RallyX Nationals Round 1 Race Report

8th Rally X

BRCA Rallycross National Rd 1 – NDOR - The Race Report

The first Rallycross National of the year took place at NDOR on 1st/2nd April and the season opener wouldn’t disappoint, some fantastic racing by all, some mixed weather and of course the “Astro” track all making for an interesting yet great weekend! Lots of new competitors in the nationals this year, with all the usually big names in 1/8th rallycross competing and some great results for new and old competitors up and down the field!

 

The NDOR track was in great condition despite recent weather conditions, thanks to the hard work of all the team at the club. It had some tricky technical sections as well as sweeping bends and “flat-out” straights, so a good mix for the field to get to grips with......literally!

 

Qualifying saw some rain, some sun, some dry heats, some wet and lots in-between, the weather certainly mixed things up a bit at times. The first round of qualifying saw European Champion and Kyosho driver Elliott Boots take an impressive TQ with his Reds Powered machine, and he went on to take a further 2 rounds, securing him the overall TQ by just 2 points from the Agama/Bullett Combo of the reigning British Champion Darren Bloomfield who took the TQ in the other two rounds. With a 2nd and 2 x 3rd places counting it was HB/Maxima man Graham Alsop who took overall 3rd and SMJ/Infinity driver Lee Martin 4th.HB driver Milan Dragojlovic secured 5th and the LRP powered Associated buggy of Neil Cragg took 6th after some difficult qualifying, just ahead of Mike Lewis 7th and Jack Embling 8th both driving TLR 4.0 cars.

 

The young guns from the NEMO camp rounded off the top 10 with Callum Niblett and Jonathan Skidmore taking 9th and 10th respectively with their Bullett/Agama combos.

The start of the finals brought with it the sunshine and an ever drying track making at least tyre choice easier – “Sun’s out = Pins out”. The first Final of the day was the B 1/64. TQ man Leon Morrell had a difficult first lap, which saw his Kyosho drop down the field, but he battled back and by lap 8 he was back at the front of the field and that’s where he stayed, eventually taking the win by over 20s from the Agama of Gavin Powell in 2nd place. Gavin had a great on track battle with the Nova Rossi powered Kyosho of Kevin Weaver, both coming from the middle of the field to take a bump.

 

Also in the mix was Neill Daunt and Sworkz driver Sam Cobley who both held the final bump for portions of the race, but it was Sam who crossed the line barely 0.5s ahead of the kyosho of Neill. A thrilling race right until the buzzer!

In the A side of the 1/64 young Agama Driver Daniel Shelton lead from start to finish, eventually getting the lap on the field. A great drive from Andrew Rennick and his Orion powered JQ saw him take the 2nd spot with the Sworkz of Ray Peasley come home in 3rd.

 

The final bump spot was taken by AE man Jason Patey after some fierce competition from Sworkz driver Paul Taylor who pushed him all the way to the finish! Andrew continued his fine form by storming through the pack in the 1/32 final, he went from 12th to 3rd to secure his second bump of the day. HB Man Josh Powney took the win by over 30s from 2nd place driver Allan Bridgeman and his Agama buggy. The final bump spot was fought between TQ man Jamie Cutter and his Nova powered AE machine and Sworkz driver Bryn Wise and TLR man Paul Abbott, unfortunately Paul didn’t finish leaving Bryn with the 4th and final bump spot.

 

In the B 1/32 we had a great start for kyosho driver and TQ man Elliot Jones who took lead for the early part of the race but the eventual winner was young Agama driver Jordon Shelton, he had a great drive from 7th on the grid to take the win. Carl O’Conner and his Werks powered Mugen buggy got the 2nd bump up spot but he was being hunted down by Leon Morrell who once again got the bump with his TLR, a fantastic drive from 11th on the grid! Fellow TLR man Wayne Davies got the final bump up spot.

 

Up to the 1/16th and the B side saw Dominic Nunn and his superb looking FX powered XRAY machine on pole and he also took the win in style, getting the lap on the rest of the field after the 20mins. The kyosho of Harry Philips took the 2nd spot, he pulled out a 15s lead from 3rd place man HB driver James Wheatley. James having a great drive from 8th to 3rd. The 4th spot was hard fought between AE driver Clive Maland and bump up man Carl O’Connor, with both drivers in contention it was Clive who finished ahead of the mugen man by just 0.6s. Amazing close driving by the pair! And a great finish to the race.

 

The A 1/16 saw a fantastic start by AE driver Michael Issacs, he went from 9th to first on the opening lap and he had a great race with pole sitter and TLR Jnr. driver Jack Willetts who unfortunately had to retire after some fantastic driving in the opening part of the race. Agama driver Lewis Rushton also was at the sharp end, and immediately took up the chase for the bump and together with young TLR driver Henry Bennett and Kyosho man Gary Gregory they battled hard for the bump spots. Henry went on to take 2nd with his superb looking Orion engine, just ahead of Gary and his MX powered machine and the 4th bump spot was Lewis. A great race for the line by the drivers, and a great last few laps by the guys to get the bumps!

 

The first 1/8th final was a fantastic race, now in the baking hot sunshine. AE driver Darren Hayden-Ball and Kyosho jnr driver Kieran Cox had a fantastic start, with the pole sitter Darren settling behind Kieran for some great opening laps, but Darren had a small mistake putting him further down the field which left the door open for fellow kyosho/reds driver Steve Shakespeare and bump up drivers Dominic and James to take up the chase. Kieran had a great race, and lead every lap, eventually winning and getting the extra lap in with his great looking kyosho car. It was then a great drive from Tehannah Craddock also of kyosho, from 5th to come home in 2nd after some great driving to get passed James and Steve who finished 3rd and 4th respectively. A brilliant race!

