With the pit stops done, the field had only lost two of its BMWs, the Sapra & Bransom car, and Klaas Kooiker had pulled off early in the race with more smoke than was healthily emanating from the car. After 10 laps, Tommy Grouts E36 had decided that enough was enough, having run as high as third at one point, adding the third BMW to the list of retirees. Despite this, there was still plenty of action to be enjoyed out on track, Dave Harvey’s incredible progress was incredible, Dominic Malone was back into 2nd place, now being kept honest by relative newcomer Chris Murphy in his M3 E46, over a minute behind the leader.
Other battles through the field included the thunder from down under Dave Griffin in his E90 trying to get past the pink accented E36 Evo of Mark Smith, with another pair of Amspeed prepared cars behind them of Ashley Muldoon and Alex Heynes, and the Petch family Ginetta arguing with the Interceptor racing E92 of Mark Wyatt & Russell Humphrey. Joining the Heynes & Muldoon dance was racing veteran Nigel Greensall, having taken over the E46 from racing debutant James Collins by lap 12. A lap later, another addition to the now Greensall-led parade was one of several CSCC new entrants, that of Mark Lee in his Ginetta G55.
As the closing stages of the race began, almost all the aforementioned battles were still raging on. Greensall had (some would say inevitably) broken away from his pursuers, and trouble was to befall the Tom Gannon-built “Gannon Cannon” Honda Civic of Manoj Patel. He won the Tin Tops race on the previous visit to the Silverstone GP circuit in 2021, but alas the car was to experience trouble and retired from the race. He didn’t have long to fix the issue, as the Honda was due out in the very next race.
The next victim was the green Petch family Ginetta. Petch senior Chris has been with the CSCC since 2005 in a Triumph TR5, and his boys Harry & Max often share the big G50, but this time the car simply lost drive. Chris was able to limp the car back to the garage for the team to work on before the final race of the day, in which the Ginetta was due to reappear.
Motorsport, at all levels, can provide many memorable moments, both of joy and despair, and the final non-finisher of the race was about to remind the spectators of exactly this, as on the final lap, the pole sitter Malone was found stationary at the side of the track. From pole and fastest lap, looking set to secure second place, but sadly the renowned German engineering of the BMW failed him this time. Like the Petch crew, Malone had time before the car was on parade again to get the E90 back on song.
David Harvey and his lunar Lotus 340R would not be denied the top honours of the day, winning by over 30 seconds, even with a post-race 20-second penalty applied for the Code 60 infringement. Chris Murphy secured second, with Dylan Popovic bringing his snarling Ginetta home in third, all three of the podium sitters from the Open Series category. As for New Millennium, the winner of that category was Mark Smith, very narrowly from Dave Griffin, and the Collins & Greensall shared car in third.