The BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres headed to Snetterton’s 300 circuit in Norfolk for Rounds 9, 10 & 11 of the 2018 season amidst warm temperatures and sunny skies, meaning track conditions would be ideal but could also possibly have an effect on tyre wear and temperature regulation. Nonetheless, all drivers competing in both Classes C and D tackled the weekend in their quest to earn more valuable championship points.
The front row of the grid for Race 1 after qualifying would give some indication of the tone that was about to be set for the rest of the weekend. Jam-Sport’s Harry Gooding and Ryan Faulconbridge locked out the front row, followed by team boss Jamie Going and Danny Harrison on the second row. With Myles Baker and Tom Hutchins locked in behind them on the third row and Jamie White and John Cooper at the head of the Class D entry, the run to Riches corner was always going to be exciting.
From the line, it was neither Gooding or Faulconbridge that picked up the best start, as it was in fact Going that tore past both of them to take the lead into the first corner and from there control the race. Despite losing out at the start, Gooding slotted in behind his team boss and proceeded to give chase throughout the rest of the opening race of the weekend, coming close on one or two occasions and forcing Going to get his elbows out and defend. While Gooding may have been leading the championship, that didn’t stop Going from aiming for his own glory! In the end, Gooding ensured the lead gap never rose above 0.8 seconds but ultimately was unable to find a way through.
So, practically 12 months after taking his first ever Fiesta victory at the same venue, Jamie Going picked up his first win of the season and the second of his career, followed home by young charge Gooding. Danny Harrison was able to banish a problematic weekend at Rockingham somewhat with the final step on the podium, while the duel for 4th place was entertaining behind them. Thomas Hutchins held off the attentions of Faulconbridge for most of the race to take the first spot off the podium, while behind the pair Myles Baker stole 6th place from Richard Ashmole on the last lap, demoting him to 7th place at the flag. The remainder of the top 10 was populated by David Nye, Jake Dawson and Class D winner Jamie White.
White himself had to contend with a very hungry and determined John Cooper for the entire race and was only able to take Class D victory by half a second, showing just how much pace Cooper had in him. The final step on the Class D podium was taken by Zachary Lucas, who missed the last rounds at Rockingham and did well to get his championship back on track with 3rd place.
With Going now starting on pole for the second race, it would be all about who could get the better start from the front row this time between himself and Gooding and take the lead heading into Riches. This time, Gooding was the one to win the holeshot and now it was roles reversed between the pair of them from Race 1. Going ensured Gooding never had a moment to relax and at one stage even went on the attack for the lead of the race. He managed to get as far as alongside him on the exit of the Wilson hairpin, but Gooding had enough momentum and the racing line to be able to hold on. Despite the back and forth between the pair and even getting the gap out to just over a second, Gooding did enough to collect what was only his third ever senior racing win in the Fiestas.
Going followed him home in 2nd with Danny Harrison once again taking 3rd place, this time a little closer than he had been in the first race. Faulconbridge and Hutchins once again had a brief scrap over 4th place before Faulconbridge drew away and maintained the position, leaving Hutchins to settle for 5th. Nye, Ashmole and Baker covered P6 to P8, while 9th place went to Class D winner Jamie White, once again taking the top spot in class with the fastest lap to boot, ahead of Jake Dawson in 10th overall.
White’s class win wasn’t without a small mishap, however. For most of the race, White was battling hard with fellow Daniels Motorsport driver John Cooper, and at one stage he managed to find a way past White to take the class lead. Heading into Williams corner before the Bentley Straight, the pair came together in a slightly awkward incident, leaving Cooper to retire with suspected damage to the left rear of the car, while White managed to carry on to finish the race and win Class D. Zachary Lucas picked up 2nd place as a result and 3rd went to Tim Bennett.
Going was able to get the jump on Gooding at the start of the third race and, as he had done in Race 1, spent the entire race keeping Gooding at bay as the two JamSport cars sprinted away from the rest of the field. By the end of the race, Going and Gooding were at least 12 seconds ahead of everyone else as they crossed the line to finish 1-2. Ryan Faulconbridge was able to hold on to 3rd race for the entire race after losing 2nd place in the opening laps, but by the flag had 4th placed Tom Hutchins right on his tail; thankfully no move was made and Faulconbridge was able to bag another podium. Danny Harrison rounded off the weekend with 5th place, followed by Class D winner Jamie White in 6th, then Jake Dawson, Nye, Richard Dawson and Stevens completing the top 10, all in Class C cars. Zachary Lucas was again 2nd in Class D, followed by Luke Bannister in 3rd.
Now there’s just over a month’s wait until the second half of the season begins, starting with Castle Combe in Wiltshire on August 11/12. Who knows what twists and turns the championship battles will take there!
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