BRCA 1/8 Rallycross Finale.

8th Rally X

The Final round of the BRCA Rallycross Championsips took place at Slough recently and here is how it all panned out...

The weekend of the 9th and 10th of September saw the last round of the BRCA RallyCross National Championships at the ever popular dirt track in Slough in the south of England. This track has seen the final round for a few years now and as always it threw up some great and close racing, on one of the best off-road race tracks the UK has to offer.

Despite some warning of typical British rain, the track was in near perfect condition, and qualifying started with the usual suspects fighting it out for the round TQ, and ultimately the overall TQ and the valuable extra points that brings. Round one saw Neil Cragg and his LRP powered AE take the TQ, with a fantastically fast lap time in the tricky morning conditions, second was Elliott Boots and his Kyosho and third was Jamie Clancy and his AE machine. Round two and Darren Bloomfield was on top this time, with Neil second and Elliott third, and the drying track was now speeding up! Round three and another different TQ, this time Boots was the fastest, with infinity Driver Lee Martin second and the Bullett powered Agama of Oliver Currie getting the third in round. A real mix up drivers were now fighting for the overall TQ, going into the last round of the day, and now the weather was also affecting some heats, with some showers making some heats wet, and some dry!! It was so close, but eventually Elliott took the final TQ of the day by just 1.3s ahead of Darren Bloomfield and Neil was 3rd. With just one more round on the Sunday morning it would be difficult for the other drivers to stop Elliott now getting the overall TQ, but they were all out for those valuable extra points.

Sunday morning was warm and the track looked better than ever, the top heats were going to be fast! Lee Martin put in a great benchmark time in heat 8 but Darren Bloomfield put in a storming run to TQ the final round with Elliott 2nd and Lee 3rd. This would leave Darren and Elliott tied on points after 5 rounds of qualifying with Elliott taking the TQ on count back. This meant that Elliot would be pole in one Semi with Darren pole in the other. Neil ended up 3rd overall and Lee Martin 4th. More fantastic driving by young AE driver Jamie secured him 5th, and Oliver Currie rounded out the top 5 going into the finals. Despite Elliott’s TQ anything can happen in the finals so the championship was still all to play for!!

The first final of the day was the B 1/64th. Pole sitter and young Kyosho driver Daniel Shelton had a fantastic start and settled in a bump spot straight away but Lap three saw HB man Michael Rivière go out into the lead past Daniel, and that is where he stayed for the duration of the race, taking the win by over 15s from X-ray driver Jamie Bowen in 2nd and Daniel in third. The final bump was TLR man Stuart Smith. The other 1/64th also saw a fantastic start by the pole sitter, this time it was Jack Preston and his HB machine, but this two was short lived as Kyosho man Elliot Jones came through from 4th on the grid, and he settled into the first spot. Behind him saw a tussle for position between Jack and Agama driver Darren Moffatt, with Darren managing to pass Jack, and as the final buzzer went Elliot took the win with Darren second, a last minute pass saw Mark Everett take the 3rd spot with Jack still finishing in the bump up spots in 4th.

The 1/32B was a fantastic race, seeing many different leaders and a great race between the top 6 drivers. A brilliant start by X-ray man Lee Bunker and HB driver Mark Kay saw a great on track battle, with the pair continuously swapping the lead through the first half of the race, in the second round of pit stops AE man Michael Issac and Nigel Harvie also got in on the act, and the lead was eventually secured by Michael, with Nigel coming home in second, the pair even getting the extra lap in over the chasing pack. Josh Powney had a fantastic last stint in the race for him to climb the leader board and he finished in 3rd. With Mark Kay just securing the 4th and final bump spot.

The A side saw another great drive by Elliot Jones, he managed to get himself up with the leaders in the second part of the race but a few incidents left him 5th after starting 11th in the grid. The Agama of Lewis Rushton was the lead car for the beginning of the race but the battle was on between him, the kyosho of Adam Buckholt and the Mugen man Colin Brennan. A great race by the three of them saw them all hold the lead for parts of the race, but it was the pole man Colin that eventually came out on top in the later part of the race, going on to take the victory from Lewis. A fantastic last few laps from Jordan Shelton in his kyosho got him the 3rd spot with the fine looking JQ of Andrew Rennick getting the final bump, just ahead of Elliot. A fantastic and close bit of racing by all the drivers.

Next up was the B 1/16 and once again it was a brilliant bit of racing. The Agama of Dave Stanley took the lead early on, with Mugen man Dennis Holding in hot pursuit, the pair swapping position at around the first round of pit stops, Dennis managed to stay out ahead that was until the last lap when Kyosho driver Gary Gregory managed to get past Dennis and take the win. An amazing drive from 13th on the grid from Josh Powney with his HB car saw him get the 3rd spot just in front of Dave Stanley who took the final bump up spot. The A side saw Matt Box and his Soar Buggy on pole and he managed to retain the position for the early laps, and fight for a bump until the final buzzer, But it was young JQ driver Bradley Smith who got the lead on lap 5 and that’s where he finished, taking the win by over 10s. Previous bump up drivers Colin Brennan and Andrew Rennick both drove amazingly to mix it at the top of the drivers board, the pair were close on track but it was Colin who got the 2nd spot less than 1s ahead of the JQ man, both bumping up again. The 4th spot was taken by the Losi of Lewis Millman.

Onto the 1/8th finals and an unusually low start for one of the normal front runners Callum Niblett! He would start 8th and get into the bump up spots quickly fighting for the win early on, which he eventually took by 8s from the Mugen of Stuart Mahon. Long time race leader Richard McKenzie was hot on Stuart’s gear box, and crossed the line just behind the Mugen man. Kyosho driver Tehannah Craddock was also in the mix and she took the final bump spot just ahead of young AE driver Robson White.

