Season finale @ Boughton for BRCA East of England Round 7

1/10th Off Road

Round 7 of the BRCA East of England Regional and the last round of 2016 headed to Norfolk, the home of Boughton Raceway, where the weather was looking good for what would be a busy meeting with championship presentations to be completed at the end of a busy schedule.


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Before heading into the report I would like to say a couple of words from a personal perspective with being heavily involved with Boughton Raceway. We were due to host round 4 of the BRCA national championship and many man hours were spent preparing the venue up to the high standards we set ourselves. Sadly the one factor that no one person can control and that affects clubs up and down the country is the weather. June saw some unseasonably poor weather in the area that even saw a local raft race cancelled due to being too wet, sadly this was to also cause the cancellation of the national meeting which was gutting for all involved. Sadly the bad news was not to end there as less than a week later our race container was broken into and thousands of pounds of vital track equipment were stolen. Many people would wonder why you would not just give up after these setbacks but despite being a small group we are determined and I think this feeling was echoed by the regions racers as we had a fantastic turnout for a meeting you might expect a lower turnout.

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Boughton 3So on to the meeting. The track has undergone some big changes since our last visit last year, most notably the huge banked bend to the right hand side of the track. Passing over the timing loop you raced up the face of the mountain either taking to safe option and landing on top before turning right and dropping off the step down, or like some you could jump the up ramp and land on the downslope but get it wrong and you’re in a whole lot of trouble. Once at the base of the mountain you turn hard right and blast through the chicane and then hard on the brakes for the left hand hairpin. From here there is the fast open right left sweeper before coming against the second left hand hairpin but this time there is hump on the entrance and exit which can easily catch you out, as you exit the second hump it’s a 100 degree right hand turn with a dogleg on exiting and a quick blast to a tight left hand 180. A short straight has a quick flick left and an opening right hand bend which you need to carry the speed through to get a run up for the triple jump section in front of the rostrum, the quickest route being a double single and carrying the speed on landing for the fast right hander which tightens into a sharp right hander. A double hairpin then leads you onto the uphill straight and once at the end of this you can carry the speed up on to the double right hand bend which can be taken as a fast flowing single right hander if you carry the speed. Dropping down the bank you have a quick switch back and section, over the wedge and that completes a lap of Boughton Raceway.

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With the drivers briefing complete practice got underway in heat order giving the drivers a chance to finalise their set up and the race director a chance to check everyone’s PT, with this complete round one got underway shortly after 10am.
In 2wd Steven Best was not hanging around on his first Regional outing of the year claiming pole, Joe Howson yet again showing his improving form and speed by taking second place on the grid and Michael Spindley throwing in his best qualifying of the year lining up third. The rest of the 3 leg A final would be as follows:

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1st Steven Best
2nd Joe Howson
3rd Michael Spindley
4th Ian Buck
5th James Crockart
6th Simon Overall
7th Simon Watson
8th Connor Watkins
9th Darren Windsor
10th Ben Spindley

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2wd Finals
D Final
1st Joe Sharp
2nd Kelvin Groom
3rd Kacey Tinkler
4th Sarah Andrews
5th Damien Andrews
6th Ainslie Andrews
7th Norman Jepson
8th Ben Chester

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C Final
1st Sam Bradshaw
2nd Craig Francis
3rd Dean Andrews
4th Jamie Robinson
5th Shaun Turner
6th Richard Sharp
7th Paul Cooper
8th Matthew Carey
9th Matthew Griffin
10th Chris Hampson

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B Final
1st Carl Nunn
2nd Daniel Chilvers
3rd Adam Bowyer-Lowe
4th Daniel Usher
5th Ben Hubbard
6th David Foluger
7th George Miller
8th Jody Howard
9th Lee Flynn
10th Tony Price

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A Final Leg 1: A very clean start to this one saw Steven lead the field around in grid order for around the first minute. Michael Spindley was the first of the front runners to make a move but sadly for him it was down a place as a small error allowed Ian Buck through into third while at the front Steven slowly started to pull a gap on the rest of the field. A couple of minutes ticked off the clock and Steven made a small error over the double bubble hairpin followed straight away but another small mistake, Joe Howson was not quite close enough to nip through but was now all over the back of the lead car. Four minutes down and disaster for Joe as he rolled it on the triple and popping a driveshaft and he was done for this leg, Ian slipped through into second and Michael into third with just a minute left. Steven took leg one with Ian second, Michael third Simon Watson with a good showing in fourth and Ben Spindley fifth from tenth on the grid.

