Buxton 29th March 2015

Buxton 29th March 2015

The green flag dropped on the season at Buxton 29th March and in true Buxton fashion all manners of weather greeted the racing.

Whilst the weather did its utmost to spoil the occasion, 21 cars arrived to do battle for the first round of the Northern and Midlands Trophy, plus double National points also up for grabs. Of the line-up, 5 of those were newcomers (101 Tristan Jackson, 333 Sam Roper, 409 Luke Maw, 414 George Shone and 498 Olly Spencer); a positive indication for the rest of the season!

Taking to the track for the first race of the day; lots of standing water and continued rain meant visibility would be difficult; some taking time to adjust. Kevin Stuchbury (1) though proved why he’s World Champion with a storming drive into the top three before half way, a waved yellow period for a group of three stranded cars at the end of the back straight, allowed Stuchbury to close up the gap held by quick lower graders Olly Spencer (498) and Sam Jacklin (137). Shortly on the restart Stuchbury overhauled Spencer and Jacklin, but Jacklin held his own and remained close enough to Stuchbury through to the last bend where Jacklin attempted a last bender; making contact, but in the conditions carried too much speed and spun around into the fence. Hard luck to Jacklin he failed to cross the line. Stuchbury the winner, followed by Hayley Williams (26) in second with a fantastic drive and Terry Hawkins (275) in third. Olly Spencer (498) in his first meeting at the wheel of an Ex-Stuchbury machine, but will be known for his Ministox racing (Brother of Tom 298 and Son of Les 98 also) showed real talent and maturity to master the conditions to come a credible fifth.

Result: 1 26 275 222 498 373 211 414 64 376

Heat two was run in slightly drier conditions, the rain holding off to allow the newcomers a time to shine. 16 cars took to the raceway; quick to get going the star graders got the throttle down a little too earlier, prompting a complete restart. When the green did go down Olly Spencer (498) got quickly into the lead where he would remain to the flag. Phoebe Wainman (211) eager to progress took a dive at the back of Glyn Daft (96) sending her around in to a spin resting up against the fence in turn 1; Carl Critchlow (373) joined her after being sent wide collected Wainman head on, Matthew Young (376) then joined in with a spin to add to the car park. The early part of the race saw Hayley Williams (26), Simon Sykes (64) and Tom Spencer (298) enjoy a lengthy battle for position; Spencer dropping away left Sykes and Williams to continue; who in turn were joined by World Champion Kevin Stuchbury (1) to duel to the chequered flag, Williams losing out due to mechanical problems recording a DNF. It was a race for the newcomers as Spencer (498) took the flag; leading home George Shone (414) in his first ever meeting in second and formula returnee Luke Maw (409) finishing in third; great results for the trio of lower graders.

Result: 498 414 409 222 64 1 298 275 517 376

The Meeting Final, sponsored by MSF Stoxpics was a fast and frantic affair, the Star graders weren’t letting the lower graders dominate this one, Tom Spencer (298) was the first to make a break and stormed to the front, only to be held up by his brother Olly (498), Tom eventually moving his brother aside to then race off for the win. Simon Sykes (64) caught a break and started swiftly moving up the field, moving over anyone in his path. Guy Jolly (222) was holding down a solid third place position until the halfway stage when Sykes aggressively moved him over into turn 3, Sykes then quickly turned his attention to Spencer (498) and duly took second place.  Kevin Stuchbury (1) moved into the final podium place as the lap boards came out, nudging Spencer (498) offline into fourth place. Jolly recovering for fifth and Bryan Andrew (355) after pulling off in heat 1; enjoyed a mid race battle with Hayley Williams (26) finished sixth and Williams seventh. I predicted this would be the year Tom Spencer (298) would continue his rise to the top – I think the 298 machine still has more to deliver – watch this space!

MSF Stoxpics Final: 298 64 1 498 222 355 26 211 137 376

The Grand National and the lower graders returned to the front; the result mimicked that of heat 2; Olly Spencer (498) coming home to take another victory in fine style with George Shone (414) coming home in second – pulling away at the end from Guy Jolly (222) who had his best ever Buxton meeting. The quick lady racers followed behind in fourth and fifth, but were unable to get on pace with the front runners.

Result: 498 414 222 26 211 298 64 376 517 NoF