The first UK National of 2017 was held last week at the Cotswolds circuit – with significant anticipation/excitement after the long winter break. Saturday practice was largely damp until the last 2 hours when a dry track enabled most racers to get to grips with their 2017 cars. Sunday saw fine weather all day which was a welcome change to the traditionally cold and wet start to the year. Through Qualifying in the Nitro class, it was Serpent’s 977 Evo2 leading the way, with Mark Green, Tim Wood, John Carr and Richard Hicklin all placing in the top 3 at one time or another. Mark and Tim both got down to 14.5 second lap times – faster than the 2016 times and displaying an advantage compared to the other cars.
The stage was set for the 30 minute A final, with Mark on Pole, Tim 2nd and Richard 3rd. A largely uneventful race upfront saw a Serpent/XRD/Contact 1-2 for Mark and Tim despite a backmarker accident for Mark, with Tim’s engine being rich leading to a fuel cut mid-race. John and Richard were both unlucky but rounded out 5th and 9th at the end. Neil King completed the podium in his first race for Shepherd. A special mention for 12 year old Matthieu Dambrine, who made his first national A final and finished 6th!