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Published 18 September 2011
Martin Stretton and Jon Minshaw claimed Fordwater Trophy honours after 45 minutes of frenetic action. This mini-enduro, held exclusively for Jaguar E-types in tribute to the iconic sports car’s half-century, saw Le Mans legend Emanuele Pirro make a brilliant start from the middle of the front row, only to be jumped by Minshaw as they headed into Lavant corner for the first time. The lead duo then ran wide in unison as they arrived at Woodcote, allowing third-place man Gerhard Berger to take the lead in Adrian Newey’s highly-developed ‘Lightweight’. While Minshaw and Pirro continued to squabble, with rarely more than a few feet between them, Berger disappeared up the road. After seven laps he led by 8.3-seconds. By lap nine, he was almost 12-seconds clear of Minshaw who pitted to swap places with Stretton two tours later.
Pirro set a searing pace but couldn’t make inroads on Berger’s massive lead. The Italian pitted after 18 laps to hand over to Desiré Wilson who had lapped half-a-second quicker than him in qualifying. One lap later Berger pitted to hand over to Newey. Wilson emerged from the pits in front of Stretton only to go off at Lavant corner in avoidance of a backmarker. Her Jaguar was stuck in a dangerous position, the pace car being deployed by which time the E was fired up and running once again. By this point, the lead Berger had build up had been wiped out and one lap after the restart - with 12-minutes of the 45-minute race still to go – Newey ran wide at Woodcote and Stretton pounced. Wilson crashed at the chicane after 25 laps had been run which resulted in the pace car being bought out once again. Racing resumed for just one flying lap but there was no stopping Stretton who led home Newey for a well-deserved win.
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