Last weekend saw the return of one of the best UK venues for SXS Racing and it was one everyone was looking forward to. The build-up was unusual for a track in Wales as the ground was baked solid after a week of extreme hot weather. That said, the forecast wasn’t great and the decisions regarding watering the track were difficult. A good downpour on Friday helped us out and the track was ready. It was time to hand over to the drivers. We were go for qualifying.
The conditions were perfect for what was set up to be cracker. Sean Haran flew out the blocks after a return from injury and battled most of the session with rivals McCann and Severn. Lap ten is when the pole lap came, and it was Sean Haran on front of the grid. Paul Severn wasn’t far off and certainly looked to enjoy the battle taking second place ahead of Mark McCann in third. Sean Jenkinson took fourth place setting an all-expert top four and a great first corner of race one. Louis McGuffog was next home in fifth and the first of the rookies over the line ahead of expert Adrian / Callum Loveridge in sixth. Second spot for the rookies and seventh overall went to Olly McGuffog who literally improves with every session – well done Olly. Alfie Davies made a guest appearance at his home track taking eighth place and third in class in a strong return after a long layoff. Next in was Wayne Harris who, after some car adjustments seems to be going better, which is great to see after a challenging start to his year. Joe Chilvers closed off the top ten in a very competitive session which saw some big names off the pace with work to do in race one. This includes four of the Team Norfolk cars and the rookie class leader Tom Welbourn. Race one was set up to be interesting for sure.
To say the conditions had changed overnight was an understatement. Heavy rain had left a wet track with standing water and very challenging conditions for both racers and staff alike. The flag dropped and a wave of machines headed into the first corner. Sean Haran was on a level of his own in these conditions and he set off first and stayed there till the end. A race one win and a strong marker in the ground so well-done Sean. Mark McCann got the better of Paul Severn in the battle for second with Shaun Jenkinson maintaining all expert top four. Louis McGuffog was first of the rookies holding off Adrian / Callum Loveridge in sixth place. Wayne Harris battled with Joe Chilvers in a great session for them both finishing seventh and eighth ahead of ninth place Alfie Davies. Olly McGuffog couldn’t build on his strong qualifying and had to settle for tenth. The remainder of team Norfolk improved but couldn’t break into the top ten with Rianna Harris closing of the grid for a difficult race one.
The conditions didn’t improve but the results for some certainly did. Sean Haran again seemed at home in the extreme wet as he bolted off in front and never looked back. Mark McCann chased but just couldn’t catch, pushing on to a strong second. Shaun Jenkinson improved to third after a puncture saw Paul Severn tumble backwards to fifth behind Louis McGuffog. Adrian / Callum Loveridge took sixth spot ahead of the much-improved Nick Barker and Rob Butterfield in seventh and eighth. Wayne Harris dropped to ninth ahead of friend and rival Olly McGuffog in tenth. Joe Chilvers dropped out of the top ten ahead of Team Norfolk friend Tom Welbourn who was the last of the finishers on the lead lap.
Race three was more of the same as conditions tried to improve. Sean Haran completed the clean sweep in a great day made more impressive in some of the worst conditions we have seen in years. Well done, Shaun. Mark McCann finished second ending a challenging week with a strong haul of points, so mission accomplished from Mark. Paul Severn improved from race two taking third spot and keeping the championship interesting as his gap at the top remains. Shaun Jenkinson capped off all expert top four chased home by first place rookie Louis McGuffog in a great day for the rookie. Nick Barker built on his earlier nightmare to take sixth place ahead of Olly McGuffog in seventh. Alfie Davies continued his good day with a solid eighth ahead of Championship leader Tom Welbourn ninth. Joe Chilver closed of the top ten and was the last car on the lead lap. This was a great day’s racing for the Open Class with some amazing displays of driving in extreme conditions. Well done everyone.
1st – Sean Haran #51 (Polaris Pro XP)
2nd – Mark McCann #64 (Polaris Pro XP)
3rd – Paul Severn #7 (Polaris Pro XP)
Clerks Driver of The Day – Sean Haran
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Sean Haran
1st – Louis McGuffog #24 (Polaris RS1)
2nd – Nick Barker #40 (Polaris RS1)
3rd – Olly McGuffog #26 (Polaris RS1)
Clerk Driver of The Day – Louis McGuffog
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Louis McGuffog
1000 Rookie Class
The Rookie class is proving to be a cracker this year and round 5 was no different. The stage was set for another tear up at the front. It was go time!
This session seemed like it was going to be more of the same from the top three but that wasn’t how Rio Longdon had it planned. A blinding lap from the Kelsa trucks man saw him snatch and hold on to pole position mid-session. Jacob Wilson pushed on through the session but second was his best on this occasion. George Hales was next over the line in third place ahead of rival Henry Proctor in fourth. That set up a great race one as all the championship contenders line up together for the first corner. Corban Ross placed fifth ahead of Bradley Price in sixth in a great session for the screaming eagle. Anthony Green in seventh spot beat returning driver Nick Payne in eighth. Great to see the Payne family back on the scene for sure. Sam Lloyd crossed the line a solid ninth ahead of newcomer Tom Butterfield closing off the top ten in a great session to watch.
