Defending champions Mark Smithson/Stuart Moseley lined up on pole for the first race, with Igor Urien, Zac Chapman and Allos within 0.787s of the pole time. Konstantin Calko/Thomas Meidinger topped the Supersport class for the SR3 and SR5.
It was bright but bitterly cold as the grid lined up, and when the lights went out, Smithson headed the charge into Copse, with Allos snatching second from Chapman and Urien. By the end of the opening lap, Urien had ousted Chapman, while Tony Wells and Hart completed the early top six.
After a couple of laps Allos began to pile the pressure on Smithson, “I had a great start and was happy to sit behind Mark, it was my plan to put pressure on until he locked up a couple of times. I got a good exit from the Loop and made a late dive on the inside at Brooklands to get the lead,” he explained. “I made a mistake at the hairpin and had to back off on the exit, which gave Manhal a run onto the Wellington Straight,” Smithson replied.
Urien had also started to close in on third, while down in fifth Wells had James Abbott approaching, after demoting Greg Hart on the third lap. Terrence Woodward was also flying after contact at the first corner, hunting down Hart for seventh.
Abbott found his way past Wells a lap later and once Woodward had ousted Hart, they both began to close in. On lap six Abbott spun down the order, “I think there was some oil down, I lost it exiting Becketts,” he explained. A lap later Smithson spun at the same spot, “I was catching Manhal again through Becketts and went in too quick,” he said.
Allos’ lead was more than doubled, with Urien and Chapman up to second and third. Woodward charged past Wells into Brooklands as the pitstop window approached, but both had the recovering Smithson closing in. “I had a nudge on the first lap and dropped right back, but when I saw Tony I was determined to get him,” said Woodward.
Both Allos and Hart gained during the stops and emerged as the frontrunners, with Allos 11.767s clear. Urien soon began to close, but he had James Littlejohn reeling him in, after taking over from Wells.
Down in sixth Ross Kaiser was dictating the pace in the Woodward car, setting Chapman as his target. Both Kaiser and Stuart Moseley had leap-frogged Chapman, before Littlejohn and Moseley were handed drive-through penalties for short stops. “I just went too early, the team tried to stop me. Not much I could do after that,” said Littlejohn. “I had pitted with James, so I went when he did, my own fault,” Moseley added.
With the clock counting down Allos’ once-safe lead was under question as he started to slow. “With about six laps left I had reduced power and tried to nurse my car home,” he explained. It was later found that a crank sensor had been damaged by on-track debris.
No one was more surprised and delighted than Hart to find himself the victor, “I didn’t think there was a chance until the very last lap, so I did an extra lap to make sure I had seen the flag,” he said. It was an extremely emotional victory for Hart, who has raced Radicals for over a decade, since the early days of the Radical Enduro Cup. Urien had expected to hold onto second, but hadn’t anticipated a stunning last lap from Kaiser. “I thought he would catch me, but not get by,” said the young Spaniard. “I saw the gap and knew I had to catch him on the Wellington Straight, so went through at Brooklands and defended it at Luffield,” Kaiser explained. Chapman made it home in fourth, with Chris Hyman/Alex Mortimer and the recovering Littlejohn/Wells completing the top six, and Allos limping home 10th.
The Supersports class was comfortably won by Tom Stubbe Olsen, class poleman Konstantin Calko heading Colin Noble for most of the first stint, before Olsen snatched second as the pitstops approached. But the Dane emerged from the pits as the new leader and was never headed, while Nick Padmore grabbed a late second from Noble. Chris Headlam/Jamie Stanley held onto fourth, but Stanley had 2010 FIA Formula Two Champion Dean Stoneman closing in at the end in Phil Abbott’s car, taking the fastest class lap en route on his return to competition.
1 Greg Hart 20 laps in 41m45.549s (105.18mph); 2 Terrence Woodward/Ross Kaiser +2.356s; 3 Igor Urien; 4 Zac Chapman; 5 Chris Hyman/Alex Mortimer; 6 Tony Wells/James Littlejohn; 7 Mike Cantillon; 8 Jaap Bartels; 9 James Abbott/Shaun Balfe; 10 Manhal Allos. Masters Class: as overall. SR3: 1 Tom Stubbe Olsen; 2 Gary Kane/Nick Padmore; 3 Colin Noble; 4 Chris Headlam/Jamie Stanley; 5 Phil Abbott/Dean Stoneman; 6 Konstantin Calko/Thomas Meidinger. Fastest lap: Kaiser 1m57.961s (111.71mph).
For the second race Moseley scooped pole by a stunning 1.476s over Marks Electrical team-mate Littlejohn, setting a new Radical lap record at Silverstone on 1:55.767. Putting this time into perspective, that’s over 3 seconds per lap faster than the FIA GT1 pole time last year, and over 7 seconds per lap faster than the lead FIA GT3 machine last year in similar conditions.
Kaiser headed the second row from Mortimer, with Bradley Ellis and Allos completing the top six. Rob Wheldon just had the edge in the Supersports from Stoneman. It was side-by-side into Copse between Moseley and Littlejohn, but the poleman lost out as both turned in. “Pole was on the wrong side for Stuart, so that gave me the advantage,” said Littlejohn. “It wouldn’t have been a problem for me on a standing start, but it compromised me being a rolling one,” Moseley added.
Mortimer, Ellis, Kaiser and Allos settled in behind and the order remained fairly constant in the top six, while down in seventh Urien made a successful early move on Chapman.
“I had a couple of moments and Stuart was suddenly with me,” explained Littlejohn as Moseley went around the outside at Brooklands to take the lead on the sixth lap. Ellis had also closed in on Mortimer and managed to snatch third just before the stops, “I got him into Luffield, it was my second attempt as I nearly hit him the first time,” he said. Once again the stops had a massive effect on the order, which left Wells heading Smithson, Allos, Hart, Urien and Woodward. “James gave me a gap to work with and I got ahead of Mark in the pits when they had a battery problem,” said Wells.
However, Allos was soon on the attack, quickly hunting down Smithson. He had a lucky escape down the safety road at Becketts and almost hit Smithson as he rejoined. Gradually the gap to Wells started to come down and on lap 16 Allos made his decisive move. “I got Chapel right and it gave me a good run down to Stowe,” he said. “I didn’t feel happy with the car, but it’s a good result,” added Wells after retaining second. Smithson completed the podium. Chris Hyman had taken over from Mortimer, and soon lost out to Hart and Urien, before Chapman took sixth from him with four laps remaining.
It was nip-and-tuck between Wheldon and Stoneman for the first few laps in the Supersports class. Wheldon led initially but after Stoneman got ahead, he slid wide at Club a lap later and handed the lead back. The lead swapped constantly once Thorburn and Abbott Snr took over, only to be split by Olsen after a few laps of the second stint. Olsen soon had the lead to take a winning double and Calko snatched second on the final lap. “I didn’t realise he was in our class...” admitted Abbott.
The next round of both series takes place at the classic, challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Held in early May, this event, shared with the FIA World Endurance Championship, always attracts a full grid and us sure to provide fascinating racing.
1 Allos 20 laps in 41m47.887s (105.09mph); 2 Littlejohn/Wells +4.208s; 3 Moseley/Smithson; 4 Hart; 5 Urien; 6 Chapman; 7 Mortimer/Hyman; 8 Kaiser/Woodward; 9 Balfe/J.Abbott; 10 Bartels. Masters Class: as overall. SR3: 1 Olsen; 2 Meidinger/Calko; 3 Stoneman/P.Abbott; 4 Rob Wheldon/David Thorburn; 5 Stanley/Headlam; 6 Padmore/Kane.