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2016 RACE REPORTS – SOUTH

S & B AUTOMOTIVE ACADEMY BLUE CHALLENGE
Round 3 at LLANDOW on 17th April
Report coming soon. 

FOR RESULTS  CLICK HERE
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2015  RACE REPORTS – SOUTH

 S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Final Round at Forest Edge on July 5th

After 5 months of competitive racing the S & B Blue Academy Blue Challenge came to its climax, the last round at Forest Edge on July 5th.  As the racers arrived to ‘set-up camp’ on the Friday, things couldn’t be tighter !  Chris Derrick went into this last round with a slender 2 points lead over Ian Branfield.  Behind these two,  Sam Dible also held a meagre 2 point lead over Duncan McLeod.  In the sub-sections Derrick was well clear of McLeod in the Master group.  McLeod however was only 3 points clear of Kevin Ford for the Veterans.  Robin Stoddart-Stones held a 14 point advantage over Ron Shone. In the Top Weights,  Branfield was clear by 28 points from McLeod.
For the Junior Blues it was to be their penultimate round and Jake Calvert arrived with a safe cushion of 17 points over last year’s Champion Luke Lattimer.

JUNIOR BLUE

First Heat and Jake Calvert staked out his claim to the throne with a win over Taylor Waldron and Thomas Massarella.  In heat 2 Jake Calvert once again displayed his dominance by not only winning, but also passing most of the Mini-Max’s   ( whom the Junior Blues started behind)   2nd was Taylor Waldron.  The 3rd heat was again taken by Jake Calvert.  This time he was chased home by Thomas Massarella. The grid for the Final saw Calvert on Pole with Waldron alongside.  The second row was filled by Massarella and Lattimer.  From the lights Calvert raced off into the lead followed by Massarella.  The race unfolded with Calvert in front but  with Massarella gradually pulling him in.  Behind, Waldron and Lattimer were involved in their own race until Lattimer went off allowing Mitch McLeod through into 4th spot.  So on to the last lap and indeed the last bend when Calvert showed the smallest of gaps which Masserella filled.   Unfortunately, in the resulting contact Calvert was forced off the track. This last bend is a mere 30 metres from the flag.  Realising that Calvert was not able to contest the result, Massarell showing a maturity well beyond his age, stopped before the line , waited for the recovering Calvert to get back on the track and cross the line ahead of him.  Sportsmanship of this level and quality is rarely seen and should be applauded to the ultimate !   So at the end it was Calvert for the win from Massarella and Waldron.  Only half a second behind finished McLeod  (still a novice),  over the last 5 laps he had steadily pulled in the leading group.

JUNIOR BLUE –  RESULTS AND POINTS

1 Jake Calvert 0 +  0 = 0
2 Thomas Massarella 3 + 2 = 5
3 Taylor Waldron 2 + 3 = 5

FORMULA BLUE

Heat 1  –   Duncan McLeod from grid 2 raced away to a clear cut win.  Kevin Ford from grid 6 moved up to finish 2nd with Chris Derrick taking 3rd from a 10th start.  The result of this heat went to Sam Dible who having  started 14th clawed his way forward to 4th at the flag. Heat 2 –  Brandfield  takes another win chased home by Dible with McLeod a couple of seconds adrift. The charger in this race was Kevin Ford finishing 6th from an 11th place start grid. Derrick won the 3rd heat from 4th ,  with Branfield in 2nd from 9th.  Behind these two, was the  charger in this heat  namely Duncan Mc Leod,  having come from 15th in a dramatic display of overtaking.
The grid for the Final found McLeod on Pole with Ford along side.  Derrick and Dible occupied the second row with Matt Parr and Ian Branfield on row 3. It took 2 rolling laps to settle down the grid for the Final.  At the lights Ford snatched the lead from a rapid starting Branfield, McLeod being pushed back to 3rd    Robin  Stoddart-Stones had a ballistic first lap going from 8th to 5th, followed by Serita Shone climbing from 11th to 8th.  Further back Ryan Griffiths passed Rob Mortimore to fill 11th spot. Into lap 2 and Sam Dible who came off had slipped down to absolute last.  Ford started to suffer an broken exhaust manifold and slipped down to 4th, promoting Branfield, McLeod and Derrick into podium positions.   Over the next 2 laps,  Ford’s manifold came adrift and he left the contest but not before Stoddart-Stones, and Parr become involved in tryng to pass him into the  ‘bus stop’  and spinning off in the process.  The incident would have repercussions later after the race was over !! On lap 4 McLeod  outbraked Branfield to take the lead.  Serita Shone had made meteoric progress and was now up to 4th,  followed by toby Cook in 5th.  Next lap and Branfield, swung into action and re-took the lead.   Back in 8th Mortimore spun out, promoting the rest of the grid.  Things now stabilised at the front but Stoddart-Stones, having restarted , passed Ron shone for 9th.  Into lap 7 and Stoddart-Stones now accounted for David Goode moving into 8th.  Further back and Dible, now back in the picture, had moved into 11th taking Richard Wilkes.  With 2 laps to go Stoddart-Stones passed Ryan Griffiths for 7th place and was no doubt ruing his earlier error on the opening lap.   By the last lap , it was for Branfiled to lose and he had no intention of letting that happen.  He took the flag a clear 2 seconds ahead of McLeod with Derrick in his slipstream.  A little way back Serita Shone crossed the line ahead of Toby Cook.  The only piece of action on the last lap was Dible taking Ron Shone for 10th place.  After the race Matt Parr was unfortunately excluded by the action of his mechanic, directed at an official.

