BRITISH SUPERKART OPENER ENTERTAINS AS HEADLINE ACT AT BRSCC MALLORY PARK RACE DAY


The BRSCC rounded off a whirlwind three opening meetings on the bounce with an excellent day of racing at Mallory Park in Leicestershire this past Saturday, with racing headlined by the first rounds of the Motorsport UK British Superkart Championship as they kicked off their 2021 campaign.

The first Motorsport UK British Superkart Championship race saw Division 1 favourites Ross Allen and Carl Kinsey in the early stages before Allen managed to pull away to a lead of over three seconds by the chequered flag. Kinsey maintained 2nd place ahead of Kirk Cattermole in 3rd, who also won the 250 National class with each from Lee Plain and 450 National winner Mark Gellalty, while 125 National honours went to Tom Riley. The second race was affected by an increasingly severe rain shower, forcing the drivers to cope with ever-changing conditions. Plain managed to take the class and overall win as a result from 450 National winner Gellalty and Michael Goff 3rd overall and 2nd in class behind Plain, with Allen and Riley again winning their respective contests. With the circuit substantially drier than before with a handful of damp patches, Allen charged back to the head of the field and dominated the final race to win overall, ahead of Plain and Goff with Ronan McClintock finishing top 450 National runner on this occasion and Riley completing a hat-trick of 125 National wins.

Caterham Motorsport’s brace of groups for the latest students of the Academy Championship headed to Mallory Park for their first ever circuit races, after they began their racing careers at Curborough for the annual sprint event. The Green Group saw Chris Fraser capture pole position in qualifying, but it was Geoff Newman who beat him to the first corner and led the vast majority of the race. Initially Fraser latched onto Newman’s tail, but Marc Jones quickly joined in a frantic battle and took up the mantle as the main challenger for the lead, even leading a couple of laps in the process. In the end it was a typical Caterham-style photo finish as Newman picked up the first race win of his fledgling career, followed by Frasier just 0.120 seconds behind with Jones, Mark Kendle and James Cook ensuring the top 5 were covered by less than 1 second.

The White Group ventured out onto a circuit that was still damp from earlier rain and drying as the race got underway. William James beat pole sitter Benja Hedley away from the lights and incredibly sprinted into a lead of over two seconds by the end of the first lap while Hedley and Charlie Lower began their scrap for 2nd place. As it turned out, James’ pace advantage in the mixed conditions was substantial, as he continuously pulled away from the rest of the pack and ended up victorious by almost seven seconds in the end, an incredible margin for a first ever race win! Lower managed to beat Hedley to the flag for 2nd while Giles Perry, Harry George and Gareth Lucas kept close to round off the top six.

A second visit of the year for the Avon Tyres Northern & Super Classic Championship to Mallory just three weeks after their first meant that some drivers were looking to carry momentum forward into this encounter. Stuart Kestenbaum managed to shoot the gap between front row men Nigel Dolan and Formula Ford legend Rick Morris at the start of Race 1, leading the opening laps and through an early safety car before he slipped down the order to eventually finish 7th overall and 2nd in class. Ahead of him, Dolan captured overall victory as the sole P Class car, followed by Super Classic C and Super Classic A winners Morris and Paul Mason respectively, with Nick Barnes (Super Classic B) and Ian Fernihough (Super Classic D) also topping their classes. The circuit was still a little greasy for the second race, a prime chance for Morris and George McDonald to once again prove the pace of the older cars away from the start. McDonald managed to grab the lead before the opening lap was complete and held on until he was caught and passed by the Swift of James Tucker, who took his turn in the lead before losing out with just three laps to go. McDonald managed to repass and hold on to take the win with Super Classic A classmates Tucker and Chris Hodgen completing the overall podium. McShane, Morris, Dolan and Fernihough were also fellow class winners respectively.

Track Attack Race Club joined us for their first appearance of 2021 on a BRSCC meeting but had to deal with a mix of conditions for both of their races. The first began the event’s racing but had to be red flagged after Stewart Cheesman’s Peugeot 206 found the tyre barrier at Gerard’s, leading to a delayed restart. When racing did get back underway, Tony Hunter’s Renault Clio jumped into the lead and was chased by similar Clios of Robert Buckland, Nick Gwinnett and Matthew Hollier with the Honda Civic Type R of Tony Markham in the mix too. Hunter managed to take the win with Buckland and Gwinnett joining him on the podium on this occasion. The second race saw a downpour before it began as the cars waited in the assembly area, forcing them to adapt quickly to the conditions. Hollier’s Clio took the lead from Hunter into the first corner, but one car that had the pace over everyone was the rapid little Peugeot 106 Rallye of Andrew Neal, who quickly worked his way into 2nd after just a couple of laps and then set about chasing down leader Hollier. Behind them, another Peugeot was moving quickly as Chris Bassett’s 306 GTi also shot through the field to briefly take the lead before a spin sent him tumbling down the order. This left Neal to regain the lead and remain unchallenged until the end, capturing an excellent victory in the wet conditions from the Clios of David Mycock and Hollier, with Markham’s Civic in 4th and Bassett still recovering well to take 5th overall.

A massive thank you to Mallory Park and all of our officials, volunteers and marshals for their hard work on a challenging day weather wise but a superb meeting in terms of racing. The BRSCC now has a three-week gap until its next race weekend when we travel across the border into Scotland and the awesome Knockhill Circuit in Fife on June 12/13!

Scott Woodwiss