The 1/12th F1 Stockcar National Series returned on Monday the 29th May after a mini break as drivers headed to Urmston
Raceway for round 3 of the championship. Anthony Wyper, who has been the man to beat in the opening 2 rounds goes into the event as pre-meeting favourite with it also being his home track. On recent form, you would put money on him being up there challenging for the top spot but as you know, in this formula we have a handful of drivers all looking at bringing him down a level! With a handful of Rugby drivers in town for this event too, you know full well the bumpers would be flying in either way!!
We have 41 drivers booked into race including Rugby’s Ryan Cattell who has very much brought his A game to the series after a lengthy spell out in recent years. He will be hoping to spoil the party for the local drivers and take the win back home with him! He’s certainly been getting the practice in so no excuses now!! Team Eccles of Brandon, Graham and James are once again in attendance and with all 3 of them making the final at the last round at Rugby. They will be
hoping to claw back some points on the currently unbeaten Anthony Wyper. Alfie Jones is another name you can’t go by without mentioning. He’s been struggling a little this year for his extremely high standards but I’m quietly confident he’ll be someone you need to keep an eye on over the next few rounds. He’s started to find his form in recent weeks and his results around his local track of Rugby is now starting to show.
The ever-present Scottish contingents are the dark horses of the section at the moment! Kev Falconer and youngster
Lennon Cuthill have both started the season brilliantly with the pair of them making the final at Rugby in round 2. Gary
Riddell is another name who’s always up there in the mix, but so far has failed to make a final. Can his luck change
around Urmston?
Matt Philpott and youngster Emily Jacklin, both in tip top form recently are expected to be up their challenging for the win after some promising results around their local track. Both drivers still very new to the sport, but clearly hasn’t fazed them as they’ve blasted through the grades and are now competing at the very top with the likes of Anthony Wyper on a weekly basis. You can’t even class them as dark horses now as they’ve both really hit the ground running lately and even the likes of ‘Toe’ has had to up his game that extra touch just to keep a nose length in front of the pair.
Hot off the back of retaining his title, the recently crowned European champion in the 1/8th Maikel Rutten has travelled
over from Holland to compete at the national this weekend alongside the 1/8ths at Leicester on the Sunday. He’s
dominated the Dutch competition back home in years gone by, but how will he fair after a short spell out from the 1/12
th section? The 1/12ths only tend to run during the winter over in Holland, so this is very unlike Maikel to be racing indoors while the British summer is here! Ben Harding .. A name that needs no introduction is another driver who’s joining Maikel with the trip up to Urmston after finishing 3rdin the 1/8th’s the day before. As suspected, a late morning arrival from the pair of them meant that they missed their opening qualifying rounds. As Maikel would say .. S*** happens!! A gentleman who is very much known around the 1/12th ovals is none other than Mr Urmston himself Alan Crossland. Alan has been running the F1 nationals at Urmston for 32 years. That is unbelievable and a true credit to the man who has put so much time and effort into the club He called me over halfway through the meeting and mentioned about a photo that was posted on social media not so long ago from Clive Buckler I believe ... The person in question was unsure on the date or what the exact event was, Alan popped up and mentioned that it was a certain date and that my dad won the best yellow grade that day. I’m just stood there like; how do you know these things off the top of your head!!! Truly bonkers. Sounds nothing, but when you try to re-call a previous national or event at Urmston, he just seems to know exactly what went on that day! Truly remarkable and a true gentleman.
As always, the event started with an open practice to allow the drivers to get some valuable track time before heading
into the qualifying heats. 4 qualifying heats with your best 3 to count was the format. Top 7 to go through automatically
including 2 from the consolation race. With the stakes high, everyone knew you couldn’t really afford to many bad races otherwise it’s very much game over!
The drivers placed their cars on track prior to heat 1 for the annual concourse event. This was won by Rugby’s Stuart Clarke. 

