April 25, 2012

Chris Grainger wins Schumacher BTCC opener

Last weekend saw the opening round of the Schumacher BTCC 2012 Championship at what many people in our fraternity say is the best track in the country, Cotswolds Model Car Club. The weather forecast didn’t look too good before the event maybe putting a few people off, however 115 drivers were set to compete. As always the excellent Sorex XG-32RY tyre was the choice for the dry and the new XG-Rain treaded tyre for the wet. All day Saturday was open practice, some people making it a two day event and others choosing to turn up on the day. Sunday morning was nice and sunny but with rain in the night open practice was on a drying track.

This meeting would be the first time we have seen both drivers from modified and last years 10.5T in together on tarmac, so many looked on in interest to see how this would pan out. It was decided at driving briefing we would have FTD qualifying with rain predicted at around lunchtime allowing two dry round for drivers to get a fast time in before the predicted bad weather.  Sure enough the first two rounds were dry and as predicted the rain started in round 3 resulting in round 2 being the fastest round.

The Serpent of Chris Kerswell made the best of conditions in the flying Round 2 taking the TQ from the Schumacher Mi4CXL’s of Chris Grainger and Matt White. In the 13.5 class Zack Finlay did the same as Chris and took the TQ from Schumacher’s Mark Musgrove and Tony Broad.

Qualifying Top Ten 13.5 class
1. Zak Finlay
2. Mark Musgrove – Schumacher Mi4CXL
3. Tony Broad
4. Rob Sawell
5. Rob Long
6. Adrian Webb
7. Damian Giddins
8. Jeremy Clarke
9. Bryan Nortje
10.James Greener

Qualifying Top Ten 10.5 class
1. Chris Kerswell
2. Chris Grainger – Schumacher Mi4CXL
3. Matt White – Schumacher Mi4CXL
4. Olly Jefferies
5. James Hart
6. Phil Chambers
7. Stefan Chodzynski
8. Sam Clifton – Schumacher Mi4CXL
9. Alan Bickerstaff
10. Chris Ashton – Schumacher Mi4CXL

A Final 13.5
Leg 1 Saw pole man Zak Finlay not have a good start and was passed by the rest of the cars.  Zak going off the track and having to be marshalled allowed Schumacher’s Mark Musgrove take up the lead, a lead he held for the rest of the final.  A good start from 4th on the grid by Rob Sawell saw him get past 3rd Tony Broad to finish second behind Mark with Damian Giddins from 7th on the grid finishing 3rd in this final. 4th was James Greener with Tony  ending up 5th, Bryan Nortje 6th, Jeremy Clarke 7th, Zak 8th Adrian Webb 9th and Rob long 10th.

Leg 2. This time with the track now dry Zak got a great start pulling an immediate gap on the first lap from Mark, Rob who had another great start got past Tony, this remained until near the end on the final lap when an incident for Mark saw him drop down to 5th.  On the next lap Zak had an incident also, but only lost one place to drop to 2nd allowing Rob to take the lead, with all that had happened on these two laps Tony got his 3rd place back, which is where he finished, Damian finished 4th with another good drive.

Overall Result leg 1+2
1. Rob Sawell
2. Mark Musgrove
3. Damian Giddins
4. Tony Broad
5. Zak Finlay
6. James Greener
7. Jeremy Clarke
8. Brian Nortje
9. Adrian Webb
10.Rob Long

A Final 10.5
Leg 1. The track was still wet but beginning to dry out, going to the more greasy stage.  All the drivers got away cleanly with the first five on the grid pulling a gap on the second half.  Chris Kerswell lead with Chris Grainger close behind then Matt white, Olly Jefferies and James Hart  Stefan Chodzynski had got past Phil chambers then it was Sam Clifton, Alan Bickerstaff and Chris Ashton. On lap 2 Chris K made a mistake, his car not seeming to be handling as well as it did in qualifying, this allowed Chris G to take up the lead followed by Matt and Olly the first 4 remained the same the rest of the final Stefan and Alan both getting past James, Sam Remained 8th Phil 9th and Chris 10th.

Leg 2. With the track now dry Chris K got a great start to lead from Chris G , all other cars were in there grid position until an incident on lap 5 saw Phil loose a few places having lost over 3 seconds. On lap 11 a incident involving Olly saw James get past him into 4th 2 laps later Chris K lost 2 seconds allowing Chris G to take the lead but managing to hold off Matt, the last five laps James was catching Matt but he had enough in hand to remain 3rd  James 4th and Olly 5th.

Overall results Leg 1+2
1. Chris Grainger
2. Chris Kerswell
3. Matt White
4. Olly Jefferies
5. James Hart
6. Stefan Chodzynski
7. Sam Clifton
8. Alan Bickerstaff
9. Phil Chambers
10.Chris Ashton

So all in all an interesting start to the season with the new motor rules, Chris Grainger seemingly getting the most out of the weekend taking the overall victory with his Mi4CXL. A big thank you to Cotswolds Model Car Club for an excellent run meeting and the catering staff for the excellent food. Looking forward to round 2 at the West London Racing Centre on the 03/06/2012.

Source: Schumacher [racing-cars.com]


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