12th Circuit Nationals Rounds 1 & 2 Eastbourne Race Report

1/12th Circuit

It's good to be back. LMP12 and GT12 Nationals go racing again. 

 

Rounds 1 and 2 of the BRCA 12th Circuit Section Nationals were held last weekend in Eastbourne. This was the first national competition for the section since before the pandemic so was well anticipated. There has been a change to the format of the series  with the LMP12 and GT Circuit sections combining forces and offering a GT12 class and a 13.5 stock LMP12 class. The championship is being held over 6 rounds with 4 counting rounds. 

 

The Eastbourne club laid out a large track at their Robertsbridge facility using the excellent carpet used at the 2020 World Championships.  On first impressions the track layout looked quite intimidating but was actually a fast and flowing track that would test the skills of all the drivers. There was a capacity entry of 30 GT12 drivers and 56 LMP12 drivers. 

On Saturday for round 1 the GT12 class was first to take to the track. This class provides an excellent way for novice to experienced drivers to experience pan car racing. The slower speed compared to LMP12 and more forgiving bodyshells means that close wheel to wheel racing is almost guaranteed when these cars take to the track. 

 

It would be a battle between Nathan Goodban and Dan Robins for the pole position. The two drivers were on equal pace with Nathan taking an early lead before Dan drove a clean and fast run in round 4 to secure pole position from Nathan and James Varah in third. 

 

The GT12 final unfortunately didn’t offer the battle at the front between Dan and Nathan as an early incident dropped Nathan to the back of the field before retiring the car mid race. Dan drove superbly and was untroubled to the tone taking the round 1 win. The race for second and third was more intense with James Varah, Matt Hunter and Stephen Rogers battling over the 6 minutes. Matt Would take second place with James and Stephen racing to the line with James taking third to complete the podium. 

 

GT12 A Final Result Round 1 

1 Daniel Robins - Schumacher

2 Matt Hunter - Schumacher

3 James Varah - Zen Racing

4 Stephen Rogers - Schumacher

5Ewan Thompson-Schumacher

6 Oscar Keen - Schumacher

7 Joseph Moore - Schumacher

8 James Taylor - Schumacher

9 Christopher Hammer - Schumacher

10 Nathanael Goodban - Schumacher

In LMP12 the championship was split into formula finals with F1 and F2 classes competing. In F2 junior driver Finlay Williams would top the time sheets ahead of Gavin Clinch and Mark Barford. In F1 it would be David Spashett on pole position after putting together a superb run to put him almost half a lap up on Ollie Payne in second with Matt Varah completing the top three as the only other driver on the same lap. 

The F2 A final would get off to a clean start and Finlay would drive a fast and smooth race to take the win, finishing a lap up on the field. Gavin clinch would take second with Mark Barford close behind in third. These drivers being separated by a single second. 

LMP12 F2 A Final Round 1 Result 

1 Finley Williams - Roche

2 Gavin Clinch - Zen Racing

3 Mark Barford - Zen Racing

4 Nigel Hale - Awesomatix

5 Geraint Williams - Xray

6 Andy Cottom - Schumacher

7 Nigel Bowen - Awesomatix

8 James Eaves - Schumacher

9 Mark Rogers - Awesomatix

10 Stuart Colby - Zen Racing

 

The F1 A final would see David come under a lot of pressure from Ollie for the first two minutes. Ollie would be glued to the back of David’s car but was unable to make a pass before David settled into a rhythm and pulled a small gap that he then maintained to take the win ahead of Ollie in Second. Third place would see Matt Varah come under pressure from Adam Mackman and Mark Stiles who qualified fourth and fifth respectively. A small mistake from Matt and Mark would see them drop back with Adam driving a clean fast race to complete the podium. 

LMP12 F1 A Final Round 1 Result 

1 David Spashett - Zen Racing

2 Ollie Payne - Roche

3 Adam Mackman - Schumacher

4 Matthew Varah - Roche

5 Mark Stiles - Roche

6 Ben Vincent - Roche

7 Andrew Smith - CRC

8 Morgan Williams - Roche

9 Stuart Cartwright - Xray

10 Neil Diver - Zen Racing

 

Sunday would follow the same format as the day before and count as round 2 of the championship. Although the track layout remained the same the grip levels continued to build leading to faster times through the day and an added challenge for the drivers to master with their car setup. 

