East of England round 3 2017 at Colchester.

1/10th Off Road

Round 3 East Of England Round 3 Race Report from the ever popular venue Colchester

 

The BRCA East of England regionals returned after a short break as the regions drivers headed along the A12 to Colchester for round 3 and the half way point in the championship. Upon arriving we were greeted with sunshine and a grass track surrounded with gazebos with the forecast for the day good with just a small possibility of rain late afternoon. Although at times the breeze picked up enough for the hoodies to come out there was no sign of rain until the journey home, with the dry conditions drivers would be torn between the Mini Spikes and Darts during the day as the grass wore a little in places. Once all the drivers were booked in and the mandatory drivers briefing complete practice started a little after 9am and once finished heat one drivers trundled through scrutineering and we were under way just after 10am with four rounds of eight heats and finals we were in for another busy day. 

The lap started with a blast along the main straight into an open right hand hairpin that during the day developed a couple of small bumps on entry meaning drivers had to pick their lines carefully. From here you immediately turned left into a tighter left hand hairpin and then a chicane took you onto a small back straight, there was a very fast right 90 degree bend that followed and this had quite a steep off camber drop before another short straight sent you back towards the rostrum. A left-hand bend that opened out followed that had a step down on entry and step up on exiting sent you over a crest heading back away from the rostrum. Coming into a hairpin right there was a little kick on entry to catch you out, another double hairpin took you into the last section of the lap, a short straight with a fast-right hander that dropped down and flicked up just on the apex that caught several drivers out sending them into the hose on the far side of the straight, while others nailed it just right and carried the speed down the straight. A mixed bag of opinions about the track with some finding it a surprising challenge from what at first glance seemed a straight forward “flat” grass track, whereas others seemed to want more features and less about carrying speed. That is the beauty of having a wide range of tracks that you get a variety of challenges. 

QUALIFYING 

As always the 2wd cars were first out on track and current championship leader Joe Howson took the first round with Danny Conway close behind. Stuart Collard took third in round and James Wright who is enjoying his 2wd racing in 2017 was fourth, while Jonathan Brown rounded out the top five. Carl Nunn, Chris Pennington, Tony Price, Lee Hedges and James Crockart filled the current remaining spots in the A final. Round two and James Crockart stormed to the top of the tree while Stuart Collard had another third in round to currently join James at the top. Lee Hedges had a flyer and was second in round and fifth overall, Carl Nunn was another on a mission and fourth in round and overall while Danny Conway took fifth in round and sat third on the current grid. Joe Howson was the obvious name missing from the list, the had a shocker and was sat eighteenth overall. Into round three and things were starting to shape up, Lee Hedges took top spot and so was guarenteed an A final spot as was James Crockart who was second in round and still sat top of the pile on countback. Danny Conway, James Crockart, Jonathan Brown and Joe Howson were as good as safe while Chris Pennington would still be sweating as he was currently tenth, Steve Baker who now had a sixth and Eighth had leapfrogged in to the A final places and was looking good. Into the last round and Danny Conway was on top of the pile, however with Lee Hedges, James Crockart and Danny all tied on points it would come down to countback, James’s fastest time was two seconds up on Lee with Danny around eight seconds back meaning James took pole and the extra bonus TQ point. As expected Joe Howson, Stuart Collard, Jonathan Brown, James Wright and Carl Nunn joined them in the A final. Steve Baker had an off round but still kept his ninth place grid slot, 

Chris Pennington had a poor last round while Tony Price had his best run of the day and grabbed the final A final spot by one point, unlucky Chris. 

