Trackday Trophy – Cadwell Park
Race 2b, Sunday 22nd May 2011
Changeable, would be one word to describe both the weather conditions and race positions for Race 2b of the Track Day Trophy. After Saturday’s fine weather, Sunday welcomed heavy showers and strong winds to the mix.
Qualifying stayed dry, the Clio Cup of Team Cream Slice setting the pace early on. Class A rivals, Team Socram closely followed in the BMW M3 and looked destined to start second on the grid until the Class B entry of Team Tactic’s Porsche 993 C4 put in a late charge. Team Cream Slice took pole position with a time of 1m42.991s. The impressive Neil Newstead of NN Racing qualified fourth in the Class C BMW 328i. Podium Preparation were the highest Class D entry, starting 13th.
Heavy showers affected the races between the Track Day Trophy’s qualifying and race sessions. A couple of the races started dry but then endured heavy rain half way through. A number of the Trophy drivers looked on nervous at the prospect of competing at a wet Cadwell Park, a circuit which some had not raced on until the previous day.
Remarkably, the track was dry as the drivers made their way to the grid. Team Cream Slice’s fears of getting swamped on the start by the rear wheel drive driven cars of Team Tactics and Team Socram proved to be true, as both the Porsche and the BMW M3 got by, with the Team Tactics Porsche leading the pack into Coppice.
Lap 2, and Marcus Burnett took the lead in the M3, while electrical issues forced out the Ford Puma of BS Racing. The Saab CS of WMSS Motorsport retired to the disappointment of drivers Drummond and Green who did well to qualify second in class. One lap later, and second placed Team Cream Slice battled for the lead, almost succeeding with a move down the inside of Team Socram’s BMW on the approach to the Mountain.
Class D leaders Apple Car Centre in their Renault Clio were on the tails of Class C entry Nigel White in the VW Racing Golf, while fellow Class D team Carpe Diem battled with Michael Buxton in the Citroen Saxo.
On lap 4, an off for McQ Motorsport in the no.64 Porsche 944 caused the safety car to be deployed.
The safety car period ended and the pit lane was opened for teams to make their mandatory pit stop. Lap 8 saw the Clio Cup of Team Cream Slice lead the race after passing the Socram BMW at the Mountain, heading into the Hall Bends. The intense battle upfront not relenting, as a lap later the BMW retook the lead. The pair closely followed by George Wright in the Porsche 993 and Matt Walton in the Clio Cup. Neil Newstead lay in fifth place, a few seconds back, eager to take advantage of any potential incidents.
First to take their pitstop was Nigel White in the Class C VW Racing Golf, and as he did so, the sky became darker, rain looking a distinct possibility.
The safety car was brought out on lap 11 as a result of Class D entries Podium Preparation and Speed Merchants going off approaching the Mountain. A particular disappointment for Podium Preparation drivers Atkinson and Jebson, who had won Class D in Saturday’s race.
The second safety car session sparked the pitlane into life, with Class D entries Carpe Diem and Flying Kiwi Racing taking their pitstops. Fifth placed NN Racing in the Class C BMW were the first of the leaders to stop, getting into the pits before having a single lap behind the safety car.
A lap later and drivers behind the safety car, the pitlane saw more cars coming in, among them were Team Tactics, Team Socram and Matt Walton. Of the leaders, the Clio Cup of Team Cream Slice stayed out, which would later prove costly.
Still under safety car conditions, Team Cream Slice took their pitstop. Unfortunately, the safety car pulled in and they lost time, coming out of the pit lane and re-entering the race down in ninth.
Upfront and NN Racing’s early pitstop was paying dividends with a lead of 6.8s over Marcus Burnett’s M3 and the 993 driven by George Wright. With just ten minutes left of the race, the Class C entry of NN Racing led. The interclass battle continued, and starting on lap 18, the leaders caught backmarkers on the start/finish straight, eventually leading to the Class A M3 taking the lead. Lap 19, saw the Class B Porsche 993 take second place, dropping Neil Newstead down to third overall.
The battle for the overall win continued in a duel between George Wright and Marcus Burnett. Having taken second, Wright caught up to Burnett in the M3 but met traffic at the hairpin, losing momentum. With two laps left to go, the Team Tactics 993 began to attack for first place. The two, very close on the entry to the Mountain. However it was on the last lap, that George Wright made his move taking the lead from Marcus Burnett and making it stick, clinching the win and seeing the chequered flag.
The last lap action summing up the highs and lows, and the battles that spectators love.
Post-race, 30 second penalties were given to NN Racing and the Citroen Saxo driven by Michael Buxton for pit-stop infringements. That penalty for NN Racing dropped the team from third overall (first in class) down to seventh overall (second in class).
1st – Team Tactics, Porsche 993
2nd – Team Socram, BMW M3
3rd – Matt Walton, Clio Cup
4th – Team Cream Slice, Clio Cup
5th – Joski Racing, Honda Integra Type-R
Class A Podium
1st – Team Socram, BMW M3
2nd – Matt Walton, Clio Cup
3rd – Team Cream Slice, Clio Cup
Class B Podium
1st – Team Tactics, Porsche 993
2nd – Littlewood Racing, Renault Clio
3rd – N/A
Class C Podium
1st – Joski Racing, Honda Integra Type-R
2nd – NN Racing, BMW 328i
3rd – MOM Motorsport, Renault Clio
Class D Podium
1st – Apple Car Centre, Renault Clio
2nd – Flying Kiwi Racing, Mazda MX5
3rd – Bernard the Donkey Racing, Citroen Saxo
Fastest Laps by class
Class A – 1m43.335, Team Cream Slice
Class B – 1m43.095, Team Tactics
Class C – 1m45.436, McQ Motorsport
Class D – 1m50.117, Apple Car Centre
For more photos from the event, see our Flickr account here.