Australian Focus V8 excluded after Spa victory
The Australian MARC Cars team scored an impressive victory on debut in the Britcar Series at Spa-Francorchamps at the weekend, only to be excluded post-race for a pitstop infringement.
Queenslander Jake Camilleri beat home a swathe of GT machinery in the second of two 120 minute races, having earlier finished second in the opening encounter.
Undercutting the 90 second minimum time in one of his pitstops, however, ensured Camilleri was shown a black flag with just two laps remaining.
After taking the chequered flag and receiving the winner’s trophy on the podium, a hearing confirmed the Focus V8’s exclusion from the results.
“The penalty is unfortunate but it doesn’t change the fact that we won the race fair and square on the road,” team owner Ryan McLeod told Speedcafe.com.
“It was a really good drive from Jake and it’s just a shame that we won’t be classified.
“But if you count winning the race as beating everyone to the chequered flag and taking the trophy on the podium, then that’s what we did.”
Keith Kassulke and Peter Leemhuis shared the second Focus in the Britcar races, scoring solid fifth and fourth place results.
The team meanwhile entered all three of its cars in the two Dutch Supercar Challenge races, which shared the billing with Britcar at Spa.
Up against a broader range of machinery in the Dutch series, the MARC entries ran in the mid-pack of the near 55 car field, with Kassulke scoring a best result of 23rd in the opening 60 minute heat.
Brit James Kaye drove Camilleri’s car in the Supercar races, finishing down the order in both after pitting to fix a damper issue and repair accident damage in the respective heats.
The cars will now return to Kaye’s workshop in the United Kingdom ahead of the resumption of their Creventic endurance series campaign at Zolder, Belgium, next month.
Having competed at Spa primarily to showcase the cars to a new audience, McLeod is optimistic of selling examples of the Queensland-built machines overseas.
“There’s so much interest in the cars because people can’t believe how strong they are,” he said.
“We had a sea of people through the garages taking brochures and asking about them.
“They are just something completely different that are drawing a lot of attention.”