2000 Race Results

BRDC GT Championship - Part of UK Power Tour

March 25/26 Thruxton Q : Erdos/Purvis LM600 3rd in GT, Vergers/Byford LM600 7th in GT, Lockie/De Dryver LM600 8th in GT, Stokoe/McLoughlin Mantis 4th in GTO
R: Stokoe/McLoughlin - 7th o/a, 4th in GTO, Lockie/De Dryver - 12th o/a, 4th in GT, Byford/Vergers - 15th o/a, 5th in GT, Erdos/Purvis : DNS
April 8/9 Croft Q: Lockie/Euser LM600, 2nd in GT, Leslie/Byford LM600 5th in GT, Purvis/Erdos LM600 15th overall, Butler-Henderson/Ryan Mantis 4th in GT
R : Lockie/Euser - 1st Overall and GT, Leslie/Byford - 3rd Overall and GT, Butler-Henderson/Ryan - 3rd in GTO, 6th overall, Erdos/Purvis - DNF
April 30/May 1 Oulton Park International Q : Erdos/Purvis LM600 Pole Position, Lockie/Byford LM600 10th Overall, Delahunty/Griffiths Mantis 6th in GT0
R : Lockie/Byford 2nd Overall, Erdos/Purvis DNF, Buurmann Mantis - 3rd in GTO
May 6/7 Donington Park National Euser/Lockie - 3rd Overall and GT, Leslie/Byford 7th O/a
Butler-Henderson/Ryan, Mantis - 2nd in GTO
May 20/21 Silverstone International Euser/Lockie 7th Overall, 5th in GT, Erdos/Purvis 8th Overall
June 3/4 Brands Hatch Grand Prix All Marcos LM600 front row
Euser/Lockie - 2nd Overall and GT, Erdos/Purvis - 6th overall
July 1/2 Donington Park Grand Prix Lockie/Euser - 4th overall and GT, Leslie/Byford - 7th overall.
July 29/30 Croft Lockie car destroyed in practice
Purvis/Erdos - 3rd overall and GT - Davies/Bettley, Mantis 8th overall, 4th in GTO
Aug 19/20 Silverstone International Erdos/Purvis - 4th Overall and GT, Lockie/Euser - 6th overall
Sep 2/3 Snetterton Lockie/Euser - 1st overall and GT, Griffiths/McLoughlin, Matn
Sep 23/24 Spa-Francorcharnps Lockie/Euser - 2nd overall, behind non-scoring Lister Storm
Oct 7/8 Silverstone Grand Prix Lockie/Euser - 4th overall and championship victors

FIA GTs

Mar-26 Valencia Euser/Vann - Retired
Apr-02 Estoril Euser/Vann - 6th overall in shortened race
Apr-16 Monza Euser/Burrman - Retired after accident
May-14 Silverstone Car damaged in free practice, Did not run
Jul-23 Zolder Euser/Becker - 4th overall
Aug-06 A1 Ring Car not entered
Sep-03 Lausitzring Car failed scrutineering and was not seen in the series again in 2000

Mantis Challenge

Apr-09 Croft Sprint Race ???
May-01 Oulton Park Sprint Race ???
May-21 Silverstone Sprint Race ???
Jun-04 Brands Hatch Endurance Race with GT ???
Jul-02 Donington Sprint Race ???
Aug-20 Silverstone Endurance Race with GT ???
Sep-02 Snetterton Sprint Race ???
Sep-24 Spa, Belgium Endurance Race with GT ???
Oct-08 Silverstone Endurance Race with GT ???

Marcos in GT racing in 2000

2000 is only just started, but already there is a lot of news on the Marcos front.

Sadly the organisers of the Daytona 24 Hour race have chosen to ban sequential gearboxes and, as Cor Euser has spent a great deal of time developing the Evo LM600 with just such a gearbox, the team won't, after all, be back for another crack at the American 24 Hour Classic in 2000. No doubt, many American race fans will be sorry to hear this as the car was very popular with press and spectators alike on its first visit. No doubt, Calum Lockie will also be very disappointed, but we wish him luck in whatever he drives at Daytona.

The changes at Marcos will probably see an ever stronger switch in emphasis to race cars, especially in the form of the GT3 Class Mantis. In the UK, this car is likely to form the backbone of the series, and hopefully the newly developed model will be competitive internationally against Porsche's new GT3 car.

The Mantis Challenge will run again in 2000, but with a mixed sprint and endurance format, with some events running within the BRDC GT series races. This seems a sensible move, for both series, attracting bigger fields for the GT races and getting 'proper' sportscar racing experience for drivers looking to use the Mantis Challenge as a stepping stone to the BRDC and FIA GT series.