In 4wd Graham Kisby had a great first run to take top spot while Lee Hedges was making the most of his day and took second, Steve Biscoe took third in round just ahead of Danny Conway who was having a challenging day by his standards. James Crockart was another making the most of racing in both classes and was fifth while John Myall took sixth. Kristian Gibbs, Anthony French, Tony Price and Stuart Joyce rounded out the top ten. Round two and Steve Biscoe laid out his intentions and took the round with Lee Hedges another great run in second, Graham Kisby was tenth in round but still enough to keep his current A final spot. The other top ten first round scorers would still occupy the ten places with James Crockart currently being replaced by Stuart Collard, but Rob York had a ninth in round to give himself a shot at the top ten. Round three and Danny Conway took the round with Graham Kisby second and Lee Hedges another great drive in third. Further down the order James Crockart, Tony Price, David Webster, Darren Pollard, Joe Howson, Dave Evans and Simon Overall still had a chance of slipping into the A final if they had solid last runs. Last round and Graham Kisby took the round and with it the TQ spot, Steve Biscoe would line up second just one slot ahead of rival Danny Conway. Lee Hedges would line up fourth just ahead of Kristian Gibbs who had some solid drives to sit comfortably in the A final, Anthony French, John Myall and James Crockart made in safely into the three-legged A final while Stuart Joyce took the last spot rather comfortably in the end some five points ahead of Stuart Collard who was B Q man. 

Finals 

2wd 

D Final – As the buzzer sounded and the field got going the front trio were clean through the first sections of the lap, however one of the mid field cars got a bit of a “tank slapper” and caused the rest of the field to get caught up. As the field settled down the front pair of Joshua Evans and Matthew Burrows were swapping places for fun as the others tried to close the gap. As the race wore on the field became spread out and early third place junior of Joe Sharp made an error and slipped back. Joshua Evans crossed the line to take the win ahead of Matthew Burrows and Shaun Sivertsen in third. 

1st Joshua Evans 

2nd Matthew Burrows 

3rd Shaun Sivertsen 

4th Andrew Nicholas 

5th Aaron Russell 

6th Joe Sharp 

7th Oakley Mattioli 

=8th Erik Fairbairm D.N.S 

=8th Sam Fairbairn D.N.S 

C Final – Connor Watkins who was in a much lower final than he would of expected to be stormed to the win ahead of Darren Pollard who in fairness gave it his all and was only 8 seconds behind at the flag. Greg Stevens crossed the line in third comfortably ahead of Daniel Usher in fourth. 

1st Connor Watkins 

2nd Darren Pollard 

3rd Greg Stevens 

4th Daniel Usher 

5th Paul Cooper 

6th Justin Hayes 

7th Matt Carey 

8th Richard Sharp 

9th Daniel Robins 

10th Roger Gale 

B Final – From the start it was a clean run around the first series of curves but Sam Bradshaw and Daniel Chilvers touched which allowed Simon Overall and Chris Pennington to make a break for it. Around the mid race distance the front pair had pulled a gap with the recovering Sam and Daniel joined by Ben Chester and these five had some clean air over the rest of the field. Chris rolled it on the left-hand section of the track and allowed Sam through in to the lead but his joy was short lived as Simon managed to claw his way through to lead. A very close run in lay ahead as the front five were closing and bringing the rest of the field into play. As they crossed the line Simon took the win four seconds up on Sam who was only two seconds ahead of Chris in third. Places four to seven were all covered by eleven seconds so a good race as any mistakes on the last couple of laps could have cost you a places and points. 

1st Simon Overall 

2nd Sam Bradshaw 

3rd Chris Pennington 

4th Daniel Chilvers 

5th Ben Chester 

6th Niel Newby 

7th Phil Leach 

8th David Bloy 

9th Andy Long 

10th David Foulger 

A Final – Leg 1 From the buzzer Danny Conway made a move on Lee Hedges and got through before James Crockart could get too big an advantage as the early laps were reeled off. James made a small mistake and caused a bit of a coming together earning him a shout from the referee, but as they all settled down Danny now led from James and Tony Price had worked his way up from tenth to lay third. As the field crossed the line to end leg 1 Danny was a lap up on the rest of the field, James in second just two seconds ahead of James Wright who had a great run from seventh place. Stuart Collard kept his fourth place start at the finish and Tony Price crossed the line in fifth from his tenth placed start. 

