to consecutive V de V triumph
Phil Quaife made it two wins in as many races as he stormed to victory with co-driver Gareth Howell in the final round of the V de V UK championship at Silverstone this weekend.
The Kent-based racer, who also scored a crushing win alongside Howell in the last round at Croft, once again dominated the three-hour race around the International Circuit lay out, with the victory being the third in a row for If Motorsport and their Ligier JS49, a new record for the team.
Having topped practice by over six tenths of a second, Quaife and Howell began the one-hour qualifying session in a confident mood. Howell quickly set the second best time, but the pair had dropped to sixth with less than ten minutes of the session remaining. Quaife bolted on new tyres and the team made some small changes to the set up and he immediately set a time good enough for the front row.
Howell started the race from second and hounded the leading #7 Norma M20F of Garofall and Atkins during the early laps. He quickly found a way past and proceeded to pull out a comfortable advantage by the time of the driver change.
A super-quick pit stop stretched their lead further as Quaife joined the action and he was comfortably able to manage his lead during the remaining 1h 30mins of the race. While the Norma closed the gap in the dying stages, Quaife’s lead was never threatened as he took a deserved and dominant victory.
“Gareth did a great job in the first stint to give us a big lead and so it was my job to bring it home,” said a jubilant Quaife after the race. “We use one set of tyres for these races, so the hardest thing was managing the graining phase early in my stint on a full tank of fuel. During that period the Norma closed in a little, but as soon as the car got lighter we were really quick and I was able to manage our lead fairly easily.
“It’s a great way to end the season for the team and they’ve done a magnificent job this weekend. The pit stop was awesome and gained us around another twenty seconds, and they’ve also worked really hard in between races to improve the car since Croft. I’ve loved racing with If Motorsport over the last few weeks and would like to thank Bryce Wilson and the guys.”