RAIN DOESN’T DAMPEN SPIRITS AT ROCKINGHAM


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Simon Goddard on his way to victory at Rockingham on Saturday. Photo: Jon Elsey

Wet weather conditions spiced up the action out on track in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship at Rockingham on Saturday. A frantic first lap in race 1A saw front runners Simon Goddard and Jake Simpson both spin at the Deene hairpin leaving Simon Baldwin to take the lead. As Baldwin pulled away at the front, it was a five car battle for second between Darron Lewis, Sam Smith, Ben Tuck, Matthew Tasker and Simon Goddard before contact between Tasker and Lewis at the Deene hairpin on lap 6 saw both drivers drop down the order. The race finished with Simon Baldwin taking the chequered flag ahead of Simon Goddard and Jake Simpson. Matthew Tasker was later excluded from the race for avoidable contact.

Simon Goddard underlined his title credentials with a win in the 2A race after taking the lead from Simon Baldwin at the Deene hairpin. It was side-by-side for Jake Simpson and Brian Chandler on the final lap for third place, with Simpson taking the final place on the podium by just 0.071. It was a disappointing race for Sam Smith who was forced into early retirement on lap 6 leaving his MX-5 stranded on the run up to the Tarzan hairpin.

A fantastic start for Simon Woods and Jon Hughes from the second row saw Woods take an early lead in race 1B but it wasn’t long before Clive Powles claimed position at the front. A spin for Jon Hughes at the Deene hairpin saw the Dullingham driver drop from third to eventually finish in 10th position. A collision between David Henderson and pole sitter Ambrogio Perfetti also forced Henderson into retirement. Clive Powles took the eventual win ahead of Simon Woods and Graham Colby.

Following his exclusion in race 1A, Matt Tasker was on top form in race 2B, pushing his way up the pack from the back of the grid to take the lead, only to throw it away on lap 5 by spinning at Pif Paf dropping back to third place. It was all action on the last lap as Roger Chesneau spun at the Deene hairpin but somehow managed to hold onto third place. It was side-by-side for Kevin Dengate and Matt Tasker on the final straight with Dengate taking victory by 0.033.

Thomas Witts dominated action in the Teekay Couplings MK2 Production GTI Championship taking victory in both races. A determined drive by the MK2 driver saw him take the chequered flag ahead of Jason Tingle in second place and Dean Clayton in third despite a Safety Car in round six backing up the pack to allow the marshals to remove Tim Cox’s stranded car from the Brook chicane.

Tingle had a busy weekend as he was also racing in the Mk5 series, which he has dominated so far this season. That trend continued in the first race as he won ahead of Andrew Aldridge and Martyn Walsh. Tingle couldn’t quite catchAldridge in the second race however, settling for second place ahead of Simon Hill who took the third and final place on the podium.

Rui Ferreira took the first ever victory in the GQ Caterham Academy Green Group. The Portuguese driver jumped from third on the grid to take the chequered flag ahead of pole sitter Kieran McAleer in second and Andy Larholt in third. A Safety Car on lap 2 of the GQ Caterham Academy Championship White Group resulted in a last lap sprint for victory with Daniel Bremner taking the first win of the season ahead of Andrew Perry and Lee Collins.

It was a dominate win for Danny Keenan in race one of DDMC Northern Saloon & Sports Car Championship. The driver finished with a 1 minute 20 second gap to Peter Cook in second. Stephen Kell finished in third to take the final place on the podium. An absent Danny Keenan and an early Safety Car in race two made for an interesting battle at the front between David Botterill and Peter Cook. Cook took the eventual race win ahead of Scott Hubel in second with Botterill in third.

All the race results can be analysed at ROCKINGHAM RESULTS

Donna Kelly