Snetterton - 4/5 October 2003
Official Race Report
Simon Walker-Hansell finally won the Building Environmental Services Plc BRSCC T-Cars Championship at Snetterton yesterday (Sunday October 5) but it was his two main series rivals who took victory in the final two rounds at the Norfolk track. James Jakes claimed his seventh victory with a win in the first race, to keep his championship hopes alive, but Dan Hoy’s win in the second was not enough, his retirement in the first race ensuring the battle to the wire was between Walker-Hansell and Jakes, the two separated by just two points going into the final.
In a dramatic first race Jakes took an immediate lead from the pole spot as the pack headed into the first corner with Walker-Hansell and Saturday’s race winner Bratt slotting in behind. Fredrik Nordstrom and Ruth Senior, with a new engine hastily replaced after Saturday’s problems, collided tipping the unfortunate Nordstrom into a spin and damaging the rear left of his car. A slow-starting Hoy found a way past Bratt on lap 2 but his charge was short lived as two laps later he was sidelined with a suspension problem, his championship bid over.
With Hoy’s W&G Racing car stranded out on the track, the red flag was displayed and as the breakdown truck was deployed to remove it, Bratt was forced into the pits to repair wheel bearings on his car. At the restart, Jakes again made the better start to lead from Walker-Hansell with Jonathan Miller a superb third, Senior, Nordstrom and Ry Leon.
As Jakes held station at the front, Walker-Hansell’s sick-sounding car began to drop away, falling into the clutches of the chasing pack, and at the flag, Jakes crossed the line first ahead of Jonathan Miller, for his first podium finish, and Senior, her second one. Walker-Hansell nursed his car home to the finish to take fifth and ensure the final race was the championship decider. Ruth was later disqualified from the results for driving standards contravention but was later reinstated after Stewards overturned the decision.
With just one point separating the lead two and with Jakes on pole and Walker-Hansell on the third row, things looked to be going Jakes’ way but Walker-Hansell was in determined mood and as the cars scrambled into the first corner, leapt into second behind Jakes. Hoy slotted into third ahead of Advent Motorsport duo Miller and Nordstrom and a charging Bratt.
As the cars entered Riches for the second time though a collision between Walker-Hansell and Jakes resulted in Jakes flying of the track, although he rejoined with it all to do to catch the leaders. Hoy recovered to move ahead of Walker-Hansell with Miller third and Bratt up to fourth. Hoy romped away to his tenth championship victory of the season, as Walker-Hansell in second claimed the title and a superb recovery from Bratt gave him another podium finish. Miller took a fine fourth ahead of Jakes, Leon and Nordstrom. At the end, Jakes protested Walker-Hansell’s driving and the Clerk of the Course rejected the protest. A subsequent appeal against the decision was later also rejected by the Stewards, giving Walker-Hansell the title. Bratt’s fastest lap from the Saturday’s race could not be matched and he now holds the T-Cars lap record.
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