Robin Liddell and Nathan Kinch scored a maiden win in the BRDC British GT Championship at Snetterton today. In a thrilling one-hour race, the Saleen duo inherited the lead after 40 minutes after Mike Jordan's race-leading Lister ran wide off the circuit.
The race had started with Thomas Erdos setting the pace in his Saleen S7-R ahead of Nathan Kinch in the second Saleen and Rob Barff's TVR Cerbera Speed 12. Fourth early on was the Lister in the hands of David Warnock, but Warnock pitted early and moved ahead of the TVR on the pit stops.
Jordan's pace in the Lister was electrifying as he carved into the advantage of the leading Saleen. The gap was reduced from 22 seconds to a nose-to-tail dog-fight as the cars headed down the fast Revett Straight, but having grabbed the lead from Ian McKellar (having taken over from Erdos) Jordan made a mistake and ran of the road.
''My fault,'' said Jordan. ''I just went a fraction too fast, understaffed wide and off I went.''
The moment dropped Jordan to third as Liddell set after his team-mate McKellar, Liddell's Saleen running without success ballast where as McKellar/Erdos' car had 90 kilos of success ballast on board. Liddell was soon past as McKellar was reeled in by Jordan in the Lister running with 20 kilos of ballast on board, but just as Jordan nosed back ahead of McKellar, he ran wide and made contact with McKellar's car.
The damage was enough to drop Jordan to fourth in class as Liddell pulled away to win for his first win in the Saleen with McKellar/Erdos taking another step towards the title in second place with Michael Caine/Rob Barff in third. Liddell's heroic charge in the Saleen netted a new lap record as well.
The GTO battle was just as intense with early pace-setters Simon Pullan/martin Short retiring early with broken suspension. The TVR Tuscan R of Piers Johnson/John Hartshorne inherited the lead but the car retired whilst leading with gearbox problems which allowed the Porsche of the Jones brothers David and Godfrey to assume the lead.
They were being caught by the Ferrari 360 NGT of Calum Lockie/Jamie Davies. Lockie had spun the car on the opening lap but fought back brilliantly. Davies continued the charge and was catching the Porsche when a left rear tyre let go on the Jones car forcing an unscheduled pit stop.
Davies led but was being caught by an inspired Tim Sugden and as the gap closed a little, there was more drama to come. Turning into Russell Bend on the penultimate lap, Davies was hit by the TVR Tuscan R of Steve Hyde, the spin causing Sugden to close right up. Davies held on to win by just two-tenths of a second at the end of a thrilling race.
The result moves Sugden into the lead of GTO with two more rounds to go.