Docker (Raceway Motorsport) secured the overall crown with a hat-trick of podium finishes in Leicestershire, while a tenth win of the year for Warren helped him seal the rookie class honours – both drivers completing the 12 races so far with 100% podium records.
With the GRDC competitors counting their four highest scoring weekends of the year, both drivers knew the titles were up for grabs as the championship headed to Donington Park for the second time this season. Both were triple class race-winners on the first visit last month.
For the first time this season it wasn’t Docker topping the main class in qualifying, with Brendan Maude (Privateer) picking up a maiden pole position by half a second from Docker. Only one hundredth of a second behind Maude meanwhile was rookie pace-setter Warren.
Both drivers went on to convert their poles into lights-to-flag victories in the opening race on Saturday afternoon. It was a significant result for Maude, with his first GRDC victory ending Docker’s 100% record for the season, while Warren was able to make it ten wins from ten races.
An impressive run for Laslett saw him overtake the more experienced Docker on his way to second in the rookie class, with the latter emerging with the runners-up spot in the main class. Rookie Brendan Haffner and Graeme Bishopp (SVG Motorsport) completed the podiums.
Thomas Holland and Peter Dilnot carried the momentum from great runs at Brands Hatch last time out with fourth and fifth respectively in the rookie class. Stephen Moore (SVG Motorsport) was fourth in the main class meanwhile.
A dramatic start to race two on Sunday morning saw Warren spun around whilst battling with Bishopp through Redgate for the first time. Docker also lost ground in the opening lap, with Maude heading the pack from Bishopp and new rookie leader Laslett.
There was no change in the top two throughout, with Maude adding another win to his tally and Bishopp matching his best finish of the campaign. Docker fought back to third, whilst Laslett led throughout to become the first driver other than Warren to take a rookie win this year.
Haffner finished up second whilst a great recovery drive from Warren secured him third. Fellow rookie Holland was next ahead of main class contender Moore, with Guillaume Le Meur and Joe Butterworth picking up top six rookie finishes ahead of Dilnot, Andrew Cohen-Wray and John Wyatt.
While Warren had mathematically built an unassailable lead at the end of race two, Docker’s crowning moment came in the final race of the weekend. Knowing a race finish was enough to provisionally seal the title, second in class was more than enough.
Ahead of him, Maude completed a dream weekend with his third win from three races. After battling with Laslett in the early stages, Bishopp came home third of the GRDC contingent, leaving behind a fascinating battle for the rookie spoils.
The leading trio changed positions multiple times. Warren moved to the front around mid-distance, but it all changed two laps from the finish as Haffner came through to take a maiden victory, becoming the third consecutive want2race scholar to win in the series.
Warren held on to second place to the finish, while Laslett unfortunately dropped back on the penultimate lap. Holland therefore came through to take a fourth rookie podium of the season ahead of Le Meur. Moore, Laslett and Dilnot.
Stephen Docker – Provisional 2020 GRDC Champion: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be champion, and it’s been a nervy weekend for us making sure we can just go and get the job done! It’s been a very competitive season all year and we’ve all battled hard and fair. I’m delighted with the result and to take the title with Raceway Motorsport in their first year as a team.”
Marc Warren – Provisional 2020 GRDC Rookie Champion: “It’s been an absolute blast this season. It’s been a fantastic group of drivers in the rookie class, with all of us getting faster and faster over the last few races. I dreamed of this from sitting watching racing at Brands Hatch, and now we’re doing it for real … and winning championships!”
Full race results for the weekend can be seen here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BF3GT/2020/203805gg4.pdf
The 2020 Ginetta Racing Drivers Club season comes to a close in two weeks’ time at Snetterton (03/04 October).