1/8 Circuit Rd1 and 2 Reports

1/8th Circuit

Thurston and Fletcher take BRCA 1/8 Rd1 opening wins

 

The opening round of the BRCA 1/8 Circuit Nationals were held at the ultra-fast Brookland circuit in Kent recently, with warmer weather greeting the racers.

It was great to see and welcome many new and returning drivers to the class including Ralph Crampton, Rob Colman and Vincent Meron among others. Around 40 drivers were competing across the two classes with the usual front runners in nitro class of Tim Wood, Alex Thurston and Mark Green fighting for honours in qualifying, Alex taking 3 out of 4 rounds and TQ.

Electric Class

In the electric class Billy Fletcher and Mikey Mansell who were setting the pace, Billy determined to go one better than last year in the championship and without Michael Lee present was looking to take full advantage. The Capricorn chassis seemingly becoming a popular choice amongst the electric field, Mikey set the early pace in the opening rounds of qualifying only for Billy to come through in the final two rounds to take TQ. In the finals Billy dominated the 3 legs taking the win each time, meanwhile Mikey and Greg Fairlie battled it out for the runner up spot with Mikey taking it across the finals. Also making it into the A final were Mark Rogers, Lee Henson and Chris Betts all of whom are relative newcomers to the class showing their potential for the championship podium positions. The B final was won by Adrian Dew in fine style it was also great to see him racing in 1/8 again.

A-final Nitro final

The A-final was a spectacular watch for all, with close racing at high speed, Brookland delivered an entertaining 30-minute final, Alex Thurston and Tim Wood exchanged positions early on then Alex was about to take a comfortable lead. Unfortunately, both Tim and Mark Green were to retire early on after a racing incident allowing Alex a heathy lead out front.

This promoted James Conolly, David Spashett and Andy Hastings up the order to chase Alex, at around 20minutes Alex then hit mechanical issues with a glowplug causing him to lose power and in the pits for some time. This meant he dropped down the order and had to go chasing down the guys at the front with a recovery drive. Alex retook the lead after putting in some fast laps but then his engine flamed out on the last lap allowing James Conolly with a chance of taking a 1/8 national win, unfortunately for James more final lap drama unfolded with him making a mistake and causing major damaged to his car, this left Alex to take the win driving Capricorn, James second and David Spashett clinched third a lap down. Sam Snell, Jason Frost, Rob Scott and Richard Hicklin also made the A-final.

Overall a great start to the season in both classes and the next round is at Adur 19/20th June.

 

Electric Afinal

nitro podium

 

B final Electric

1st Adrian Dew

2nd Liam Ross

3rd Graham Jones

 

B Final Nitro

1st Niall Cochran

2nd John Carr

3rd Bjorn Baldwin

 

C Final Nitro

1st Ralph Crampton

2nd Mike Manning

3rd Jon Melton

 

Spashett and Fletcher take Adur Rd2 of BRCA 1/8 Nationals

The 2nd round of the BRCA 1/8 on-road section National Series hosted by Adur Model Car Club on the English south coast. All week racers were weather watching as the weekend forecast was for rain for most of the weekend, but what do those forecasters know.

On Saturday the racers were greeted with a dry track, slightly overcast, but dry. Open practise started with and the set up process got underway for what is the smallest and arguably most technically difficult circuit we visit through the season. Timed practise mid afternoon showed what was in store for the race with only 1/10’s of a second separating the top 4 (Thurston, Wood, Spashett, Snell) in IC on their fastest lap. In the Electric class Billy Fletcher was again showing his pace but the surprise of day was Mark Green running electric for the first time was close behind.

The day stayed dry and after timed practise the track was once again open for free practise for the drivers to fine tune their cars ahead of “race day”.

Sunday, Race Day! Qualifying. After an open sessions for those drivers who could not get to the track on Saturday we went into qualifying. In IC Alex Thurston topped the R1 timing sheet but with 6 drivers all on 17 laps this would set the tone for the day. Billy Fletcher headed electric with Mark (Tesla) Green in second spot both on 21 laps. Rounds 2/3 and 4 with the track gripping up most cars went quicker, even though there was a very short interval when the weather closed in and we had a mildly moist track. But after this short interlude the sun came out as went in to the finals. Top qualifier in IC Alex Thurston was only 0.10 seconds ahead of Tim Wood both had managed to get in to the 18 laps. In Electric Billy broke the 22 lap barrier with Mark (Tesla) Green on 21 laps, but the split was close and the other drivers in the class closely bunched.

Finals! Electric 1/8 run best 2 from 3 runs and in the B final some close racing across the three runs saw Chris (Bettsy) Betts come out on top ahead of Lee Henson and Jason Hurley. The 3 leg A final went very much according to qualifying position with Billy Fletcher winning ahead of a very smiley Mark (Tesla) Green who beat Mikey Mansell to second on the podium. Billy is clearly the man to catch early on this season with his race package working very well but it’s interesting that the gap is closing and the level of completion is increasing. Mark was very positive about his first race with the Electric car, great handling, very fast and easy to run without the need of a pit man, Mark will be back to electric at some point.

On to the IC in blazing sunshine the B final lined up with Mathieu Dambrine on pole ahead of Steve Smith with Chris Snell in the third spot on the grid. Mathieu pretty much checked out and was never really under any pressure to win comfortably but the real battle was for second place between Steve Smith and Geraint Williams. After they all crossed the line after 25 minutes of racing, Steve Smith piped Geraint by only 3 seconds.

The highly anticipated 30 minute A IC final was up and with such close qualifying through the day nobody really knew what was going to happen. Alex Thurston (Capricorn/Ielasi) on pole with Tim Wood (Shepherd/Picco) second David Spashett (Shepherd/Picco) in third, this was going to be one to watch. A clean start from the from Alex was off with the pack chasing, David got in front of Tim but those top 3 began to pull away from the rest of the field. Pit stop strategy would play a major part in the outcome of this final, the short track length allowed for a variety of strategies. The pace was exceptional at the front of the pack with all three drivers banging in super low 14 or high 13 second laps time after time after time. Tim eventually got passed David and tried to close the gap to the leader. The relentless pace at the front and supper slick pit stops from Martin Thurston for Alex, Nicola Wood for Tim and Neil Diver for David kept the battle raging. At around the 90 lap mark Tim began to reel Alex in with David keeping pace, a nip and tuck battle ensued which was great to watch between Tim and Alex then a mistake from Tim allowed Alex to pull and gap and David to go through to second.

The last 8 mins were very dramatic Alex started to lose his tyres, had he pushed too hard too early. With the front end washing out Alex needed a tyre change, more drama reminiscent of Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco a few years ago in F1, no tyres in the pit lane! Martin went back to the pits to get some fresh foam but by this stage David was leading with Tim close behind. The tyre change went well and Alex rejoined but could not chase down the leading 2 drivers. Tim trying everything to close the gap but just could not get close enough to mount a challenge. Crossing the line at the 30 minute mark David was 3 seconds ahead of Tim with Alex in third.

A great weekend with close racing, onwards to Halifax for Round 3.

Nitro podium

Electric podium