Following last weekends win in the Touring Car class for Colin Price, Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill made it two winning weekends on the trot as he took the 2WD win at the BRCA TORCH National. This weekend the BRCA 10th Off-Road National series visited TORCH club in Titchfield, the deep south of England.
A new venue to the 6 round national series for this year, having previously hosted an End of Season final. The club had done a good job of laying a fairly open, race-able track, with plenty of features to keep drivers busy, but nothing too difficult that it was make or break for any level of driver. The national format see’s just 2 rounds of 3 min practice runs before drivers in to 4 rounds of qualifying and then finals, with just the A main having 3 legs to battle it out, 2wd on the Saturday and 4wd on the Sunday.
2wd Qualifying saw a breakaway group of 4 drivers at the top of the time sheets. Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill took the opening round with his Cougar KF, before Lee Martin showed his true pace in Rounds 2 & 3, and Darren Bloomfield got to grips with the track for Round 4, posting the fastest time of the day. This left Lee Martin on pole, followed by the Schumacher trio of Darren, Tom & Simon Moss, with Nathan Waters and Danny McGee also making the main making it 5 Cougar KF’s in total.
The finals were anything but dominant for a single driver, giving some excellent close racing and a great display for the watching crowd. Lee Martin would take a flag to flag victory in leg 1, despite having to defend a late charging Tom Cockerill in the final minute. Leg 2 would see Darren make amends for his leg 1 error, taking advantage of a rare error from the pole man to take the leg win. This meant A3 would be the decider. The top 3 gapped the field early on leaving a great 3-way battle throughout. At half race distance Lee made an error, and Darren repeated this just 2 laps later, gifting the lead to Tom. As positions stood it would come down to fastest final time, which Tom took, just 0.7s in front of Darren.
2wd Top 10 Finishing Order:
- Tom Cockerill (3) – Schumacher Cougar KF
- Darren Bloomfield (2) – Schumacher Cougar KF
- Lee Martin (1) – Yokomo
- Simon Moss (4) – Schumacher Cougar KF
- Tom Yardy (7) – AE
- Nathan Waters (5) – Schumacher Cougar KF
- Neil Cragg (10) – AE
- Craig Collinson (8) – Durango
- Danny McGee (6) – Schumacher Cougar KF
- Kevin Lee (9) – Team C
Sunday saw a track layout change, opening up the tighter sections for the faster 4wd cars. Just like the previous national, 4wd qualifying was a battle of 2 drivers, Lee Martin & Neil Cragg. Neil opened up strong, taking the fastest time in Rounds 1 & 2, before Lee came back in round 3. The fourth and deciding round saw a few mistakes for Lee, handing the TQ to Neil, but once again the finals were going to be very close.
Tom Cockerill found some pace for the finals with his NOSRAM powered CAT K1 Aero, allowing him to run at the front with Neil & Lee. Leg 1 Saw Neil take a flag to flag victory, but by no means easily. Lee was on him from the start and never more than a straight length behind, with Tom chasing Lee hard. Lee looked every way possible to make a move, not making contact once, but Neil did well to hold his line and take the win. Leg 2 was pretty much the same, Neil lead all the way, but his victory was far from easy, as once again Lee battled hard, getting alongside twice in the first lap, but never able to make the move complete. With the pressure off, Neil but in a brilliant display of driving to take the leg 3 by a 5s margin, ahead of a close battle between Lee & Tom in second, to round out the podium positions.
4wd Top 10 Finishing Order:
- Neil Cragg (1) – AE
- Lee Martin (2) – Yokomo
- Tom Cockerill (3) – Schumacher CAT K1 Aero
- Nathan Waters (4) – Schumacher CAT K1 Aero
- Craig Collinson (5) – Durango
- Tom Yardy (7) – AE
- Danny McGee (8) – Schumacher CAT K1 Aero
- Greg Williams (10) – AE
- Ellis Stafford (9) – TLR
- Kevin Lee (6) – Team C
A massive congratulations to TORCH club for putting down a great track for the racers, with what felt like the right amount of features. Again, another superbly run meeting by the BRCA. The next round of the National Series takes place at Eden Park Raceway later this month, always a good racers track!