2022 will be a memorable year for the BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championship. So much has changed, yet so much has stayed the same. Out of the 215 individuals who competed in the series, 105 were competing for the first time. This is an astonishing statistic that shows that the series is attractive to new racers – something that has pleased the organising team. It is hoped that those who got a flavour for the series in 2022 will return in 2023. Of course, the biggest change was the transition between section Chairmen. Paul Worsley who ran the series for so many years moved slightly aside to allow Martin Owen take the reins. The transition has worked well, and Martin has stitched together a very tight team to run the events.
The final round of the National Championships was held in the glorious Robin Hood Raceway (RHR) near the town of Retford in Yorkshire on the weekend of August 27th and 28th. RHR needs no introduction – infamously the host of the 2015 EFRA Euros which was widely considered one of the best incarnations of the event of all time as well as the host of the 2022 Euros, and several Oople races. The organising team led by regular competitor James Halliwell does an outstanding job time after time. The presentation of the track and the standard of the associated facilities such as food vendors and pitting area is second to none.
The 2022 Championship titles have already been settled after 5 rounds. Neil Cragg won 2wd and Michal Orlowski won 4wd. Going into round 6 at RHR the battle for second in both classes is on. The battle for second in the 2wd championship is between Michal Orlowski and Tommy Hall. Tommy needing a TQ and win (131 points) with Orlowski not scoring more than 127 (4th). A good day for Lee Martin could even see Tommy relegated to fourth. The battle for the remaining 4wd podium positions is way more complex. Orlowski has the title already, but Lee Martin, Neil Cragg, and Paul Crompton are all close enough on points that they could finish in any order. Crompton with a 122 points to possibly discard has the best cards in this game of fast moving poker. Neil Cragg with the weakest cards as he is sitting out Round 6 of the Nationals due to just becoming a Dad for the first time and priorities have changed. Cragg could still see himself placed second if Martin, Hall and Crompton have a bad day on the Sunday.
2022 BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships
Round 6 – RHR – 27/28 August 2022
Racers gathered at the track before 7am on the Saturday morning in yet another bright and sunny morning. – that’s 4 from 6 for the year and the others were just a bit overcast. The weather forecast for the weekend was warm and sunny for 2wd and even warmer for 4wd on the Sunday with temperatures predicted to peak at 24°C. First thing in the morning, Track crew members went out onto the track with a couple of roller brushes which cleared any debris and moisture off the racing line. The 2wd track layout was nearly the same as the Euros layout from several weeks before which meant that lots of people were already familiar with it.
The morning started with a driver’s briefing and then straight into two x 3 minute practice rounds. The track has a large layout with lots of lumps and bumps to be negociated. There were lots of areas causing drivers problems including a high speed sweeper off the straight and double step-up jump under the driver’s stand.
The sun was out and drying the track nicely by the time 2wd qualifying started. Looking at the pace of the cars in practice it looked like 14 laps might just be possible and in 2wd Qualifying Round 1, Michal Orlowski was very close putting in 13/300.91. Tommy Hall was second fastest just 0.7 seconds behind – it was obvious at that stage that the battle or the runner-up spot in the series was on! Hall struck back in round two with Ben Smith coming home 2nd and Orlowski third. This popped Hall to the top of the table after two rounds. The game of cat & mouse battle ceased in round 3 with Orlowski taking it up a notch and achieving 14 laps in 322.72. Hall now having a slower run than we had seen from him so far, but still enough for second in round. And finally in round 4, Orlowski further stretched his legs to shave another 2 seconds off his best time and secure pole position for the A Finals.
