Champions were crowned in contrasting conditions this past weekend (October 22/23) as the British Automobile Racing Club took centre stage at Donington Park.
On what proved to be an action-packed title decider under the flightpath of East Midlands airport, five championships put on a feast of entertainment for those in attendance in both wet and dry conditions.
The British Endurance Championship concluded its inaugural season in dramatic fashion, with the destiny of the title being decided in the final few laps of what was a captivating two-hour contest.
After a frenetic start – which saw the safety car make three appearances in the opening 15 minutes – the finale of what has been a year to remember soon settled down, with a number of different teams hitting the front.
Heading into the final half hour, title contenders Wayne Marrs and Tom Jackson put their Rob Boston Racing Mercedes GT3 to within touching distance of the crown as they assumed a lead they would ultimately never lose.
Needing to overturn a slender two-point deficit, Marrs and Jackson did all they could do up front and behind, things were soon set to fall their way to ensure they wrote their name in the history books as not only race winners but champions.
On course for victory in Class C and the overall title, a small mistake by the RNR Performance Ferrari 458 Challenge – driven by Chris Goddard, Charlie Hollings and Jamie Stanley – in the closing stages ensured victory for the Mercedes pair.
Team BRIT wrote the latest feel-good chapter in their ever-growing story by clinching the overall title in the Britcar Trophy. Heading into the final round of the year holding a narrow advantage in the points, Chris Overend and James Whitley did enough to guide their BMW M240i to championship glory.
Whilst many eyes were transfixed on the battle for title supremacy, Rob Boston Racing took a clean sweep of endurance wins over the course of the weekend. William Stacey piloted the stunning Lotus Elise to a brace of wins in significantly different conditions, with the first coming in torrential rain and the second just as the sun set on a dry track.
Jimmy Broadbent and Gordie Mutch wrapped up the Praga Cup title in emphatic fashion, claiming two commanding victories. Arriving at the Leicestershire track firmly in control at the summit of the standings, the Fanatec Team 87 pairing laid down their marker to the rest of the field with a superlative lap in qualifying to clinch pole position.
From there, Broadbent and Mutch reigned supreme – and in some style too – as they charged to victory in race one, giving them an unassailable lead in the series. With the championship sorted, Sunday’s second bout saw them put the explanation point on a dominant campaign by scoring yet another race win.
The Classic Touring Car Racing Club produced an abundance of edge-of-the-seat entertainment as expected, with no less than eight races of nostalgic saloon car action playing out around Donington’s Grand Prix layout.
Barry Sime and James Ibbotson scored a win apiece in the Poultec Classic Race Engines Pre-66 Touring Cars contests whilst Colin Philpott and newly crowned Jaguar champion Tom Robinson did the same in the amalgamated Shell Oils Pre 83 Touring Cars and Berkshire Jags Jaguar Challenge races.
Elsewhere, spoils were shared between Andrew Wilson and Kirk Armitage in the Classic & Historic Thunder Saloons/Blue Oval Saloons Series races. Rounding out the tin top fun were two bouts from the combined Laser Tools Pre 93 & Super Tourers and Burty Haulage Pre 03 Touring Cars, where Jason Hughes and Stewart Whyte ran out as the overall winners.
Matt Hammond ensured that the title fight in the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy will go down to the wire at Brands Hatch next month after scoring two impressive wins.
On a weekend that could have seen Nelson King secure an unassailable lead in the standings, the reigning champion dug deep to keep the championship battle rolling on and maintain his faint hopes of securing back-to-back crowns.
Hammond tip-toed his way round a sodden track to score victory in race one before then adding to his silverware collection in a frenetic finale. In-between those victories, Joe Wiggin came to the fore to score victory in race two.
To view the full classification of results from all sessions at Donington Park, CLICK HERE.