11 June 2001
Wins for Verdon-Roe/Caine and Burt/Franchitti
TVR starred in the sixth round of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship at Rockingham yesterday afternoon (Sunday 10 June). After coming close at several previous races, Bobby Verdon-Roe and Michael Caine drove a faultless race to win in the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 in what proved to be an enthralling race.
In GTO, Kelvin Burt and Marino Franchitti won again for Porsche, but it was a result that was put seriously in doubt by a safety car period as the TVR Tuscan R of Martin Short and Rob Barff challenged hard.
The TVR Cerbera Speed 12 of Verdon-Roe and Caine claimed pole position for the sixth round of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship at Rockingham by setting the pace in both sessions, one damp and one dry.
In damp conditions in the morning session, Verdon-Roe used intermediate tyres to great effect to set the best time. ''That was a good call by the team. Within a lap the tyres were in and that was it,'' said Verdon-Roe.
However, the other leading GT runners fared less well in the conditions, with the Tim Harvey/Rob Wilson Chrysler Viper only qualifying ninth and the Mike Jordan/David Warnock Lister Storm down in 13th after struggling on slick tyres.
In the dry second session, things had a more normal look and the Lister moved up to second on the grid with the Viper third. ''This isn't a good circuit for the Viper,'' admitted Harvey, who finally lost his run of pole positions this season.
With the TVR Tuscan R of Short/Barff clinching GTO pole, it was a great day for TVR. Short set a scorching pace to take GTO pole for the first time this season, edging the Porsches of Burt/Franchitti and Matt Turner/Ed Horner back to second and third.
Mark Sumpter/Shaun Balfe lined up fourth in their Porsche, well in touch with the Michelin-shod Porsches ahead of them. ''Looking at the other Dunlop Porsches, I'm happy with that,'' said Sumpter.
Wrapping up the top six qualifiers in GTO were Curtis Hayles/Ben Devlin (Chrysler Viper) and Terry Rymer/Adam Simmons (Porsche 911GT3R).
Race: 60 minutes (34 laps):
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