The great and the good of 1/8 scale gathered at AMCC on the sunny (yeah right!) south coast at the weekend for round 5 of the BRCA national champs.
Given the weather forecast it was unsurprising that the entry was a little down but, with one notable exception, all the top guys were there. There was no reason to expect anything other than some top quality on track action.
Fast local men (l) Dan Ghibaldan and (r) Nick Gilbert
I didn't go along on Saturday but am told that over the course of the day the weather was as uncooperative as predicted. This resulted in very little, if any, dry track time and barely any progress being made by anybody.
Sunday was going to be interesting with everybody having to make setup decisions based on the mornings timed practice heats.
The lack of track time didnt seem to make too much difference as the morning practice turned out to be a rapid affair with the top guys getting into the 14s bracket almost from the gun. Kyle Branson was quick but Neil Diver was almost as quick and looking a threat.
As the qualifying played out this was proven to be the case. Eventually the weather had a say bringing qualifying to a premature end. It started with a sprinkle of rain during the B heat, preventing these guys from going any faster, but turned into a heavy shower which stopped the A heat going to the line.
Proceedings were halted and the final spots had been decided. It is impossible to say what may have happened but nobody appeared to be particularly out of position.
4 drivers had achieved 21 laps. The list was headed by Kyle by 4 secs from Neil with Tim Wood and Andy North very close behind, seperated by just 7 tenths.
A special mention for Luke Longley who, after a couple of seasons of trying, made his first A final qualifying tenth. Well done Luke.
Click pic for full size version
The B final was to be headed off by an unlucky Greg Fairlie, narrowly missing out on the A by 1/4 of a second.
Unfortunately the rain then shaped the rest of the day.
The D C and B finals were races of attrition that were won by the guys who had best prepared their cars for the apalling conditions. The committee called several delays between races whilst a brave crew did their best to make the track driveable.
The race director managed to get as far as the B final which turned out to be an Adur dominated affair being won by Ian Billet with Greg taking 2nd and Graham Hurley in 3rd.
Eventually after a drivers meeting, and with the safety of the marshalls in mind, the decision was made to abandon the meeting and not run the A final.
This appeared to be a slightly controversial decision with some drivers prepared to run in the hunt for valuable points. As an observer I reckon the committee made the right call.
When I left the circuit it had not yet been decided as to whether to award points based on qualifying positions or to award all drivers the same points. I am sure there is a rule somewhere. Andy Longley, the section chairman, will be thumbing through the rule book in an effort to make the right decision.
So it was a weekend subdued, yet again, by the great British summer. Nevertheless a good time seemed to be had by most, lots of smiles can be seen in the slideshow pics.
Well done to the Adur crew who put on a good event in testing circumstances.
Round 6 is another southern affair, at Brooklands Raceway in 3 weeks time, lets hope for