Tordoff says thank you in second Masters GT Trophy outing at Donington Park
Sam Tordoff went one better in the second Masters GT Trophy race of the Masters Race Weekend at Donington, as he profited from the demise of long-time leader Craig Wilkins, whose Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo looks set for a dominant second victory before the Italian car was seen coming into the pits twice before retiring from the lead with just three minutes remaining on the clock.
The result was a Porsche 1-2-3 as Tordoff’s 997.2 was followed home by the Marcus Jewell/Dallas Carroll 991.2 Cup, with Matthew Holme making it three Porsches in the top three by adding his 997 Cup to the all-Zuffenhausen podium.
Ray Harris once again occupied the lead Ginetta G55 to take fourth overall and win the GT4 class from Chris Griffin’s Aston Martin Vantage N24 GT4 and the Adam Sharpe/George Haynes BMW M3 GT4.
For the second Masters GT Trophy race of the weekend, Craig Wilkins led away from pole as the race 1 winner, but the Lamborghini was immediately chased hard by Sam Tordoff’s Porsche 997.2 Cup car. Behind the lead pair, Marcus Jewell in the 991.2 Cup took Matthew Holme’s 997 Cup for third, with Ray Harris following through on the next lap in the first of the Ginetta G55s. From the back, Adam Sharpe demonstrated great pace by storming up to sixth in three laps on board George Haynes’ BMW M3 GT4 while from last on the grid Alex Brundle in the other G55 had gained a spot by passing Martin Addison’s Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Sadly, the other Huracán Super Trofeo Evo of Neil Glover/Aaron Scott had failed to appear at the start.
With a string of fastest laps, Wilkins built a five-second gap after five laps, with Tordoff extending his margin to Jewell to seven seconds. Further back, Brundle now also made it past Chris Griffin in the other Aston to be seventh while chasing Sharpe in the BMW that was in striking distance just three-tenths up ahead.
With Wilkins improving his grasp of the Lambo with every lap, more fastest laps were waiting in the wings – and these duly arrived on tours 9 and 10, as the Huracán again dipped into the 1.06s. The result was that Tordoff now trailed by 12 seconds, with three more minutes until the pit window would open. Jewell was 27 seconds down in third, with Harris and Holme each looking at a 12-second deficit to their rivals ahead. Sharpe, meanwhile, was proving a tough cookie for Brundle to crack, the BMW holding on to its sixth place as the Ginetta continued to pile the pressure on.
As the pit window opened, Jewell was the first one in, handing the Porsche to Dallas Carroll. The next driver to blink was Chris Griffin in the N24 GT4 Aston, followed by Tordoff and Griffin’s Aston rival Addison. Brundle then entrusted the Ginetta to Ron Maydon, with Harris, Holme and Sharpe following suit, the latter switching places with Haynes. The leader left it until the final two minutes before doing his stop.
Now, with 15 minutes still to go, Wilkins led by a huge margin, but with his elite-driver pitstop penalty Tordoff was still under threat from Carroll, a mere seven seconds away. Holme trailed them by 35 seconds, and behind him cars were seven seconds apart each – from Harris to Griffin, to Haynes, to Addison, to Maydon.
With five more minutes off the clock, proceedings took a surprise turn with Wilkins visiting the pits for a second time, but such was his lead that he returned with 21 seconds still in hand over Tordoff, who himself had increased his advantage over Carroll to 15 seconds. But seven minutes later, true disaster struck when Wilkins was seen trundling into the pits for a third time. The team reported that they had an engine issue and wanted to be cautious.
And so Tordoff said thank you to win the second Masters GT Trophy race with 19 seconds in hand over Carroll, and a full lap over Holme. The Porsches were followed home by Harris, Griffin, Haynes, Addison and Maydon.
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