Leg 2: Very much a case as in leg 1 with a clean start, Steven away at the front with Joe keeping him honest in second while Michael Spindley was third and Simon Overall from sixth slotting into fourth. Joe was all over Steven and as they landed off the mountain Steven ran wide, Joe nipped through to lead. For the rest of the lap Steven was desperate to retake the lead while Joe was desperate not to lose it so they both made small errors but with neither needing marshalling by the time they hit the straight Joe was able to settle down and stretch his legs. Joe didn’t make any more errors and crossed the line to take the leg win, Steven in second and Michael in third. Ben Spindley with another solid drive from tenth took fifth while Ian buck will be disappointed to end the leg at the back.

Leg 3: Initially a clean start things got a little tight over the double bubble hairpin for the first time and heading through the following sections, this left Michael Spindley out in front with Steven Best second and Ian buck close behind in third. Heading into the second lap a super smooth manoeuvre by Steven on Mick into the double bubble for the lead, Mick giving Steven the room and not trying to close the door possibly causing a collision. Around a third of the race gone and Mick got the table top mountain wrong and Ian Buck made a hash of the triple, this left Steven with a sizable lead and Simon Overall second and James Crockart third who had had some quite finals up till now. The double bubble was proving to be the problem corner for drivers in this leg and four minutes down James just tagged the back of Ian which set off a bit of a chain reaction which only served to extend Steven’s lead at the front. The real battle was on the last lap of the banked bend with four drivers having a shot at the podium spots, James Crockart took second ahead of Ian third and Simon Overall fourth.

2wd A Final overall
1st Steven Best
2nd Ian Buck
3rd Mick Spindley
4th Joe Howson
5th Simon Overall
6th James Crockart
7th Ben Spindley
8th Simon Watson
9th Darren Windsor
10th Connor Watkins

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Junior championship: The championship may have already been decided but outgoing champion Connor Watkins and new champion Joe Howson would both line up in the A final and so had three legs to end the gain some bragging rights. Leg 1 and Joe got the better of Connor by only two places while in leg two Joe stormed to win the leg overall and leaving Connor needing an equally good result in the last leg. Both Joe and Connor had poor legs and finished one place behind another towards the back of the final, Joes leg times fluctuating by 24 seconds while Connor’s times were all within 2 seconds, Joe the winner overall and Connor a disappointed second. Jody Howard was having solid drive in what was a fast flawing track and did well to take 8th in the B final and with it third top junior.

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In 4wd Jack Angus was putting his local knowledge to good use and wrapped up a convincing pole position, close behind was Steve Biscoe who would not let Jack simply run away with it for his best result of the year and would also be keen to end the season on a high. James Crockart would line up third looking to try and end the season with a championship podium, other notable performances were Ben Spindley lining up fourth, Martin Long making another A final appearance and Pete Palmer who took the last spot on the grid for the three leg final. The rest of the A final lined up as follows.
1st Jack Angus
2nd Steve Biscoe
3rd James Crockart
4th Ben Spindley
5th Kristian Gibbs
6th Joe Howson
7th Mick Spindley
8th Martin Long
9th Paul Timberlake
10th Pete Palmer

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D Final
1st Miklos Szabados
2nd Chris Gooch

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C Final
1st Ashley Kew
2nd Ben Chester
3rd Craig Francis
4th James Dobler
5th David Foulger
6th Paul Tinkler
7th Sam Bradshaw
8th Shaun Siverstsen
9th Justin Easey
10th John Myall

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B Final
1st David Evans
2nd Tony Price
3rd Simon Overall
4th Simon Miller
5th Anthony French
6th Carl Dufton
7th Darren Pollard
8th Jody Howard
9th James Wright
10th Barry Abbott

