1/8th Stock Cars 2017 English Open - Dick Batty ends his long wait for Championship victory


Southern Oval Model Car Club welcomed 32 drivers from across the UK and Holland

for a sun soaked English Open Championship on Sunday 6th August 

Despite normally being tame as drivers aim to get high lap scores instead of racing for position, the qualifying heats were quite brutal with many competitors experiencing problems and the average lap score well below normal at 49. Nora’s rising star Amelia Batty topped the table after rounds 1 and 2, however her fortunes changed after the lunch break and she fell to 21st. Alex Montague replaced her at the top after setting the best score of the day in the final round. Defending Champion Ben Harding struggled in his heats and was set to miss out on a place in the quarter finals until he set the second fastest score in his last heat.

The meeting was blown wide open after a dramatic first quarter final, with the two favourites Ben and Alex retiring from the race. Andy Mitchell fell victim to some questionable marshalling which scuppered his chances, meanwhile Sam Wearing was able to cling onto 3rd after his engine cut. Mick Betts and Ricky Slater cruised to 1st and 2nd. The other quarter finals were a lot quieter, although Gijs Verkoijen did his best to spice things up in Q2 by following Dave Holden into the turn 1 fence and ejecting him from the track. The Dutchman’s efforts were unrewarded however as he joined Dave and Colin Packman in the non-qualifiers. Andrew Whittaker, Steve Wearing and Doug Taunton were the top 3. Quarter final 3 ran without much incident as Scott Grocock, Jean Pierre Steegen and Ross Wiffen finished in front of Callum Farren, Nigel Williamson and the only junior at the meeting Tom O’Hara. Amelia’s luck hadn’t returned in time for the last quarter final and she finished 6th after her engine died early on. Dick Batty finished 1st ahead of Maikel Rutten, with Gary Gamlin stealing 3rd place off Steve Gould right at the end. Steve Farren retired mid-way through.

Dick Batty emerged as the new favourite after winning a very fast and competitive semi-final 1, with Sam Wearing one lap behind. Ricky Slater held off Maikel Rutten to finish 3rd, with Mick Betts and Gary Gamlin 5th and 6th. Semi-final 2 was a lottery with chaos all the way through. Recently downgraded Steve Wearing converted his blue start into a flag to flag win, however fellow blue top Ross finished 6th. Scott Grocock and Doug Taunton eased their way through traffic to take 2nd and 3rd, as JP Steegen and Andrew Whittaker came 4th and 5th.

Steve Wearing led the final for a few laps before Dick and Ricky caught and passed him Doug following soon after,meanwhile Sam and Scott were playing catch-up after coming together in the opening laps. Dick and Ricky were very close until Ricky tripped up over back markers and Dick began to pull away, maintaining his lead until the end with Ricky in 2nd. Sam recovered well from a few incidents – including one with Steve – to claim the final podium position. Doug came home in 4th ahead of Scott 5th and Steve out for a Sunday drive in 6th.

Thanks to all the Southern Oval team for a great meeting, arranging for the sun to shine all day and  Time2race oval racing spares for sponsoring the meeting.