March 4, 2024

Martin wins 2024 Willspeed GP – Report

Willspeed, the British manufacturer best known for its billet aluminium buggy conversion kits, hosted the second annual edition of its Willspeed GP recently where Schumacher Racing’s Lee Martin took the win.   Running of the event in partnership with 1066 Racing in Hastings, the event had 84 drivers book in and like last year the 2024 edition sold out within 24 hours going to show what a great meeting 1066 Racing put on and the racers were certainly keen to come back for more! The driver line up looked very strong with some of the top UK racers in attendance these included, Lee Martin, Kyle Moon, Nathan Ralls, Aaron Nash, Daniel Pole, Abe Lyons, Yasir Mughal and many more! We were greeted by a fantastic technical layout from the 1066 track crew with some great jumps which required precision and skill to get a clean fast lap in so consistency would be key to getting to the sharp end of the results!

The format of the day was 2 x 3 minute seeding rounds, 4 x qualifying rounds followed by 2 x finals for all the drivers, The finals were based on the IFMAR style so this meant the overall winner would be decided by the fastest final result and if this resulted in a tie on points the fastest time would take the position. After drivers briefing was completed the drivers headed into seeding rounds which were 2 x 3 min runs, the top of the seeding times for both runs went to Schumacher’s Lee Martin. So after seeding was completed there was a slight reshuffle of the drivers as they went into their qualifying groups 1-8.

Q 1 – Lee was looking great from the start and stuck in a storming run taking the rd 1 TQ with a great 11 lap run , Q1 results – Lee Martin, Daniel Pole, Yasir Mughal, Matt Drewitt, Kyle Moon, Nathan Ralls, Demetri Panayides, Tommy Dale,Abe Lyons and Aaron Nash. So onto round 2 of Qualifying, the drivers were getting their cars dialled in and also getting dialled into the track, could anyone take round 1 TQ off Lee Martin?? …….. Well the answer was no, Lee had another great run but the competition where getting near his times and Willspeeds Kyle Moon was only 6 seconds behind Lee with his WS RF3 AE car. After Q2 the top 10 – Lee Martin, Kyle Moon, Yasir Mughal, Oliver Nattress, Demetri Panayides, Daniel Pole, Nick Goodhall, Arron Nash, Charlie Colby and Will Johnson (Mr Willspeed!).

We headed into Q3 and is was business as usual for Lee Martin with another TQ but we had some shakeups in the top 10, we would see young Oli Nattress jump into P4 after some changes to his Kyosho RB7 and a good run from local racer Mark Smith AE B7 saw him jump into P9 and a great run from CML/AE driver all the way from Scotland Daniel Pole take P2. After Q3 the top 10 were – Lee Martin, Daniel Pole, Aaron Nash, Oli Nattress, Kyle Moon, Demetri Panayides, Tommy Dale, Nathan Ralls, Mark Smith and Yasir Mughal. So onto Q4 and TQ was sewn up by Schumacher’s Lee Martin but who could fill the remaining spots come finals time! You could see all the drivers pushing hard in Q4 but if you pushed the limit the track hit back and the mistakes came! Lee Martin had a breakage in Q4 seeing him out of the top of the time sheets so it was all to play for! In Q4 we saw some great consistent drives from Demetri, Yasir and Oli Nattress securing them a spot in the A main. Q4 Results – Daniel Pole, Kyle Moon, Aaron Nash, Yasir Mughal, Tommy Dale, Demetri Panayides, Oli Nattress, Abe Lyons, Mark Smith and Nathan Ralls. So that was qualifying completed for all the drivers and we headed into the 2 x leg finals for all IFMAR Style!

A1 – Lee Martin got off to a flying start but was being closely followed by Kyle Moon and Daniel Pole as the top 3 started to break away from the chasing pack, after a few laps Lee found his rhythm and pulled out a nice 3 second lead but there was a brilliant fight going on between Kyle and Daniel for the 2nd spot, in the mid pack Yasir, Demetri, Oli and Aaron were having a real good scrap for 4th place. Some mistakes during the later part of the race saw a shake up in the running order but Lee was still out front but this saw Aaron Nash come through from P5 to 2nd place, as we headed towards the end of A1 it was Lee taking a comfortable win and the only driver to hit 18 laps

A Final Leg 1 Results
1. Lee Martin – Schumacher
2. Aaron Nash – Associated/CML
3. Kyle Moon – Willspeed RF3 AE
4. Abe Lyons – Associated/CML
5. Demetri Panayides – Associated/1066RC
6. Yasir Mughal – Schumacher/SEMCS
7. Oliver Nattress – Kyosho
8. Nathan Ralls – Associated/CML/Ralls Racing
9. Daniel Pole – Associated/CML
10.Tommy Dale – Serpent

A2 – So a similar start to A1 with Lee leading the pack off and it was in running order for the first few laps and Lee started to slowly creep away from the chasing pack of Kyle and Daniel, we saw a fantastic battle between Kyle and Daniel for P2 with Daniel glued to Kyles gearbox for the first 2 mins of the race and looking for any small gap or chance to overtake but Kyle was keeping cool holding his P2 spot. As we hit the midpoint some mistakes from Daniel saw him drop back in the pack and this gave Kyle a bit of a gap but Yasir and Abe came to join the party for the P3 battle. As we headed into the latter part of the race there was a great scrap for 3rd place with Abe, Aaron and Yasir duking it out, mistakes on the small jump from Yasir and Abe saw Aaron jump to the P3 spot with Lee and Kyle still 1-2 out front. As A2 drew to a close it saw Lee Martin take the win, Kyle Moon second, Aaron Nash 3rd and a great drive from steady thumbs Nathan Ralls to P4

So taking into account the 2 x Finals results it was Lee Martin who took the overall win, some great smooth driving from the top Schumacher racer crowned him the Willspeed GP Champion! A great second place went to the local Willspeed driver Kyle Moon, 3rd went to Aaron Nash

Overall A Final Results
1. Lee Martin – Schumacher
2. Kyle Moon – Willspeed RF3 AE
3. Aaron Nash – Associated/CML
4. Nathan Ralls – Associated/CML/Ralls Racing
5. Abe Lyons – Associated/CML
6. Demetri Panayides – Associated/1066RC
7. Yasir Mughal – Schumacher/SEMCS
8. Oliver Nattress – Kyosho
9. Daniel Pole – Associated/CML
10.Tommy Dale – Serpent

B finals had some great racing in both legs and the overall results for the B Finals were: 1- Nick Goodhall (Schumacher), 2 – Mark Smith (AE) 3 – Will Johnson (WS RF3 AE)

C Final – It was a Willspeed 1,2,3 overall in the C Final, 1st – Ben Winters 1066/WS RF3 AE 2nd – Ollie Langley 1066RC/WS RF2 AE – 3rd – Steve Wilkinson WS RF3 AE

D Final – 1 – Mark Rogers 2 – Neil Parrott 3 – Jon Peters

E Final – 1- Ashley Evans 2- Oliver Rose 3- Matthew Lock

F Final – 1- Max Holland 2 – Clive Rose 3 – James Proctor

G Final – 1 – Jodie Moon 2 – Lee Holand 3 – James Crawshaw 1066/WSRF2

H Final – 1- James Cann 2 – Nick Sugden 3 – Lloyd Proctor

Big thanks to 1066RC, CML Distribution and Schumacher Racing for the prizes they donated to the raffle and this raised over £600 for the 1066 Club which the proceeds will go towards their new outdoor venue!

Thanks to Mark Heading for the report

Source: Willspeed []


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