Leg 2 – James made the start again and as in leg 1 Danny was the car behind as Lee Hedges crashed dropping him back with Stuart Collard and Jonathan Brown close behind the leading pair. Around mid-race Danny was all over James desperate to make the move and take the overall win, as he made the move on the small step down step up section his car got stuck under a track marker allowing James an advantage and Stuart and Jonathan trough. As the five minutes sounded it was a race for the line between James, Stuart and Jonathan as Danny had “timed out”, James crossed the line less than a second ahead of Stuart who in turn was only 0.26 seconds ahead of Jonathan. There was still all to play for in leg with a lot of drivers having mixed first and second legs. 

Leg 3 – As the cars raced into the tight first hand bend ten cars don’t go into one and something had to give, sadly Danny got a little tap from Joe Howson and was stuck, James had once again made the start and had a big lead by the end of the first lap. Stuart Collard, Jonathan Brown and James Wright were in the mix and Danny was fast recovering. Around mid-race distance and Danny had worked his way back to sit second and was on something of a mission visibly closing the gap, or did James have car troubles? Coming around a fast sweeping section James spun and was collected by Danny who had worked his way right up to the back of James car, as the pair sorted themselves out Danny got away to lead with Carl Nunn on a great run in second and Jonathan in third with James now back in fourth. As the five minutes sounded Danny crossed the line to take what was looking like an unlikely win and with it overall victory. Stuart Collard rounded out some consistent finals with a second, Jonathan a brace of thirds. 

Overall With what had looked at times unlikely Danny Conway took the overall top spot; James Crockart was second overall but must have been thinking what could have been after having a big lead in the third leg on the finals. Stuart Collard would be happy to take the final podium spot, Jonathan Brown with a brace of thirds would end up fourth overall. James Wright was another who overall would be happy with fifth but having had a third in leg 1 might well think what could have been. 

1st Danny Conway 

2nd James Crockart 

3rd Stuart Collard 

4th Jonathan Brown 

5th James Wright 

6th Lee Hedges 

7th Carl Nunn 

8th Tony Price 

9th Joe Howson 

10th Steve Baker. 

Juniors. 

Joe Howson who was championship leader heading in to this round had an off day by his standards and could only manage ninth overall, but was still top junior for the day. Daniel Robins was another struggling but having not run on grass much still did well with his C final drive and with it was second top junior. Joshua Evans was delighted with not only taking the D final win but with it also took the third top junior in 2wd. 

4wd 

D Final – Daniel Robins drove a great race from sixth on the grid to take the win five seconds ahead of pole man Matt Carey, Justin Easey kept Matt honest and was only two seconds behind as they crossed the line for the final time. 

1st Daniel Robins 

2nd Matt Carey 

3rd Justin Easey 

4th Tony Archer 

5th Joshua Evans 

6th Matthew Burrows 

7th Ashley Roat 

8th Lucas Prendergast-May. 

9th Rob May 

10th Liam Fenn 

C Final – A close run thing between the front two of Sam Bradshaw and Chris Pennington as they could not be separated during the five minutes, Sam got the nod over Chris as they crossed the finish line just 1.3 seconds apart. Behind this battle Neil Newby had his own troubles as he could not shake the attentions of Matt Sadler and got the final podium spot less than 1 second ahead. 

1st Sam Bradshaw 

2nd Chris Pennington 

3rd Neil Newby 

4th Matt Sadler 

5th Miklos Szabados 

6th Daniel Chilvers 

7th Ashley Kew 

8th Kevin Fenn 

9th Neil Parrott 

10th Craig Summers 

B Final – A master class drive from pole man Stuart Collard as he comfortably took the win 9seconds, seeing off the challenges as they came his way, Rob York who in fairness was on something of a charge from his fifth-place starting slot took second. Tony Price took the last podium sport from fourth on the grid. Mark Lambert was another of somewhat of a charge from tenth to cross the line fourth. Second place starter Darren Pollard was left disappointed as he ended the race in last spot after a few errors cost him valuable time. 

