Posted on July 23, 2007 at 7:50 AM
Barry Gates & Anthony Dunn carried on their battle for the Radical Enduro SR3 championship at Thruxton. The weekend started well with Anthony qualifying on pole position for both races by a clear half a second ahead of championship rivals Phil Bailey & Bradley Ellis. Barry also excelled around the super fast track and set a pace within a second of his team mate in his first time at the circuit.
Flat out through Church corner
Disaster struck at the start of the first race as Gates was hit by a spinning SR8 in front, heavily damaging their car and putting them out of the race. A frantic struggle was made to rebuild the car for the second race and Team RPM did a fantastic job to get the car back out in time. Barry drove a consistent opening stint, keeping pace with the class competitors and handing the car to Anthony in a close 3rd position. A long pitstop ensued because a piece of the previously damaged bodywork was rubbing on a back tyre, requiring it to be changed.
Anthony rejoined the race in a distant 4th place, but a safety car closed the pack back up again. It was then a 10 minute sprint to the finish, with Anthony driving out of his skin to try & take the win. The last lap board was shown and he was behind leading SR3 of James Harrison.
Anthony chases through the pack after the restart
Anthony saw an opportunity coming out of the final corner to pass Harrison and he crossed the line 0.016 seconds ahead and eased off the throttle to claim the win...however the team called across the radio that the pitwall marshal had made a mistake and were still showing the final lap board meaning the race was still on! Unfortunately, it was too late & Anthony couldn't close the gap enough over the remaining lap, so they finished 2nd in class.
"That has to be the best and worst race of my life!" said Anthony. "It was done & dusted as far as I was aware...then I got the radio call...".
However, the pair are still in the hunt for the championship as they lie 2nd in the standings 11 points behind the lead. They race at Donington again in a fortnight.