This past weekend hosted the oOple Invernational race, held at Robinhood raceway in the UK on their unique clay track. The event has become very popular in it’s short time on the race calendar with racers and their family’s, and it’s easy to see why! The race finds the perfect balance of some serious racing on the track, but lots of fun off the track on Friday and Saturday evenings!
Friday consisted of open practice starting at 11:30am which went well on the perfectly presented track until around 4pm when the rain arrived! The covers were pulled over the track in a Wimbledon style fashion whilst the torrential rain passed over. Unfortunately the water managed to find it’s way onto the track in a few places and ruined the hard work that had been put in. The track team and several racers worked very hard to get the track useable again and practice re-started only for the rain to return so they called it a day at that.
The format of Saturday was adjusted with rain again forecast for Sunday. The organisers ran 4 rounds of qualifying and a final for each class. In the 4wd class it was Neil Cragg who showed his pace in qualifying like in previous years and took the TQ. Tom Cockerill would find some more pace in 4wd as the day went on and took the last round of qualifying to line up second on the grid with Jemison in third, Greg Williams 4th and Richard Lowe 5th.
The 4wd final made for some very close racing for the lead but also the second pack of cars for the final podium spot. It would be Tom Cockerill who took the 4wd win with Neil Cragg second and Greg Williams 3rd after being charged hard from the start by Ben Jemison and Richard Lowe.
In 2wd Neil once again TQ’ed driving the B5R with Ben Jemison lining up a close 2nd choosing to run the B5M and Tom Cockerill 3rd. A clean start to the final with Neil leading away being closely followed by Ben, an error on lap 2 let Ben through to the lead and Neil had some work to do, over the next few laps Neil showed the pace in his car and was driving on the rear bumper of Jemison, but struggling to find a way through. An overshoot over the small doubles let Cragg through to the lead with Ben now having the work to do, an error on the next lap from Neil would let Ben back through to the lead with 1 minute to go! Ben managed to hold his nerve to take leg 1 and with it the win!