SWAFFER WINS BMW TI­TLE AS NEEDELL STARS IN THRILLERS

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

Hav­ing fin­ished run­ner-up in the se­ries last year, Matt Swaffer clinched the Pro­duc­tion BMW Cham­pi­onship at Thrux­ton on Satur­day af­ter bat­tling his way to two hard-earned race vic­to­ries.

In the open­ing race, Swaffer ini­tially took the lead but was never given time to re­lax by the chas­ing Harry Good­man and Will Dav­i­son. All three drivers would en­joy spells at the front of a breath­less en­counter as they sought to take ad­van­tage of the slip­stream on the ap­proach to the Club Chi­cane. The trio was also be­ing kept hon­est by the fight for fourth be­tween Stuart Waite, Rob Cooper and TV pre­sen­ter Tiff Needell, mak­ing a guest ap­pear­ance.

A mis­take at the Com­plex at mid-dis­tance stymied Dav­i­son’s mo­men­tum and en­abled Good­man to take the bat­tle to Swaffer. The duo con­tin­ued to jos­tle for the re­main­der of the race but Swaffer de­fied his lack of cir­cuit knowl­edge to se­cure the win. Dav­i­son held third, but a side­ways mo­ment ex­it­ing Club from Waite on the fi­nal tour de­layed him and Cooper and en­abled Needell to dive in­side both and snatch fourth at the fin­ish.

The 2014 cham­pion, Waite, pro­vided Swaffer with his tough­est op­po­si­tion for the

AN­GLE­SEY: BRSCC BY DOM D’AN­GELILLO

The trooper liv­ery plas­tered on the PW Rac­ing car proved to be more than just aes­thet­ics as the team demon­strated ex­treme per­se­ver­ance and grit over the course of the Fun Cup Cham­pi­onship dou­ble header at An­gle­sey, earn­ing a maiden vic­tory and a sec­ond place in the win­tery con­di­tions.

Af­ter draw­ing pole for the first three-hour race, Anthony Reid was able to build a strong gap to the chas­ing Sheradize UK car head­ing into the first round of pit stops. The lead was ex­tin­guished as the weather wors­ened though, with PW Rac­ing’s Paul Wighton strug­gling for pace in the strong wind and rain. Their mis­for­tune was Sheradize UK and JPR Uvio’s gain, the fron­trun­ners slowly be­gin­ning to ex­cel in the tricky con­di­tions where oth­ers were start­ing to fade.

By the half­way point, PW Rac­ing were as far back as sev­enth, but were poised with their fastest driver, Reid, and had a tac­ti­cal ad­van­tage up their sleeve. De­spite a stop-and-go penalty for a pit lane in­fringe­ment, his lap times had put PW just be­hind the third placed masters of the wet, JPR Uvio, by the fi­nal stop. While lead­ers Sheradize UK and Uvio were re­quired to re­fuel, PW Rac­ing didn’t, mean­ing they had a shorter stop, com­ing out in the lead and ce­ment­ing their vic­tory. JPR Uvio at the hands of Far­quini Deott had looked set to pass Sheradize for sec­ond, but it proved too dif­fi­cult as the Sil­ver­stone and Snet­ter­ton win­ners set­tled for third.

As the Fun Cup headed into the night for its sec­ond race, it looked as though it would be the same top three. JPR Uvio, who had led from pole for most of the race un­der the flood­lit cir­cuit, had built a strong lead to Sheradize UK by the penul­ti­mate stop, but as Mar­cus Clut­ton took the helm of the sil­ver 251 car, he be­gan to eat two-sec­onds a lap out of Uvio’s 30-sec­ond lead, a gap that be­came a hand­ful of sec­onds by the fi­nal stop.

But a last stint cli­max was not to be; a me­chan­i­cal fail­ure forced Sheradize UK to re­tire, al­low­ing JPR Uvio to seal a third win in four ahead of PW Rac­ing, and Track Torque 2 Domi­nos.

Texan Chase Owen was a three­time win­ner in the For­mula Ford 1600 North­ern Cham­pi­onship; the Cliff Dempsey driver then opted for an early de­par­ture from the pad­dock along with seven other drivers. This left just six en­trants in the fi­nal, non­cham­pi­onship race, in which Juicie Bru­ceie nar­rowly pipped Ivor Mairs to the che­quered flag.

There was also a hat-trick of wins for reign­ing cham­pion Michael Heath in the XR Chal­lenge, he had a much bet­ter week­end than cham­pi­onship leader Greg Speight, who suf­fered from re­duced power af­ter blow­ing a head gas­ket in race one.

Si­mon Hor­robin led a Spe­cial­ized Mo­tor­sport 1-2 ahead of Sam Priest in the first race of the Fi­esta Cham­pi­onship. It was the same top two in the sec­ond race that be­came a five-minute sprint af­ter a lengthy red flag pe­riod brought on fol­low­ing a dra­matic col­li­sion in­volv­ing Jamie Go­ing, Nathan Ed­wards and Aaron Thomp­son.

In the Fi­esta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship there was a first time vic­tory for Cal­lum Hawkin­sRow in race one, though his joy was blighted some­what af­ter he lost his front-right tyre com­ing out of Corkscrew in race two, end­ing up in the tyre wall. Even­tual win­ner Harry Good­ing added to his sec­ond place in the first race, as he con­tin­ues to ex­tend his cham­pi­onship lead head­ing into the fi­nal two races.

Swaffer claimed two vic­to­ries

Owen scored a Fford hat-trick

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