Race one saw the pack shuffle as punctures caused problems for a few cars. Jacob Wilson seemed in control of the race, but a rear puncture saw George Hales handed the advantage which he took and with that the race win. Jacob Wilson was able to hold on to second ahead of third place and ever improving Anthony Green. Bradley Price continued his good form to take fourth beating Corban Ross in fifth. Sam Lloyd built on a solid qualifying to take sixth place ahead of Nick Payne. Tom Butterfield jumped up the field to eighth marking the last of the cars on the lead lap. Great race one and a joy to watch. Let’s see what race two had in store.
This one saw the battle at the front continue exactly where it left off. This time it was advantage Jacob Wilson in what were probably the best conditions of the day. George Hales pushed hard but couldn’t hang on to the Poppin candy machine but second in this class is a strong result. Anthony Green grabbed third ahead of Bradley Price in fourth another strong session indeed. Henry Proctor seemed to struggle in this session as fifth was the best he could muster. Nick Payne built on his earlier session taking sixth while getting the hang of his new car but old friend. Tom Butterfield was next home in seventh beating the consistent Sam Lloyd in eighth. Rio Longdon pushed on in ninth ahead of Alan Curnick with Darren Longdon and Tim Prior closing off the back of the grid. Another great race for the rookies setting up a strong finale.
This race was set up beautifully as the front pair battled for the top spot. Jacob Wilson broke from the front and didn’t look back, taking the win and the top spot on the day. What happened in second was one of the drives of the day, George Hales had a front puncture and as the laps went on the wheels deteriorated, four laps on a wheel not fit for one saw him secure second spot in a great drive. Anthony Green grabbed his first podium spot taking third place in race three and third overall in a green day for the Yorkshire man. Henry Proctor improved to fourth in what was a challenging day for the triple two car. Bradley Price enjoyed the conditions for sure in what was probably one of his best rounds this year, taking fifth ahead of Sam Lloyd in sixth. Nick Payne scored a solid seventh beating Darren Longdon and Rio Longdon in eighth and ninth. Alan / Joe Curnick closed of the field as the last of the finishers on the day. A great day for the rookie class with some fierce racing and some class driving in the conditions. Well done everyone.
1st – Jacob Wilson #7 (Polaris RS1)
2nd – George Hales #19 (Polaris RS1)
3rd – Anthony Green #105 (Polaris RZR1000)
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Jacob Wilson
Clerks Driver of The Day – Anthony Green
This class is the pinnacle of our sport as things stand and with some great additions in the pipeline, its only set to get better! It delivered as always with some fierce racing, laced with some excitement and even a sprinkle of controversy to keep everyone on there toes. Let’s talk about it.
This session is always close as every lap changes the pack, and this session was no different. The early part of the session was the most interesting as Robert Lloyd pinged up a fast lap and held pole for the big part of the session. That changed when William Buller took pole with only four minutes or so left on the clock. That’s how it stayed till the very last lap when Tom Fletcher nicked top spot proving its only your fastest lap that matters. Second place went to William Buller split by hundredths of a second. Kevin Haran pushed through late to take third ahead of Robert Lloyd in fourth. Mack Priestwood crossed the line fifth closing off the back of what was a small field for this weekend. Race one was go.
The flag raised and the war started. William Buller broke clean off the line and picked up his heels. Looking back wasn’t an option as he pushed on to the race win. Tom Fletcher kept him honest but just could bridge the gap and second place it was for the championship leader. Robert Lloyd took third place after a race long battle with Mack Priestwood which was great to watch. Kevin Haran closed off the field in what was a great race to watch in some of the day’s best conditions.
It was never going to be straight forward, and this race is when things got interesting. The flag raised and off they went into the rain. Early in the lap Tom Fletcher slid into the side of William Buller causing the Northern Irishman to leave the circuit. Tom and the remainder of the field carried on, but Buller re-joined and gained an advantage in doing so. Penalty time for both the front runners. It got worse for William Buller when he cut an entry corner in the Joker Lane meaning another penalty for the number 32 car. Buller now carrying ten seconds of penalties and Tom Fletcher five meant they had to get a wriggle on which was made harder when they had no idea the penalties were there. Somehow, they manged to build gaps on the field with William Buller finishing first and Tom Fletcher a close second. This incident has prompted the discussion about penalties being served during the race in an F1 drive through style. Robert Lloyd again took third place in a solid day so far for the number forty-one car. Mack Priestwood again battled race long with Robert Lloyd but fourth was this time out. Kevin Haran again pushed on to take fifth and close for the grid.
This one was slightly more straight forward thankfully. William Buller broke clean and was gone. Three wins on the day and royally slapped wrist saw the 32 car on the top spot. Tom Fletcher couldn’t catch the flying first place man on this occasion but that’s why we love this class. Third place to Mack Priestwood this time out as he held Robert Lloyd in fourth Kevin Haran Crossed the line in fifth place closing an interesting day for the expert class. Well done everyone.
Remember the rules are there to swing the pendulum back to neutral. To swing it to far the other way is the same as not swinging it at all.
1st – William Buller #32 (Polaris RS1)
2nd – Tom Fletcher #59 (Polaris RS1)
3rd – Robert Lloyd #41 (Polaris RS1)
Clerks Driver of The Day – Robert Lloyd
Fastest lap Bonus Point – Tom Fletcher