CADWELL PARK DELIVERS A SUPERB WET-DRY NORTHERN BRSCC WEEKEND
The lush green surroundings and winding, twisting corners of Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire provided the backdrop for the latest BRSCC Northern Centre meeting this season, with a whole host of the club’s most popular championships taking to the track to continue their 2019 campaigns.
Despite the first Group A race being forced to stop to a red flag incident, the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship’s double reigning champion Will Blackwell-Chambers returned to Cadwell determined to collect more winner’s silverware, and he made sure of this by leading the way in the opening Group A encounter and remaining in front at the time of the stoppage. Brian Trott made a triumphant reappearance on the grid with 2nd place after he stole the place away from title contender John Langridge on just the second lap, leaving Langridge to take 3rd in the final result. The second race would indeed see its full distance, although the podium was much unchanged – Blackwell-Chambers once again took the win for his third of the season so far, however it was Langridge who got his revenge on Trott by collecting 2nd this time while the leading Masters driver picked up 3rd on this occasion. The final Group A race ended producing a reverse of the Race 1A podium as Langridge pushed his way to the lead on the opening lap and was never headed, as he too picked up win number 3 of the year with Trott in 2nd again and Blackwell-Chambers settling for third. These results have catapulted WB-C right to the top of the table as dropped scores begin to come in, with he and Langridge shaping up for a season long title battle.
The Group B races had a couple of unexpected visitors in the first race, as a practice crash between teammates Adam Bessell and returning 2018 vice champion Samuel Smith led to both drivers forced to start from the very back of the grid. Both drivers still managed to work their way through the field despite Cadwell’s narrow nature, with Bessell storming up to 11th by the close of the opening lap. He would then go on to dominate and clinch the win by over 12 seconds, with Smith taking a little longer to climb into 2nd place and Bryn Griffiths taking 3rd. Lewis Cannon then recovered from a retirement in Race 1A to pick up the second Group B win from Jason Greatrex, another driver to be relegated through a DNF, in 2nd place and Richard Baxter taking 3rd. Bessell then made his second appearance in Group B following more bad luck but again drove on to collect the win, even after a 5 second track limits penalty! Sebastian Fisher and David Waters, both regular Group A drivers, also joined him on the podium on this occasion.
Brian Chandler made his second Mazda MX-5 Super Series appearance of the season hoping to replicate his dominance of the previous rounds at Pembrey, and straight from the off it looks as though that’s exactly what was on the cards. Chandler took pole ahead of MX-5 returnee Nicholas Dunn, however the wet conditions of Race 1 ended up favouring the latter as Dunn worked his way past Chandler after two laps and fended off the former Mk1 MX-5 champion all the way to the flag to take victory, with Joe Marshall delivering another strong effort in 3rd place. Sunday would turn out to be a change in fortunes for Dunn as he saw retirement from Sunday’s first race after four laps, leaving Chandler to once again lead and win unopposed at the front with Marshall taking 2nd place this time and Jack Sycamore, fresh from competing in the MX-5 SuperCup at Oulton Park the day before, charging through from the back of the grid to take 3rd place. Chandler then made sure that the day was his at the front of the field as once again he took a lights to flag victory, while behind him Sycamore took 2nd on the road but was one of three drivers to receive a 15 second penalty for track limits, leaving him back in 3rd place as Marshall inherited the runner up spot in his place.
In previous visits, Cadwell Park has been a successful stomping ground for David Nye in the BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres and 2019 proved to be no exception for the former BTCC ace and Class C champion. That said, the first race wasn’t all plain sailing for Nye as he lost the lead midway through Zachary Lucas, before a robust move by Isaac Smith saw him hit the front and take the flag on the road. However, the stewards would exclude Smith from the result for driving standards and give him a 5 place grid penalty for the next race, leaving Lucas to collect the win in his place from James Waite and polesitter Nye. Better weather condition presented a prime opportunity for Nye to bounce back in Race 2 the next day and that he did, picking up a rocket start to take the lead by almost two seconds at the end of the opening lap and going on to win ahead of Waite and Samuel Watkins, the latter doing a grand job to work his way up from 7th place on the grid. Nye then finished the job later that afternoon as he took the lead from pole and stayed there to secure his second win of the weekend and the season, with the rest of the podium a duplicate of Race 2 – Waite in 2nd place and Watkins taking 3rd.
The BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres would see points leader Olly Turner out to extend his advantage. After taking pole in qualifying, Turner had to survive an interrupted Race 1 when a red flag caused by the retirements of Joel Wren and Joseph Loake. On the restart, also minus Abby Lock, Turner picked up an easy win ahead of a personal best for Ted Potts in 2nd place and Olly’s Jamsport teammate Alfie Glenie in 3rd. With everyone bar Lock regrouped for the second race, Turner once again led from the front and completed the double, taking his 5th race win from 6 races with Wren and Loake putting in great drives to claw their way back to 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
Saturday was a landmark day in this season’s Caterham Motorsport calendar as it saw the first circuit races of the season for the 2019 edition of the Caterham Academy Championship. With the Green and White Groups raring to go, a new generation of rookie racers were all set to competitive race against each other on the same piece of tarmac for the very first time. The White Group were up first with polesitter Tom Wyllys losing out to front row mate Blair McConachie in the opening laps before makng his way through and holding the lead during and after a mid-race safety car. Wyllys took the flag to become the first Academy race winner of the season with McConachie and James Fowler joining him on the podium, before the Green Group took their turn on track. In their race, Dimitri Melas did well to beat pole man James Venning away from the line and he would hold the lead for the first two thirds of the encounter, before Alexander Conway found a way past and went on to collect the win, with Venning also making a move for 2nd place before the end to leave Melas back in 3rd place.
A combined qualifying session saw cars from both the Alfa Romeo Championship and the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship fighting for track space while searching for the fastest time amongst their respective fellow competitors. In the first Alfa race, former champion Graham Seager picked up where he’d left off and took his Modified class GTV to victory from the front row, heading the Power Trophy cars of Dave Messenger and Paul Webster in 2nd and 3rd places while Tom Hill was top man in the Twin Spark Cup. Seager then went on to complete the double the next day in Race 2, with the top three drivers overall comprising of the same three names with Messenger and Webster again on podium and Hill completing a fine weekend in Twin Spark Cup.
In contrast, the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship would end up seeing two different overall race winners instead of just the one. Garry Lawrence drove his Supersport class Boxster to a fairly dominant win ahead of Andrew Porter and Leigh Bowden, while Peter Smith was the man to catch in Class D for the 924s as he took class victory from Hugh Peart and John Jones. Race 2 would see a repeat of the result from the first encounter with Lawrence and Smith again winning their respective classes, but Race 3 would see the enigma. The reverse grid allowed Andrew Porter to take full advantage of Cadwell Park’s narrow nature and fend off a charging Lawrence to beat him to the chequered flag by just over a tenth of a second, taking his first Porsche Championship win in the process. Bowden was once again 3rd, with Smith completing his hat-trick in the 924 class in due course.
There was extra action provided in the form of the awesome Superkarting-UK Championship, with the rapid little machines revelling in the winding twists and turns that Cadwell Park provides. It was a 250T Class lockout on the podium in the first race with Ross Allen heading Lee Harpham and Ollie Ridout, before Allen took another victory in the second race; he was joined on the podium this time by Charlie Johnson and Lee Plain. Sadly Allen couldn’t make it three from three as he retired on the opening lap pf the final race, leaving Ben Parkinson to capture the glory on this occasion followed by Johnson and Ridout as each took their second podiums of the weekend respectively.
You can find the full breakdown of the weekend’s result from Cadwell Park via TSL Timing here – https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/191931