A SUMMER SPLASH AT SILVERSTONE
Stuart Robbins scored a brace of Class D wins in Quaife Fiestas – Photo: Marvin Hall
It’s safe to say that over the two days at the BRSCC Midlands Centre run meeting at Silverstone this past weekend, the circuit and the competitors had to deal with their fair share of rain and wet weather conditions. But despite a sodden circuit, it certainly didn’t dampen the competitors’ spirits nor the action across 13 enthralling races.
Saturday was dominated by the mesmerizing 4 hour encounter provided by the FunCup Championship. Despite qualifying in changeable and drying conditions, the rain was certainly in attendance come the start of the race. CCS Media were leaders throughout the first hour from pole having lapped everyone bar Eco Racing 209 and Track Torque 2 Rent Dominos, but they had dropped to 6th as Eco had taken over by the 2nd hour from Dominos with JPR Uvio 3rd. While Eco remained there at the third, it was JPR Uvio’s duo of Graham Roberts and Farquini Deott who would eventually see the flag after 4 hours, with Track Torque Dominos 2nd and CCS Media fighting back to 3rd.
A bumper Quaife Fiesta Championship field saw their qualifying on Saturday disrupted by appalling weather and a car rolling onto its roof in the gravel, forcing a short 10 minute session to set the grid on Sunday morning. With split grids to cater for the sizeable entry of over 30 cars, it was the faster Class C cars that saw the larger individual field. Race 1 was a wet affair, however the rain master was Aaron Thompson who drove well from 7th on the grid to take the lead early. Despite being chased by Samuel Priest for most of the way, Alfonso Skriczka made a late challenge and almost stole the win from Thompson, who held on by the mere margin of 0.019 to take top spot, with Priest a second behind them in 3rd. Unfortunately, Aaron’s fortunes took a complete 180 turn in the second Class C race, after he retired in an incident that eventually forced the red flag out while he’d been running in 6th ahead of JJ Ross. When the result was declared, it was Simon Horrobin who bounced back from a disappointing Castle Combe to win ahead of Nathan Edwards with Priest again in P3.
Incredibly in the races for Classes A, B and D, the overall win wasn’t taken by Class D and overall points leader Alastair Kellett. Instead it was former Class B frontrunner Stuart Robbins that had the measure of the Irishman in a first race on a drying track. He eventually made the flag first less than 2 seconds ahead, with his perennial rival John Cooper making it onto the podium alongside them. Into the second race and Robbins did it again once more on a drying track and this time just over 2 seconds in front of Kellett, with Jamie White the man who took 3rd on this occasion. Over in the other classes, Peter Dendy-Sadler was unbeatable both times for Class A, while it was a win apiece for Luke Bannister and class debutant Christopher Horne.
It was an interesting albeit hectic encounter in the first Fiesta Junior Championship race as a first lap incident on the Wellington straight took out 4 cars. When the race did eventually get going again after a safety car period, it was the impressive Nicholas Reeve who led from the restart and in turn through the remainder of the race to take a sparkling victory and becoming the 6th different winner in FJC this year. Bradley Burns impressed once more, while points leader Harry Gooding held off a battling Callum Hawkins-Row and James Hillery behind to claim 3rd. The second race saw drivers take to a wet track that dried out throughout, which in the end played into Burns’ hands as he became only the 3rd driver to win more than one race this year. Reeve couldn’t repeat his Race 1 success but still scored a strong P2 with Gooding again in 3rd to consolidate his lead in the title race.
For the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Mk2 Championship, Nick Porter grabbed a brilliant start from 4th on the grid to snatch the lead by the end of the first lap and was never headed all race to take another win. Adam Hance had to settle for 2nd just under a second back, while polesitter Christopher Sanders was unable to take advantage of his top spot grid slot but still scored 3rd albeit over 3.5 seconds away. As the rain came in for the second race, it played beautifully into Sanders’ hands has he was able to drive to the front and eventually win, but only by less than half a second as Porter made sure he wasn’t going to give it up too easy. Chris Webb did take the final podium place but he and those behind had no match for the wet weather pace the top two had, finishing a massive 26 seconds away from the lead. In the 8V class, Paul Cowland enjoyed a fantastic return with victory in Race 1, while unbelievable drives from Matthew Petts and David Aldridge not only saw them take 1st and 2nd in class, but also 4th and 5th overall in the rain!
Despite a reduced field, there was still plenty of good form in the sister series, the Production GTi Mk5 Series. After his brilliant pace at Brands Hatch, young hot shot Charlie Cudlipp went on to take a brilliant win in the first race on Sunday by more than 8 seconds from Andy Baylie and Martyn Walsh. Incredibly, Cudlipp did it again in Race 2, only this time with a reduced winning margin as Baylie managed to bring the winning gap down to just over 3 seconds with Walsh again completing the podium once more.
Finally, there was support in the form of the Scrapco Recycling/ Avon Tyres Intermarques with a small handful of Sevenesques thrown into the field for good measure. Race 1 was red flagged due to the weather after 10 minutes and 8 laps worth of racing. As it was, Malcolm Blackman was given the win in his Vauxhall Tigra from Steve Burrows’ Peugeot 206 and Simon Smith’s Autocross BMW Z4, while Anthony Bennett’s Caterham R300 was top Sevenesque. Smith would push himself 2 places higher in a drier second race to win, with Keith White coming home behind him for a BMW 1-2. Steve Burrows completed a successful weekend with another rostrum visit in 3rd, while it was that man Bennett again who took the R300 to the top of the Sevenesques.
Despite the conditions, a massive thanks goes to all of our competitors, teams, BRSCC official and of course our magnificent marshals for coping with it all. You can find the full breakdown of results from the weekend’s racing at Silverstone HERE.