Rockingham meeting report
Written by Joshua Barrett
Steve Roberts took a dominant BMW Compact Cup double victory at Rockingham. Roberts was consistently a second faster than any other competitor, his closest competitor was his championship rival Stuart Voyce who took two second place finishes. And, Martin Gambling made it two third positions for two identical podium finishes. Although, in the first encounter he had a tough job to take third as he had to find a way past both Alex Dew and Farard Darver.David Drinkwater was excluded from the first race after a collision, but had an impressive second race as he started last and thirty-first on the grid and made his way up into ninth by the end of the race.
Jim Davies took a lights-to-flag victory in the first Toyota MR2 race in his Mk3 machine. Mike Wells tried to pass Davies at Turn 1 but ended up losing out to Matt Palmer who would end up finishing in second ahead of Wells. John Wilson was involved in a four car scrap for the victory but he finished at the back of the leading group. The second race saw a dreadful start for Davies which allowed Wells, Palmer and Wilson to battle it out for the lead in the early stages. Palmer took the lead on the lap 8 and just as Davies closed the leaders in, he had a mechanical issue which forced him out of the race; therefore Palmer won ahead of Wells and Wilson.
Imran Khan made a strong start in the first Classic Stock Hatch encounter which allowed him to stay ahead of Matt Rozier and take his third victory of the season. Lee Scott had a long race battle with Andy Philpotts but he held on to third place. Rozier got the advantage in the second race and beat Khan, but once again Scott beat Philpotts in the battle for third. Champion Damian Cottrell returned to the championship and scored two top ten finishes starting from last and Ryan Lowry scored his best ever finish in race two of fifth position.
A good start from Pete Belsey meant he led the majority of the first Formula Vee race but Ben Anderson managed to snatch the victory on the final lap, Steve Ough rounded off the podium. An incredible second race saw, at times, an eight car battle for the lead which Graham Gant took the lead on the fifth lap to get ahead of Ough who eventually fell down to seventh. Anderson and Belsey rounded off the podium, the top three were only separated by seven tenths of a second after nine laps of racing. There was an impressive performance from Daniel Burton which saw him finish in fifth.
An early red flag in the first 750 Formula race was caused by a collision between Dave Hodkin and Bill Cowley. Meanwhile, an incredible performance was put in by Ed Pither to take the victory in his PRS ahead of class B runner Andrew Kemp. The second race was won in fine style by Cowley where he pulled out a gap of twelve seconds over Chris Gough and Kemp. A disastrous weekend for Hodkin continued when he lost his wheel in the second race.
Danny Ruta led the early stages of 750 Trophy until a problem with his DNC forced him into retirement. This allowed a battle between Ben Myall and Barry Pike to rage for the lead, Myall managed to defend off Pike to take the victory; Peter Chattin joined them on the podium after an early spin. Michael Harvey took the Class A victory after a good battle with Gregan Thruston, although Thruston didn’t make the finish.
A thrilling scrap for the first Bike-Sports race saw Adrian Reynard take the early lead, but on lap seven Jon Paul-Ivey finally managed to find a way pas Reynard to take the victory. Tim Gray diced for the lead early on but had to pit with brake issues and Reynard fell down the order when there was contact with James Breakell, which allowed Breakell to finish second. Ivey took a convincing win in the second encounter ahead of Breakell and Gray.
Clive Hudson led the early stages in Sports Specials but due to a mechanical issue dropped a minute back. This allowed fellow Eclipse driver Paul Boyd to take the victory ahead of David Caldecourt and Rob Johnston. Hudson made up for the problems in the second race as he took the victory after a spin for Boyd. A strong race for class C runner Wayne Rothwell saw him finish third overall. John Plant took a double victory in SR & GT.
Ex-Le Mans racer Martin Short took the Roadsports victory but had to race hard for it to beat the VW Corrado pairing of James Broad and Mark Lloyd Jones. It looked like Andy Hancock and Gavin Spencer were going to win class C until they span into the gravel which allowed Gary Hufford to take the class honours.
Tim Gray took a dominant win in the Allcomers race in his Spire GT3 ahead of John Cutmore. Matt Palmer took the class B victory which was dominated by Toyota MR2’s; he beat Matthew Wallis and Timothy Herron. Class C was won by the Locost of Danny Andrew ahead of Ryan Lowry in his Ford Fiesta.