Kyle Branson wins Rd7 of BRCA 1/8th Nationals
The 7th Round of the BRCA 1/8th on road Championships was hosted by the Halifax club in West Yorkshire. The weather forecast was for a dry weekend which would allow a good high standard of racing without having the worry of rain setups and wet tires. The field of competitors was the best of the season with potentially 20 drivers with the ability and previous experience to make the main final. Richard Hicklin after taking a short break (due to getting married) was back, alongside Dan Jones (Serpent / Reds) and Mike Walton (Shepherd / IDM) making a one off appearance.
Sunday greeted the drivers with bright sunshine with the committee allowing a 7 minute practice session in heat format before 4 rounds of qualifying. After round one, it was Kyle Branson who set the pace from Mark Green, who managed to make 5 minutes but at a little slower pace. Kyle was stopping for fuel and lost around 3 seconds in the pits but had more than enough power to gain this time back on the track. Round 2 and it was the same at the top but this time, Mark Green changed engine of which required a fuel stop. The majority of the drivers chasing the top 2 had to make fuel stops which cost them valuable time, but Andy North, Adam Catchpole, Mike Walton and Andy Hastings managed to make 5 mins which would become an advantage towards the end of qualifying when the level of grip was at its best. In round 3, Andy North managed to beat Adam Catchpole to move up to third and then in round 4, TQ was in his sights but fell just short by 0.31 seconds, with the top 3 being separated by only 0.34 seconds. On a separate note, Pete Hastings had the worst meeting I have every experienced only completing 8 laps in qualification due to various car / engine related issues, however he ran in the lower final which shows good racing spirit and gave the lower racers the opportunity to race alongside a top driver.
The Top 10 was as follows:
1. Kyle Branson – Serpent / Sirio – 20 Laps 301.16 secs
2. Andy North – Mugen / IDM / Contact – 20 Laps 301.47 secs
3. Mark Green – Serpent / Novarossi – 20 Laps 301.50 secs
4. Adam Catchpole – Shepherd / IDM – 20 Laps 305 secs
5. Tim Wood – Serpent / Xceed – 20 Laps 305 secs
6. Jason Frost – Serpent / IDM – 20 Laps 307 secs
7. Andrew Hastings – Shepherd / IDM – 20 Laps 307 secs
8. Karl Dransfield – Shepherd / IDM -20 Laps 307 secs
9. Neil Diver – Shepherd / IDM – 20 Laps 308 secs
10.Michael Walton – Shepherd / IDM – 20 Laps 309 secs
The final started cleanly with Andy North slowly away due to a little too rich bottom end which allowed Mark Green to pass and chase down Kyle. The order then remained until the first pit stops when Tim Wood jumped Andy North and started to chase down the leading two. Up front Kyle was pulling out a little lead over Mark until Kyle’s Sirio engine went rich and required a pit stop to re-tune the engine. At this point Mark started to experience some problems and was out. This put Tim into the lead, but engine problems with 5 minutes to run put him out. Up front Andy North who kept out of trouble was on the lead lap but 5 seconds behind Kyle and so decided to settle for second place and decided to pit for splash and dash to make sure of a finish. Third place went to Neil Diver who struggled in qualifying to balance pace with run time, however a strong drive in the final keeps him on course for third in the overall championship standings.
The final results are as follows:
1. Kyle Branson – Serpent / Sirio – 115 Laps
2. Andy North – Mugen / IDM / Contact – 114 Laps
3. Neil Diver – Shepherd / IDM – 112 Laps
4. Karl Dransfield – Shepherd / IDM -112 Laps
5. Jason Frost – Serpent / IDM – 107 Laps
6. Andrew Hastings – Shepherd / IDM – 101 Laps
7. Michael Walton – Shepherd / IDM – 98 Laps
8. Tim Wood – Serpent / Xceed – 93 Laps
9. Adam Catchpole – Shepherd / IDM – 89 Laps
10.Mark Green – Serpent / Novarossi – 85 Laps
The next round is at Cotswolds, where the Championship could be decided in Kyle Branson’s favour if he finishes on the podium.
Thanks to Andy North for the report.