This weekend was the 2014 edition of the ever popular Maritime Off Road Wars. The event has created quite a following over the years with Ian Knight and his team running a great race program and laying, as ever, an excellent track. The track was very fast paced, with plenty of well profiled jumps to keep the drivers entertained and the racing close.
The format would see 2wd run on Saturday and 4wd the following day. 1 round of practice, 4 rounds of qualifying and then 3 leg A finals would decide the winner. Unusually it would be FTD qualifying, a novelty to most drivers now used to the round by round format currently used, but a welcome change that requires a slightly different approach to the day.
2wd would see Tom Cockerill quick off the mark, laying down the quickest time’s in rounds 1, 2 and 3, but with drivers improving every time they hit the track, it was all to play for in round 4. Ellis Stafford finally found his groove to go top, taking TQ, Tom Cockerill would line up 2nd, Jorn Neumann 3rd and Elliot Boots 4th. The top 4 were all very close on times so it was set to be some great racing in the finals.
Leg 1 saw the top 4 breakaway early, before each driver starting to make mistakes. At the end of 5 minutes it was Elliot who took the win, having driven a mistake free run. Leg 2 again saw the top 4 breakaway, with Ellis leading the pack until just over half distance when the final again turned into a battle of last mistakes. Jorn would hold on to take the leg win from David Poulter. This left a 4 way battle going into the 3rd and final leg. The final started as a repeated of the previous two legs, the top 4 split by nothing over the opening laps until the mistakes crept in. this time Tom got the break leading the final from half distance and set about setting the fastest time as the final result would go down time decider.
When all was said and done, Tom Cockerill took the win from Elliot, his time 5s quicker than Elliots leg 1 win, and Jorn would round out the podium in 3rd.
2wd Top 10:
1st - (2) Tom Cockerill (Schumacher)
2nd - (4) Elliott Boots (Kyosho)
3rd - (3) Jorn Neumann (Durango)
4th - (6) David Poulter (Schumacher)
5th - (1) Ellis Stafford (TLR)
6th - (8) Richard Lowe (HB)
7th - (5) Billy Fletcher (TLR)
8th - (7) Jack Embling (Yokomo)
9th - (10) Craig Collinson (Team C)
10th - (9) John Painter (TLR)
On to Sunday and 4wd, Jorn Neumann started off with intent, setting the quickest times in all 4 qualifying rounds to put his car on pole for the finals. Elliot Boots got it hooked up in the final round of qualifying to line up 2nd, followed by Tom and Jack Embling starting 4th. The track layout was slightly different, which allowed the finals to be a little cleaner than the previous day.
Leg 1 saw an uncharacteristic error from Jorn on the opening lap, from which he would never recover. This left Elliot out front to take a comfortable win. Jorn got a much better start to leg 2, but only made it until lap 3 before a mistake. Again, Elliot took the opportunity and lead the leg home, taking the overall win. Elliot chose to run leg 3, and him and Jorn put on an excellent race for the crowd, Jorn taking the leg to secure 2nd overall. Behind them Ellis came home 3rd to complete the podium.
4wd Top 10:
1st - (2) Elliott Boots (Kyosho)
2nd - (1) Jorn Neumann (Durango)
3rd - (5) Ellis Stafford (TLR)
4th - (7) David Poulter (Schumacher)
5th - (6) Billy Fletcher (TLR)
6th - (3) Tom Cockerill (Schumacher)
7th - (8) Richard Lowe (HB)
8th - (4) Jack Embling (Yokomo)
9th - (9) Wesley Van Helmond (TLR)
10th - (10) Kenneth Malkusson (Schumacher)
Congratulations to the Maritime club and crew for another excellent meeting!