Monday, May 27, 2024

Close rallycross racing and rolls at Pembrey

Round 2 & 3 of BTRDA Clubman’s Rallycross Championship took place at the home of Welsh motorsport, Pembrey Circuit. Most classes had multiple winners as the weekend taking its toll on some cars.

In the Super Modified class, it was Fred Ling who couldn’t be stopped on either day. He won four of the six qualifying sessions and both finals. On Saturday it was Gary Cook and Phil Chicken who completed the podium when both passed Chris Smith on track. Smith redeemed himself on Sunday with a second place ahead of Michelle Swallow. Her Porsche gearbox was destroyed on Saturday morning but the team was able to source a Boxster nearby. The road-going car arrived at the track that evening to much fanfare but took until late into the night to be removed and fitted into the race car. On Sunday, Chicken had a coming together with Todd Crooks which saw both cars roll multiple times. Both were uninjured from the dramatic accident and Chicken even raced a couple of hours later in the A-Final. He followed Swallow all race but retired on the final lap with steering failure.

The largest class, Classic produced close racing but it was Lee Wood who kept his 2023 unbeaten run up. John Cross had qualified on pole for Saturday’s final but lost out to Wood and Jamie McBain at the start. They finished in that order. For round three, Wood won every session with McBain and Cross finishing in the same order.

Crosscar again increased its field size, now with five cars. David Attiwell and Will Butler proved the class of the field with each topping qualifying and winning a Final, Attiwell taking Saturday and Butler Sunday. The remainder of the grid also stood on the podium, Paul Batson, Luke Holly, and Ethan Rouse. By the next round, at least nine eligible cars should be in the UK. It is expected that six or seven will race at Blyton Park.

Credit: Callum House

Tyler McAlpin got the better of Will Ovenden in the Junior races on Saturday. Come Sunday it was Ovenden who took first place and the championship lead back away. Corey Padgett completed the podium for the third time in as many races this year. Martin Peters won round two of the Production class with a controlled drive ahead of Stuart Woollen and Mark Henry. After making a poor setup choice on Saturday when on pole, Alex Fletcher didn’t make the same mistake again on Sunday. He led from the front all race to take a commanding win, almost three seconds clear of Woollen and Henry.

On Saturday all eyes were on the Clubman 4×4 category. Roger Thomas and Andy Grant battled hard throughout the day. In qualifying it was Thomas who dominated but in the all-important final Grant made the best start and held off the local all the way to the flag. Michael Boak was testing his Supercar but suffered a gear failure in the final, dropping back. He held off Production 4×4 winner Tomasz Ramanauskas. On Sunday only Ramanauskas raced when the Supercars dropped out and Production 4×4 runner, Christopher Baker, suffered a clutch failure in practice. 

Ben Sayer jumped to the front in the BMW Mini final and held of Dave Ellis in Saturday’s damp conditions. Pole sitter Abbie McGuinness had to settle for third but come Sunday it all went her way. Again on pole in the final she made the best start and held off Sayer and Ellis all the way to the flag. Leigh-Anne Sedgwick had been running in second, where she qualified but retired halfway through the race. 

The BTRDA rallycross series returns to Blyton Park for round four on Sunday 2 July.