At the moment, the preliminary schedule includes a race at Spa Francorchamps, but the final schedule has not yet been confirmed.

The entry list for the 2000 Privilege Insurance GT Championship has just been released.

It includes 6 Marcos entries, amongst the over 40 entries. Tommy Erdos and Andy Purvis are again paired in an NCK LM600, but this will be a new car as last years has been sold to former LM500 racer, Jeff Wyatt. Also in the GT category (formerly GT2, and the top category in 2000) is a second LM600 entry from NCK (Jeff Wyatt has an entry for his LM500), an entry for Calum Lockie and Cor Euser for the LM600 Evo (whether they run a full season will remain to be seen, as they hope to appear in the FIA series) and a Mantis entered by Marcos Sales Ltd (the factory). There is also a Marcos GT3 entered in the GTO (formerly GT3) category by Marcos Sales, to be driven by Chris Marsh and TBA.

The expected domination of GT3 by Marcos seems to have been hit by the BRDC's decision to let in lighter 4 cylinder cars, which has seen a number of Lotus Elises and a Caterham 21 arrive on the scene. Interestingly, there are a lot of Porsche GT3s entered, along with 2 Dodge Vipers, a Ferrari 360, a Corvette and a 4WD Ginetta G33, backed by the Ginetta factory.

Chief competition in the GT class will come from two Lister Storms, TVR's Speed 12 and 3 Dodge Vipers.

Cor Euser's plans to get his LM600 evo homologated for the 2000 FIA GT series have been seriously hit by the FIA's decision not to agree to homologate the car based on its first viewing of the racer and the road car on February 22nd. There appears to be a major disagreement on whether the road car and the race car are the same vehicle with Cor taking the view that the FIA has seen the required road car and the FIA saying that the two vehicles were "not the same car".

The FIA have proposed another examination of race and road car on 15th March, but Cor has said that this will be too late to confirm contracts with his drivers and is looking at racing in a national championship, with the British and/or Belgian series looking like the favourites. Cor is quoted as saying that his "sponsors will follow him wherever he races", but both the FIA and Cor say that the FIA GT series will be poorer without the variety that Marcos could bring, so let's all hope that a compromise can be reached.

LM600 testing at Valencia, along with Ferrari 550, Vipers and Lister Storm
Above : LM600 testing at Valencia, along with Ferrari 550, Vipers and Lister Storm -Photo courtesy Sportscarworld.

As if to rub salt into the wounds of those who would like to see Marcos in the FIA series, Euser ran his LM600 evo at the official FIA test in Valencia, Spain over the 1-3rd March. The Belmondo Vipers were fastest, but Cor set a lap time less than a second slower than the fastest Viper time, suggesting that the evo is now a challenger for the fastest FIA GT runners.

Word has also reached me that former Mantis Challenge front-runner, Charlie Butler-Henderson, is to run a GTO Mantis in the BRDC GT series. Apparently his car is confirmed (although he's not on any Privilege GT entry lists released so far!) and is under construction in Westbury.

In the Mantis Challenge, which will reinforce its claim to be a stepping stone to GT racing with a number of rounds running within the BRDC GT races this season, a number of teams have announced their plans for the 2000 season.

Front runner Nick Staveley is returning, along with James Goddard-Watts, Westfield front runner Bill Tully and one-off 1999 runner Stephen Stokoe. Wim Noorman and Leon Bastiaens from Holland plan to bring their cars over for 'many' British rounds and teenager Andrew Delahunty is aiming to run in a John Griffiths entered car.

Former Caterham and TVR Tuscan entrants, Promotasport are running cars for Andrew and Chris Davies, the latter a kart racer making his racing debut. The team also plan to run Shane Bland, the sensation of the Silverstone finale last year, in a GTO Mantis, budget permitting.

Finally, it looks 99% certain that Andy Purvis and Thomas Erdos will team up again in the NCK Marcos LM600 which scooped the teams title in the BRDC GT series in 1999. I hope this is the case, as the pairing are now very strong and will be Marcos' greatest hope for outright race wins in 2000 even (dare I say it?) if Cor Euser's team are present.

Either way, 2000 is looking a good year for Marcos racers, and only a few weeks to go...

March 25th/26th saw the first rounds of the British and FIA GT series. In Europe, the FIA decided to let Cor Euser enter his LM600 evo, subject to another homologation check in June. He's to share the car with former team mate and Briton, Christian Vann.

The problem revolves around the relocation of the gearbox to the rear of the car, as shown in the photo below :

LM600 Evo's contentious rear!
Above : LM600 Evo's contentious rear transaxle.

The car qualified a reasonable 5th overall in practice and ran a steady 6th in Cor's hands in the early stages. However, at around 1/3rd distance, the car retired with a blown head gasket.

