SKINNER VICTORIOUS IN EDWINA TROPHY RACE


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Jordan Skinner is presented with the Memorial Trophy by Edwina’s two granddaughters. Photo: Paul Smith

The final BRSCC Midland Centre meeting of the season took place on September 19 with a packed race programme at Mallory Park in the heart of Leicestershire. The day dawned overcast with the threat of showers ever present, but fortunately these never materialised and the conditions were dry all day.

The headline event was the 7th running of the “Edwina Trophy” race that takes place to honour Mrs Edwina Overend, the former Managing Director of Mallory Park Motorsport Ltd. It was in 1982 that Edwina and her husband Ron re-opened Mallory Park for racing again following its closure at the end of 1981 and then the sale of Mallory Park to motorsport legend Chris Meek. Edwina and Ron were then later joined by their son David Overend and for over twenty years ran the circuit turning it into the legendary “friendly circuit”. The trophy for this annual event was presented by Ron Overend's granddaughters, and has previously been awarded to Gavin Wills, Ed Moore, Peter Daly & David Grady. This year's race ran as part of the Star of Mallory series and the Southern Division of the Avon Tyres BRSCC Formula Ford 1600 Championship in association with REIS. The racing was competitive and exciting with victory and fastest lap going to the young Aussie sensation Jordan Skinner after another impressive drive.

The second FF1600 race of the day was also won by Skinner after an exciting race long duel with Mike Gardner, and this crowned him as champion of both the Southern Division and Star of Mallory which added to the National Division title he clinched at Oulton Park. Adam Quartermaine and Craig Currie were the other podium finishers on the day.

Meanwhile, in the first race of the Federal Tyres Nippon Challenge it was the dominant victory for 'novice' Dale Gent in his Subaru Impreza and the giant killing exploits of Andy McLennan in the 1300cc Suzuki Swift that stood out. Unfortunately McLennan retired from 3rd place on lap 12 and took no further part in the meeting. There were many standout performances throughout this field of eclectic machinery but it was a podium lock-out for the Subaru Imprezas of Gent, Hughes and Howells. Race 2 was halted by a multiple car incident on the start/finish straight, and at the restart it was Gent again who shot into the lead that was never to be challenged.

The Motorlawyers Fiat Racing Challenge may have had the smallest grid of the day, but race 1 provided one of the most thrilling battles of the meeting with Martin Riman and Mark Snelling side by side and nose to tail for the whole race. The racing was clean but incredibly close and as the flag fell after 21 laps they were separated by just 0.075 sec, with Riman taking the victory and Snelling second but with fastest lap as consolation. In race 2 they resumed where they left off, but they had Simon Edwards for company making it a three way battle for honours. The finishing order at the end of 16 laps was again Riman, Snelling and Edwards, but this time Edwards snatched the fastest lap of the race.

Once again the Caterham racers were in abundance and as such the Pistonheads.com Caterham Academy Championship was run in two groups with big grids for both. With such numbers battles raged throughout the field and it was difficult to know which group of cars to watch as the action was everywhere. The Group 1 race was full of fantastic dices and multiple cars slipstreaming each other along the straights, and early pacesetters were Blaize Rhodes and Merlin Edwards until Edwards spun at Shaw's Hairpin. Wes Fox capitalised and went into the lead with Mike Hart battling Rhodes for second. The race order as they passed the chequered flag was Fox, Rhodes and Hart who were the top 3 finishers and this victory confirmed Wes Fox as the 2010 champion.

The Group 2 race was marred by a number of accidents on the opening lap with a couple of serious impacts and shunts. Fortunately after medical checks all the drivers were okay, and the marshals did a fantastic job of both looking after the drivers and repairing the trackside safety barriers. With a somewhat depleted field the race restarted and Kurt Brady took the lead on lap 2 and although under pressure from Matthew Rigby, he stayed there to take a well-deserved win and with it the group 2 title. Rigby was second with Martin Pass in third after he was unable to catch Rigby towards the end of the race.

A full grid of competitors in the Silverstone Tyres MR2 Racing Series meant that there wasn't much empty tarmac on the Mallory Park track and ensured some fierce racing from these great little race cars. In race one Alex Gassman and David Pittard dominated the top two places, and after a race long battle it was Gassman who emerged victorious followed home by Pittard and Adam Lockwood respectively. A lights to flag victory in race two for Gassman sealed another well-earned win, but Lockwood and Chris Shackle harried him all the way.

To view the official results Click Here

Paul Smith