B-B GUNS TO DOUBLE VICTORY!
James Blake-Baldwin was the star of the Mazda show at Snett. Photo: Tony Todd
James Blake-Baldwin carried on his fantastic form in the BRSCC Mazda MX5 Championship at Snetterton over the weekend, taking back-to-back wins, which have propelled him into second spot in the points table as the Mk1 drivers now enter the second half of the season.
On Saturday, there was a welcome break from the recent heat wave, with the sun hidden behind cloud cover. However, Blake-Baldwin was still on a hot-streak, taking pole and then winning the first Mazda outing from championship rival Tom Roche by just over five seconds, with the ever-consistent Brett Smith third. Blake-Baldwin reinforced his position as the main title challenger with another win on Sunday, although Roche managed to reduce the margin of victory by a second. The improving Simon Baldwin achieved his first podium of the season, holding off Alan Henderson to take third and the Mazda 'Driver of the Meeting' award. All eyes now turn to Anglesey where the battle re-commences in two weeks.
Alfa guru Michael Lindsay predicted that Anthony George would be the one they all had to beat in the Alfashop supported championship, and as ever Michael was right on the money. Racing on the home circuit, the Diss driver put in a near faultless performance taking a clean sweep of pole, then two race wins. Bryan Shrubb was second in the first race and the hard charging Darelle Wilson continued his very promising season with podium finishes in each race, third then bettered by second. Reigning champion Roger Evans scored two Class C wins, the second of which put him on the third step of the podium.
The Arrowpak Euro Saloons double-header turned into a three-way battle between Gary Prebble in his Mitsubishi Evo RS and Saker protagonists, Paul Rose and Steve Harris. Rose drew first blood putting his sportscar on pole, with Prebble splitting the Sakers. However, come race time and it was Prebble who showed the Sakers a clean pair of heels, winning by four seconds from Rose with Harris third. However, Rose was not to be denied and he won Sunday morning’s race with Harris upholding the honour of the Dutch sportscar marque, forcing Prebble into a distant third.
Both BRSCC Mighty Minis races went according to the formbook with Jonathan Lewis and Zack Booth fighting it out at the front of the pack in a ‘tooth and nail’ scrap. Booth was quickest out of the blocks in qualifying, taking pole, but when it came to race time Lewis used all of his experience to keep the impressive youngster at bay – albeit by very tight margins in each race – 0.164 in the first race, reducing to 0.1 in the second. This battle looks set to run all season. Damien Harrington was the ‘best of the rest’ claiming the final step of the podium in each race.
Buckinghamshire based Scot, Peter Tervet set the early pace in the Super Mighty Minis, topping Saturday’s qualifying session and backing it up with a race win, from Jamie White and Neven Kirkpatrick. Tervet maintained his form into Sunday’s qualifying session again taking pole. However, his luck ran out early in the second race and he posted a DNF. The race win went the way of Supers leader Jamie White, with Neven Kirkpatrick in second and the ‘uber’ experienced Bob Bennetts third.
Such is the popularity of Class C of the Vortex Dunlop Ford Fiesta Championship that it has to run separate races from the other three classes. Twenty-six STs lined up for Saturday’s race and when it was all said and done Welsh wizard Andrew Foley came out as the winner in a very tight battle ahead of Lee Napolitano and David Ellesley. Foley repeated the trick on Sunday, having a slightly more comfortable win from Simon Horrobin and Nicholas Bowers.
In the combined race for classes A, B and D of the Vortex Fiestas, James Appleby was the victor from fellow Class D (Zetec S) exponent David Abbott. Alan Donnelly was rewarded for his long trek from Northern Ireland with the final podium position in his Class A Si. Andrew Mollison took Class B (Zetec) honours. In the second tour, Abbott was not to be out done, reversing positions with Appleby. Ken Bateman completed the podium with a Class B win and Alan Donnelly added to his points haul with a Class A victory.
In the Fiesta Juniors, which is also backed by Vortex, alongside Motorsport News, Alex Reed upset the odds by ousting JJ Ross from top spot. Ross has pretty much had it all his own way this all season, but this time had to be content with second. Robert Cox put in an excellent drive to take third. Ross was back on the top step in Sunday’s race with Reed putting in another good performance to claim second. Cox again showed consistency to take another third place finish.
Our friends at BARC South East provided some very well supported races on each day. Saturday’s race was a union of the Quaife Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship and the Cannons Motor Spares Tin-Tops. The very experienced Rod Birley took the chequered flag on each occasion in his Ford Escort WRC, with Rick May and Dale Gent completing the podium. Ray Barrow and Dale Gent made it a Ford Escort lockout for the first three places in Saturday afternoon’s race.
On Sunday, the Quaife Intermarque Championship joined the fray and another Ford Escort took the laurels before lunch, this time piloted by Mat Moore. Chris Brockhurst and Matt Simpson, both in Vauxhall Tigras, were second in third. After lunch, the Tigra pairing found some extra pace with Matt Simpson claiming the race win, with Brockhurst three seconds back. Simon Smith’s Autocross Z4 was third.
The 4 two cup also joined us on each day, racing twice with the Eurosaloons and once with the Alfas. Theo De Berg from the Netherlands collected the biggest points haul, winning two races before having to play second fiddle to James Palmer in the last outing. Ashley Craig also acquitted himself well with a brace of second place finishes.