2015 SEASON REVIEW: XR CHALLENGE
Heath did everything that was required to clinch the overall crown – Photo: Rachel Bourne
For the first round of the 2015 XR Challenge championship kicked of at the Oulton Park Fosters Circuit with a fabulous 24 car entry. 4 times XR Challenge champion Mark Robinson was desperate to break the Oulton Fosters lap record which was established many years ago by Keith Jones.
Mark went on to claim pole position, two outright race wins and eventually the lap record he so wanted. Ralph Fernihough and Craig Brookfield claimed 2nd and 3rd places respectably after race long duels in both race one and two. The XR3 Class honours were taken by Adam Burgess in race one, and multiple XR3 champion Andrew Lennie in race two.
Round two was again back to Oulton Park but this time on the International circuit, Steve Poole took pole position in his XR2, and Lee Bowron took pole position in the XR3 class. Craig Brookfield claimed two race outright victories after race long duels with both Ralph Fernihough and Steve Poole. Mark Buxton and Ex Champion Mike Heath claimed 2nd and 3rd spots in race one. In the XR3 class Lee Bowron claimed victory in race one but it was Adam Burgess who claimed victory in race two after a great battle with Lee Bowron, Jimi Hughes Claimed a very respectable 2nd spot in race two.
Round Three was at the fabulous Anglesey circuit, the meeting was dominated by Steve Poole and Ralph Fernihough, Steve taking pole position and victory in both race one and three with Ralph taking victory in race two, good pace over the weekend was shown from Mike Heath, Steve Clapton, Justin Roberts and Rookie driver Alistair May.
Adam Burgess had a great weekend in the XR3 Class claiming 3 race wins even when under pressure from Lee Bowron, Mike Taylor and Ryan Bowron had some very entertaining battles over the weekend with Mike just having the edge over Ryan, the battles between them was to last until the end of the season.
Silverstone was the venue for round four of the Championship, it was the meeting where Mike Heath started to show a great turn of speed with three outright victories, but they were not easy as he had to fend off Steve Clapton, Justin Roberts Lee Shropshire, Alistair May and Adam Burgess (in his XR3). In the XR3 class Adam Burgess took victory in race one, but in race two his engine decided to try and throw a con rod out through the side of the block, this then ended his weekends racing.
this then left Mike Taylor, Ryan Bowron and Ron Loftstadt to fight for the honours which they all did in a very entertaining manner, Mike taking 3 victories – just!
Round Five brought us back to Anglesey Circuit, with the on form Mike Heath claiming pole position from Justin Roberts and Greg Speight in his newly acquired ex-Craig Brookfield XR2.
It was Justin Roberts who won race 1 from Lee Bowron (XR3), Greg Speight, Lee Shropshire and Mike Heath with XR3 honours going to Lee Bowron, Mike Taylor and Chris Hamer. Race 2 was claimed by Greg Speight with his new XR2 from Mike Heath, Steve Poole and Justin Roberts, newcomer Ben Atkinson finished of a grat season for him with 3 great result finishes. The XR3 class win went to a very happy Ryan Bowron from Mike Taylor.
Race 3 was a well judged victory for Steve Poole with Mike Heath next up from Justin Roberts, with XR3 laurels going to Ryan Bowron again.
The 2016 season is again going to be another great year with good grids, new cars, new drivers and a paddock atmosphere that can’t be beaten!
The championship has proved yet again that it is an ideal motorsport starter championship for any driver young or old.