BRCA RallyX 2017 Nationals Round 4 Race Report

8th Rally X

Race report from the forth round of the RallyX 2017 Nationals held at Pembrey Model Car Club in South Wales. Click read more to find out more! 

 

The 12th and 13th of August saw the 4th round of the BRCA Rallycross championships at Pembrey near Llanelli in South Wales. A few weeks of torrid weather meant that the SDMCC worked there socks off to get the track ready for the weekend, and ready it was, newly rolled and oiled, and waiting for the 120 plus drivers to race, with everything still to race for in the championship we were going to be in for a great weekend of racing, with lots of twists and turns along the way.

 

As qualifying kicked off on Saturday morning the sun began to rise over the hills, clearing the way for some “Hot” qualifying by the main men! Elliott Boots drew first blood, his Red powered Kyosho powering home to a TQ by 3.5 seconds from Neil Cragg and his LRP powered AE machine. In round 2 it was the reigning British champ Darren Bloomfield who took the TQ honours, with the AE team mates of Jamie Clancy and Neil Cragg getting the 2nd and 3rd respectively. In round 3 it was Elliott back on top with some great lap times, with Darren just behind. The 4th and final round of the day saw Elliott again take the TQ, securing the overall TQ, with young Gun Jamie Clancy this time in 2nd, so Pole in the other Semi was still to play for on Sunday Morning!

First Corner

Sunday morning saw a bright and sunny start to the day, and the track looked amazing, having been “Warn in” the previous day. The times were slower but that didn’t stop Neil taking the TQ in round by just over half a second from Elliott. This gave Neil the 2nd overall and Pole position in the semi final. Darren got 3rd with his fine looking Agama and Jamie Clancy 4th after some superb driving all through qualifying. Infinity driver Lee Martin was 5th and following on from a fantastic drive in the European Championships in the previous week was young Sworkz driver Lewis Beech in 6th. Mugen man Simon Willetts got the 7th spot with the Bullett/Agama combo of Jonathan Skidmore in 8th. James Le Pavoux also on the back of a great European Championships got the 9th spot and TLR driver Mike Lewis rounded off the top 10.

Pit Straight 

A great end to qualifying and now it was finals time, the first of the day was 1/64B final, and with only 5 drivers with 4 to bump the pressure was on! In the end the top 4 of Mark Bettie, David Lee, Paul Williams and Ian Knight bumped to the 1/32B. It was similar in the 1/64A, with 6 drivers, and 4 to bump it was Kyosho man Rob Forbes who took the win, Paul Taylor 2nd, Kevin Griiffin 3rd and Chris Gregory in 4th.

 

The 1/32B was up next, JQ and pole man Andrew Rennick retained his lean for a few laps, but Kyosho driver Gary Gregory managed to take the lead early on in the 3rd lap and thats where he finished his MX powered machine even getting the lap on the field at the end. The battle for the remaining 3 bump up spots was a lot closer. Bump up driver Mark Beattie and his TLR machine was in the mix, with Jason Patey, Lewis Rushdon and Andrew all fighting to get to the next final. Jason Mark and Lewis pulled away from Andrew, but they were all so close, crossing the line for the final time with less than 2s between the 3 of them, Jason in 2nd, Mark in 3rd and Lewis in 4th!The 1/32A was also a close one, with the eventual top 5 all on the same lap. Elliot Jones and his Kyosho along with the LTR of Lewis Millman were lead swapping, with Lewis eventually securing the win from Elliot, and fellow Kyosho driver Mark Boon just behind in 3rd. The 4th bump was TLR man Stuart Smith!

 Pit Straight 2

The 1/16B was once again a great race, and more fantastic driving by Gary Gregory saw him get another bump up in 3rd. Leader for the majority of the race was the Kyosho man James Hargreaves and he took the win in fine style. 2nd was highly contested between Matt Box and his Soar car and Allen Ward and his Mugen and Ben Turner and his AE machine, unfortunately a damaged shock saw Matt lose out to Allen and Ben as he travelled back through the pack, eventually finishing 6th, Ben got 2nd and Allen 4th. The A side was dominated by the 2 JQ drivers of Bradley Smith and Oliver Evans, both having the lead during the race. The JQ’s looked good, handling the tricky track with ease, Oliver got the top spot by some distance in the end and Bradley took 2nd. Paul Abbott started 3rd on the grid and after a steady drive that’s where he finished, managing to keep the Reds powered kyosho of Adam Buckholt just behind him in 4th!

 

On to the 1/8th and the B side saw a brilliant victory for Junior Mugen driver Aaron Ford, his local knowledge paid off and he lead nearly the whole race, he even managed the extra lap on the field as the buzzer went. Behind the young driver was the Blok powered Tekno of Carlo de Marco, just holding off JQ man Mick Butler in 3rd. The drive of the final was by AE man Ben Turner who went from 12th on the grid having previously bumped into this final to finish 5th, but he then got the last spot to bump again to the ¼ final after the fellow AE of Nikki Davies was unfortunately disqualified after the race!

 

The A 1/8th was also dominated by a junior racer. Young Jack Willits and his TLR took the top spot just after mid way and he went on to pull out an awesome lead on the 2nd place Mugen of Dennis Holding. There was a superb battle for third between Pole man Colin Brennan and his Mugen and the Reds powered Kyosho of Steve Shakespeare, swapping places on a few occasions and it was a great move by Steve to take the third spot and leave Colin to get the final bump to the ¼ finals.

