Craig Wilkins and Aaron Scott have claimed a long overdue maiden win in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship after snatching victory in the closing stages of race two at Spa.

The ABG Motorsport Viper took the lead with just two laps of the race remaining to allow the pair to take victory ahead of the Ferrari of race-long leaders Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester.

Their victory promotes Wilkins and Scott to the overall lead of the championship; after four rounds the West Midlanders hold a slender one-point advantage over their pursuers.

It was a masterly performance in tricky conditions from the Viper men, Scott battling the Rollcentre Mosler of Martin Short for second place in the foggy early laps as Simonsen's Rosso Verde Ferrari sped away from the pole to lead. Danish driver Simonsen held a twelve-second advantage when he pitted to hand over to Lester. It might have been a greater advantage had the race not spent its first four laps under the Safety Car due to the poor visibility.

A slow out lap and an unhelpful tap from a delayed Gregor Fisken, Short's Mosler driving partner, was enough for the ABG Viper, now in Wilkins' hands, to slip past and into second pace, behind Lester. The Ferrari's advantage after 13 laps was 11 seconds but Wilkins nibbled into it each lap, posting fastest lap on his 20th tour as he latched on to Lester's tail.

The decisive move of the race came on the run through Eau Rouge.

"I had a bit of a run on him through La Source," Wilkins said. "There was a bit of contact but I made it past. It was a bit of a last-minute thing. It's very special to get our first win at last. We have worked very hard for two seasons to get here. All credit to Aaron: he's a true professional; he knows how to drive a car at a pace and bring it back with good tyres and brakes. I got into a lovely car."

The Scott/Wilkins Viper crossed the line three-and-a-half seconds ahead of the Ferrari, with Saturday's race victors, Short/Fisken and their Mosler, a solid third ahead of the Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin of Andrew Howard and Jamie Smyth, which recorded its best result of the season.

The 22 GT Racing Aston of Adrian Willmott and Tom Alexander, whose pace was hobbled by mechanical problems on Saturday, went well to claim fifth ahead of the Chris Hyman/Paul Warren Ferrari.

The Momo-backed Mosler of rounds one and two victors Stuart Hall and Daniel Brown retired after only four laps, Hall pulling off after a spin. Alas the Ascari of David and Godfrey Jones failed even to make the start after an engine problem was discovered moments before the off.

The battle for honours in the GT4 class was as dramatic and exciting as it has ever been, a two-way Ginetta fight after the early demise against the barriers of the Mike Thomas/Ian Stinton car. Nigel Moore led Spa race one winner Hunter Abbott in the early laps before pitting to hand over to Jody Firth, who found it impossible to maintain the pace during his stint due to over-used tyres.
Gary Simms duly took over in front, but only until called back to the pits for a stop/go penalty after missing the pit window time limit. Simms drove spectacularly after serving the penalty to close down Firth's 10-second lead and pass him for the class lead once again. Firth, however, had the last laugh.

"It was a great battle over the last two or three laps, I think we must have swapped the lead four or five times," he said. "It was brilliant. I only just managed to make the lead stick. On the last lap I had a good run through Blanchimont, throwing caution to the wind, and managed to pull a gap on him. That little extra bit of bravery helped."

Moore and Firth, GT4 victors in three out of four rounds, now enjoy a 12-point title race advantage.



Loading Comments...