Meanwhile 3 LM600s lined up to qualify for the first round of the BRDC GT series at Thruxton. Two cars from NCK (one for 1999 frontrunners Tommy Erdos and Andy Purvis, the other for Michael Vergers and Graham Millward) and one from MEMEC Marcos International Racing (basically Cor's team) running for regular 2000 runner, Calum Lockie and (for this race only?) Belgian, Bernard De Dryver. This latter car was a '98 spec LM600, with a 2000 spec car due in a couple of races.

Thomas Erdos set fastest time overall in the first practice session, but fell to third in the second. Things looked good for this duo again, but a post practice check showed that the gearbox was damaged and that had also damaged the engine, causing the team to scrap their entry and take the car away to be repaired before the next round.

The others lined up 7th and 8th on the grid, with the NCK car just pipping the MEMEC/MRI car. Further back, in GTO, Stephen Stokoe and Ben McCloughlin lined up their Mantis Challenge car behind a trio of GT3 Porsche 911s, but ahead of the Ferrari F355 and both GT3 Mantis' of Butler-Henderson/Ryan and Delahunty/Griffiths.

Race day was a mixture of pleasant sunshine and heavy showers. After one shower the track looked likely to dry in the early stages of the GT race's 60 minutes, so both LM600s opted for slicks, the NCK car late, resulting in it starting late from the pit lane.

Neither car chose well, though, as the circuit remained resolutely damp and slippery and the cars crawled around way off the GT leaders (and their potential) pace. The Lockie car spent many laps being matched for pace by the Mantis Challenge car of Freddy Kinchin/Jeff Wyatt. The NCK car, meanwhile never broke the 1m 33s lap pace (the best GT lap was a 1m 19s!).

However, the benefits of being out early in the season showed in the final results as the Lockie/De Dryver car (which was swapped ONTO wets at the driver change!) picked up 5th in GT and the NCK car, 6th. In GTO, Stokoe and McCloughlin took 4th in class, behind those three 911 GT3s. The Wyatt/Kinchin car finished 11th overall, one place ahead of the MEMEC/MRI LM600, despite a fastest lap over 2 seconds slower than LM600, oh, what might have been...

You can read Calum Lockie's reports on finding a 2000 drive and the opening round at Thruxton here.

The 2000 GT racing season is now into full swing and things are looking good for the LM600s, especially in the UK.

In the FIA GT series, the teams moved on to Portugal for the second round of the series. In practice, the car suffered engine trouble. This wouldn't have been critical, except that rain then ruined the second session, leaving Cor's LM600 at the back of the grid.

The rain didn't go away after that and the race started wet. The race started well, with Cor running quickly through the field to reach sixth, before torrential rain stopped the race. It looked like a two part race would be held, but the rain didn't stop by the determined time and a half points result was declared.

Next event for the FIA GT series was the Monza classic. Practice continued the wet theme of Estoril and, again, the LM600 Evo showed good pace to line up 6th on the grid, behind two Vipers, the pace setting Lister and a Porsche 911 GT2.

The race, however, was not to go well. Sportscarworld described the incident thus Harald Becker started the LM600, but Gabriele Matteuzzi "came up behind me and hit me" at the second chicane, on lap two. Becker turned right and hit the barriers almost head-on, inflicting serious damage to the Marcos.

Those who saw it on Eurosport, or were there, will attest to the seeming accuracy of Becker's observation, as the Viper seemed to just push the Marcos around on the straight and it then wiped off the front and rear ends.

LM600 Evo's Monza crash
Above : The LM600 ends up in bits and the Monza gravel.

Meanwhile, Marcos fortunes looked decidedly better in the BRDC GT series.

After the disappointment of the Thruxton opener, the teams moved onto Croft, where Cor Euser wheeled out his LM600 Evo for himself and Calum Lockie. A good showing by this pair reaped a front row start to the race, alongside the pole winning Lotus Esprit V8.

Former Sportscar racer and BTCC Honda driver, David Leslie, joined Martin Byford in the second NCK LM600, which turned out to be the same chassis he raced at Le Mans for the Computacenter team in 1995! Who said only the latest cars can be competitive? This pairing took a strong 5th on the grid, whilst the other NCK LM600 of Thomas Erdos and Andy Purvis didn't have a good practice, bending a valve in 1st practice and then missing the second whilst the engine was rebuilt.

In GTO, Charlie Butler-Henderson and Chris Ryan showed good form in the pukka GTO Mantis to take 4th in class.

Come the race, Calum took an early lead and held off the charging Esprit for some time, until running wide and letting the Lotus past. However, come the pitstops the Esprit was in for a long time whilst the team looked for a lack of power on one bank of the V8. Cor, therefore, came out as leader after the pitstop reshuffles.