Overall 2wd qualifying top ten:
|1||Michal Orlowski||0 [(0) (3) 0 0]||14/320.05|
|2||Tommy Hall||2 [2 0 (2) (5)]||13/304.29|
|3||Ben Smith||4 [(4) 2 (10) 2]||13/303.07|
|4||Josh Holdsworth||7 [3 (35) (15) 4]||13/306.71|
|5||Jamie Hall||8 [(19) (24) 5 3]||13/305.32|
|6||Luke Holdsworth||8 [5 (10) 3 (115)]||13/306.82|
|7||Tyler Liddle||11 [(15) 7 4 (15)]||13/307.81|
|8||Lee Martin||11 [(6) 5 6 (10)]||13/311.20|
|9||Paul Crompton||12 [(16) 4 (12) 8]||13/311.08|
|10||Tom Yardy||13 [(7) (8) 7 6]||13/307.82|
2wd A Final Leg 1 got off to a fast start. Tommy Hall in second has a tighter and faster line off the straight than most and he used that to draw up to the back of Orlowski in the first few corners. Orlowski was able to respond however and restored the gap by the middle of lap 1. Then it was Hall’s turn to counterattack over lap 2, again drawing up to the back of Orlowski with Josh Holdsworth and Ben Smith in tow. The four drivers making up a breakaway pack. Coming off the straight at the end of lap 2, again, Hall was significantly quicker and got up beside Orlowski on the small roller in front of race control but couldn’t make his move stick. The top four cars spread out a little and started to circulate at similar pace. 2 minutes into the race, Hall in second grip rolled whilst coming out of the bomb hole allowing Smith and Holdsworth through. Orlowski started building a gap at the front with a hard charging Smith two seconds behind. Smith got a bad bounce resulting in a half spin – the new order at the midpoint – Orlowski, Holdsworth, Smith & Hall. There were further problems for Smith on the next lap when another error allowed Tyler Liddle to take up third in the race – Orlowski now with a healthy lead and Holdsworth in pursuit some 2 seconds behind. Over the remaining 5 laps Holdsworth chipped into Orlowski’s lead 0.2 or 0.3 seconds at a time. He got to about 0.5 seconds or so before the final tone sounded – final order Orlowski, Holdsworth, Smith.
The start of the 2wd A Final Leg 2 got off in similar style to the first run. Tommy Hall very quick and smooth through the first turn and straight onto Orlowski’s back bumper for the roller under race control. All main four protagonists at the front of the field stayed in qualifying order for the first few laps. The first to break the order was Ben Smith in third – a roll coming onto the straight allowing Josh Holdsworth through. However, by the midpoint, Smith had reclaimed third and was putting the hammer down to try and make up the three or four second lead the two cars at the front had. At the front, Tommy Hall was putting Orlowski under pressure, but it wasn’t having much effect. Hall looking especially quick off the straight and past race control, but only able at best to match Orlowski’s pace from that point on each lap. With a minute to go Smith achieved his goal and made a twosome a threesome at the front. However, it was all change in the battle for the lead when Hall managed to get up the inside of Orlowski whilst dropping into the bomb hole and made his inside line advantage count forcing Orlowski back to second. Orlowski pushed on to try and recover the lost position making a couple of moves on Hall before a mistake on the step-up meant he lost enough time to lose a position to Smith whilst recovering from the mistake. A lap later, another mistake from Michal Orlowski dowsed any chance he had of recovery as the final tone sounded. Hall leading with Smith in pursuit had one lap left to make it count. Smith drew right up to Halls back bumper before a bad landing off the big jump under the drivers stand ended all his hopes. Hall cruised to the Leg win. Leg 2 result – Hall, Smith, Orlowski.
The start of 2wd A Final Leg 3 was disastrous for Tommy Hall as he wheelied off the start line and broke into a barrel roll. The accident relegated him to last place, and he spent the next couple of laps outpacing his rivals and getting lucky breaks from accidents ahead of him to recover to fourth by lap four. At the front of the field, Michal Orlowski was building his lead in large chunks with Josh Holdsworth some two seconds behind and Jamie Hall another second after that. As Tommy Hall caught Jamie Hall though the chicanes before the straight, Tommy accidentally tagged Jamie causing a crash. Tommy waited for Jamie whilst he got back on track, but the delay put paid to any attempt to catch Orlowski and the coveted second place in the series. Over the final two minutes of the race, Orlowski led with Holdsworth three seconds in arrears in second place and the Hall brothers led by Jamie hard charging in third and fourth. The race order didn’t change again before the finish. Leg 3 final results – Orlowski, J Holdsworth, J Hall.
The second win gives Michal Orlowski the overall 2wd win for the meeting and secures him second place in the overall 2022 Championship behind Neil Cragg. Hard charginf Josh Holdsworth took second in the 2wd meeting. Tommy Hall was third on the day and third overall in the series.
Although not competing at Round 6, 2022 BRCA 2wd Champion Neil Cragg was gracious enough to attend the prize giving and congratulate the runners-up. Neil reported that there have not been too many sleepless nights for him since the arrival of his son, but his wife may not agree – we wish him and family all the best.
