We’ve become quite used to sunshine and dry weather during this year’s BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships. Apart from a sprinkling of rain on one day of one round earlier in the season, the series had been completely dry and today is no exception. The driver’s started to trickle into the pit area before 7am this morning in dazzling sunshine. 2wd practice was first to run and over the two round of 3 minute sessions it was Steve Brown, Neil Cragg, Paul Crompton and Ben Smith all at the sharp end with sun 27 second laps.
2wd Qualifying Round 1
It was clear from practice that 12 lap runs were the order of the day if you wanted to compete at the sharp end. For the rest of the mear mortals a mid to low 11 lap would prove enough pace for a solid high to midfield slot for the finals. The first burst of pace came from Jimmy Whitehall in heat 7 with a 11/307.54. He won the heat by a very healthy margin and was only just pipped by Ross Nicholson in heat 8.
2022 BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships
Round 5 – TORCH – 6/7 August 2022
In heat 10 it was Jamie Hall who set the new pace with an 11/301.82 closely followed by a second behind. Tommy Hall taking third in heat a further second down – close racing!
In heat 11 we were given the first 12 lap run. Club organiser Steve Brown putting in a near perfect run with just one small error on the final lap to declare 12/327.46. Steve who regularly features in National B & C Finals proving that a little local knowledge can give you a few tenths a lap. Michal Orlowski ran in second place for most of the heat and put in 11/302.10 – some 4 seconds adrift according to the race commentator. Orlowski needs to maximise his score today to deny Neil Cragg an early championship title, so Brown’s pace is an unwelcome element. Ben Pugh was third in heat only a couple of seconds behind Orlowski.
As the top heats ran something very noticeable was occurring. The car’s tyres were turning grey during the run. The track is laid on hard-core stone and the dust from the under layer is coming through the artificial grass. This is causing the grip to drop – a fact which is fortified with the rising temperatures – the track is really loose!
Heat 12 would also turn out to be very pacey. Neil Cragg initially lead the heat, but was eventually passed on the clock by Ben Smith who took the Round TQ. Smith’s car looked very good indeed and he was able to put in a time of 12/324.93. Cragg a second behind on a 12/325.80 – a time which was incredible as his car looked so gently driven – Neil is the king of smooth! Paul Crompton went fourth in round just behind Steve Brown.
Top 20 after round 1 of 2wd qualifying