BRCA Rally X Round 2 Report

8th Rally X

Can Boots make it 2 from 2? Juliet Exall reports from NWN - Blackpool.

 

A trip up to Blackpool and North West Nitro was on the cards for round 2 of the BRCA RallyX Championship, a relatively new track to the calendar seeing its debut in 2018. Now a much more established track with plenty of new features it’s a fine addition to the series. 

 

Saturday morning saw some great British sunshine at last with some very high temps and a bit of a sea breeze it would make for some brilliant racing, interesting track conditions and lots of dust! 

As qualifying commenced It was a brilliant start for the Alpha powered AE of Neil Cragg who blitzed the field taking the first TQ of the day in round 1. Sworks man Elliott Boots came in 2nd in round and Graham Alsop And his HB machine in 3rd. 

It was a repeat for Neil (1st) and Elliott (2nd) in the next round but a third for Agama driver Joni Skidmore. Neil went on to take the remaining rounds TQ on Saturday and on Sunday morning with Elliott 2nd in all but Sunday’s round where Joni just got it, this meant the pair lined up pole in each semi with Neil the overall first place and Elliott 2nd. It was Joni who got the third and Graham 4th with the AE of Jamie Clancy rounding off the Top 5.

TQ Man Neil Cragg:

The first final on Sunday was the B 1/64 and it was a fantastic race between the Xray of Jamie Bowen and the JQ of Pole man James Burgess, the pair had a great battle swapping the lead several times, ultimately it was the JQ that prevailed and James took the win with Jamie second, the pair getting the extra lap on the field. 3rd was the Agama of Matthew Roberts who had a great last few laps to come through the field to cross the line just ahead of Losi of Wayne Davies.

The A side of the 1/64 was a three way tussle for the win with Xray man Clint smith, the Losi of Lewis Millman and another Xray Liam Brocklehurst. After the second round of stops it was Lewis who managed to pull away from the chasing pair and he eventually came home  20s up on the second place Liam. The Tekno of Andy Beaumont gained a place on the last lap to come home third with Clint coming home 4th. 

The B 1/32 saw a fantastic start by the bump up drivers Jamie Bowen and Wayne Davies, And Jamie went on to lead the race before the first round the of pit stops, he settled back down and came home a fantastic 4th with his Xray machine. It was on the other hand a difficult start for Pole man Jason Patey And he dropped back down the field after the opening lap, but his pace shone through as he climbed the leader board and eventually took up the lead again 2 laps from the end and finished 1st! Second was Jack Platt And 3rd George Miller.

The A 1/32 was led from start to finish by the AE of Ben Turner, eventually pulling away from the field and getting the extra lap in, It was also two AE drivers who followed him home, with Paul Williams coming home 2nd and Owen Luckin 3rd. As the buzzer went it was the JQ of Robert Cockcroft that got the final bump up spot some 10s agead of the 5th place driver Tristan Parsons.

Ben Turner was on a mission and the A 1/16 final saw him again come through the field to take the bump up spot, this time in 2nd with only the HB of Ben Billing ahead of him, the pair some way out in front of the chasing pack. Another great drive by the JQ man Rob Cockcroft saw him also get his 2nd bump up in 4th spot and the HB driver Mark Kay came home 3rd.

The B 1/16 again saw a double bump, this time it was the AE of Jason Patey. He climbed the field with ease and took the buzzer in 3rd from 11th on the grid. It was the Agama of Leon Morrell who took the lead early on, but he was replaced with the Kyosho of Adam Buckholt in the 2nd half of the race. Adam got the win in the end with the HB of Darren Moffat 2nd and the 4th and final bump up was Leon.

Now up in the 1/8th finals and once again Ben Turner rose through the field. He took 4th and another bump up this time to the Quarter Finals. The race was dominated in the main by the AE of Darren Hayden-Ball but an uncommon problem saw him drop down the field in the final stages of the race leaving Jon Spencer’s HB And Jack Hawkins AE to take up the battle for 1st. With 2 laps to go Jack managed to get the lead and he retained it coming across the line together it was Jack who got the win with Jon 2nd just 0.5s behind. Third after a very consistent race was Kyle Boon and his Kyosho.

The opposite 1/8th the B side was dominated by Matt Box and his Xray Buggy in the first half with the Losi of Mike Daniel taking the lead briefly on a different pit strategy in the middle few laps of the race, after he pitted it was Colin Brennan and his JQ that took up the reigns, and Colin led until the buzzer. Matt drove it home in 2nd with Mike in 3rd. The race for 4th was on and Dennis Holding And Allan Ward crossed the line together after a great few last laps. Awesome close driving by the pair but it was Allan Ward who took the final bump up spot.