2022 has been a vintage year for the BRCA National Series and it was made extra memorable with the conjunction of the BRCA’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. On the Saturday evening after racing, drivers and their families were treated to pulled pork baps and drinks as the prize giving was being set up. There were also sugar-coated fairy cakes on offer for those with a sweeter tooth – each adorned with a “BRCA 50 Years” edible crown.
Overall 2wd results
|1||1||Michal Orlowski||2 [ 1 3 1 – 14/ 323.13 ]||23.08||F5|
|2||4||Josh Holdsworth||4 [ 2 7 2 – 13/ 300.76 ]||23.14||F1||U19|
|3||2||Tommy Hall||5 [ 7 1 4 – 14/ 322.81 ]||23.06||F1||U19|
|4||3||Ben Smith||5 [ 3 2 8 – 14/ 325.45 ]||23.25||F1||U19|
|5||5||Jamie Hall||7 [ 8 4 3 – 13/ 307.20 ]||23.63||F1||U19|
|6||7||Tyler Liddle||10 [ 5 8 5 – 13/ 310.78 ]||23.91||F1||U19|
|7||6||Luke Holdsworth||11 [ 9 5 6 – 13/ 306.53 ]||23.58||F1|
|8||8||Lee Martin||12 [ 6 6 7 – 13/ 307.29 ]||23.64||F1|
|9||9||Paul Crompton||13 [ 4 9 10 – 13/ 308.68 ]||23.74||F1|
|10||10||Tom Yardy||19 [ 10 10 9 – 12/ 305.08 ]||25.42||F1|
With 2wd now done for the year, all attention was on the final days racing and 4wd. The 4wd track layout was particularly good making excellent use of the track’s natural features. And there is no better way to enjoy such a track than in blazing sunshine…. Again! It really has been a superb summer. After the 8am drivers briefing all drivers participated in the usual double three-minute practice sessions – Paul Crompton, Josh Holdsworth, Michal Orlowski, Lee Martin, Tommy Hall, Jamie Hall, Edward Callan and Matt Thomson all quick out of the blocks. 4wd Qualifying got going under mostly clear skies and the pace was hot from the word go. Orlowski had already claimed the Championship title, but a good result would be needed to claim second place. Tommy Hall got off to a cracking start claiming Round 1 TQ with his closest rivals in the series right behind him. In round 2, Michal Orlowski opened the taps to gap the field by about 5 seconds and was the only man on 14 laps. Ben Smith was the most consistent over qualifying so far and sat at the top of the table. In round 3 it was Smith’s turn to show his pace with a TQ in round and on a faster time than Orlowski – a time which would not be beaten in qualifying.
In Round 4 Orlowski made a good attempt, taking TQ and overall Pole Position for the A Finals with Smith in second and Tommy Hall in third overall. Lee Martin winding up his pace to take second in round and fourth in overall qualifying.
|1||Michal Orlowski||0 [(5) 0 (3) 0]||14/316.79|
|2||Ben Smith||2 [2 (2) 0 (81)]||14/316.21|
|3||Tommy Hall||2 [0 (15) 2 (10)]||14/321.45|
|4||Lee Martin||5 [3 (3) (6) 2]||14/317.33|
|5||Luke Holdsworth||8 [(8) 5 (8) 3]||14/321.87|
|6||Josh Holdsworth||8 [4 (6) 4 (5)]||14/318.63|
|7||Jamie Hall||11 [(30) (7) 7 4]||13/300.26|
|8||Edward Callan||11 [(9) 4 (9) 7]||13/302.71|
|9||Paul Crompton||11 [(6) (55) 5 6]||13/300.36|
|10||Phil Sleigh||17 [7 10 (19) (15)]||13/307.13|
4wd A Final Leg 1 got off to a good start but soon there was drama halfway into lap 1 when the leader Michal Orlowski jumped short on the big jump under the driver’s stand and had a champion’s roll allowing Ben Smith through. At the end of lap 1 the new leader, Ben Smith, grip rolled, and barrel rolled out of the lead at the straight allowing Orlowski back into the lead with Tommy Hall, Lee Martin and Luke Holdsworth in close pursuit. Smith back in fifth. At the halfway mark Orlowski had checked out as the battle for second raged between Tommy Hall, Luke Holdsworth and Ben Smith. There was nothing between them it was going to take a mistake from one of them to get things moving. All three held out will the 30 seconds to go call when Luke Holdsworth rolled coming into the bon hole. This allowed the three horse race to become a two horse race between Hall and Smith. Smith pushed Hall all the way – getting up beside him at one point – but in the end couldn’t make anything stick. Leg 2 result – Orlowski, T Hall, Smith.
