2016 Whiteline 22B.com Sprint Series – Round 5 – Croft
7th September 2016
Round 5 Report
3rd September 2016
The three class winners: Olly Clark, Joes Cross and Alan Tait didn’t let the extremely wet conditions in the fifth round of the Whiteline 22B Sprint Series at Croft on 3rd September, get in the way of them claiming successive wins in Class S3, S2 and S1 respectively. This trio of Subaru drivers repeated their round four results that were, in contrast, achieved on a hot and dry day at Hethel.
The sixth event in this season’s calendar took place at England’s most northern race track, the 2.1-mile Croft circuit that is located just a few miles south of Darlington. Starting from the pit lane exit and finishing adjacent to the pit lane entrance, the sprint course comprised almost a full lap of this fast and flat former airfield that is a firm favourite with drivers.
The day’s three practice runs began in the dry, but the rain-free conditions didn’t last long and very soon the circuit became decidedly wet. Hopes of an improvement became less likely as the competitive runs started and the intrepid drivers had little choice but to get to grips with whatever grip they could find as they negotiated the random pools of standing water.
No doubt calling on his former rallying experience and his subsequent familiarity of driving in slippery conditions, driving his Spec C impreza, Clark was in a league of his own as he headed towards a hat-trick of wins this season. His closest challenger on this occasion was Tim Bedford in a WRX, who finished second in Class S3 – the category for cars with unlimited modifications.
Cross’s performance in his Class S2 – for track specification cars – RA Impreza enabled him to claim the third-fastest time of the day as well score his hat-trick of wins, with Niall Bradley taking the runner-up spot in his WRX. Bradley was pushed all the way by Chris Hetherington, who finished just 0.61 seconds behind.
In Class S3 for fast road cars it was another impressive performance by Tait that not only saw him take his second win in a row, but set the fourth-fastest overall time of the day in his WRX. He finished just over a second ahead of second-placed Adrian Bristow in a Type RA Impreza.
Although all drivers coped well with the conditions, unfortunately the circuit’s noise measuring system didn’t. The additional ambient noise created by the falling rain, together with the sound of the cars surfing through the waterlogged track, meant that organisers had to be creative in order to ensure the event could continue without upsetting the locals.
Consequently, cars were started only when the previous car crossed the finish line and, while this solved the noise issue, the upshot of running at intervals of over a minute rather than the usual 30-seconds, saw only three competitive runs held. As it turned out, this condensing of activity intensified the element of competition, as drivers had to ensure that every run counted.
The last round of the season takes place at what is likely to be the most challenging of all the six venues visited this season: Cadwell Park. Taking place on 29th October, competitors will now have to wait eight weeks before end of season points and positions can be finally confirmed.
The 2016 Whiteline 22B.com Sprint Series is sponsored by: Whiteline Performance Suspension, AS Performance, Chevron Motorsport and Area 52 Autosport.
Increasing the series’ profile this year is the addition of live commentary and video filming at every round that will be broadcast throughout the season on social media.
|Round 5 Class Winners|
|S1||AS Performance||Alan Tait||Impreza WRX||1:45.41|
|S2||Chevron Motorsport||Joe Cross||Impreza RA||1:44.97|
|S3||Area 52 Autosport||Olly Clark||Impreza Spec C||1: 32.61 (FTD)|
Notes for editors
The Whiteline 22B.com Sprint Series features three classes:
Class S1: For Fast Road specification cars – sponsored by AS Performance
Class S2: For Track specification car – sponsored by Chevron Motorsport
Class S3: For cars with unlimited modifications – sponsored by Area 52 Autosport
All cars must be road legal.
|11th June:||Castle Combe|
|29th October:||Cadwell Park|
For further details and to register for the series please contact Darin Frow: firstname.lastname@example.org
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