Michael (OC 2015) wins the Sports 2000 Championship
Congratulations to OC Michael Gibbins who won the Sports 2000 Championship with a double win. Featured here in this week’s Surrey Mirror.
Silverstone Race Report – 5/6 October 2019
The 15-minute session would decide the grid for the first race of the weekend, which would take place later that day. Gibbins knew that pole position wasn’t essential, as two top 3 results would secure him the championship before the final round at Brands Hatch later this month. What resulted was one of the closest qualifying sessions he had ever taken part in, with less than a tenth of a second covering the top 4 cars. Gibbins was unfortunately at the wrong end of this tenth, meaning he would line up in fourth place for the first race, one place behind his championship rival.
Gibbins line up for race one knowing that the aim was to stay out of trouble and come away with a good result, and not risk the championship. An even start from all the top 4 meant into turn one there was no change of position and they were all covered by less than a second as they finished the first lap. As the second lap came to an end, the second-place driver hit car problems and was forced to retire from the race, moving Gibbins up into third place. This caused for the safety car to be called out to recover the stricken car. After 3 laps the car was recovered and the race resumed. A strong restart from Gibbins meant he was able to challenge second place into the first corner. They went side by side through the corner, however, thinking of the championship, Gibbins backed out of the move and settled into third place. As the race progressed, the top three edged clear of the chasing pack, making it a three-horse race for the lead. As the leaders began to make their way through lapped traffic, the gap between the top three fluctuated, with small gaps appearing and then closing right up. As the last lap started, they were all nose to tail, and going down the back straight second place challenged for the lead. As the top two went into the next corner, there was a small touch resulting in them both spinning out, leaving Gibbins to take the win.
The grid for race two would be set by the result from race one. This put Gibbins on pole position, and his championship rival in second place, in a race that could potentially decide the championship. A late night preparing the car to ensure everything would run smoothly the following day, and Gibbins lined up on the grid knowing seventh place would secure him the championship. Overnight rain meant the track was still slightly damp, with a clear dry line and the rest of the track still wet. Pole position meant Gibbins started on the dry line, with second place on a much wetter track surface. A strong start meant Gibbins lead into turn one, while the drivers starting on the damp track struggled to get away. Some very quick early laps meant Gibbins had built a 5 second gap by the time the fifth lap started. Unfortunately, the safety car was then called out whilst a car was recovered, meaning Gibbins’ lead was eliminated. A well-timed restart meant Gibbins went unchallenged into the first corner. Over the coming laps the gap back to second, again, began to open and at the half distance Gibbins sat four seconds ahead of second place. Over the second half the race, drivers behind began to fight for position or hit problems, meaning Gibbins crossed the line to win the race by 11 seconds, and therefore secure the championship.
After the race Michael said ‘I am delighted to secure the championship and to do it on such a high with a double win this weekend. I got quite fortunate in the first race, but today in the damp conditions we were so fast, and the car felt so nice to drive. I really want to thank my family, friends and amazing sponsors; Croudace Homes, Champ Consultants, Surrey Strength and Performance and Computer Solutions, for all their support and effort throughout the year. Without these people I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything like what we just have.