September 27, 2018

BRCA Clubman’s Series Rd7 – Report

The last round of the BRCA Clubman’s finished the season as it started with a very wet weekend at the popular Cotswold track. But unlike the first round it rained on both the practice Saturday and Sunday race day. Everyone still had five completely dry meetings in-between so a great seven round championship for the 230 competitors that raced over the six months. The organising club had 83 drivers practicing throughout the Saturday. There were a few car failures with water finding its way into the electrics, but most eventually overcame this with various ways of waterproofing their cars from boxes, conformer, plastidip and blue tack. There was the usual seven rounds of controlled practice in heat order which has become the norm now.

Sunday a very wet track greeted the drivers. With no let up over night and a weather forecast for rain for most of the day everyone had dried their cars out over night and worked more on the waterproofing ahead of qualifying which would be 100 percent wet, or so everyone thought. First off though there was another round of controlled practice before drivers briefing, then qualifying would begin with four rounds with the best two round by round scores to count.

13.5 Open and the 2018 Champion Ollie Payne was back to finish the season off after a great years racing. In the wet conditions the Open class was a tricky one with the extra punch but most overcame this and we saw some great racing over the weekend. Round 1 of qualifying went to Ollie Payne with a huge lead over Andy Murray who took 3rd in this round but it was Sam Nicholls in a lower heat who took 2nd place. Round 2 Daniel Blake put a great run in to take 1st place after having waterlogged electrics in round 1. Ollie showed well again and picked up 2nd overall and another top 3 place for Sam in the lower heat showing he had the pace and secured himself a place in the A. Round 3 and a good run for Andy this time out to take the top spot followed by Daniel and the fast charging Chris Gunter having his best run of the day so far. Round 4 and with a dry track this would be the fastest we had seen the drivers go all weekend and Ollie again took the win and with it secured pole for the A finals. Andrew Robson put in a storming run to be the best of the rest to take 2nd overall. Sam put another top 3 run in this round to place him securely in the A.

A-final leg 1 saw the worst weather of the weekend with near horizontal rain hitting the rostrum. A few drivers had to pull off the track it was that strong. But Ollie stayed out to take the win from Andy. Daniel Moorey had a very impressive run from 9th place and by overcoming the conditions picked up a fine 3rd place for his efforts. Leg 2 and thankfully the rain had stopped but the track was still quite wet. Daniel Blake hooked it up in this leg which was the closest finish we had seen all weekend. Daniel took the win closely followed by Andy and Ollie. A great final to watch at such high speeds. Overall it was Ollie Payne with the win from Andy Murray and Daniel Blake.

The 17.5 Blinky class had a few drivers competing who are normally seen at the BRCA Nationals. But they wouldn’t have it all their own way as the regular Clubman’s drivers saw this as a challenge and challenge they did. Round 1 went to Ben Cosgrove the only driver on 14 laps in this round. 2nd went to Marcus Askell and 3rd to the very fast Jack Campfield. Round 2 and another win for Ben followed this time by Richard Palmer who had recovered for this round after water stopped his run in the previous round. 3rd went to Markus. Round 3 and a win for Markus this time out, keeping his chances of a TQ in sight. 2nd was Ben backing up his two 1st places and 3rd for Richard securing him a place in the A. Round 4 came and so did the sunshine which meant a drying track but not totally so most drivers went for the dry cars but with wet tyres. This meant the times came down and a lot of drivers improving so we had Jak Sansom take TQ in this round to move him up the leader board in front of Darren Tickner in 2nd and Dave Ringsell a fine 3rd.

Leg 1 of the finals was now very nearly completely dry so all cars were now on slicks for the first time this weekend. This threw a spanner in the works for Ben as he had not run this chassis at all outdoors on the dry tyres so had no time to get it set up. This gave Marcus the chance he needed and he took the leg 1 victory after being chased down towards the end from a fast charging Darren Tickner with a mere tenth of a second splitting the pair. Ben made the best of a bad situation and came home a respectable 3rd. Leg 2 was to be a wet race as the rain had came back and soaked the track. Ben lead the field away with Marcus and Richard chasing him down for the whole race but Ben always had a few tenths in hand to stay at the front with his almost unbeatable wet car set up. In the end it was Ben who took the win from 2nd place Marcus then Richard rounded out the top 3 with only two seconds covering them all.

Formula was possibly the hardest class as this is one of the countries biggest tracks, coupled with the treacherous conditions, but the wet weather grooved tyres looked like they were up to the job. Round 1 saw Luke Lee take the win from James Millbank who was putting in some very fast laps himself in the wet conditions. Gordon Dempsey who was in a lower heat rounded out the top 3 for this round. Round 2 was a repeat for Luke as he took the win with a slowing track, most drivers had slower times in this round with the weather worsening. James Millbank took 2nd and was again followed by Gordon. Round 3 and a front grid slot confirmation for Luke with another win from James Millbank who had also put a stamp on grid slot 2. David Hough took 3rd in this round to move him m up the leader board. Round 4 and at last a near dry track but still with a few wet itches saw the driver switch to dry tyres and we had a change at the front with Stephen Lander taking first spot followed by Luke and James Wright this time.

Leg 1 of the finals would see a dryer track than the last qualifying run so the first real race of the weekend. Luke had a bad first lap which he could not recover from try as he may so it was James Millbank who made the most of this leg pulling out a lead over Michael Lee who had a huge gap back to third placed Stephen Lander. This was the finishing order and set us up for an exciting finish to the Formula season. Leg 2 and disaster for Luke yet again now the track was once again wet. Gordon Dempsey took up the challenge and lead the field away and never looked back to take the win from James Millbank then David Hough. Overall it was James Millbank from Michael Lee and James Wright.

Source: BRCA []


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