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Race report from Rockingham

By Adam Grant
Photos: Dave Maries

BARC SEC TinTop Championship The first “away” day for this year for the Tin Tops and Modified saloons saw them travel to Rockingham, for one of the last meetings on this modern facility. The Tin Tops had 19 cars present, although Steve Everson was forced to sit on the side lines, because he did not manage to complete one lap in qualifying.

BARC SEC TinTop Championship Daniel Fisher was over two seconds quicker than Rikki Taylor, with Bradley Lane and Kamran Tunio next up. Adrian Matthews and Mikey Day should have occupied row three, but Day was a non-starter due to gear linkage issues. Dave Charlton headed the T1 contestants with Gideon September the only TP runner in Colin tester’s Ford Puma. The rolling start, which was minus the turn one chicane for the first lap, saw a bit of confusion at the Deene hairpin. Fisher went in deep and wide, which dropped him to third behind Lane and Taylor. Tunio held fourth spot from Matthews and Charlton. Fisher regained the lead on lap two, whilst a lap later Taylor pitted after a kerb clattering moment damaged a driveshaft. This elevated Tunio, but he was under severe pressure from Matthews, who took the class lead on lap five. Meanwhile Alfie Brooker squeezed past Charlton, and a lap later Jamie Primett and Dominic Ryan further demoted the Seat Leon. Nick Lunn had a time consuming spin, which removed his Integra’s back bumper so he also pitted. Meanwhile Fisher cruised to comfortable win, from Lane and Matthews. Brooker took class T1 despite breaking a driveshaft coupling, as Charlton dropped back but still got second in class. September won TP.

BARC SEC TinTop Championship Race two saw Mikey Day join in at the back, alongside Taylor who had found a local garage to fix his driveshaft issue. Fisher controlled the start well and never looked back as he romped away to a 16 second win. Lane again took the runner up spot, with Matthews the class of T3. The battle for fourth was intense though. Tunio initially fought with Matthews, but then had to fend off Brooker, who in turn was being pressed by a charging Taylor. Brooker passed Tunio for fourth on lap 7, then Taylor got past the yellow Honda on the last lap and finished just 0.033 of a second behind the black Mini. Hosier upped his pace to take 7th, demoting Ryan and Primett who had a race long battle. Charlton slipped back to 10th followed by Bicknell senior then junior. Day (after a pit stop), Wild and September completed the finishers, as Forbes retired on lap 4.

BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car Championship The modified saloons had a poor turnout by comparison, some drivers clearly not happy with BARC HQ. Sadly championship leader Adrian Bradley had a miserable day, as his car refused to start due to an alternator problem. Having missed qualifying he could not race like Everson. The good news was that the Bicknell duo decided to join in with their Citroen Saxos, so at least we had 7 starters.

Qualifying saw the mighty Holden V8 of Alex Sidwell thunder around the banking and annex pole position, 1.8 seconds quicker than Malcolm Wise. Late entry Steve Rothery lined up third in his class D Renault Clio, with Rod Birley having another troubled time in his Escort WRC only just managing 3 laps. Martyn Scott lined up fifth followed by the Bicknells. The start was a bit unusual as Sidwell slowed looking for the chicane, then realising it was not there on the first lap. As he rushed down to the hairpin he over did things and had a quick spin. As the cars poured into Yentwood Birley went wide as Wise held the inside, but into the lead popped Rothery. Coming out of Gretton hairpin Birley stopped, which meant he dropped to the rear of the field, but at least he managed to get going again. At the end of lap one Rothery still led from Wise, with Scott third then Sidwell. Lap two and Wise took the lead, but the little green Clio was hanging on well. By lap four Sidwell hit the front, as further back Scott had a big spin in front of the recovering Birley exiting Tarzan. Sidwell charged on to a 15 second win from Wise with Rothery third. Birley kept going to score valuable points in fourth, with Marcus Bicknell fifth followed by Scott then Chris Bicknell.

BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car Championship Race two saw no errors from Sidwell as he powered away into a comfortable lead. Wise slotted into second as Birley got past Rothery as they went onto the banking. With the black Escort running a lot better, it was good to see a battle develop between the two Cosworths. Birley hunted down Wise and squeezed past coming out of Gretton on lap six. However, Wise fought back and despite a brake locking moment, edged back through at Tarzan as Birley steered wide to avoid any contact. Undeterred Birley fought back again and did the same manoeuvre at Gretton. This time it stuck and with the fastest lap of the race Birley took second spot (and a class win) behind Sidwell. Wise was third from a slightly lonely Rothery. The Bicknell duo had a race long battle, which finally went to Chris on the final lap. Scott cruised home 7th, but at least all the starters finished both races.

Next Race Meeting:

See you in 2019

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Last Race Results

Modified Saloon Car:

1. Rod Birley
2. Steve Rothery
3. Malcolm Wise
See full results

TinTop:

1. Kamran Tunio
2. Kevin Palmer
3. Steve Everson
See full results

Intermarque:

1. Steve Burrows
2. CHris Brockhurst
3. Lewis Smith
See full results

2018 Championship Winners (Provisional):

BARC SEC Modified Saloon Car:

Adrian Bradley
See full standings

BARC SEC TinTop:

Rikki Taylor
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Lewis Smith
See full standings