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Monday, November 29, 2021

Esterson wins Walter Hayes Trophy as Smith reclaims British Truck title

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It’s just about the very last thing you need earlier than beginning on pole place for the Walter Hayes Trophy remaining in simply your first full season of racing within the UK. As if the considered protecting a discipline full of earlier occasion winners, Components Ford Competition victors and a number of Components Ford champions behind you just isn’t pressure-inducing sufficient, including a tense 45-minute wait within the meeting space for the grid to be finalised amid ongoing protests takes the pre-race anxiousness as much as an entire new stage. “It undoubtedly didn’t assist the nerves,” admitted that polesitter, Workforce USA Scholarship driver Max Esterson.

But there was no want for the Low Dempsey Racing man to be involved. He headed into the ultimate in a wealthy vein of type, having taken spectacular wins in each his warmth and semi-final to safe that essential pole place in his Ray GR18. And he then went on to provide a consummate show, solely briefly dropping the lead, to grow to be the primary American to win the Hayes since Tristan Nunez in 2012.

Nevertheless it might all have been very completely different. Two-time occasion winner Michael Moyers began alongside Esterson on the entrance row – he’d matched his feat of successful a warmth and semi – and received the higher launch, diving up the within into Copse. Esterson held on across the exterior, however Moyers believed Esterson ran large off the monitor in doing so and gained an important benefit. “That modified the entire dynamic of the race,” stated Moyers. As a substitute of preventing for the lead, the Spectrum driver had an entire queue of vehicles jostling to deprive him of second.

And that allowed Esterson to determine an important benefit. With Moyers coming underneath repeated assaults, notably from final 12 months’s Competition victor Rory Smith across the exterior of Brooklands, Esterson was in a position to construct a half-second margin. “Max was simply edging away and everybody was preventing, going 4 large down the Wellington Straight and I’m considering, ‘We’re giving Max a straightforward win right here – what are we enjoying at, what are we doing?’” stated Moyers.

Issues got here to a head on lap 5 of 15. Smith made one other try across the exterior of Brooklands and saved the within approaching Luffield. Neither driver was ready to again out and important contact despatched Moyers spinning and left Smith out. Unsurprisingly, every driver blamed the opposite and each – justifiably – felt they had been denied the prospect to present Esterson one thing to consider. “It’s simply a kind of issues,” stated Moyers, who continued racing out of pleasure to complete twenty ninth and believed he had been driving higher than ever this 12 months. Smith added: “I needed to get forward of Moyers to bridge the hole to Max. I gave it my all and it didn’t fairly occur.”

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Michael Moyers is tipped right into a spin by Rory Smith within the Walter Hayes Trophy remaining, Silverstone 2021

Photograph by: Steve Jones

Due to this fact, as a substitute of his rivals closing, Esterson had prolonged his result in 1.4s. It appeared like recreation over, his benefit gargantuan by way of Components Ford racing at Silverstone. However Chris Middlehurst had different concepts. This 12 months’s Nationwide champion was in the precise place to revenue from the Moyers/Smith collision and rapidly began searching down Esterson. “I noticed that [clash] coming and went to the within and browse that effectively,” stated Middlehurst.

Behind, final 12 months’s winner Oliver White (Medina JL17) and the spectacular Ben Mitchell (Van Diemen JL16) had been participating in their very own tussle, Wayne Poole Racing driver Mitchell initially getting third on the within of Becketts, earlier than White retaliated just a few laps later with a brilliantly executed dive down the within at Brooklands.

As this pair started closing on the leaders, Workforce Dolan ace Middlehurst was proper with Esterson with three laps to go and drew his Van Diemen LA10 alongside on a number of events. Then, on the ultimate lap, he edged forward approaching Becketts, just for Esterson to out-brake him into the nook in a transfer he feared would finish in catastrophe. However, earlier than Middlehurst might battle again, abruptly he was all the way down to fourth on the Wellington Straight. “Going from third to fourth, I missed a gear and that dropped me again,” Middlehurst defined.

That meant Esterson was in a position to cross the road simply 0.249s away from White and Mitchell to take a well-deserved win. “I don’t imagine it,” enthused Esterson. “It undoubtedly helps after ending second final weekend [in the Festival] – that harm lots. I had a very good lead however the tow is so large right here and I couldn’t get away.”

