Rounds 3 & 4
Weather: sunny and hot.
Rounds 3 & 4 of the Mazda Motorsport Club UK Championship (MMC-UK) took place on the legendary Silverstone GP circuit in partnership with the Caterham 150 Cup, with fantastic battles in all classes throughout the day. A total of forty-two cars lined up on the grid to start the races.
Practice and Qualifying
Practice and qualifying was a rather intimidating experience for our new drivers, with this circuit lending itself to high speeds and packs of Caterhams dive-bombing our drivers at every turn. Fortunately, the only accidents involved Caterham on Caterham action as they knocked seven bells out of each other. As the time on circuit continued all our Mazda drivers settled down and put some good laps together in qualifying. Everyone except Paul Rodison as his Mk4 MX5 decided not to start in the assembly area when the gate was opened giving access to the track for our group. This would lead to some epic action as Paul would have to start from the back of the grid.
The race started with a staggered grid with the Caterhams setting off 20 seconds before the Mazdas. A simple process that would cause mayhem in race 2. Everyone made a clean start and rounded the first turn without issue. Straight away Paul was making up places from the back of the grid while the other Mk4 drivers did their best to leave him behind. The field soon stretched out and small personal battles began to take place throughout the entire field. Jon Halliwell was leading from Sam Hicks, Benjamin Greenhill, Ian Loversidge and Jeremy Shipley with a rapidly catching Paul making moves at every opportunity. Behind the Mk4s, Kimberly Nolan in her Mk3 MX5 and Ben Taylor in his RX8 were having a great fight. Following next was Andrew Stacey in his Mazda2. Andrew found himself in a bit of space unable to catch Kimberly and Ben but maintaining a gap to the cars behind.
At the back of the field and squabbling for track position was Joe Jacob in his Mk1 MX5, Marshall Glynn in a Mk3 MX5 and Neal Shore in his Mazda2. This trio traded places at least six times in the first three laps before Jacob managed to break away and escape leaving Marshall and Neal to keep fighting until the lead Caterhams came round to lap the pack bringing Joe back into the clutches of Marshall.
Back at the front, Paul made fantastic progress to fight for the lead with Jon.
Race 1 results
Another action-packed race. There was chaos at the start due to some confusion from the start marshals raising and dropping their national flags at different times which led to some of the grid jumping the start and being given time penalties at the end of the race.
Another quirk of the day saw the grid line up using the original qualifying instead of the finishing results for race 1. This meant although Paul won the first race he once again started from the back. Once all cars were underway the field spread again. Benjamin suffered a gearbox fault which forced him to retire from the race on lap 1. The fight up front picked up exactly where it left off from race 1 with all the Mk4 MX5s pushing hard sitting nose to tail just millimeters from each other’s bumpers through some of the fastest corner sequences on the race calendar this year.
Kimberly and Ben continued their dance with some excellent side-by-side action. Kimberly kept the pressure on Ben for the entire race, requiring Ben to hold some very defensive lines at times. Andrew, Marshall, Joe and Neal were having fun with some good racing over the first few laps until Marshall started to feel unsettled in the car and backed off. After a pack of Caterhams came through to lap the field a gap developed between Andrew, Joe and Neal which no one seemed to be able to do anything about as all three were posting similar lap times.
Congratulations to Paul on a second win of the day, Jon certainly made Paul work for it.
Race 2 results
Thank you to BARC, the officials and all the marshals for what was a fantastic fun event. We look forward to welcoming you for Rounds 5 & 6 at Snetterton 3rd/4th July.