Rookie Endurance Championship 2013, Rd.5
It was great to see a larger than usual number of rookie teams in this race but, based on recent form, the result was almost a foregone conclusion before the teams even arrived. Team DGB have shown no mercy as they continue to dominate, and they made clear their intentions as they stormed to pole with a huge margin over their nearest rivals. User Centrix Racing lined up second ahead of The Brothers Grimm. Team G3 were looking like posing a threat in fourth and ESP racing completed the top 5. Carlin Motorsport were forced to start 37th and last on the grid.
Chris Dean was delighted with pole position and admitted it was more than the team expected coming into the race.
“It was a surprise actually. We tested yesterday in the dry and I think we were a bit disappointed when it was wet but it’s nice to be on pole. I’d rather it dried because we are probably more confident but either way we are hoping for a good result.”
Having impressed in their debut season, the Brothers Grimm were also in fine form prior to the start of the race.
“We’re really pleased. We aren’t taking the season too seriously but I think we are all pleased with how far up the grid we are. It’s been great fun so fingers crossed for a good result today.”
Team DGB not only led their rookie rivals round the opening lap but also headed the inters field. Their form was such that they emerged from their first pit stop with a 15 second lead over ESP Racing, who had got themselves up into second.
The Brothers Grimm suffered a setback early on when they were called in for what they believed to be a black flag. However, the stewards were apparently unaware of such a penalty. The general consensus was their driver mistook a black and white caution board for a black flag. A full investigation will be carried out by the team and the incident will go to the FIA International Tribunal. Anyway, this incident dropped them out of contention for a podium. Team G3 were looking very strong in the early phase of the race but would also have problems later on.
Team DGB continued to lead the way in the second stint but, alas, a mistake by Chris Dean saw him off the road and allowed ESP Racing to take the lead. Dean admitted full responsibility for being a bell-end and promised to go home and whip himself with barbed wire. This incident dropped them to second but they immediately set about chasing down ESP racing. They were helped by the latter complaining of a lack of top-end. They were helped even further when ESP received a black flag for overtaking under yellows.
With the demise of ESP, Slickspeed found themselves in the running for a podium. Carlin Motorsport were also having a great run. Having been forced to start from the back of the grid, they had fought their way through the field and by half distance were challenging for a top 3 result. The Brothers Grimm were another team having a great recovery drive but another setback during the race would drop them down the order again.
Further back, DOT Racing were having a race by themselves and Team G3, Moriwaki, User Centrix Racing and the Crash Test Dummies were fighting over the minor positions. Mobile Chicane were having a good battle with Dastardly and Mutley’s. Matt Hill & Dave, Mike & Adrian and B Flight made up the rest of the places.
Back at the front and Team DGB continued to lead the way and they took victory by well over a lap from Slickspeed, who just managed to hold on for second from the charging Carlin Motorsport.
Chris Brown was relieved to have recovered from his team mate’s early race spin to take another victory.
“We are absolutely delighted. I certainly didn’t expect to qualify so high and it was great to lead the whole field, including the inters. I haven’t spoken to my team mate yet about his incident but thankfully it didn’t cost us too much and we managed to get the lead back. I think we really have to target the championship now”
So with Brown stating the obvious, his team now have a 65 point lead as the championship enters its half way point. Helped by their main rivals taking points off each other, it would be a brave man who bet against them for title glory now.