The Final Round of this years British GT & F3 comes to Donington Park
A smell of fuel and burnt brake lining hung in the Autumn air along with a sense of anticipation as the ﬁnal day of a weekend of motor sport at Derbyshire’s Donington Park dawned overcast with an ominous threat of rain.
The plethora of races that were scheduled throughout the day promised to satisfy even the most ardent motor-racing fan. They included the FIA GT1, British GT and F3 Championships that was guaranteed to keep the crowds on the edge of their respective seats, however, the local interest was in the shape of two Derbyshire lads who were looking to draw on the support of the local crowd and blow the competition away.
First up was Matlock's Cavan Corcoran driving for Team CC Motorsport who, in the ﬁrst of
two of the days races was looking to close in on his closest rival in the standings,
Equador's Julio Moreno. With both competitors driving cars with turbo-charged 1600cc
engines it was always going to be a close and exciting race and what a thriller it turned out
to be. On the ﬁrst lap, Eric Lichtenstein driving his Jamun Ecoboost Mygale became
embattled, down the back straight, with team mate Luke Williams. Feathers appeared to
have been rufﬂed and their ﬁght for the lead raged on over the following lap but ended
abruptly when a coming-together at Goddards caused them both to suffer damage which
ultimately lead to both of their retirements.
JTR's Moreno was delayed in the ﬁrst lap and this left Corcoran to do battle throughout the
race for second place with Cullen Motorsport's Ryan Cullen, who said after “It was a good battle for the whole race; we were moving through the ﬁeld, avoiding the accidents and trying not to create one of our own because it was very close. Fair play to Cavan, he drove well.”
Ripley Lad pushes hard in Donington Ginetta GT5s
In the 'Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge' 12 lap event, a field of 30 drivers lined up on the grid with local lad Ripley's David Barker racing for Optimum Motorsport. After crashing out in race one, David was determined to show his guile and tenacity against his fellow competitors including, amongst others, Emmerdale's Kelvin Fletcher.
As the race started TCR’s Mike Robinson held on to the lead from pole position but an incident for Reflex Racing’s Luke Davenport at the old hairpin brought out the safety car until Davenports car could be removed from the gravel. It was during lap three that the race got back underway and Robinson quickly reacted and made a swift getaway leaving Academy’s Sean Huyton, HHC’s William Burns and Piranha’s Ryan Ratcliffe to duel it out for the other places. Meanwhile Barker was pushing hard to stay in contention.
Following further race drama with Optimum’s Lee Mowie tasting the Donington gravel at Goddards, Ratcliffe, Privateer Brad Bailey and Piranha’s Rick Parfitt crossed the line with just one second separating them with Bailey all over the tail of Ratcliffe, desperate for his first win of the season.
Well, the Donington gods must have been smiling on Bailey as he was indeed awarded the win after Ratcliffe was given a post race penalty for overtaking whilst the race was under yellow flags. Rick Parfitt took second and Privateer Andy O'Brien third with Derbyshire’s David Barker crossing the line in a commendable 6th position, to be awarded 17th in the final championship standings.
As the rain began to fall on the Donington race goers as they rushed for the cover of their cars, there was a lot of happy faces and the sound of excited chatter about the day’s events, signalling perhaps that Derbyshire’s premier race circuit is finally lifting it’s head and proudly returning to it’s former position as one of the U.K.’s respected motor sport venues.
Copy by Steve Gresty
Images By Steve Gresty & Mark Ludbrook