Last weekend saw a close the 2011 BTCC summer championship at the fantastically fast Mendip circuit. The 5 round series which has been massively successful this year and has seen entries of between 130 to 150 drivers at each event, running on the excellent Sorex 32RY control tyre.
Going into the final meeting of the year there was still plenty to play for in terms of overall championship positions.
Olly Jefferies and Andy Moore could both take the win in the modified class with good results. Zack Smith, Ryan Edwards and James Hart were all in with a shout in Pro stock and Rob West and Zack Finlay would battle in out the 13.5T class. All these guys were ready and raring for this event!
With bad weather again present in the area just like many races this year it was decided by vote of majority of the drivers to run round by round qualifying, due to the changing nature of the track. This meant that 2 good runs out of 3 qualifiers would be needed to gain a top position, not an easy task!
Modified qualifying was dominated by the Mi4CX of Chris Grainger, taking 2 out of the 3 rounds with a time 6 seconds faster than his rivals in the last round. Although Chris has been competitive in all the races this year he wasn’t in the hunt for the title, just not his year this time. Andy Moore lined up behind Chris with Elliot Harper 3rd and Olly Jefferies 4th on the grid going into the finals.
The first final saw a dominant win for Chris after a troubled start for the others, Andy Moore recovered to take 2nd with Elliot 3rd. Disaster run for Olly with a DNF really could hamper his championship. Unfortunately the UK weather had come over by the time the second final was running so a change of cars and tyres for the guys was the order of the day. Disaster struck for Chris on the line as his car did not get off the grid and got hit, ending his race. Olly Jefferies and Alan Bickerstaff came through in the wet conditions to take the top two places with Phil Chambers 3rd and crucially Andy Moore 4th. So almost unheard off at this level Andy won the race with a 2nd and a 4th giving him a winning score of 6 points and more importantly that 100 points for the overall win. This meant that Andy added the Schumacher BTCC Championship to his BRCA Championship for 2011 by just 1 point from Olly Jefferies with Jonny Aird in 3rd. Andy is now added to a host of great names on the Cecil Schumacher Trophy.
Pro Stock saw two of the three title contenders line up in 1st and 3rd with Ryan Edwards TQ and rival Zack Smith 3rd, unfortunately for James Hart he just didn’t find the magic this weekend and was in the B main. The first leg saw a great battle between the two title contenders Ryan and Zack, in this one Zack came out on top with Ryan 2nd and BRCA Champ Ayrton Anderson in 3rd. Just like the mod final the rain had started to fall in the second leg and tyre choice was tricky between wet and dry’s. Alex Gardiner got the choice correct and romped through the field putting in some excellent overtakes from 10th on the grid to take the win from an assured drive from Ryan. Zack crucially finished 4th which wasn’t enough, leaving Ryan to take the overall win and the Robin Schumacher Trophy by the slimmest of margins.
Once again the two title contenders Rob West with his Mi4CX and Zack Finlay battled it out in qualifying in the 13.5T class, with Zack taking TQ by just a point from Rob. Trouble struck for Zack in the first final which left Rob an open track to take an easy win from RC Racing TV’s Oli Meggitt and Matt Lax. Zack chose not to start the second leg again leaving Rob a clear track to take a comfortable win with Matthew’s Mi4CX again in second giving them a 1-2 from Oli in 3rd. This wrapped up the Championship for Rob with a perfect score!
So the 2011 BTCC summer Championship has ended. Schumacher would like to thank all the drivers, clubs and organisers for all your efforts over the season, in what has been possibly one of the best ever series, with all the championships going down to the wire at the final race!
Full meeting results can be found here. Championship table to follow.
During the winter we are putting on a 3 race Winter BTCC which is now open on Central Booking.
Round 1 - Ardent Raceway - November 20th
Round 2 - Maritime Raceway - January 15th
Round 3 - Moto Arena (TBC) - March 25th