FORMULB BLUE  –  RESULTS & POINTS

1 Duncan McLeod 0 + 2 = 2
2= Ian Branfiled 6 + 0 = 6
2= Chris Derrick 3 + 3 = 6
4 Toby Cook 7 + 5 = 12
5   Sam Dible 4 + 10 = 14
   
BLUE MASTER
1 Duncan McLeod 0 + 2  = 2
2 Chris Derrick 3 + 3 = 6
3 Robin Stoddart-Stones 8 + 7 = 15
BLUE VETERAN
1 Duncan McLeod 0 + 2 = 2
2 Robin Stoddart-Stones 8 + 7 = 15
BLUE LEGEND
1 Robin Stoddart-Stones 8 + 7 = 15
BLUE TOP WEIGHT
1 Duncan McLeod 0 + 2 = 2
2 Ian Branfield 6 + 0 = 6

The Championship now moves on to the Three Sisters Circuit near Wigan for the Grande Finals Weekend on 22nd / 23rd August.

 S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Round 6 at Buckmore Park  on 21st June

All the front runners were present for this penultimate round, at Buckmore Park in Kent, which would use  a different system of  scoring.   Instead of the normal 3 heats and a final there would be Timed Practice and a series of races where the start position was decided by the previous race’s finishing position. JUNIOR BLUE In the timed practice session,  the Series leader and current ‘0’ plate Champion Jake Calvert set down his marker with the fastest lap.  He was followed by Thomas Massarella and Luke Lattimer. On to the opening Heat which was won by Calvert from Lattimer with Taylor Waldron moving up to 3rd.   In the Pre-Final Calvert again won from the front,  Lattimer held on to 2nd  despire the challenge of  Massarella. In the Final Calvert shot into the lead and wasn’t challenged to the flag.  Massarell secured 2nd place with Waldron regaining 3rd place. FORMULA BLUE Timed Practice over and it was Ian Branfield who finished with the fastest time followed by Chris Derrick,  Duncan McLeod, Sam Dible and Andy Beever.In the opening Heat,  Branfield took the lead from the front but it was McLeod who jumped into 2nd spot followed by Dible then Derrick and Beever.  Although racing in close formation the positions remained unchanged to the flag.On to the Pre-Final ,  where Branfield again made  the best of his pole position.  Behind however,  a lunge by Beever resulted in both Beever  and McLeod losing ground.  Dible took over 2nd place followed by Derrick,  Kevin Ford and Matt Parr. So to the Final,  with it all to do for McLeod who was starting in 7th place .  At the front,  Branfield and Derrick swapped the lead a few times during the race, whilst McLeod gradually bore down on this  leading pair passing Serita Shone, Parr,  Ford and Dible in the process.  Having started absolutely last Beever was driving like a man possessed and reached 11th place before retiring after contact with Andrew Geenway.  Serita Shone took the ladies laurels finishing 6th just ahead of Kaite Crowther.  For the rest of the grid the race was uneventful with racers reeling off  laps whilst maintaining position.  At the Flag it was Derrick from Branfield, McLeod, Ford and Dible. The racers now collect themselves together for the last race in the Series.  This would be 2 weeks later at Forest Edge in Hampshire. RESULTS

JUNIOR BLUE
1st Jake Calvert 0 + 0 = 0
2nd Thomas Massarella 3 + 2 = 5
3rd Luke Lattimer 2 + 4 = 6

 

FORMULA BLUE
1st Ian Branfield 0 + 2 = 2
2nd Chris Derrick 3 + 0 = 3
3rd Sam Dible 2 + 5 = 7
4th Kevin Ford 4 + 4 = 8
5th Duncan McLeod 7 + 3 = 10

 

 S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Round 5 at Whilton Mill  on 24th May 

