WEEKEND OF HAT-TRICKS AND HEROES
The XR Challenge boys had to battle less than ideal conditions on the Welsh Coast – Photo: Rachel Bourne
We had four drivers who scored a hat-trick of victories when the BRSCC’s North Western Centre organised a weekend of racing at Anglesey on 24th/25th September. The real heroes, however, were the marshals who continued to provide safety cover when a storm generated horrendous weather conditions on Saturday. Fortunately, the sun made an appearance on Sunday making life much better for all.
The two Michaels Heath and Blackburn plus Chase Owen and Tom McArthur were the drivers who visited the top step of the podium 3 times. It was Heath who got the ball rolling albeit with an inauspicious start to the opening race of the weekend for the Lee Bowron Ltd XR Challenge, dropping from pole position down to fourth place when the red lights went out. Once everyone was up to speed, however, his Fiesta was the fastest car on the track and soon this black & red machine was filling the mirrors of Michael Blackburn’s Escort which was leading.
On lap 5, Blackburn ran wide at Rocket and Heath didn’t need to be asked twice to nip through and take his first victory of the weekend. Ralph Fernihough’s XR2 followed Heath up to second but during the remainder of the contest Steve Poole came through to demote both Blackburn and Fernihough to make it a Fiesta 1-2-3.
Their second encounter was red flagged when Ben Atkinson crashed his XR2 into the tyre wall on the exit of Target. On the restart, Heath pulled away from a 4 car battle that was led across the finish line by Blackburn and Fernihough. It looked as though the latter was going to break the run of wins for Heath when he outbraked him into Rocket on lap 3 of the third blast but when they appeared on the exit of Church on the next circuit, Heath was back ahead. Fernihough faded in the closing stages and was pushed out of the podium places by Justin Roberts’ XR2 and Blackburn. For Roberts, it was a case of what might have been after a fuel leak put him out of race 1 which meant he spent the rest of the meeting starting from lower on the grid than he would have done while Blackburn made it 3 out of 3 in the XR3i class.
Chase Owen got the bug for motorsport later than most – when he was at College over in the States. This means he has only ever competed in two races which were wet. Both of these were in the UK (Oulton Park at the start of the season and then here at Anglesey)… and he has won them both! The man behind the wheel of the Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray GR14/15 came to Wales to get some extra mileage ahead of the Formula Ford Festival and left leading the Post89 section of the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship.
When the chequered flag came out to call time on Saturday’s wet and windy contest Owen had an advantage of almost 20 seconds over the 2 battling Van Diemen-driving teenagers called Matt with the surnames of Round-Garrido (JL16) and Cowley (JL13).
In the sunshine of Sunday morning, Owen was again uncatchable although Cowley was much closer to him this time until he put a wheel on the grass entering Target and spun. His gyrations delayed Round-Garrido and allowed Tom McArthur to finish as runner-up in a Pre90 Van Diemen RF89.
The Mancunian had swapped his usual Van Diemen LA10 for an outing in a friend’s car. With all categories of Formula Ford 1600 racing together this weekend, McArthur had won the Pre90 Class the day before and repeated the feat in the first of two non-championship races on Sunday afternoon after a clash with Round-Garrido at Rocket allowed Cowley to get into second. Up ahead Owen was on course to take set of Post89 laurels number 3 while McArthur continued after the contact to take third as Round-Garrido posted a retirement.
With many of the front-runners heading home before the final Formula Ford 1600 event of the weekend, “Juiceie Bruceie” was able to take a rare victory in his Reynard 84FF. Ivor Mairs (Mondiale 84S) picked up the runner-up position when the Reynard 84FF of Edwin Hannah got onto the grass exiting Target at the start of the last lap.
There was a double helping of 3 hour Fun Cup events on Saturday with an afternoon affair followed by an evening contest that did not finish until 11 pm.
The daylight encounter saw a maiden victory for PW Racing – it did them no harm to have the legendary Anthony Reid amongst their team of drivers. Sheradize UK and UVio completed the podium. The latter were unbeatable when the VW Beetle lookalikes competed in the dark as Reid brought the PW Racing car home in second after a pass on Track Torque 2 at the Bookatrack.com Banking with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Both Quaife Fiesta Championship rounds this weekend saw the same people on the podium in the shape of Simon Horrobin, Samuel Priest and Nathan Edwards. In the Fiesta Juniors Callum Hawkins-Row was prevented from doing the double when he exited stage left at The Corkscrew. In race 2. This moved Harry Gooding and Danny Harrison up to first and second having finished second and third earlier in the day with Bradley Burns moving up to occupy the final place on the podium.
You can view the full results at ANGLESEY PARK RESULTS
Dave Williams / Dom D’Angelillo