The final round of the 2015/16 Essex Winter Series took place this past weekend. Whilst the Super Stock title had been wrapped up already by Jimmy Maddison, the Modified crown was still up for grabs. Olly Jefferies led the standings coming into the round, but would miss the final event as he attended the BRCA 1/12th event to defend his title in that series. That meant Elliott Harper would need to take an almost perfect score to prevent Olly becoming champion in his absence. The opening qualifier went to plan for Elliott, as he took his Schumacher to the fastest time in the round, ahead of Capricorn’s Kyle Branson and the Team Associated pairing of Chris Grainger and Matthew White.
However, Kyle proved Elliott wouldn’t have an easy run to the title, going quickest in the second round ahead of Elliott, Chris and Paul Pinkney. But, Elliott got his challenge back on track, beating Kyle in the third and fourth rounds to secure pole position. Chris continued his run of third places, whilst Paul Pinkney made it two Schumacher’s in the top four for the A Final grid. As the A-final got underway, Elliott knew even finishing second in the race would still be enough to secure him the championship, but wanted to end the season on a high. Kyle pushed Elliott hard for the opening few laps, until Elliott opened up a lead of a few car lengths. Kyle continued to stick within a couple of seconds of the race leader, but never quite seemed close enough to apply the pressure needed to make a pass on the current BRCA Champion. As the time ran out, Elliott continued to manage the gap, securing the A-final win in front of Kyle. Chris had a solid, if somewhat lonely, drive to third, which was enough to net himself third overall in the standings.
Touring Modified A-final result:
1. Elliott Harper – Schumacher/LRP – 21L 312.27
2. Kyle Branson – Capricorn/LRP – 21L 313.70
3. Chris Grainger – Associated/Reedy – 20L 302.21
4. Paul Pinkney – Schumacher/Hobbywing – 20L 305.70
5. Matthew White – Team Associated/Reedy – 20L 307.73
6. Jon Bowden – Xray/Hobbywing – 20L 308.09
7. Stefan Chodzynski – Capricorn/GForce – 20L 310.94
8. Jimmy Maddison – Xray/Muchmore – 20L 318.20
9. Alan Bickerstaff – Team Associated/Reedy – 19L 300.01
10.Harley Eldridge – Yokomo/LRP – 19L 305.42
Once the championship points were added up, Elliott was then confirmed as overall champion, ahead of Olly Jefferies, Chris Grainger, Kyle Branson and Andy Moore.
Touring Modified overall top 10:
1. Elliott Harper – Schumacher/LRP
2. Olly Jefferies – Xray/LRP
3. Chris Grainger – Team Associated/Reedy
4. Kyle Branson – Capricorn/LRP
5. Andy Moore – HB/Hobbywing
6. Jon Bowden – Xray/Hobbywing
7. Paul Pinkney – Schumacher/Hobbywing
8. Alan Bickerstaff – Team Associated/Reedy
9. Stefan Chodzynski – Capricorn/GForce
10.Harley Eldridge – Yokomo/LRP
With the Super Stock championship wrapped up, Jimmy Maddison chose to compete in the Modified class for the final round, showing his skills transferred and making the A-final, leaving the remaining contenders to battle for the other places. Tony Broad, the only driver to have been close to Jimmy throughout the year, set about wrapping off his season in the best way, topping every round of qualifying. Behind him, it was a close fought battle for the remaining nine A-final spots. Wesley Roper took second in the first round, in front of Graham Kenny and Mason Weston, whilst Graham was best-of-the-rest in Q2, beating Billy Fletcher and Wesley. The third round saw Billy take second, Wesley third and Ricky Copsey demonstrating a return to his form from a few years ago in fourth, and the final qualifier had Graham secure second on the grid with another second place, Wesley third and Ricky again fourth.
The A-final looked like it should be an easy run for Tony – which turned out to be the case as he built a lead lap by lap, dominating in the same way we saw Jimmy Maddison at the earlier rounds of the season. The action was the on-going battle for second, which seemed to involve everyone at some point throughout the five minute encounter. When the buzzer finally sounded, it was Ricky Copsey who had worked his way from fifth on the grid up and down the field to eventually take the runner-up spot, with Wesley Roper completing the podium in from of Matt Chandler, from seventh on the grid, and an unlucky Graham Kenny.
The result secured Tony second overall in the championship, with Jamie Hickin missing the round but narrowly holding on to third place.
Touring Super Stock A-final result:
1. Jimmy Maddison – Xray
2. Tony Broad – Xray
3. Jamie Hickin – Xray
4. Mason Weston – Xray
5. Matt Chandler – Capricorn
6. Will Vertigan – ARC
7. Rich White – Xray
8. Wesley Roper – Yokomo
9. Matthew Worton – ARC
10.Matthew Prigmore – Xray
In the Junior categories, Harley Eldridge was the champion of the Modified division thanks to her overall top 10 finish, ahead of Terry Yarranton (18th overall), whilst Bradley Coaker took the Super Stock title, securing 43rd place overall, in front of Adam Southgate (58th overall).