Donington Park – 2/3rd April 2022 Race Report, Images and Results

Posted on: April 5th 2022    •    Posted in: Race Results

2022 Season Opener Donington Park

Round 1 & 2 – Donington Park National

Duratec Race Reports


The 2022 Sports 2000 Championships promise to be some of the best ever, with a new sponsor on board – Locks 4 Vans – and a huge increase in entries before the first round had even begun. For the first time, the two separate Championships would be split up over the weekend at Donington Park, with the Duratecs and Historics having their own Qualifying sessions, and their own races. This was in the hope of attracting more Historic Sports 2000 cars into the mix, while giving both groups chance to have their own races, void of any worries regarding tripping over one another.

The first Qualifying session of the weekend got under way in very bright but cold conditions, and very early on, Michael Gibbins returned to form with a blistering time to put himself fastest. He spent a lot of the session over a second clear of his nearest competitors, which consisted of sparring partner Josh Law and reigning champion Tom Stoten.

There were other names throwing themselves into the mix too – Richard Johnson made a welcome return after a great showing at the end of 2021 at Snetterton, and Tim Tudor was flying as well in the newly-worked MCR S2n, featuring new aerodynamics developed by University of South Wales Trinity St. David.

Gibbins would come into the pits half way through the session, after contact with John Owen resulted in a puncture. This was not enough for anybody to topple him though – only Johnson was able to get under a one-minute-nine lap time. The pair of them making up the front row ahead of Tim Tudor, Josh Law and Paul Trayhurn, who finally found a change in fortune. Barwell, Stoten, Lesniewski, Bates and Houghton would round out the Top 10.

Race 1

At the end of the green flag lap, as the grid formed up, we unfortunately had Peter Williams and Paul Trayhurn – who continued a horrendous streak of bad luck – pull into the pit lane.

Off the line, Johnson didn’t get the best of starts, and was under attack by Tim Tudor and Josh Law. The former managed to get past out of Redgate, but Law couldn’t get a move completed. Behind them, Stoten tried a move on Lesniewski and just got ahead before a Safety Car was called. The cause was David Gorst’s MCR, which had broken a driveshaft while launching off the grid.

One lap later, the race resumed. Gibbins made a great restart and extended the gap, while Josh Law went straight for a move on Richard Johnson for 3rd. Again, the latter managed to hold him off, but they had to be careful as Tom Stoten, in the brand new Gunn TS12 was closing in very quickly! Just inside the Top 10, David Houghton made it past Nick Bates for 8th.

Again, Law kept trying move after move on Johnson, who held station, while both maintaining the clean and respectful racing that’s become the norm in Sports 2000 racing. It became apparent very soon though, that while they were battling and allowing Tom Stoten to close up, they were actually gaining on Tim Tudor in 2nd.

While it was all going on up front, more battles and moves were being played out off-screen, with Steve Ough getting by Andy Chittenden for 10th place and Grant Gibson displacing John Iley for 14th. It was all far from over though with seventeen minutes still on the clock!

Tudor was soon feeling the pressure as Johnson began to line up for an attack. He would need to get a move on with Josh Law waiting in the wings too. It soon became a quartet as Tom Stoten joined the party, while Gibbins continued to disappear over the horizon. After a lovely move around the outside of Redgate, Johnson managed to get into 2nd place down the Craner Curves. Into the final chicane, Josh Law would also go through.

It wasn’t long before Stoten went by as well, with Tudor seemingly having power troubles out of the corners. Fantastic entertainment was provided by James Barwell and Dominic Lesniewski too as they battled over 6th and 7th. John Iley would be our next retirement, pulling into the pits.

Barwell continued the great progress he’d made, overtaking Tudor for 5th after losing a couple of spots at the start, however, this would soon become 4th place as big drama took place! Michael Gibbins, after breaking away into a lead of around 10 seconds, would crawl his way into the pits after losing drive in the latter stages of the lap. It would later transpire that the clutch had completely disintegrated.

John Owen was making his way through the field too, after starting right near the back, eventually having a battle with Grant Gibson – one of his rivals and old sparring partners in the Duratec B class. Barwell didn’t show any sign of stopping either – he was soon up into 3rd ahead of Tom Stoten, gaining himself a podium position. Things looked even more positive not long after, as the field was soon neutralised by another Safety Car, after a spin at Coppice for Andrew Butler had left the car stranded in the gravel, precariously close to the circuit.

With only a couple of minutes left, the drivers were shown the chequered flag, which meant Richard Johnson took the first win of the season, ahead of Josh Law and James Barwell who completed the podium. Tom Stoten started his campaign with a 4th place, with Tim Tudor holding station in 5th. Dominic Lesniewski finished 6th with David Houghton, Nick Bates, Steve Ough and Andy Chittenden completing the Top 10.

Race 2

As usual, the Grid for Race 2 would be the finishing order from Race 1, so Richard Johnson and Josh Law could continue their battle into this encounter, while we all waited to see what progress the likes of Gibbins and Trayhurn could do from further down.

Tim Tudor got a lightning start from 3rd, moving to the left hand side of Josh Law. Richard Johnson started to move over to cover off the attack, but in getting squeezed, Josh Law back out and tried to duck underneath to the right hand side, unfortunately missing the unsuspecting Barwell alongside him. The two made contact, with Barwell being speared off into the barriers, causing big damage to the car and bringing out the Safety Car. Soon after, it was escalated to a complete Red Flag scenario with a restart. Thankfully James was absolutely fine and Josh contacted him after the weekend to apologise.

The grid formed back up, assuming their original starting positions and we were soon back to racing. Josh Law got a much better start this time, and Tudor went for the inside line. Johnson did his usual and held them off, but Tim had to back out on the exit of Redgate, losing spots to David Houghton and Tom Stoten – the former making a great second start. Nick Bates was 6th ahead of Steve Ough, while Michael Gibbins had an incredible first lap, moving from 17th up to 9th!

Josh Law was relentless in his attack to try and get past Richard Johnson for the lead, making a great move down the inside into the final chicane. He had to work hard to sell Johnson the dummy, but there was urgency in their racing as the trio behind of Houghton, Stoten and Tudor were reeling them in despite battles of their own – Stoten getting up to 3rd with an incredibly gutsy move down the Craners. Gibbins meanwhile had seemingly teleported himself into 6th position now, ahead of Nick Bates.

Paul Trayhurn was making solid progress too, looking to finally turn a long run of bad luck around. He had worked his way through the order into the Top 10, behind Brouwer and Ough. The Gunns were going well, but interestingly weren’t as dominant as we saw them at Donington Park in 2022 – certainly shaping the narrative up for another great year of MCR vs. Gunn battles!

Michael Gibbins moved into 5th place after just six minutes of racing, overtaking Houghton on the brakes into the Roberts Chicane, and before we knew it, Paul Trayhurn had gotten past the aforementioned Brouwer and Ough, into 8th. We kept our eyes peeled for more as Tim Tudor would be the next target for Michael Gibbins.

Ash Law had a bit of a moment at the Old Hairpin but managed to continue. He had chosen not to run in the first race of the weekend after suffering from terrible migraines on Saturday afternoon. Up to that point he’d made his own strong progress from the back of the grid. His brother Josh was setting fastest laps at the front of the field while Tom Stoten closed in on Richard Johnson, but soon a bit of lapped traffic would be something to consider – could it change the dynamic of this leading trio?

We soon found out that the answer was no, sort of… the pairing of David Gorst and Ash Law were negotiated very easily, but still it seemed that Johnson was getting closer to the race lead, as opposed to being reeled in by Stoten behind him. It looked like there would be clear track in front of them until the end.

Unfortunately, a couple of laps from home, Colin Peach would bring the car into the pits to retire, ending his weekend just short of the flag. Bates was holding off Steve Ough and Peter Brouwer as they negotiated the traffic but soon it became clear that he wouldn’t have to do it for much longer – Josh Needham’s Van Diemen decided it had had enough, and spat its dummy out with a very smoky engine failure up at Coppice.

The chequered flag was brought out in anticipation of a Safety Car or red flag, meaning that Josh Law was classified as the race winner, ahead of Johnson and Stoten. Andrew Butler ended up in the gravel for the second day in succession with just a few minutes to go, with myself and fellow commentator Adam Weller suspecting fluid or oil from Needham’s failure.

Tim Tudor completed a strong weekend with 4th place, ahead of Michael Gibbins after that amazing recovery drive. Paul Trayhurn finished 6th – another fantastic drive – with David Houghton, Nick Bates, Steve Ough and Peter Brouwer rounding out the Top 10.

That means that Josh Law leads the championship by 1 point over Richard Johnson, but there’s then a 9 point gap back to Stoten and Tudor who find themselves tied on 18 points. It’s still all to play for and with two drop rounds this season, it’s bound to remain close throughout until the very last race!

