SEASON REVIEW: TEEKAY COUPLINGS PRODUCTION GTi CHAMPIONSHIP


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John Mawdsley enjoyed a fantastic season in PGTi. Photo: Paul Horton.

The Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championship was the new name for the 2012 season; however, the friendly paddock and close racing remain unchanged. With the help of the BRSCC, the series gained championship status after its first season, which was a real highlight. With larger grids, longer races and a trip to Germany to the famous Nurburgring GP circuit it was shaping up to be a great year!

The youthful looking but vastly experienced John Mawdsley took the season’s first pole position at Silverstone only to lose out in both races to Simon Hill. Craig Roberts managed to impress in first race with PGTi by slotting his 8V class B car smack bang in the middle of the field and surround himself with 16V cars. “ Who is this guy” you could hear being whispered around the paddock. “Is he the Yorkshire Stig “they asked?

Nick Porter returned for the Donington race and promptly reminded everyone why he was running the number 1 on his car by taking the victory in race 1 from Mawdsley and new man Martyn Walsh. Local man Simon Hill finished in 4thand had it all to do for Race 2. Sadly it wasn’t to be as Hill’s car ground to a halt next to the pitwall on Lap 4, letting John Mawdsley take his first outright race win in nearly 40 years of trying.

As the championship moved to Brands Hatch, so did the weather. Biblical rain, now expected at least once a season for the iconic Production GTi crowd saw Craig Roberts in his class B 8V fight John Mawdsley all the way to the line for race 2 and narrowly lose out for the outright win. Hill unhappy with Mawdlsey’s move on him into Graham Hill came home third.

At the half way stage Mawdsley, Hill, Walsh and Craig Roberts were joined by Luke Shlewitz at the famous Nurburgring GP circuit in Germany. Schlewitz led race 1 from Hill, however he was forced to retire with just one lap to go, giving Hill the much needed win. Hill maintained the top spot for race 2 from Schlewitz, Walsh and Mawdlsey. The battle of the day though had to be for six and seventh which was closely fought affair between Chris Webb and Dave Parris. Webb, clearly at home on German soil, earned himself the driver of the day award for his outstanding drive.

Rounds 9 & 10 took the Teekay Couplings Production GTI Championship to the beautiful Oulton Park, both Simon Hill and John Mawdsley’s local circuit. With just 2 points separating them it was going to be another entertaining weekend. However, the returning Nick Porter secured pole by nearly a second from Simon Hill. Mawdsley took race 1 victory from Luke Schlewitz and Nick Porter after Simon Hill retired on Lap 6 with gearbox problems. This left the impossible for Simon Hill to do in Race 2 as he would have to start from the back of the grid. Surely nobody can start at the back of the grid and win a race? With what can only be described as a drive of shear guts, determination and pure talent, Hill drove from the back of the grid and won race 2 from the ever improving Martyn Walsh and experienced James Colbourne. Craig Roberts again defied logic and led the class B cars and finished over 20 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Roy Fothergill.

The Rockingham Motor Speedway was the venue for the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championships finale. With John Mawdsley and Simon Hill needing to win both races to take the title of the 2012 Teekay Couplings Production GTI champion, the scene was set for another Hollywood ending. With just four hundreds of a second separating Mawdsley and Hill for pole position and only eight tenths separating the top 6 it was going to be another close race. Sadly, Hill’s luck ran out on lap 2 as his car, yet again, decided to expire with clutch problems. Mawdlsey took the victory from Martyn Walsh and newcomer Darren Bedford took the third podium spot. Chris Webb took the fastest lap in race 1 and showed everyone that he will be one to watch in 2013. The class B battle was a much closer fought affair as Craig Robert maintained a small gap from second place man Roy Fothergill, who defended the entire race from rookie 16 year old Dean Clayton.

With it all to do again in race 2, Hill need an outright win and for Mawdsley to not finish. Starting at the back of the grid again Hill scythed his way through the pack to finish second. Martyn Walsh took an emotional first ever race win and Mawdsley brought it home in a safe third place to secure the title of the 2012 Teekay Couplings Production GTi Champion!