Classic Endurance Racing – Silverstone Report
The final round of the 2008 Classic Endurance Racing season took place at the Silverstone circuit. Corentine Quiniou went into the final round as the leader of the series, ahead of her father Michel. Michel would only have one chance of beating his daught; taking a win himself and hoping his daughter would not score (m)any points.
After a dry practice in which Jacques Nicolet in his Lola T298 had been quickest ahead of the Chevrons of Olivier Cazalieres and Sandy Watson the first qualifying session on Friday afternoon was driven on a rather wet circuit. Nicolet set the fastest time in the first qualifying session, a 2:22.734. The bad weather suited the GT2 cars as Siegfried Brunn set the third fastest time in his Porsche 911 RS 3.0L.
In the second qualifying session on Saturday afternoon the track was dry and the fastest laps were about half a minute quicker then on Friday. The prototypes dominated the session again, as usual on a dry track, and it was Nicolet who took pole for the race. Michel Quiniou (Lola T280) would be starting from second place with Watson’s Chevron B19 in third place. Corentine Quiniou placed her Chevron B16 in sixth place on the grid.
When the race got underway on Saturday afternoon the weather was perfect. The sun was shining and the racing conditions were ideal. Watson had a great start and was leading the race after one lap, ahead of Nicolet and Michel Quiniou. Quiniou had the Chevron B31 of Russel Busst and Mike Catlow all over his tail but unfortunately for the two Brits their car retired after only three laps.
Nicolet did not allow Watson to lead for long and quickly overtook the Scot to take back the lead. The French driver then disappeared on the horizon. As the race progressed several cars dropped out of the race, with the most notable ones the Porsche 935 of Peter Garrod, the Porsche 908 of Miguel Amaral, the Ligier JS2 of Paul Knapfield and the Chevron B36 of Cazalieres.
As the race went on there were fights throughout the field, but Nicolet was not to be caught. After having completed thirty laps Nicolet crossed the line as the final race winner of the 2008 season. One minute and eleven seconds behind him it was Watson taking second place and another thirty-seven seconds later it was Michel Quiniou taking third place. One lap down on Nicolet Bernhard Thuner (Lola T70 Mk III) and John Sheldon (Chevron B16) took fourth and fifth place.
Despite having problems during the race, the Chevron B21 of Patrice Lafarque, eventually finished sixth despite a short stop by the car in the grass on the infield and an extra pit stop.
Corentine Quiniou crossed the finish line at Silverstone in tenth place. A spin in the first part of the race must have caused a scary moment for the only woman in the field, but with the points scored in the United Kingdom were enough to clinch the 2008 Classic Endurance Racing title. In five rounds the 26-year old scored 88 points, six more than her father who finished the season as runner-up in the series. With his third win in three races Jacques Nicolet moved up into third place in the championship.
Besides taking the overall CER title Corentine Quiniou also secured the Proto 1 tile. Jacques Nicolet took the Proto 2 title, while Philipp and Siegfried Brunn won the GT2 championship and Claude Boisy and Alain Miran took the class honours in GT1 in their Ford Escort, after taking their third victory of the season in the UK.