2022 BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships
Round 6 – RHR – 27/28 August 2022
4wd A Final Leg 2 got off in similar disrupted style as halfway into lap 1, Tommy Hall in third got hooked up on a hairpin and dropped to fifth. Even after only 1 lap, Orlowski looked like he was making a bid to check out. A mistake from Ben Smith then positioned Lee Martin in second. As Orlowski’s pace went unrivalled, Josh Holdsworth was a man on the move in third – his car looking very stable. He was under pressure from Ben Smith and the two wasted no time reeling in Lee Martin who then faltered let both through in second and third respectively. Orlowski with a 3.5 seconds lead was unlikely to be caught with making a mistake, but Holdsworth and Smith were going to give it a go anyway and were flying. With 9 seconds to go, Smith made a couple of small errors which only cost him a few cars lengths, but it was enough to take the pressure of Josh Holdsworth. And unfortunately, a lap later a couple of mistakes at the exact same place for Smith saw Lee Martin come though to third and Smith drop to fourth. And then further drama with 30 seconds to go when Josh Holdsworth who was safe in second rolled out of the bomb hole and had to be marshalled allowing Martin to now inherit second place as well. As the finishing tone sounded, Orlowski crossed the line to take the win and the 4wd meeting, and the ”Double” – Lee Martin 2nd, Josh Holdsworth 3rd. With Tommy Hall not placing in Leg 2, he would need a win or a second behind Orlowski to secure 2nd in the overall series.
From the very start of 4wd A Final Leg 3, Michal Orlowski continuously developed his lead and started to check-out. Ben Smith in second was on a fast pace but couldn’t match Orlowski. At the race midpoint, Orlowski had a 2.5 second lead, Smith in second with Tommy Hall, Lee Martin and Luke Holdsworth close behind. Holdsworth was the first to falter, losing his position at the back of the chasing pack. Then with 2 minutes to go it was Tommy Hall’s turn – a disaster for the 2wd EFRA European Champion. The bad landing and roll in the middle of the track would see Ben Smith progress out of reach and Lee Martin pass him. 4th would not be enough for 2nd in the 4wd Championship. The race order didn’t change again before the race ended – Orlowski, Smith Martin.
Overall 4wd results:
|1||1||Michal Orlowski||2 [ 1 1 1 – 14/ 311.28 ]||22.23||F5|
|2||2||Ben Smith||5 [ 3 4 2 – 14/ 315.46 ]||22.53||F1||U19|
|3||4||Lee Martin||5 [ 5 2 3 – 14/ 322.15 ]||23.01||F1|
|4||3||Tommy Hall||6 [ 2 7 4 – 14/ 323.61 ]||23.12||F1||U19|
|5||5||Luke Holdsworth||9 [ 4 5 5 – 13/ 303.68 ]||23.36||F1|
|6||6||Josh Holdsworth||10 [ 8 3 7 – 13/ 300.61 ]||23.12||F1||U19|
|7||8||Edward Callan||12 [ 10 6 6 – 13/ 301.74 ]||23.21||F1|
|8||9||Paul Crompton||14 [ 6 8 9 – 13/ 304.88 ]||23.45||F1|
|9||10||Phil Sleigh||15 [ 7 10 8 – 13/ 308.47 ]||23.73||F1||V40|
|10||7||Jamie Hall||18 [ 9 9 10 – 13/ 308.97 ]||23.77||F1||U19|
4wd Championship podium – 1st Michal Orlowski, 2nd Neil Cragg (absent), 3rd Tommy Hall.
Overall Championship final classifications can be found on http://www.brca.org/results
So that is RacewayOne done at the BRCA Nationals for 2022. It’s been a privilege and quite exciting at times to be involved and I’m especially happy to have met so many new people. In case you don’t know, I needed a fair bit of logistical assistance this year with lots of flight routes being cancelled and hire cars being so expensive.
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the competitors who went out of their way to help me out – Mark Musgrove, Aidan Burke, Chris James, Ryan Clarke, Phil Sleigh, James Halliwell, Alex Carter, Mannie Panesar & Kieran Adamson thank you so much.
All of the A Finals from the season are on our YouTube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/racewayone
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Points Table 1
Overall Championship results: