The 2016/17 BRCA GT circuit championship Continued last weekend at another new addition to the calendar, the event was hosted by the Eastbourne club in Robertsbridge. The club laid a great track for the weekends action, based on the track that they used for the LMP national. At first some of the drivers thought it may be too tight and technical for the Saturday classes, however after the drivers had been on track it turned out to be a fun layout to drive and provided some very good racing.
Saturday started with the GT10 class. It was Andy Murray who set the pace, like he did at round 1. Adam Catchpole was his closest rival, having sat out round 1 of the championship he was keen to get his season off to a good start. Adam would find his pace to top the time sheets for the remaining qualifying rounds. Andy had to settle for second however he was always very close in the qualifiers. Craig Nutting would line up 3rd, followed by Jonny Aird, completing the top 5 was Kieren Manders.
Onto the final, Adam lead the pack away after the buzzer, the first couple of corners everybody getting away clean in grid order. Adam and Andy broke away from the chasing pack as a bit of carnage broke out, Jonny Aird taking the brunt dropping from 4th to 9th and retiring on lap 3. As the race settled Adam put a small gap between himself and Andy that he stretch out over the 6 minutes to cross the line 4 seconds in front. Craig Nutting completed the podium in 3rd, Kieren Manders in 4th and Mark Christopher completing the top 5.
In the Formula class it was James Greener who set the pace in round 1, Niall Cochran would be 2nd followed by Daniel Blake. The ETS carpet providing very consistent grip for the control GRP tyres, qualifying would be very close. Luke Lee jumped to the top in round 2, followed by James and Niall. None of the top 3 would improve their times in round 3, so it came down to round 4. James greener topping the sheet with Niall only 1.3 seconds behind, both drivers breaking into the 21 laps. Luke’s round 2 time would keep him in 3rd, Stephen Lander made his way into 4th and Jonathan Simblet completing the top 5.
The final had a relatively clean start, with pack staying mostly in grid order. The top 3 of James, Niall and Luke would break away from chasing pack after lap 1, Gaps opened up between the 3 as the race progressed until and error on lap 7 from Niall would see him upside down needing marshalled, dropping him to 4th. Niall was able to pass James right as he got a little out of shape in the sweeper a few laps later to retake 3rd. A mistake from Luke on lap 11 would see Niall back into 2nd, but by this time James had disappeared into the distance. Luke chased Niall hard for the remaining 2 minutes, a small mistake allowed to the gap to be reduced even more, on the last lap Niall got a little out of shape allowing Luke down the inside, which he made stick to take 2nd. James Wright finished 4th and Stephen Lander completed the top 5.
Onto Sunday the GT12 part of the championship would start with an improved entry of 79 drivers coming from all over the UK. Adam Catchpole would put his disappointing start to the season behind him to top the time sheets, followed by Andy Murray again showing better pace, Niall Cochran would be 3rd after the first round of qualifying. Adam would better his time in round 2 as would Andy. Aidan Ripley also improved to make his way into 3rd. The track stayed very consistent and didn’t dramatically improve during qualifying. Round 3 would only see small improvements for David Gale but it did not change his 4th position. Again in round 4, round 2 times would still be fastest for the top 3, Jonny Aird got a solid run in to put him 4th as did Niall to complete the top 5.
The final got off to a clean start with Adam leading the pack away, the top 3 of Adam, Andy and Aidan broke away from the chasing pack being lead by Niall, After about 1 minute, a very small tap to the barrier by Andy would be enough to let Aidan into 2nd, by now Adam had a large enough lead and could control the race. He would cross to line to win the final by a lap, Aidan kept 2nd with Andy Completing the podium, Niall Cochran would finish 4th and Jonny Aird completing the top 5. The top juniors in GT12 were 1st Sam Exton, 2nd Ben Moorey 3rd Matthew Gammons. The Championship now heads to Chesterfield when it continues on the 7th and 8th of January.