He pulled away from the Parr Motorsport Viper of former Mantis Challenge champion Neil Cunningham, but a pace car situation to recover the crashed TVR Speed 6 brought the field back together and they went racing again with just 11 minutes of the 60 left to run. Cor, however, knows his car well and held Stephen Day off in the Viper by about 1 second at the end of the race.

Erdos and Purvis' misery continued with a loose wheelnut ending their race early. The Leslie/Byford NCK LM600, however, came through to take an excellent 3rd place overall, putting two Marcos crews on the podium. The Butler-Henderson/Ryan GTO Mantis took a class podium too, after dueling mightly with the class leaders in the pre-pitstop phase, before settling for a great result.

After the Monza smash, Lockie's chances of racing at Oulton Park for the next round looked slim until a series of concidences saw Leslie back in his Honda drive for one race and a space open up at NCK.

This looked likely to be a mixed blessing when the engine failed in practice, leaving them 10th on the grid, but better was to follow. Things were looking up for the second (first?) NCK Marcos of Erdos and Purvis as Thomas put in a storming practice lap to take pole. The rainbow MRI car may be bright, but there's something elegant about the sleeker lines of the NCK cars, especially on the big wheels introduced last season.

Frequent MRI LM600 driver, Hermann Buurman, turned out in a Mantis for this race, whilst fast duo Butler-Henderson and Ryan didn't get a time recorded (Does anyone know why?) and had to start from the back, leaving Delahunty and Griffiths as fastest GTO Mantis runners.

Purvis and Erdos miserable season seems to know no bounds as the former was involved in a first lap incident with 'tough' scot Cleland's Viper. Both cars were damaged and both drivers blamed each other - watch GT on 4 to make up your own mind! Thomas Erdos, incredibly, has yet to actually complete a race lap this season...

Down the field, however, Calum Lockie and Martin Byford quietly rolled off the laps and passed cars where they could. Incredibly, this netted them second overall at the end of the race and put Calum into the GT Driver's championship lead!

In GTO, Herman Buurman came through to take third in class, to make sure that, even when not at frontrunning pace, the Mantis is a sound GTO choice. Delahunty and Griffiths failed to start, however, but Butler-Henderson and Ryan came through to take 5th in GTO.

You can read Calum Lockie's reports on Croft and Oulton Park here.

The next round, just a week after Oulton Park, was at Donnington. Calum Lockie was back in Cor Euser's LM600 Evo and David Leslie back in the second NCK LM600 with Martin Byford.

Testing saw Byford bend a valve, another engine rebuild... Cor Euser knows Donnington well and put the Evo on pole by half a second from the Esprit. Erdos' car was not a contender for pole (it started 7th), running a 'V7' as it bedded in and the late rebuild of the second NCK car saw it restricted to 10th overall. In GTO, Shane Bland joined John Griffiths in the fastest Mantis, ahead of Butler-Henderson and Ryan.

At the start Cor made good his escape, opening up a lead of 7 seconds in just 9 laps (He had to be on a plane straight after his, opening, stint!). Erdos quickly got his car up into 4th ahead of Tim Harvey in a GT2 Porsche, but the engine started giving problems and Thomas pulled in early to retire rather than risk yet another NCK engine failure - at least his done some race laps now....

At the pitstops, Lockie stalled briefly, but still had 13 seconds lead on Stephen Day's Viper when he rejoined. Rob Schirle got past the Viper and set off after Lockie but could only find 10ths of seconds in his attempt to catch the Evo. It looked like a safe win for the MRI car, until Lockie knocked off the ignition switch! What had been a safe lead sank to 5 seconds and it looked close, however it seems he also knocked off the fuel reserve and appeared to be out of fuel - Calum quickly realised his error and switched it back on, but the Lister was past and the Esprit passed too. Third was good enough, though, to keep Lockie in the lead of the series.

The Leslie/Byford LM600 had a quiet day, but finished 7th, whilst in GTO Porsche carnage ensured that Griffiths/Bland and Butler-Henderson/Ryan took second and third in class.

You can read Calum Lockie's reports on Donnington Park here.

Next race for Marcos LM600s is Silverstone for the 500Km on May 14th, which just happens to be my birthday. Would I be anywhere else?

Well, I wouldn't have been, but sadly Harald Becker badly damaged Cor Euser's LM600 in first practice and the car was not to be seen again for the whole weekend. Still, I'm sure anyone who saw the ELMS and GT races would agree that the 20 seemed money well spent, especially as Silverstone was basking in unusually good weather - Tough luck mugs who paid 90 to watch the GP in the rain! :^)

The BRDC GTs were back at Silverstone the following week. Thomas Erdos proved his pace again by taking the second place on the grid, alongside the Lister Storm, with Lockie/Euser lining up on the second row in 4th place.

