Sadly, it hadn’t dried up for the first race. Realising the limitations, and not wanting undue risks taken with his car, team owner Barry Hart made it clear that there was no pressure for a high placed finish, it was more important to try and bring it back in one piece – it was after all its first race. Not having done any practice starts, and in tricky conditions, it was quite clear getting a good getaway was going to be a challenge, but by the second corner (Cascades) Marcus
had gained a place and was running 8th. He was then held up by class two leader Paul Follett until a lap 3 pass round the outside into Cascades. Sadly, the lead group were now a long way off and his mirrors were now full of the red Boxster S of Lee Atkins, who started 16th. A few laps of dicing ensued until Atkins bravely dived down the inside into Island bend, a move that Marcus chose not to block for fear of having Atkins drive into his side. He stayed with Atkins but there was never a clear opportunity to pass safely. In the closing laps the lead car retired and a few went off, including the 996 of Paul Winter running in 5th place hitting the barriers at the exit of Old Hall. This brought out yellow flags from before the corner, which were ignored by the tussling 911’s of Mark McAleer and Kevin Harrison, who both passed Marcus (who had rightly slowed for the hazard) before the green flag at the entry to Cascades. The race finished in this order, Marcus crossing the line 8th, but later being classified 7th after a 5 second penalty for McAleer. This wasn’t bad given the conditions and the team were pleased, not least because the car came back undamaged. With improvements still to make it was a respectable result, but not enough to impress Marcus’ father who commented “I’m not used to seeing you so far back!” – this from a man who was nervous about viewing in the first place, having watched Marcus dramatically total a Porsche 944S2 in a multiple barrel roll last time he raced at this track. There’s no pleasing some people! Ben started 6th but fought through and managed a podium finish, another great result.