SHAW ON TOP BUT PAYNE GAINS


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Ian Payne won both Brands Hatch R300 races, but two second places finishes puts Mark Shaw at the top of the points table. Photo: Rick Wilson


A significant mid-season shuffle of the top three drivers has taken place after an eventful and extraordinary double-header on the historic GP circuit at Brands Hatch last weekend for the BookaTrack.com Caterham Superlight R300 Championship. Mark Shaw now tops the table with DPR motorsport teammate, Paul Wilson demoted to second place, whilst Ian Payne has catapulted into third after a stylish double victory.

Payne led all but one lap of both races and secured top points for SPY Motorsport in his Borro backed striking red car. Payne displaced Wilson from the onset during Race 1, jumping in front of the pole man as the pack negotiated Paddock Hill for the first time. He then set about defending his lead from the advances of Fauldsport’s James Sharrock, the flying Scotsman, Mark Shaw, Stuart Simpson, Wilson, Flick Haigh and R300 newcomer Terry Langley who drove the McMillan Motorsport hire car.

At mid-race distance a mistake by Newbury based Wilson left him stranded in the gravel at Paddock along with Flick Haigh, who was very much the innocent party as she had nowhere else to go. A gap then formed separating the top four with McMillan Motorsport’s Simpson slightly adrift of the leaders. Shaw attacked for the lead and momentarily secured it although Payne quickly regained it, determined to bring home the largest silverware. Sharrock fought off Langley but was unable to disperse Shaw who took second place.

Race 2 was a clear lights to flag victory for Payne (31) who drove hard and precise to pull away from the hounding pack behind. The battle for second was heavily contested with nose to tail action for practically the whole race, Mark Shaw defended against Adam Balon and Terry Langley who both fancied their chances to take the final podium steps. Stuart Leonard ended his R300 début in the luring gravel trap at Paddock Hill, joining Richard Boughton who had previously been caught out in the same place. Double waved yellows emerged slowing the rampaging herd upfront and disallowing any overtaking opportunities.

A few laps later Sharrock and Team Leos veteran Peter Ratcliff had a brief coming together, puncturing Sharrock’s radiator and spreading fluid on the track at Clearways. The recovering Wilson from the foot of the field was the first to hit the fluid, although he caught the back end and just clipped the gravel trap so was able to continue. Magd Mohaffel was not so lucky, skidding of track and deeply into the gravel, closely followed by Jonathan Ramsey and Paul Manyweathers sadly ending their race.

Meanwhile the second place scrap intensified when the sole remaining Fauldsport car of Adam Balon ran wide at Westfield dropping him down the order. This allowed Shaw and Langley to squabble over second and third, which was decided in the favour of Shaw with a mere 0.058 seconds separating the pair. Payne took the chequered flag three seconds clear showing he really is a force to be reckoned with. Wilson’s championship damage limitation drive resulted in fifth place and a new lap record, 1:38.191 taken on the penultimate lap.

Race 1:
1st Ian Payne
2nd Mark Shaw
3rd James Sharrock

Race 2:
1st Ian Payne
2nd Mark Shaw
3rd Terry Langley

For the full results click http://www.tsl-timing.com/bf3gt/2012/122505c30.pdf

The next round takes place at the Nurburing on 28/29th July.