BRITS ON TOUR IN EPIC EUROFEST ENCOUNTER
Some drivers, like Caterham Roadsport's Sarah Porter, were having so much fun they were flying – literally! – Photo: SnappyRacers
Despite being thrown both thunderstorms and scorching temperatures, the runners and riders that made the trip across to Zolder in Belgium this past weekend for the Eurofest Race Meeting put on an incredible display of driving, showing continental Europe what the best of British club racing can do on an away day across the Channel.
Starting with the Caterham Motorsport ladder, the Avon Tyres Roadsport Championship has an incredible finish to the first race, with Daniel Quintero just fending off Russ Olivant at the line by 0.045s to take the win, with Guy Hawkins making a great effort to complete the podium just 4 tenths back in 3rd. For Race 2, Olivant managed to put one over on Quintero et al to claim it for his own, winning by 1.3 seconds with Hawkins once again grabbing the final spot on the podium.
Despite being the Caterham series with the lowest entry, the Avon Tyres Tracksport Championship still had plenty of quality on display. It seemed as though both Daniel Bremner and Anthony Barnes couldn’t stay away from each other on track, as the pair always appeared locked together throughout both races. In the first race, Bremner just about had enough left at the line as he and Barnes drove away and finished just 0.019 away from each other. They left Barry Moore in their wake, who himself comfortably took 3rd. In the second encounter, Barnes took revenge as once again he and Bremner looked as if they were in a class of their own, finished exactly a tenth apart when they took the flag. Richard Lambert took his turn on the podium in 3rd, beating Damian Milkins and Andrew Ebdon to the line.
With the biggest entry in the paddock, there was nothing but wheel-to-wheel duels in the ITC Compliance Supersport Championship. It appeared as though a quartet of William Smith, Andres Sinclair, Christian Szaruta and Jack Brown had the first race all to themselves at the front. In the end, Smith fended off the trio and swiped the win by a miniscule 0.016s, with Szaruta and Brown in 3rd and 4th. Smith was able to double up in Race 2, with a slightly larger margin of victory. This tiome it was 3 tenths from Jack Brown with Sinclair having to bat away the attentions of Henry Heaton, Max McDonagh and Mike Evans for 3rd.
Aaron Head didn’t look to put a wheel wrong in either race of the BookaTrack.com Superlight R300-S Championship. Race 1 ended up being the closest of the two with Lee Wiggins just 1.6 seconds back ahead of Danny Winstanley. Aaron’s second race was a little easier as he winning margin was a slightly more leisurely 13 seconds with Wiggins once again in 2nd. This time, Jon Mortimer helped make his European trip a success with a strong 3rd place. Emotions ran high in the Caterham paddock all weekend as this marked the last as Championship Co-ordinator for Abi Hay, who now moves on to pastures new. We wish Abi the very best in her new venture and we hope she returns to the paddock soon!
It was an inaugural European debut for our pair of Mazda MX-5 championships as they hit continental asphalt for the first time with some super clean racing throughout. In the Mk1 Championship, it was apparent that former champion Tom Roche wanted to continue exerting his authority on the season. The first race made his intentions perfectly clear as he romped to a 10 second victory from key rivals Oliver Allwood and Simon Baldwin. Roche once again couldn’t stop racking up the wins as Race 2 once again went his way. This time it was Baldwin directly behind in second as another close duel with Allwood left the former half a second ahead by the end.
Their slightly more contemporary Mk3 brethren in the MX-5 SuperCup saw Roche back out again, however this time his competition was considerably stronger. In Race 1, James Blake-Baldwin made sure his Belgian excursion didn’t go empty-handed as he just held off Jamie Goddard, Jonathan Greensmith and Roche at the line, the top 4 covered by less than a second. Blake-Baldwin then wrapped up a near perfect weekend with a slightly easier victory in Race 2, pulling away from Roche and Jack Harding with the latter clinching the first SuperCup podium finish of his career.
Our Alfa Romeo Championship took a small selection of mostly Twin Spark Cup cars across the Channel with a couple of faster machinery in the mix for good measure. Invitation driver Herbert Burgmayr came in to showcase how the Europeans can handle an Alfa, as he steered his 75 V6 to overall victory in Race 1. Power Trophy contender Ray Foley was the best of the UK contingent behind, while Twin Spark and 3rd overall honours went to Jon Billingsley, with Australian Simon Cresswell and Andy Inman in tow. Sadly, neither Burgmayr or Foley would see the flag in Race 2 thanks to technical problems, leaving Cresswell to take a well-deserved victory ahead of Paul Plant and Richard Ford.
With both grids in the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Mk2 Championship and Mk5 Series being amalgamated into one for this meeting, it gave both modern and classic machinery the chance to race together on the same piece of road for the first time. With the Mk5s, it appeared to be a breakthrough weekend for John O’Brien as he gapped himself from Josh Johnson by over 4 seconds at the end with Rockingham winner Andy Baylie completing the rostrum in Race 1. O’Brien then continued the trend in the second race, however his compatriots on the podium this time were Martyn Walsh and Paul Blackburn, as both Johnson and Baylie were forced out either end of the race.
Behind them in the Mk2s it was Adam Hance who proved the man to beat as he wasn’t headed in either encounter in the 16V class. Form man Chris Webb had to settle for a pair of 2nd places while David Parris held strong to secure a brace of 3rd placed. Wesley Chatterton ended up being the only competitor in the 8V class, completing both race distances.
For a full breakdown of the results, you can find all the timing and scoring via Raceresults.nu here – ZOLDER EUROFEST RESULTS.
What a magnificent weekend we had! It’s always one we look forward to every year and so far the feedback we’ve heard has been nothing but positive. A massive thank you to all of our competitors, teams, BRSCC staff and officials, marshals and spectators who turned up to watch. You all helped make it what it was, come rain or shine. Onwards to the rest of the season, we’ll see Europe again next year!