It was an epic first weekend full of entertainment for the Duratecs – great camaraderie as ever and positive vibes up and down the pitlane and paddock, where we saw drivers improving on their pace from last year, others with bad luck and failures, but as always, brilliant, clean racing.

The series moves on to Silverstone next time out for two races on the full grand prix circuit – they’ll be taking place on the 23rd and 24th of April, with split grids once again, so both classes get to go at it hammer and tongs!

Historic Race Reports

For 2022, the Historic Sports 2000 Championship sponsored by Locks 4 Vans would enjoy two race meetings where they have the track all to themselves – no pesky Duratecs to jump out of the way of!

After a massive amount of work from Ross Hyett and the series organisers, the 2022 Apsley House Pinto Cup would be a special “mini series” within the main championship, for the aforementioned two meetings. There has been a significant increase in the number of Historic cars signed up for 2022, and it was wonderful enough to see it before we even got to Donington.

Arriving at the circuit, seeing the plethora of wingless, smooth-bodied Historic S2000 cars in the paddock was a real sight for sore eyes.


After an incredible showing at Snetterton at the end of 2021, Jon Harmer and Marc Noaro returned with their wonderful Tiga for a full campaign in 2022, and duly stuck the car on pole position for the first race of the weekend. Nik Johnson’s lovely Lola 592S would line up alongside him on the front row, with another stunning red car behind them – Tim Jacobsen’s Shrike P16 – a car that I described as something that looks “vacuum formed to the road”.

Paul Streat would line up 4th – another driver to watch after incredible pace during his 2021 appearances. Chris Snowdon was 5th alongside Trevor Welsh, with Mike Fry and Charlie Besley making a very promising Row 4. It was looking to be an incredibly competitive field with beautiful cars from many manufacturers – exactly what the whole paddock wanted to see.

Race 1

A great start from Jon Harmer kept him in the lead into Turn 1, with Paul Streat trying it around the outside of Johnson. Unfortunately Tim Jacobsen dropped back a few places after bogging down off the line. Peter Needham had quite the opposite, bolting off the line and climbing up the order straight away, getting around Richard Cooke on the outside of the old hairpin!

The number 27 of Harmer streaked away at the front in the opening laps while Johnson and Streat fought one another for the remaining podium spots. Chris Snowdon and Trevor Welsh got battling again, much like they did in 2021 – both displaying great control and patience as you’d expect, in the good old Tiga vs. Lola battle. They’d have to mind out though, as Mike Fry, Tim Jacobsen, David Williams and Charlie Besley were right with them.

Paul Streat then gave us the first example of just how good his Lola is on the brakes, diving down the inside of Nik Johnson into the final chicane with a decisive move. Suddenly, Trevor Welsh found himself under attack from Tim Jacobsen, who swept through at Mclean’s, then Mike Fry. He managed to hold the latter off, backing him up slightly into Williams but it looked like it was going to be a tough time for the Lola driver.

Jacobsen quickly set about chasing down Chris Snowdon and less than one lap later, he was alongside through Mclean’s, with a tiny bit of contact, remaining side-by-side through Coppice, completing the move at the chicane – a great display of just how respectful the racing is while being fiercely competitive.

The sextet – as it had now become – looked amazing making its way down the Craner Curves in the very cold conditions, but Jacobsen had really impressed in the early stages, despite the poor start. Three of the drivers behind him – Snowdon, Welsh and Fry – were real stalwarts of Sports 2000 racing and it was great to see a new name (at least to me) really taking the fight to them.

Clive Steeper unfortunately had to pull over after a failure at the back of the car, which just meant local yellow flags for a lap or so. Jon Harmer soon came up to lap some of the backmarkers, including Agi Eugenio, who it was great to see back out on track after a few years out. Paul Streat all the while, was really closing in on Harmer – the Lola looking very quick indeed.

Charlie Besley – after following a group of cars for a few laps – made a great move down the inside of Williams into Redgate, moving up into 8th place, while Streat continued to put pressure on Harmer for the lead. The pair would need to keep their eyes on their mirrors though, as Nik Johnson had closed back up as well in 3rd position. As the trio lapped Nick Bailey, Streat had a look at making a move but held back temporarily.

The following lap, after a failed attempt at the lead by Streat, we all got to witness a phenomenal battle between him and Johnson, as they swapped positions multiple times, while remaining very close together throughout, and – importantly – not dropping away from Harmer.

