JONES TAKES DOUBLE AS KELLY AND WATTS STRUGGLE
Daryl Jones bounced back from a trying weekend in Donington Park to claim the first two race wins in the F3 Cup, the first of which was helped by a poor start for Shane Kelly and a non-start for Robbie Watts.
The pressure was relieved for Jones in race two when Tony Bishop spun out of second place at Clearways and, though the safety car would neutralise the field, neither Kelly nor Watts would genuinely trouble Team Fox man Jones.
In race three, however, he could only hold his lead as far as lap three, when triple Donington winner Kelly slipped past at Druids to take the victory.
After winning the Lotus Cup races at Snetterton and Donington Park, Adam Mackay’s perfect start to the start to the season was dented with a DNF at Brands, and Jason Baker took full advantage, winning by just over 10 seconds from Adam Knight.
Baker’s good form seemed to continue in the Elise Trophy category as well, but post-qualifying scrutineering found his car to be underweight, and so his fourth-place grid slot became 13th, with an added 10-second penalty. That left Freddie Hetherington and Stuart Ratcliff – who set identical qualifying times – to do battle with Alex Ball, and the trio were separated by barely a second at the chequered flag. Hetherington, in front, resisted Ball’s pressure all race.
With no penalty applied for race two, Baker was able to streak clear, aided by an off for Hetherington as he tried to pass Ball for second place.
Toby Bearne took his maiden win in the VAG Trophy’s first race of the weekend after polesitter Paul Ivens slumped to fifth, but a controversial incident in the second race would see Bearne stripped of his win, and excluded from the meeting altogether. Darrelle Wilson passed both Bearne and Darron Lewis during race two, but Bearne made contact with Wilson at Paddock Hill Bend, and both ended up in the barrier, ending the race after just five minutes and handing Lewis victory. Race three’s mixed grid led to a shuffle of the pack, and Daniel Clark took his first win of the season in his VW Golf Mk5, holding off the feisty Passat of John Stevens.
Matt Swaffer got past Production BMW polesitter Harry Goodman at the start of the race, but a daring pass by the latter at Druids on lap seven returned the pair to their starting positions, and there they remained until the chequered flag of not only race one, but race two as well. Goodman has now accrued five out of six wins so far this season, but Swaffer sits just 14 points adrift.
Nigel Innes took pole and both race wins in Racing Saloons. Stuart Waite had dominated the first two rounds at Oulton Park and Donington with a second place, two poles and three wins, but he had to play second fiddle to Innes in the first race, and finished third behind Stephen Pearson in the second race.
Jack Lang got off to the best start in the first Radical Challenge race, leading from pole position. A three-lap safety car for Lewis Gee and David Simpson’s second-lap excursion did not perturb the EX-BRDC 4 man, and he held his own against chasing drivers Brian Caudwell and Steve Burgess, the latter of whom passed Tony Wells with one lap to go.
Race two also featured an early safety car, and Bradley Smith took top step on the podium, with Burgess and Wells in tow, and Lang down in 11th after a disastrous start. Lang recovered to win the 40-minute final Radical race, but more impressive was Joe Stables’ drive from 11th on the grid to finish second.
James Taylor resisted pressure from Oliver Barker all race long in the first Radical SR1 Cup race, but failure to observe waved yellow flags for Christian Olsen’s stricken car on the very last lap got Barker excluded from the race. Taylor doubled on his win in race two, with Barker third, just behind Kye Wheatley.
Jeremy Timms hit the pit wall very early during qualifying for the Monoposto 1800, 1600 & Moto 1400 & 1000 race, but was able to scorch past all 19 drivers in his way during the race; winning ahead of cousin Jason Timms, who had taken pole. Jeremy Timms also took victory in race two, this time over 20 seconds ahead of Craig Hurran.
Contact between front row-starters Ben Cater and Tony Bishop on the first lap of Monoposto F3, F2000 and Classic race one dropped both down the order and gave David Gillett victory. However, both found their feet for the second race, finishing just over a second apart with Cater at the fore.
Oliver White was named Champion of Brands in the final event of the weekend, holding off Luke Williams in the one-off Formula Ford 1600 event.
Jones took advantage of a poor getaway from Kelly and a non-start for Watts
Bearne (r) won first race but was later excluded after clash with Wilson