Race Report – Tegiwa M3 Cup, 2016 – 01, Donington Park
14th April 2016
The 750 Motor Club’s heady and unrivalled new one-make series was first out on track during the busy Donington Park race weekend, and it didn’t take long for a starting order to make itself known.
Last season’s results certainly indicated that former MX-5 champion Brian Chandler and Civic Cup winner Adam Shepherd would be ones to watch and qualifying soon backed up such a theory, where Chandler managed to secure pole from his new rival by a margin of 0.18secs. The pair were far from out of reach though, with the number 76 car of Mark Anderson less than a second behind and a trio comprising Gary Hufford, Matthew Wallis and Kevin Dengate all battling for the remaining spot on the second row.
It was heading through Redgate for the first time in race one however that Shepherd made his move, undercutting the Mazda supremo to take the lead before the drop down Craner Curves. Despite nursing minor engine troubles, from here on in Shepherd managed to secure and maintain a reasonably safe gap to the race end, which saw the pair reel off evenly-matched times, lapping the E46 -generation BMWs with a vigour that defied the series’ infancy.
After suffering transmission gripes in qualifying and starting from the back of the grid, Luke Sedzikowski had managed to hustle his M3 up to fourth place by the second lap, but only managed one more tour before the issue reared its head once again and forced an early retirement.
Behind the leading pair it was a fairly lonely race for Mark Anderson as he had his eyes focused on the final podium step; managing to settle and remain there with a comfortable four second advantage over the ordered Hufford/Wallis/Dengate clan behind. Peter Isherwood took seventh place ahead of the evenly-matched John Brown and Doug Carter.
With Chandler sitting out the second race of the weekend and handing his BMW over to fellow MX-5 man Sam Gendy, Shepherd was able to take control from start to finish, making a controlled start and building upon it to finish with an 11-second advantage over next-placed man Sedzikowski. With his earlier mechanical problems put to bed, the experienced Civic Cup hand started once again from the back of the grid, yet managed to work his way up and pass the consistent Anderson on lap six.
Anderson took third place once again and it was Dengate, Hufford and Isherwood this time who locked out the top six, remaining in the same order after settling down from close competition on lap four. Gendy, Brown and Carter rounded out the finishers.
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