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Miller controls lead from start to finish in Road Atlanta GP

Image by Hugo Ramos
Bill Grewcock followed by Hugo Ginja and Andrew Williams

Williams makes last-lap pass to finish

Road Atlanta GP
ROUND 7
07 Dec 2011
RACING HOST
Ryan Robbins
NEXT
PREVIOUS

07 Dec 2011 — Mike Miller started on the pole and led every lap on the way to a commanding victory in the Road Atlanta GP in Round 7 of the Vintage World Championship series.

Miller spent all of six laps total leading Andrew Williams after initially being caught by him on the first lap. Miller controlled the race lead every lap from start to win.

Miller is 12th in the standings for the series. He has one start and led 35 of his 35 laps raced while taking the victory once.

One last pass on the final lap put Andrew Williams in second place at the finish line.

Williams swapped leads multiple rounds with Darren Adams in a prolonged battle for second starting midway through, fighting over a range of 23 laps. Driving the Lotus Elan 26R, Williams drove the majority pursuing Adams after catching him on lap 9, coming from as many as five positions back. Williams cleared Adams for the second time and into second place when Adams retired on the final lap.

Williams moves up to fourth in the standings, one point behind Neil Gault. Williams has six starts and led 26 of his 175 laps while taking the victory once.

Darren Adams secured the series championship with his run to fourth place.

Adams traded positions with Bill Grewcock in a prolonged fight for second starting midway through, sparring over a span of 16 laps. Driving the Ferrari 275, Adams drove nearly equal parts leading Grewcock after originally being targeted by him on the first lap. After losing the spot on lap 17, Adams passed Grewcock and into second place on lap 23, and kept it another 11 laps toward the checkered flag before retiring early.

The series championship was clinched this round by Adams with his fourth-place run. In seven starts, he finished as high as second.

Vintage World Championship series moves on to its eighth and final round in two weeks at Goodwood. The series has 18 drivers competing for points in the championship.

The top spot in the series is owned by Darren Adams, but the remaining places in the Top 5 are an open field for five drivers in the running. Ryan Robbins, Neil Gault, Andrew Williams, and Simon Shepherd are all within one race of the current podium.

Bill Grewcock won fifth place.

Hugo Ramos won third place.

Grewcock traded positions back and forth with Andrew Williams in a long and persistent battle for fourth from the middle stages, passing each other three times over a stretch of 11 laps. Grewcock drove the majority pursuing Williams after being caught and passed by him on lap 10. In the end Grewcock settled into fifth the 11 laps running to the checkered flag.

Grewcock moves up to sixth in the standings, 27 points behind Simon Shepherd. Grewcock has six starts and finished as high as fourth.

RESULTS
1 Mike Miller CT Racing 35 53:56.463
2 Andrew Williams CORE Racing 35 54:18.546
3 Hugo Ramos 35 55:23.883
4 Darren Adams Apex Predator Racing 34 DNF
5 Bill Grewcock CORE Racing 34 54:32.480
6 Ryan Robbins VEPRA 34 54:47.447
7 Jose Branco Atlantic Motorsport Academy 19 DNF
POSTRACE

INT
0
FIN
1
Q
1
REP
 
CLASS
P&G
CAR
Shelby GT350
Posted by Mike Miller at 11:32 PM on Wed Dec 07 GMT

I enjoyed racing with you guys. It was very close between Darren, Andrew and I in quali. I nailed my personal best straight away and then made a mistake coming down the hill on lap 3. Fortunately, I had just enough to hold off Darren.

I couldn't see the flagger at the start (A piller blocked my view) so I keyed off the timer. It was good that I got the jump because Darren was clearly quicker the first few laps. I'm guessing he started with higher tire pressures than me. It took a few laps for me to get up to speed.

Darren got very close to completing the pass within the first few laps, but luckily I was able to hold him off. I think this was key because he came back at me after the pit stop. I think my lower tire pressures gave me more grip, but wore away the rubber quicker than him. He came within a couple seconds on the last lap. If he would have added a little more fuel I think he would have got by me if there were 40 laps in the race.

Again, very enjoyable racing with you guys. Congrats to Andrew and Hugo on the podium finishes.

