A Fitting result for the Stock Cars English Open Championship

Stockcars

Mark Whittaker overcame tough and determined challengers to win the event which was dedicated as a memorial to Keith Whittaker Father to Notts and Derby club racers Andrew and Mark and a very popular and sadly missed character in the world of 1/8th Stock Cars.

The keener competitors had been pounding around the Nottingham tarmac oval on the Saturday practice day in search of the perfect set up for the championship race, so when the 39 hopefuls arrived early on Sunday morning the track was already slick and showing the well-known attributes of a sunny big meeting surface and continued to give less and less grip as each round of heats was run.  Leicester Club driver Alex Monague and Dutch driver Maikel Rutten lead the way in the first round with 50 laps a piece, scores no one was able to achieve for the rest of the day. By the end of round 4 Alex was showing winning form and still able to hustle his car around to get 49 laps with his nearest challenger Ben Harding next highest on 48, the rest of the field were struggling to find this level of grip and laps scores suffered as a result.

The required number of drivers determined that the meeting format was top 24 into quarter finals, best 3 from these into the 2 semi-finals and top six into the Championship final.

Alex was still showing incredible pace when he blitzed the first quarter with 63 laps, Adur visitor Ricky Slater on 60 and Andrew Whittaker 3rd also on 60.

Second quarter saw the reigning English champion Dick Batty eliminated in a horrible lap one incident when he tangled with Scott just after the start and was hit at full speed by another car finishing his race on the spot and any chance of retaining his title.  Maikel finished first on 59 laps, Scotty Grocock on 58 and Dave Gwilliam on 57

Third quarter was Roy Watson 60 laps, Kane Farren 59 and Julian Vaux 59 laps

Fourth quarter final was Mark Whittaker 60 laps Ben Harding 60 and Dutch visitor Jeroen Janssen 59 laps

The first semi-final saw the master and his apprentice have their first race of the day together with the apprentice easily coming out on top so Alex lead Ben with 62 laps to 61 with Maikel 3rd also on 61 laps

The second Semi saw a very short and unfortunate appearance on the track for Ricky Slater when during the race warm up his throttle servo failed and we all got to see how much power his engine really has. See the picture below of what remains of his rear wheel, it was a shame because Ricky was showing a good turn of speed on the day as usual and looked likely to be a final contender.
Mark Whittaker won with 61 laps Scotty G had 60 and setting up a great Whittaker memorial race Andrew was the sixth qualifier for the final.

The Junior English championship Final
The juniors put up a good show in their Final with the result as follows:-

1st 555 - James Kinton Junior English Champion 2018
2nd 575 – Ryan Kinton
3rd 361 - Jake Pace
4th 23 – Tom O’Hara

 

1/8th Stock Cars English Open Championship
During all the build-up races it hadn’t gone unnoticed by some of the other five contenders in the final that Alex was very quick and Stock Car racing being Stock Car racing i.e. a contact sport this attribute was not going to be overlooked.
The final saw Alex get a good start and use the speed he had been showing all day to put some distance between himself and the following pack and by just after half distance was well ahead of the rest. This was enough to trigger retribution time and after a couple of well-timed hits from Maikel, a nibble from Scott and a very near miss from what could have been the biggest hit of the day from Mark’s front bumper Alex’s lead had been cut down considerably, Alex then took fate into his own hands and got snagged up with Miakel’s car which was itself trapped up against the inner barrier in front of the driver rostrum, This lengthy delay was enough to let Mark through to take the win and Ben for second, Alex recovered for a disappointed third. Final results were

1st 217 – Mark Whittaker English Champion 2018

2nd 471 - Ben Harding

3rd 89  –  Alex Montague

4th 144 – Maikel Rutten   

5th 390 - Scott Grocock

6th 212  - Andrew Whittaker  

Keith would have taken great pleasure in watching his sons battle it out in the final and the result was very appropriate for the meeting dedicated to him and his support of team Whittaker and 1/8th Stock Cars over the years.  

After the race the Master could see the disappointment on the Apprentices face so took him to one side and explained “Mate you know what it’s like, This is Stock Car racing and you have learnt a valuable lesson today the fastest car doesn’t always win, use this experience and be wary of everyone and be prepared for the bumpers next time”

   

Thanks to the Notts and Derby Club for a great meeting and to the ladies running race control stuck in the roasting hot Bean Can all day.