For several drivers Whilton would be their first outing at this  circuit.  These were the ones who had arrived early on Friday in order to set up and be ready for the ‘off’ on Saturday.  One notable exception was Kaite Crowther, who was on a flight back from her honeymoon in the USA.  She hoped to be present by the first heat on  Sunday! Following the return of Anthony Cleal the previous meeting,  after a long layoff, there was another notable entry in the form of Andy Beever.  Like Cleal,  Beever had a championship pedigree from well over 15 years ago and was returning to Formula Blue hoping to carry on where he had left off ! Saturday remained dry but Sunday dawned with the threat of rain at some time.  Sure enough it drizzled before the first heat, compelling everyone to swap on to wet tyres.  There was a twist, however, in that it dried by the time the grid took to the circuit.  Those on worn wet tyres were lucky whilst those on new wet tyres suffered not only in performance but also in cost !  Their tyres were visibly shredded upon arrival at  the post-race scrutineering enclosure. In the race Kevin Ford was up and away from the lights change, winning by quite a margin.  Second placed man Chris Derrick, had worked his way forward from grid 10 whilst Duncan McLeod having started in 3rd finished 3rd.  the drive of this opening heat came from Matt Parr having moved up 10 places to finish in 4th, achieving fastest lap in the process. Duncan McLeod was on fire in heat 2, winning from Ian Branfield.  The pair had charged forwards from grid rows 7 & 8 respectively.  3rd in this race was Beever, gradually regaining his former flair. The last heat saw Derrick on Pole a position he was not going to throw away as he moved into the lead to score an unchallenged win.  Branfiled took second spot with Parr 3rd a few seconds adrift.  The charger in this race, Sam Dible, finished 6th from a 16th place , and ending up with fastest lap. The Grid for the Final revealed Derrick on Pole with Branfiled alongside.  Second row had Ford with McLeod whilst behind Parr and Beever  occupied row 3.  From the start Derrick raced to the front followed by Branfield, McLeod, Parr and Beever.  By the end of lap 1, Ford, having a stunning race- day, had passed McLeod for 3rd place. Dible accounted for both Beever and Parr and was up to 7th place.   Cleal, in 8th, was forced wide allowing Robin Brotherwood, Toby Cook and Serita Shone through.  Rob Mortimore got caught  up in a tussle and slid back 2 places.  Andrew Greenway and Ryan Griffiths taking advantage to slide by.  David Goode also lost out in the same incident.  Further back Ron Shone passed Mark Cook and Richard Wilkes overtook a slow starting kaite Crowther. Next lap Cleal re-took Serita Shone and set off after Toby Cook.  Into lap 3 and Brandfield rolled to a halt, having thrown a chain,  promoting the rest of the grid.  Cleal regained his earlier loss by retaking Toby Cook.  Mortimore did the same in 12th place by  passing  Ryan Griffiths. At the back Crowther, having settled down, passed Wilkes and set about lining up Mark Cook. Next lap and contact between McLeod and Dible resulted in Dible rolling to a stop  with a thrown chain.  Beever took full advantage and passed McLeod in the process.  Crowther took 16th place passing M. Cook. The Race settled down in the laps up to half distance except for  Serita Shone passing Toby Cook for 8th spot and Wilkes taking Mark Cook for 17th place. Exactly at the half way mark, McLeod, who was using every inch of the raised Kerbs, also threw a chain vacating 4th place to the ever grateful Matt Parr. Crowther had caught R. Shone and squeezed past for 13th place. With 3 laps to go Derrick was clear at the front although Ford was gradually hunting him down.  Beever in 3rd spot had a 2 second gap over Parr, who was desperately trying to hold off Brotherwood.  The pressure paid off on the penultimate lap and Brotherwood moved into 4th place.  Further back the race long battle between Greenway and Mortimore saw Greenway retake 9th place. Into the last lap and Derrick crossed the line in 1st, a mere 0.6 seconds ahead of  Ford.  Beever clinched 3rd place, a worthy achievement after such a long lay off !  Brotherwood, having started the Final in 9th, finished in 4th just ahead of Parr.  A Final twist in the battle for 9th saw Mortimore make the last attempt of the race and got  past Greenway. Once the dust had settled the overall standing in the S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge revealed that the lead had changed.  Derrick regained the lead from Branfield, McLeod moved up to 3rd displacing Dible and Ford rose up the order to head Parr.  In the Master sections Derrick increased his lead over McLeod and Ford.   It is McLeod and Ford who hold sway over Robin Stoddart-Stones, who was absent nursing a shoulder injury.  Despite his absence, Stoddart-Stones still leads the Legend group from Shone and Nigel Pritchard.  The Top Weight leader is still Branfiled from McLeod and Mortimore. The racers now have a short break until Round 6 on 21st June at Buckmore Park. RESULTS FORMULA BLUE                             POINTS 1st   Chris Derrick                              0 + 0 = 0 2nd   Kevin Ford                                 3 + 2 = 5 3rd  Andy Beever                               6 + 3 = 9 4th  Matt Parr                                    5 + 5 = 10 5th  Robin Brotherwood                 9 + 4 = 13 BLUE MASTER 1st Chirs Derrick                                0 + 0  = 0 2nd Kevin Ford                                   3 + 2 = 5 3rd Andy Beever                                6 + 3 = 9 BLUE VETERAN 1st Kevin Ford                                    3 + 2 = 5 2nd Andy Beever                6 + 3 = 9 BLUE LEGEND 1st David Goode                               12 + 12 = 24 BLUE TOP WEIGHT 1st Andy Beever                                6 + 3 = 9 2nd Robin Brotherwood                  9 + 4 = 13

