The 1st round of the ever-popular Summer Shootout Series took place in Chesterfield, UK. These events have become a regular fixture for indoor racers in the UK in recent years and offer the best opportunity to practice and conduct testing on a national standard track with good grip. Once again Action Model Centre are supporting the series this year, which will cater for 1/12 scale LMP12 and GT12 cars as well as GT10. More than 100 drivers made this a capacity event which included drivers of all levels from national winners down to local club racers.
In the LMP12 open modified division a group of 5 or 6 top racers combined to give some really close action at the front of the field. After the 4 qualifying rounds it was Ben Cosgrove, returning to the LMP12 class after a couple of absent years, who took TQ honours. Ben was driving a car that he designed and had made himself a couple of years ago, which proves that a 2-3 year old chassis can still give race winning performance in this class. Mark Stiles was only 0.5 seconds adrift of Ben and would join him on the front row for the A-final driving a Reedy powered Yokomo car. Chris Kerswell was 3rd for Zen Racing ahead of Adam Catchpole and Mick Farrell, both running CRC’s.
The A-final saw a thrilling race for the lead and eventual win between Ben and Mark. Mark applied pressure in the early stages before falling back slightly as Ben settled into a groove. However, a mistake and resulting crash from Ben promoted Mark to the lead, after which he would come under sustained pressure from Ben who just couldn’t find a way pass. It was excellent racing between the two drivers with Chris Kerswell lurking in 3rd just no quite able to stay on tabs with the lead pair. With 2 minutes to go another error from Ben gave Mark a comfortable margin and he would go on to take the win. Ben finished the race, but some crash damage left him having to defend against Kerswell in the closing stages. The top-5 cars remained on the lead lap and all ran similar lap times during the race.
In LMP12 10.5 Kellyann Bligh took a popular TQ, but unfortunately crashed at the very first corner in the final and could only recover to 5th by the end of the race. Mark Jewitt won from 2nd on the grid ahead of Jason Butterfield and David Gale, with the trio of ‘old timers’ separated by just 2 seconds at the flag.
Alex Curry returned to 1/12 scale racing and was immediately on the pace in 13.5 stock. He took TQ in the class, but the front row of the grid switched positions in the final and it was Chesterfield stalwart Kevin Creaser who took the win for CRC. Chris Hudson finished 3rd after starting 5th on the grid.
GT12 was the best attended class at the event with 40 entries and the competition was fierce at the head of the field. Craig Mawson took TQ honours, but Tom Hampson got the better of everyone in the final and took victory by almost exactly 1 second. Craig finished 2nd ahead of James Wright, Steve Lander and Chris Skidmore. Last winter’s national championship was dominated by Schumacher cars, but the Mardave team was out in force at this event and filled most of the A final.
Andy Sawyer looked to be the class of the field in GT10 and duly took TQ honours in the class. He led the A final away, but it was Jon Dixey who won ahead of Mark Burgess, with Andy 3rd after losing a couple of seconds with a crash on lap 11 of the race.
Round 2 of the series will take place on 22nd June.