Harley Eldridge breaks Olly Jefferies' domination in the MB Models King of Clubs

10th Electric Circuit

Eldridge, still just 19 years of age, won the first two rounds of qualifying with her Yokomo BD10. In Round 3, Jefferies bounced back, showing his psychological strength to deal with the few spots of 'mental rain' and the third run tyres better than the rest. Heading into Round 4, the on-site commentators from RC:TV wondered if Jefferies would break the seal on his second set of tyres and push for TQ, needing to win the round and better Eldridge's best time from RD2. Those who know Jefferies already knew the answer - he is not a driver who settles for second place. The X-ray man was forced to accept being out-qualified; however, after the first few laps of the final qualifying run were enough to understand the changes made in the hope of bettering Eldridge weren't working.

Eldridge got off to a blistering start in the first leg of the two-legged final races pulling a small gap on Jefferies with Capricorn's Kyle Branson in third. Jefferies, however, responded mid-race to close the gap and pile the pressure on the leader in impressive style, under mounting pressure himself from Branson behind. But, again, Eldridge showed class and steely determination, changing lines through the tight infield section to thwart any potential pass from the drivers behind to take a stellar win.

Leg two started similarly, Eldridge getting away, Jefferies closing and nipping at her heels from mid-race. This time, Jefferies made contact with the rear end of Eldridge's Yokomo. Eldridge emerged from the mele still leading, but not unscathed, with a tucked body shell fouling a rear tyre generating erratic handling. Unable to maintain her previous pace, Branson swiftly moved past to lead. The fight for second was suddenly a four-way battle with Matthew White and Zak Smith catching Jefferies and Eldridge. Smith tagged White soon after to end the challenge, and Jefferies finally made a pass stick through the infield, the shell tuck leaving Eldridge unable to hold a line. Frustration then told, Eldridge took too much kerb into the final sweeper, launching her Yokomo into the side fence. A thrilling race finished with Branson P1 from Jefferies, White, Smith and Eldridge.

DSC 0082

After the two finals, Branson took the overall win on countback from Jefferies and Eldridge. The crowd (and promoter) wished for a third final to resolve matters.

Commenting on his victory, Branson said, "We all need a little bit of luck sometimes, and I certainly had some today. Still, I was really pleased with how my car responded to changes throughout the day. I'm happy to take the win".

Responding, Eldridge commented, "That's racing, and that's close racing. But, breaking Olly's dominance in the series is a great feeling, and I'm looking forward to the next one".

Jefferies said, "You can't win them all, even though that's the aim. Harley had the pace today and really deserved to win overall. But this race is done, and I'll be back next time, trying even harder". Magnanimous. And still, the man to beat.

Aldershots Glenn Westwood returned to form with a fine TQ and double victory in 17.5 blinky. West London's Ash Wiffen and Colchester's Ricky Copsey took a win apiece in an extremely close 13.5 blinky class, but Adur's Marcus Askell won overall with two solid podium drives.

The Monitex Formula One class proved itself again as another home for thrilling RC racing. Aldershot's Dan Robins took victory from Eastbourne's Aidan Gale and West London's Paul Ellis in an exceptionally close-fought set of races.

Fourteen young drivers, all under 12 years old, took to the track in the Tamiya Junior-E, one of the highlights of the day. Split into 'rookies' and 'juniors' depending on experience and driving stock Tamiya TT02's championship leader Archie Matthews once again came out on top in the Junior's after battling his now established rival Finlay Lanaway. But it was 'Team Standing' that left the podium with the biggest smiles as cousins Harry and Tyler Standing finished first and second in the rookies class.

Round 4 of the King of Clubs is at West London Racing Centre on 18th July.