GTO, the Burt/Franchitti Porsche blasted into a big lead in the first half of the race and ran as high as second overall at one point. ''The pace of the car in the wet on our Michelin tyres has been very good and we can't complain with third overall,'' said Burt. The safety car period reduced the advantage that Burt had established, but victory was not to be denied this time.
In the closing stages, the Porsche of Terry Rymer/Adam Simmons started to close in on the leaders, but the Parr Motorsport team was able to control the pace of the leading Porsche to ensure victory.
However, Rymer's charge eventually took its toll on the car. ''I had to go for it! It was win or bin,'' said Rymer. In his chase of Franchitti, Rymer bounced over the kerbs and damaged the car's radiator, forcing him to ease his pace in the closing laps as the engine temperature rose. Immediately after crossing the finish line, Rymer pulled off to save any further damage.
Third place in GTO was a fine result for Martin Short and Rob Barff in their TVR Cerbera Speed 6, which had started from the tail of the grid after missing the dry qualifying session while changing an engine. ''That's not bad from the back of the grid. Rob drove a blinder,'' reckoned Short.
David and Godfrey Jones turned in another excellent performance in their Porsche 911GT3R to take fourth in GTO, one place up on the Chrysler Viper of Curtis Hayles and Ben Devlin, which had started from GTO pole.
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