ROCHE RACKS UP A DOZEN AT DONINGTON

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Brian Trott reeled off a superb second Group A race with P2 - Photo: Jon Elsey

Donington Park is a firm favourite amongst drivers in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship and this past weekend at the Leicestershire circuit, there were four races that certainly lived up to that. While many drivers challenged to try and score victory, it turned out that once again only one man was hitting the top spot.

Qualifying saw dominant points leader Tom Roche take pole from Oliver Allwood, with Michael Fisk and Brian Trott taking up the second row. Simon Baldwin and Jake Bailey claimed Row 3 ahead of Clive Powles and returnee Courtney Milnes with a much improved 8th place on the grid, while the top 10 was rounded out by Jack Brewer and Simon Goddard.

The first start brought a multi-car incident at Roberts Chicane, causing 6 cars to get involved and ultimately causing 2 to miss the restart. When the race got underway again, Roche took up his usual place in the lead, however all the way throughout it was Fisk that stayed with him every step of the way. He never allowed Roche to be further than half a second away as the laps ran down, but despite Michael’s best efforts he just couldn’t shake the green Blendini machine in front of him as Roche races to his 11th win of the season. What followed behind was a fantastic 3 way battle for 3rd between Simon Baldwin, Oliver Allwood and Brian Trott, which Baldwin eventually won in the end. Tolley took 7th ahead of Goddard, Jake Bailey and Milnes.

Into the first Group B race, Paul Maguire started the encounter on pole from debutant Joshua Brent, the son of regular Go4It Racing competitor Kevin. Paul Austin and Andrew Adams occupied the second row from Adam Craig and Paul Bateman on row 3. Danny Green lined up 7th alongside Simon Orange, while Nick Riley and Oliver Robinson completed the top 10.

Paul Bateman got a blinding start to end the first lap in the lead and from there he didn’t appear to be able to be headed. With every single lap that went by, Paul continued to just carry on extending the lead until eventually he would see the flag over 5 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. The battle to join him was fast and intense, but ultimately Andrew Adams was the successful second man home, ahead of pole man Paul Maguire in 3rd. The trio plus Matthew Tasker and Simon Orange would join the back of the grid for the second Group A race.

When that race came around, Roche again started from pole, but off the line the superior getaway from Michael Fisk helped him to take the lead by the end of Lap 1. In a commendable effort, Fisk held on for 2 whole laps before he finally succumbed to Roche’s advances, but that wasn’t the end of it. Title rival Oliver Allwood made advances for a couple of laps before his challenge faded, then Brian Trott decided to have a go himself. While he couldn’t shift Tom out of position either, he could at least pull away from the 3rd place scrap.

So as it was, Roche yet again created a gap and drove away to now take his win tally to a dozen – 12 and most probably counting! Brian Trott did put in a very find display to secure second place, while another 3rd place battle ended in Michael Fisk taking it from Baldwin and Allwood. Tolley and Goddard ended up 6th and 7th, while Tucker, Bailey and Powles finished the top 10 runners.

For the final race of the day it was Richard Collins with the pole position lining up alongside Joshua Jackson. Simon Woods wanted to salvage something from a less than satisfying from 3rd place with Adam Craig starting 4th, while Danny Green and Matthew Simmonite took up Row 3. Patrick Collins and Aaron Mason were on Row 4 ahead of Russ Lindsay and Michael Close.

The race ended up turning into a 2 way duel for the lead between Jackson and Collins. While Collins led initially, Jackson took over for almost half the race and while Collins did get back through on Lap 8, Jackson worked he way back past and from there couldn’t be topped. Jackson is gaining a reputation as something of a Group B race specialist as he took another win with Collins still keeping in close. Simon Woods at least had something to smile about come the end of the day as he wrapped up the final podium of the weekend, while Adam Craig and Bryn Griffiths completed the top 5. Kevin Brent did a superb job to drive from the back of the grid to finish 6th with the fastest lap to boot, just ahead of his impressive rookie driver Aaron Mason who brought it home 7th. Patrick Collins, Russ Lindsay and Paul Austin would finish off the top 10.

Thanks to two more impressive wins, Tom Roche now takes a 62 point lead in the standings to the next rounds, which will see the second triple header of the season at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby in September. Be sure to join us there so see if Roche may even get his first bite at sealing the championship (if fortunes and results go his way)!

The full breakdown of results via TSL Timing can be found HERE. A full detailed report will be available in due course.

Scott Woodwiss

Next Race

The 2018 calendar will be announced shortly.

Last Race

Donington Park 14th - 15th Oct 2017

Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 Will Blackwell-Chambers 2218 2044
2 Oliver Allwood 2130 2000
3 Joshua Jackson 2168 1976