Snetterton crowns MSVR champions for 2012
01/11/12 - Champions were crowned as several of MSVR's championships reached their climax at the Snetterton 300 circuit on 27/28 October.
The F3 Cup, Radical Clubman's Cup, Radical UK Cup, VAG Trophy, MK2 Golf GTI Championship and the Lotus Cup UK Supersport titles all went down to the wire at the Norfolk venue, producing some nail biting action.
Tewkesbury man Chris Dittmann became the inaugural F3 Cup champion after winning his class in tricky wet conditions in race one. The 23-year-old starred in qualifying by securing second spot on the grid, splitting two F1 test drivers in the form of Antonio Felix Da Costa and Kevin Korjus. Dittmann made a mess of his start which dropped him down the order and the title battle was hanging in the balance. Red Bull junior driver Da Costa stormed into the lead and dominated the race leading home Korjus. Title contender Tristan Cliffe produced his best drive of the season to secure third overall and a class win from ninth on the grid. This was not enough to deny Dittmann the overall title as he came home in seventh but first in the Trophy class.
Da Costa repeated the feat in race two finishing ahead of Cliffe and James Abbott. Omicron Motorsports won the Teams' Championship and Cliffe claimed the Cup Class crown. Dave Karaskas lifted the Masters Class trophy.
Lotus Cup UK
Steve Train was crowned Lotus Cup UK SuperSport champion after a tense final round,in which both winner Rob Fenn and runner-up Glenn Sherwood, sharing with Jamie Stanley, could have taken the title.
Polesitter Fenn was passed by a charging Martin Donnelly at the start, and the Evora led much of the race, with GT and historic ace Michael Lyons also in contention. However, making up for an extended safety car period, the pair made their mandatory stops too late for the pit window, incurring penalties. This allowed Fenn to take the final win of the season from Sherwood and Stanley with Adrian Hall claiming the final podium place ahead of Production winner Andrew Bentley.
Radical Clubman's Cup
Mectech Motorsport's Bradley Smith secured the Radical Clubman's Cup title in style with an impressive double victory. Smith was involved in a three-way tussle for the title with Mark Abbott and Matt Bell both in contention to pick up the coveted crown. However, 21-year-old Smith didn't let the occasion get to him and he held off the highly rated Lewis Plato by three tenths of a second in race one. Plato was making his car racing debut after a number of successful years in karting. Swedish teenager Lukas Sundahl came home in third crucially ahead of Smith's title rival Bell, while Abbott finished second in class.
The pressure was mounting on Smith and Bell heading into the final race of the 2012 season, but it was Smith who came out on top. An all too familiar battle between Smith and Bell unfolded but it was Smith who came out on top crossing the finish line three seconds ahead of Bell, while Plato capped an impressive debut with his second podium of the weekend.
Radical UK Cup
Tony Wells and James Littlejohn came into the final round of the season lying fourth in the championship but two hard fought wins gave them the 2012 Radical UK Cup title. The pair, who kept their championship hopes alive with victory at Donington, managed to hold second spot for the first half of race one, before Littlejohn hauled in long time race leader and title contender Zac Chapman. Littlejohn passed Chapman to take the chequered flag with Roger Bromiley in third. Fellow title contenders Manhal Allos finished eighth while championship leader Colin Noble came home fourth in class.
The championship went down to the wire with the final race of the season producing an epic battle at the front. Wells and Littlejohn made contact with Allos during the latter stages of the race, but Wells and Littlejohn were able to continue, winning the race and taking the title in the process. Chapman brought his car home in third which saw his season end on a positive note.
Former British Touring Car driver Liam McMillan picked up two victories but the weekend belonged to Paul Taylor as he secured the 2012 VAG Trophy by the slimmest of margins. Taylor led the field on the opening lap but his advantage was soon negated and he quickly dropped to third with McMillan taking the lead. Pole sitter Andy Thompson spun on the opening lap but he produced a remarkable drive from the 19th to second at the flag behind winner McMillan. Len Simpson was third ahead of Taylor which meant the title would be decided in race two.
A drying track was presented to the drivers for race two and
once again McMillan came to the fore. However, he had to work hard
for his triumph as pole man Thompson grabbed the lead from the
start with Taylor in fourth. Fellow title rival Tony Taylor's
charge ended on the opening lap as mechanical problems forced him
into retirement. At the front Thompson made a slight mistake at
Coram allowing McMillan into the lead where he stayed until the
flag. All eyes turned to the battle between Taylor and Martyn Walsh
and in the end it was Taylor who finished fourth overall. Walsh
needed to finish second in class to take the title, but Jamie
Martin beat him to that position handing Taylor the title by a
MK2 Golf GTi Championship
Jamie Martin wrapped up the MK2 Golf GTI Championship with victory in the first of two races at Snetterton. Martin, who has been the dominant force in this year's championship, stormed to his ninth win which proved enough for him to be crowned 2012 champion. His nearest rival Alex 'Bomber' Harris was the only driver who could deny Martin the title, but a spin towards the end of the race cost him his title shot. James Bark and Darren Bedford produced strong drives to come home in second and third positions.
Martin was unable to finish the season with a double win as smoke engulfed his car at the start of race two leaving him facing retirement from the final encounter of the season. The door was left open for Bark and he shot into the lead with former World Touring Car driver Harry Vaulkhard in hot pursuit. Bark held firm in the lead and crossed the line 12 seconds in front of Vaulkhard with Colin Hays in third.
Lotus on Track Elise Trophy
Andrew Bentley was also the star of the Elise Trophy races, in the absence of series dominator Rob Boston, who withdrew after qualifying issues. Nobody was able to come anywhere near Bentley on the track as he stormed to the top step of the podium in both races.
After a spin from Jon LaMaster, Craig Denman and Ken Savage fought over the final podium place in race one, despite a collision at Oggies. Denman took a second podium later on, with Adam Knight finishing third.
Club MSV Trackday Trophy
A day of early winter weather arrived for the seventh race of the 2012 Club MSV Trackday Trophy, which was dominated by the Granny Turismo pairing of Richard Evans and Edward McKean in their BWM 325 Coupe.