Round three of the 2014 GT&SCC series was on the Sunday of the AMOC meeting at Brands Hatch. The team also had for the first time Siamak Siassi’s “LT2”- XK120 competing in the XK Challenge for our inaugural race in the series.
In the GT&SCC race a combination of two faultless stints by Chris, two super quick driver changes by the team and a blistering middle stint from Matt gave M & C Wilkinson a lights to flag victory against a highly strong field of over forty Pre ‘66 GT cars.
Leading from the start…
GT&SCC race winners!! Chris (left) & Matt (right)
Qualifying was at midday on Sunday with Chris out first in XAN for the first half of the session. Several incidents in the early stages caused yellow flags on Chris’s first three laps in qualifying and only on lap four did he finally manage to get a clear lap to set a time of 1.47.208 to put them third on the grid at that stage.
Following his stint Chris then pitted to hand over to Matt for the second half of qualifying. Following his out-lap Matt started his first flying lap of the Session and straight away he managed to set a virtually perfect lap with a time of 1.43.344; putting us on pole at that stage by over two seconds! This time eclipsed Matt’s previous best time on the GP circuit in May and again is (we believe) a lap record for an FIA E-Type on the Brands GP circuit.
Matt continued his stint but he struggled on each lap with traffic and incidents. As the session neared the end Simon Hadfield in Leo Voyazides’s Cobra crossed the line and set a time 0.2 seconds faster to take pole position. However it later transpired that this had come at a cost, with engine troubles preventing the Cobra from making the start of the race later that afternoon.
As the race approached so did the rain and as the cars lined up in the collecting area the heavens opened with a torrential downpour saturating the circuit. Thus meaning the race started under safety car for the first two laps.
As the safety car pulled into the pits the race commenced, Chris was at the front of the pack (following the withdrawal of the Cobra) and for the first twenty minutes of the race he held first throughout his stint.
A stranded car at Paddock lead to the return of the safety car and immediately cars came in for their first of two compulsory pit stops. Chris came in to hand over to Matt who then resumed the race at the front of the field under safety car conditions. Once the incident was cleared, some fifteen minutes later!, the race then got back underway, for a lap, before an E-Type spun coming onto the pit straight and hit the pit wall bringing out the safety car once again for a brief period.
Once Matt had clear air he managed to set a series of fastest laps during the middle stage of the race. He pulled twenty eight seconds clear of second place before stopping for the second compulsory pit stop and handing back over to Chris for the final stint.
Needless to say Chris managed the gap and maintained first to the finish by pacing the car home to take the win by eleven seconds as the chequered flag fell. A fantastic result for both drivers and team!
XAN 555 (right) in parc ferme after the race…
The XK Challenge race was held on the Indy circuit on Saturday and following a reasonable qualifying Siamak Siassi started seventeenth overall and sixth in class. At the start of the race a damp track meant Siamak gradually found a rhythm in the opening laps, as he settled down he was setting a series of quick time and moving through the field. A little off as the race reached the end dropped Siamak back slightly but by the end he was thirteenth overall and fourth in class.
Siamak Siassi (above) getting ready to start race one…
Race two was on the GP circuit on Sunday and despite a gearbox selection issue Siamak managed to drive around the problem as best he could to finish the race seventeenth overall and eighth in class.