MOTOR RACING: Whittaker wins BMW Kumho Tyres title

Photo: Garrie Whittaker salutes the crowd at Brands Hatch. Photo: Derek John Binsted

Photo: Garrie Whittaker salutes the crowd at Brands Hatch. Photo: Derek John Binsted

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BARNSTONE saloon car racer Garrie Whittaker wrapped up the BMW Kumho Tyres 2011 Championship at Brands Hatch over the weekend.

A second place in Sunday’s championship race was enough to secure the title from his closest rival Colin Wells.

In a season that saw him triumph in 17 out of 19 races, and break seven lap records, Garrie sealed the Class A Championship as well as the overall title at the Kent circuit.

Saturday’s race was a non-championship event and Garrie qualified his trusty BMW E36 M3 on pole position with a lap time of 52.086sec at an average speed of 83.48mph for the 1.20-mile circuit, nearly half a second quicker than Wells.

Garrie made a blistering start to the 20-minute race and soon had the chasing pack desperately trying to make up ground. He stretched his lead over Wells throughout and took the chequered flag by 10.93sec from his rival.

Once again Garrie posted the fastest time in qualifying for the championship finale race on Sunday. His time of 52.577sec put him on pole position ahead of the 26-car field.

The race was over a shortened 10 minutes duration due to time delays in a previous race. After another good start, Garrie led the race once again from Wells. With only a few minutes of the race left, Garrie got caught up amongst the back markers. Wells made his move and went into the lead.

But Garrie knew that second place would be good enough for him to be crowned champion and crossed the finish line triumphantly behind his rival.