Weekend in Review: 14 – 15 May
Last weekend was a true showcase of the ‘Best of British’, with numerous championships – from Rallycross, to Sprint, Touring Cars and Endurance racing – marking the next chapter in the story of their 2022 title fights.
That, plus the latest round of ROKiT British F4 from Brands Hatch in this week’s ‘Weekend in Review’:
British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch
After a sun-soaked qualifying day, the British Touring Car Championship awoke to tricky wet conditions for race day. BTC Racing’s Josh Cook mastered the conditions to win the opening race, overhauling BMW pairing Jake Hill and race leader Colin Turkington.
Cook then became the first two-time race winner of the 2022 season in the middle contest, winning out in a thrilling dice with NAPA Racing’s Dan Cammish and Rory Butcher’s Speedworks-run Toyota, the trio covered by less than a second at the chequered flag.
Having been denied by Cook earlier in the day, Turkington seized his opportunity to strike back in the reverse grid contest. A lightning start elevated the Northern Irishman from fourth on the grid to second at Paddock Hill Bend, and he went on to take the race lead at a third distance.
The result was especially satisfying for West Surrey Racing, with Hill completing a 1-2 finish ahead of Bobby Thompson, finally a podium finisher in the UK’s premier tin-top racing series at the 76th attempt.
EXCELR8’s Tom Ingram retains his position at the top of the standings with an eight-point lead over Josh Cook, who has 84 points, while reigning champion Ash Sutton sits in third with 71 points.
The next three rounds of the British Touring Car Championship take place at Thruxton on 28 – 29 May.
ROKiT F4 British Championship – Brands Hatch
Despite taking a third victory of the season in the opening ROKiT British F4 race of the weekend at Brands Hatch, Hitech GP racer Alex Dunne’s championship lead has been reduced to just 15 points.
The 16-year-old was in blistering form in qualifying to set Omologato Pole Position and had a clear run to victory in the opener after Aiden Neate’s Argenti stalled off the line.
A gearshift problem in the reverse grid race dropped Dunne out of the points, and a spin at Clearways, then an excursion across the grass with a broken front wing at Surtees in the ITV-televised finale, rounded out a character-building trip to Kent.
In Dunne’s absence at the front, the chasing pack wasted no time reeling him in at the championship summit. After Virtuosi Racing’s Michael Shin impressively held off several of the series’ leading lights to score his first win in the reverse grid race, McLaren junior Ugo Ugochukwu took a historic first single seater win with CEO Zak Brown watching on.
That result marked a 1-2-3 finish for Carlin, with Ollie Gray second to complete a hat-trick of podiums and move him into second overall behind Dunne. Ugochukwu sits a further six points back. Louis Sharp (Carlin) and Joel Pearson (CDR) also impressed in a treacherously wet final race, the former scoring a podium on debut, and the latter gaining ten positions on his first run out in the wet.
The next rounds of the ROKiT F4 British Championship will be held at Thruxton on 28 – 29 May.
British Endurance Championship – Snetterton
Lucky Khera and Euan Hankey took the honours in a fraught three-hour Round 3 at Snetterton, their McLaren 720S run by 7TSIX finishing nearly half a minute ahead of Wayne Marrs and Tom Jackson’s Mercedes GT3, which itself had led the race at various points.
Also in contention earlier on were the Lamborghini of John Dhillon/Andrea Amici, and the Aston Martin Vulcan of Steve Tomkins/Matt George, though both had issues. Class B went to the Lamborghini Super Trofeo of Iain Campbell/ Oliver Webb, while Valluga Racing claimed both Class C and D, their differing-spec Porsche Caymans, with Carl Cavers/Lewis Plato and James and Jake Little respectively claiming the wins.
The TCR battle in Class E saw most of the runners taking the lead at some stage of the race, with the Cupra of William Casswell and Brad Kaylor eventually ending up on top, while there was success at last for the Jaguar F-Type of Adam and Callum Thompson in Class F.
British Rallycross Championship – Pembrey
Patrick O’Donovan took his first 5NationsBRX win of the season in his Ford Fiesta, the 18-year-old scoring maximum points at just his second Supercar event. Derek Tohill fought hard against O’Donovan and managed to take home second position, also in a Ford Fiesta, a result which also elevated him to the joint lead of the championship standings with Oliver Bennett. Third position was taken by Tristan Ovenden in his Citroen DS3.
Jason Bleasdale and Paige Bellerby were neck and neck as Bellerby took the lead at the start of the final of the Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship. Bleasdale’s joker lap elevated brother Darren into second behind Bellerby, and the switch for the lead came on lap three.
Once back on circuit, however, Jason won out in the all-sibling battle for victory, but a family 1-2 finish nonetheless! Bellerby took third at the flag.
The Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship also had an exciting weekend as Owen Robbins took the lead of the race from Max Langmaid who finished ahead of Will Ovenden due to a mishap in his early joker lap which did not allow him to gain an advantage in the race.
The next round of the British Rallycross Championship will be held at Mondello Park on 4 – 5 June.
British Sprint Championship – Blyton Park
An exciting weekend for the British Sprint Championship and the final organised by Longton & District Motor Club until October as Graham Blackwell set a new class record in the first run by putting his 1.6t Mygale Ecoboost at the top, scoring maximum points.
The second run of of the day had Terry Holmes climb to the top with his 3.5 Lola Tegra Judd and Blackwell close behind. Matt Hillam set a new 2-litre record at Blyton in his 2.0 Dallara F399, scoring a sprint time of 55.69s.
The next rounds of the British Sprint Championship are being held at Pembrey on 4 – 5 June and being organised by BARC Wales.