CROFT SIGNS OFF BRSCC 2020 DOMESTIC SEASON WITH EXCELLENT WET WEATHER RACING


Despite the wet weather, nothing dampened the spirits of those racing at the final race day of the season for the BRSCC at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, as four series closed out this unusual year with their final races on a circuit that was almost constantly damp or sodden for most of the day.

The final two races of this year’s Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres appeared to be something of a formality for dominant points leader Joseph Loake as he looked to wrap up the title and maintain his perfect 100% win record. Once again from pole, Loake led Race 1 from lights to flag and managed to win by just over six seconds with Bradley Beavers taking his first podium finish with 2nd and Jake Weston taking his third of the season in 3rd place. With one hand on the championship trophy, Loake made sure it was business as usual as he was never headed in the second race either and completed a clean sweep of every race this season to win and become the unbeatable provisional 2020 champion. Beavers made it two 2nd places from as many races, while Brickley recovered from an early retirement in the first race to collect 3rd. All things considered, the fortunes of the Fiesta Junior Championship have been vastly improved compared to 2019 and there’s plenty of positive vibes and a great buzz heading towards 2021 with lots of interest from new drivers!

The BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres for the senior level competitors in the Fiesta paddock also lined up for their final triple-header this year with four of the new turbo Fiesta ST180s on the grid in the Invitation Class again, this time including current BTCC star and race winner Josh Cook making a guest appearance. For the title contenders, Samuel Watkins ensured he was still on course to become champion but had to deal with a feisty Olly Turner, whose nudge on Watkins after a few laps in Race 1 did help him into a lead he wouldn’t lose on the road, but also earned him a time penalty which handed it back to Watkins and left the outgoing Fiesta Junior champion finishing 2nd ahead of Ethan Rogers. Turner did manage to battle his way into the lead at the start of Race 2 and this time managed to keep it, winning by more than 7 seconds from Spencer Stevenson and Sam Watkins on the podium, while for the last race it ended up going to Stevenson with Turner in 2nd place, although that P2 had originally been a disqualification for another incident before it was reinstated post-race following an appeal. Ben Winrow managed to collect a podium finish for himself with 3rd place. All of the above results led to Sam Watkins becoming provisional champion for 2020 after winning the lion’s share of races in their three race meeting calendar.

For the first time since it was launched, the new-for-2020 BRSCC CityCar Cup ran two standalone races instead of latching onto the grid for the BRSCC Clubsport Trophy as they had done at Silverstone and Cadwell Park. These two races would give a taste of the kind of action we were likely to see in 2021 with many more cars expected. For this occasion, 14 cars lined up on the grid with Nic Grindrod living up to his form with pole position for Race 1 and despite early pressure he was able to run virtually unchallenged to victory. Steve Laidlaw survived a scuffle with Richard Brunning to collect 2nd place with Tim Evans ensuring all three marques (Citroen, Peugeot and Toyota) were represented on the podium. Sadly, engine issues for Grindrod in the assembly area for Race 2 left him a non-starter, presenting an opportunity for Laidlaw to push for a race win. In the end he managed to take victory by almost two seconds from the resurgent Brunning who climbed up the order in the last few laps to briefly try and challenge for the lead, but settling for 2nd instead. Evans did finish 3rd on the road, but a time penalty pushed him down to 5th in the result which gave Andrew Schofield the final podium step. With many more cars in build, next year’s series looks likely to provide some incredible racing with highly populated grids and exciting action.

To finish off the day and the season, the final BRSCC Clubsport Trophy race of the year took place over 45 minutes with the turbo Fiesta ST180s also back on the grid here to gain more mileage for next season. Zachary Lucas put his example on pole alongside Andrew Morrison’s SEAT Leon TCR on the front row of the grid and Lucas would lead in the opening laps thanks to an early safety car, ahead of another Fiesta ST180 driven by Jon Cooper and Luke Jones. Eventually Morrison managed to move back through into the lead before the pitstops, but Lucas got back in front just in time for a second safety car, although the SEAT’s pace in the latter part of the race was too much and he eventually repassed and drove on to win overall and in Class A. Lucas was 2nd and top Invitation class car, followed by Class C winner Chrissy Palmer in his Mazda MX-5 Mk4 in 3rd overall. 4th place went to another shared Fiesta ST180 driven by Josh Cook and fellow BTCC star teammate Jade Edwards, while class wins elsewhere went to Simon Horrobin and Dominic Bush in their Ford Fiesta ST150 (Class D), Scott Ferguson’s Mazda MX-5 (Class B) and the BMW E36 Compact of Philip Adcock and Andrew Waters (Class E).

 

Scott Woodwiss