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Race report, Rockingham, 16th June 2018

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

Intermarque The Intermarque championship again provided the biggest grid of the day at a windy but dry Rockingham. With a degree of hype, this was billed as an evening meeting in an effort to try and persuade short circuit fans to attend. Sadly it did not generate the attendance that was hoped for, but nevertheless the intermarque certainly put on some fine racing.

With 25 cars in attendance, many people predicted that Malcolm Blackman’s winning start to the season might end here. However, nobody expected to see the immaculate red Tigra grinding to a halt after just three laps with a blown engine. This left the door open for someone else to go to the top step of the podium.

Intermarque Quickest in qualifying was Lewis Smith, who really is the master of Rockingham. Ian Hales was second fastest, whilst Blackman would have been third. Richard Smith was quickest senior and fourth overall, followed by Ray Harris and Reuben Taylor. Completing the top ten were Steve Burrows, Keith White, Paul Knight and Mick Robertson. The other casualties, besides Blackman, were Chris Ayling (broken sensor), Ben Taylor (broken camshaft), whilst poor Chris Brockhurst continues to have engine maladies and scratched beforehand. With fluctuating oil pressure, Robertson elected to start from the back in race one.

Intermarque Lewis Smith calmly led away, whilst Hales looked to hang on, but unfortunately spun at Chapman Curve. Although Richard Smith popped into second briefly, Burrows powered past at the end of lap one. On lap two Reuben Taylor and Harris started to pressurise Richard Smith and they were soon joined by Daniel Smith. Further back a trio of Hunns were squabbling over 11th spot, as they tried to close in on Dudman. A recovering Hales made good progress back through the field and he made it up to 6th by lap 9. However, a tangle with a forceful Harris at Brook undid all the good work. Ian had to settle for 10th in the end.

With the first three positions settled in the order of Lewis Smith, Burrows and Richard Smith, it was the battle between Harris and Daniel Smith that looked interesting. Harris slowed dramatically on the final run to the chequered flag, which saw Daniel nip past into fourth. Further back Keith White got the better of Mark Fuller, as Paul Knight closed in. Danny Hunn was the best of team Scrapco in 9th, followed by Hales, Jason Hunn and Ricky Hunn. Philip Young nearly caught Ricky on the final lap, as the Mazda RX8 seemed to have a recalcitrant gearbox. Volker Timm had his usual big smile in 14th, pursued by Colin Smith, John Steward and Phil Spinks. Amongst the retirements were Dudman (overheating), Robertson (still worried about oil pressure), Taylor (damaged undertray), Homewood and welcome newcomer Matt Ovenden.

Intermarque Hales missed out on race two due to a damaged oil tank, whilst both Ricky Hunn (broken gearbox) and Ovenden were also missing. The top nine positions were reversed, so Danny Hunn was on pole position. As usual everyone held their breath as the pack roared down to Deene hairpin. A cloud of dust signalled that Danny had gone wide, and he was tapped into a spin further round the lap. Somehow Lewis Smith led at the end of lap one, with Fuller in second, followed by Harris, Knight, Daniel Smith and a fast starting Timm. Lap two and things settled down with Harris moving into second, pursued by Knight and the other two Smiths. Fuller dropped another place to Burrows, but kept Timm at bay, until White closed in. An unfortunate incident saw both the Mercedes and BMW side lined as a result of unintentional contact.

Intermarque Prior to this the attrition rate had been quite high, as Dudman, Reuben Taylor, Phil Spinks, Jason Hunn and Robertson all fell by the wayside. With both Richard and Daniel Smith finding a way past Knight, it was now up to Burrows to see if he could continue his good progress. Unfortunately it went a bit wrong at Brook, which left the Blockade Peugeot stranded in the gravel. Knight lost a bit of ground, but held onto fifth. Philip Young sneaked up on Timm, and with the demise of others took a well-deserved sixth position. Timm was happy with seventh overall (and third in the senior group behind Richard Smith and Knight). Completing the ten finishers were Colin Smith, Steward and Homewood. The Avon tyre awards went to Reuben Taylor, Danny Hunn, Colin Smith and John Steward.

The results have certainly shaken up the championship, as Burrows is now just a point behind Blackman, with Lewis Smith just ten adrift of the leader. Paul Knight tops the senior cup, whilst Danny Hunn has closed in a bit on his brother Jason in the rookie cup. Vauxhall are still top marque, but the Mercedes went well this time. The next championship round is at Lydden in August, as part of the circuits truck festival, and as Volker Timm said “the nearest track to Germany”.

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