January 27, 2017

Catchpole dominates British LMP12 nationals Rd4

Last weekend saw the fourth round of the BRCA LMP12 national series took place in South Shields, just south of Newcastle. The venue was filled with memories for some, having been used for the 1998 onroad IFMAR World Championships, in which David Spashett won all three classes. Returning for the 2017 event were not only David Spashett, but also a host of the UK’s leading drivers. With Alexander Hagberg away on Touring Car duty, the field was very even, meaning that a huge number of drivers went into the weekend looking for the win. Over the meeting three classes were contested, 13.5 on Saturday and on Sunday the field was split into Sports Modified (13.5) and Modified (6.5). The track laid out by the Barley Mow club was a large and open design, which required a car to flow well, whilst being very precise.

On Saturday the track was constantly evolving, with the last round proving the quickest. In the end it was the Roche 2017 of Adam Catchpole who took advantage of the conditions to post his first pole position of the year. David Spashett missed the rocket round and ended second on the grid by just a tenth of a second. The only other driver close to the two Roche drivers in qualifying was Andy Murray, whose Eclipse was just over a second off pole. The seven drivers from fourth, Craig Nutting, to Mark Stiles in tenth were covered by under four seconds.

The final saw Adam power away into the lead, but contact between Adam and Andy Murray saw both drivers drop down the field, and Craig Nutting and Ollie Payne move into the leading positions. At just under four minutes Craig was unfortunate to find his car catching a lose join in the carpet, which meant the track was blocked and the race was stopped. After much discussion and referral to the rules the race was classified based on qualification positions. Very unluckily for Craig and Ollie, but somewhat fortunately for Adam. All three drivers were campaigning the new Roche 2017, so which ever way the new car would have been victorious at its first national.

13.5 final results:
1. Adam Catchpole – Roche/Trinity
2. David Spashett – Roche/Trinity
3. Andy Murray – Schumacher/Fantom
4. Craig Nutting – Roche/Trinity
5. Mick Farrell – CRC/Reedy
6. Matt Lax – CRC/ORCA
7. Ollie Payne – Roche/Trinity
8. Luke Burley – Xray/Trinity
9. Mark Jewitt – Roche/Trinity
10.Mark Stiles – Yokomo/Reedy

Sunday saw two classes being raced. In the Sports Modified class the battle for pole position was between four drivers, with Aidan Ripley, Mark Jewitt, Luke Burley and Craig Nutting all running at a very even pace. In the end the four were covered by just over a second with Mark’s Roche on pole from the Schumacher of Aidan Ripley and the Xray of Luke Burley. The final was a real classic with Craig moving past a slow starting Luke and the applying pressure to the leading two. A touch between Mark and Aidan saw Craig take the lead with Luke moving onto the back of the lead battle. For the final three minutes of the race the leading quartet were under a second apart, with Craig just sneaking across for the win from Mark and Luke.

Sports Modified final results:
1. Craig Nutting – Roche/Trinity – 41 laps
2. Mark Jewitt – Roche Trinity – 41 laps
3. Luke Burley – Xray/Trinity – 41 laps
4. Neil Diver – Roche/Trinity – 40 laps
5. Aidan Ripley – Schumacher/Fantom – 40 laps
6. James Stewart – Team Associated/Reedy – 40 laps
7. Gavin Clinch – Roche/Trinity – 39 laps
8. Andy Sawyer – Corally/LRP – 39 laps
9. Nigel Hale – Team Associated/Reedy – 38 laps
10.Joshua Coult – Schumacher/Fantom – DNS

The Modified class saw Adam Catchpole continue his form from the stock class, in the end taking his immaculate handling Roche to a comfortable TQ by over half a lap from Schumacher’s Andy Murray and Roche’s Ollie Payne. The final was a demonstration drive from Adam as he cruised to the victory by over half a lap from teammate Ollie Payne, who in turn was nearly a lap in front of Chris Kerswell. The top three were all running the Roche car, so the result saw a clean sweep of the event from the brand.

Modified final results:
1. Adam Catchpole – Roche/LRP – 45 laps
2. Ollie Payne – Roche/Nosram – 45 laps
3. Chris Kerswell – Roche/GM – 44 laps
4. Andy Murray – Schumacher/Fantom – 43 laps
5. David Spashett – Roche/LRP – 43 laps
6. Mark Stiles – Yokomo/Reedy – 43 laps
7. Mick Farrell – CRC/ORCA – 43 laps
8. Matt Lax – CRC/ORCA – 42 laps
9. Matthew Varrah – Roche/Trinity – 42 laps
10.Leigh Dibble – Schumacher/Fantom – 40 laps

The next round of the series takes place at the Swifts Raceway venue in the North of England on the 18th of February.

Source: BRCA [brca.org]


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