Streat would get through again at the final chicane a lap or so later after more heroics on the brakes, which then triggered another epic three-car battle to the flag, Streat taking the win with Harmer and Johnson side-by-side across the line! Tim Jacobsen was 4th with Snowdon in 5th, holding off the train made up of Welsh, Fry, Besley and Williams. Peter Needham completed the Top 10 after starting from the back.

Race 2

With the Historic S2000 cars providing the final race of the afternoon before the five-hour EnduroKA race, everybody was hoping that the action would be just as good as it was in the opening encounter of the day. The grid formed up in their Race 2 finishing positions – Paul Streat sitting alongside Marc Noaro on the front row this time, who shares the number 27 car with Harmer again this year.

Neither of them managed to get an ideal start though, and the rapid-starting all-red second row of Johnson and Jacobsen launched brilliantly to sweep past them before Redgate. Trevor Welsh and Mike Fry were side-by-side for 5th and 6th, while both the Charlies – Besley and Hyett – struggled to get away from the line. As the entire field went back up the hill to Mclean’s from the Old Hairpin, Trevort Welsh, Chris Snowdon and Peter Needham all made moves on Noaro, with the latter falling down to 7th place after the first lap.

Nik Johnson’s car had been smoking towards the end of the first race, and was showing signs of having the same problem again. Before there was even chance to speculate, Jacobsen leaped through – “the shrike strikes!” exclaimed commentator Adam Weller. Paul Streat could now smell blood in the water and instantly set about chasing Tim. While all of the excitement at the very front kicked off, Williams and Fry got past Noaro.

One driver making great progress after what had been an under-the-radar couple of laps was Nick Hyett – the blue Lola was flying and he’d overtaken Besley, Noaro, Fry, Williams and then Needham to claim 5th place. Jacobsen and Streat started swapping places at the front corner after corner, even confusing both commentators at one point with optical illusions of all sorts, which was unfortunately subdued with a Safety Car – the cause of which was Mike Fry’s car off at Mclean’s.

The race got underway again before we knew it and everyone remained line astern with five cars breaking away at the front – Streat, Jacobsen, Snowdon, Welsh and Hyett. Jacobsen reclaimed the lead out of Redgate, and Snowdon started trying to get the better of Streat, with Hyett having a go at Welsh behind them.

Streat returned the favour on Jacobsen next time round, which sparked a fantastic scrap between the latter and Snowdon, with the Shrike P16 eventually coming out on top, but that wasn’t before drama at the very end. Nick Hyett spun off at Coppice and ended his race in the gravel, soon to be joined by Williams and Needham. Whether there was fluid down on the circuit from Hyett or another car wasn’t confirmed.

Paul Streat would keep his eyes forward and take his second win from as many races after an incredible display of racing by the Pintos all weekend – an amazing advert for these beautiful and very interesting cars. Jacobsen just held on to 2nd ahead of Snowdon and Trevor Welsh, with the two Charlies (who got poor starts, remember?) recovering to 5th and 6th! David Muse, Richard Cooke, David Williams and Martin Hörter rounded out the Top 10.

Donington Park and the Historics certainly provided – the first two races of the season had been an absolute blast – very entertaining for the fans, friendly and family that were track-side and watching on the live stream. Paul Streat comes away with a commanding championship lead over Tim Jacobsen and Chris Snowdon.

We look forward to having more “Historic-only races” at Silverstone in a few weeks time, and our thanks of course go out to Ross Hyett and Apsley House Capital Plc for making it possible to have such a great grid of these historic cars together, putting on some mega racing.

Results are available via the Results Page. Here

Race Images

Below are some images credit to KJG Photograpy. To view the full set or purchase copies visit

Duratec Championship Round 1 Images

Duratec Round 1 Podium – 1st: Richard johnson- 2nd: Josh law – 3rd: James Barwell
Duratec driver of the Day – Richard Johnson

Duratec Championship Round 2 images

Duratec Round 2 Podium – 1st: Josh Law – 2nd: Richard Johnson – 3rd: Tom Stoten

Historic Championship Round 1 Images

Historic Round 1 Podium – 1st: Paul Streat – 2nd: Jon Harmer – 3rd: Nicholas Johnson
Historic Driver of the Day – Tim Jacobsen

Historic Championship Round 2 Images

Historic Round 2 Podium – 1st: Paul Streat – 2nd: Tim Jacobsen – 3rd: Chris Snowdon