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Minshaw clinches edge-of-seat victory in Guards Trophy GT race

Monday, August 30 2010

The Jaguar E Type of Jon Minshaw clinched a dramatic win in the Guards Trophy for GT Cars at Oulton Park, but made very hard work of it in the late stages, seeing a huge lead wiped out with less than three laps remaining.

Minshaw had qualified on pole and despite a small amount of wheelspin managed to get into the first corner first. From there it seemed as if he was cruising to victory, streaking away at the front by around two seconds per lap.

The lead was up to 15 seconds by the time Sean Walker in second pitted on lap 11, and by the time Minshaw pitted on lap 13, the win was as good as secured.

Minshaw returned, showing his frustration at having to make a mandatory one minute pit stop by lighting up his tyres when leaving his pit box.

However oil had been dropped around the circuit, and tell-tale signs were demonstrated when Minshaw's E Type got sideways through the flat out Deer Leap kink leading onto the pit straight.

Walker, apparently not suffering from the same issues had began to close the gap which had been 12 seconds after the pit stops.

The lead had been reduced by a second and a half, comfortable enough, but on the 17th lap the top two were separated by a matter of a few car lengths by the time the cars reached the Knickerbrook chicane.

Circuit commentators began to muse the idea that Minshaw had hit brake issues, and Walker was able to edge his Lotus Elan into the lead at the start of the last lap with Minshaw fighting back down the pit straight but braking earlier.

Walker though was baulked in traffic half way round the final tour, and Minshaw was able to squeeze back past, holding the lead for the remainder of the lap to claim the win, with the Marcos 1800GT of Andrew Smith and Richard Evans claiming the final podium position.

"It was like an ice rink out there!" Minshaw explained afterwards. "There was so much oil on the track and I lost it coming into Cascades and Sean got past. I was only able to get past when a 911 got in the way of Sean on the last lap."

Guards Trophy (GT Cars), Oulton Park result
1. Jon Minshaw, (Jaguar E Type), 19 laps
2. Sean Walker, (Lotus Elan 26R), +0.685s
3. Andrew Smith/Richard Evans, (Marcos 1800 GT), +18.593s
4. Mike Newman, (Jaguar E Type), +34.111s
5. Mike Whitaker, (TVR Griffiths), +55.015s
6. John Watson/Matthew Watts, (Lotus Elan), +1m08.414s
7. Denis Welch, (Marcos 1800 GT), +1m33.874s
8. Harry Wyndham, (Jaguar E Type), +1m35.080s
9. Jeremy Taylor, (Lotus Elan), +1m40.164s
10. Stephen Bond, (Lotus Elan 26R), +1m44.832s

The next major car meeting at Oulton Park is the GT Cup Championship and Lotus Elise Trophy on 11 September. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click the link below.