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4wd A final Leg 1: Sadly a repeat of the clean starts to the 2wd finals could not be repeated in 4wd. Jack Angus got the mountain all wrong sending a few drivers scattering, over the double bubble new leader Steve Biscoe got tagged out of the way resulting in race director Barry Abbott reminding the drivers they are supposed to be the “top” drivers and showing everyone else how it’s done. After everyone settled down James Crockart lead from Steve Biscoe, Jack Angus, Kristian Gibbs, Mick Spindley and Martin Long. Mid way point and we had lost pole man Jack whose body shell had come lose and was asked by the referee to stop and get it fixed. James was still in front and although second place man Steve looked quicker James was planting his car on each apex and making his car very wide, Mick was dropping back into the clutches of Kristian and Martin long. For the next two minutes both James and Steve showed some great close racing at Steve tried everything to find a way passed at the front, even over jumping James off the triple but could not get the drive and James simply powered passed to retake the lead. Coming over the wedge before the timing loop James and Steve tangled which allowed Mick and Martin to close right on to their tails. As race neared it’s distance the was a close battle between Joe Howson, Ben Spindley and Kristian Gibbs proving that not all the close racing is at the front. Steve however had had enough and made a cheeky well timed move on James to take the lead on the last lap to head to a seemingly certain victory, but dropping down from the banked bend Steve clipped the hose, span around, James got tangled with him and as both drivers tried to sort themselves out and power over the line James literally jumped over Steve off the wedge and crossed the line first to end an entertaining leg.

Leg 2: A much cleaner start this time with the early order being Jack Angus, Steve Biscoe, Ben Spindley James Crockart and Kristian Gibbs who managed to pull away while the back end of the field got tangled up on the banked bend. Jack was given a break at the front as Biscoe and Crockart made errors dropping them back a little and the efforts of leg one must have got to Steve as a nightmare couple of laps followed dropping him well out of contention. Ben was now on a mission and caught Jack at the front just touching him as they came off the double bubble which allowed the chasing pack top close in, Kristian Gibbs, James Crockart and a recovering Steve Biscoe would be hoping the front brace would continue to slow each other up. Jack was holding his nerve and coming down off the mountain Ben made a hash of the landing and in the process dropping himself out of contention. As they crossed the line Jack took a comfortable win ahead of Kristian who had a fantastic drive in second, Steve Biscoe recovered from a poor start to take third, leg one winner James Crockart in fourth and Joe Howson the now expected solid A final result in fifth.

Leg 3: As the cars lined up for the last race of not only the day but the 2016 season we were sitting in a position that every meeting should be like. Steve Biscoe and James Crockart sat on five points apiece while Jack Angus, Kristian Gibbs and Mick Spindley had top three points in the bag and Joe Howson, Martin Long and Paul Timberlake had a shot at the podium spots in they could take a top result in the last leg. As the buzzer sound Jack and Steve got away and put a small gap between the rest of the field and meant business in this leg. Steve was quicker through the corners but Jack was planting his X-Ray on the apex and using his speed advantage on the straights to give himself a bit of breathing space. Behind the leading duo Mick was out of it after one lap and the battle for the podium spots was dwindling. Joe Howson was putting in a solid drive holding third place while Kristian and Martin were in the top five but needed to get a bit of luck in the final moments of the race to climb the podium at the end of the meeting. With a minute remaining Jack was looking confident and with just two laps to complete was looking good for the leg and overall win, could Steve do anything with his years of experience? As they entered the double bubble section a scene of so many issues for drivers attacking what seems like a straight forward section far too hard or fast, Jack rolled but ended up back on his wheels and still in the lead. This small error must have thrown Jack as coming into the loop before the triple Jack clipped the hose and rolled it giving Steve the opportunity he needed, to compound matters Jack then got the triple all wrong and all Steve had to do was cross the line for the leg and overall win, which he duly did. Jack recovered to take second in the leg and overall which on reflection he will be happy with, Joe Howson crossed the line in a loan third place but sadly not enough to get in the top three. Despite his sixth place finish James Crockart would take third overall courtesy of his first two leg results. Kristian and Martin had solid finishes but would miss out on the podium spots but could still feel pleased with their performances in the finals.

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A Final overall
1st Steve Bisoce
2nd Jack Angus
3rd James Crockart
4th Kristian Gibbs
5th Joe Howson
6th Martin Long
7th Mick Spindley
8th Pete Palmer
9th Paul Timberlake
10th Ben Spindley

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Junior championship: Joe already crowned champion and safe that being the only junior in the A final he would walk away with yet another top junior trophy and so could concentrate on showing everyone what he was made off. Jody Howard was putting in another great performance and was mixing it up in the B final and takes the second top junior. James Dobler putting in a great performance to end the season mixing it with drivers with far more years’ experience and more than deserved his third place junior.

