Scottish drivers head to Dunkeswell
Dunkeswell’s infamous microclimate lived up to its reputation after a dry Saturday practice evolved into a stormy night which continued into monsoon conditions for race Sunday! The track was inspected and deemed safe, a decision that was revisited on a heat by heat basis and eventually led to the meeting being curtailed after the heats had been run.
With the ever present threat of the meeting having to be abandoned, it was vital to do well in the heats. Tom Canning in the Honda Cadet class did just that taking two wins. Ryan Luscombe managed to claim heat 2. Jordan Hurman was an ever present threat achieving a second and two third places to secure a front row grid for the finals. The Comer Cadets were dominated by two drivers, Foster and Ravenscroft with Foster taking two wins to Ravenscroft’s one. However, if either wasn’t winning they were coming second and locked out the front row for the finals.
Izaac Channing continued his domination of the Minimax class showing supreme skills in the wet as he drove to three straight heat wins. Charlie Cudlip and Sam Stephens did their best to keep him honest and Cudlip’s two second places secured him a front row place next to Channing. The improving Jnr TKM grids saw the same three drivers in the same positions for all three heats as Ryan Edwards took all three wins with Brandon Patrick and Josh Hopkins finishing second and third respectively.
The Junior Rotax grid was dominated by Peter Saxby and James Moorcroft with Saxby’s two wins and a second place securing him pole for the final. Moorcrofts win and two top three finishes ensured he lined up next to Saxby for the finals. Robbie Galliers’s string of top four finishes put him third overall. Stewart Baker put all his Dunkeswell experience to good use as he cut through the Senior Max field on his way to two heat wins. Ashley Lewis drove a brilliant heat two to secure a rare but well deserved win. However, the forbidding presence of James Clarkson was ever present and his brace of second places and a third secured him a place alongside Baker for the finals. In the Rotax 177’s, Steve James took two wins with veteran 177 driver, Rob Knight, taking the 3rd. Current champion, Darren Lane scored a hat trick of second places to join James on the front row.
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As well as it being a normal club round, Dunkeswell was please to be hosting the prestigious NKRA Formula Blue O plate. With many drivers heading to circuit from as far as Scotland it was a shame that the weather didn’t match the hospitality shown to the visitors!
In the Junior Blue class, visiting driver, Tommy Leckie took 2 wins with another visitor, Mark Ross taking the win in heat 3. M Gilliland scored an impressive hat trick of 2nd places whilst the highest placed local driver, Ben Pearson managed to get a 3rd place in heat 3.
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In the Senior Blue class, three names were ever present as Duncan McCleod, Douglas Simpson and Chris Derrick battled the conditions and each other. McCleod came out on top with 2 heat wins to Simpsons 1. However, McCleod’s second place in heat secured him pole. Derrick secured 2 3rd place finishes and a 2nd place finish to ensure these three drivers locked out the front of the grid.
By the time all the heats had been run, the conditions were beginning to worsen and the Clerk in consultation with the drivers and circuit management closed the meeting on the grounds of safety. This was unfortunate but entirely the right decision and the finals were awarded on the grid positions earned over the heats. A special thanks need to go to the standby Comp Admin team who did a superb job and an even bigger vote of thanks to the marshal team who braved the conditions stoically and without complaint and without a cosy awning to hide in between heats!