S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Round 4 at Forest Edge on 3rd May & 2015 NKRA ‘0’ PLATE for Junior Blue & Formula Blue

A  who’s who list of present and past ‘0’ Plate winners congregated on the Forest Edge Circuit in Hampshire for the 2015  ‘0’ Plate Championship for Junior Blue and Formula Blue.  These included Stuart Gray from Scotland, Jake Calvert  and Nigel Pritchard from the North of England,  Duncan McLeod,  Chris Derrick, Anthony Cleal and Ron Shone, from the south. One notable absentee was the current Formula Blue ‘0’ plate Champion Martin Wheele. The academic constraints of field trips in Scotland ( during his 1st year at University) prevented him from attending,  much to his disdain ! Saturday practice was dry and sunny with Derrick and Gray setting the pace in the Seniors. The Junior result looked most likely to come from Calvert or Thomas Massarella.  In the evening the social side of the championship became evident, with many a racing story being swapped over the varying barbeques around the pits.  In the early hours of Sunday a weather front passed over dropping a serious amount of rain causing a few to contemplate changes to chassis set up.  The forecast however, advised clear skies by 10am.  Sure enough the rain stopped and the track turned dry.  Too late however for the deluded father and son pair, Mark & Toby Cook, who ‘upped sticks’ and went home because it wet !!  The  irony of the situation became evident when, at drivers briefing, Toby won one of the free tyre sets, provided by S & B Automotive Academy ( the series sponsor).  The subsequent redraw was won by Thomas Masserrella.   The other free tyre sets in the draw were won by Nigel Pritchard and Duncan McLeod. JUNIOR BLUE Massarella won the first heat in a dominant manner with Calvert 5 seconds adrift in 2nd.  The tables were reversed in heat 2, with Calvert finishing 4 seconds ahead of Massarella.  The all important  3rd heat (for pole position) was taken by Calvert,  from Masserrella.  This gave the reigning ‘0’ plate champion Pole Position for the Final with Massarella alongside. The second row was filled by Luke Lattimer and Lee Chamberlain. After 2 rolling laps, the lights changed, Calvert got the edge on Massarella to take the lead.  In the process, Lattimer followed Calvert through the pit complex forcing Massarella back to 3rd spot.   These two would battle it out for a few laps. Whilst in the lead,  Calvert was putting in a flawless performance to open a safety cushion.  Behind this leading trio Chamberlain was harassing Taylor Waldron, eventually finding a way past then setting off in pursuit. By Half distance, Massarella had finally accounted for Lattimer and focussed his attention on reducing the distance to Calvert.  Lattimer in turn was being dragged along in the pursuit. Calvert, however, was having none of it and continued with his impressive performance at the front.  Due to the increased pace, Chamberlain found it difficult to close in on the racers at the front.   He did  move away from Waldron in 5th spot, who was now coming under the attention of  Mitchell McLeod. The latter part of the race unfolded without any drama.  Calvert continued on to the win, thereby claiming his second ‘0’ plate title !  Massarella and Lattimer closed the gap slightly on him but insufficient to make any difference. Chamberlain came home in a respectable 4th place.  Behind him there was a last bend drama as McLeod made a final unsuccessful effort to pass Waldron. RESULTS 1ST          Jake Calvert                        0 + 0 = 0 2nd          Thomas Massarella          2 + 2 = 4 3rd           Luke Lattimer                   3 + 3 = 6 FORMULA BLUE Sam Dible was the clear winner of heat  one from Ian Branfield and Chris  Derrick.  Branfield set the tone for the rest of the day, having moved forwards from a grid start of 18th.  It was Branfield who  took  heat  two from Derrick and Stuart  Gray.  The charger in this heat was Anthony Cleal, finishing  5th from 12th.   The last heat was won by  Gray with Kaite  Crowther in his slipstream.  A short distance  behind,   Dible took 3rd place.  In 4thplace was this Heat’s charger in the form of Duncan McLeod, having started in 18th place. The shape of the grid for the Final could now be confirmed with Branfield on pole and Derrick alongside.  