Vernon Wins Red Flagged Mallory Race 2

Kieran Vernon hit back from his race one disappointment at Mallory Park on Sunday, 7th September, with a timely victory in the second of the weekend’s Texaco Havoline Ginetta G20 outings – although the win wasn’t in the manner he wanted after a serious accident brought proceedings to an early conclusion.Thankfully both of the drivers involved in the accident, Andrew Long and Neil Merry, were extracted from the scene without serious injury although Merry had to be cut-free from his car and was taken to hospital for precautionary checks overnight.Championship leader Spencer McCarthy lined up on pole position with Vernon alongside on the front row, Andrew Smith third on the grid, Paul Morgan fourth and Julian Barratt and Phil Sykes sharing row three.Barratt had a poor first lap and slipped to eighth place, his finishing position at the end of the shortened encounter. One highlight, however, was the fact he posted the fastest lap of the race just prior to the stoppage.McCarthy held the lead during the early laps from Vernon with Smith close behind in third but racing soon fell under caution when the Safety Car was deployed due to Richard Sykes’ car being stranded in the gravel at Gerard’s after a lap one excursion.Circulating for six laps, the Ginetta G50 Safety Car returned to the pits at the end of lap eight as racing resumed and Vernon immediately made the most of the re-start by clinging to the rear of McCarthy’s G20 and making a pass into the John Cooper Esses.Into lap 10, the top four was very close indeed with McCarthy now just ahead at the front as the two leaders and title protagonists battled side-by-side through Gerard’s. Vernon though moved back ahead at the Esses once again while Smith started to come under pressure in third from Phil Sykes.Lap 11 though saw red flags displayed instantly after Andrew Long and Neil Merry made contact heading into the Esses while fighting for position, the result seeing both cars hitting the barriers with huge force.Testament to the strength of the Ginetta G20 and also the fantastic work of the Mallory Park marshals and officials, both drivers were eventually removed safely from their cars but the race was obviously – and quite rightly – declared a result after 10 racing laps.Vernon, therefore, took the win – his sixth of the campaign – by four 10ths of a second from McCarthy with Smith third, two 10ths of a second ahead of Phil Sykes. Russel McCarthy claimed fifth, Alex Dziurzynski took sixth, Paul Morgan was seventh and Barratt finished in eighth place.With just two races now remaining in the 2008 Texaco Havoline Ginetta G20 Championship battle, McCarthy leads Vernon by 49 points with Barratt 48 points further adrift in third place.There is now a five week break before the final two races of the Ginetta G20 Championship take place at Donington Park in the East Midlands over the weekend 11th/12th October. The Ginetta G20s will return to their regular slot as a support category to the British Formula 3 International Series and Avon Tyres British GT Championship.Provisional Texaco Havoline Ginetta G20 Championship Positions (after Rd 18):1st Spencer McCarthy, 537pts; 2nd Kieran Vernon, 488pts; 3rd Julian Barratt, 440pts; 4th Andrew Smith, 328pts; 5th Gary Simms, 287pts; 6th Russel McCarthy, 269pts