31/12/12 - MotorSport Vision Racing enjoyed a landmark season in
2012 hosting more events than ever before packed full of thrills,
spills and dramatic title battles.
From March to November MSVR hosted 34 race meetings with is 20
core championships/series at the UK's premier circuits alongside
trips to Anglesey and Belgium's notorious Spa Francorchamps
circuit. A number of prestigious events featured on the 2012
calendar including rounds of the British F3 & GT Championships,
FIA Formula Two Championship and DTM.
Despite a challenging economic climate, club racing showed it is
in good health as MSVR enjoyed another season of thrilling racing.
Here we look back on some of the talking points.
GT Cup Championship
The 2012 GT Cup Championship belonged to Derek Johnston and
his superbly prepared Ferrari 458 but he was not to provide the
only talking point this year.
The championship kicked off at Donington Park with a priceless
array of exotic GT machinery. The grid welcomed the sleek and
unusual Aquila of Bob Berridge alongside Martin Short's Mosler and
a Nissan GTR GT3 of British GT racer Benji
Johnston led the first race briefly before the Aquila's pace
told and Berridge went on to claim the first win of the season from
Short. A bit of motor racing history was made in race two when
Hetherington guided the Nissan to its first ever competitive race
victory. Johnston took the third a final race win.
Bright sunshine greeted the drivers at Silverstone and it would
prove to be a weekend to remember for Short as he claimed a hat
trick of victories. Jordan Witt, in the new Chevron GT3, pushed
Short hard but was unable to make a move stick. Group 2 and Group 3
provided the closest battles with Peter Smallwood, Don Grice and
Harry Whale never separated by more than a few tenths as they
pursued class victories.
Witt showed his class at Brands Hatch Indy in June by recording
a hat trick of wins to boost his title hopes. Each time he held off
a hard charging Johnston to the line. The pair swapped places
several times but the nimble Chevron just had the legs on the
Snetterton 300 was the next location for the championship and
this was where Johnston began to assert his authority on the points
standings. Three convincing wins saw him build a commanding lead in
the title race. The stunning Porsche 935 of Richard Chamberlain
briefly put pressure on the Ferrari man before mechanical problems
ended its charge. However, the closest finish of the season was
provided by Smallwood and Colin Broster with the latter taking
second spot by just 0.072 seconds.
The stunning McLaren MP4 12C lit up the championship at Oulton
Park with former British GT champion Jim Geddie winning both races.
Despite Geddie's dominance, he was forced to work hard for the
victories with Johnston, Chamberlain and the Audi R8 of Nigel
Mustill pushing him all the way. Two second places for Johnston
increased his championship lead.
Witt and Geddie went head-to-head in the penultimate meeting at
Brands Hatch GP with the Chevron claiming two wins to the McLaren's
one. The pair provided fascinating battles at the front.
So the championship came down to the final meeting at Donington
Park in October. While the three victories went to the impressive
Witt in the Chevron, three second places were more than enough for
Johnston to claim the title.
Champion Derek Johnston
Lotus Cup UK
Consistency for Steve Train gave him the Lotus UK Supersport
title as the championship adopted a new format for 2012.
The Lotus Cup UK was split into Lotus Cup UK Supersport, which
catered for Evoras, Exiges, 211s and Europas, while the Lotus Cup
UK Production saw Elises do battle. The format provided races
within a race ensuring there were plenty of battles for the
spectator to keep an eye on.
An impressive 40 plus field rocked up for the opening round at
Silverstone GP in April and so the season began. The Rob Fenn
Motorsport Elise blitzed the Northamptonshire circuit to take the
flag from Train and ex-F1 star Martin Donnelly. An impressive drive
from Quick netted him the first Production win.
Brands Hatch and Castle Combe rounds were dominated by the same
duo. Adrian Hall struck twice in the Supersport category while Rob
Boston cleaned up in the Production class. Simon Deacon came to the
fore at Oulton Park with a dominant performance and once again
Boston won Production.
Boston's run continued at Brands Hatch GP ensuring he would hold
a commanding lead in the title race and Hall returned to the top
step with his third win of the year. However, all the while
Train picked up solid results to keep him in the championship
A trip to Zolder saw Fenn claim his second win of the season in
Supersport but nobody could stop Boston as he secured his fifth
victory in a row. Fenn maintained his momentum at Donington
with another victory and it was all change in Production. Stuart
Plotnek claimed his first win of the season, but a ninth in class
was enough for Boston to take the title.