The second row was filled by Gray and Dible whilst behind them sat McLeod and Matthew Parr. From the off,  Branfield, with the task already completed, shot into the lead with a real sense of determination, McLeod made the most of the first bend jostling using his experience to the full,  slotting into 2nd place, displacing Derrick in the process.  Gray and Dible emerged in 4th and   5th respectively.  Further back Kevin Ford and Cleal passed Rob Mortimore, while still further back Rich Wilkes passed Ron Shone and Ryan Griffiths.Into lap two and Dible gets the better of  Gray for 4th spot.  Robin Stoddart-Stones, who appears to be on a roll at the moment,  passed Matthew Parr to take up 6th place.   Cleal making up from a poor grid position – the result of a heat DNF, was on a charge passing  both Crowther and Ford to move up to 8th.  Next lap and although the race at the front stabilises for a lap, the race for 8th place continues with Ford retaking Cleal.  David Waldron, still on nocice places was adapting to the pace, passing both Pritchard and Goode. -At one third distance Branfield had opened up a small lead over McLeod, with Derrick a few metres further back.  Parr and Stoddart-Stones continued their battle as Parr outbraked him to re-establish 6th position.  Not far behind this battle the Cleal / Ford ding- dong, carried on with Cleal making the move that stuck and stayed in 8thspot.  Back in 13th place, Pritchard slid a little wide into ‘wingers dip’ , David Goode sniffed a half chance and drive inside  The resulting contact forcing Pritchard off the circuit into retirement with a thrown chain. By the halfway mark it was now Branfield’s to lose as he stamped his authority on the lead gradually easing away from McLeod.  Dible made a successful pass on Derrick and was up into  third. Next lap and Gray passed both Derrick and Dible after Derrick received a warning for contact driving.  Cleal, starting to find his form of some 15 year ago, passed Stoddart-Stones to sit in 7th place.  Rob Mortimore moved past Kaite Crowther for 10th. With 4 laps to go, Cleal gradually come to a halt with a misfire from a frayed coil wire.  Near the back the racing was equally hard fought and Ryan Griffiths out manoeuvred Rich Wilkes.   3 laps from the flag and  Branfield was several seconds clear of McLeod and  Gray had put distance  between the Dibble / Derrick battle. Barring a serious incident, the winner was going to come from these front five.   A little way back, Crowther had found a second wind, passing Mortimore and homing in on Ford for 8th place. By the penultimate lap, the front group had a safety gap between each other, except for the Dibble and Derrick battle.  Dible, no doubt, putting in extra concentration to ensure that a repeat of the previous Clay Pigeon meeting didn’t happen.  Waldron in 12th place, began to suffer fuel surge as his petrol tank had gradually emptied, thereby allowing ,  first Goode and then Shone to pass him. Last lap and Branfield, already having gained the Pole position start, could smell victory and the accompanying  ‘0’ Plate title.   Crowther had caught Ford and made the move.  Unfortunately, in getting alongside, she put a wheel off the track and threw her chain.  So to the flag, with a jubilant Ian Branfield  crossing the line with a 5 seconds gap over McLeod.   He in turn had  one  second over Gray.  A short  distance back,  Dible drove a flawless last lap to beat Derrick by the narrowest of margins.   Once the race had ended,  Goode was excluded for contact driving as a result of his error of judgement with the incident with Pritchard. The  competitors now focus on the next Challenge rounds at Summerlee for the Scots, 3 sisters for the Northern racers and Whilton Mill for the Southern drivers. O PLATE RESULTS & POINTS JUNIOR BLUE 1st           Jake  Calvert                      0 + 0 = 0 2nd          Thomas Massarella          2 + 2 = 4 FORMULA BLUE 1st           Ian Branfield                      0 + 0 = 0 2nd          Stuart Gray                         3 + 3 = 6 BLUE MASTER 1st           Stuart Gray                         3 + 3 = 6 2nd          Duncan McLeod               5 + 2 = 7 BLUE VETERAN 1st           Stuart Gray                         3 + 3 = 6 2nd          Duncan McLeod               5 + 2 = 7 BLUE LEGEND 1st           Robin Stoddart -Stones    7   + 7 = 14 2nd          Ron  Shone                         15 + 11 = 26 BLUE TOP WEIGHT 1st           Ian Branfield                      0 + 0 = 0 2nd          Duncan McLeod                5 + 2 = 7

