The RAW Motorsports squad had their usual pairing of Ben Stone and Rob Wheldon sharing one car and Rod Goodman solo in the second, as the Praga Cup reached its conclusion at Donington Park.
Stone and Wheldon’s car was forced to start at the back of the nine car grid after qualifying. “We had a problem with the boost pipe, but the cars actual set up was fine,” said Wheldon, while Goodman had a fairly troublefree run into seventh.
Wheldon took the first stint in race one and was up to fourth by the end of lap one, despite contact with Scott Mittell into the Melbourne Hairpin.
“I had caught Scott and he braked very early, about 30 metres earlier than I had expected. I tried to avoid him but hit him and just damaged the front bodywork on our car,” he said.
The safety car was out and went green after one lap, with Wheldon then pressing Bridle for third, going by a lap later.
Although he continued to chip away at the gap to second placed Collins, he had started to lose touch again as the pitstop window got ever closer, but was still almost nine seconds clear of a challenge for his place.
Although he retained third until lap 15, he headed pitwards having dropped to sixth, but it was race over.
“It felt like I had a rear puncture, but a rear pushrod had failed,” he explained.
Goodman was fifth, “it was Ok but I had a few brake problems and flat spotted a tyre, but happy with my race overall,” he added.
Despite starting at the back Stone made an excellent start in the second race. “There was a not unexpected incident at the first corner, and I missed it through a combination of skill and intuition,” he said as he was into third place exiting Redgate.
As in race one the safety car was straight into action, but from the green flag Stone was soon challenging Bridle for second.
He was second into the Esses on lap four, but was being caught by Shane Kelly too. A lap late Kelly was through at the Esses, but he was still a very solid third.
Exiting Goddards on lap seven he ran wide though and on to the grass. He finally got the momentum to rejoin, but only as far as the Craner Curves. “I had a great start and was making good progress, but the throttle just went and I lost drive exiting
Melbourne, then overshot the Goddards Hairpin. I got back on but pulled off again on the Craner Curves and could see that the left rear wheel looked askew,” he said.
Goodman was fourth though at the flag, but had flat spotted a tyre again after an overshoot into the Esses early on.