Round 1

World Champion Brandon Eccles returned to the oval in dominant style with victory in his opening race on 93 laps in what was quite a scrappy race in truth which was expected with a jam-packed field of cars. His brother James followed suit in the next race with a win in heat 2 on 94 laps. Heat 3 was our opening Scottish win of the weekend in the form of Gary Riddell on 92 laps. He will be hoping he can continue this form throughout his remaining qualifying heats for a spot in the main final.
Heat 4 was a shock result however a well deserved one with Urmston’s Billy Clague taking the chequered flag with 92 laps. A yellow top winning a heat on the national scene is not very often seen, so a big congratulations to Billy on the
race win. Heat 5 was a dominant display for the current leader of the national points series Anthony Wyper. He topped the standings at the end of the opening round with 97 laps. Latecomers Ben Harding and Maikel Rutten were nonstarters for the opening set of heats including Rob Jacklin who I presume had a technical issue with his car
prior to the opening heat. There were no other real surprises in the opening block of
heats, Rugby’s Stuart Clarke and Scotland’s upcoming star Lennon Cuthill both had disappointing starts to their days racing, and both knew full well they couldn’t really afford to many more slip ups if they were wanting to make the top 16. It was clear to see just how quick the racing is around the big oval that is Urmston Raceway. The fact we had 8 / 9 car heats actually make it a little more of a lottery with a number
of white and yellow tops in attendance, drivers calmness and skills would come into play while trying to work their way through the traffic and the stranded cars that were scattered all over the track. I for one was glad to see the busy grid of cars in every heat rather than the 6-7 car heats we do often see nowadays. Whoever made that decision prior to the meeting has my approval! As we set our eyes onto round 2, drivers were quick to jump back into their pit space and make some improvements to their cars as we held a brief 10-15 break before returning with the next set of heats. Who will come out on top this time around?

Round 2

Once again Brandon Eccles jumps out of the blocks extremely fast and a man very much on a mission! He sets the highest score so far of the day with 98 laps in heat 1 of round 2. Heat 2 and a win for local driver Neil Turner on 93 laps. He managed 91 laps in his opening heat so he’s looking good at the moment for a place in the top 16. Can he cause an upset and make the final? Heat 3 was a return to winning ways for Rugby star driver Ryan Cattell. He managed 96 laps which adds well to his 93 in his first heat. A driver you’d expect to see near that front row for the main event. So far, so good!! Heat 4 was yet another win for pre-meeting favourite Anthony Wyper. 93 laps which is comfortable for his standard, but he will be hoping for higher scores if he wants to secure top spot after qualifying. The final heat of round 2 went to Hathern’s Noah Bailey on 87 laps. Not the best scoring heat for Noah even though it was a heat win, he will be looking at some improvements as the meeting progresses. A couple of disappointing results for a few drivers in this
round. James Eccles had a scrappy heat to deal with which left him with 84 laps in his second outing. He will be furious
with that and will have to battle hard if he wants to be making the final automatically. He’s also got to be a little careful he has no more hiccups otherwise it could well be game over for the highly talented driver.
Ben Harding only managed 75 laps in his first outing (after missing his opening race). He felt as though there was a
transponder issue though as he was under the impression he scored a lot more than what the result showed. Maikel
Rutten managed 91 laps which was a good score to work with, he knew though that he also couldn’t afford anymore bad results in his final 2 heats. Poor Rob Jacklin was having a day to forget with a DNS in heat 1, followed by just the 16 laps in heat 2. A real shame for him. Cameron Riddell has concerning issues in his heat managing only 3 laps. Matt Astbury, Chloe Mitchell, Gordon Mutch, Jay Green, Ian Yarwood, Adam Gilbertson and Steve Curley are a handful of drivers who had troubles in their second qualifying heat. Work to do in the final 2 rounds if they wish to make the cut off.

Round 3
Ryan Cattell set the ball rolling in the opening race of the 3rd round with 93 laps. That should be enough to put him automatically into the final with 3 good scoring heats, but if I know Ryan well enough, he’ll certainly be hoping for another high scoring result to get himself on the front row of the grid. Heat 2 to no surprise was another superb victory for the current man in form Anthony Wyper. He wins heat 2 with 99 laps which currently puts him on provisional pole going into the final round. Heat 3 was the Scottish revival to kick into gear again with a brilliant win for Gary Riddell; his second win of the day on 96 laps. Heat 4 was the first win of the day for Graham Eccles on 98 laps. Another driver you can pencil in for the final automatically as it stands. Heat 5 race win went to Matt Philpott on 92 laps. Matt has had
x3 92 laps today so very consistent to say the least!! Enough for a spot in the final? We’ll just have to wait and see! Not too many upsets in round 3 this time around however a DNS for Rugby’s Alfie Jones was a real concern for one of the top drivers in attendance from Rugby. He was complaining of lack of speed throughout his opening rounds and trouble with his handling which didn’t best please the youngster. I was talking to Alfie about things, and this is the thing with this hobby of ours, not always will it go the way we want it too, but you’ve just got to dig deep and keep going. Hopefully my little pet talk will come good for the star grader from Rugby as we approach the final round. A big change in the pits caused him to miss his 3rd qualifying heat in the hope that the changes made will be enough to see him make the top 16 and hopefully the main event! Owen Bates was a driver who was improving the longer the meeting went on. Owen, most known for his hard-hitting bumper work was behaving quite well in truth for his standards and had his sights on a place in the top 16. A big result in Q4 was required though if he wanted to make it into the next stage of the meeting. Talking of big hitters .. Scotland’s McNobby Kev Falconer had a challenging heat in round 3 with
only 83 laps. He would also require a big last round result if he wanted to make it into the final automatically. Could he escape the dreaded consolation event? ‘The real Nobby’ Stuart Clarke was another who was improving as the day went on. His car was bouncing all over the place prior to the meeting starting, so with changes every race it was clear to see things were slowly working in his favour as we approached the final round. Ian Yarwood was having a day to forget. A driver I’d certainly be putting money on making the top 16 was having some major technical issues throughout the day. Enough to retire him from the rest of the meeting. Matt Astbury was another driver who was having issues and was another name who had to retire from the remainder of the meeting.

