BRCA Rallycross - Round 2 Race Report

8th Rally X

TQ and Win for Cragg at Rd 2 - BRCA Rallycross

It’s the weekend of 6th/7th of May and its Rd 2 of the BRCA Rallycross Nationals at KMRC down in Kent and finally back on the dirt!

The track looked brilliant as always, some tight, tricky sections and the great bridge section that the track is famous for, as well as the nice long straight and sweeping first corner! The guys form KMRC had got the track it in tip-top condition for the weekend even the weather was on our side, with the sun making an appearance!!

Track 1 kent 17

Qualifying got underway in the cooler morning and “Young Gun” Jamie Clancy was on top form, firing his LRP powered Associated buggy into the first TQ of the day, his first and I’m sure not last TQ in a national round. It was his team mate Neil Cragg who dominated the rest of the qualifying rounds. Neil took 3 round TQ’s and Lee Martin the other, leaving Neil with overall TQ for the weekend. Infinity driver Lee Martin took the 2nd spot overall with the Agama of Darren Bloomfield in 3rd, Elliott Boots and his Reds powered Kyosho in 4th and Jamie Clancy in 5th. Jack Embling and his fantastic looking Reds powered TLR got the 6th spot just in front of top Jnr driver in qualifying Lewis Jones and his Mugen buggy in 7th. Callum Niblett and the Bullet/Agama combo got 8th and Graham Alsop of HB and Mike Lewis of TLR rounded of the top ten. Qualifying was close, with just a few seconds and points between driver’s and it would set up a fantastic day of finals.

The first Final of the day was the B 1/64 and it was dominated by Stuart Smith and his TLR buggy, he lead from start to finish, eventually taking the win by over a lap on the rest of the field. It was a different story behind him with racing very close between Pole man Rob Forbes and his Kyosho buggy, and the Agama/Bullett combo of Mike Williams as well as Xray man Jamie Bowen. Jamie and Rob were battling hard in the first part of the race, with the Agama man getting in on the act after the pitstops, it would be a battle to the end of the race with the Mike taking the 2nd position by 0.25s from Rob, with Jamie taking the final bump spot in 4th. A fantastic race, with some brilliant close racing!

The A 1/64 was also very competitive, with 5 different lead cars at some point during the race. The 2nd half of the race was however very much all about Lewis Rushton and his Agama buggy, he took the win, also getting the lap on the field, with the Xray of James Hurst coming home in 2nd. The Sworkz machine of Sam Cobley clinched the 3rd spot on the very last lap securing him the bump, with Paul Shearwod just behind getting the final spot to go up!

James Hurst was the driver to watch in the A 1/32, he stormed through the field, having just bumped from the A 1/64 final after a brilliant first lap. He had a great on track battle with Lewis Millman and his Werks powered Losi for the race win. James and Lewis swapped the lead on a few occasions but James went on to pip Lewis to the buzzer by less than a second. Great racing by the front guys! The Mugen/Ninja Combo of Allan Ward was also not far behind the lead pair, just a few seconds in fact, to get the 3rd spot and the Pole man Henry Bennett and his Losi buggy got the final bump spot.

In the B 1/32 final it was once again the bump up drivers that impressed, with Stuart Smith, Mike Williams and Jamie Bowen all competing for a bump. Also in the mix was the AE of Jason Patey, he grabbed  the lead after the final round of pitstops and went on to win. Just behind him was the Kyosho of Julian Jessop and Mike Williams managed 3rd, a great drive by him to take his 2nd bump of the day. The Blok powered Techno of Matt Bridge took the 4th and final bump, but it was so close, the top 4 covered by only 15 seconds!

In the B 1/16 final Matt Bridge was now into his grove on the tough track, he started 14th on the grid but he soon got into a bump up position, and he got the double bump finishing 4th once again. Out in front of him it was a good scrap between a few of the drivers, and the JQ of Bradley Smith was the one that went on to take the win, but hot on his gear box was Paul Tapsell and his Kyosho machine, the two crossing the line just over a second apart. The 3rd place was then all tied up by Oli O’Connor and his superb looking HB car.

The next final the A 1/16 was lead from start to finish by the Pole sitter Steve Shakespeare and his Reds powered Kyosho. He dominated, taking the win by 20s as the final buzzer went. Colin Brennan and his Mugen and the Sworkz of Josh Graham were trading places, with Colin eventually getting ahead in the 2nd part of the race. He drove brilliantly to keep the Sworkz behind him, and took the 2nd place by less than 0.5s! The 4th and final bump was Mark boon and his Bullett powered kyosho, after a long battle with the Xray man Lee Bunker.

Now upto the 1/8th finals and the B side was a fantastic race between the top 4. Young AE driver Robson White was sitting on pole, with Mick Butler and his XRAY machine just behind in 2nd place, they batting for the majority of the race, with the Alpha powered Losi machine of John Spencer joining in on the fun as the race went on. Robson took the lead on Lap 15 and drove superbly from then on to retain it, crossing the line as the winner. John and Mick would battle until the end with John eventually coming home 2nd, with Mick just behind, the JQ of Scott Walker rounded off the drivers going up!