1st Stuard Collard 

2nd Rob York 

3rd Tony Price 

4th Mark Lambert 

5th Simon Overall 

6th David Webster 

7th Dave Evans 

9th Jody Howard 

10th Darren Pollard. 

A Final 

Leg 1 – Pole man Graham Kisby got way but grip rolled in the first corner and allowed Steve Biscoe through to take up the early lead with Danny Conway second, Kristian Gibbs third and John Myall fourth. Danny tried to make a move on Steve and got it wrong and rolled off the track, amazingly due to an excellent piece of “fielding” from the marshall Danny was caught and thrown back on track in one movement losing no places and literally no time either, for the next few laps Danny was all over Steve coming mighty close to touching Steve’s car without doing so trying to put Steve off and force an error. Heading into the last lap and Danny made a small error on the left-hand section of the track and allowed Kristian through, as they crossed the line Steve took the win ahead of Kristian, Danny and Stuart Joyce in fourth, these four the only 15 lappers and all within seven seconds. 

Leg 2 –This time Graham made the start as Danny again got stuck, recovered and maintained his place, with Steve Biscoe, Kristian Gibbs and Joe Howson all close behind. Two minutes in the front five were still in the same order with Lee Hedges sixth and the whole field only half a lap from first to tenth. Deep into the race the top five were starting to pull a slight gap on the rest of the field with Lee Hedges now in fifth after getting past Joe Howson. One minute remained and Lee Hedges had pulled himself into contention and sat third, Graham got it slightly sideways in one of the corners, Danny running into him and rolling which allowed Lee through to take up the late challenge to Graham. Danny rolled it again

dropping him back to fifth and out of it somewhat but all the top five were still in with a shout, coming into the first series of hairpin chicanes Lee made a clean sweet move on Graham with respect to both drivers giving each other room, Lee now led for the race for the line, Lee crossed the line to take the win ahead of Graham but less than 1 second ahead, in turn Kristian Gibbs was only 0.3 seconds back in third and less than one second back in fourth was leg one winner Steve Biscoe. 

Leg 3 – Once again Graham made the start but a couple of laps in he rolled in allowing Steve Biscoe through, just two laps later Steve got in all sorts of trouble and now allowed Danny Conway through to lead with the impressive Lee Hedges now in second and taking the challenge to Danny. After a bit of a couple of scrappy laps the field settled down as the minutes ticked by. Disaster for Lee as all driver’s nightmares happened and he came to a halt with a missing wheel, that was the end of Lee’s day, Danny was some way clear with Steve Biscoe second and Graham Kisby on his own in third. Not much more action for the rest of the leg and Danny crossed the line for a victory lap while Steve Biscoe took second and Graham Kisby third. 

Overall – There was a little nervous wait as drivers tried to work out who had finished where, Steve Biscoe was to be the happiest as with a win and second he took overall victory. Danny Conway would take the runner up spot with a win and a third. Kristian Gibbs and Graham Kisby were tied on five points and both had a second and a third so could still not be spilt on highest result, so it would come down to the fastest time and Kristian’s was faster by just two seconds and so would climb the podium in third, some consolation for Graham is that he had a bonus TQ point. 

Juniors 

Joe Howson made it a double by taking top 4wd junior for the day with a better run in the A finals and finished sixth. Jody Howard would take the runner up spot with a very solid eight in the B final while Daniel Robins took third top junior by taking the D final victory. 

Thank you all to the Colchester crew who ran a great smooth meeting, a track that some thought may be a bit too quick and lacking in features were treated to some close finals and the fact we had four different winners of the six A final legs backs this up. We roll on to the Bowyer-Lowe raceway just outside Kings Lynn for round four.

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