Posted by Latest News | Posted on 12-11-2010| Posted in
Topcats Racing are still keeping their hopes up that the overall championship is still within their grasp following a fine performance from the Fiorentino and Huggins duo in the Class 2 Marcos Mantis. The Class 1 Ferrari 430 still leads the championship after dominating the series this year but they could still be beaten by the Topcats Racing Class 2 underdogs if things don’t go according to plan for the Ferrari drivers, Gamski and Robinson.
Owen O’Neill has impressed this season in the Marcos Mantis Class 3 car too and was joined by close friend and fellow ex-TVR Challenge racer and regular driver of the Glynnsport TVR Sagaris (which was absent for this round), Sam Head, for the Donington round having had discussions with the team this year to secure a seat in the Marcos.
Fiorentino and Huggins did well to classify their car in 4th place for qualifying. O’Neill and Head posted 10th overall for their grid position alongside their main title rivals Morcillo & Cintrano in the Porsche GT3.
The 3 hour race benefitted from a day lit rolling start and the whole field completed the usually frenetic opening laps without incident.
Fiorentino was looking menacingly quick and wasted no time dispensing with the Millard Prosport which had started 2nd on the grid and as scuffles to take the lead were unravelling, the Gamski Ferrari lost out and was gradually dropping back until eventually the Gaw/Dryburgh Class 2 Porsche GT3 came out in front with Fiorentino in hot pursuit in 2nd place.
Head was taking a more calculated stance and held position for the first few laps to allow the tyres to get up to temperature before launching an attack on his rivals in front. Head had already planned his targets and was feeling very confident in his new machinery.
Fiorentino had pulled clear in 2nd and was still on the offensive to catch the quick running Gaw/Dryburgh Porsche. The safety car was deployed to collect a stranded car but the race began again in earnest a few laps later.
Little had changed by the midway point and this signalled the window for many cars to complete their mandatory pitstop. The Gaw/Dryburgh Porsche’s need for fuel was more urgent though and pitted, handing the lead to Fiorentino to enjoy until being radioed to pit for fuel and hand over to co-driver, Neil Huggins.
Head, meanwhile had also been enjoying a great deal of success and was running purely on merit in 5th place until it was his time to pit and hand over to co-driver, O’Neill. His need to adapt and settle into the new car was very brief, proving his potential to the team.
Huggins drove superbly too but after a challenge with the 3rd placed Kinfaun Porsche, Huggins opted to bag the points needed rather than forfeit a podium finish if forced into an error. This would allow them to keep overall championship hopes alive at the next round at Brands Hatch. Six points separate them from championship leaders Gamski/Robinson in the Class 1 Ferrari 430.
As the chequered flag dropped marking the end of the 3 hour race, Huggins held onto 3rd place and 2nd in class. O’Neill also had a faultless drive bringing home the class 3 Marcos in 8th overall and just missing out on a class podium. This leaves them clear to take 2nd in class for the championship. A good result will be needed if they are to challenge current class leaders Morcillo/Cintrano in the Porsche GT3.
The next round at Brands Hatch is on Saturday 13th November.