 S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Round 3 at Clay Pigeon on 12th April

JUNIOR  BLUE

Jake Calvert,  the early leader in the series, held pole by virtue of  two Heat  wins.  Alongside was the other Heat winner Taylor Waldron.   Row 2 was filled with the current No 1, Luke Lattimer  and novice Mitchell McLeod.  Struggling throughout the Heats was Thomas Massarella, having just flown in from the United States, he was suffering from ‘Florida food poisoning’,  however rather than let the points slip away he attended and raced as best he could. ! From the off  in the Final,  Calvert took the lead, followed by Waldron and Lattimer.  By lap 2 Massarella  pulled off unable to take the buffeting anymore.  He had however, achieved the desired aim in not collecting any DNS penalty points.   In the race Lattimer passed Waldron but couldn’t make an impression on Calvert who started to pull away at the front.  Next lap and it was Waldron retaking  Lattimer  for  2nd spot. Positions remained unchanged at the front,  with Calvert  gradually pulling away over  the first part of the Final.  By half way distance,  Waldron began to string together  some perfect laps and after  holding Calvert’s lead increase in check,  he systematically began to  haul  him in,  putting distance between himself and the 3rd man Lattimer.  By lap 10 Waldron had caught Calvert and the race between these two slowed  the pair up sufficiently to allow Lattimer to join the race for the lead.  Waldron tried a few moves, all effectively blocked by Calvert until on lap 14  Waldron  took the inside line around ‘Billy’s’ to take the lead.  Calvert then came under the attention of Lattimer, preventing him from focusing on retaking the lead.  The last couple of laps unfolded with Waldron gaining a small distance over Calvert, who succeeded in holding off Lattimer.  During the whole of the race, novice,  McLeod held  station in 4th place hoping for an incident with the front three thereby  allowing him to pick  up some places.  It wasn’t to be, at the flag it was Waldron, from Calvert and Lattimer. RESULTS 1st        Taylor Waldron 2nd        Jake Calvert 3rd        Luke Lattimer FORMULA BLUE Following dominant drives in the  Heats, the Lynx powered duo of Chris Derrick and Sam Dible,  took up the front row for the Final.  Behind were positioned the Maxi  engined  pair of Ian Branfield and Duncan McLeod.  Branfield, so dominant at the previous Mansell  2nd round, wasn’t  having it all his own way at  Clay Pigeon.  Row 3 had Kevin Ford and Rob Mortimore. At the change of the lights, Dible snatched the lead from Derrick followed by Branfield and Ford who had slid inside McLeod, whilst the latter was preoccupied with trying to outstart Branfield.  In the middle of the grid Andrew Greenway slid wide at ‘Billy’s’, losing 3 places, one of them being to  the eventual drive of the day from Robin Stoddart-Stones, who had started last. Dible didn’t hold the lead for long, as Derrick outbraked him into the hairpin to occupy the front.  Behind, McLeod passed Ford for 4th spot.  Back in 7th place Matt Turner braked late, under pressure from Matt Parr, losing the place to both Parr and Kaite Crowther.  Further back,  Rich Wilkes sliped out from 14th place to re-start last. Lap 3 and Toby cook came to a halt, having lost his front fairing. Over the  next  2 laps Mortimore was passed first by Parr and then by Crowther.  By half  distance the front pair of Derrick and Dibble had opened up a small cushion from Branfield with McLeod a short distance adrift.  Stoddart-Stones was now up top 10th and there was still more to come.  Mark Cook who had been in 11th spot, slid to a halt with a sprocket problem. Into lap 9 and Dible made a move on Derrick and made it stick.  Parr in 6th cruised to a stop, and was out of the race. He later discovered a loose plug cap, but too late to gain a finish place.  One lap later  and Andrew Greenway passed Nigel Pritchard for 10th  position.   The race settled down for a few laps with the front two of Dible and Derrick ‘glued together’ at the front.  Stoddart-Stones  hadn’t given up on his charge and on lap 13 dived inside Turner to take 8th place. Things by now had settled down as the last few laps unfolded, but not so at the front. Derrick having lost the lead to Dible,   was only inches adrift  hoping for the one error to give a glimpse of the lead.  It happened on the last lap, Dible just didn’t get it quite right coming out of the ‘esses’ and Derrick pounced going into the hairpin. So ended an incredible race with Derrick emerging as the victor with Dible virtually alongside and Branfield right in the slipstream.  These front three covered by less than 0.3 of a second. Duncan McLeod, a few seconds back, finished 4th and Kevin Ford 5th.  At post race scrutineering  Rob Mortimore  was found to be  a mere 200 grams underweight and duly excluded  from the result. The racers now re-group and move on to  the Forest Edge circuit in Hampshire for round 4 which is also the 2105  ‘0’ plate race. RESULTS 1st        Chris Derrick                0 + 0 = 0 2nd        Sam Dible                    2 + 2 = 4 3rd        Ian Branfiled               3 + 3 = 6 4th        Duncan McLeod          4 + 4 = 8 5th        Kevin Ford                   5 + 5 = 10 MASTER 1st        Chris Derrick                0 + 0 = 0 2nd        Duncan McLeod         4 + 4 = 8 3rd        Kevin Ford                   5 + 5 = 10 VETERAN 1st          Duncan McLeod         4 + 4 = 8 2nd        Nigel Pritchard          11 + 10 = 21 LEGEND 1st        Nigel Pritchard            11 + 10 = 21 TOP WEIGHT 1st        Ian Branfield               3 + 3 = 6 2nd      Duncan McLeod         4 + 4 = 8

