Placing / Fastest lap
TVR Griffith 200
Fastest lap 1:36.756
Autosport 3 Hours: Snetterton 23/04/2023
Rain. Rain. And Even More Rain.
Following on from their first Masters 90 minute race of 2023 at Donington, Barton Racing arrived at Snetterton with the TVR Griffith, all set for what turned out to be an action packed three hours of endurance, where perhaps the most important item proved to be the car’s windscreen wipers. Retro Engineering had set up shop the night before and when drivers Harry Barton and Ollie Reuben arrived early Sunday morning conversation immediately revolved around refuelling, driver changes, pit stop strategy and safety cars. All these things would influence the final result.
Qualifying for the twenty-five cars was dry, so not surprisingly our TVR Griffith set the pace, finishing the fifty minute session on pole with a 1 minute 21.124. Worryingly Lotus Elans occupied six of the next seven places, with the likes of Martin Stretton, Horatio Fitzs-Simon and Nigel Greensall praying for rain, and ready to pounce. And rain it did, starting ten minutes before the race started at 15.30 and stopping literally as the chequered flag was waved three hours later.
Harry Barton, driving in his first wet weather endurance race led the pack off the line and continued to extend his lead until after just four laps, out came the safety car, allowing the Elans to play catch-up. This was repeated again one lap later. Ideal time then for a driver change and fuel top up. At half distance it was Elan, Elan, TVR. After two hours the Griffith was up into second. The gap: .771 sec.
The final stop, again behind a safety car and the pit lane was like Piccadilly Circus, the leading Elan with Nigel Greensall now driving was first away, but the TVR was reluctant to start, losing a precious forty-three seconds. And by now it was raining even harder. Harry was told to be ultra careful during the last half hour, and stay away from spinning cars, which he did admirably, leaving the Elans to fight it out between them.
After 90 water drenched laps, Harry crossed the line fourth overall and a class winner. More importantly with the Motor Racing Legends Pall Mall Cup scheduled in just six days time, the Griffith remained damage free and still making that lovely V8 growl. Everybody returned home tired but happy. Another good day at the office.