BRCA Rallycross 2022 Rd 2 - ESBRC

8th Rally X

The 2nd round of the BRCA Rallycross nationals series took us to ESBRC in Shrewsbury. The “Old School” dirt track now established on the calendar definitely gives drivers a change from a standard oiled dirt track and provides a great challenge to all! 

Qualifying started and the surface began dusty, and as the weather got better the track did too, making for some great qualifying action.  The first 3 rounds of qualifying were all taken by different drivers, it was Elliott Boots and his reds powered Sworkz with round 1, Joni Skidmore and his Blok powered XRAY with round 2 and Neil Cragg and his Alpha powered AE took the 3rd round. The 4th would be important with a lot of drivers in contention for the Overall TQ, and that too went to Boots, nearly assuring him of the overall top spot it would all be to play for on Sunday mornings last round of qualifying. 

The ESBRC Track:

 

Sunday came and so did the rain, the now wet bumpy track would be a very different challenge to the drivers. Yet again it was Boots that prevailed as the fastest driver and securing his spot as overall TQ, with Joni in 2nd and Neil 3rd. It was the Blok powered AE of Darren Bloomfield that got 4th and Agama driver Kevin Brunsden rounded off the top 5. 

TQ man Elliott Boots alongside mechanic Verardo Riccardo:

As the day went on the track cleared giving us a great series of finals. The first final of the day was the B 1/64 and it saw A great start by Tekno driver Andy Beaumont from 2nd of the grid saw him go into the lead but the Pole man Andrew Rennick and his Mayako who regained his position and went onto take the win, with Beaumont crossing the line in 2nd. It was TLR driver John green who took 2nd and the Sworkz of Richard Turner who took 4th after a late surge. 

In the 1/64 A it was a great battle between several drivers, with Pole man Alan Paver and his AE buggy holding the lead for just a few laps, he would then drop back through the field but have a strong finish getting the 3rd spot as the buzzer went just in front of the Mayako of Adam Reavey in 4th. An unfortunate DQ by the driver who finished 2nd saw that Colin Davies got 2nd after a great drive from 9the on the grid and Sworkz of Adam Buckholt took the win. 

After each run the cars are placed into Scrutineering:

 

The B 1/32 saw a storming drive by Andrew Rennick from the back of the grid, he went through the field to take his 2nd bump in 3rd place. A great battle between the Sworkz of Neil Daunt, the Agama of Holger Lykke for the win was on in front of Andrew. Both leading at times, it was the Jnr Agama driver Lykke that took the win by less than 3s over Daunt. Simon Hamblett took the last bump spot of the final. 

Another brilliant start by a previously bumped driver in the A 1/32 from Adam Buckholt and his Sworkz, saw him go out and take the lead by lap 5. A great raced ensued between Buckholt and the Mugen of Robert Johnson, the pair swapping positions in the first half of the race, with the eventual winner being Johnson, with Buckholt in 2nd. Fellow Sworkz driver Chris Procter took the 3rd spot with Mark Milward getting the last promotion spot. 

Another superb drive by Andrew Rennick saw him once again go from back to front in the B1/16, with fellow Mayako drivers Anthony Conroy and Mark Everitt the only ones between him and a win. Conroy took the win an impressive lap up on the field, with Everitt 2nd and Rennick 3rd, his 3rd promotion of the day! The AE of William Goodwin took the 4th spot.   

The A 1/16 saw a great start by Tehannah Cradock and her Kyosho buggy to keep the lead on the first lap, she led the majority of the race but at the last round of pit stops it was the Agama of Sean Gregson who took the lead with the HB of Richard McKenzie just behind, the 3 would battle for the win, but ultimately it was Gregson who took the win, but by less than a second to McKenzie, and just a few seconds back to Tehannah. 4th spot was taken by Chris Procter and his 2nd bump of the day.

 

The B 1/8th was a great race, young Max McDonnell on pole dropped a couple of places on the opening lap, giving Ricky Cooper and his Xray the lead but it’s didn’t last long, with Max regaining it again a few laps later, a few more swaps between the 2 and Max managed to get the lead around halfway, he got his head down with Ricky slipping back down the field to 4th at the end of the 20mins. Max took a fine win with 2 Sworkz Jnr drivers having a superb race behind him, Reuben Shakespeare and Billy Grindley finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.  