 

The A 1/8th started and Pole man Bradley Smith kept the lead and maintained it until an untimely return to the pits on lap 18. This left TLR drivers Connor Cocker and Richard McKenzie to battle it out for the win, Connor took the lead late on and went to get a 15s lead on McKenzie as they finished the race. HB man Richard Lowe was hot on the gearbox of McKenzie in the last few laps, and crossed the line in 3rd less than 3s behind. It was also a great race from 7th by the Bullett powered Agama of Kyle Boon saw him get the final bump spot. 

 

In the A quarter final it was a fantastic race between the Mugen of John Holmes and the 2 Sworkz machines of Kevin Brunsden and Simon Reeves. Kevin and John swapped the lead for the beginning of the race with Kevin then taking the lead on Lap 13 to retain it for the remainder of the race. Behind him his team mate Simon managed to grab 2nd place leaving John to come home in 3rd. A great race by the top 3! the 4th and final bump spot was taken by the Tekno of Michael Lightfoot, a great drive by Michael in his first ever national performance!

 

The B side saw another triumph for Team Sworkz, as young Lewis Beech took the win, even getting the extra lap in on the rest of the field after the buzzer had gone. A fantastic drive by the young man to take the first bump to the semi! Behind him the race was on between Bump up driver Kieran Cox and TLR drivers Matt Lewis and Karl Jackson. It was a fantastic on track battle between the 3 and as the end of the race came it was Matt Lewis who finished 2nd, with Karl 3rd and Kieran 4th, all crossing the line within 7s of one another. A superb ending to the race and a stunning drive by the kyosho driver Kieran to earn his second bump up!

 

So onto the Semi Finals, and the B final was dominated by the first 3:- Darren Bloomfield, Lee Martin and Neil Cragg. The three broke away from the field, Agama man and pole sitter Darren Bloomfield took the lead in the early part of the race, but it was Infinity driver Lee Martin who managed to take the lead on Lap 22 and he took the win after some sublime racing. Darren finished 2nd with AE/LRP driver Neil coming home 3rd, the top three getting the lap on the field. 4th was the Bullett/Agama combination of Jonathan Skidmore, he had a great battle with his brother William early on in the race, William also got the bump to the main finishing in 7th. TLR/Reds driver Jack Embling secured 5th but only 1.5s ahead of Mugen Jnr driver Lewis Jones.

 

Semi A was all about the Reds powered Kyosho of Elliott Boots, he lead every lap, his car looking awesome as always, He won in stunning style just short of 30s ahead of the 2nd place man Graham Alsop and his HB/Maxima combo. TLR man Michael Lewis also had a great drive to take 3rd, he too putting a massive 18s gap between him and 4th placed Agama driver Callum Niblett. Callum had a great race, and he and AE driver Jamie Clancy had a fantastic on track battle throughout the race, swapping places on a few occasions he finished just 4s ahead as the buzzer went. The two young drivers showing some great driving skills to secure their place in the Main! The final two bump spots were taken by bump up drivers John Holmes from 13th on the grid, with his Werks powered Mugen buggy and a fantastic drive by Sworkz man Kevin Brunsden from 11th on the grid, he just got the bump ahead of the AE of David Bailey, the difference being 0.3s between the two as they crossed the line. 

 

So onto the 45 minute A main. The main of two halves? Not quite... After a great start from Kyosho driver Elliott Boots from pole position a computer glitch meant after around 3 minutes the cars were called back to the pits for a restart. This time Elliott would still hold his P1 position but it was a much closer battle behind him. In fact by lap 4 it was the Agama of Darren Bloomfield who had moved into 1st place albeit briefly with Elliott taking the reins again on lap 6! With Darren and Elliott battling for the lead Infinity driver Lee Martin was edging closer and closer. By lap 9 Lee had moved into the lead. The top 3 would swap places on numerous occasions providing a great spectacle for the many spectators who had stayed until the very end to watch the UK’s best drivers battle it out and they didn’t disappoint! Different Pit strategies kept everyone on their toes, and not until after the final round of pit stops in the last few minutes of the race was it clear that Lee Martin would take the win and by a decent 5s, from Darren in 2nd and Elliott in 3rd! The remainder of the field were a few laps back, and the LRP powered AE of Neil Cragg came home in 4th with HB driver Graham Alsop in 5th.

 

A massively impressive display of driving by the country’s top drivers, with all 14 completing the 45mins!

 

The second round of the BRCA national series is at the superb Kent track on 6th/7th May and lets all hope it’s as good as the first! Well done to Lee on the Win, NDOR and the BRCA on a great first meeting of the year....now BRING ON THE DIRT!

 

1 - Lee Martin  - Infinity/SMJ Engine 

2 - Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt 

3 - Elliott Boots -  Kyosho/Reds 

4 - Neil Cragg – Associated/LRP

5- Graham Alsop - Hot Bodies/Maxima

6 - Michael Lewis – TLR/Nova Rossi 

7 - Jonathan Skidmore  - Agama/Bullitt

8 - Jack Emblng – TLR/Reds

9 - Lewis Jones  - Mugen/RC Concept

10 - William Skidmore – Agama/Bullitt

11 - Jon Holmes  - Mugen/Werks

12 - Callum Niblett - Agama Bullitt

13 - Jamie Clancy  - Associated/LRP

14 - Kevin Brunsden – Sworkz/Orion

 

Full meeting results are online in the results section of the BRCA website 

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