White was delighted with second after beginning down in eighth, stating: “I don’t suppose I might’ve received far more out of it.” And Mitchell rounded out a cheerful podium, after getting into with no expectations however ending the occasion as one of many stand-out stars. “I used to be moving into with an open thoughts,” he stated, having loved the battle. “It was very shut – not an inch was given.”

Max Esterson, 2021 Walter Hayes Trophy winner

Max Esterson, 2021 Walter Hayes Trophy winner

Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey

Middlehurst subsequently needed to accept fourth, whereas Josh Fisher grabbed fifth from Lucas Romanek’s Oldfield Motorsport Van Diemen JL15 on the ultimate lap so as to add to the Wayne Poole group’s profitable occasion, this duo ending a way away from the squabbling Joey Foster and Matt Cowley, who had made contact earlier within the day.

“I’ll take that after getting knocked out within the semi-final,” stated Fisher, who began twelfth. “I believed I’d sit again and watch all of it occur and managed to select them off.” Cowley and Foster’s semi-final collision was triggered by Tom Mills, and Mills’s attraction of his 13s penalty contributed to the farcical delay to the ultimate. The 16-year-old had proven spectacular tempo all through the weekend however had a behavior of stepping into scrapes. And that was once more the case within the remaining when he and Jonny McMullan (Van Diemen LA10) collided at Brooklands, leaving McMullan out and Mills ending nineteenth.

This meant David McCullough (RF00) and Felix Fisher – who battled by the repechage races after automobile woes (see heats report) – had been in a position to full the highest 10. Nevertheless it was Esterson who was left to benefit from the largest celebrations, with these pre-race nerves effectively and actually banished to being only a distant reminiscence.

Manufacturers Hatch BARC: Smith secures sixth British Truck title

Ryan Smith, British Trucks, Brands Hatch 2021

Ryan Smith, British Vans, Manufacturers Hatch 2021

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

A sell-out crowd at Manufacturers Hatch on Sunday witnessed Ryan Smith battle again from a factors deficit to say his sixth British Truck Racing title in a row after a frantic finale. The return after two years of MotorSport Imaginative and prescient’s fireworks spectacular helped guarantee a bumper turn-out, with the headline truck races supported by a packed programme on and off the monitor.

In a season dogged by reliability issues, Smith got here to Kent third within the Vans desk behind David Jenkins and Martin Gibson. Smith certified quickest and Stuart Oliver was second regardless of just one flying lap. Jenkins was subsequent, however Gibson’s third-row spot was left empty after he struggled to the pits with a gearbox downside. He was given a reprieve, although, when Shane Brereton plunged off on the first nook and introduced out the pink flags.

Gibson’s repairs had been accomplished earlier than the rerun, which was dominated by Smith with Jenkins a distant second. John Newell and Gibson contested third, whereas Oliver retired with overheating.

Race one’s order was reversed for the grid in race two, however Oliver was a spectator after his downside was identified as a cracked cylinder head. Smith received once more after beginning seventh, however Jenkins’s hopes had been dashed by a first-lap journey by the Paddock Hill gravel. He recovered to 3rd behind Gibson regardless of grappling with damaged rear suspension, however was promoted to second when Gibson was disqualified for overspeeding. In the meantime, second in school to Willem Breedijk assured Craig Reid the Division 2 championship title.

Smith and Jenkins had been on equal factors on Sunday morning and, whereas Smith stormed to a different win from eighth, Jenkins struggled to complete sixth. Gibson was fifth, however his title hopes had been already over due to his earlier disqualification. Jenkins made probably the most of a front-row begin in race 4 and shortly headed into the space. Smith was additionally on a cost, finally being labeled fifth, however Brereton and Reid got here to grief individually on fluid dropped at Druids, bringing the race to a halt.

Miles Rudman, Legends, Brands Hatch 2021

Miles Rudman, Legends, Manufacturers Hatch 2021

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

This arrange a tense remaining with Smith defending a one-point lead, though he began with a grid benefit over Jenkins (third versus seventh). Smith hit the entrance on lap two, however the decisive second got here two laps later when Jenkins jostled Mark Taylor onto the grass at Surtees and the errant truck slammed into Jenkins because it rejoined. Remarkably, these two and harmless sufferer Steve Thomas all continued, however by now Smith was lengthy gone within the lead and secured one other title.

