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Having finished third in both of this seasons races, former Champions Farquini Deott and Fabio Randaccio were back to winning ways, not once but twice at the Anglesey “Into the Night” weekend.

GT Radial’s Aaron Cooke shot off into an early lead in race one, with Signature RV’s John Whitehouse second, from AxiaMetrics Chris Weatherill.

Gary Bate had also started well, but the Greenheath car spun out of third place. “Going into Rocket I was in the middle, Signature were on the outside, I outbraked him but AxiaMetrics were on my right when Signature turned in. I ended up on the grass and spun,” he explained.

Randaccio had started for UVio/Hofmann’s and from sixth on lap three, he was second into Rocket a lap later, and a clear track to hunt down leader Cooke.

Weatherill was in third, but behind him Vapeclub EDF’s Vlad Vassiliev was under pressure for fourth, from Team Viking/Ursus Capital’s Mark Holme.

“The first few laps were really good, then I lost grip with the rear tyres after I overheated them. I could see Fabio closing, then I was inconsistent under braking and he got me,” Cooke admitted.

“He made one mistake at Rocket, but was very quick and I would happily have sat behind,” Randaccio added.

Holme was into third at Rocket on lap 11, with Simon Coles up to fourth a lap later for EDF, before the top five held station until the first stops.

With Farquini in for UVio/Hofmann’s, they continued to dominate, ending the first hour with a comfortable lead over Olympian’s Kristian Rose, who was closely followed by Viking/Ursus’ Colin Kingsnorth.

AxiaMetrics, GT Radial and MJ Tec were the rest of the top six, with Simon Rudd, Dan Silvester and Scott Jeffs, with the second stop soon following, which just happened to coincide with the safety car appearing.

GT Radial were the first to pit from seventh, along with Easy2Reach’s Tom Greensall, Vapeclub EDF’s Matt Dorkings and PLR’s Ben Pitch, who formed the rest of the top 10.

A lap later the whole of the top six came in. “It’s all good, but frustrating to lose the lead you worked hard to build,” said Farquini.

It was green again from lap 54 with six cars on the lead lap and 11 minutes away from half distance, but five more laps and the safety car returned, after Randaccio had pulled out a 13.939s secs lead.

Bate had gone off at Target with a sticking throttle, co-driver Paul Turner had suffered similarly at Rocket earlier in the race too. But the safety car was still out when the pitstop window opened again.

With Randaccio’s lead cut again, Holme, Olympian’s Riley Phillips, AxiaMetrics Neil Burroughs, MJ Tec’s Greg Evans and EDF’s Coles had a lap up on seventh placed GT Radial’s Cooke. “It was feeling good and most of all it did what I wanted it to do,” said Coles.

“You don’t know where you are with the safety car though, but I was a lap down and ended up on the lead lap again, but I’m learning to be patient,” Phillips explained. “It helped us stay in touch with UVio though, Holme added.

The gap as we entered the final hour was just over 10 seconds between UVio/Hofmann’s and Viking/Ursus, but fourth placed MJ Tec then picked up a stop go penalty.

But with 30 minutes left Holme spun at the final turn and was hit by Easy2Reach’s Jason Cheetham, prompting another safety car intervention and the approach of the final pits top window. “I was coming down through the Corkscrew and was lapping and caught off line, a rookie error but it was a heavy impact,” Holme explained.

It wasn’t the only late drama however, as Phillips prepared to rejoin for Olympian they broke a driveshaft and with just 13 minutes 40 seconds on the lock as the green flag came out, they were still in the pit garage.

Farquini finally brought the car home to victory by just over 14 seconds, from MJ Tec, with AxiaMetrics the only others on the lead lap. “We had to work harder for that,” after those safety car periods,” said Farquini. “Yes that was hard work,” Jeffs agreed.

“This s what it’s all about though, disappointments and then we get a result,” said Weatherill.

Coles/Rob Croydon came home fourth for EDF, “we had quite a bad sticking throttle though, but managed to drive through it,” said Croydon. Cooke/Silvester were fifth for GT Radial and two laps down in sixth were PLR’s Pitch/Plimmer.

Vapeclub EDF, Teem Seed Data, Team3 and the James Gang rounded off the top 10.

Silvester briefly led the opening lap of race two for GT Radial, before Pitch went by into Rocket for PLR, with Greensall soon following for easy2reach, exiting Banking. “I led for a few seconds and loved it at the front, but then the oil temperature went up and I had to back off,” said Greensall.

Farquini quickly carved his way through from the back, taking at least a place a lap, before ousting Greensall on lap 10 and Pitch a lap later for the lead.

Turner had reeled in Greensall for third, but after nosing ahead into Rocket he spun, making way for Kingsnorth to successfully challenge for third. “I was just too quick into the corner,” Turner admitted.

UVio/Hofmann’s and PLR made retained first and second after the first stop, but after Greensall pitted from third, Turner had regained the place, before making his stop.

One hour in and Randaccio was 20.744 secs up on Greenheath’s Bate, with Viking/Ursus third with Holme, from PLR’s Plimmer, Olympian’s Rose and MJ Tec’s Jeffs. “Better than this morning,” said PLR’s Pitch.

The second pit stop window soon followed but it was disaster for Greenheath, “the door wouldn’t open, so I kicked it a bit like Basil Fawlty,” said Bate, before Farquini pointed out that there was a second door, but it dropped them to seventh.

Over the second hour the top four made their escape, with UVio over 30 seconds clear of Olympian’s Chris Dovell , who had Viking/Ursus threatening. MJ Tec were in fourth, with Greenheath still fifth, but having lost a lap.

Randaccio took the final stint for UVio/Hofmann’s and sealed win number two but just over 14 seconds again. “The car wasn’t so good in the second race, a bit loose but good enough,” he said.

Phillips pushed hard for Olympian to close the gap on the leaders, “we struggled with brakes for the first two hours and had to drive around it,” said Rose. “I only had front brakes and then hit a few kerbs and it fixed itself,” Phillips added, after taking the fastest lap four laps from home.

Viking/Ursus retained third, “I couldn’t catch them, but the car, the team and Colin all performed well,” said Holme. In fourth PLR were a lap down, “we struggled a bit but brought it home,” said Plimmer, while in fifth MJ Tec duo Jeffs and Evans were delighted. “Greg was straight on the pace and the car was good all day,” Jeffs added.

Turner brought Greenheath home to complete the top six, with GT Radial and AxiaMetrics following, both two laps off the lead. Easy2Reach and Team Seed Data completed the top 10.


Published by Peter Scherer for Fun Cup Endurance, June 26th 2023