Fellow TLR driver Connor Cocker was the one to watch in the A 1/8th final. He and his Alpha powered TLR looked superb, he was the clear winner, getting the lap on the field. Behind him it was very close, fellow TLR man Richard McKenzie and Mugen driver Dennis Holding were neck and neck, both showing great driving under pressure, Richard secured his 2nd place crossing the line just 3s ahead of the chasing Mugen. Just behind these two was Xray man Jack Hurst in the final bump up spot.

The ¼ finals now and the sun was now changing the track conditions, it was hot, and the track was getting rutted up and any wheel off line was causing trouble! In the B side Tony Truman was dominant, leading from buzzer to buzzer with his Bullett powered Agama. He was on fire, handling the tricky track with ease, even getting the extra lap on the rest of the field! Behind him the battle was on between the TLR of Karl Jackson and the Kyosho of Taro Craddock. They took turns in chasing down Tony from 2nd place but Taro jumped ahead with a few laps to go and got the 2nd place spot just a few seconds ahead of Karl. Fellow Kyosho man Harry Philips took the final bump spot and the last place in the Semi!

In the A ¼ it was pole sitter Simon Willetts who set the pace with his TLR machine, and he was soon in a three way race with the Kyosho of Mitchell Booth and the AE of Dave Bailey. They all took turns in the lead with different fuel strategies, and an unfortunate return to the pits late on in the race for Dave meant Simon would bring it home in 1st, with Mitchell getting the 2nd spot, but he was being reeled in by the Mugen of John Holmes who got 3rd and the FX powered Xray of Ashlee Owen got the final bump to the Semi final.

Now the Semi finals and the B side saw a brilliant race between Elliott Boots and his fantastic Reds powered Kyosho, and Infinity driver Lee Martin. The pair put on a brilliant show! Lee lead the first part of the race with Elliot leading the later, the pair pulling away from the chasing pack with every lap, Elliot taking the Win, and Lee second some way ahead of the rest of the field! The chasing pack was lead by Young Sworkz driver Lewis Beach and the Agama of Jonathan Skidmore. Jonathan took the 3rd spot on Lap 20 and retained it just! He crossed the line just over 1.5s ahead of him. It was a good scrap for the rest of the bump places to the A-main. Tony Truman was once again in thick of it, alongside fellow Agama driver Callum Niblett, Taro Cradock was also having a fantastic drive but just missed out, with Callum taking the 5th spot, the TLR of Matthew Lewis 6th and Tony clinched the final place in the A main!

The A semi was similar to the previous, with the reigning British Champion Darren Bloomfield and his Agama pulling away from the pack alongside TQ man Neil Cragg. Once again it was a race of 2 halves, with Darren leading the majority of the 1st half and Neil leading the 2nd half. The pair maintained their lightning quick pace and Neil took the win with Darren 2nd, both a clear lap up on the remaining drivers. Behind them the HB of Graham Alsop and Jamie Clancy’s and his AE were gearbox to bumper, with the young AE driver jumping ahead to take the 3rd spot by less than half a second. Some fine close racing by both drivers! Milan Dragojlovic and his MX powered HB got the 5th spot. An awesome drive by Mitchell Booth from 12th saw him grab 6th and another bump, and the Mugen of David Crompton got the last and final spot in the main.

So onto the A-Main!

Elliott was on Pole and a difficult start saw him fall back to 4th on the first lap, giving Neil the lead. It didn’t take long for Elliot to get past the drivers between him and Neil, and was back up to 2nd chasing him down within a few laps. Darren had a good start too, but an unfortunate return to the pits in the first couple of laps put him out of contention. Neil and Elliott started to pull away leaving the rest of the field to scrap for the final podium spot. Jamie Clancy and Lee Martin were at the head of the pack and driving superbly, swapping the 3rd place throughout the race. Elliott had a small incident coming out of the pits letting Neil gain a few seconds to his lead and he made it count! There was another flame out for Elliot later in the race and now the guys behind were catching, with Lee getting upto 2nd briefly, but the unbelievable pace and skills of Elliott got him back up to 2nd and back chasing down Neil, but his lead was too big and despite some brilliantly fast laps by Elliot, Neil took the Win. Elliot came home in 2nd and Lee 3rd! A fantastic drive by Jamie got him 4th. In 5th was Graham Alsop, his HB car as consistent as always!

Podium Pic kent 17

So the 3rd win in a row for Neil at the fabulous Kent track and a good mix up of the points for the championship. Well done to all involved for another brilliant meeting. The next round of the BRCA Rallycross championship is at Herts on June 24th. For a full list of results and standings go to Words and pictures - Juliet Exall.