Division 2 supplied an thrilling battle, which ended with Steven Powell beating Reid, Simon Cole and Brad Smith, the group additionally having to cope with the recovering Taylor and Jenkins.

Legends factors chief Miles Rudman suffered within the first of Saturday’s trio of races, two warning intervals hampering his efforts to maneuver up from a lowly grid spot. He completed sixth within the opener, earlier than race two yielded second place. Rudman completed ninth within the remaining, the three wins shared by Sean Smith, Will Gibson and John Mickel.

Rudman received Sunday’s opening race and tied up this 12 months’s championship in a typical slipstreaming battle with Gibson and Jack Parker. Rudman appeared set to win the second warmth as effectively, however Dan Clark swooped previous on the ultimate lap. Mickel, Gibson, Smith and a closing Rudman crossed the road in that order in race three in a blanket end.

New Junior Saloon champion Charlie Hand solely missed the rostrum at one occasion all 12 months, and he accomplished a triumphant season with two extra wins. Harvey Caton misplaced any lingering probability of overhauling his rival with a grassy second and a pitstop within the first race. Stars of the Saturday encounter had been Jamie Petters and Ruben Hage, who spent a lot of the race door to door and accomplished a whole lap aspect by aspect earlier than ending third and fourth.

George Turiccki (left) battles David O'Regan, Pickups, Brands Hatch 2021

George Turiccki (left) battles David O’Regan, Pickups, Manufacturers Hatch 2021

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

David O’Regan made solely his second Pickup Truck look of 2021 and received the primary race in unusually dominant trend on the highway, however a track-limits penalty dropped him to eighth within the outcomes. Dean Tompkins handed father Paul on the final nook to be credited with the win, whereas Matt Simpson was shut behind, regardless of a gearbox downside.

George Turiccki, 2019 champion earlier than COVID-19 wrote off the entire of final season, was solely going to be robbed of one other crown if an entire checklist of unlikely occasions received in his means. And he stayed out of hassle to come back dwelling in fifth place.

Turiccki led from the beginning of race two, however the discipline was rapidly introduced underneath security automobile management after Mark Willis, Michael Smith and Dean Tompkins tangled on the drop all the way down to Graham Hill Bend. On the resumption, Allen Cooper led briefly earlier than sliding off, and Simpson spun out of third after a bump at Clearways. This left Turiccki and O’Regan to commerce the lead earlier than the Irishman finally gained some comfort for Saturday’s disappointment with victory.

The Traditional Touring Automotive Racing Membership celebrated and honoured the contribution of marshals with a pair of Allcomers’ races. Mike Saunders’s V8 Ford Escort Mk1 was main Rod Birley (BMW M3) and Gary Prebble (Honda Civic) on the highway when the primary race was stopped early to rescue Man Martin’s stranded Trabant 600RS.

This made nonsense of the handicap system being utilized on the timing screens. Scott Kirwan’s Renault Clio, thirty second in qualifying, was declared the winner whereas Saunders, Birley and Prebble had been labeled twenty fourth, eighth and twenty third respectively.

Guy Martin, Trabant 600RS, Brands Hatch 2021

Man Martin, Trabant 600RS, Manufacturers Hatch 2021

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

The woefully sluggish Trabants missed race two, which featured an outstanding duel between Malcolm Harding’s Escort Mk2 and Sam Wilson in Rikki Cann’s Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Regardless of their heroic efforts in visitors, they had been labeled second and third behind Colin Claxton’s Escort Mk1, which was generously handled by the handicapper. Birley crashed on lap one after attempting to move Prebble.

Alistair Dendy beat Alex Cursley in a shortened Hyundai Coupe race after an opening-lap stoppage. Wayne Rockett saved them firm in third. Purple flags additionally interrupted race two, which was rerun for 5 minutes, giving Dendy one other win over Cursley with two generations of the appropriately named Rocketts – son Jonny in entrance of father Wayne – subsequent alongside.

Studies by Stephen Lickorish and Brian Phillips. Photos by Steve Jones and Gary Hawkins. Need extra reviews from the world of nationwide motorsport? Subscribe today and by no means miss your weekly repair of motorsport with Autosport journal.

Brands Hatch firework display

Manufacturers Hatch firework show

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

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