Track Day Trophy – Rockingham
23rd June 2016
Team Big Skidz’s driver Kester Cook took a lights-to-flag victory, in a Rockingham thriller to become the first double overall winner of the 2016 season.
There was a lot of apprehension as the cars entered qualifying. The first lap offered a mix of the familiar green flag, and the red and yellow stripe flags; indicating “less than perfect” conditions for 3 of the more important corners on the banked circuit. Despite the conditions, a hard fought session culminated with Kester Cooks fiesta leading the Class S pack by 4 hundredths of a second ahead of the hard charging Darren Goes, and only two tenths ahead of the Silverstone pole sitter/race winner Richard Bromley. The leading trio were joined by two Class A hopefuls, in the form of the BMW of James Britton and the Porsche of David Gardner and Chris Mills. These two joining the fray meant the top five cars were covered by less than a second when the session was brought to an end.
Further down the order the Class B battle was again one to watch, with the top 4 in class again covered by less than a second. This time it was the rear wheel drive Porsche of the father/son Wright family who beat the Abbitt brothers to the point in class – a reversal of the order at Silverstone. Front wheel drive ruled supreme in Class C, for the first time in 2016 as the duo of House and Andy Tate managed to leapfrog the Snetterton Class C ‘pole sitters’ MAD Motorsport with a late attempt with their fastest time recorded on the 14th lap. Class D laurels went to the Supatune Puma of Jason Francis ahead of the Moores Motors car of Oli O’Neill.
When the lights went off at the start of the race, pole sitter Kester Cook made a great start ahead of a bogged down Seat Cup car of Goes. The rear wheel drive advantage off the line was too great however, and the charging BMW’s of Bromley and Britton and Porsche of Autorevive pair Gardner and Mills engulfing the front row pair in the run to the first corner.
Great starts by the Porsche of Team Bacon Butty Racing and the Seat of Windgat Racing also saw them win in the long run to turn one.
Thirty five into one doesn’t (always) work, and as the cars raced into the Deene Hairpin conscious efforts by the drivers to survive the first corner prevailed; with the only casualty being in the form of Sir Hamster Face’s Fiesta dropping its wing mirror – following a lightning start by the number 6 car.
A great start by the VX220 put him in the lead and fighting the class leader Lewis Denslow in the early stages, just ahead of the Wright pairing in their Porsche.
Class C fast starter Colin Tester took the early advantage yet again as he put the Supatune MR2 ahead of its rivals on the first lap, holding the advantage until a move on lap 4 put the MAD motorsport BMW just in front.
Up front the Seat of Goes wrestled its way past Cook, then Britton and the Gardner/Mills car to claim the lead. This was a lead that the charging Goes held up till the pit stop, pitting from the lead with a eleven second lead from the then second place car of Gardner and Mills.
With the pit window open, team tactics started to show as the early stoppers aimed to leapfrog the front runners. In the rush to the pits various drive-through penalties were applied for short stops…
The pit window fell perfectly for the Moores Motors car of O’Neil however, who managed to jump the Supatune Puma of Francis in this stage of the race and maintain the lead of the class till the end.
One of the penalties did manage to fall on the leading Mangoes Racing Seat of Darren Goes, this relegated him from the lead in the latter part of the race. With “it all do” at the end, the charging Goes was pushing on, until mechanical failure put pay to his race bringing out the red flag; gifting a hard fought second 2016 win to the Big Skidz Racing Team Fiesta of Cook.
Class B was narrowly won by the Denslow Fiesta by a fraction over two seconds (after 45 minutes racing) to the Abbitt duo’s Peugeot 306. Class C laurels went to the consistent pairing of father and son McDougals, in the Frugal Racing MR2.
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