Group C cars hail from 1983 to 1992 and participated in iconic events such as Le Mans 24 hours. Manufacturers such as Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche and others invested huge amounts to secure bragging rights and the marketing advantages that came from winning a significant trophy. Not to mention a boost to national pride along the way.
Saturday’s Group C race saw twenty of these monsters take to the track as dusk merged to night. As expected Bob Berridge, pole sitter, in the Mercedes C11 raced off into the sunset for what most thought would be a repeat of previous comfortable wins. Katsu Kabota in the Nissan R90CK, had other ideas and battled with Berridge, taking the lead on laps three and four after an audacious pass at the Loop. Berridge however retook the lead and kept it to the flag, with Kabuta-san finishing second.
The second race took place in the heat of Sunday afternoon. The Mercedes C11 of Bob Berridge roared away as the red lights went out, into what became an unassailable lead.
Experienced Jaguar pilot Justin Law, in a Silk Cut liveried XJR8, passed a hard-charging Nissan R90 of Steve Tandy who was looking to make up for Saturday’s spin and gain a podium place. Katsu Kabota, Nissan R90CK, fought his way back up the order from a lowly lap one position to fourth by lap six. Unfortunately that’s where the comeback ended as he had to retire on lap seven. At the flag it was Justin Law who took second place. Steve Tandy was third having been chased by Adrian Watts’ Spice SE89 for the closing laps, a gap of less than half a second separating them.
The natural environment for these Group C racers are the long track/road circuits such as Le Mans. With the recent decision to potentially allow racing on UK public roads, perhaps there’s an opportunity of the BRDC at Silverstone. Incorporate the estate roads around Whittlebury Hall and Stowe school for character, style and ambience, with the A43 taking the role of the Mulsane Straight for outright speed. Just a thought.