In the next race the A 1/8thwas dominated by the Blok powered Tekno of Michael Lightfoot, he lead every lap of the final, winning by a good distance. Behind him though was a great battle between some great drivers. In the mix was the Buggy of Jack Hurst, Richard Barton and young Kyosho driver Kieran Cox. Agama man Richard was the first driver to occupy the second spot, but Kieran went on to take the place just before the final lap. Jack took the third spot and Richard finished in the 4th and final bump spot. Kieran went on to the ¼ final, starting 12th and after a superb race managed to get up to contend for a place in the Semi. The race was a great one, once again, pole man David Bailey and his AE were straight on the pace, and a awesome battle ensued with several other drivers for the first bump up spot. David had some tricky laps that gave TLR driver Matt Lewis the lead for majority of the race, but David came back strong and managed to retake the lead and finish on top, leaving Matt to get the 2nd spot. The Radiosistemi of John Holmes got the well earned 3rd place after a great race from 9th starting position. And young HB driver Paul Crompton got 4th.

In the other ¼ it was bump up driver Callum Niblett that stuck again, he and pole sitter kyosho driver Taro Craddock had a mighty on-track battle, swapping the lead between them in the early part of the race but on Lap 11 callum took the lead and thats where he stayed to get his 2nd bump of the day, seeing him through to the semi finals. Taro and Mugen man David Crompton were next up for the bump, the pair crossing the line less than half a second apart, Taro just ahead of the former British champ. The last bump was from AE man Darren Hayden-Ball, a great drive from him saw hhim take a place in the semis.

It was now time for the Semi Finals….

Pole for this Semi was Darren Bloomfield, and he was now in fine form, he lead from start to finish, with some insanely fast lap times. He was determined to get pole in the main. Lee Martin was in the hunt though, the Infinity driver still in a chance of taking the championship. He couldn’t keep up with Darren though, Darren eventually taking the win from Lee by over 16s. Lee in the end was in a comfortable position but the two young drivers behind him were a lot closer. Sworkz driver Lewis Beech got to third and that’s where he stayed but he was being pushed by Jnr Mugen driver Lewis Jones. An exceptional drive by Callum Niblett from 11thgot him 5th, having previously bumped up, he would now take a place in the main. The final few bump up spots were hotly contested between Agama driver Oliver Currie, the kyosho of James Le Pavoux and the TLR of Elliot Taylor. James eventually took the sixth spot and and Oliver the 7th spot but by less than two seconds from Elliot after the pair had a great battle to get into the main.

The second Semi saw Elliott Boots on pole and just like Darren he lead every lap of the race, he was also followed closely by the second place starter Neil Cragg, and the pair travelled round in Unison for the entirety of the race. Third was a bit more competitive with the AE of Jamie Clancy and TLR of Mike Lewis battling it out, and at the end of the race Sworkz man Kevin Brunsden also got in on the act, taking advantage of the car of Mike Lewis failing to complete the 20mins. Kevin got the third spot, with Jamie coming in just behind him in 4th. Some great racing by the pair for the race duration! Michael despite his non finish got the 5th spot, and some superb driving by the Skidmore brothers meant that they got the final two bump spots, with William finishing in 6th just ahead of Jonathan in 7th with Jonathan getting his place on the final corner, as he took advantage of a rare mistake by Graham Alsop, who just missed out. Some brilliant drivers through to the main event, and more importantly all the championship contenders were sadly through and all lining up next to each other at the head of the starting grid.

The main saw the weather start to change for the worse, the wind and rain making the driving conditions slippy and tricky to say the least! Fantastic starts by all the contenders meant that the first 4 laps saw the front four travel around in order of start. It was all change just before the 2nd round of pit stops……Darren managed to get ahead of Elliott, and even more importantly Neil Cragg and his LRP powered AE had flamed out!! Neil was forced to retire and with it went his hopes of the championship. Elliott and Darren were now in control. The pair having an epic scrap for the remaining 35mins, some amazing overtakes; great moves and sublime driving by the pair ensued. After an amazing 50 laps Of hard racing Elliott managed to get the lead again ahead of Darren and the remaining few laps didn’t see a change, the superb looking Reds powered Kyosho Buggy pulling away, and taking the win by an impressive 9s margin. Lee Martin would be lapped by the lead pair, he himself lapping the rest of the field twice as the final buzzer went, in a comfortable 3rd position. Back in 4th were Sworkz team mates Kevin Brunsden and Lewis Beech, and a last lap pass saw Kevin take 4th and Lewis 5th.

What a final it was for the crowd, the championship now decided and the new BRCA national Champion was Elliott Boots, returning to the top in the UK after a year’s break. Infinity driver Lee Martin secured a brilliant 2nd place with some fantastic driving this year, and 3rd was last year’s champ Darren Bloomfield and his Agama Buggy!! Well done Elliott!

The Clubmans championship was won by AE driver Harry Philips, second was Dominic Nunn of X-ray and 3rdwas Darren Hayden-Ball and his AE car.

The Jnr Championship was won by Mugen driver Lewis Jones, second was the Agama of William Skidmore and 3rd the Kyosho of Kieran Cox.

The Over 40’s Championship was won by Simon Reeves of Sworkz, 2nd was Dave Bailey and his AE and 3rd his team mate Darren Hayden-Ball.

A great end to an amazing season of RallyCross nationals for 2017, some thrills and spills, and another championship for Elliott Boots!! We look forward to next year and a new challenge for all the drivers. For a full list of finals results and standings for the year check out the website. Well done to all the drivers, organisers, clubs and of course the BRCA Committee for a brilliant series….roll on 2018!!!