2011 UK Ford Fiesta Championship – Rounds 9 & 10 Rockingham

Round 9 – A B & D

The clouds came over to watch the start of our A and B race one, and with they also brought a large bucket of water. This meant that a hasty switch from slicks to wets were needed and clerk of the course allowed us to make the change. It was notable that another official was to argue that the race time should be shortened, but our clerk was resolute and so we did get the allotted schedule of time. As the wheels were being changed the rain came down a bit harder. All were ready, but, wait, the class A car of Langridge was still in the pitlane and soon we saw frantic action as team principal Pete Daniels was seen running to his command truck and reappear carrying a wheel stud. Evidently, a stud had broken off and need to be changed on the front nearside wheel. As time slipped by, the rest of the field was formed up on the grid and young Langridge was going to play catch-up from the pitlane start he was now to endure.

Red lights out, and off they went with a spectacular hiss of spray from the spinning wheels towards a distant chequered flag some 11 laps away. Peters almost bogged down thus allowing Baines and Barton to get the drop. So much spray. Field through and then off went Langridge. Baines was now leading but only just from Barton. As the opening lap was done, the order saw the B class cars of Baines and Barton leading the similar cars of Bateman and then A class car of Scruton who was looking like a proper ‘rain meister’. The next class A car was that of Peters down in 8th with Langridge in an unaccustomed 10th but starting to motor. On the next lap the two cars of Baines and Barton kept up a withering pace and this was looking promising for an outright win for a class B car in a mixed race. Time would tell. Scruton was driving well, belying his second ever outing and he improved to 3rd oa.Langridge was now 8th. On the next lap a determined Bateman retook the 3rd spot to leave B running in the podium placings. Another first ! Around the halfway point Scruton had nosed back into 3rd as Langridge was now 5th. On lap 6 he was 3rd oa. and threatening the leaders Baines and Barton. It would some careful driving not to upset this leading tussle. Surely with the power advantage with the Si, Langridge would just power around the slightly slower straight line speeded B cars along the crazy banked main straight ? No, he was mixing between the two B cars and as the laps ran out he was found taking a line that perhaps in hindsight he may have preferred not to do ? However, the chequered flag put paid to the race and saw Scott Baines win the race. History I believe ? John Langridge took a 2nd place (1st in A) and Nik Barton 3rd oa. Ken Bateman took a fine 4th oa. And third in class B with Ian Scrutoin taking a 2nd in A with third place in the class going to Nick Tiley who had a largely uncomplicated race as he danced in the rain.

Round 10 – A B & D

The rain had gone but only a few miles away but far enough for us to have a dry race. This would also see us having 12 laps around the circuit. As the red lights went out to start the race both B class cars of Baines and Barton swamped Langridge who bogged down slightly. Peters looked to have a bit more pace now. Langridge went wide at Clarke curve having made a small error ? and was to follow Peters around for a while. Lap 2 and Langridge made it into the lead and crossed the line to start lap 3 with Baines, Peters and Barton, Bateman, Tiley, Stirling, Kemp, Appleby, Chapman, Cooper, Scruton and Edwards filling out the placings. As lap 3 came and went, Peters was up to 2nd with a three way battle for 3rd between Baines, Barton and Bateman, whilst a little way back Tiley had a few seconds over Stirling, Kemp and Appleby who then was chased by Chapman, Cooper, Scruton and Edwards. By lap 5, Peters was a vunerable sandwich between Baines and Barton. Same situation on lap 6 but it was tears before bedtime on lap 7 as contact between the Baines and Peters cars saw Peters with his nearside facing the inevitable T-Bone from the hapless Barton who having been presented with an instant Si had nowhere to go. Both Peters and Barton were instantly otl. This incident saw Baines keep 2nd overall and now a fiery Bateman 3rd with a ten seconds plus gap to Stirling and a similar gap to Kemp who was under intense pressure from Appleby. By now, Langridge was away and gone and Baines feltsome pressure form Bateman. Kemp Appleby and Chapman provided the race action now being separated by a cars length. This battle was brilliant and clean and on lap 10 it was all change as Appleby now led Chapman and then Kemp. Again the gap between the three – 1.2 seconds. Bateman tried to unsettle Baines but as the chequered flag waved John Langridge over the line for the win, Scott Baines was 2nd and Ken Bateman 3rd.

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