We are well into the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship 2018 Season, having just returned from a changeable third round at Cadwell Park. Primarily hosting motorcycle racing events, the pressure is on the drivers round this challenging and narrow course.
The weekend started with the MX-5 Super Series qualifying, and Liz Walton’s second race meeting in the Tucker Motorsport Mark 3 hire car. Cadwell saw a whole new challenge for Liz, who despite the glorious British weather, experienced her first qualifying in wet conditions. The qualifying session saw a great result for Liz, with most of her time spent squabbling for 8th Position with Jeremy Crook, with a consistent pace she has more than halved the deficit she had to the leaders at Snetterton.
The qualifying for the Mark 1 races saw much improved track conditions, whilst Cadwell began to dry; the circuit remained damp off the racing line, giving the drivers no room for error on the already unforgiving circuit. Marcus settled into the conditions from the get go, producing a fantastic lap on his third circulation, whilst Clive and Paul took a little longer to settle in. Lap four brought more drama with a competitor dropping coolant all through the trickiest section of the circuit, Forrest, causing all drivers to slow down. Given the tricky conditions Marcus made the move to finish the qualifying session early, resting on his early quick lap, but Clive and Paul were forced to push through the conditions. As the session started to reach the closing stages, and with the coolant finally starting to evaporate the lap times quickly sped up. Paul saved his best till last with his fastest lap achieved on the final circulation which saw him placed in 10th position. Clive managed to time his qualifying perfectly, being the last car to cross the line, meaning he jumped to place in 6th position. The early banked lap by Marcus put him in 7th position, giving all Mark 1 Drivers strong positions in the A Group for Race 1.
Liz managed a great, and drama free weekend of racing in the MX-5 Super Series. With a further developed race technique Liz is edging ever closer to the lead pack, cumulating in finishing positions of 9th, 8th and 9th across the three races, and earning another two signatures towards her full race license.
The drama for the weekend was left with for the Mark 1 drivers. With all of the Tucker Motorsport drivers lining up in a tightly packed A race the heat was on. Clive made a fantastic start from 12th position, seeing him gain a few places in the order, but a competitive top order soon saw a train of cars pass through. Keeping his nerve in the top of the pack Clive was able to steadily climb up the field, finishing in 13th position. Marcus continued to show the same great focus of qualifying, avoiding the drama around him to finish in 12th position. Whilst Paul got a good jump off the starting lights the tight bends of Cadwell showed him no gaps in the traffic to exploit in the early stages of the race. As the race began to settle the vehicle in front of Paul ran wide coming out of the fastest corner of the circuit, showing Paul a nice clear gap on the track. Unfortunately the driver had other ideas and re-entered the track and in the process swiped across the track and into Paul’s car. The damage resulting from the collision led Paul to finish in 22nd position, seeing him relegated to the B Race, whilst the other driver was reprimanded for the incident.
So time for day three, Race 2A saw Marcus starting from 11th position, with Clive sat in his mirror in 12th. Continuing his great form Marcus had a super start and swiftly moved up the order and into the top ten by lap two, however going into Charlie’s 2 he was collected by a spinning car, which sent him heavily into the tyre wall causing serious vehicle damage. Clive remained consistent throughout the race, putting in solid laps to cross the line in 11th position. Paul drove well throughout the 2B Race, with good defensive driving he held onto 5th position seeing him re-enter the A group for the final race of the weekend.
For the final A race of the weekend Clive continued his consistent form, finishing in 10th position, his best placing in the A race this season. Whilst Paul had the best race of his weekend, not only storming up the order to 17th position, but setting his fastest lap of the weekend to by almost a second.
Before the 3B Race the Tucker Motorsport Mechanics had a big job on their hands in getting Marcus’s vehicle race fit, following the hard impact of the second race. Dean and Anthony worked in their usual efficient manner replacing the diff, repairing the exhaust, replacing lights, panel beating and checking on the car geometry, despite the tight deadline the guys completed this with time to spare. Ready for the 3B Race Marcus started from 5th position, his weekend trademark of swift starts was repeated, with him shooting to 2nd position by the first corner. By the second Lap Marcus had successfully made the move into 1st position, a lead which he continued to stretch throughout the race, with the clear track ahead he set his fastest lap of the race and crossed the line to take his first ever race win.
There’s plenty of car preparation and a race with our Lotus before the MX5’s return for round four at Oulton Park in just a couple of weeks, in what’s set to be a busy month ahead for the Tucker Motorsport team.