In GTO, Charlie Butler-Henderson/Stephen Stokoe complained of lack of power with the Mantis GTO, but still lined up 4th behind the Short TVR and the fastest 996s.

In the race, there was incident aplenty. On the first lap, Warnock, Lockie and Cleland collided. Opinions differ (Maybe I'm biased, but have you ever seen Cleland racing in Touring Cars? :^)), but the upshot was Lockie down in 5th and Erdos away into the lead. Butler-Henderson also got caught out by all the action and take off a 996, an Ultima and the front of his Mantis - retirement followed...

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Above : Erdos/Purvis LM600 in the thick of the fight : Picture courtesy : SUPERSPORTSCARWORLD

Next time round, however all but Warnock and McKellar (amongst the leaders) span on oil from the first lap incidents and the pace car was dispatched. Leslie was now up to 5th (having started 9th), whilst Erdos was down in 11th!

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Above : Euser/Lockie battle back through the field : Picture courtesy : Marcus Potts

The rest of the race was about recovering places and by the end Erdos/Purvis were back up to 8th (6th in GT) with Lockie/Euser one place ahead.

At the start of June, the BRDC teams turned up at Brands. This was to be the closest race yet and once again the LM600s were at the front!

Literally as the grid line up, as Euser/Lockie had just pipped Erdos/Purvis to pole for an all LM600 lockout. Leslie/Byford were down in 8th after a low key practice, whilst in GTO, the Brands GP circuit didn't seem to suit the Mantis' with them qualifying behind the 996s and the Cerbera. The field was swelled by the top 9 Mantis Challenge cars from the previous day's 1 hour race.


Above : LM600 front row at Brands : Picture courtesy : SUPERSPORTSCARWORLD

The NCK sponsored LM600 has been plagued by a misfire all season, and Andy Purvis let the faster starters go as the race started. Calum Lockie led initially, but the hugely powerful TVR Speed 12 was past within a lap, the Viper also finding a way past.

Leslie was soon making up places, passing the NCK LM600 for 6th on lap two, but sadly his car suffered a broken exhaust and sticking throttle and retired on lap 4. Meanwhile, William Hewland got past Lockie in a new Storm, fresh from the Spanish GT series. However, Lockie stayed in touch until the pit stops, although a slow in lap, compared to the leaders was to have significance later in the race.

After the stops, Euser was on top form in his car and soon closed down the White Storm for third. The pace car then came out after a major crash involving numerous Mantis and GTO cars. Once that was cleared up, Euser was off after the TVR, but with only seconds left, the Lister Storm took victory by less than 2 seconds.


Above : Euser fights past TVR Speed 12 at Brands : Picture courtesy : SUPERSPORTSCARWORLD

In GTO, The Mantis fared badly, with the slower, but consistent Challenge cars heading home to surviving GTOs.

The Donington Round of the BRDC GT series, where the 2000 Marcos Club Rally was held, turned out to be a strange event. The race was the last event on the schedule and the weather was fine all day until moments before the scheduled 4:00PM start, when it started to pour, and didn't stop! By 5 O'Clock, we decided to leave, but in fact the race was finally started at shortly after 5, running for 5 laps behind a pace car on a soaking track. Calum Lockie started from a lowly 16th on the grid in a car only completed in the closing moments of second practice. Thomas Erdos set his normally strong practice showing with 3rd on the grid.

Come the race, Erdos car again succumbed to engine gremlins - will it ever end? - but Lockie and Euser rose quickly through the field to take an eventual 4th place, which kept Calum in the GT series lead. You can read Calum's report here.

The next race up was at Croft on the 23rd July. Disaster struck for Lockie (partnered here by one time BTCC driver, Kurt Luby), as 'something broke at the front' of his LM600 in practice and the car was too badly damaged to take up its 5th place on the grid. Good news for Marcos fans, though, was that Thomas Erdos had, once again, shown his pace and put the Azlan backed car on pole. Butler-Henderson and Stokoe, once more, took the GTO battle to the 996 ranks and the lone (but very swift) TVR Speed 6, as fastest Mantis.

In the race, Andy Purvis initially dropped behind the Ellis Esprit, but returned the good move by the Lotus, with an equally neat one on lap 2 to retake the lead. He then set a string of good laps to pull away, by 7 seconds, at the head of the field.

