The second round of the Essex Winter Series took place this weekend, with yet another sell-out entry creating a competitive and busy day. Olly Jefferies was out to extend his points lead after victory at the opening event of the series, but qualifying for the Modified class was opened up by Elliott Harper setting the pace with his Xray, ahead of recently crowned nitro onroad vice-world champion Kyle Branson (Capricorn) and Olly’s Schumacher. Alan Bickerstaff took his Associated to fourth in the round, ahead of Alex Thurston and Stefan Chodzynski. Elliott continued his form into the second qualifier, as Olly moved up to second and closed to within four-seconds of Elliott, with Alex taking a strong third in front of Stefan, with Belgian youngster Florian Joos, again making the trip over to the UK, in fifth.
Elliott secured pole position with another win in Q3, Olly again in second with Kyle third, Stefan fourth and Harley Eldridge moving her Yokomo up to fifth. The last round let Elliott complete the clean sweep, with Olly once again in second to secure that position on the A-final grid. Kyle again took third, the place he would line up for the final, with Florian in fourth and Stefan in fifth.
The A-final was led away by Elliott, his dominance in qualifying also taking effect in the final race as he quickly established a gap over Olly. The front half of the race was rather uneventful, as Elliott, Olly, Kyle and Alex circulated in qualifying order and the gaps between them slowly extended over the run. Behind, the action was for fifth place as Alan Bickerstaff moved up from his seventh place start, slowly picking off Florian and Stefan, with Harley also getting into the mix in the latter half of the race. Up front, Olly could do nothing about Elliott’s pace as he ran out to take the win by a comfortable seven seconds, with Kyle similarly unable to catch Olly but securing third on the podium two seconds ahead of fellow nitro racer Alex.
Touring Modified final results:
1. Elliott Harper – Xray/LRP
2. Olly Jefferies – Schumacher/Hobbywing
3. Kyle Branson – Capricorn/Tesla
4. Alex Thurston – -/Hobbywing
5. Alan Bickerstaff – Associated/Reedy
6. Stefan Chodzynski – Xray/GForce
7. Harley Eldridge – Yokomo/Maclan
8. Florian Joos – Xray/Hobbywing
9. Chris Ashton – Schumacher/Hobbywing
10.Matthew White – Associated/Reedy
In the Super Stock class, the opening round threw up a small surprise as Florian Joos had a busy day running two classes but set the fastest time with his Xray, four seconds ahead of EWS regulars Tony Broad (Xray), and the Schumacher team-mates Marcus Askell and Zak Finlay. Round two had Colin Jackson’s ARC moving to the top of the pile, snatching the fastest time from Florian by less than one second, with Tony and Zak in third and fourth and Estonian racer Jörg Miikael Tiit in fifth for Awesomatix. The penultimate round again had Colin setting the best time, with Zak in second, Florian third, Jörg fourth and Jamie Hickin in fifth. Pole position was decided in the final round as Colin again set the pace, Zak once again in second, Jörg in third, Darren Lee (ARC) in fourth – but just missing out on the A-final on a tie-break – with Billy Fletcher rounding out the top five with another ARC.
Colin made a good start to the A-final, with Florian running close but having to worry more about defending from Zak and the rest of the field. This allowed Colin to open up a small gap, and despite Florian’s best efforts, Zak managed to sneak through into second place just before the half way point. This left Florian now in a battle with Jörg and Tony, which finally saw the Estonian driver benefit a few laps from home. Behind, Tony dropped back and allowed Richard King and Ashley Wiffen to move up, whilst out in front Zak closed the gap to Colin down but ultimately ran out of time to make a challenge for the lead.
Touring Super Stock final results:
1. Colin Jackson – ARC
2. Zak Finlay – Schumacher
3. Jörg Miikael Tiit – Awesomatix
4. Florian Joos – Xray
5. Richard King – Associated
6. Ashley Wiffen – Awesomatix
7. Tony Broad – Xray
8. Andrew Smith – Associated
9. Billy Fletcher – ARC
10.Jamie Hickin – Awesomatix
The Sportsman prize within the Super Stock class (for drivers outside the top-30 last season) saw a straight fight in the D Final. Tristan Wilby had qualified on pole, but dropped to the back in the opening laps, whilst Stephen Smith quickly moved up from seventh on the grid to third in the race, but crucially high enough to be placed as top Sportsman. Tristan did enough during the race to snatch second place in Sportsman with a fifth place finish, as Chris Betts took third in Sportsman, eighth in the race less than one second in front of Rob Brighton.
The +40 Masters category saw Richard King confirmed as the winner with his A Final placing. However the rest of the podium was decided during a busy B-final race. Darren Lee quickly took the lead of the B-final, which would secure him second in the Masters category, whilst Marcus Askell ran in third place in the race. Tim Hancock had started ninth on the grid and worked his way through the field, but didn’t look close enough to be able to challenge Marcus and take the final podium step. However, with just two laps remaining, Marcus rolled his car and allowed Tim through and onto the Masters podium.
In the Amateur Stock class, for un-sponsored drivers and utilising hand-out 17.5 turn motors, Jamie Murray opened proceedings with the best time in Q1 from Adam Malins and Billy Kavanagh. Billy, who finished second overall at the first round of the series, then set the fastest time in the second qualifier, with Adam in second and Jonathan Gibbs third, as Jamie hit problems. Jamie was back to the top in the third round, with young Shane Chipolina putting in his best run to take second, and Jonathan third and series newcomer Sage Young in fourth. Jamie secured pole position with another top time in the last qualifier, ahead of Billy, Shane, and Steven Ellis. This meant Billy would line up second on the grid, with Adam third, Shane fourth and Jonathan rounding out the top five.
The A-final saw Jamie lead the field off for the first few laps, before Adam moved into first place. However, Adam’s stint at the front only lasted one lap before a mechanical issue took him out of the race. Jamie therefore resumed the lead, with Christian Booth now up to second from eighth on the grid. At the half-way point, things hotted up at the front, with Christian taking the lead from Jamie as Adam Glover and young Shane also got into the mix. One lap later, Christian gave up the lead and Shane made up three places in one lap to move to the front, and Adam Glover moved into second after starting tenth with a qualifying to forget. Despite the pressure of running up front, Shane didn’t seem phased at all and drove a perfect second half of the race to take the win by four seconds, with Adam Glover holding on to second place and Jonathan rounding out the podium in third.
Touring Amateur Stock final results:
1. Shane Chipolina
2. Adam Glover
3. Jonathan Gibbs
4. Billy Kavanagh
5. Christian Booth
6. Sage Young
7. Stuart Butler
8. Steven Ellis
9. Mark Southgate
11 .Dave Lumbis
The next event for the EWS team will be the EWS International, taking place 7-9 December and attracting a number of drivers from across Europe to race against the UK’s best, whilst the next round of the Winter Series takes place in January.