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Docker And Warren Continue Perfect GRDC Season

31st August 2020 • Simon Paice

Stephen Docker and Marc Warren have each made it nine wins from nine races in the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club with victory hat-tricks at Brands Hatch (29/30 August).

Racing as part of the Ginetta G40 Cup this season, a new two-class format for the GRDC sees the traditional ‘rookie’ class remains with its all-inclusive package for racing debutants, while a new main class welcomes drivers to continue their development in the series.

It was a new name at the top of the timesheets in qualifying on Saturday morning, as rookie talent Thomas Holland set the pace for his maiden pole position. Warren was second quickest, with Docker (Raceway Motorsport) heading the main class with the third fastest time overall.

 The opening race of the weekend started with an immediate shuffling of positions over the first lap, with Warren moving to the front from Docker, Graeme Bishopp (SVG Motorsport), Rupert Laslett and Holland.  The race was then red flagged due to an incident, which led to a full race restart.

The new grid was set by the order at the point of the red flag, which meant that Warren led away from pole position and once again entered a close fought battle with Docker throughout. They were almost inseparable across the six lap encounter, with Warren just edging him out.

As both drivers secured their class victories, Laslett and Holland worked their way past Bishopp through the race as they completed the rookie class podium. Bishopp finished up second in the main class, with that podium also featuring Brendan Maude (Assetto Motorsport).

 In the close fought rookie ranks, Brendan Haffner, Jeremy Sussex and Peter Dilnot emerged with top six class finishes. Tony Whitney came home in seventh, while Sam Tomlinson finished fourth in the main class on his series debut.

The first of Sunday’s two races was unfortunately another to feature a red flag and race restart. One lap into the original encounter an off for Bishopp led to a full stoppage to recover his car, leading to another shortened ten minute race at the restart.

The restarted race was short-lived too, with an incident a couple of laps in leading to a long recovery process and the remaining laps taking place behind the safety car. In the limited racing time, Warren was able to climb from third on the grid to finish first of the GRDC competitors.

Docker followed him home to add another main class win to his tally, with Maude and Tomlinson joining him on the podium. In the rookies, Holland came second and Dilnot picked up a maiden podium finish, while Whitney picked up a seasons best result of fourth.

Haffner had started on the GRDC front row but eventually slipped to fifth at the finish, while picking up their best results of the weekend were Rich Abraham (sixth), Joe Butterworth (seventh), John Wyatt (eighth) and Andrew Cohen-Wray (ninth).

The final race of the weekend was an uninterrupted encounter. Warren started from pole position and led the opening couple of laps, before Docker worked his way in front. The duo traded positions once more at mid-distance, before Docker edged away for the win.

Haffner battled his way from fifth of the rookies on the grid to second, while a stunning drive from Laslett saw him gain nine places through the race to complete the rookie podium. Also fighting through from the back was Bishopp, who finished third in the main class behind Maude.

Two meetings remain in the 2020 Ginetta G40 Cup season, with a visit to Donington Park (19/20 September) followed by the season finale at Snetterton (3/4 October).