Purvis retakes lead at Croft
Above :Purvis retakes lead at Croft : Photo Courtesy David Lord

Sadly, an incident with the Camaro and a GTO Mantis saw the pace car despatched and the lead evaporated. Once the pitstops were over the car had dropped down to third, with Erdos 'pacing himself' for a late attack. Indeed for a while that's how it looked it might be at Tommy set the race's fastest lap to close within a second of the leading Lister.

However, this season's been a nightmare for Tommy and Andy and it was no surprise to see the car hampered, again, by that misfire... This dropped the car down behind the Tim Harvey 911 GT2, but at least it still reaped a podium position.

In GTO, after the pitstop B-H led the class for a while, but 'debris in the alternator belt' (The remains of the engine perhaps?) saw the Mantis retire to leave Andrew Davies/Matt Bettley as best GTO Marcos in their Challenge spec car, a creditable 8th overall and 4th in GTO.

You can read Calum Lockie's report on his Croft smash here.

Whilst one MRI Marcos was wrecked at Croft, Cor Euser/Harald Becker returned to the FIA series at Zolder in Belgium in another. The team had skipped the Hungarian round, Cor prefering to race at Donington in the flooded race, where he had ample opportunity to show his prowess.

Bizzarely, rules dictated that the Cor could only practice in one session (as he was also running in the Belcar event the same weekend and it's supposed to prevent too much knowledge!). This wasn't too much of a hurdle, though, as he qualified 2nd in that session, ultimately dropping to 5th after the second.

In the race, Euser ran a competitive 4th for a while, until flat spotting a tyre and losing touch with the leading trio. A late stop for fuel also lost the car some time, but it finished a promising 5th after showing good pace. With rumours of a 2001 return to Le Mans, it's good to see the Marcos back to front running pace.

Cor skipped the A1-Ring race, but his team (and the other BRDC GT runners) were back in action at Silverstone on August 20th. The Warnock Lister Storm was again the car to beat, and it couldn't be, but Lockie and Euser lined up alongside it on the front row, with the Purvis/Erdos LM600 behind it in 4th. In GTO, bigger air restrictors didn't seem to have an immediate effect on the competitiveness of the Mantis GTO against the massed ranks of Porkers and the lone TVR Speed 6.

At the start, Lockie made a poor (not his words, according to Sportscarworld!) start and dropped down to 5th, allowing Purvis up to 3rd with the V12 TVR right on his tail. The TVR soon got past and Purvis was also quickly passed by Lockie, on the move now.

Lockie took the TVR on lap 5, but Purvis and McKellar (Driving the TVR) touched as the NCK car tried to pass and they both span, but rejoined further down the field. The Lotus Esprit V8 (A much underdeveloped car in the BPR days before the FIA permitted Group C cars into 'their' GT series...), by now was leading the Lister and Lockie took second away from the Jaguar powered car pretty quickly. He closed quickly on the Lotus too, bringing Warnock with him.

Lockie and Ellis battle
Above : Lockie and Ellis battle for the lead : Picture courtesy : SUPERSPORTSCARWORLD

At the pitstops, however, problems struck. As Calum put the car into neutral, it slipped back into gear (a idiosynchracy with the transaxle installation perhaps?) and the car stalled. Once it was restarted, Euser was fourth, five seconds behind Tim Harvey in a Chrysler Viper. He quickly closed the gap and picked up third and then second as the Lotus stopped. However, the Lister had had a demon pitstop and nothing Cor could do would ever be enough to catch the Lister and it got worse as a Mantis moved over to let Cunningham's Viper past and then back as Euser came through, damaging the car badly. It needed a pitstop and despite a strong drive, the overall result was only 6th in GT, with the competition (Warnock) taking 1st... Now the gap between Lockie and Warnock was 19 points, in the Lister driver's favour.

Erdos, meanwhile, tried to make up for Purvis' lost places. As ever he was on top form and, for once this season, the car was too. He fought up to catch Harvey and Clark's Vipers and on lap 40, with only 3 laps to go, the gap between the 3 was half a second. With a lap to go, and with a little body contact, Erdos squeezed past Harvey, but Clark remained just out of reach at the flag, leaving the yellow Marcos a good 4th after a storming fightback by the Brazilian.

Erdos takes 4th
Above : Erdos in the NCK LM600 takes 4th from Harvey's Viper : Picture courtesy : David Lord

In GTO, reliability provided the Mantis GTO of Ben McLoughlin/John Griffiths with 4th in class.

You can read Calum Lockie's views on Silverstone here.

The next couple of races were on opposite sides of the world. The LM600 has always been a popular car amongst Japanese fans and Cor took it to the Suzuka 1000Km race, one of the top events in the world for Sportscars. This race took place on the 31st August and the next round of the FIA series was in Germany, at the new Lausitzring, near Berlin on the 2nd September and there was the next round of the BRDC GT series, at Snetterton on the 3rd!

