Plan for the day was drivers meeting at 7.30am (meaning an early start for many), with qualifying to get under way soon after and attempt to truck through 5 rounds of qualifying, with round by round the chosen format. But, you know what they say about best laid plans…
The drivers meeting didn’t actually get underway until about 8.30, but the track still had a few damp spots anyway. After a very comprehensive meeting (well done Matt, Trevor and co), a quick concourse, we were underway.
Mini and F1 were up first, followed by 21.5, 13.5, mod, and 12th wrapping up each round. With the track still relatively cool, and everyone on new tyres, fast times were guaranteed. Again, I’ll hold my hand up to not really playing a huge amount of attention to these classes… blame trying to get ready for every run! So from the results sheets, in Mini John Puse took the opening round from Calvin Holmes, whilst in F1, ex-Tamiya series F1 world champ Brad Vercoe dominated the field with a time a full 14s ahead of second. 21.5t, and Geoff Otto snuck through for a 16th lap to take the win ahead of Bruce Seaton.
In 13.5t, Justin Reddiex put in a flyer of a first round to take out the win, ahead of Josh Mason and Alex Illiveski. And in Mod, Ryan Maker put in a near perfect run to seal the win ahead of Simon Nicholson, and Jason Dorn. Yours truly had a decent run too 11th spot, although a flip on the the lap meant a few dropped seconds, and a potential 10th. 1:12th was the Aaron Lee show, 15s ahead of Mark Wallin.
Onto round 2, and the weather was starting to heat up, with the track slowing as a result. Having said that… John Puse took 13s off his round one time on the way to another TQ, with Calvin joining him on 14laps. Bradd Vercoe again took the round ahead of Beth Cullen in F1, albeit by a far smaller margin. 21.5t, and Bruce Seaton took the round with his first 16lapper, ahead of Chris Milton.
Josh Mason took out 13.5t with another 17lapper, with Mark Wallin and John Puse also sneaking through for the extra lap to round out the top three for the round. Mod, and this Simon Nicholson headed Ryan, with Jason again in third.
Aaron Lee managed to make it onto the extra lap in 12th, with Justin Reddiex second, albeit 2laps back!
Running another set of new boots, and despite posting a slower time, managed to snag a 9th place for the round, so not too bad, although some small adjustments would be needed to get a bit more stability.
Into round three, and John Puse continued his domination of mini, with Rob Nicol taking second. F1 and Brad made it three out of three as well, again with Beth second.
Bruce took out 21.5t for his second round win, with Patrick Saeizie and the legend Ray Zarb following closely. The younger Zarb of the Damien variety followed up by taking the win in 13.5t, followed by Justin and Alex. Ryan took his second round for the day in Mod, whilst Simon retired, with Jason and Ari Bakla rounding out the top three.
1:12th, who else but Aaron Lee, with another faultless run to also join the threepeat club, again ahead of Justin.
Round four is where the weather took a turn for the worse… with some very grey coulds thankfully only bringing a few spits of rain with them, although a break was called before the start of the 13.5 heats just to be sure. With the clouds came cooler track temps, and some quicker times.
Now I forgot to grab the Mini times (oops), but Brad made it four from four in F1. in 21.5t, Geoff Otto got his meeting back on track with another win. In 13.5t, Mod and 1:12th, with the large track changes following the enforced break, there was some real opportunity for upsets. Tony McMahon made the most of the conditions to take the round ahead of Damien and Alex. Simon made it two apiece between himself and Ryan in mod, with Ryan taking second ahead of Tim Lee. I managed to pull one out the bag, and ended up with 8th in round, despite being on second run tyres, and taking a chance on setup for the cooler conditions, which was maybe a step too far. 1:12th was a fourpeat for Aaron, with Kane Alderton in second.
And that was a wrap for the day. In terms of overalls, counting the two best scores from four;
Mini – John Puse, Calvin Holmes, not sure…
F1 – Brad Vercoe, Beth Cullen, Phil Merrick
21.5t – Geoff Otto, Bruce Seaton, Deon Louw
13.5t – Justin Reddiex, Damien Zarb, Josh Mason
Mod – Ryan Maker, Simon Nicholson, Jason Dorn (me 11th!)
1:12th – Aaron Lee, Justin Reddiex, Kane Alderton
So for tomorrow (Sunday) there are still (hopefully) two rounds of qualifying before the finals. Thankfully the forecast is looking better than at any other time for the weekend, so it should be a good day. Now, time for bed..