The 2nd round of the 1/10th scale 200mm rubber Nationals took place at the Halifax track last weekend and we received the following report from Steve Lander. With the weather looking superb and the track having been prepared brilliantly by the host club, after its recent flooding and fire, it certainly looked like this meeting was going to be fast paced.
With Stephen Lander returning to the rubber class and winning the first round of the BRCA championship at the Cotswold circuit in such a commanding fashion it certainly seemed he would be the man to beat. Stepping up to the challenge were some very quick drivers including Serpents Simon Wood (fresh from the ‘B’ Euros at Ampus, France where he equalled the fastest lap of the meeting) and former BRCA National Rubber champion Paul Knapton driving a Mugen making a comeback in the 200mm rubber class at his home circuit in Halifax.
Early on Saturday it seemed all three were well on the pace with blistering lap times being set in practice for Sunday’s race meeting. At the close of Saturday practice it looked like Simon wood may have the slight edge over the other two.
As qualifying unfolded it was confirmed as Simon set a new Track record in round 2 with 17 laps in 300.20!! narrowly missing out on being the first man to crack the 18 lap barrier on rubber tyres.
With track surface temperatures soaring and up to 48 degrees at times it was hard to challenge for FTQ as the track was too hot to give up the super quick times, but Stephen and Paul (showing he’d not lost any pace over the winter break) were closing the deficit to Simon throughout the day. At the end of qualifying it looked like this:-
TQ Simon Wood
2. Stephen Lander
3. Paul Knapton
4. Micheal Ball
As the A-final lined up for the 30 minute duration it really was set up to be a terrific final and we were not disappointed, as the buzzer went all ten cars hammered the throttle and it looked like Steve was feeling feisty right from the off as he looked left and right turning inside Simon in the first couple of corners not quite finding a way past, as they swept out on to the straight, Simon cracked under the early intense pressure from Steve and cutting a really tight line, clipped the kerb on the inside resulting in flipping his car over and out onto the fringe of the circuit.
Steve then tried to settle into a rhythm but had a sideways moment coming off the banked corner at the end of the straight which allowed Paul Knapton into the lead. Steve rejoined in 3rd place and after quickly re-taking Michael Ball for 2nd he set about catching Paul. These two were nose to tail with some excellent racing skills being shown from both drivers for 26 laps as Steve looked for a way past Paul after making several considerable attempts, he finally made a super pass on Paul to take the lead on lap 27.
From here on Steve showed the pace of his car and engine to its fullest by really getting the hammer down and pulling out a commanding lead of 2 Laps by the end of the final.
After the final Steve had this to say:
It was a really hard fought final with some super quick lap times, having to push so hard for so long was dangerous on the rubber tyres and the blistering on them showed it, I never really had the chance to relax. I have to thank my sponsors CML/BYRON FUELS and RB ENGINES for providing me with such a competitive package, I hoped to enjoy the advantage of superior fuel mileage and excellent power from the engine and fuel package I have this year, and also thanks to Paul and Simon for pushing me so hard. Brilliant!!!!!