First up was Suzuka. Euser lined up with regular FIA partner Harald Buurman and local driver, Harada. The first hour didn't go well as the car was off the track so came in early to clean grass out. This probably caused the small wheel fire and then a stop and go and penalty - Due to the fire?

The rest of the race was a fight back. The Lister Storm dropped out with an oil fire in the second hour and the Chamberlain Viper in the same hour with wheel bearing failure. Second in class looked the best Euser/Buurman and Harada could achieve as the final few laps came, but the Freisinger Porsche GT2 lost a wheel with just 30 minutes to go, leaving the LM600 1st in the International class and an amazing 5th overall! The second Freisinger car, taking second place.

The car was hurriedly shipped back to the UK and Cor went straight to Germany. However, the trip to Berlin was pointless as the scrutineers decided the front of the car was made up of too many panels. A Lamborghini Diablo also thrown out appealed and was allowed to race, but Cor's appeal was lodged too late.

Back in the UK, the Suzuka winning car was delayed at customs and only reached Snetterton in time for a handful of laps in Friday testing. In this testing, Erdos and Purvis were again on the pace, with Thomas setting 4th fastest time.

A switch in settings, to the bumps of Snetterton versus Suzuka's super smooth surface, allowed Euser to set a time ultimately good enough for fourth on the grid. However, it was Erdos who took third for best Marcos on the grid, after he ran faster in the dying moments of the first session.

The second session was generally slower, but only the NCK LM600 was out as the Suzuka engine in the LM600 suffered a bent conrod, requiring the team to send to Germany for engine parts still in Berlin. The Mantis teams were a bit happier with their air restrictors at Snetterton with McLoughlin and Griffiths again fastest Mantis GTO.

The Euser/Lockie engine was hurriedly rebuilt Sunday morning and had it's first run at 11:30 with a 3 lap bedding in session. Things weren't looking good for Lockie's championship chances...

The front row men were slow away, allowing Purvis to challenge for the lead. Lockie, starting the Euser car, started cautiously dropping to fifth.

Purvis was right on the tail of Warnock's Lister all through the first lap, but they touched on lap 2, eliminating Purvis on spot with front end damage and Warnock after a few laps of leaking fluids over the circuit. Warnock was furious and the argument that ensued when Purvis went to apologise led to a visit to the Clerk of The Course for both of them.

Lockie stayed cautious, but safely reached the pit stops and handed over to Cor Euser. Cor was a distant third to start with and this extended further with a brief spin costing him around 10 seconds leaving him around 30 seconds behind the lead Viper of Tim Harvey.

A podium wouldn't be bad, especially with Warnock non-scoring, but then Harvey's car stuck in 4th gear and the TVR Speed 12 lost a driveshaft. Suddenly, after staying within a second a lap of Euser, Harvey's car's exhaust note changed and the lap times extended and Euser was on his tail. With just two laps to got the Suzuka winning car was past and into the lead, giving Calum Lockie maximum points and the MEMEC/MRI team a remarkable week!

Calum Lockie's luck looked like it had all been exhausted in the early races of 2000, but it's suddenly swung back away from Warnock to the Scotsman. Only 4 points in it now and the mighty Spa next...

Would the Ardennes circuit be kind to Marcos again, as it had in previous years? Probably the most exciting circuit in the world, and definitely the best on the PowerTour circuit, Spa promised a mamoth test for both LM600 teams and their Lister mounted adversaries.

Spa did indeed prove kind to Marcos, or more specifically, the LM600 of Calum Lockie and Cor Euser.

A full grid of 43 cars, including 21 Marcos', resulted in a frenetic first few laps at the notoriously difficult circuit.

After only 10 minutes Andy Purvis was forced to retire after a spin (and subsequent collision with one of a pack of Mantis Challenge competitors) in his NCK Motorsport run Marcos LM600, this incident resulted in the only safety car period of the race and gave Calum Lockie the opportunity to recapture some of the positions he lost at the start; slipping back from 2nd to 5th. Memec Marcos Racing International timed their pit stop to perfection, allowing Cor Euser the chance to attack the two Listers that had moved in front.

Cor once again rose to this challenge fantastically and gradually reeled in the 2nd place Lister of Dave Warnock and Jamie Campbell-Walter. This pressure from Cor may have led to the engine seizure that ended the Lister's race shortly afterwards.

Having frantically consulted with the BRDC to verify that the Lister placed 1st on the track was not eligible for any championship points Memec Marcos Racing International advised Euser to reduce his pace to take the maximum points for the first Championship registered car.

You can read Calum Lockie's views on the Spa weekend here.

