Round 4 of the 2012/13 BRCA 1/12th Scale Nationals took place at Plymouth in the southwest of the UK last weekend. It had been 2 months since the last national so some of the drivers were a little rusty, although many had been racing at local club or regional events in January.
On Saturday the main 1/12th scale class is for 10.5 blinky. David Spashett dominated proceedings as he had at the first two rounds of the championship by taking a relatively comfortable TQ by 5 seconds. David benefited from a first corner pileup and cruised to an easy win in the A final by the same margin as he had in qualifying. Mark Stiles qualified alongside David on the front row, but was hit from behind at the start and dropped to 8th on the first lap. Despite that, a spirited drive through the pack saw him finish a commendable 3rd behind his CRC team mate Mick Farrell. Unfortunately Zak Smith and Andy Murray were disqualified from the final results after failing to take their cars to technical inspection after the race. Jim Spencer won a competitive B final which saw little more than 1.5 laps covering the top-9 cars.
In the GT12 class for Mardave V12 and Schumacher Supastox cars, Adam Catchpole topped the qualifying list by 2 seconds with his Mardave, but the rest of the A final was filled with Schumacher cars. However, the final belonged to Schumacher with Chris Ashton taking a narrow victory after a superb drive from 2nd on the grid. Catchpole finished 2nd ahead of fellow North-Eastern driver Peter Craig. These three were more than a whole lap ahead of the 4th placed car.
Sunday’s main class is 1/12th scale open modified. Despite much more power and cars that are more difficult to drive cleanly, qualifying was much closer than in the 10.5 class the previous day. Matt Varah was racing at his first 1/12th scale national for almost a year with a brand new Yokomo car. He was smooth and consistent throughout the day and took his first ever BRCA national TQ. He was pushed hard all day by Mark Stiles, Chris Kerswell and David Spashett, with the 4 drivers separated by less than 2 seconds after qualifying.
In the A final Varah led for the first 10 laps and built a lead of 2.5 seconds over Chris Kerswell, who passed Mark Stiles on the first lap. However, a slight lapse in concentration at the fastest point on the infield led to the lead Yokomo taking a trip into the boards requiring a marshal. This gifted the lead to the LRP/Dynamite powered Serpent of Chris Kerswell.
At the 3 minute Mark, Chris held a 4 second lead over Mark Stiles’ LRP/Reedy powered CRC. However, Mark was turning fast laps after a scrappy start and immediately started to close the gap. By 6 minutes, the pair were circulating in formation and Mark was looking for a way past and trying to force a mistake from Chris. Chris drove superbly to hold his line and soak up the pressure, with both drivers on the ragged edge. The race for 3rd between Zak Smith, Matt Varah and David Spashett was ¾ of a lap behind at this stage.
As the leaders started their last lap they were right behind David Spashett, who attempted to move over to be lapped. However, some confusion and possibly a small mistake from one or more of the drivers led to David and Chris making slight contact exiting a hairpin. A gap of 2 car widths opened up and Stiles was perfectly positioned to take advantage. He slipped into the lead which he held for the remainder of the lap despite a failed attempt by Kerswell to re-pass him at the end of the straight. Zak Smith finished 3rd for Associated/Reedy after getting past the battling Varah and Spashett in the closing stages.
In GT12, Chris Ashton once again came from 2nd on the grid to win the A final, but this time it was another Schumacher on pole driven by Sam Clifton. Sam was 3rd on an all-Schumacher podium, just behind Peter Craig.
Full results, all final videos and championship positions will be posted on the BRCA website. The penultimate round of the championship takes place at Stafford in March after Oulu in Finland plays host to the EFRA European Championships.