S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Round 2 at Mansell Raceway,  29th March 

 JUNIOR BLUE A clean sheet in the heats gave Jake Calvert Pole for the Final.   Alongside him sat Taylor Waldron with Mitchell McLeod and Luke Lattimer on row 2.  Problems for Calvert arose on the dummy grid as his engine failed to start and he used the external starter.  This would later affect his end results as he has already used the starter earlier in a heat.  From the off Calvert raced away into the lead, Waldron stayed with him for a while until after a mistake he slipped back into the clutches of Lattimer.  After many laps of trying to find a way past,  Lattimer eventually succeeded.  At the flag it was Calvert from Lattimer and Waldron. After post race scrutineering Calvert was excluded for a second use of the external starter , thus promoting Lattimer to the win. RESULTS Junior Blue 1st Luke Lattimer  4 + 0 = 4 points 2nd Taylor Waldron  2 + 2 = 4 points 3rd Jake Calvert  0 + 5 = 5 points FORMULA BLUE Chris Derrick was on form taking 2 heat wins and a 4th in the other.  Sam Dible won the 3rd heat with 2nd and 4th finishes in the other 2 heats.  These impressive results gave Chris Derrick pole position with Dible alongside.  Ian Branfield and Duncan McLeod shared the 2nd row.  Behind,  on row three, Kevin Ford and Matthew Parr sat waiting to resume their race long battle. At the start Derrick took the lead from Dible followed by Branfield McLeod and Ford.  It didn’t take long for Branfield to show his intentions as he accounted for Dible by the end of lap one.  Further back, Kate Crowther outbraked Ron Shone.  Ryan Griffiths then passed both David Goode and Shone.  Into lap 2 and Griffiths undid his previous good work spinning off to restart last.  At the front Derrick was away , but shadowed by Branfield.  Not to get left adrift McLeod passed Dible and set about catching the front two.  Crowther slipped past Robin Stoddart-Stones to take up 8th place.  Behind,  David Goode was making his mark, passing Shone.  At the rear Griffiths, having recovered from his earlier ‘off’ , had caught and passed novice Richard Wilkes. The next few laps saw the racers consolidating their earlier moves and passes.  Then on lap 7 Branfield made his move,  passing Derrick and taking the lead.  Further back Goode passed Stoddart-Stones to claim 9th place and go into the lead for the ‘Legend’ section of the class.  Nigel Pritchard having bent his kart in an earlier heat could only stand and watch as his ‘legend’ rivals fought it out at the back.  By lap 9,  the race at the front had settled down with Branfield clear and untroubled by Derrick and McLeod.   Matt Parr made the first of several moves as he and Ford traded places over the remaining 5 laps.  Near the rear Stoddart-Stones out braked himself allowing Shone and Andrew Greenway past.  3 laps to go and Ford re-took Parr whilst Greenway outgunned Shone out of the pit bend.  The last 2 laps saw little change,  but all eyes were on Parr and Ford as they continued to swap places,  often racing around each bend beside each other.  In the end it was Parr who crossed the finish line half a second ahead of Ford for 5th place.  At the front  Branfield won an immaculate race from Derrick, McLeod and Dible. RESULTS Formula Blue 1st Chris Derrick  0 + 2 = 2 points 2nd Ian Branfield 3 + 0 = 3 points 3rd Sam Dible 2 + 4 = 6points Master 1st Chris Derrick 0 + 2 = 2 points 2nd Duncan McLeod 4 + 4 = 7 points Veteran 1st Duncan McLeod 4 + 4 = 7 points 2nd Kevin Ford 5 _ 6 = 11 points Legend 1st David Goode 10 + 9 = 19 points 2nd Ron Shone 8 + 11 = 10 points Top Weight 1st Ian Branfield 3 + 0 = 3 points 2nd Duncan McLeod 4 + 3 = 7 points

