The third season of the Essex Winter Series got underway last weekend. The series had already attracted a maximum capacity of 120 entries for every one of the six-round series, with entries completely selling out within 4 hours of opening.
This year saw the addition of the Modified Class, alongside the popular Pro Stock class (for 13.5 turn motors and open speed controllers). The Stock class moved over to the now-standard 17.5 zero-timing format.
As the racing got underway, all eyes were on the premier Modified Class as it made its debut at the large EWS carpet circuit. Elliott Harper managed to top every round of qualifying, and behind the battle for second place was between Kyle Branson, best known for his on-road gas racing, and Schumacher drivers Matt White and last year’s EWS Pro Stock Champion, Paul Pinkney. Kyle took second in round one, ahead of Matt and Paul, whilst Paul was second in round two. Kyle found more speed in rounds three and four to take the second place points to secure him second place on the A Final grid, with Paul ending third overall and Matt fourth. They were joined in the A Final by fellow Schumacher drivers Chris Grainger and David Bowen, making Schumacher the best represented manufacturer in the A Final.
In the A Final, Elliott took home the win, whilst an incident on lap one between Kyle and Paul dropped them down the order, which allowed Matt up to second place and spend the entire five minutes keeping his Schumacher ahead of Phil Chambers. Matt did enough to hold off Phil to claim second overall.
MODIFIED A FINAL RESULT
1 (1) Elliott Harper
2 (4) Matt White – Schumacher
3 (5) Phil Chambers
4 (7) David Bowen – Schumacher
5 (8) Chris Grainger – Schumacher
6 (3) Paul Pinkney – Schumacher
7 (10) Tim Hancock
8 (6) James Hart
9 (9) Brian Eldridge
10 (2) Kyle Branson
In the Schumacher-sponsored Pro Stock class, qualifying was as close as possible, with four different drivers TQing the four qualifying rounds. 2013 Schumacher BTCC Champion Richard King took his car to the fastest time in round one, whilst last year’s EWS Pro Stock Runner Up, Tony Broad, went quickest in round 2 with his Yokomo. Round three saw Schumacher’s Ashley Wiffen top the timesheets, and 2013 BRCA Pro Stock National Champion Zak Finlay was fully up to speed by found four and set the overall fastest time. Once the best two points were added up, Zak would start on pole for the A Final, with Tony second, Ashley third and Richard fourth. Darren Lee also qualified into the A Final in one of the most competitive classes and events in the country
Zak took off at the start of the A Final and started to pull a slight gap lap-by-lap over the chasing pack, as Tony and Ashley battled for second. Ashley pulled a great move on Tony going into the final chicane to move up to second and set about after Zak. A few laps later, Zak got that same chicane completely wrong and dropped back into the pack. That meant the race for second now became the battle for the overall class victory, with Ben Putt quickly closing in and looking to capitalise on any mistake from the leading duo. On the penultimate lap, Ashley took one corner slightly too tight, causing his car to flip and Tony to move into the lead. Ashley landed on his wheels and just managed to hold off Ben as they raced the final lap.
SCHUMACHER PRO STOCK A FINAL RESULT
1 (2) Tony Broad
2 (3) Ashley Wiffen – Schumacher
3 (5) Ben Putt
4 (7) Reece Hodges
5 (6) Darren Lee – Schumacher
6 (4) Richard King
7 (8) James Baker
8 (1) Zak Finlay
9 (10) Tim Langdell
10 (9) Daniel Veness
The EWS Team would also like to thank Schumacher for their continued support of the series, and we look forward to seeing everyone for Round Two towards the end of November.