Snetterton 20th/21st April 2013

The championship is growing!


The BRSCC MX-5 SuperCup visited Snetterton this weekend and the battle between the protagonists from Castle Combe was renewed, with Andrew Clarkson and Matt Davies both taking one win apiece. Davies won race one and took fastest lap but could only manage 4th in race two, whereas Andrew Clarkson came away with second place and a win giving him a 2 point lead in the championship. Paul Sheard and Justin Newnam joined the racing for the first time this year and shared the remaining podium places. (Full race report below)

Race Report 

Saturday - Qualifying

Bright sunshine greeted the drivers as they went out to qualify on the Snetterton 300 circuit. Instantly on the pace were Chrissy Palmer and Justin Newnam, out for the first time the this season in the Paul Sheard Autos run cars. Newnam went on to take pole ahead of Palmer with a time of 2.19.232. Filling the second row were Castle Combe race winners Andrew Clarkson and Matt Davies, followed closely by Mike Comber and Will Chappell on the third row. With some drivers struggling on un-scrubbed tyres and others finding their way around the new 300 layout, the running order for Sunday’s races was by no means a certainty. 

Sunday – Race 1 

Having missed qualifying the day before, experienced MX5 racer Paul Sheard squeezed in his mandatory 3 laps prior to the start of race one, allowing him to start from the back of the grid. 

As the lights went out Chrissy Palmer got the jump from Justin Newnam to lead the pack into the first corner. With everyone making it safely around the first hairpin, battle commenced for what was then second position behind Palmer with places swapping back and forth between Clarkson, Davies and Newman. Meanwhile in the second group of cars Locost Champion Mike Comber, Will Chappel and the hard charging Paul Sheard fought to get ahead and take the fight up to the front four.

Just two laps in and brake issues sent Palmer bumping over the dirt, promoting Clarkson to the lead of the race. The fight for the win continued to the flag with neither Clarkson, Davies or Newnam willing to concede. The key moment in the race came at Agostini hairpin as both Clarkson and Newnam ran fractionally wide allowing Davies to make it three abreast on the exit of the corner and sneak through into lead at the following kink. The order of the front three stayed the same for the remainder of the race bar a brief moment when Clarkson slithered across the grass on the exit of Brundle, only to re-join the circuit in front of the leader just before the Bomb Hole. Clarkson sportingly waved Davies back through to maintain the order for the win, Davies claiming fastest lap on the way.

In the chasing pack Sheard showed his class to finish 4th despite having not qualified or tested at the circuit, narrowly beating Comber to the flag. Waiting to punish any mistakes from the leading group were Julian Taylor and Ray Worley, closely chasing the front runners throughout the race.


Sunday - Race 2

With the scene set in race 1,  the drivers lined up in their finishing order for the start of race 2. A great start from Clarkson saw him edge into the lead ahead of Davies on the run up to the first corner. A fast starting Palmer leapt up into third from the back of the grid, followed closely by Sheard and Newnam. The first 5 cars followed nose to tail for several laps each looking for a pass at every opportunity, changing positions on numerous occasion, Clarkson defending the lead solidly from the attacking Palmer in second. The battle between the top 5 raged until Palmer made a bold move on Clarkson at Williams on lap six only to suffer mechanical problems again and gift the lead back to Clarkson a lap later.

Meanwhile the constant scrapping of the front 5 allowed Comber to reel them in, briefly making a 6 car train nose to tail for the lead of the race before suffering an uncharacteristic misfire with his Mazda engine which relegated him to last place by the finish of the race. As the flag dropped the top 4 cars crossed the line separated by just 1.6 seconds! Davies missed a gear accelerating out of the final bend while in third place, just allowing Newnam to slip through on the run to the line behind Sheard and  race winner Clarkson.

Fastest Lap of the race went to Newnam. 



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