Round 4.The final round of heats was very much last chance saloon for several drivers all looking at getting themselves into the top 16 and in with a chance of being the winner of the national. With such talented drivers on display, it was always going to be a tough ask for some. Anthony Wyper proved why he’s the man to beat with the first 100 laps of the national in heat 1. This was enough for Anthony to qualify on pole for the main event. Heat 2 went to Rugby’s Ben Harding in the current re-vamped Rob Harrad car that he’s been using while he’s been away in New Zealand the past 6+ months. 93 laps was a brilliant result, but sadly for Ben it wasn’t enough to make it into the last 16 due to his DNS in heat 1 and technical issues in his second visit. Heat 3 was another dominant performance from Rugby’s Ryan Cattell. 99 laps in his final race meant that he would be joining Anthony Wyper on the front row for the grand final. Can Ryan pull something out of the bag to beat the favourite? Heat 4 was Alfie Jones first win of the day! His DNS in heat 3 has been pushed aside and his score of 94 laps in his final heat means that he just about scrapes into the consolation event. You still can’t rule this youngster out! The talent is there, he just needs the car underneath him too. The final heat of the day was won by World Champion Brandon Eccles on 91 laps. This was enough to sneak him into the final automatically by 3 laps! Improvements by Neil Turner and Gary Riddell in their final heats meant that they both done just about enough to qualify automatically into the grand final. Girl racer Emily Jacklin was another who improved on her final outing to secure a 2nd row start. Graham Eccles done enough in his earlier heats to qualify also. It was heartbreak for James Eccles, Kev Falconer, Matt Philpott and Adam Gilbertson who all were a handful of laps from
qualifying automatically and not having to face the dreaded consolation. Tommy Johnson, Noah Bailey, Alfie Jones,
Stuart Clarke and Billy Clague were the final drivers who made the cut. No real shocks in the final round other than Steven Curley who missed out by a few laps after a tough day at the office. Commiserations to the likes of Ben Harding, Jay Green, Brandon O’Neil, Gordon Mutch, Maikel Rutten, Sam Jacklin and Lennon Cuthill who all were within touching distance. Close, but no cigar!

Consolation – Top 2 to progress
Front row inside – James Eccles. James has been very unlucky not to make the final automatically. Sitting on pole, you’d have to put him as pre-race favourite but when you look behind him, I wouldn’t like to call it. Front row outside – Kev Falconer. ‘McNobby’. Say no more! Hard hitting Kev is certainly someone who’ll be looking at going under the radar to make the main event. Can he keep his cool under the pressure?