The B 1/4 saw a brilliant start by Dom Nunn and his Xray machine, he was in front until a return to the pits at the midway stage saw him fall back into the pack, this gave the two Kyosho drivers Tehannah and Taro Cradock the lead positions, and what a great race between the siblings! Taro came out in the lead with a few laps remaining and Tehannah then had a battle on her hands with the AE of Robson White hot on her gear box. Tehannah held her nerve and came home 2nd less than half a second ahead of Robson in 3rd and a steady “One Stop” strategy got Mike Daniel his 2nd bump of the day in 4th.

In the A 1/4 Elliot Taylor and his Agama took advantage of the Pole position and was the lead car for the first half of the race, he stayed in contention the whole race and a consistent drive saw him take a great 3rd place. The driver of the race was definitely Kyle Boon who had found his pace, he was 2nd by the midway point having started 13th and then drove onto a brilliant win after taking the lead with a few laps to go. 2nd was the JQ of Bradley Baird after a short stint at the front of the pack. 4th looked like it would go to Radiosistemi driver David Gibson but Ashlee Owen had other ideas. After sitting behind the great defence of David for a number of laps, Ashlee saw a opening on the inside of the final corners and took the opportunity, a fantastic move by the HB driver to bring home the 4th and final spot in the semi finals. 

The 1st Semi final had Elliott on Pole and after a brief stint in 2nd place he retained the lead and took the win eventually pulling out a 10s gap to 2nd place man Graham Alsop. The pair were the only two drivers getting the extra lap in. With 7 drivers from the final to make the A main it was still all to play for behind them. Michael Lewis came home 3rd after a very consistent drive, leaving the AE of Lewis Jones just behind him in 4th. It was close between the remaining drivers and just 4 seconds between 5th and 8th resulted in a brilliant end to the race. It was a awesome drive by Robson White to take 5th from 13th on the grid and a last lap swap in positions between Kyosho driver James Le Pavoux And Simon Willetts And his Mugen that saw James clinch the 6th spot and Simon come home 7th just half a second ahead of the HB of John Holmes who narrowly missed out. 

Neil Cragg lined up in Pole for his Semi final, after a short time in 2nd place behind the Agama of Joni Skidmore he managed to take the lead back at the first round of stops and from there went on to pull a gap on the trailing drivers. Joni and Jamie Clancy would be the best of the rest, with both driving hard to get the 2nd spot, Jamie got it in the second half of the race and retained it for the remainder coming home second with Joni less than 2s back in 3rd. Lee Martin came on strong at the second round of pit stops and the Infinity man just captured 4th, with Xray driver Callum Niblett less than a second off him in 5th. William Skidmore continues his fine run of form and crossed the line just behind Lee and just ahead of the HB of Jack Hirst. From 4th to 7th once again separated by by just over 3s! 

After two days of beaming hot sunshine it was not perfect timing that as the A main was about to start it rained! A mad rush to pick some tyres that would suit the now changed conditions ensued .....so who would make the right choice and would it matter! 

As the Main began the drizzle continued, Neil lined up in Pole with Elliott 2nd and that’s how they remained for the early part of the race, a fantastic display of competitive racing ensued with the drivers bumper to bumper, Elliott gained the position on lap 5 and then it was his turn to lead, but with the drivers so close on track it was anyone’s to win or lose. At the midway point it was still hard to separate the top 2, and in third was the ever present Alsop. As the rained subsided It looked like Elliott was going to pull away but Neil kept reeling him back in, and even managed to get another lap in the lead at the 50 Lap point. But Elliott again took the first spot and despite Neil’s best efforts he took the win. A superb race by the pair who had managed to drag out two laps on the rest of the field. As the buzzer sounded the race stepped up a notch for 3rd with Graham Alsop having been in the position for the majority of the race, a last chance move saw Jamie pass the HB man in the final section of the track and take the final podium spot from him, with the pair half a second apart after the 45mins.

A damp end for the spectators but a brilliant race to watch none the less, with some superb and fast racing by the top two drivers. 

Elliott secured his second win of the National series and is 14 points clear in the championship already. We look forward to seeing if he continue his great form in the nationals as the series moves on to JC Raceway in July. Full final and championship results can be found at https://www.brca.org/8rx-results

Well done to all the drivers, the NWN crew on another fantastic track for this year and the BRCA RallyX Team on another great event.

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