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2016 Championship roundup

In 2wd Danny Conway may have added another title to his belt but it was by no means an easy ride. Indeed after the first two rounds Danny was looking up against it having had a third and fourth place finish while Nigel Buck had a first and second to his score sheet. Alex Carter was looking like another man who could challenge for the title if he could just keep up the consistent scores while Ian Buck and James Crockart had mixed results and needed some consistency if they were to challenge. Things seemed to turn at round three on the grass at Colchester as Danny Conway took his first win of the season while Nigel could only take a B final place, Ian, James and Alex again got some strong finishes but were dropping further behind. Danny went on to win the next three rounds to take the championship while Nigel took some more strong results but was just dropping the odd point to Danny every meeting. Ian, James and Alex would all pick up great results but had some indifferent results meaning they were looking at the top five rather than the championship. Further down the order, although only just Joe Howson started slow but from round four really seemed to find his groove and was putting regular A final appearances and getting solid results too. Simon Overall was getting some regular A final runs and with a bit more consistency could have been looking to break into the top five. Ben Spindley and father Michael were having their own private battle and by the last round it was Ben who would have household bragging rights.

2wd 2016 podium

2wd 2016
In the junior championship we were blessed with some great racing especially further down the order as we quite often ended with three or four juniors in the same final meaning they would be gunning for race wins and championship points in a straight fight, this produced some close racing and getting the racing minds working deciding if they should dive for that vital win on the day or consider the championship. Joe was pushed really hard in the opening three rounds by Connor and Jody but from round four found his consistency and went on to win four on the trot and take the championship, Connor and Jody trading blows all season with Connor eventually take the runners up spot by two points from Jody.

2wd Junior 2016 podium

2wd Junior
In 4wd it was very much a case as in 2015 as Steve Biscoe and Danny Conway ruled the field taking the top two spots in all but one of the one of the meetings. Danny seemingly just having the edge on Steve although there was only one point in it and Steve can point to his raw speed in some of the rounds and with just a little more luck may well have taken the title. Jack Angus gave himself no room for error with two drops scores in the first three rounds but found his feet and with a great showing in the last round took third place overall, ending level with James Crockart but with a second place compared to James having a third Jack took the last overall podium spot. The every present James will be disappointed to lose his podium spot at the death but can look back with a positive image of having made all the A finals and picking up some really consistent results throughout the year. Joe Howson and John Myall would end up tied on points in fifth and sixth just one point off the podium, indeed it would need three drop scores to split these pair and that was only a one place gap. Further down the order Paul Timberlake, Kristian Gibbs, Simon Overall and David Evans could just not quite get going, putting in some solid A final results but too those B final appearances badly hurt their chances of challenging the top five.

4wd 2016 podium

4wd 2016
In the Junior championship Joe Howson had this one in the bag early on with some solid showings and firing a blow to his rivals early on by winning the opening three rounds. Jody Howard gave it his best shot and at times pushed Joe but Joe just seemed to up his pace throughout the year. James Dobler took the final podium spot and in the second half of the year picked up some stronger finals and fully earned his third place finish.

4wd Junior 2016 podium4wd Junior

With the meeting finals finished and championship tables worked out the presentations got underway. It was great to see so many people stay behind to see the meeting plaques handed out followed by the championship trophies for the lucky top fifteen and all qualifying juniors and the reception given was a credit to all. After this the small matter of the kit donated by Tony Edvoka was drawn, the lucky winner could not have been a nicer person than someone who races at all the meetings, helped out with refereeing and always had a smile on his face, well most of the time. Step forward Sam Bradshaw, and if not to further increase his popularity Sam kindly donated the kit back to Boughton Raceway so we could further raise funds by auctioning it off again, good on you Sam. 

Well that’s it folks….Seven rounds, 672 races (approximately), many laughs, some tears and tantrum’s that comes with playing with our pride and joys. There have been many winners throughout the region and it has seen an increase in the attendance figures per round. Lets hope that 2017 continues to bring an improvement in attendances and with it the quality of racing that can only help to improve the standard of racing.