GT12 would see Daniel Robins top the time sheets in all four rounds of qualifying with Nathan Goodban close behind. Both drivers were very similar in one lap pace but Dan was able to edge a couple of seconds gap over the 6 minute qualifying run. Third on the grid would be taken by James Taylor closely followed by Stephen Rogers in fourth. 

The final would see Daniel get away cleanly but Nathan made a small mistake which dropped him down the field before some racing contact would drop him further back. James Taylor would give chase to Dan but was unable to challenge for the lead in the early part of the race. Nathan managed to make his way back up through the field and in the closing laps caught up with Dan. At this point in the race Nathan had significantly more pace as a failing wheel bearing was hindering Dan’s car but Dan defended well and Nathan was unable to find a way past giving Dan his second win of the weekend.  James Taylor would finish third closely followed by junior Driver Ewan Thompson who raced his way up from 6th place. 

GT12 A Final Round 2 Result

1 Daniel Robins - Schumacher 

2 Nathanael Goodban - Schumacher

3 James Taylor - Schumacher

4 Ewan Thompson - Schumacher

5 Matt Hunter - Schumacher

6 Stephen Rogers - Schumacher

7 Oscar Keen - Schumacher

8 Michael Hull - Schumacher

9 Joseph Moore - Schumacher

10 Mark Keen - Schumacher

In F2 Finlay Williams lead all four rounds of qualifying with some very fast and consistent runs. He was closely followed by Stuart Rand who was racing his first LMP12 national after doing well in GT12 at the British Grand Prix. Mark Rogers and Geraint Williams had found more pace and would complete the front two rows of the grid. 

Finlay would lead away cleanly from the grid with Stuart in pursuit but Stuart was unable to match Finlay’s pace and he would take his second win of the weekend. Stuart would take second place ahead of Geraint Williams who completed the F2 podium. 

LMP12 F2 A final Round 2 Result 

1 Finley Williams - Roche

2 Stuart Rand - Roche

3 Geraint Williams - Xray

4 Stuart Colby - Zen Racing

5 Nigel Hale - Awesomatix

6 Gavin Clinch - Zen Racing

7 Mark Rogers - Awesomatix

8 James Eaves - Schumacher

9 Mark Payne - Awesomatix

10 Mark Barford - Zen Racing

In F1 it would be much closer than the day before with David and Ollie racing hard to get pole position. David would come out on top for his second pole position of the weekend but with Ollie close behind in second we were on track for a close final. Matt Varah would again line up third with Mark Stiles in fourth. 

The final would provide some fantastic close racing with Ollie as close to the back of David’s car as possible from the first corner. He would make a brilliant clean pass just before the entrance to the straight and opened a small gap over David. There would be a close race behind in the first half of the race for third between Matt Varah, Mark Siles and Adam Mackman with Mark Stiles driving well to secure third. However, the main action was at the front where with around 2 minutes to go David had worked his way back to Ollie and was putting him under a lot of pressure. Despite a very close attempt on the last lap David was unable to find a way past Ollie and would have to settle for second on this occasion. It was a fantastic example of some of the best LMP12 driving and a brilliant way to finish the weekend. 

LMP12 F1 A Final Round 2 Result

1 Ollie Payne - Roche

2 David Spashett - Zen Racing

3 Mark Stiles - Roche

4 Matthew Varah - Roche

5 Ben Vincent - Roche

6 Aaron Morley - AM

7 Morgan Williams - Roche

8 Andrew Smith - CRC

9 Mark Jewitt - Schumacher

10 Adam Mackman - Schumacher

 

It was great to be back racing again after such a long break and the Eastbourne club did us proud with a great circuit, smooth running and a canteen run by the club members that kept us all fed and watered throughout the weekend.  

The championship now moves to Tamworth in February and we look forward to another weekend of enjoyable fun 12th circuit racing.