CLOUDY CADWELL HOSTS A SUPERB WEEKEND OF RACING
The first of two BRSCC Northern Centre meetings at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire featured mostly cloudy skies and even some precipitation throughout the early part of Saturday, but despite this spirirts were high and the action was fast, entertaining and enthralling from start to finish. There were a mix of first time winners alongside other maintaining the status quo in their respective championships.
The Mazda MX-5 Championship dominated track action with 6 races across their two groups. Group A almost became something of a Mike Comber Racing lockout as Comber himself started on pole for Race 1 and duly converted it to his first BRSCC Mazda win since 2014, with teammates Will Blackwell-Chambers (the reigning Mk1 champion) and Samuel Smith completing the podium whitewash. Comber would go on to do it again in Race 2, this time with Smith finishing in 2nd ahead of Blackwell-Chambers, but come the third race their dominance would come to an unexpected halt. Taking up the AB Motorsport charge, former BRSCC Fiesta champion John Langridge stormed through from 5th on the grid in the final Group A race to take the lead and stay there for this first ever MX-5 victory, and the first overall win of his career in a rear wheel drive car. Blackwell-Chambers was able to reclaim the points lead in the standing with 2nd place, while Comber completed his fine weekend with 3rd.
Group B mainly catered for the second half of the entry with exciting racing amongst its own three individual contests. Paul Bateman was able to edge out Courtney Milnes by just 0.3 seconds in the first race with Christopher Stapleton making his first podium appearance in third, while in the second race Lewis Cannon also made a first time top step visit with a win from Matt Pollard and lowly Masters title contender Martin Tolley, relegated to Group B after a very tough opening Group A race earlier in the weekend. Another inaugural win went the way of Marcus Bailey as he took was able to reach the chequered flag in first in the final race for Group B, ahead of Callum Greatrex and another 3rd place for Stapleton.
Despite a smaller field than had been present in the first two meetings, the Mazda MX-5 Super Series certainly wasn’t without drama. Incredibly, despite winning five of the first six races, in-form man Joshua Jackson couldn’t pick up a victory all weekend. Instead it was left to his main series rival Jake Bailey to pick up the spoils himself as he went on to win Race 1. MX-5 SuperCup refugees Nick Dunn and Tom Collins completed the first podium of their meeting, while Jackson was unable to better 4th. Collins was able to find a way past Bailey in Race 2 to pick up a win all for himself, with Bailey claiming 2nd ahead of Simon Fleet, while Jackson had to settle for 5th with Dunn retiring. With the tally set at one each, Bailey was the one to break the deadlock in the final race as he took his third win of the year, as Collins and Fleet once again joined him on the podium. Both the MX-5 Championship and Super Series now only have to wait two weeks before they take to the track once again at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Saturday June 16th.
Also making the trip up north were the BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres, only into their second meeting after a lengthy break of just over two months since their season opener at Brands Hatch in late March. While former Fiesta Junior champion Harry Gooding took pole in qualifying, it was an experienced head that would dominate both encounters. Defending Class C champion and former BTCC ace David Nye shot into the lead and dutifully stayed there to take the class and overall win in Race 1 from 2017 Cadwell Park winner Joshua Watkins and Gooding in 3rd. There was no change in the personnel nor order of the top 3 in Race 2, with Nye once again on top from Watkins and Gooding. First year Fiesta racer Zachary Lucas performed superbly to win both times in Class D with podiums taken by Tim Bennett, Marco Ricci and John Cooper; Colin Newbold also saw the chequered flag both times as the sole Class A representative.
Their younger counterparts in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres also enjoyed an energetic pair of races on Sunday. Danish teen Magnus Kriklywi turned his first FJC pole position into his first ever circuit racing victory, as he held on from Josh Steed in his first race for new team Mutation Motorsport in 2nd and Jam-Sport’s Isaac Smith. Not content with just one victory, Kriklywi dutifully went out and did the same again in Race 2, completing what had been almost a perfect weekend. Steed picked up another 2nd place with Olly Turner taking another 3rd place for Jam-Sport, his second of the season so far.
