Around the British Championships: 12 September 2022
Almost every Motorsport UK-sanctioned British Championship has been in action over the past few weeks, whether that be trackside or stage-side.
Here’s a re-cap on the action, and some of the stories you might have missed:
Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Rally, Ludlow
Callum Black and Jack Morton claimed a stellar victory on Saturday’s Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Rally [3 September].
Black and Morton enjoyed a close battle with Welsh Championship leaders Matthew Hirst and Declan Dear for most of the day, until a broken rear control saw Hirst and Dear retire on stage four. It was a disappointing day for Doncaster-based Hirst who was in reach of sealing the championship title had he finished in the top two on Saturday’s event.
It was an all-Fiesta podium with Perry Gardener and co-driver Jack Bowen finishing second, followed by Elliot Payne and Patrick Walsh in third.
Wera Tools British Kart Championships, Kimbolton
Charlie Turner became the first Wera Tools British Karting Champion to be crowned in 2022 after securing the KZ2 honours during the most recent round at Kimbolton last weekend [10-11 Sep].
Second behind Final winner James Gleinster proved enough for Turner to take the honours around the Cambridgeshire circuit, with Tom Adams completing the podium.
Noah Wolfe made it three wins on the bounce in the Mini Max category, extending his lead at the top of the class standings. Callum Bradshaw similarly extended his advantage among the Senior Rotax runners, leading home Archie Walker and Sean Butcher.
Brandon Carr led home Harry Linden and Vinnie Phillips in Junior Rotax, with Cole Denholm, Kai Clarke and Charlie Woolfit similarly occupying the top three positions in Honda Cadet.
British Touring Car Championship, Thruxton
NAPA Racing UK celebrated a silverware-laden trip to Thruxton over the August Bank Holiday weekend, with Dan Cammish and Ash Sutton both victorious in the British Touring Car Championship.
Having dominated the opening race, Cammish made way for hard-charging team-mate Sutton in race two, the Ford Focus pairing scoring an emphatic 1-2 finish for the team. Victory for Sutton moves him to within six points of championship leader Colin Turkington (Team BMW) with the equivalent number of races to go.
Josh Cook, often renowned as the ‘King of Thruxton’, kept his title hopes alive by steering his Honda Civic Type R to victory in the third and final race of the weekend.
ROKiT British F4 Championship Certified by FIA, Thruxton
Alex Dunne enjoyed a record-breaking weekend at Thruxton to move another step closer to the ROKiT British F4 title.
The Hitech GP racer soaked up pressure in the first and third races from Carlin’s Ugo Ugochukwu, the pair separated by around a second on both occasions around the high-speed Hampshire circuit.
But an opportunity for McLaren junior Ugochukwu never really materialised, leaving Dunne to chalk up his tenth and eleventh wins of the season, a new record for a single year in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series.
He now leads by 106 points over Carlin’s Ollie Gray heading to Silverstone, where he could wrap up the title. His victories book-ended a hard-fought reverse grid win for his team-mate, Oliver Stewart, the Scot keeping Eduardo Coseteng and Daniel Guinchard (Argenti) at bay to register his maiden triumph.
British Hillclimb Championship – Prescott
Wallace Menzies strengthened his grip on a third British Hillclimb Championship title, after splitting the victories at a rain-affected Prescott with David Uren moved him five points clear of nearest rival Alex Summers.
The weather struck mid-Run Off to shake up the order on Saturday, hampering the usual suspects up front and giving Uren the opportunity to post the quickest time up the hill in his Gould GR55B.
Menzies returned to the top of the times on Sunday, but a mere 0.06 seconds separated him from Summers, with the title set to be decided at Loton Park next month.
British Rally Championship – Rali Bae Ceredigion
Welsh driver Osian Pryce extended his British Rally Championship lead by taking maximum points at the fifth round of the series, the Get Connected Rali Ceredigion [3-4 September].
Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan returned a scintillating drive in their Volkswagen Polo GTi across each one of the event’s twelve closed-road stages to seal their third victory of the season and edge ever-closer to their maiden BRC title.
James Williams and co-driver Dai Roberts gave Hyundai its first UK podium for the Hyundai i20 N Rally2, with Skoda Fabia pilot Ruairi Bell rounding out the top three.
Junior British Rally Championship
Eamonn Kelly wrapped up his maiden Junior British Rally Championship title aboard his Fiesta Rally4 at the Aberystwyth-based Get Connected Rali Ceredigion.
Leading the Junior charge from the third test, Kelly was in a league of his own and despite a brush with a wall during the Sunday morning loop, emerged from the final stage with the all-important win and was met by a rapturous crowd of home supporters. Kelly receives a supported drive in a World Rally Championship round in 2023 behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 N Rally2 as his prize for securing the title. Co-driver Conor Mohan must wait until the Trackrod if he is to secure the junior co-driver title.
A difficult weekend for Kyle White and Sean Topping in their Peugeot 208 Rally4 saw them grapple with technical issues to take second place, while Ioan Lloyd and Sion Williams secured their second podium in a row in their Peugeot in third.
British GT Championship – Brands Hatch (GP)
A dramatic late retirement for the race-leading Team Abba Racing Mercedes-AMG of Richard and Sam Neary handed victory at Brands Hatch on a plate to Enduro Motorsport’s McLaren, driven by Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton.
A trio of safety car interruptions prevented pole-sitter James Cottingham from building a gap out front in his Mercedes, and some slick work in the stops by Abba got Neary out at the head of the field.
That gap between Neary and the now-chasing #77 McLaren stabilised at around a second, until late heartbreak for the leading duo as their Mercedes slowed within sight of the chequered flag, handing the spoils to Enduro.
With the championship-leading RAM Racing Mercedes of Ian Loggie down in seventh, victory for Enduro keeps their slender title hopes alive, and sets up a four-way GT3 showdown for the honours at Donington Park next month.
One title already wrapped up, however, is the GT3 Silver-Am category, with James Dorlin and Alex Malykhin victorious after charging to third in class at the iconic Kent venue.
In GT4, Newbridge Motorsport’s Matt Topham and Darren Turner cemented their status at the championship summit, another victory ahead of the Stellar Audi of Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding bridging the gap to 12.5 points heading to the season finale.
GB3/GB4 Championships – Brands Hatch (GP)
Luke Browning (Hitech) seized the upper hand in the GB3 Championship title race at to overhaul erstwhile leader Joel Granfors (Fortec) at Brands Hatch, with three races to go at Donington Park next month.
Neither won a race around the Kent circuit – that honour went to Elite’s Tom Lebbon and two first-time victors, Matthew Rees (JHR) and Branden Lee Oxley (Chris Dittmann Racing) – but, crucially, a brace of podiums and a higher reverse-grid score for Browning have tipped the scales in his favour by 15.5 points.
Despite crashing out from a comfortable lead as the conditions changed in the opening GB4 Championship race, Fortec’s Nikolas Taylor extended his lead over nearest challenger Max Marzorati.
Taylor, caught out by the arrival of rain whilst running slicks at Paddock Hill Bend, slid off into the wall, with Tom Mills (Kevin Mills Racing) triumphing in a mesmerizing three-way scrap with team-mate Jarrod Waberski and Elite’s Jack Sherwood to win in his stead.
Taylor would bounce back from pole in the second contest to re-assert his authority, and Sherwood jumped two rows on the grid to visit the winner’s circle in the finale. Donington Park hosts the title decider next month, with Taylor 31 points to the good.