Northampton 30th May 2015

British Championship

Dave Bastock Pics

The British Championship took place at Northampton 30th May alongside the Ministox and F1’s; a massive meeting, which we were honoured to be part of to celebrate 60 years of the BSCDA; which we are affiliated to. 34 cars in attendance which after a few cancellations was a great number, 33 taking part after George Shone (414) suffered gearbox problems back in the pits side lining him for the rest of the evening.

A three heats format saw the drivers race in two of those races; the points from the heats then determined the grid for the final; highest points scorer standing to the front. Heat 1 gridded with 24 cars on track including newcomers Lucy Olorenshaw (245) moving across from Modstox and Amy Jagger (525) who raced in the National Ministox class; both in their first meeting handled themselves well, getting to grips with the power and both will prove to be great additions to the formula. A steady first race saw Simon Sykes (64), Marc Radforth (149), Adam Joyce (157) and Phoebe Wainman (211) battling it out in the opening laps, before Sykes broke away and Joyce pulled off with engine issues, breaking up that scrap. Darren Cottrill (575) was as ever making his presence felt, using the front bumper to good effect too. The halfway stage was signalled to leader James Cobley (309); this was short lived as he retired shortly after, gifting the lead to Carl Critchlow (373). Lee Summers (281) who favours shale – found himself in a good second position; Sykes shunted Summers wide as the lap boards came out. Sykes then duly set off after Critchlow; just as Rob Scriven (117) punted Summers wide also. Sykes found himself just too far behind Critchlow at the last bend to attack properly; but contact was made, however Critchlow held on for victory – his maiden win in the formula. Well done Carl! Sykes blasted it home into second, Scriven third and Summers holding onto an excellent fourth.

Result: 373 64 117 281 139 575 328 211 149 222 478 176

Heat 2 gridded with 18 cars; a couple of teams delayed getting to the track and a few loading after heat 1 troubles, meant the grid was less than expected. Olly Spencer (498) started pole position and led the field away; Kevin Stuchbury (1) was on a charge from the back of the field and was soon bundling the star graders wide; Guy Jolly (222) hooked up on long distance traveller Mark Johnson (510) – from Taunton no less, into the middle. Rob Jacklin (136) and Mark Hobbins (266) collided with the fence in turn 3 whilst Bryan Andrew (355) did his best to fend off the Stuchbury challenge. The halfway stage saw Tom Spencer (298), Michael Boswell (328) and Hayley Williams (26) bumper each other wide each lap before Boswell and Williams broke away from Spencer. The lap boards were signalled to leader Spencer (498), as Stuchbury found another gear to reel in the lower grader. Two laps to go saw Stuchbury move aside Spencer; and then taking victory, Spencer followed in second and Andrew in third.

Result: 1 498 355 328 26 139 409 298 575 333 136 227

21 cars returned for heat 3; James Cobley (309) starting pole; the opening laps saw Kevin Stuchbury (1), Marc Radforth (149) and Phoebe Wainman (211) fight for position lap after lap; further up the order Luke Maw (409) planted Rob Jacklin (136) forcefully wide into turn 3. The race was cut short momentarily as the red flags were shown for a fire under the Mark Johnson (510) machine. Thankfully Mark was all ok; however the engine is scrap – incredibly unlucky for Johnson who already that night was on his third gearbox and a diff change.  On the restart Spencer led them away and Radforth, Wainman reconvened their battle this time joined by Hayley Williams (26). Soon the halfway flag was waved and Jacklin made a dive at the back of Stuchbury in to turn 1. Stuchbury naturally returned the compliment next bend, sending Jacklin hurtling out wide towards the plating. Cobley and Shane Geary (478) a few laps later also felt the bumper of Stuchbury as the Gold top launched at Cobley, who in turn then hooked up Geary and both rattled the turn 3 plating. In the last bend the final change saw Tom Spencer (298) demote Lee Summers (281) from 7th to 9th, the 281 machine unsettled enough to allow Cobley through. Spencer (498) took a fine win ahead of Sykes in second and Bryan Andrew (355) in third.

Result: 498 64 355 373 1 211 298 309 281 117

The points order British Championship Final saw Olly Spencer (498) on pole leading off 23 cars closed grid; Simon Sykes (64) on his outside; Carl Critchlow (373) inside second row and Kevin Stuchbury (1) on his outside. Could Stuchbury retain his title and become the record holder for the most British title wins with 4?

At the drop of the green Stuchbury positioned himself perfectly to launch Sykes hard into the first bend, Sykes rattling the plating as a result; a big push from behind saw the rest of the field bundle in to turn 1 which also unsettled Sykes; into turn 3; another train of cars planted pole sitter Olly Spencer (498) up the plate. A big push once more from the mid grid in to the next bend saw Michael Boswell (328) loose out in to a spin; just as James Cobley (309) and Spencer hooked up in the back straight. Bryan Andrew (355) battled Phoebe Wainman (211) into turn 3 and then again in turn 1, trying to shunt her aside. At the halfway stage Hayley Williams (26) had joined the battle and was trying to move Wainman wide; the two leading ladies driving brilliant as they scrapped for third position. Williams eventually getting the better of Wainman as the race entered the second stage. Bryan Andrew (355) was charging hard in second – the nearly man of V8’s has come second in the big races on so many occasions and each lap was edging ever closer. Stuchbury had to take avoiding action when Rob Jacklin (136) was sent around into a spin in turn 3 by Jay Kellett (439); allowing Andrew to close just that bit more, however the laps boards run out and Stuchbury held his lead for the win; not before Andrew tried a very ambitious last bend strike; had to settle for second; Williams  coming home an excellent third and Wainman finishing a great fourth too. An excellent result for the two ladies; who had to pick their way though at the start from their rows 5 and 6 start. Full credit to everyone for a good meeting and well done to Kevin Stuchbury (1) on winning the British Championship for the fourth time – the most of anyone in the formula ever.

Result: 1 355 26 211 117 575 149 222 439 298 333 478