The field of competitors looked surprisingly fresh on Sunday morning as they grouped for driver’s briefing. We are so used to hoodies and jackets being worn at that time of today – but not today! A weather warning for high temperatures commences on Sunday night and higher than normal temperatures are already being experienced. Predicted highs today of 34 degrees!
For me the 4wd track is far more interesting than the 2wd track. Over exuberance will be punished and smooth, controlled laps will be hard to achieve – so every driver will just have to do their best to position themselves somewhere in between the two. One driver described the track as a “minefield” where nobody knows where you might get thrown off by a bump.
In 4wd practice, Neil Cragg and Michal Orlowski looked visibly quicker than most in their heats however it was Tommy Hall and Matt Thomson who claimed the fastest single laps at 22.0 ish (we assume Neil Cragg’s 18 seconds lap is an anomaly).
2022 BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships
Round 4 – Stotfold – 16/17 July 2022
4wd Qualifying Round 1
There are many drivers struggling on the 4wd track layout and clear runs were few and far between. It was mathematically a certainty that 14 laps was going to be the order of the day at the sharp end, however lots of drivers were finding it hard to log in a 13 lapper. The first person onto 13 laps was Ryan Lees in heat 4. Ryan had a few crashes, but generally kept it tidy to take the heat win.
Heat 5 had the pits talking when long time nationals campaingers Joey Cockill and Freddie Russel went to battle at the fron of the heat. The two pushed each other a long in style as neither made any mistakes worth mentioning. Joey banking a 13/310.70 with Freddie following 2 seconds behind. Joey’s time good enough for 15th in round! We hope that these two put in a similar performance in round 2 to give their B or C final chances optimistic.
In heat 6, only one car went slightly quicker than Cockill and that was Ross Nicholson on a 13/309.23. Luke Mills coming home seconds some 5 seconds adrift.
Heat 7 was the first of the seeded heats and it provided a big step up in performance. Paul Crompton’s car looks absolutely sweet on track and times were matching the visuals. Paul was on for a cracker of the time before a mistake in the later parts of the race knocked him back. He recovered to win the heat and improve the TQ time by 10 seconds or so – a big leap. His time was 14/322.19. Crompton, the 4wd winner at Boughton, will be one to watch in round 2. Lloyd Storey came home second in the heat, less than seconds behind Crompton with Edward Callan in third.
In heat 8, Michal Orlowski was the first driver to put in a near clean run. His car looked dominant and controlled throughout the run. He clocked in a 14/314.81 – a significant lead over Crompton. 2wd European Champion Tommy Hall came second in the heat – 3 seconds adrift – with Phil Sleigh coming home third in heat. Michal is running the Fusion 2 front tyre and even though the car is near perfect will move to a Fusion 1 tyre for round 2 with the hope that the front end of the car will feel more resonsive.
The final heat of the round in heat 9. Neil Cragg took the initial heat lead, looking very sharp indeed. Niel would go on to have a error on lap 3 which left him in traffic for most of the run, killing his TQ chances. Ben Smith profited from Craggs problems to log a 14/318.80 with Cragg 2nd some 4 seconds behind and Lee Martin in third.
So round 1 TQ goes to Michal Orlowski….
Overall top 20 in 4wd after Qualifying Round 1….