HISTORY IS MADE IN WALES
The BRSCC made a little bit of history at Anglesey Circuit over the weekend of 10th/11th July when our North Western Centre staged the first race meeting to be held in Wales since the Covid pandemic began.
Even without this extra significance, the meeting would have been eagerly anticipated as it featured a 3 hour Fun Cup race which began in early evening sunshine and ended in darkness.
This was in fact the second triple-hour contest that the Fun Cup runners enjoyed on Saturday as one had taken place in the afternoon during which the drivers of the Team Olympian car, Riley Phillips and Christian Rose, were hoping it would be third time lucky when they found themselves at the front of the field after the final round of pitstops having retired when leading the first 2 rounds of the season.
However, it was not to be as their engine let go 20 minutes from seeing the chequered flag and, to make matters worse, the damage was too severe to fix in time for the evening’s contest.
Following the Safety Car period triggered by Team Olympian’s retirement, the Despatch Bay Express car was ahead with Harry Mailer at the wheel of the car he shared with Andy Bicknell but Nigel Greensall, in his own entry, reeled him in and pounced when the leader ran wide at The Banking. Mailer remained in Greensall’s slip-stream until the finish but couldn’t find a way by.
This was the first time Greensall’s team mates – Simon Smeeth and his two sons Ted & Sam, had taken a win but their joy was short-lived as they were disqualified after the race for a rear wing infringement handing victory to Despatch Bay Express.
In second were Uvio/Hoffman’s Lotus (Farquini Deott and Fabio Randaccio) while PLR Racing moved up to third with Ben Pitch and Neil Plimmer at the wheel. The latter team would have a nightmare in race 2 as first they broke a driveshaft and then their engine blew. Despatch Bay Express also hit trouble, losing several laps because of a snapped throttle cable.
This left Uvio/Hoffman’s Lotus to battle with Team Greensall during the first hour but when the latter fell a lap down, their faster drivers couldn’t get back into contention for the win in the closing stages. Therefore the victory went to Deott and Randaccio, their third out of 4 rounds this season. Team Viking (Mark Holme & Nick Nunn) and Team Greenheath (Gary Bate & Simon Smith) completed the nocturnal podium.
Contenders in the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship were joined by their counterparts in the Northern & Super Classic series for the first 2 races of their triple header and one of the runners in the latter category, Jack Wolfenden (Firman RFR17), claimed the final place on the podium in the opening encounter of the weekend after Alex Walker, who finished third on the road, received a 10 secs penalty for jumping the start.
Up ahead, Chris Middlehurst and Max Esterson battled it out for the victory in their Van Diemen LA10 and Ray GR18 respectively. They had a great battle with Middlehurst coming out on top. Their second race was a repeat of the first with Walker following them home penalty-free this time as Jamie Sharp’s Medina Sport JL17 pushed Wolfenden down to fifth.
Sharp was only tenth fastest in qualifying on Saturday morning but improved dramatically during the course of the weekend and won the final thrash which featured a partially reversed grid. This was a tough one to triumph in as drizzle made the track treacherous.
Sam Smith scored a trio of MX5 SuperCup victories but he had to work for all of them passing Patrick Fletcher at The Hairpin on lap 1 of his first outing. Smith was able to pull away as Fletcher (unsuccessfully) fended off Jack Harding.
Harding was the driver Smith had to overtake to seal the second encounter which he accomplished at Rocket on the fifth circuit after the pair at run pretty much side by side from Peel Corner on the previous tour!
The SuperCup’s third race was another to feature a partially reversed grid. James Cousins was the early leader but Smith was soon on his tail before he got ahead at Target. Harding and Fletcher again completed the podium once more while drive of the race, if not the meeting, came from Will Blackwell-Chambers. Having retired in the pits late in race 2, he came through from thirtieth on the grid to finish fourth.
In Saturday’s MX5 Championship round, Oliver Allwood could manage no better than tenth, as Jack Brewer, Brian Trott and Steve Foden filled the podium places, but his fortunes dramatically changed on Sunday. He might have won the morning’s race had it not finished behind the Safety Car due to a coming together at The Banking so he had to settle for second behind Brewer. In third was Zak Oates who finished on the podium for the first time. The afternoon’s encounter had no interruptions and Allwood was victorious ahead of Oliver Graham and Seb Fisher.
Harry Storer twice took the spoils in the MX5 Clubman’s double header on Sunday. Alan Hawkins and Thomas Mallett followed him home in the morning but in the light rain that was falling when they took to the track after lunch, George Grant revelled in the conditions and beat Hawkins to second.
Another category that raced twice was the Modified Ford Series. In their first outing, there was a fabulous battle for the lead between the Mk2 Escort of Piers Grange and the more recent Cosworth version of Dave Cockell. The older car just about came out on top.
It was a different story later in the day when Cockell’s four-wheel-drive system provided huge levels of grip in the greasy conditions and he disappeared into the distance. Ashley Shelswell was the runner-up with his Sierra XR4i having been third earlier in the day, a position that went to Stuart Day in another Escort Cosworth on this occasion.
We were thrilled to have the British Superkart Championship on the programme. Liam Morley took 3 wins out of 3. Ross Allen twice followed him home with Lee Harpham taking a second and a third. He missed out on a hat-trick of podiums when a gearbox problem meant he crept over the line in tenth in race 1.
The BRSCC wish to thank all the marshals and officials who ensured this epic weekend of racing ran so smoothly.
Words: Dave “Fasttoes” Williams
Photo: Philip Rainford