INT
–1 L
FIN
6
Q
6
REP
 
CLASS
P&G
CAR
Chevrolet Corvette C2
Posted by Ryan Robbins at 03:16 AM on Thu Dec 08 GMT

Decided to save some money for the last event at Goodwood. I just could not compete in the Vette, but it was a fun drive. This track is pretty easy to drive in the rain and you can still push the car pretty hard. During the pit stop I decided to take tires even though I probably did not need them. I figured that it wouldn't matter in the standings anyway.

Grats to Mike and the podium.

INT
–22.082
FIN
2
Q
3
REP
 
CLASS
P&G
CAR
Lotus Elan 26R
Posted by Andrew Williams at 08:31 AM on Thu Dec 08 GMT

All my offline practise was with the Soft Wet tyres, but once online I tested the Soft Dry tyres, which seemed slightly better, so went with those. I did not however (as evident to most) do a practise start with them, as I promptly put the car in the barrier on the pit straight - embarrassing.

This error put me 15 seconds behind the leader after the first lap.

After that I drove quali laps practically every lap. Managed to get to third, where I would gain 2 seconds on Darren through the twisties, and he pulled it back down the straight. Just couldn't get any closer.

Finished 2nd after a fuel issue from Darren, just 22 seconds off the lead. Not too bad after being 15 down on first lap. (Sure Mike could have pushed more if I was closer though)

Congrats to Mike on the win.

INT
–1 L
FIN
4
Q
2
REP
 
CLASS
P&G
CAR
Ferrari 275
Posted by Darren Adams at 09:24 AM on Thu Dec 08 GMT

My start was average but I stayed in 2nd, I stuck close to Mike and hoped for a passing chance. I should have been more aggressive and made a move while I had the chance so I could slow him down from in front but I was too patient. I thought I had time and could stick with him but he was perfectly consistent whilst I was up and down from little mistakes all the time. He started to open a gap and I couldn't find any extra pace at that point.
I planned to pit on lap 18, on rF it tells me how many laps I have done but GTR2 tells me what lap I am currently on. That difference caught me out and I pitted on lap 17 and didn't even realise my mistake, that would come back to haunt me.
My 2nd stint was much better, I was able to hit good laps consistently and I closed from 6 secs to under 2 by lap 34.
Unfortunately my earlier error meant I ran out of fuel a lap short meaning it was all for nothing, such a shame because it could have been a very interesting last lap but I think Mike had done enough regardless.
Grats to Mike and the podium.

INT
–1 L
FIN
5
Q
4
REP
 
CLASS
P&G
CAR
AC Shelby Cobra
Posted by Bill Grewcock at 05:33 PM on Thu Dec 08 GMT

What a terrific event that was. The Cobra was a joy to drive on this circuit, a bit of a handful when pushing through the twisty bits but loadsa speed on the straight.
I had a decent start and found myself in P3 for the opening laps. Mike and Darren steadily pulled away from me but I soon found my mirror filled with Hugo's Lotus. Hugo was far quicker than me through the twisties so I had to defend throughout the first half of the lap until we got to the straight where I could open a bit of breathing space. This to-and-fro lasted for many intense laps with nothing to choose between us overall. Eventually I made a mistake going into the final turn which caused Hugo to give me a push and I ran off the track. Totally my fault and nothing Hugo could do to avoid it so when I rejoined and Hugo sportingly waited for me to go ahead of him I hung back and slotted in behind him. Hugo took the hint and went back to his usual race pace. He was able to make sufficient advantage through the Esses that I could not make it back on the straight so he gradually opened a gap. By the time I was ready to go into the pits, Hugo was having a 'moment' of his own at the pit entrance so we went down pit lane in line astern. In the excitement I forgot to cancel the tyre change so I had a 50sec stop and when I rejoined Hugo was long gone. The only other excitement occurred a few laps from the end when I took too much kerb in the Esses and the grass sucked me off the track. I was in a bit of a panic to rejoin since Ryan was getting closer but managed to get going with 10 or 15 secs to spare.
Congrats to Mike, Andrew and Darren for the podium finishes and thanks to Hugo for the superb racing :)


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