Andrew Kirkaldy took victory by just 39-thousandths of a second from Tim Sugden after just over an hours racing in round five of the British GT Championship at Snetterton this afternoon [June 5].
The Scuderia Ecosse racer fought back from a big deficit following the driver change-over period to hunt down the Porsche 911 GT3-RSR of Sugden, which was carrying 60kg of success ballast.
Kirkaldy took the lead six laps from the chequered flag when he dived up the inside of the Porsche at Riches corner. His hard work was almost thrown away on the final lap charge to the flag when the Ferrari chose neutral between gears changes, allowing Sugden a last gasp chance of the win.
"I really didn't think it was going to be possible after the pit-stops," said Kirkaldy. "Nathan lost some time on his in-lap and the handicap we have meant that Tim was a long way down the road. I just had to keep pushing and wait to see what happened. The Donington win was exciting but this was even better," he added.
Godfrey and David Jones picked up third place, after running second earlier in the race. Tim Mullen and Rob Barff bought the second Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari home in fourth, just ahead of the Eclipse Motorsport TVR of Steve Hyde and Piers Johnson. The Mosler of Richard Stanton and Patrick Pearce rounded out the top six.
The Dailysportscar.com Cup Class victory went to Chris Beighton and Jon Finnemore in the Team Tiger Marcos Mantis. A superb drive from Finnemore moved the Marcos into the lead before the driver-change. Beighton came under increasing pressure towards the closing laps from the Porsche 911 GT3-Cup of Pete Chambers, who had recovered from a drive through penalty.
"Everything was fine through the whole race, but the tyres were really going off at the end," said Beighton. "There was a lot of oil down at the back part of the circuit near the end of the race and it was just a case of bringing it home."
Adam Wilcox and Ni Amorim had to settle for third place, just ahead of the Lotus of Barrie Whight and Gavin Kershaw who led the class in the first half of the race before dropping back down the order.