Isaac Smith has catapulted himself back into contention for this year’s BRSCC Fiesta Championship racing with MRF Tyres, as he swept all before him at the recent rounds of the series at Anglesey Circuit in North Wales.
Going into qualifying, the Race Car Consultants youngster was able to set the pace with the fastest lap of the session to start on the pole alongside championship leader James Waite on the front row of the grid. The ever-improving pace of the upgraded Fiesta Zetec S cars was proven thanks to Alastair Kellett securing his best qualifying result of the season with 3rd place alongside fellow former champ David Nye in 4th and Jake Dawson taking an improved starting spot in 5th. As for the other championship contenders, the likes of Jamie Going and Ryan Faulconbridge had to make do with 8th and 12th places respectively for Race 1.
Smith wasted no time to make the most of his pole and proceeded to pull away in the lead as he had done previously in the season when in a leading position. In just three laps, Smith produced a gap of over three seconds and carried on extending the lead lap after lap until he eventually took the flag after 11 laps with a near 10-second winning margin, virtually unchallenged for the entire race. Kellett proved to everyone that he still had the kind of pace that won him the 2016 title by picking up a cushion of around 2 seconds to the rest of the field and went on to score his best result of the season with 2nd place, as well as the first-ever overall podium finish for a Zetec S in the championship’s history. Nye rounded off the podium in 3rd place with John Cooper finally scoring some good luck with 4th place and rookie Adam Durant impressing on his first weekend wth JamSport as he took 5th place.
Faulconbridge, the Watkins brothers and Lucas were the remaining finishers, but championship leader Waite had a nightmare situation unfold after Jake Dawson lost his braking point, took to the grass out of control and careered helplessly into Waite, leaving both out on the opening lap with Dawson’s car done for the weekend and JamSport left with a hefty repair job to get the car race ready again for Race 2.
With all but Dawson’s car ready to run again for the second race of the weekend, Smith once again took up the lead from pole and ended up pulling out an even greater lead than he had the day before. Isaac was clearly in a class of his own pace-wise and was almost 7 seconds ahead by Lap 5, extending it even further to a substantial 16.5 seconds by the chequred flag. Kellett once again put in a superb drive to 2nd place, but this time he was kept a lot more honest by bth Nye and a charging Lucas who both chased him down in the closing laps but were unable to unseat him by the finish. Ryan Faulconbridge’s fortunes brightened a little with 5th place ahead of Jamie Going, the Watkins brothers and Durant, but more misfortune befell Waite as mechanical problems lingering from his Race 1 incident forcing him out of the race and using up another dropped score in the process.
The top four was reversed via the random grid draw for the final race on Sunday, giving Lucas pole with double winner Smith starting back in 4th place. But even that couldn’t stop the Fiesta Junior graduate in the end – Nye grabbed the lead and held on throughout the first half of the race before a technical problem of his own forced him into the pits and eventual retirement. This put Lucas into P1 as a result, but after several laps of pressure, Smith was eventually able to squeeze his way through into the lead before pulling away to eventually seal the hat-trick by almost 4 seconds with his third win of the weekend. Lucas duly took 2nd place behind him with Faulconbridge rounding off a mixed weekend with a podium finish in 3rd, followed by Going and Durant to complete the top 5. Kellett couldn’t match his previous podium with 6th, James Waite salvaged something from the weekend with 7th place, while Cooper and Josh Watkins completed the finishers.
Next up is the penultimate meeting of the season with a second trip to Silverstone in 2019. After starting the season on the National circuit, the drivers now return to Northamptonshire compete on the International layout with the championship having closed up a little more and as many as four drivers still in with a realistic shout of winning!
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