2018 season opener at Brands Hatch
The Team started off the 2018 Mazda Racing season at Brands Hatch on the 24th and 25th March. We continue to support the Mk1 Championship with seven cars out and the new Mk3 Super Series with three Cars who have moved from the MX5 SuperCup Championship.
The Super Series is a new series for Mk3 MX5s, Super Series cars are an identical spec to the SuperCup. This has been created because the MX5 SuperCup has moved to run on the same calendar as the new TCR UK Touring Car Championship. The difference with the Super Series being that there are no points up for grabs and therefore no champion. Super Series competitors will instead be competing for a race winner’s trophy. Learn more about the new Super Series here: http://mx5superseries.co.uk/news-and-events?id=114
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit is the shortest circuit on the calendar. With a 1.2 mile lap a typical dry lap in both types of car is under 1 minute. Therefore the key at Brands Hatch is consistency with a 20 minute race quite easily running to 20 or even 21 laps.
For a good fast lap around Brands Hatch the key is to be brave into Paddock Hill (Turn 1) from the Start / Finish straight and carry as much speed possible. It’s a close limit as if you get it wrong there’s a big gravel trap and once you’re in it you’re not getting out without a tow truck. A fast lap time rewards the brave!
For both groups the Qualifying sessions were made all the more exciting by some overnight rain from Friday. The track dried throughout Saturday morning but the qualifying sessions were on a drying track which meant the track had a slippery surface and setup for the cars was key. The Mk1s were out first so their conditions were worse than the Mk3s.
The mechanics worked hard on optimal setup for the mixed conditions.
Championship Mk1 – 3 of the drivers qualified in the A Group (Teddy Clark P6, Charlie Burge P9 and Lewis Cannon P23 in his first ever MX5 race). The other 4 drivers qualified in the B Group (Simon Woods P2, Adrian Burge P10, Clive Chisnall P16 and Bruce Robinson P23).
Super Series Mk3 – With only one group the drivers all qualified well (Joshua Jackson P2, Patrick Collins P10 and Matt Pickford P11 with the latter two separated by just 2 thousandths of a second).
Championship 1A – A good close race saw reigning champion Will Blackwell Chambers take P1 with Ollie Allwood and Sam Smith rounding out the podium. BC Cars Charlie Burge made up some good places to take the best finish for the team in P6. Teddy Clark dropped a couple of spots in the first lap and again a place in the second lap to eventually finish in P9. Lewis Cannon made up good places to finish P17. All drivers managed to escape the drop to Race 2B.
Championship 1B – The top 4 drivers pulled away quickly and the race became in effect 3 races (P1 to P4, P5 to P7 and then P8 onwards). Paul Tucker took P1, our own Simon Woods took P2 and Charlie Rawles joined them on the podium in P3. Adrian Burge made great progress to finish P6 and Clive Chisnall and Bruce Robinson made up a couple of places finishing in P13 and P21 respectively. With a remarkable final lap of the race Bruce grabbed the points for fastest lap. Simon Woods brought home the first silverware for the team this season and was promoted to Race 2B.
Super Series – A differential oil leak onto the track from Simon Oranges car made for an interesting Lap 1 and Lap 2 for the drivers who were met with a very slippery surface. Matt Pickford had a high speed spin on Lap 1 and Patrick Collins suffered a front left suspension failure on Lap 2 causing him to pull up and not finish. Joshua Jackson took P1 in a very close race with Jake Bailey in P2 and Richard Breland in P3. Matt went on to finish in P8 after a good comeback.
Championship 2A – Another close race with all 24 cars finishing. Podium was almost identical to Race 1A with Will Blackwell-Chambers in P1, Sam Smith in P2 and Ollie Alwood in P3. Charlie Burge dropped a place to finish P7, Teddy Clark dropped 2 places to finish P11, Lewis Cannon finished P17 for the second time and the promoted Simon Woods finished P20 which was just not enough to avoid the relegation to Race 3B.
Championship 2B – An uneventful race with all 3 BC Cars making it home. The podium saw Clive Powles take P1, Marcus Bailey take P2 and Paul Bateman take P3. Adrian Burge made up one place to give him P5 and the all important promotion position to race 3A. Clive Chisnall made up one more place finishing P12 and Bruce Robinson rounded out the drivers by making up 4 places and finishing P17.
Super Series – Josh Jackson completed a “Lights to Flag” perfect race to finish in P1. Same faces on the podium with Jake Bailey in P2 and Richard Breland in P3. Patrick Collins made good progress in the race from his DNF in Race 1 to finish in P8. Matt Pickford made a mistake on Lap 4 where he missed his braking point for Clearways and had to make a drive across the grass to get back on the track. He eventually finished in P11. Josh also bagged the fastest lap.
Championship 3A –Mechanical issues featured again in this race. Will Blackwell-Chambers finished P1 for a hat-trick of wins followed by Sam Smith in P2 and Brian Trott in P3. Teddy Clark made up 2 places during the Race to finish P9. Charlie Burge suffered a gearbox failure on Lap 4 when his gearbox became jammed in 4th gear. He was able to complete the race with just the one gear but lost a lot of places to finish P20 just in front of his promoted Dad in P21. Lewis Cannon would eventually retire on Lap 17 after having to make an un-scheduled trip to the pits on Lap 3 after contact with another car left him with a puncture and a broken wheel.
Championship 3B – Charlie Rawles took the win with Oliver Robinson in P2 and Jack Moody in P3. Simon Woods had lead the race up to and after the safety car on Lap 5 when Sam Riley ended up in the Paddock Hill gravel trap and required recovery for safe racing. Simon made a great re-start and held the lead until Lap 16 and eventually finished P4 after a couple of gear selection mistakes and missed out on a second podium of the weekend. Bruce Robinson made good progress again and finished in P13. Clive Chisnalls race ended in the gravel at Clearways after contact with Callum Greatrex. Callum was later disqualified by the stewards for the contact.
Super Series – Josh Jackson missed out on a clean sweep of victories when his weekend long battle with Jake Bailey finished the other way round with Jake finishing P1 and Josh in P2. This time adifferent visitor joined them on the last step of the podium with Paul Sheard picking up P3. After making exactly the same braking mistake as Matt in race 2, Patrick Collins eventually finished in P9 and Matt Pickford had a DNF on Lap 14 when both exhaust brackets broke leaving hisexhaust dragging along the ground with spectacular sparks and resulted in him retiring to the pits.
Championship Standing after Round 1
Teddy Clark and Charlie Burge lead the way in the Championship and will be interesting to see how the battle between these guys and the rest of the drivers progresses throughout the rest of the year.
P9 – Teddy Clark (248 Points)
P10 – Charlie Burge (240 Points)
P23 – Simon Woods (162 Points)
P25 – Adrian Burge (148 Points)
P27 – Lewis Cannon (136 Points)
P40 – Bruce Robinson (66 Points)
P41 – Clive Chisnall (60 Points)