The officials and drivers arrived at the Stotfold track for the 2wd section of the meeting in glorious sunshine. Europe is experiencing an unprecidented heat wave at the moment and the UK will be licked by the edge of the heat ploom later on Saturday and Sunday. Everyone appears to have prepared with plenty of sun cream bottles on tables and even one driver with a parasol.
Why bother going on holidays….
There are several noteable absentees from this weekend’s racing. James Halliwell and Chris James have decided to sit this one out for various reasons and race commentator extraordinair, Mark Musgrove was also double-booked and is not here – Richard Barton filling his shoes whilst absent.
The track is quite different to the previous three venues this year. Several people have commented that it is “old-school”, but not as old school as Kidderminster or Southport…. which has me a little confused. The track is a little bumpy, but not too bad as it meanders over various lumps and shallow tabletops. The jumps are definitely more just big bumps, so we have seen far less “in-air” skills on display from the top drivers – most just focusing on getting the car back down on the ground as quickly as possible.
2022 BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships
Round 4 – Stotfold – 16/17 July 2022
Many of the top drivers used the practice sessions as the name would suggest and it was common to see cars pulled in as adjustments were made to chassis and radio. This meant that overall times meant nothing and we would have to examine individual laptimes. Joe Howson, Neil Cragg, Lee Martin, Dominic Nunn and Paul Crompton all putting in times in the late 21 seconds to set the pace. The bulk of the midfield in the 23 second bracket.
2wd Qualifying Round 1
The first driver to set themselves apart was Charlie Ware in heat 4. Charlie the first driver to put in a 14 lap time with a 14/319.97 and a fastest lap of 21.77 – which would have ranked him in the top 5 in practice. We did not see another driver achieve 14 laps again till heat 7 when put in a 14/322.41. And that was it fro the 14 lappers until the top 30 seeds qualified in heats 9, 10 & 11. Joe Howson was first to top the table from the seed groups on a 14/313.84. Michal Orlowski & Lee Martin only a couple of seconds adrift with Paul Crompton having two mistakes on the last lap to keep in the 14 lap target but in a slow time.
In heat 10, Luke Holdsworth and Kit Jones made it up into the 14 lap group, going 5th and 7th in round so far with Charlie Ware splitting them. And in heat 11, Neil Cragg did just enough to knock Joe Howson off the top spot, putting in a 14/313.02 – mistakes from the entire heat meaning that Neil was the only driver on 14 laps in the top heat – some 8 seconds clear of Will Venables on a 13/300.66 going 10th.
Top 20 overall after 2wd qualifying round 1