Three podiums to conclude season for Balfe Motorsport duo

By Peter Scherer

The season concluded with three podiums.

With the business side of GT racing having finished, Shaun Balfe took the opportunity to bring out his 1965 spec Lotus Cortina for the Historic Touring Car Challenge on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.

It was only the third outing for the Balfe Motorsport car this season and, as usual, Tom Ashton was sharing as they qualified second in the U2TC class for pre 66 cars in appalling weather.

“There was standing water on the F1 straight, half way down the old pits straight and on the entrance to the Hanger straight too, and with the Cortina being so light, it just aquaplaned and you wait for some grip again,” Balfe explained.

“The wind caught the car and blew me about to,” Ashton added.

It was a rolling start and Balfe slotted into fourth place behind Michael Cullen’s similar car.

In the early laps on the drying track they continued to hold station, but as Balfe began to close in on Cullen, the gap to fellow Cortina drivers David Dickinson and Richard Dutton began to

grow.

“It was very greasy but the standing water had gone, but I managed to catch Cullen and got alongside twice,” he explained.

He finally made his move into Stowe Corner on lap four, “I decided to go for it again but this time I made it stick,” Balfe added as he soon began to pull clear of his rival.

The gap to second place Dutton was substantial however and both had held station until Balfe followed class leader Dickinson into the pitlane after nine laps and the first 30 minutes of the one hour race completed.

Ashton rejoined in fourth as Cullen was yet to pit, but more importantly the gap to Dutton was now 27.8 secs.

Dickinson was still in the clear to take the class win, but Ashton continued in pursuit of Dutton, and by the flag he had reduced the gap to just over 15 seconds and secured a solid third

place.

“I didn’t know anything about times or positions or gaps, I just drove the car, got on with it and had fun,” said Ashton.

“That’s three races and three podiums for our 100 per cent record.

“It’s also a nice way to finish off a difficult year, out with some mates have a great time and plenty of fun,” Balfe concluded.