The Ecurie Ecosse pair of Colin Noble and Alasdair McCaig took the second win of the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup, crossing the line in their Nielsen Racing run #79 Ligier JS P3 to make it back to back wins at Donington Park, ahead of the #3 United Autosports car of Tony Wells and Matt Bell.
Bell left the pits with force after the driver change, and quickly took the lead from Andrew Evans in their sister United Autosports Ligier. Evans luck changed as he fell through the field, before he spun under the bridge after old hairpin when car bottomed out, the race red flagged as a result. A trip to the medical centre saw Evans cleared with no ongoing issues.
The final podium position went to the Tockwith Motorport JS P3 of Sarah Moore and Richard Dean, the #26 taking advantage of a slower #2 United Autosports, started by Christian England with Andrew Evans in for the final stint.
England started the race with dominance, took the lead from #28 G-Cat Racing Paul Bailey, and continued to set the fastest laps as he pulled away from the field. Bailey dropped back to 7th by the end of the first lap after the car stalled, wheels locked and he spun, before a trip to the gravel saw him stuck at Coppice corner, which caused the first Safety car to be deployed.
The first Safety car bred another, which was released after Jason Rishover of #23 Nielsen Racing became the next car in the gravel at Coppice corner after pushing too hard. The Ligier was returned to pit lane to fix seat belts which had popped open. The team decided to retire, despite the car still in running order, but felt too much time had been lost.
Saturday’s final podium finisher, #7 T-Sports entry, started by Steve Tandy, and Karun Chandhock, were on a late race charge towards #3 United Autosports entry and looked as if they could close the 16s gap to 4th in the remainder of the race, and were closing at 1.5s per lap. The red flag ended this run and saw the pair round out the top five.
After the round of pit stops were completed, Tom Randle showed some Aussie grit in #72 Douglas Motorsport entry, and began lapping in the 1:02s, but was unable to make his way any higher than 7th. The now solo driver for #6 360 Racing, Bob Berridge, was given a one second stop/go penalty for a pit lane infringement and saw him drop to 8th.
1st: #79 – Nielsen/Ecurie Ecosse, McCaig & Noble, 47 Laps
2nd: #3 – United Autosports, Wells & Bell
3rd: #26 – Tockwith Motorsports, Dean & Moore
4th: #7 – T-Sports Tandy & Chandhok
5th: # 96 – SpeedWorks, Butel & Gibbs
6th: #72 – Douglas Racing, Newbould & Randle
7th: #6 – 360 Racing, Berridge +2 laps
8th: #28 – G-Cat Racing, Bailey & Schulz +3 laps
RET #23 Nielsen Racing, Rishover & Spence
DNF #2 – United Autosports, England & Evans