In the 1/8th A it was an awesome start by Cayden Stenhouse and saw him take the lead initially from 3rd on the grid, but he had the Xray of David Shedd hot on his gearbox. Around the 2nd pit stops Shedd gained the lead as Stenhouse unfortunately fell back down the field and that’s where he stayed. A brilliant drive by the Agama of Darren Warburton saw him get 2nd with the Mugen of Dennis Holden 3rd and the Tekno of Daniel Austin 4th.  

Another great start by the pole sitter in the 1/4A, this time the AE of Elliot Taylor, he stayed out in front until pit stop time, when it was Xray man Freddie Thompson’s time to take the lead. He dominated the rest of the race, but didn’t have it all his own way with Mugen driver Dom Nunn chasing him down and Elliot still in the hunt for the win. Freddie took the win by just over 3 seconds from Dom, with Taylor getting 3rd. 4th was Jnr Agama driver Ben Simpson after a stunning drive from 3rd on the grid. 

In the second quarter final things were definitely heating up. Pole man Dave Bailey and his AE had a brilliant run out front until the half way point when the WRC of David Gibson passed him, but on his second pit stop Bailey managed to pass Gibson one final time, taking the win by just over a second from the WRC man. A steady race by the Mugen of Simon Willetts saw him grab 3rd and Agama man Ashlee Owen got the final bump spot in 4th. 

The start of the 1/4 B:

 

Onto the semi finals and Joni Skidmore was pole in the first, but he had a rough start, putting him all the way back to last on the first lap. This gave the AE of Darren Bloomfield the lead, and he went on to lead for most of the laps, occasionally being overtaken by chasing drivers Callum Niblett and his Sworkz and the HB of Graham Alsop, but as they pitted him came out on top again and went on to take the win. Callum drove a brilliant race to come home 2nd. Joni managed to claw his way back through the field of talent, and amazingly took the 3rd spot, with Graham Alsop 4th. 5th was the AE of Mike Lewis and 6th the Agama of Lee Martin, the 7th spot went to Dom Nunn, having previously bumped from the 1/4 and starting from the back, he drove a stunning race to take the last spot in the main.

Boots was pole for the 1/2A and it was between him and old nemesis Neil Cragg for the win. The pair would go wheel to wheel at the beginning of the race but Boots got out ahead and managed to pull a lead on the AE man, taking the first place and the extra lap on the field including Cragg in 2nd as the final buzzer went. A superb drive by the Agama of Lewis Jones saw him finish 3rd from 6th on the grid, he finished just a few seconds ahead of team mate Kevin Brunsden in 4th. Will Skidmore was 5th and young AE driver Tommy Hall secured his A main spot in 6th. The fight for the final bump spot was between Sworkz man James Le Pavoux and Xray man Mitchell Booth, and it went down to the final lap. An amazing pass on track by the chasing Mitchell saw him cross the line just for the final spot in the main. A brilliant piece of driving by both men in the final stages and a great watch to the gathering spectators. 

Boots would line up pole in the main, and he knew only a win would do to lead the championship. He was simply stunning to watch, however he didn’t have it all his own way with Cragg managing to lead for a series of laps in the beginning of the race, but the Sworkz man reeled him in and passed again. Behind him the battle was on, with reigning champ Joni Skidmore starting back in 5th it would be up to Darren Bloomfield to push Boots initially, with Neil Cragg taking him after the opening stint. Neil would lead the chase for Boots for the majority of the race then, until tyre deterioration came into play, the hard dusty surface renown for high tyre wear would take its toll on a number of drivers in the later part of the race, Neil was one of those and he in the later laps would be pushed by Joni all the way with Skidmore eventually passing the AE man and starting to gain on Boots in the final stint of the race. Boots crossed the line safely after the epic 45 min race for the brilliant win just 6s up from Joni in 2nd and Cragg came home in 3rd. A brilliant race by the front 3 to end the finals with some stunning racing laps by all of them, defending, attacking and chasing , a great spectacle for all of us watching, and another great win for Boots, cementing his lead in the championship.

Podium from left to right: Neil Cragg (3rd), Elliott Boots (1st) Joni Skidmore (2nd):

 

Well done to all at East Shrewsbury BRC for a great weekend of racing and the BRCA team including a special mention to Mark Rumble for stepping in and helping with race control, he did a fantastic job, but mostly thanks to all the drivers for some awesome driving despite the weather changes and tricky conditions. The next round of the championship will take us to the stunning Brookthorpe track in Gloucestershire in June……and all of the championships are up for grabs…2 down, 3 to go!