ROC News

ROCKINGHAM 30 MAY 2015: INAUGURAL ROUND

12th June 2015

Apologies for the delay in posting this up!

Yes, the ROC Challenge Inaugural Round at Rockingham has happened, so hurrah, we are off and are now up and running!

Unfortunately, due to four very late cancellations (mostly problems with cars that couldn’t be sorted in time – it always seems to take longer, be more complicated and costs more than one thinks!) the grid was down on what we envisaged and indeed hoped for but as you'll probably have seen from TSL Timing - http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2015/152221rdo.pdf - those we did have were all Proper Privateers/Genuine Blokes and yes, just like they always do, they really did us proud! The weather was great (good job too as I always found Rockingham desperately slippery in the wet, but maybe it’s just that wall on the banked bit!) and the times were really good - only slightly down on the RSC ones the weekend prior and that no doubt due to the surprisingly low track temperature. And despite the modest grid, for the spectators (and indeed the commentator who got really seriously animated on a couple of occasions), there was some really good hunting down and pleasingly, no cars whatsoever were damaged in the process. So good strong but fair racing, no red flags, few if any yellows and no damage. Notwithstanding the pace of aero cars like these, that’s just the way it should be in Clubman Racing, but all too frequently isn’t.

Tim Gray was in a class of his own (literally i.e. Invitation and no, he did not utilise a Radical in Qualy & R1!) and just like in BikeSports, he just drove away from everyone, a combination of the best driver in the best car, showing just what can be done when in order to prove themselves, a small manufacturer like Spire has to boldly compete against and therefore be better than other makes. Fair play to both Tim and especially Paul Nightingale, job well done Chaps (and darn nice people as well)!

To my eyes, the most competitive racing over and across both legs was between ever-improving Steve Gore (remember me remarking favourably on your progress @ Silv International last year Steve?) and ROC's own Will Brown and it was nice (and appropriate) to see them sharing Class A1 honours, 1st and 2nd respectively in Race 1 and 2nd and 1st respectively in Race 2. Despite having just the one leg to shine, the Driver of the Day Award (solely my decision, but I’m sure it would have been the same via a committee!) went to young Joe Stables; looks to me like there's a real genuine talent emerging there; when father Richard told me he was going to start doing shared drives with Joe this year, I said to him that he should brace himself for being out-paced by the end of the season, but it looks like it's taken no more than one race weekend; he was straight on it from his impressive pace at RSC @ Rock the weekend before; must be in the Hamlet DNA I guess!

So, to summarise, first one under the belt and anything we were lacking in quantity was more than made up for by quality. Hats off to all of you!

Which reminds me; I would like to take this opportunity to mention and thank all the others who never get mentioned who were there providing support, be that ‘technical’ or ‘moral’ etc.  The list is nearly endless, in addition to those mentioned in passing above, such as Mrs Hamlet, Mrs G, Tony B, Sutterby Jnr, Neil C etc etc etc etc - I shall avoid the temptation to ‘do a Paltrow’ - but many thanks to each and every one of you. And it would be remiss of me not to formally record congratulations to The Gores on very recently becoming grandparents; well done to both and please pass on all our best wishes!

So, Onward: We should all now be very much looking forward to Rounds 3 & 4 of ROC Challenge @ Dony National on 11 July 2015, not only because Donington + Aero Cars such as Radical & Spires etc = Does It Get Any Better, I Don’t Think So?, but also because it looks like at least one of the two ROC Challenge races will be broadcast LIVE on Motors TV, a side benefit of the PCCGB also being on the Timetable. And yes, I do envisage a very much improved grid in terms of numbers, the word massively springs to mind. So much so that in fact rather than just looking forward to it, you really should get your Entry in and pronto!

So, See You All @ Dony on July 11; blimey, it’s only four weeks away tomorrow!

Trev

PS Apologies for some of the photos, quality and lack of on-track action shots - will definitely do better next time!

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