S & B Automotive Academy Formula Blue Challenge Round 1,  at LLandow 15th March 2015

An overcast weekend greeted the competitors for the opening round of the 2015 National Kart Racing Association’s programme for the Junior Blue and Formula Blue Classes.   As the day was to progress the weather would play a very important part in the overall results. JUNIOR BLUE In the Junior Blue class,  all 3 heats went to Jake Calvert, with Luke Lattimer taking  2nd in heats 1 & 3,  Lee Chamberlain claiming 2nd in heat 2.   No Surprise then to find Calvert on Pole for the Finals with Lattimer alongside him.  The second row in the Final was filled by Taylor Waldron & Chamberlain. Within Minutes before of the start of the Final,  the slightest of drizzle started,  but would it last…..  Mitchell McLeod, Waldron and Thomas Massarella took the gamble and quickly changed to wet tyres.  At the change of the start lights, to green,  it quickly became apparent that they had made the right choice with wet tyres as they forged into an unassailable lead.  The race unfolded with McLeod, still a novice, racing as if he’d been there for years !  Some distance behind the  wet  shod front three,  Calvert was making the best of it  whilst still on slick tyres. At the end, McLeod won by a small margin from Waldron.  However,  there was a twist to the tale. At post race scrutineering, McLeod and Waldron were deemed to have contravened the ‘ rear of kart’ overall width regulation and they were both duly excluded.  Massarella was promoted to Victory with Calvert and Chamberlain taking the next 2 places. Overall Results 1st  Jake Calvert 0 + 2 = 2 points 2nd Thomas Massarella 4 + 0 = 4 points 3rd Luke Lattimer 2 + 3 = 5 points FORMULA BLUE Chris Derrick took 2 heat wins with a 2nd in the other and stamped his authority on the meeting.  The other heat winner was Ian Branfield who added 2nd and 3rd place finishes to his total.  Martin Wheeler, the current ‘0’ plate Champion, scored 2nd, 3rd and 4th  in the heats,  with Duncan McLeod taking a 3rd and 2 x 4th place finishes. That left Derrick on Pole with Branfield  alongside.  The second row filled by Wheeler and McLeod.  Sam Dible and Matthew Parr made up the 3rd row. The Formula Blue Final followed immediately after that of the younger competitors in the Junior Blue race.  As already reported, the competitors who changed to wet tyres in the Junior Blue Final,  raced away at the front, leaving the slick mounted drivers in their wake.  As a consequence a handful of the Formula Blue drivers undertook an ultra-rapid change to wet tyres. Those who didn’t have their wet tyres on the grid, did not have enough help for a rapid change or thought that they could get away with it, stayed on slick tyres.  What then happened became the reverse of the Junior Blue Final race.  The drizzle stopped, though the track was still damp and slippery.  From the start the wet tyred competitors held their own but only for a few laps until a dry racing line started to appear.  As it did,  the ‘slick’ drivers from the rear of the grid started to catch and then pass those drivers, who it turned out,  had made a wrong choice on tyres.   Branfield, on slicks, handled the still slippery conditions superbly, moving into an unchallenged lead followed by Kevin Ford.  Rob Mortimore, having come off on the first lap was storming his way forward. Passing one or two each lap.   With two  laps to go and with Branfield  well clear at the front,  Ford was experiencing brake problems giving Parr a glimmer of hope.   Parr did not disappoint, forcing Ford to  brake late on the last bend.   Ford, unable to stop promptly, went deep,  Parr steered inside and took 2nd over the line.  Just behind was Kate Crowther,  (the highest placed of the ladies in Formula Blue) who only needed one more lap when Ford would, no doubt, have been on her list !  Mortimore finished a stunning race ending his charge in 5th spot.  Chris Derrick leads the Master section with 8 points from Kevin Ford on 10 points.  Ford, in turn shares the lead in the Veteran group with Duncan McLeod.  Nigel Pritchard,  (who travels down from Burnley) heads the Legend group with 19 points with Ron Shone next, on 24 points. Ian Branfield with the outright win is also placed in the lead of the Top weight section ahead of Duncan McLeod. Results 1st Ian Branfield 2 + 0 = 2 points 2nd Matthew Parr 6 + 2 = 8 points 3rd Chris Derrick 0 + 8 = 8 points The Challenge moves on to Devon for Round 2 at the Mansell circuit on March 29th

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