 

The first ¼ final saw a very impressive drive by Tony Truman and his Bullett powered Agama buggy from 2nd on the grid. He took the lead on lap two and made it stick for the remaining 19mins, but the Sworkz machine of Kevin Brunsden was hot on his gear box, and he crossed the line just 3s back from the Agama man. Behind the top two was a great battle between Kyosho team mates Taro Craddock and Mitchell Booth. In the last few min’s of the race, Taro got by Mitchell and eventually won by 6 seconds, with both the kyosho drivers progressing to the finals, their kyoshos looking fantastic as always.

 

The other ¼ was laced with top class drivers, as most of the national finals are, and it would be a tough job to bump out of this one. Young Xray driver Dom Nunn was in pole, but after an awkward first lap he found himself in 4th, and under pressure for the bump. The top 6 starters were all in contention for a bump to the semi, with young Mugen driver Lewis Jones and TLR man Matt Lewis fighting for the top spot for the majority of the race, Dom also, on a different fuel strategy, was making progress and in the mix for the win, with TLR man Karl Jackson also in the hunt. As the race progressed Lewis and his RC Concepts powered machine managed to pull out a lead, and as the buzzer went he even managed the victory lap, with Mike Lewis just missing the loop for a final charge in 2nd. A fine drive by Dom kept him in the top 3, finishing in 3rd and Karl came home in 4th.

 Elliotts Boots car

So Semi final time, the track conditions and weather were fantastic. The first Semi saw Neil on pole, and the distinctive red AE machine would set the early pace, he was however being hunted by the Agama of Jonathan Skidmore, who managed to pass Neil on the 3rd lap, the pair continued to have a fantastic on track battle, swapping the lead on numerous occasions, but disaster struck with a few min’s to go as favourite and in form Neil had a flame out and he returned to the pits, a rare retirement for the AE man. This left the door open and team mate Jamie Clancy took up the challenge, passing Jonathan and going on to take the surprise win! 3rd and 4th spot was taken up by the TLR machines of Jack Embling and Mike Lewis respectively, both securing a spot in the main final. The next places were extremely close, former British champion David Crompton crossing the line in 5th just 0.7s ahead of the young and also in form Lewis Beech and his Sworkz buggy. The final spot was also hotly contested between fellow Sworkz man Kevin Brunsden and the bullet powered Agama of Tony Truman, and it was Tony who just managed to get the final bump spot. A brilliant race by the whole field, and with one of the championships favourites not going into the main, it was going to be a great opportunity for the other top drivers to pull out a points lead in the championship, as well as this race event!

 

The other Semi had Elliott on pole, with a multitude of talent behind him, but it was Darren Bloomfield who got the best start from 2nd on the grid, with Elliott serving a penalty on track meaning he crossed the line for the first time in 13th place and with a lot of catching up to do, to get a bump let alone win the race. Darren took advantage and pulled out some seriously quick laps. Simon Willits and his Picco powered Mugen also had a brilliant start, but he too had some misfortune seeing him returning to the pits on the 3rd lap unable to continue, this left James Le Pavoux and his Reds powered Kyosho to battle it out behind Darren with Infinity driver Lee Martin. All the time the front 3 drivers were pushing hard, Elliott was catching the and by lap 12, he had overtaken his Kyosho team mate James to take the 2nd place, behind his championship rival Darren. Lee and James had a fantastic on track battle behind the front pair, swapping places on a number of occasions, with the ever consistent MX powered HB buggy of Graham Alsop just sitting behind them in a comfortable bump up spot. The fight for the last bump was definitely on, between the Agama of Oliver Currie, the Xray of Dom Nunn, TLR man Mike Lewis and Milan Dragojlovic and his HB car. A great amount of skill by the chasing drivers, all on different strategies and all so close in pace! In the end it was so close that Oliver and Milan pushing so hard they stopped short of the line on the final lap, but with Oliver just in front and Dom missing the loop before the buzzer went it was Oliver who took the needed 7th place. Up front Elliot managed a superb 1st gaining the lead at the last round of pit stops, his amazing lap pace bringing him the overall pole. Darren was in fresh air in 2nd, while Lee and James fought till the end, Lee getting the third place by just under 2s. Graham got the 5th spot and bump up driver Matt Lewis got 6th ahead of Oliver! A great end to the final and a fantastic looking A-main still to come!

 

The 45 A-Main was a thriller, Elliott lead from the first corner and the pitstop problems that had bugged him in the Euros were well and truly forgotten. He dominated the race, leading every lap of the 45 mins, but he didn’t have it all his own way, the chasing pack were fast and championship rivals Darren and Lee were on the hunt for another victory and so did the rest of the racers for that matter. Darren dropped back into the chasing pack after a few laps, which left Lee to close Elliot down with TLR driver Jack Embling also in the mix. Lee would look the most likely to challenge Elliott for the top spot but in the end had to settle for 2nd place. The battle for the final podium position provided a great spectacle for the spectators with Jack Embling, Joni Skidmore and Mike Lewis all running in close proximity for the final 5 minutes or so. Some fantastic racing was on display here but Mike Lewis would eventually keep his cool bringing his Novarossi powered TLR home in 3rd ahead of TLR team mate Jack Embling 4th and Joni Skidmore 5th.

 

A stunning win by Elliott and a few points lost by some of the contenders means that the Championship leader is Lee Martin, but by just one point from Kyosho driver Elliot Boots, with 3rd and 4th on the same points! It will certainly be interesting at Slough in the final round of the BRCA National series next month with no doubt more twists in the story to come!

Podium Pembrey 

For a full list of results and standings from this round and the series go to www.brca.org/results.