20 April 2003
Balfe/Derbyshire Mosler goes from back to front.
In an astonishing turnaround of fortunes, the Shaun Balfe/Jamie Derbyshire Mosler MT900R charged through from the back of the grid to claim victory in the second round of the British GT Championship at Snetterton and build on the pair's early championship lead.
Completing a one-two for the stunning Moslers, Martin Short and Tom Herridge passed the flag around one minute behind, with the Penninsular TVR of John Hartshorne, Graeme Mundy and Richard Stanton completing the podium. In the GT Cup class, Matt Griffin and Patrick Pearce guided the Gruppe M Tech 9 Motorsport to victory.
Derbyshire started the Balfe Motorsport Mosler from the back of the grid after a technical infringement meant that the team's qualifying times were erased from the record books, but turned in a stunning performance to underline the car's showing from round one at Donington Park. By lap five, he was already up to third, with only the Herridge Mosler and the Lynch TVR ahead.
''I just kept it tidy around the first couple of corners,'' explained Derbyshire, who won the 76 Motorsport Driver of the Day Award, ''I just wanted to get in touch with the front-runners.''
Herridge himself was experiencing problems, and struggled to maintain his early advantage over the similar US-built supercar.
''We were struggling to get the front tyres up to pressure – it was hard work trying to get the front into the corners,'' he said.
Herridge only took the lead around the twenty-minute mark as a result of the difficulties and, although the problem was checked mid-race when Herridge came in to hand over to team-mate Short, it still wasn't right for the rest of the race - even though Short squeezed a couple more seconds out of the car!.
Balfe was still not totally confident of victory when he took over from Derbyshire, however, sensing that Short - who recently made his FIA GT debut - was capable of keeping the Rollcentre Mosler in front.
''I was a bit wound up in the car because I know what Martin is capable of,'' Balfe admitted afterwards.
Third place went to the Piers Johnson/Shane Lynch Eclipse Motorsport TVR, which Lynch had started to good effect. The second TVR, originally entered for John Hartshorne and Graeme Mundy but piloted for the most part by Richard Stanton was sidelined by a driveshaft problem. Peter le Bas and Ricky Cole took the Chevrolet Corvette to fourth place, five laps down.
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