Titan top at Whilton
Whilton Mill played host to round three of the premier endurance championship. A cold but dry day greeted the teams as the title protagonists set about continuing their battle for supremacy. Raceandclassics.com arrived with their distinctive new orange and black livery and hoped to impress their new title sponsor with a good result. G3Pro stole the show in qualifying to take the class pole position. After a disappointing outing at Shenington, Titan were back at the sharp end and qualified second. Team Applewood were third fastest and then there was a big gap to fourth with RMR just ahead of SoundFP. And what of the fully funded Raceandclassics.com? Well they were languishing down in twentieth and last of the premier teams behind SMJ and G3Pro Farecla. This poor performance prompted a kart change but, unbeknownst to most people, the joker rule no longer applies so they didn’t have to start 33rd and last. The pole sitters made a clean start and streaked away into the lead. Titan and Applewood maintained position but RMR got up to third on lap two after a flying start. An early pit stop on lap 8 for G3Pro handed the lead to Titan. They made a stop 10 laps later but it was much slower and this gave the advantage back to G3Pro. Meanwhile, SoundFP were making solid progress and had got themselves into a good battle with RMR. Behind these two, Raceandclassics were quietly sneaking up the order and reeling them in. After a good qualifying, Applewood had gone backwards during the early stages of the race. A black flag for ABC on lap 51 just compounded their troubles. G3Pro held a good fifteen second lead over Titan as they dived for the pits on lap 45. Titan responded by pitting on the following lap with a stop four seconds quicker. Titan really put the hammer down and closed the gap dramatically – aided by traffic for G3Pro. As we approached half distance, G3Pro were leading Titan by just over a second. Titan got past on lap 58, making good use of the traffic. RMR were still going strong in third and running on the same pace as the chasing raceandclassics.com with a gap just shy of three seconds. Further down the order, Team Applewood were still languishing down in the mid field. SMJ Racing appeared to be having a hard time of it as well and were back in twentieth. Titan pitted from the lead on lap 70, emerging ahead of G3Pro. They’d had a stellar middle stint and now held a seven second advantage. G3Pro got held up in traffic which didn’t help their cause. Behind this duo, Raceandclassics.com had worked their way into a potential podium position. Superior pace and slick work in the pits got them out ahead of SoundFP. With 25 minutes to go it started spitting slightly but not enough to wet the track or cause any excitement. A bit pointless me mentioning it really. Anyway, Titan continued to build on their lead. G3Pro by this stage were comfortably in second. Raceandclassics, despite about to go a lap down, looked pretty safe in third. A late race surge saw G3Pro’s sister team challenge the likes of RMR and SoundFP. They had steadily plugged away almost unnoticed (completely unnoticed by me if I’m honest). By the closing stages of the race they had got themselves ahead of RMR and built up a gap of a couple of seconds. After two hours of racing, Titan emerged as the victors, winning by nearly a whole lap in the end from G3Pro. Raceandclassics.com gave their sponsor something to smile about with third place. A great drive saw G3Pro Farecla come home fourth ahead of RMR. SoundFP were sixth in class but Faisal Haneef had allegedly, by utter mistake, accidentally put Andrew Hall’s lead on the kart instead of his own and they were excluded for being underweight. Naughty boys. So with a third place and two seconds, G3Pro now find themselves leading the championship. Raceandclassics.com are five points behind in second with Titan third. It’s going to be a tight battle between these three teams this year.