GOODING DOUBLES UP AT EVENTFUL SILVERSTONE WEEKEND FOR FIESTAS

There was action aplenty at Silverstone (22nd – 23rd September) for the penultimate round of the Fiesta Championship. With three races spread across two days, and very changeable weather conditions, it was certainly an eventful weekend for all on the grid.

A dry start to the day on Saturday meant the 21 car grid safely made their way through qualifying. Ollie Hunt was the man in front, with an overall and Class C pole position. Jamie White secured Class D pole, whilst Class A pole was awarded to sole entrant, Mark Court.

Despite a dry qualifying session, the heavens opened ahead of race two, declaring it a wet race. In tricky conditions it was Samuel Watkins who defeated the opposition to claim honours, ahead of pole sitter Hunt and third placed man David Nye.

A fastest lap from second placed Hunt, together with his pole position stood him in good stead for a strong championship placing.

Jamie White’s Class D pole position transformed into a class victory, and with fastest lap to his name as well it was a maximum points haul for White in race one. Behind, Zachary Lucas secured a second-place class finish, ahead of Luke Bannister in third place.

The only entrant in Class A for the first race of the weekend ensured Mark Court cemented victory and fastest lap, enhancing his championship ambitions.

After a heavy downpour on Sunday morning race two took place in different conditions once again. On a drying track, it was a fiercely entertaining outing from start to finish.

As the race began it was Jamie Going who dominated the pace, leading the field around the Silverstone International circuit. However, it was clear it wasn’t going to be an easy drive for him. Forced to defend from the off, Going’s mirrors were instantly filled with the Fiesta of Samuel Watkins.

While Going led the way onto the sixth lap, Watkins suddenly peeled into the pit lane, vacating his second place. In Watkins’ absence, it became a battle between the top four, each vying for supremacy. Separated by less than one second, Going led Jake Dawson, David Nye and Harry Gooding lap after lap.

As the chequered flag came into sight, it was Dawson who claimed victory on the road, only to later be handed a six-second penalty, dropping him to fourth place post-race. With Dawson removed from the top spot, it was championship leader, Gooding who was awarded honours, ahead of Myles Baker and Going.

David Nye, Simon Horrobin, Ryan Faulconbridge, Richard Dawson, Danny Harrison and Tom Hutchins completed the top 10.

Jamie White doubled his Class D success with another victory and fastest lap combination in race two. Zachary Lucas and Luke Bannister completed the top three once again, whilst Tim Bennett and Marco Ricci followed in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Despite some competition for Mark Court in Class A this time around, he enjoyed another victorious performance, finishing ahead of Colin Newbold.

Dry conditions for the third and final race of the weekend saw another thrilling 20-minute encounter for our Fiesta Championship tribe.

It was championship pretender, Harry Gooding, who snatched the spoils, adding to his title bid once again. A cushion of 1.3 seconds separated him and second placed man, Simon Horrobin, as the pair swept passed the chequered flag, with David Nye claiming a somewhat solitary third place finish.

John Cooper was victorious in Class D this time around, also claiming fastest lap for a maximum points haul. Running with the number 42 as a tribute to the late John Bateman, Cooper was pleased to finish on top of the podium. A few seconds adrift of Cooper, it was Jamie White in second place, collecting as many points as possible towards his title campaign, ahead of Zachary Lucas, Marco Ricci and Luke Bannister.

A sole finisher in Class A, Mark Court was victorious once again, as Colin Newbold sadly retired from the race.

It was great to see Chris Loder claim a strong seventh-place finish in Class C on his debut weekend with the Fiesta Championship. After a trying start to the weekend, luck fell on his side in race three to secure a respectable result. Tim Glover also ended the weekend on a high, finishing one place ahead of Chris in sixth after an unfortunate retirement in the second race.

Following Silverstone’s three races, Harry Gooding currently sits atop the Class C championship title race, ahead of Jamie Going and David Nye. Jamie White is looking strong for Class D spoils ahead of Zachary Lucas, whilst Mark Court has already secured Class A honours.

Attentions now turn to the final round of the season, set to take place at Brands Hatch on 20th – 21st October. As part of the renowned Formula Ford Festival weekend, it is set to be a spectacular season finale.

The Fiesta paddock also ensure to pay tribute to the late John Bateman, a former Class A driver who sadly lost his life while racing at Donington Park on the prior weekend. To show their respects, the entire Fiesta fraternity turned out onto the grid along with BRSCC personnel and a handful of members of John’s family members to hold a minute’s silence in his honour. All of the Fiesta competitors also ran commemorative decals on their cars as a further gesture of support. The BRSCC, Fiesta Championship and everyone involved extend their deepest sympathies and condolences at this difficult time.

Leanne Fahy

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