Matt Edwards and Martin Byford who finished an excellent 6th place in their NCK managed LM600, Edwards was particularly impressive as the youngest GT driver and a first-time visitor to Spa.

In the GTO category the Eclipse run Marcos Mantis GTO of John Griffiths and Ben McLoughlin continued to impress by progressively improving all weekend and at one point was in 6th place overall until a collision with debris on the track forced a second pit stop.

Going into the season finale at Silverstone on 8th October, Calum Lockie only needs a top 6 placing to take victory, but, as we've already seen in a topsy-turvy season, it's not a foregone conclusion. Thomas Erdos will also be keen to take a win before the season is over, but the expected massed ranks of Listers will out to spoil the Marcos party. Sounds like it'll be a race to see...

Latest : Silverstone turned out a wet and torrid race. The initial qualifying session saw former motorcycle ace put his GTO Porsche on overall pole by 3 seconds, but come the (slightly) drier second session, the GT cars reasserted themselves at the front and it was championship leader Calum Lockie who had the pole (courtesy of a demon lap by car owner and team-mate, Cor Euser) from the Lister of Dave Warnock (the only other car/driver with a chance of taking the championship).

The Andy Purvis/Thomas Erdos car lined up 4th on the grid, with that car's stablemate (in the hands of Matt Edwards/Martin Byford down in 17th). Amongst the Mantis throng, Ben McLoughlin/Shane Bland held sway in their GTO model.

As the cars came out onto a damp track for the parade lap, Calum lost the pole position car and span off. Thankfully, no damage was done and he got the car back on the track and took his place on pole!

Running in the Spanish championship car, Calum started cautiously, dropping as low as 8th over the early laps. 5th was good enough for the championship, whoever won the race, and there was little sense in risking the car in the early stages.

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Lockie battles with the Ellis Esprit for 6th - Photo Courtesy :
Marcus Potts

Out front it was a Viper/Lister battle, and again it was the White Needell/Clark Lister which was setting the pace, although this time it didn't really matter. The Purvis LM600 was in engine troubles again and soldiered on to a disappointing 8th, a lap down. Thomas and Andy must be hoping 2001 will be better than 2000, especially the super-quick Brazillian, who barely seemed to get a race lap this year!

As the pitstops settled down, Cor was only 5 seconds off the Black Lister (today co-driven by FIA series driver, Julian Bailey), but the gap settled around that margin. However, rain spelt a change and the Lister fought it's way past the TVR Speed 12, whilst the Day Viper retired. This left Needell to take a second victory, with Warnock and Bailey second (and taking full points, again the white Lister was ineligible for points), the TVR 3rd and Calum and Cor in 4th, well within the placings to take the championship.

In GTO, Ben McLoughlin/Shane Bland were best placed Mantis again, finishing ahead of the Edwards/Byford LM600!

champions

Needless to say everyone at Marcos and Team MEMEC were overjoyed. This was the first Marcos driver's championship since Chris Hodgetts in 1995!

Ironically, Dave Warnock (partnered by Rob Schirle) briefly had his hands on the title, as a Marcos driver, a couple of years back until an appeal snatched it away, perhaps next year will be Dave's? Thanks to him for making 2000 such a great BRDC series anyway and Lister took the FIA series for both manufacturers and drivers, so 2000 wasn't a complete loss for them!

challengers

You can read how Calum felt about taking the championship in his own report.

With the BRDC GT series clinched it was time to think about other opportunities and it seems that it's same game, different place in the Spanish series, where Marcos and Lister are again head to head for the title.

Cor took his car to Spain to join championship regulars Miguel de Castro and lady driver Balbao Camino. The latter pairing took charge of their usual car and Cor Euser and F3000 driver Polo Villaamel secured a special entry for a second.

The cars secured 1st and 2nd in both training sessions, both qualifying sessions and both races, completely destroying the competition.

Spanish Action
Above : Lister and Marcos go head to head in Spanish series

De Castro and Camino now only trail the Championship leaders (THAT White Lister!) by 4 points with 1 double-header event left in Barcelona on the 12th of November.

Before then, however, the team found time to take in the Zandvoort 500Kms on 29th October.

With Calum Lockie, Herman Buurmann, Cor Euser and Marcos newcomers, Fred Moss (from the BRDC series) and Roberto Mangifesta, the two car Marcos team swept to a stunning one two in front of Dutchman Euser's home fans.

The Lockie/Burrman/Moss car led much of the race, but a driver error lost the car a lap, leaving the Euser/Mangifesta car to take victory after 4 hours of racing.

You can read a more detailed account of the Zandvoort race here.

So a great year for Marcos. Two championships against strong competition and a number of major race wins. 2001 kicks off with the Daytona 24 hours, so come back for the latest news.


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