Donington Park 22-23 March Class A
Win double for Whittaker
The new season for the Kumho tyres BMW championship started off in bright sunshine on the Donington Park national circuit. It was the turn of the class A cars to take to the track first and with Some of the cars for the championship not yet being finished 15 cars took to the track for qualifying. The session lasted 15 minutes and on a slippery track it was defending champions Garrie Whittaker ( E36 M3 ) leading the way with a time of 1:16.070 ahead of Colin Wells ( M3 CSL) who was only 0.178 seconds adrift. Michael Cutt ( M3) was 3rd who is in the invitational class which also runs with the class A cars and alongside him was Darren Fielding (E36 M3 EVO).The top 6 cars were all within 1 second of each other. Whittaker's time gave him an average speed of 93.65MPH for the circuit measuring 1.97 miles in length. All of the cars then went back to the garages to be prepared for there 1st race later in the day.
As race time was approaching it was getting darker and the heavens opened up and there was a lot of water on the track.The cars had a couple of laps behind the safety car then were gridded up ready for race and if it wasn’t the Kumho tyres championship which runs on standard road there were doubts whether the race would have even been started. This race had a normal standing start and when the lights went out to signal the start of the race a lot of the cars were struggling for grip including Whittaker and it was actually Fielding who took the lead with Whittaker in 2nd place with Wells in 3rd.All of the cars made it safely through the 1st corner even if some found it more trickier than other including Colin Whitmore (E36 M3) who went sideways into the gravel but escaped.Cutts only managed 1 lap and then retired. Peter Seldon (E36 M3) retired after only 2 laps and decided that was his weekend finished and would take no more part in the proceedings. Michael Timberlake (E46 M3) had struggled in qualifying and then also retired after 8 laps.
The top couple of cars were having a good race and Whittaker went on record as saying ' he couldn’t believe the pace that Fielding had ' with the dreadful conditions but eventually Whittaker made his move and was leading the race and then started to put some distance between them. Wrigley was alone in 3rd and one of the closest battle of the race was between Wells and Piers Ross (E36 M3 EVO) with Ross getting the better of Wells a few corners from the end of the race. After 11 laps for the race leader it was Whittaker who took the chequered flag 1st ahead of Fielding and Wrigley. Ross & Wells came in next with Ian Hills (E36) co sponsor of the championship in 6th position. Kal Ezzat (M3) in his 1st race had a problem with his car which decided to go into limp mode but managed to finish and was the last car home. Fastest race lap for Whittaker with a time of 1:46.618 which was over 30 seconds slower than qualifying to show just how bad the conditions were on track.
Sunday after saw race 2 for the class A cars and this time it would be a rolling start as it was being televised live on Motors TV. The pack of BMW'S started the race and all went well until they went around the 1st lap of the race when cars were going off in all directions and Des Thresh (E36 M3) took to the grass to avoid trouble and was then hit damaging his car and that was his race finished. Thomas Hibbert (E36 M3) & Mike Hibbert (E36 M3) were also involved and took no further part neither did Ross. Out in the front it was Whittaker leading the way being chased by Fielding. On lap 5 Wells put a wheel on the outside of the track and went into a tyre wall and that was his race run. Wrigley made his way past Fielding and was now in pursuit of race leader Whittaker. Lap after lap Wrigley would move right up behind Whittaker but had no answer in how to get past him. The race lasted for 14 laps and it was once again Whittaker taking the chequered flag 1st for a win double ahead of Wrigley and Fielding.
Fastest race lap went to Wells while he was running with a time of 1:16.392.
After the 1st 2 rounds of the 2014 championship it is Whittaker leading the standings with 30 points ahead of Wrigley & Fielding both on 27 points.
The next rounds of the championship are at Rockingham in early April.
Whittaker takes the lead from Fielding in race 1
Whittaker leads the way ahead of Wrigley in race 2
Terms & Conditions
All photographs on this website (www.bmwrdc.com) are copyright the photographer who is listed below. These photographs are for personal use only. Any commercial use (any form of printed media, electronic mail, electronic publishing) is strictly forbidden without prior concent from the photographer or firstname.lastname@example.org.