April 25, 2011

Kyle Branson dominant at Brooklands National

Kyle Branson dominant at Brooklands National

Round 1 of the 2011 BRCA 1/8th scale on road championship was held over the Easter weekend at the Brooklands raceway in Kent. This track comprises of the longest straight in the UK and is very hard on the engines, and so resulted in the majority of the competitors deciding to run the engines slightly rich to ensure engine life but this required a fuel stop in qualifying. With most of EFRA running 7 minute Heats, the BRCA decided to stay with 5 minute heats which may prove advantageous to drivers who have fuel efficient engines during the season.

Saturday was a hot day but the track was very dusty, so may drivers opted to run in new engines while cleaning the track. Hot from a semi final result at the Worlds in Miami, Kyle Branson was one of the pre-event favourites with senior team mate Mark Green also odds on favourite to take the spoils. Current Champion, Tim Wood was not present Saturday due to flying back from Miami, but was soon on the pace after practice early Sunday morning.

Team DH Modelsport had a very large contingent of both Shepherd cars and IDM engines making them a very popular choice this year. Team Drivers Neil Diver and Peter Hastings where very quick and consistent throughout the weekend and would give them a good shot of at least a podium position.

Mugen had one MRX5 present in the hands of Andy North, with a small number of MRX4’s down the gird. This was the first time the MRX5 had been raced in the UK and the potential is good but a lot of testing and changing the setup is now required to propel the current World Champion Chassis to the front of the grid.

Motonica also had an ever increasing presence in the pits with Daniel Bancroft leading the team with both chassis and the new VOX engine support.

With Sunday upon us, and after a brief delay due to timing issues, Kyle Branson continued his excellent form by taking TQ in round 1, followed by team mate Mark Green and then the Shepherds of Neil Diver and Pete Hastings. In Round 2 the pace increased with the top 2 going even faster but the order at the top remained the same. Tim Wood also produced a score which would guarantee a final position which allowed him to relax going into the final qualifying rounds. In the final round, Andy North and Richard Hicklin improved, booking their place in the final and also new Shepherd driver Mark Parnell did enough to make the top 10 at the expense of John Carr who had a disappointing result for his standards.

The top ten in Qualifying:
1. Kyle Branson – Serpent – Sirio – Exceed
2. Mark Green – Serpent – Novarossi – Exceed
3. Neil Diver  – Shepherd – IDM – Enneti
4. Tim Wood – Serpent – Mega – Exceed
5. Pete Hastings – Shepherd – IDM – Enneti
6. Daniel Bancroft – Motonica – Vox
7. Jason Frost – Serpent – Mega – Exceed
8. Andy North – Mugen – IDM – Enneti
9. Richard Hicklin – Serpent – Mega – Exceed
10.Mark Parnell – Shepherd – IDM – Enneti

The main final started with only 8 cars with Andy North the first to retire in the warm up with a stripped rear belt. Richard Hicklin soon followed with a blown engine. At the start, Kyle was leading with Mark Green and Neil Diver, Tim Wood all chasing hard. Kyle then got into a nice rhythm and start to pull 0.1 sec per lap over Mark to build a lead which he never relinquished. Kyle was running a new Sirio engine and clutch setup which seemed to be getting better lap after lap which enabled him to push on and after issues for Mark Green, Neil Diver and Tim Wood, he could build a dominant and comfortable winning margin, eventually by 10 laps. At this point Pete Hastings was in 2nd place but after a car problem dropped him to third and enabled Daniel Bancroft to finish 2nd.

Kyle Branson dominant at Brooklands National

The overall top ten was as follows:
1. Kyle Branson – Serpent – Sirio – Exceed – 128 laps
2. Daniel Bancroft – Motonica – Vox – 118 laps
3. Pete Hastings – Shepherd – IDM – Enneti – 116 laps
4. Mark Parnell – Shepherd – IDM – Enneti – 113 laps
5. Tim Wood – Serpent – Mega – Exceed – 109 laps
6. Jason Frost – Serpent – Mega – Exceed – 74 laps
7. Neil Diver  – Shepherd – IDM – Enneti – 57 laps
8. Mark Green – Serpent – Novarossi – Exceed – 46 laps
9. Andy North – Mugen – IDM – Enneti – DNS
10. Richard Hicklin – Serpent – Mega – Exceed –DNS

So a dominant performance for Kyle Branson makes it a perfect start to the new season. Stay tuned for the next round at the Wombwell Circuit in 3 weeks.

Thanks to Andy North for the report.


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