SWAFFER WINS BMW TITLE AS NEEDELL STARS IN THRILLERS
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.