With the Bank Holiday weekend up on us it was to West London Racing Centre for their Annual GP for 2012 being sponsored by Schumacher Racing.
Entries were a little disappointing, maybe due to the adverse weather conditions that we have been recently experiencing in the UK.
There were a total of 61 entries for this event and this being split between 17.5 Blinky, 13.5 Open and 10.5 Open.
Saturday was practice day and this resulted in many of the drivers turning up to the track to get some good practice in so they could try different set ups on their cars before the racing started on Sunday. The people looking quick on Saturday were Mark Young in 17.5, Bryan Loynes and Malc Hall in 13.5 and Colin Price, Sam Clifton, Mark Stiles and Chris Kerswell in 10.5. The fastest lap times from these guys were really close and looked like we were going to have some great close racing at the GP. Saturday also saw Elliott Harper topping the time sheets and getting in some good practice ready for the BRCA National which is due to take place in a few weeks, unfortunately for Elliot he couldn’t do the GP as he had to get back for some more studying.
The cars were going round the track really fast on Saturday and this resulted in some local spectators stopping by to take a look at what was happening, one even decided to come and take a warm next to a generator near the pits.
Sunday morning came and open practice was on until just before 9am and then the drivers briefing was held to explain the format for the weekend and also all the usual info. This was held by Pete Tims who is the club manager and race director and also Mark Musgrove who was present from Schumacher Racing. The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t great and Sunday looked to be dry but with rain moving in late Monday morning and getting heavier by lunch time.
Therefore it was decided that the race format for the weekend would be chosen by the drivers, the option that almost everyone was happy with was to do all five qualifying rounds on Sunday and then have a round of practice and three leg finals for everyone on the Monday. This meant that possibly the finals would be wet if the forecast was correct and also that everyone would have a nice early finish to the event on the Monday.
So into qualifying then and the format was to do the five qualifying runs and your best three scores to count for your overall position. After all the qualifying was complete for the day the top ten in each class looked like this:
10.5 Open A Final
1 Colin Price
2 Chris Grainger
3 Mark Stiles
4 Chris Kerswell
5 Ashley Wiffen
6 Brian Eldridge
7 Sam Clifton
8 Mark Wallace
9 Ross Walker
10 Harley Eldridge
13.5 Open A Final
1 Bryan Loynes
2 Rich White
3 Damian Giddins
4 Malcolm Hall
5 Spencer Jones
6 Philip Randall
7 Daniel Booker
8 John Painter
9 Douglas Campbel
10 Mark Musgrove
17.5 Blinky A Final
1 Mark Young
2 Paul Orourke
3 Terry Yarranton
4 John Atkinson
5 Paul Northam
6 Richard Atkinson
7 Trevor Bailey
A special mention has to be said to both Ross Walker and Harley Eldridge for making the A Final in 10.5, great driving from both these youngsters all day in their qualifying heats and showing that they thoroughly deserved to make the top 10 – well done both of you, ones to certainly keep an eye out for in the future!
Saturday managed to stay totally dry all day and as everyone packed away, some drivers were feeling more pleased than others with their qualifying performance. Everyone left the track and headed for their homes, camp sites or hotels except a few of the hardcore West London guys who were braving it camping out at the side of the track, we wondered if they would still be there in the morning or not as the week before we were told the field was totally under water where their tents were due to all the heavy rain, maybe a boat might of been a better option for them as the clouds began to darken in the sky!
Bank Holiday Monday came and most people arrived at the track as it was opening at 7:30AM and we were all pleased to see no rain as yet and the campers were still there.....Phew!
At 9AM Race Director for this event Paul Canham got proceedings underway by everyone having one round of practice in heat order, this would be the last chance people had to try set up changes or anything they wanted to before the finals. The weather was still dry but getting more overcast and the clouds were gathering above us.
For the finals day we were very happy to welcome along to the event Kris Kennedy who was in fine form to commentate on every single final throughout the day, the peace and quiet from Sunday was now gone and the atmosphere was boosted heavily as KK took to the microphone! What a guy, awesome skills and some great captions that he came out with, not even the Military Jets that flew over on the Saturday could drown out the voice of KK!
The first leg of the finals got under way in the dry weather conditions with the 17.5 Blinky A Final, this was a close battle between Mark Young and Terry Yarranton with Terry being the eventual winner of this leg by 2 seconds from Mark, coming home in 3rd position was Trevor Bailey all the way from 7th on the grid.
Into 13.5 action and first up was the D Final, this was won by Thomas Oliver, 2nd Pete Tims and just 1 second behind Pete in 3rd place was Karl Dobbs.
The C final was next up this was won by Kieran Bartlett, Mathew Dawson was 2nd and in coming home 3rd was Sean Pooley all the way from 8th on the grid with a great drive.
Onto the B final and this first leg was taken by Dominic Tranquille, 2nd was Nick Upton and in 3rd place was Trevor Sloggett.
So onto the A final, this was won by pole man Bryan Loynes, he led from start to finish and never looked back with a great drive, 2nd went to Rich White and 3rd place was taken by Malcolm Hall.
Moving into the faster 10.5 class now and the B Final was next up won by pole man John Hyde who just narrowly missed making the A Final in this class, 2nd was Dani Young and in 3rd place was Andrew Hollingworth.
So onto the A Final and it was pole man Colin Price who led them away and never looked back and took a great win in leg one, he had team mate Chris Grainger right behind him all the way with only 1 second between the leaders for the whole race, a great close battle and Chris finished in 2nd position, in 3rd place was Mark Stiles some 4 seconds back from the leaders showing the pace of them both.
