DOUBLE DUTY AT ROCKINGHAM
James "JJ" Ross was quite simply in a league of his own in Jam-Sport Fiestas all weekend – Photo: James Roberts
Rockingham became only the second circuit on our calendar to utilize two layouts in one race meeting this past weekend – with Jam-Sport Fiestas and Fiesta Juniors sharing track time with Time Attack on the sportscar course, while the Pickup Trucks did what they do best on the oval. In both cases, the spectacle was nothing short of magnificent.
Saturday was mostly dominated by our high-horsepower friends at Track Attack, who brought their season to a close in fine style. 49 cars battled it out across 11 classes for one last time to compete for the ultimate fastest lap. It provided a wonderfully eclectic mix of machinery. First up came the group containing the Clubman, Clubman Plus, Pocket Rocket and Classic & Retro Club classes. The most intriguing winner between all four was definitely Warren Greenland, who beat everyone in Clubman with his Vauxhall Astra diesel van! The other 3 winners were Alan Tolley’s Ford Sierra XR 4×4 in Classic & Retro, Jonny Roose’s Mitsubishi Evo 8 in Clubman Plus (also taking overall fastest time in the group) and Stewart Summer’s blindingly quick Citroen Saxo in Pocket Rocket.
Next up came the group for FWD, 4WD and RWD collectively. Overall and 4WD fastest times went to the Mistubishi Evo 3 of Simon Griffiths, with Neil Wrenn’s Honda Civic topping FWD and Simon Roberts’ mighty Noble M12 GTO3 taking RWD honours. Finally, it was the turn of the big boys in Pro, Club Pro, Classic & Retro Pro and Pro Extreme. Philip Reed topped the group and Pro Extreme in another Mitsubishi Evo (this one being a 6), while further individual class wins went the way of Kevin Jones’ Noble M12 RSR (Pro), Lloyd Wright’s Ford Escort Mk1 RSR (Classic & Retro Pro) and Russ Paton in another Evo 6 (Club Pro). We’re very thankful to have shared the weekend with them and we hope for more of the same next year!
Once Track Attack had done their bit, the rest of the weekend was populated by the remaining 3 championships left to put on a show for the fans. First off, the young guns of the Fiesta Junior Championship provided some exciting battles across the field. After securing pole for Race 1, Michael Higgs led the opening couple of laps before recent top step newcomer Carlito Miracco overhauled him to take the lead and stay there until the end, making it 3 wins on the trot from Higgs and Nathan Edwards. With pole for Race 2, Miracco had almost mirrored fortunes to that of Higgs – leading the opening stages before losing the lead, this time to a resurgent championship leader in Aaron Thompson. His 5th place in Race 1 meant he desperately needed a win and despite some last lap antics featuring Miracco at Tarzan, Thompson came off better to score his 7th win of the year from Higgs and Ronan Quinn. The title fight goes to the final round at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch where, in the glare of the spotlight cast on the Formula Fords, one of 5 drivers could walk away as the 2015 champion.
Their senior counterparts in the Jam-Sport Fiestas ran in two separate groups with Class C competing on their own, while the remainder of the entry in Classes A, B and D formed the second field. Class C was dominated all weekend once again by the young hotshot James “JJ” Ross, with two spectacular performances to win both races by sizeable margins. Simon Horrobin and Samuel Priest took turns in 2nd and 3rd, as Horrobin beat out Priest on the line for P2 in Race 1, while Priest got his was in Race 2 by over 3 seconds. The races for the remainder of the classes were both claimed by Class D’s Alastair Kellett, pipping David Abbott to the flag in the first race and moving clear by a small margin in the second. Classes A and B saw victories apiece for Peter Dendy-Sadler and John Cooper respectively in Race 1 and James Styles and Stuart Robbins, again respectively, in Race 2.
Last but certainly not least, we had entertainment from another of our friends – the Pickup Truck Racing Championship, as they climbed onto the banking of the oval layout for 3 high-speed pursuits. Pete Stevens just edged Freddie Lee to the finish to secure Race 1 victory with Dave Longhurst completing the podium, while in Race 2 Freddie was denied a win by the smallest of margins again as this time he was pipped by Dave Weaver, while Stevens couldn’t repeat his top step visit and was forced to reside in 3rd.
With that, the season is now finished for Rockingham and the circuit now goes into hibernation for a while in terms of our visits. We’d like to thank all the staff and personnel at Rockingham for their hard work and organization, in helping to ensure they all went off without a hitch. We look forward to returning in 2016!
Full and detailed results of all the weekend’s events can be found at ROCKINGHAM RESULTS.