Snetterton 10-11 May Class A
Snetterton 300 brings a new winner
The Snetterton 300 circuit provided the next test for the drivers in the BMW Kumho tyres 2014 championship. With 13 class A cars taking to the circuit for the qualifying session on a track that was beginning to dry out after heavy overnight rain and a dry line was appearing in places. The session lasted for 20 minutes and at the end of that time it was Garrie Whittaker ( E36 M3) leading the way ahead of Peter Seldon ( E36 M3) with Tom Wrigley (E36 M3) & Mike Hibbert (E36 M3) taking up the 2nd row on the grid. The time for Whittaker was 2:11.474 on a circuit which measures 2.96 miles and gave hi man average speed of 81:29 MPH and he was 0:75 seconds quicker than Seldon.
The 1st race for the class A cars which would be over a 20 minute duration took place later in the day and the sun was now shining and the track was fully dry which should lead to a good fast race.The cars lined up on the grid and when the lights went out to signal the race start it was Whittaker & Seldon leading the way but unfortunately there was a big collision between Kal Ezzat ( M3) James Card (E46 M3) & Colin Whitmore (E36 M3) and the race was instantly red flagged and stopped to remove these damaged cars which were just off the start line and in a dangerous place.
The race was restarted without any of the 3 cars involved in the accident and this time it was Seldon leading Whittaker as they headed off into the 1st hairpin on the circuit but Seldon drifted out wide and Wrigley then tried to take the lead but Whittaker had other ideas and nosed his car in front and into the lead of the race.Seldon himself dropped quite a few places and was towards the back of the race order and the race settled down. Whittaker was beginning to pull away.Wrigley was having a good battle with Colin Wells (M3 CSL).Seldon was also moving up the race order and getting back towards the front runners. Whittaker was looking comfortable out in front and with Wells & Wrigley having there race long duel this allowed Whittaker the time he needed to move on towards the chequered flag.Whittaker took another race win to make it 5 wins out of 5 this season with Wells & Wrigley coming home 2nd & 3rd.Seldon took 4th place ahead of Darren Fielding (E36 M3 EVO).
The fastest race lap went to Wells with a time of 2:07.119 which was over 4 seconds faster than the qualifying time.Whittaker had a fastest race lap of 2:07.834 and told the race interviewer ' that his car had a problem and it wasn’t going as well as normal and felt very slow'
Sunday morning saw the cars come back out on track for there 2nd race of the weekend and the track was now wet after heavy rain had hit the circuit. Whitmore had repaired his damaged car and took his place on the grid but the other cars involved in the accident were not present.Seldon and Des Thresh (E36 M3) were also missing so there was only 9 cars taking the start.A good start by Whittaker who had Wells right alongside him as they headed in the 1st corner of the circuit and it was testament to both drivers that with the track conditions they both kept the racing line and no contact was made.With a lot of water and mist being thrown up by the cars visibility further down the race order was very poor.Whittaker made an escape and was putting some good time between himself and his pursuers behind him.Fielding & Wells were having a close race behind Whittaker.Piers Ross (E36 M3 EVO) was having a good race dice with Mike Hibbert.Whittaker was looking good for another race win when with only 2 laps to go Fielding closed the gap and as they both headed into the final lap of the race Fielding was withing striking distance of the lead and suddenly Fileding was through and Whittaker pulled off of the track and with his stricken car he was out of the race.fielding went on to take his 1st race win of the year ahead of Wells & Ross.Whiitaker finally limped across the line in 7th place just ahead of Whitmore.
Whittaker said he heard a big bang out of the car on the final lap which he later found out was an exploding drive shaft.This was the 1st race defeat this season fro Whittaker.
The fastest race lap went to Fielding with a time of 2:29.323 such were the treacherous track conditions.
The points total after this race still has Whittaker leading the way with 84 points ahead of Fielding 79 & Wrigley 75.So far this season 15 drivers in class A have scored championship points.
Winner of race 1 Garrie Whittaker
Race 2 start showing close but no contact in the conditions
Winner race 2 Darren Fielding