So Moving into Leg 2 of the Finals for everyone and the sky was now very dark and some drops of rain could now be felt, umbrellas were starting to go up and people rushing to get their wet cars and tyres ready, the rain that we had been promised looked like it was finally upon us! It looks like this is going to make the final results now very interesting and maybe not what people were expecting.
So into the 17.5 Blinky A Final the rain was very light and not causing any problems for drivers and they were still opting for slick tyres, the lap times were still quick and this time it was Mark Young that led from pole and won ahead of Terry Yarranton, so the results for the top 2 being the opposite way round to leg one, all was to play for still in leg 3. Finishing again in 3rd place was Trevor Bailey.
Back into 13.5 action now and back to the D final, the rain was now getting slightly heavier and the track starting to lose grip so some drivers were now choosing the wet tyre option and some were still braving it out there on slick tyres. The winner was pole man Pete Tims who was almost a lap clear! This got him right back in the running for the overall win in the D final, finishing 2nd this time was Stephen Spaulding and in 3rd place was Karl Dobbs.
The C final was next and the rain was that persistent everyone had to now run wet tyres and some even used their wet cars as puddles were starting to form on the racing line. The winner was Tim Tims, 2nd was Darryl Osborne with a great drive all the way from 10th on the grid, see what we mean about anything can happen in these wet conditions, and in 3rd place was Kieran Bartlett.
Into the B final and only 6 drivers went out due to the rain and some not wanting to risk water damage to their electrics. The winner was Dominic Tranquille ahead of Bryan Nortje in 2nd and finishing in 3rd position with another great drive from 10th off the grid was Joel Doherty.
Moving into the A Final the track was totally wet and many puddles were on the track and drivers were now using their wet weather cars so no one had any idea who might be quick, it was Daniel Booker all the way from 7th position on the grid who would take a great victory from Philip Randall in 2nd and another great drive from 10th on the grid was Mark Musgrove coming home in 3rd position.
This change of weather really has changed everything in the 17.5 and 13.5 classes and it is now very open for everyone as results are very different from leg 1.
Back to 10.5 racing now and in the B final it was John Hyde who once again won the leg, from 2nd place Paul Canham and in 3rd place this time was Dani Young.
So onto the A Final and Colin Price once again proved why he was on pole, with a brilliant drive to win leg 2 ahead of 2nd place Chris Grainger and in the 3rd place this time was Ashley Wiffen. This meant that Colin had won the A final and Chris had finished 2nd as they couldn’t be beat with one leg remaining.
The rain didn’t stop and all was to play for in leg 3 of the finals for most.
Into the A Final of 17.5 Blinky then and only 2 drivers decided to take to the track which meant a win for Paul Orourke and 2nd place to Richard Atkinson.
After all 3 legs of the A Final the top 3 was as follows:
1 Mark Young
2 Terry Yarranton
3 Paul Orourke
Moving into the 13.5 class for the final time and the D final was won by Dominic Clements, 2nd was Pete Tims and in 3rd place was Stephen Spaulding. This resulting in the top 3 of the D final finishing like this:
1 Pete Tims
2 Stephen Spaulding
3 Karl Dobbs
The C final was the next race with Phillip Ferreira this time winning from Sean Pooley in 2nd and finishing in 3rd place was Stuart Arnold. The overall C final top 3 looked like this:
1 Kieran Bartlett
2 Sean Pooley
3 Tim Tims
Onto the B final then and the winner was Bryan Nortje, from 2nd place Tony Watts and in 3rd position was Mike Haswell. This gave the top 3 of the B Final like this:
1 Dominic Tranquille
2 Bryan Nortje
3 Tony Watts
The A Final was up next and just 5 cars started this one due to the weather, once again it was Daniel Booker who took victory in this one and therefore was the overall winner in the A Final all the way from 7th on the grid. 2nd went to Philip Randall and in 3rd place was Damian Giddins. This meant the overall top 3 in the A Final after all 3 legs looked like this:
1 Daniel Booker
2 Philip Randall
3 Bryan Loynes
Moving back to the 10.5 class then for the final time and the B Final was next on track with John Hyde once again winning, from Paul Canham in 2nd and Dani Young finishing in 3rd place. So the overall B Final top 3 were:
1 John Hyde
2 Paul Canham
3 Dani Young
The final race of the weekend then and it was the 10.5 A Final. Colin Price opened up a lead in this race and was set to win leg 3 to show his outstanding pace over the whole weekend, this was until the final 30 seconds when his car stopped on track as the water had managed to get into the electrics. This left the rest of the field to battle over the top positions. Chris Grainger won the leg ahead of Chris Kerswell in 2nd place and Ashley Wiffen right behind him by less than 1 second finishing in 3rd place.
So after all 3 legs the A Final top 3 ended like this:
1 Colin Price
2 Chris Grainger
3 Ashley Wiffen
After the racing was complete the trophies were all presented and then there was a raffle held. Prizes were being donated by Schumacher Racing and also the West London club themselves. Congratulations to all the lucky winners that won prizes, pictured below is Philip Randall who won the star prize which was an Arrowmax graphite set up board, so well done to Philip on this.
A great weekend of racing was had by all that attended and everyone left with a smile on their face. Many thanks to the West London Racing Centre for hosting a great event and to everyone else that helped to organise and run it all, you all know who you are, and for organising the flybys from the Jet aircraft on the Saturday and Sunday! Also to all the drivers that took part and hope you spread the word on how you enjoyed the event so this can be made bigger and better next time.