2nd row inside – Matt Philpott. Matt will be setting his standards high and going all out for the win. He knows he’s mixed in with a bunch load of talent, but I’m sure this won’t faze the talented driver as he sets his sights on the big one! 2nd row outside – Adam Gilbertson. Adam has been going under the radar during the heats, trying his best to keep his nose clean and sneak through unknown. He finds himself on the outside of row 2 with plenty of pushing behind expected heading into turn one. Can he find a path through and find himself on the back row of the final? 3rd row inside – Noah Bailey. Young Noah has done well today, finding the track out piece by piece with this being his first ever visit to Urmston. He’s someone you can never rule out. His race pace has been a little below par for his own high standards, but he knows full well if he’s in it then he can surely win it!!3rd row outside – Tommy Johnson. Tommy has been a breath of fresh air in my opinion. He’s always smiling, always looking at improving and I’m sure once he gets used to the F1 formula he’ll be a deadly force in the near future. Knowing Tommy, he won’t expect to be making the final.. But he’s put good enough results together throughout the day to earn himself a spot in the consolation, so why not!? 4th row inside – Alfie Jones. Alfie has had a poor day of racing for his standards, but with a few sacrifices during the heats he will be hoping the changes pay dividends. Starting near the back of the grid won’t bother him, he’ll just be looking at keeping his nose clean and hopefully see his name at the top of the results come the end of the race. 4th
row outside – Stuart Clarke. Probably the last person these drivers want to see in their heat. Knowing full well that if things aren’t going right for him, pretty sure s*** will hit the fan! An up and down day for Nobby, started off poor, got better in between, then a pinion loose caused him an issue in Q4 meaning he starts the consolation right near the back. Perfect place for a first bend lunge! 5th row – Billy Clague. Unfamiliar territory for the Urmston local driver that is Billy Clague. He will go into this race knowing the cards are stacked against him, but you just never know in stockcar racing and if the big boys start messing about ... Who knows where Billy could end up? P1 or over the fence probably with Nobby or McNobby!!

Race review

Most would have been expecting a huge first bend lunge in this one, but with the grid being positioned so close to the bend meant that the hit from behind was never going to be as deadly as some would have hoped. Surprisingly, most went to go deep into the corner, and it was Stuart Clarke who came out with the lead going into the bottom bend. That lasted a matter of centre metres as he was clipped from behind and spun out which led to a small mini pile up halfway down the straight. The race began to settle down after the first minute or two, with drivers trying their best to keep out of the mess and keep their noses clean early doors. There wasn’t too much to choose from early on with drivers battling it out at the top knowing that sooner or later their would be carnage ahead. That was certainly the case as Nobby went into ... Well Nobby mode, I guess! Huge hits left right and centre, everyone that was on that track at the time became a target and it was a case of who could escape the clutches of his front bumper and pull away into the distance. Adam Gilbertson and Billy Clague were the main casualties from this, with them both falling off the pace as the race reached its conclusion. Tommy Johnson found the pace a little too much and unfortunately fell at the last hurdle. It was now a battle between 5 drivers for 2 spots. Noah Bailey was next to fall with a matter of seconds remaining despite having the fastest time of the race. Kev Falconer, James Eccles, Matt Philpott and Alfie Jones were trading places throughout the race, and it was hard to choose a winner from these 4. It was eventually Rugby’s Alfie Jones who came up top trumps which came at a relief after a disastrous start to his day’s racing. He won the race on 96.
Matt Philpott managed to take the final spot to qualify with 94 laps just ahead of front row combination of James Eccles and Kev Falconer who both missed out just the 1 lap behind. Commiserations to the rest of the field who sadly for them was the end of the road on this occasion. I’m sure they will be all back battling against each other in future nationals to come! Next up, the white and yellow races.

White and yellows race 1. Race 1 of the white and yellows championship was actually one of the closest finishes we’ve had this weekend with a matter of 8 tenths separating Michael Clague and Chloe Mitchell for the win on 80 laps. Steve Jacklin was 3rd a further 9 laps back on 71 with Ryan Cattell’s son Hayden coming 4 th with 57 laps. A big shoutout to Hayden who is still very much learning the curbs, but already vast improvement is clear to see in such a small space of time. A disappointing end to the weekend for Lucie Jones who sadly had to retire early on into the race with mechanical troubles. She’ll certainly bounce back in no time!

White and yellows race 2. Race 2 was a much quieter race with only 5 drivers in this race due to nonstarters Rob Jacklin and Matt Astbury unable to take their spots. Graeme Beckett finished his day’s racing with a dominant win on 85 laps ahead of Andy Jacklin in 2nd on 80 laps. Billy Clague was 3rd with 78 laps and Sonny Gilbertson and Kayla Mutch were 4th and 5th respectfully on 70.

