Dawson (Assetto Motorsport) and Golding (CTS Motorsport) shared the overall race victories in the season opener at Oulton Park (01/02 August) and they were immediately the pacesetters again in qualifying on Saturday morning, with Golding securing pole by nearly half a second.
Leading the chasing pack to the top two was Owen Hizzey (SVG Motorsport), while topping the timesheets in the Chairmans Cup was Mike West (Assetto Motorsport) ahead of Roy Alderslade (Raceway Motorsport); the reigning class champion making his first appearance of 2020.
The opening race on Saturday afternoon began with the lead changing hands between Golding and Dawson on three occasions prior to an early safety car period. Shortly after the restart, Chris White (Raceway Motorsport) briefly grabbed second place before falling back.
As Dawson and Golding continued to trade the lead throughout the race, Hizzey moved up to third and was joined by White in latching onto the tail of the top two. Dawson was able to make a late break to victory though, with Golding and Hizzey completing the podium.
White finished up fourth ahead of the leading Chairmans Cup contenders, with West building on his Oulton Park hat-trick with another class victory. Alderslade was hot on his heels throughout, with Mark Lee (SVG Motorsport) rounding out the top three.
Robin Grimwood (Assetto Motorsport) and Neil Wallace (SVG Motorsport) completed the Chairmans Cup finishers, while a tough race for Mark Sansom (Assetto Motorsport) saw him drop down the order having started fourth on the grid.
A change of weather overnight meant the G40 Cup field were greeted by tricky, wet conditions for Sunday’s two races. The first of those began with Golding getting an early jump over Dawson at the front, but the emergence of the safety car took away his advantage.
Following a long spell under yellow the action resumed with a five minute shootout to the flag and the lead battle went down to the last racing lap. In a thrilling conclusion the top two ran side-by-side through the final three corners, with a drag race to the flag going Dawson’s way by only 0.046s.
White jumped up to third in the early laps before an unfortunate retirement, with Hizzey taking hold of the final podium position and maintaining it to the chequered flag. Sansom meanwhile hit back from his race one disappointment to finish fourth.
In the Chairmans Cup, a sensational opening lap for Grimwood saw him rise from 13th on the grid to fifth place. That netted him a class lead which he held to the finish for his maiden victory, with West and Alderslade completing the podium with overall top eight results.
Splitting them was Ignazio Zanon (Raceway Motorsport), one of four drivers bouncing back from a race one incident. Another was team-mate Paulo Scripo, who secured a top ten finish, while Gary Wager (SF Racing) finished up fifth in the Chairmans Cup behind Lee.
The final chapter of the Dawson versus Golding Donington Park trilogy featured another dramatic conclusion. In a race that saw weather conditions worsening throughout, the top two were in a class of their own as they grew a lead of nearly 20 seconds to the next car.
Golding led throughout until a moment into the Melbourne Hairpin forced him to take to the grass in avoidance of another car. That put Dawson out front, but he was then caught out by a flash downpour at the Old Hairpin and span into the gravel trap and out of the race.
With a number of other drivers succumbing to the treacherous conditions, the decision was made to bring the race to an early conclusion. Golding therefore took the victory and with it the championship lead, with Hizzey picking up a seasons’ best second place.
Zanon’s positive comeback culminated in a second G40 Cup podium finish of the campaign, while Alderslade picked up the Chairmans Cup victory in fourth overall after erstwhile leader Grimwood was one of those caught out in the late downpour.
White and Scripo rounded out the top six ahead of West, who continued his 100% podium run in the Chairmans Cup so far. Lee joined him in the class top three ahead of Wallace and Shawn Fleming (SF Racing), the latter taking his only race finish of a difficult weekend.
The full race results from the weekend can be found here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/203305
The Ginetta G40 Cup is next in action in two weeks’ time at Brands Hatch in Kent (29/30 August).