It's not always possible to be the best, but its always possible to improve on your own performance
As the racing season reaches the half way mark, the season goes from strength to strength. With races at Rockingham, Brands Hatch Speedfest and Pembrey completed we look forward to the meetings coming up in July.. Below is a selection of photos from Rockingham, Brands and Pembrey.. Massive thank you to Joshua and Michael Barrett for the Rockingham and Brands images..
Race Reports -
Rockingham - The largest grid of the season so far could not stop Ed Pither taking a pair of victories in 750 Formula, despite Peter Bove claiming pole position. Bove took second in race one before retiring on Sunday. A couple of podiums saw Bill Cowley hold on to his championship lead after a consistent season, with podiums all the way.
Mark Inman’s Vauxhall VX220 won both Armed Forces Challenge races. Will Ashmore and Ian Fletcher completed the podium in both championship races. Darren Berris blasted to victory in the special Army races, which concluded Saturday’s activities.
Joe Stables took a spectacular triple victory in Bikesports, beating Tim Gray’s impressive lap record in the meantime. Lee Torrie remains unbeaten in class A and therefore continues to lead the championship standings.
Patrick Fletcher’s two victories in the Clio 182 Championship meant he significantly extended his championship advantage. Mark Balmer took his first win of the season in the opener of the triple header, moving him to third in the standings, behind Jack Kingsbury. Ryan Polley’s engine dramas meant he falls to fourth.
The headline event of the meeting was Club Enduro’s three-hour event. Front runners Martin James (broken clutch), Guy Colclough / Stewart Lines (multiple punctures) and Andy Marston / Brett Evans (threw a belt) all struck drama, which promoted the BMW M3 of Andy Baylie and Luke Schlewitz to victory. An impressive solo effort from Matt Faizey saw him take his Porsche 968 to class B victory while the SJN Photography-stickered BMW 328i of Steve Hewson and Matt Nossiter won class C.
The first half of the Roadsports race struck with Safety Cars but when it did get going the BMW M3 of Andy Marston and Brett Evans were the eventual winners, beating team-mate Rob Meredith by just 0.34 seconds. Neal Martin, Liam Crilly and Ben Abbitt / Jack Mitchell were all class winners.
A fighting fit Matthew Booth won by Sports Specials races ahead of series newcomer Darren Berris, while Marcus Roskill took an impressive double class B victory. However, a further two class podium finishes allowed Lee Emm to take the championship lead.
An action-packed pair of Toyota MR2 races saw reigning champion Shaun Traynor win twice but became the fifth different driver to win this season. Josh Brooks looked set to take his maiden victory but unfortunately fell victim at the Deene hairpin both times. Graham Malings took a pair of podiums and was the best Roadster while Dave Hemingway and Adam Lockwood shared Mk1 honours. Good overall results meant Malings moves to second in the championship behind early pacesetter Ben Rowe.
Brands Hatch Speedfest - Darren Dowling took his TVR Sagaris to all three victories during the American Speedfest event for Bernie's V8s which ran in front of a phenomenal crowd. Dean Cook was his closest challenged aboard his Tuscan during the two sprint races. However, in the reversed grid feature race Tim Davis' Tuscan led before Dowling passed him on lap six. Davis chased him all the way to the flag though. Cook came through to finish third. In the sprint races it was Simon Cripps (MG GTV8) and Davis who took the third placed honours. Faber Gerard's Chevrolet Camaro won the Modified class in both sprint races before it was double runner-up Simeon Chodosh's Corvette that won race three. Mathew Smith (TVR Chimaera) came third twice before Guy Samuels (MGB GTV8) and Geoff Taylor (TVR Griffith) concluded the class podium in race three.
BMW CCR – Brands Hatch - Gary Hufford claimed both BMW Car Club Racing victories on their Brands Hatch race weekend on the Aston Martin Owners Club event. His E46 M3 took a clear six second victory in the opener despite not making the best start. Early leader David Kempton retired mid-race allowed Kirk Armitage and Paul Travers to finish on the podium. The top two positions were replicated in race two, but Hugh Gurney joined them on the podium. Lee Deegan and Joe Dalgarno took a win apiece in the six cylinder category, while Richard Harrison (4-cylinders) and Wayne McGuire (Cup) took a pair of class victories. Paul Whiite and Mark Culmer shared the M2 honours.
Massive thank you to Joshua Barrett for writing the race reports..
Pembrey - In the Hot Hatch regular front runner and multiple race winner Ben Rushworth made an error after testing in the morning leading him to only completing a couple of laps. Starting at the back of the grid for race 1. This allowed Steve Sawley to claim victory even when Ben managed to get through to 2nd by the end of lap 1! In the 2nd race Sawley and Rushworth again fought for the honours this time going the way of Rushworth. The Classic Stock Hatch was a close affair at the front, Marcus Ward on the back of his Mallory double looked the man to beat. Pete Morgan tried his hardest to succeed however engine problems in race 1 forced him to retire with Ward winning followed by Edward Cooper and Lee Scott. Ward again won in race 2 due to track limits penalties for Morgan. Scott Ward and Edward Cooper rounding out the podium. Locost races were as close as ever, slipstreaming was put to great use, with Louis Wall finishing ahead of Mark Burton and Martin West in the 1st race, Race 2 Mark Burton was victorious ahead of Martin West and Ben Powney, both these races were interrupted due to red flags featuring. Race 3 Ben Powney was victorious ahead of Wall and West. Clio 182 races were close at the front, it was a return to winning way for Andrew Tibbs with victory in two of the weekends races. The other victory going the way of Mark Balmer for his 2nd victory of the season. 750 Formula was again dominated by Ed Pither to extend his lead. Bill Cowley kept 2nd in the championship with a 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Historic 750 Formula saw double victory for Simon Boulter. He beat Christian Pederson who failed to start race 2. RGB saw double victory for Paul Smith of Mittell Cars, with Billy Albone and Colin Chapman behind in race 1. In race 2 the top two were the same with Danny Andrew rounding the podium out. Sport Specials saw Matthew Booth and Rob Johnston fight for victory, in a close affair in both races with them trading places they had a victory a piece with Johnston taking race 1. MX5 races regular frontrunner and championship leader Paul Maguire won two of the triple header, the other victory went to Ben Hancy after race long pressure from Maguire.