Urmston National 2023
Front row inside – Anthony Wyper. In a league of his own today! His lowest score of 93 has been his only real disappoint of the day so far in truth. Home track specialist, man to beat, a target on his back bumper ... Can he put the pieces together and bring home the win? Front row outside – Ryan Cattell. Ryan has been in good form at both club and national level this season. He would love a national win! He’s got the talent, but with 6 Urmston drivers all in the mix, are they going to target the Rugby star driver if things get heated? 2nd row inside – Emily Jacklin. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I overheard Emily say this was her first national final appearance. If so, a huge achievement for her and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I wouldn’t even class her as the underdog in this race. Emily has performed brilliantly in recent months and her grid position has shown she’s brought her A game to the event. Can she do it? 2nd
row outside – Graham Eccles. I didn’t really catch too many of Graham’s races throughout the day, but when you’ve got Eccles as your last name, you know full well what they are capable of. With his son Brandon behind him on the grid, I’d expect at least one of them to be up their challenging for top spot if not both! 3rd row inside – Gary Riddell. The Scotsman is the only hope for a Scottish win this weekend and with the pace that he’s shown in some of his
qualifying heats, he’s someone I’d be putting money on to come out on top if the race gets scrappy. Can Gary kickstart
his national series before it heads home next month when we visit Scotland. 3rd row outside – Brandon Eccles. Considering Brandon hasn’t raced much in recent months, his rustiness hasn’t really shown. He’s had consistent results
all day and even though he’s P6 on the grid, that won’t faze him in the slightest. Can he up his game and challenge
Anthony Wyper for the win? 4th row inside – Neil Turner.Neil is someone who you don’t always see in the final, even though he’s clearly a talented driver and has got a good car underneath him. He managed to sneak into the final automatically by the smallest of margins and will very much go into this race as the underdog. You just don’t know in stockcar racing though do you! 4th row outside – Alfie Jones. For Alfie’s standards, he knows he hasn’t been his best today. But the fact he’s made the final and no one expects him to be able to maintain the race pace could mean he’s a driver who may well just be able to sneak under the radar if things get messy. You never tend to see Alfie hard hitting as such, instead he likes to keep his nose clean and in a final like this, you certainly need to remain calm and collected. Something which could really benefit him in this race. 5th row – Matt Philpott. Our last finalist to join the grid is Matt Philpott who’s done it the hard way today. He was unlucky not to make the final automatically but his calmness in the consolation has helped him make the main event. Similar to Alfie, you don’t tend to see Matt using his front bumper too often, but I’m sure if things do get spicy. Matt won’t mind getting stuck in if it could help benefit his chances of a good finish.

Urmston National 2023 – Race review

Emily Jacklin made the jump at the start as she managed to make an early break from the rest of the field. In a race as
quick as this, it’s always difficult to keep track of who’s where .. But from my understanding Emily was leading for the
opening 30 seconds to 1 minute before a tangle heading down the straight allowed a few drivers to pass. I was under the impression Anthony Wyper was leading but from what I gather he didn’t make the best of starts!! As the race progressed, Graham Eccles went into full Nobby mode with a couple of hard hits on a handful of drivers.Anthony Wyper made a successful lunge on Brandon Eccles and was able to make a small break from the world champion. This appears key heading into the latter stages of the race. Ryan Cattell was able to maintain his rhythm during the race and was in with a shout of top spot. It was still all to play for. As the final buzzer went off to signify the end of the race, it was a close one to call. My initial reaction was Anthony Wyper won by 2-3 laps, but this certainly wasn’t the case. Just 1 second separated the top 2 of Anthony Wyper and Brandon Eccles for the win. In a 5 minute race, with the stakes so high it’s completely bonkers that this is the difference between winning and losing. Ryan Cattell was just the 1 lap behind the top 2 while early leader Emily Jacklin earned a creditable 4th place ahead of Gary Riddell rounding off the top 5. Matt Philpott, Graham Eccles, Neil Turner and Alfie Jones completed the result with just 6 laps separating 1st and 9th. Heartbreak for some, but for Anthony Wyper it’s just another day at the office!! A well-deserved win for the pre-meeting favourite and another trophy to add to his collection. Congratulations to all our finalists. It’s a brilliant achievement to make any final, yet alone a national final with some of the talent we have on display.
The full results can be found below.

Best white grade – Chloe Mitchell
Best yellow grade – Billy Clague
Best blue grade – Tommy Johnson
Best junior – Emily Jacklin
A massive thankyou to everyone involved in running the event and in the build up to the event. Every little helps and it’s always nice to see the effort that goes in behind the scenes for these events to be so successful. Next up is the Scottish weekend on the 16th – 18th June for the Ivan Black memorial, European Championship and the Scottish Open. Bookings are available as always on the BRCA website.
Meeting report by Stuart Clarke.