BURGESS TAKES A WIN, BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR CLASS TITLE
With Ben Dimmack unavailable, Steve Burgess ran solo in the RAW Motorsports Radical RXC at the final rounds of the GT Cup at Snetterton.
It was dry for qualifying and Burgess set the second fastest time overall to lead the GTO class. “A bit of understeer but no real issues, so a good session,” he said.
Due to the falling rain they had two green flag laps and then it was into the first Sprint Race of the weekend, with Burgess in second at the first corner.
John Dhillon’s Lamborghini snatched second into Hamilton, leaving Burgess in an increasingly solitary third for the next few laps.
Race leader Richard Neary had spun his Mercedes on lap six, moving Burgess into second, but he had Morgan Tillbrook’s McLaren 750S rapidly closing in.
It became a side by side duel for second place and when Dhillon slid off at Agostini’s with a lap to go, Burgess was now fighting for overall victory in a tremendous duel to the flag.
“The power steering had failed on the second green flag lap, so I was fighting it for the first two laps, catching slides and it allowed Neary and Dhillon to gap me,” Burgess explained.
“Tillbrook was quicker in the slow stuff and he briefly nosed ahead, but at the end I kept it tight through Coram and he still nearly got me on the inside,” he added, after securing the win by 0.240 secs.
It was wet and just got wetter for the second race, with Burgess hanging on in fourth place, mostly running behind the safety car, until he made his compulsory stop. With the race red flagged before the stops had all been completed, Burgess was classified ninth for third in class, with only half points awarded.
“I still had no power steering and struggled in standing water. I was glad to see the red flag, having only had two racing laps,” he said.
For Sunday mornings qualifying it was damp in places, but Burgess was still second quickest again and first in class.
For the first half lap it was two cars as one as he held onto Neary’s Mercedes. But the safety car was out for three laps and from the green flag he was unable to emulate his first start.
He stayed in second place, well clear of any threat. “I explored my limits on that first lap, but had a bad exit onto the Bentley Straight and Neary was gone,” he admitted.
Burgess was in contention again from the start for the final race of the weekend, pushing Tillbrook hard for second on the opening lap. “I had a good start and held him early on,” he said.
Gradually the Mercedes and McLaren GT3’s of Neary and Tillbrook got away, but on lap five Neary slowed and a lap later Burges was into second.
When the pitstops commenced he stayed out and briefly led the race, until Marcus Clutton in the Tillbrook McLaren surged back ahead.
Burgess was continuing to hold onto second, but was being caught by British GT Champion Sandy Mitchell in the Dhillon Lamborghini.
“It was understeering again, I tried to hold on but Sandy was just too quick,” he concluded after slipping back to third with three laps left.
Third overall was still enough for a class win, but in the final standings the RAW crew had finished eighth overall and second in the GTO Class.