Fenn rounded off the season with victory at Snetterton 300 but a
class win for Train netted him the Supersport crown. Andrew Bentley
edged champion Boston to the final Production victory.
Champion Steve Train ( Supersport) Rob Boston
Lotus Cup Europe
Th Lotus Cup Europe continued to grow from strength-to-strength
taking the cream of Europe to some of the continents most iconic
The Nurburgring kicked off the season providing two close races
with Jon Walker and John Rasse taking the spoils with the victory
margins little more than a second. France hosted the second meeting
of the year at Magny Cours and again it was Jon Walker who shone,
winning both races.
Walker's run of success came to an end at Germany's Hockenhiem
when Xavier Georges' 211 stormed to two victories. The second half
of the season was dominated by Gregory Rasse in his Evora as he
went on to claim five of the six races, including a double at Spa
and Dijon. Walker denied him a clean sweep by winning the first
race at Zolder.
Lotus on Track Elise Trophy
The Lotus on Track Elise Trophy was a tale of two drivers with
Rob Boston edging Andrew Bentley in the victory tally. The year
started with Steve Quick winning the opening race before Boston
found his groove. He went on to win the next five races at
Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Castle Combe showing he would become
a force to be reckoned with.
Boston's winning streak came to an end at Oulton Park when a
rare retirement gave Bentley his first win of the year. Bentley
struck again in race two with Boston just three tenths of a second
behind at the flag. Boston returned to form with an impressive
double at the Lotus Festival held on the Brands Hatch GP
Anglesey provide arguably the series' two most entertaining
races with Craig Denman and Andy Dolan sharing the victories.
Dolan's victory in the second race was by the slim margin of 0.082
The remainder of the season belonged to Bentley as he wrapped up
double victories at Donington Park and Snetterton 300.
As ever the MINI Challenge didn't fail to disappoint in 2012
with yet another intriguing campaign which was won by rising star
Henry Gilbert with an almost perfect season.
The year began at Silverstone GP and it started how 2011
finished with champion Chris Knox winning the opening race.
However, the Scotsman, who would only race one meeting, witnessed
Lee Allen win rave two. Two second places for Chris Smith gave him
the championship lead while Gilbert claimed a double in the Club
Henry Gilbert battled back from testing problems to extend his
outright championship lead at Castle Combe while Lee Allen
tightened his grip on the top flight R56 JCW class with his second
win of the campaign. But arguably the star of the meeting was
teenager Shane Stoney, who made history by becoming the series'
youngest race winner.
Lee Allen enjoyed a near-perfect weekend as the Mini Challenge
starred in MotorSport Vision's inaugural Mini Festival meeting at
Brands Hatch. Allen grabbed two wins and a second place on his home
circuit to consolidate his class championship lead. But while
Allen's weekend was near-perfect, Henry Gilbert's was perfect. He
dominated the Club Class with three wins to further extend his
outright points lead.
Four action-packed MINI Challenge races at Snetterton produced
three different winners in the R56 JCW Class. Lee Allen took a
brace of wins but a post-race exclusion from the third outing has
dented his title hopes. Sam Osborne finally broke his winning duck
while series returnee Ant Whorton-Eales starred in the final
encounter. Club Class star Henry Gilbert took three wins to further
extend his points lead, but showed he is human with a rare mistake
in race two.
The Coastal Racing team rose to the front at Oulton Park with
new recruit Shane Stoney and Lee Pattison dominating the results
sheets. Lee Allen managed to salvage two podium finishes to extend
his R56 JCW Class lead while Jono Brown finally got the better of
teammate Henry Gilbert in the Club Class to close on the overall
British touring car star Paul O'Neill made a perfect debut in
the MINI Challenge by taking a fortunate victory in the opening
race at Brands Hatch. O'Neill benefitted as things went
dramatically wrong for R56 JCW class leaders Lee Allen and Chris
Smith. Allen took the spoils in race two with Gilbert taking
another double. Lee Pattison won the final race after Gilbert
suffered a rare mechanical issue finishing sixth in class.
The MINI Challenge season came to a dramatic conclusion with
four sensational races at Donington Park. Club Class star Henry
Gilbert wrapped up the overall championship crown with two wins but
the show was well and truly stolen by four titanic scraps between
R56 JCW Class runners Lee Allen and Lee Pattison. While Gilbert
took the title, Allen and Pattison secured two wins a piece. The
victories were enough to give Allen the Class title.
Champion Henry Gilbert (overall) Lee Allen (JCW