The 5th round of this years national championship was held at the Adur circuit in Brighton. The track was built only a couple of years ago with the club doing a fantastic job in providing a very challenging facility in which the drivers have to quickly adapt to since it is the smoothest and tightest track in the country. The track layout is actually formed on a small area of continuous tarmac, originally marked out using heavy duty rope but this is now revised to include Astroturf over timber contour boards and also profiled concrete kerbs at potential cross over positions.
The track is very tight in overall width with a short back straight which requires the tallest gear ratio available to provide the most punch out of the corners and top speed in the shortest distance.
The entry for this meeting was low when compared with the previous 4 meetings this season. The current championship leader, John Carr did not make the trip and would miss the chance of gaining valuable points which could make a difference at the end of the season. However the remaining 32 drivers present would have the possibility to gain some strong championship points. Having won the first 2 racers, Mark Green was again absent from this race due to preparations for the upcoming 200mm World Championships and we wish him good luck.
On Saturday, the track was busy all day and with the low entry, it was decided to not proceed with the controlled practice sessions in the afternoon. It was soon apparent that Andy North was quickest early on, but Neil Diver was soon on the pace with identical lap times. Pete Hastings, the winner of the previous round at Halifax, was close behind along with Andy Hastings. Tim Wood who sat out the early running was soon lapping on the pace of the leaders.
Sunday was greeted with dry conditions but soon after arriving at the track, the rain came which prevented any meaningful practice. The first couple of heats in round one was on a drying track but by heat 4, the track was fully dry and the grip levels were increasing. In Heat 4, local driver Dan Ghibaldan driving a Motonica and Richard Waters posted strong results. In heat 5, it was Tim Wood who made use of a clear track ahead to post a quick 21 lap time which would set the bench mark for the others to beat. Andy North at this stage finished 2nd in the heat but 8 seconds behind which required further setup changes to be made to try and gain back his advantage. Neil Diver was also on the move but minor errors and an engine cut at the start didn’t help but quick individual lap times would suggest he would be the closest challenger to Tim throughout the day.
As for the recent winner, Pete Hastings suffered again from bad luck when he had car troubles in the first 2 rounds, but with this aside, he was quick enough to qualify 5th, just ahead of team mate Andy Hastings. The top 10 at the end of qualifying were as follows:
1. Tim Wood – Serpent – Mega – 22 laps 314 secs
2. Neil Diver – Shepherd – IDM – 21 laps 301 secs
3. Andrew North – Mugen – Reds – 21 laps 308 secs
4. Dan Ghibaldan – Motonica – 21 laps 310 secs
5. Pete Hastings – Shepherd – IDM – 21 laps 311 ses
6. Andy Hastings – Shepherd – IDM – 21 laps 311 secs
7. Karl Dransfield – Serpent – Mega – 20 laps 295 secs
8. Richard Waters – Mugen – Mega – 20 laps 302 secs
9. Georgio Acanfora – Mugen – Sirio – 20 laps 305 secs
10.Nick Gilbert – Serpent – IDM – 20 laps 307 secs
The A final would see Tim Wood lead from Lap 1 and slowly opening up a little lead after Neil Diver had made a slow start. After 2 laps, Neil had picked up the pace and was starting to close down Tim but the gap stayed very much consistent for the opening 10 mins. Then Tim started to slowly increase the gap over Neil. Pete Hastings had a second lap incident with local driver Dan Ghibaldan which popped the rear shocker but after a visit to the pits, he rejoined the race. The next battle was for 3rd position between Andy North and Andy Hastings. At times, Andy Hastings would catch up to within 2 seconds of Andy North but then make mistakes and drop back again. Up front, the positions remained the same until an engine cut with 4 minutes to go, cost Tim Wood any chance of victory and after problems restarting the car, allowed Neil to take over the lead and go on to take a well deserved victory, making it 3 consecutive wins for the Shepherd team and back to back wins for DH Modelsport. The remaining podium positions were taken by Andy North (2nd) and Andy Hastings (3rd). Down the order, I must congratulate Dan Ghibaldan, Richard Waters, Georgio Acanfora and Nick Gilbert for making their first A final in the 1/8th IC section.
The full results are as follows:
1. Neil Diver – Shepherd – IDM – 122 laps
2. Andrew North – Mugen – Reds – 118 laps
3. Andy Hastings – Shepherd – IDM – 118 laps
4. Pete Hastings – Shepherd – IDM – 116 laps
5. Richard Waters – Mugen – Mega – 112 laps
6. Karl Dransfield – Serpent – Mega – 108 laps
7. Tim Wood – Serpent – Mega – 107 laps
8. Dan Ghibaldan – Motonica – 27 laps
9. Georgio Acanfora – Mugen – Sirio – 12 laps
10. Nick Gilbert – Serpent – IDM – DNS
The next race is back to Mendip on the 8th August 2010 and a strong entry is predicted to kick off the second part of the season. The Championship standings and further information can be found on www.BRCA.org