Full race reports will be available on the website soon..
Drivers Of The Month - Steve Hewson and Matt Nossiter
Congratulations for Steve and Matt who compete in the Club Enduro Championship for winning drivers of the month!
They compete in Class C of the Club Enduro and they have had some brilliant results this season. This has led them to lead the Class C championship and currently the overall championship as well. Victories as Oulton Park and Rockingham where they beat some Class A and B cars! Most recently the trip over to Spa which saw two 100 minute races take place. In the first race luck wasn't with Steve and Matt with the safety car periods, they still managed to get 4th in class. Race 2 however was a different story, the safety cars were in their favour with Steve starting out setting fast lap times, before handing over to Matt who drove a great race to bring the car home in P1 and 10th overall. Well done guys for a top effort so far, look forward to seeing you on the grid at the next round at Silverstone.
Meet The Photographer
Sadly there is no Meet the Driver this month due to the driver letting me down! Thought I would try something different and get you to ask me some questions, here are some of the best..
Tim Penstone-Smith - What started your bizarre fascination with standing track side in all weather's?
It all started when I was growing up, I would watch F1 with my Dad, still remember the 1998 Spa crash as if it were yesterday. We then went to my first BTCC race in 2003 which I loved, we returned a year later. I then studied photography at A level which led me to loving having a camera in my hand. We then returned to Snetterton in 2013 to watch BTCC, this is where Dad met up with his friend. He then invited us along to the 750 Motor Club meeting at Snetterton to watch Martin in the Clio 182 series. My first experience of 750 Motor Club, it must of been good as we went to Cadwell that year as well, my first track away from ‘home’. The rest is history as they say :D, the following year saw us visit 6 different tracks and I was hooked . Four years later I now stand out in all weathers (must be mad) and try and avoid gravel being thrown at me to capture the wonderful moments this club has to offer.
James Gahagan - Whats your favourite type of shot to take? Action, moody, scenic, etc?
Thats such a tough question! Action shots are usually the most dramatic when caught at the right time. They are so satisfying when you look back and see you caught the moment and its in focus. Panning shots are great when you get them spot on. You push yourself throughout the session to get lower and lower shutter speeds and its fantastic when you pull one off!
Marcus Ward - Do you ever think about jumping in the drivers seat and trying racing?
All the time! I would love to have a go one day. After being driven round Silverstone national by Martin Ward in the Clio Cup car last year, I do have complete new respect for racing drivers, of how aggressive you have to be with a race car. I felt like we were doing an emergency stop on the brakes going into Luffied yet we were still going fast! It also opened my eyes into how much you notice everything going that fast, I managed to spot media, pit boards. Now I know why you can spot me when your driving :p
Garry Emm - What criteria dictate where you set up around the track? Is it where you will be best positioned to hopefully capture-the most aesthetically pleasing photos or where there are more likely to be thrills & spills?
Great question, I usually plan about a week before roughly were I’m going to stand. Usually the timetable dictates to a certain extent of where I go first. Also the sun has a major factor, Ideally the sun needs to be behind you. I will try and pick a mixture of both, usually qualifying for the aesthetics and then maybe the races for more action shots. You just need a bit of luck with action as it always seems to happen at the opposite end of the track!
Check out the full interview below: If you would like to be featured please get in touch!
Photo credit: Sian Warner :)
Special Mentions -
A special mention must go to Ryan Polley, coming off the back of a win at Silverstone things were looking good in the championship fight. Sadly Ryan who never has any luck in testing had to endure two engine changes forcing him to miss race 1 at Rockingham. Starting at the back for race 2 Ryan finished a creditable 9th place. Ryan again fought hard in race 3, to finish 9th once again, after getting caught up in a nasty incident for Simon Donoghue who was taken out by David Hitchin. Ryan will be looking for better luck for the remainder of the season.
Also a special mention must go to Scott Ward. In what was only his second race meeting in the new car, Scott produced a fantastic weekend. Qualifying 4th on the grid, which put him in a great position to move forwards. In race 1 Scott produced a clean and controlled race to finish 5th in a tight race as the top five lap times were very close! In race 2 was a close battle with Edward Cooper and Andy Philpotts, Scott eventually coming out on top by 0.2 second to finish his best ever result of 2nd!
Another Special Mention - must go to Ben Rushworth
Multiple 750 Motor Club Hot Hatch race winner Ben Rushworth was invited to make his HSCC Guards Trophy debut at Silverstone driving Paul Ugo’s Chevron B8. A series for Sports and GT cars built before 1968.
In a damp Qualifying, Rushworth set the fifth fastest time and second in class – behind multiple Super Touring Car race winner James Dodd aboard a Ginetta G16. Ugo started his B8 and consistently ran in the top eight before handing over to Rushworth. The former MG Metro championship drove a storming stint, setting the fastest lap in their class on the penultimate lap – quicker than the likes of ace Historic racer Simon Hadfield and 2000 British GT champion, Calum Lockie. Rushworth ended the race finishing second place overall – only behind multiple British F3 class B champion Martin O’Connell, who was also a winner at the Monaco Historic this season. Second overall also meant that Rushworth/Ugo won the SRD category.
Words and Photo: Joshua Barrett