MOTOR RACING: Mixed weekend for Whittaker in BMW championship

Garrie Whittaker. Photo: Derek John Binsted

Garrie Whittaker. Photo: Derek John Binsted

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BARNSTONE-based saloon car racer Garrie Whittaker had a weekend of mixed results in the latest two rounds of the Kumho Tyres BMW Championship at Rockingham, near Corby.

Garrie notched up his 12th win of the season in race one but his engine lost power in the second race and he did well to finish second.

Garrie qualified in pole position with his quickest lap of 1min 29.286sec representing an average speed of 78.21mph for the 1.94-mile circuit.

Garrie came out for the first race of the afternoon in his BMW E36 M3 and made a blistering start. As the laps went on, Garrie built up a big enough lead and took the chequered flag to win from David Kempton by a margin of 1.79 seconds.

As Garrie took his car back to the paddock he found the engine would not tick over correctly, a problem which he put down to the heat, as it was a warm race.

However in race two, after Garrie made his now customary good start and moved up through the gears, the car spluttered and failed to accelerate. He held on to second place into the first corner but after a couple of laps he was down to third.

Garrie managed to nurse his BMW round to still finish a creditable second, later finding that an electrical fault was to blame for costing him his first defeat of the season.

Garrie is now in second place overall in the championship, nine points behind leader Paul Bellamy, and will resume his campaign at Oulton Park next month.