2017-18 LMP National Round 6 Report

1/12th Circuit

Spashett, Payne and Farrell crowned as champions

The weekend of the 24th and 25th of March saw the final two rounds of the BRCA LMP12 National series took place at the Chesterfield track in the north of England.

Coming into the last national of the season only one of the three titles had been sewn up, with David Spashett having claimed the 13.5 title with a perfect score at the fourth round in Poole. The Modified championship would see the Roche duo of Spashett and Ollie Payne fighting for the title, and in the Sports Modified class it would be a four way battle for the title between Ben Vincent and Mark Jewitt (Schumacher), Mick Farrell (CRC) and Matt Rice (Associated).

Chesterfield are a long established venue for LMP racing and rather unusually laid out a track that was an exact copy of the track raced last year. This meant that from the first heat of qualifying to the last final the track maintained a very equal level of speed. The carpet used was the traditional GT style rug and most drivers seemed very comfortable from the off, with an unlucky few picking up grip-roll as the track evolved.

Track
Saturday 13.5

Saturday saw the entire field racing the 13.5 stock class. As has become the norm this season David Spashett took full control of qualifying from the off. David’s Roche car and immaculate driving style makes him close to unbeatable in this class. After four rounds of qualifying David sat at the top of the pile nearly a lap in front of Matthew Varrah. Matt’s effort was particularly impressive as he has missed the last two rounds due to university pressures, but from the off his Associated looked fantastic. With Andy Murray, Adam Catchpole, Mark Stiles and Ben Vincent being within three seconds of Matthew the battle for second was sure to be tough.

A Final

The A Final was a demonstration drive from David Spashett. David set a great pace at the front but appeared to be taking very little risk, whilst those following seemed to be at the limit. Matthew Varrah managed to stay close for the first two minutes, and at points he even looked capable of putting pressure on David. A small barrier tap saw Matthew drop back and David relax into cruise mode. At the eight minute mark David took the win (his fifth of the year), from Matthew in second and Associated teammate Mark Stiles in third.

Stock podium

Stock Results 

  1. David Spashett - Roche/Motiv
  2. Matthew Varrah - Associated/Motiv
  3. Mark Stiles - Associated/Motiv
  4. Mick Farrell - CRC/Trinity
  5. Andy Murray - Schumacher/Fantom
  6. Ben Vincent - Schumacher/Fantom
  7. Matt Rice - Associated/Motiv
  8. Mark Jewitt - Schumacher/Fantom
  9. Matthew White - Associated/Reedy
  10. Adam Catchpole - Schumacher/Fantom

 

Sunday

Sports 13.5

The Sports class saw a hugely competitive field, and with four drivers still in contention for the title everything was to play for. Over the four rounds of qualifying championship favourite Ben Vincent was consistently at the front, but not by much. Mark Jewitt, Mick Farrell and Matt Rice all looked to have the pace to challenge and lined up second, third and fourth on the grid. After qualifying the entire grid was covered by less that a lap, so the win was possible for all the drivers who made the A final!

A Final 

The A final saw Ben Vincent take off in the lead and build up a small lead, but Mark Jewitt caught a corner and dropped down the field. This left Mick Farrell, Matt Rice and Luke Burley to take up the chase. After five laps it looked like Ben was beginning to gap the field, but an unforced error saw him collect a barrier and need a marshal. With Ben in fifth it was Matt Rice who took up the mantle of leader. With a lap to go it looked like Matt Rice was going claim his first ever win, but Mick Farrell had other ideas and piled on the pressure. Half a lap from the flag the pressure told and Matt tapped a barrier and Mick slipped into the lead to sneak across for the win by .2 of a second from Matt. Ben Vincent was only two seconds back in third by the finish.

So as the results were counted it was Mick Farrell who took the title from Ben Vincent and Matt Rice. The top four drivers (including Mark Jewitt who was unlucky at Chesterfield) all deserved the title, but Mick dealt with the pressure best at the final meeting and was a deserving champ.

Sport podium

Sports Modified Results

  1. Mick Farrell - CRC/Trinity
  2. Matt Rice - Associated/Motiv
  3. Ben Vincent - Schumacher/Fantom
  4. Scott Morton - Schumacher/Fantom
  5. Luke Burley - Roche/Motiv
  6. Joshua Coult - Schumacher/Fantom
  7. Danny Mountford - Associated/Motiv
  8. Andrew Edwards - Associated/Motiv
  9. Gavin Clinch - Roche/Motiv
  10. Mark Jewitt - Schumacher/Fantom

 

Modified

The Modified class saw Ollie Payne and Chris Kerswell ready for the racing having spent Saturday practicing for the class. From the off it was all about Ollie Payne, who knew he needed to finish in front of David Spashett to win the title. A strong run in round one saw Ollie top the leader board by a lap. Although Ollie was unable to repeat this time, only two drivers got within a lap of this time over the four rounds. Second qualifier went to Schumacher driver Louis Parker.

Louis is one of the youngest drivers at the meeting, and over the course of the year has got faster and faster. His final round time saw him line up second just half a lap off pole. It won’t be long before the young Schumacher driver is a regular winner. Third on the grid was Schumacher team leader Andy Murray.

A Final 

Ollie Payne wasn’t about to make the modified final interesting and from the tone he simply disappeared off into the distance. Ollie’s disappearing act was made easier by the fact that Louis Parker tapped a barrier and broke his car over the opening laps. Over the course of the eight minutes Ollie looked in a class of his own and by the flag he had opened up a lead of nearly two laps on the second placed finisher.

The battle for second was much closer, with the Associated duo of Mark Stiles and Chris Kerswell going hammer and tongs for the runner up position. Mark Stiles was the slower of the two, but never made a mistake. Chris unfortunately tapped Mark in his effort to pass and this allowed David Spashett to take second from a recovering Mark Stiles. The win meant that Ollie Payne took his first Modified National title from David Spashett in second and Chris Kerswell in third.

Mod podium

Modified results

  1. Ollie Payne - Roche/Trinity
  2. David Spashett - Roche/Trinity
  3. Mark Stiles - Associated/Reedy
  4. Chris Kerswell - Associated/Reedy
  5. Andy Murray - Schumacher/Fantom
  6. Aaron Morley - Associated/Reedy
  7. Matt White - Associated/Reedy
  8. Nathaneal Goodban - Schumacer/Reedy
  9. Louis Parker - Schumacher/Fantom
  10. Adam Catchpole - Schumacher/Fantom

 

The next stop for many of the LMP racers is the EFRA European Championships in Holland in two weeks’ time. Will Ollie Payne, Olly Jefferies, or British resident Alexander Hagberg bring the title back to the UK?! 

 

Many thanks again to Luke Burley for the report & pictures