Another driver who couldn’t be toppled from the head of the field was Adam Southgate, who’s looking ever increasingly likely to inherit the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship crown this season. After taking pole overall in the Race Boxster class, he went on to win all three races from P1 as he led every single lap of the first two encounters before carving his way through in the reverse grid race on Sunday to complete the hat-trick in wonderous fashion. The Race Boxster podium places behind him were shared out all weekend to defending champion Ed Hayes, James Coleman, Kevin Molyneaux and newcomer Jesse Chamberlain, who was overjoyed with scoring 3rd in the final race. Gavin Johnson took two of the three wins available in the 924 Class with Hugh Peart claiming the other, while Leigh Bowden ensured a successful debut weekend in the Production Boxster class as its sole representative, taking the chequered flag in all three races.
Gearing up on Sunday for another single day thrash were the ever entertaining Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup, as defending champion Steven Dailly continued his quest for back-to-back titles. With enough entries to run a 3 race format, the field was split into three groups that would end up racing each other twice. The top points would of course come from Group A, but despite starting their first race from pole, it wasn’t Dailly that came out on top. Instead, it was Owen Hunter that got the jump on Dailly and the rest of the field to take his first win of the season, with Dailly and Snetterton race winner Matthew Parkes coming home behind him. As both Hunter and Dailly had been allocated into separate groups, both set about taking as many points as possible from their second races. Hunter went on to dominate his second race with Groups B and C, some 8.5 seconds ahead of Ian Jones in 2nd place with Ben Huntley in 3rd. As for Dailly, he took ensured he wasn’t beaten in Group A’s own match up with Group C, this time sharing the podium with Jones in 2nd place again and Parkes one more picking up 3rd.
The sole single seater representatives for the meeting, the Speed Group F1000 Championship came to a circuit that was almost made for a car like the Jedi Mk6. Here in Lincolnshire Michael Watton wish to banish the thoughts of what had ended up as a less than satisfactory Snetterton weekend last time out, despite taking a Race 1 win before engine problems hampered the rest of his meeting. But ever one to bounce back, Watton did just that. Taking pole by more than half a second in qualifying, no-one could catch him in either race as he dominated the field by at least 6 seconds in both. The usual suspects would join him on the rostrum on both occasions with Paul Butcher leaping his way to a pair of 2nd places, while Dan Clowes secured 3rd place twice. Daniel Levy was the only attendee running in the Sonic Equipment Invitation Cup, but sadly was forced to retire from both races and thus didn’t score.
The BRSCC Alfa Romeo Championship also joined the paddock for their third outing of 2018 after visits to Silverstone with TCR UK and Anglesey alongside FunCup. Even though sole Modified Class runner Christopher Oxborough took his Alfa Romeo 75 V6 to pole for Race 1, he would last all of 3 laps before retiring. As it was, it was left to one of the potent little Fiat Punto Abarths to replicate its result from last season at the same venue. Simon McFie, now able to score points this season in the Power Trophy class, managed to steal the win from fellow class mate Paul Webster’s Alfa 156 by just under 0.4 seconds, with Scott Austin’s beautifully prepared Alfa 155 taking 3rd overall and 2nd in class. In Race 2, Simon McFie did it again and once more took victory from Webster in 2nd with his brother Chris in a virtually identical Punto Abarth ensuring Power Trophy cars locked out the podium. Oxborough did make the flag this time to complete Modified class honours, while in both races former champion Tom Hill couldn’t be toppled from the head of the Twin Spark Cup entry, with Michael Tydeman, Richard Ford, Dave Messenger and Kristian Leith all taking a piece of silverware home each behind him.
The second of this season’s two Northern Centre meetings will be a big one – the penultimate rounds of the season for the new TCR UK Touring Car Championship on September 8/9. You certainly do not want to miss that one if you can make it! The full break down of results from Cadwell Park this past weekend can be found via TSL Timing here – CADWELL PARK RESULTS.