Eight new champions were crowned at the 2021 MB Models King of Clubs decider at Adur Model Car Club.

10th Electric Circuit

Olly Jefferies and Archie Matthews capped their Modified Touring Car and Tamiya Junior-E titles with commanding wins.

Jefferies KoC form book read W.W.L.L. as he arrived at Adur Model Car Club for the deciding round of the 2021 M.B. Models King of Clubs. He might have won the championship with a round to spare. Still, with those two 'Ls' weighing heavily on the psyche, nothing short of a return to form and a race win would do for Jefferies. The reigning National champion hadn't won a race at King of Clubs for 10 weeks leading some to question whether the format and lack of testing time exposed vulnerability.

After taking a double win at West London, Aldershots Chris Grainger arrived on Adur Island in a confident mood. But, unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for Eastbourne's Harley Eldridge. The U.K.'s leading female racer has been on something of a downward spiral since her brilliant T.Q. and final leg 1 win at Colchester. At the pre-event press conference, Eldridge was at a loss to explain the dip in form.

Jefferies self-reflection was clear and to the point. "I need to pull my finger out and win".

Not for the first time this season, Jefferies won all four rounds to T.Q. from Granger, Zak Smith, back after missing RD4 due to COVID isolation, Eldridge, Colchester club captain Oli Meggit and 13-year-old Eastbourne driver Charlie Colby making his debut in the blue riband class.

The Adur circuit is famed for several challenging changes of direction. Strong winds made the challenge harder still. An expectant crowd and the R.C. Racing T.V. live stream audience were then hoping for a repeat of the "greatest touring car race of 2021" at the last round, with Grainger and Jefferies delivering race-long battles. Sadly, for the audience, this didn't materialise. Jefferies produced two dominant displays, gapping the field and taking beep to beeper victories. The action was in the midfield, Smith and Eldridge duking it out for the final rostrum spot in both finals. In leg 1, Eldridge was racey from the off, looking for a way past. The pressure pushed Smith into a mistake on lap 7, taking too much kerb at the end of the straight, throwing his car into a half spin, and Eldridge was through. Smith gave chase and, within a lap, was pushing for a way back past. Then, in an act of near-perfect symmetry, 7 laps later, Eldridge took too much kerb at the end of the straight and spun. Smith could not avoid the spun car, the resulting impact taking the front corner off from Elridge's Yokomo. For a moment, Smiths' car looked similarly damaged. However, with the tucked body relieved by a marshall, he rejoined to finish third behind Jefferies and Grainger. A harsh D.N.F. for Eldridge.

Leg 2. Jefferies gapping Grainger by a tiny, relentless, accumulating margin. Smith away in third, Eldridge giving chase in 4th. This time the battle was for second, not third, Smith keeping the pressure up on Grainger while Eldridge kept chasing. Looking for a way past, Smith tagged the back of Grainger after 4 laps. The tiniest of touches was enough to spin Grainger's car. Eldridge flying past the crash scene into second. The battle for third between Grainger and Smith remained close for a few laps before Grainger's broke the tow. Jefferies, off in the distance, taking a commanding double to sweep the meeting. Mission accomplished for the new King of Clubs Modified Champion.

In the stock classes, Marcus Askell and Glenn Westwood faced a test of nerve to secure championship wins. Billy Fletcher had been swapping places with Askell all season and could take the title with a victory in 13.5. Westwood's championship rival, Adur's Matt Quinlsik, wasn't able to race the final round. With local aces Tim Langdell and Ben Crane on the grid, Westwood knew he was in for a fight to secure the needed points.

Askell won the first two qualifying rounds, his championship rival, Eastbourne's Billy Fletcher, succumbing to problems and unable to complete either round. Liam Hendy and Ash Wiffen kept the pressure on at the front in Fletcher's absence. In round 3, the silver lining of fresher tyres helped Fletcher to an impressive round win, a feat he repeated in round 4 to almost land T.Q. - Askell winning the tie break by 8 tenths.

In the junior stock class, Westwoods path to pole was equally challenging. After winning RD1, local drivers Ben Cane and Tim Langdell took rounds 2 and 3, respectively, leaving everything to play for going into the final round. However, Westwood was up to the task with a comfortable last round win from Langdell and Cane.

BRCA

Askell, like his Xray teammate Jefferies, showed his class in the finals, with flag-to-flag wins to secure the title. A frustrated Fletcher was never quite able to close the gap enough to upset the leader's rhythm. Likewise, in Leg 1, Langdell was close but not close enough to make a pass after Westwood's clean getaway, the local drivers' challenge fading midway through the race. As they lined up for Leg 2, Westwood had the championship in his sights, just one more race to clinch it. Again, a clean start and Langdell was even closer this time, looking for a way past over the early laps, with Cane close behind, waiting to pick up any pieces. A minute gone, and Langdell had found some extra pace, sitting right on the tail of the leader. Westwood ran deep into the chicane, the slightest mistakes allowing Langdell to pull alongside round the right in front of the rostrum, the pair running side by side into the left. Westwood forced into the low line, Langdell's faster high line cut back underneath the leader into the kink. Still, Westood held firm, sticking to the low line to pass back inside into the hairpin. Again, Langdell took extra brake, cutting back to make an inside pass onto the sweeper. A breathtaking display of clean, respectful, but fully committed racing from the two drivers. Alas, the final move didn't pay, Langdell's line onto the straight requiring a bit too much kerb sending him into a spin that Westwood couldn't then avoid. The Aldershot driver marshalled back into 4th, Langdell down in 7th. With the championship on the line, Westwood gave chase to the leaders, ultimately retaking the lead with a lap to go. A double win and the championship.

Eastbourne's Tim Harrop domination of the Tamiya GTE class continued with another clean sweep of T.Q. and almost uncontested double final wins to rubber-stamp his championship win, as did fellow club driver Ollie Payne in the returning M.T.C. class - a reverse grid for the second final providing some entertaining racing before Payne decided to open the throttle and clear off to win.

The Monitex F1 class was not so one-sided. Another Eastbourne driver, Aidan Gale, won the meeting after swapping places with West London's Paul Ellis all day - in fact, all championship - long. On the championship rostrum, however, it was Ellis taking the top spot.

Five debutants joined the rookie section of the Tamiya Junior-E, leaving the total number of new juniors recruited into R.C. through the class at an even 30 -something the series organisers are rightly immensely proud of. More often than not over the championship, the rookies class has been a battle for survival, the youngsters learning that going flat out and crashing is not the way to win. On the day this time, Aldershot's Top Gun Maverick Adams came out on top, just, from Adur's Harry Standing. His young cousin Tyler being absent on holiday.

A feature of this year's series has been the brilliantly close racing between the two drivers at the front of the Tamiya Junior-E series, Archie Matthews and Finley Lanaway. Matthews had wrapped up the championship at the last round. Still, in reality, there has been nothing between the two drivers all year - tie breaks needed to separate them in both qualifying and finals in the first three rounds. With the championship over, Lanaway's challenge was slightly diminished for the Adur round. Matthews took T.Q. and a double final win to close out the championship, similarly to the Modified champion driver he is now seeking to emulate. And you'd be a fool to bet against him doing just that.

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Round results and championship standings.

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