Maritime Racing hosted the Carpet Wars World Cup at The Black Lion Centre in Gillingham over the weekend 21st/22nd February.
This popular annual two day event covers 16 heats and five classes - 27T /19T stock, 10.5T Superstock, Open, Lipo/6.5 and 1/10th World GT.
Saturday morning saw a line of eager drivers snaking down the car park for the 07.30 opening. This is the only major race meeting in the UK where a small cash prize is awarded to the top drivers in each class whilst this year an ancillary prize of vouchers was also awarded to the top non-sponsored driver. Naturally, this always helps to make the event very competitive.
The format was one practice followed by five qualifiers on the Saturday and a further sixth qualifier and three finals on the Sunday. Qualifiers were the FTQ format and the finals were best of two.
Practice provided everyone with an opportunity to learn the track layout with one or two tricky points to watch out for. My XRAY seemed dialed in to the track from the start and although practice isn't always a good guide, I felt very positive about the performance.
Super Stock Qualifiers
With six in total, five on the Saturday and a possible "rocket round" on the Sunday, there were plenty of opportunities to try things out. As it was, Kevin Brunsden XRAY worked from the start. The track seemed to suit the superstock class and certainly the FTD set by Kevin would have placed him in 5th place in the modified A main about 6 secs. ahead of the 2nd placed car. Ben Cosgrove and Konny Bowden also managed to place their XRAY T‘2009 cars very high up on the Pro Stock grid for the finals.
Qualification went well from the start and I took FTD in each of the first three rounds. The 4th round was looking to be a continuation of the earlier rounds until 2 laps from the end when a slight error by catching a bot dot cost me badly and I tipped the car over the track onto its bonnet finishing 3rd.
Grip came up quickly on the Sunday morning and it looked very much like a faster round was on the cards. Setting off in front my car on the new set up hugged the track and it wasn't long before I started to pull away and securing the only 22 lap run of the day ahead by 4 secs from 2nd place taking FTD.
Superstock A Final
Kevin had a swift and decisive win from the first round and given the domination he demonstrated in qualifiers it looked as though it was over. However, in the first lap a minor mix up left Kevin trailing and he finished 6th.
The final race was as good for the spectators as the drivers, with Jon Bowden getting his XRAY up to speed and challenging Kevin all the way. Kevin came home ahead of Jon 8/100ths sec behind. The pace of the XRAY car showed as there were 5 XRAY cars in the Super Stock 'A' final!
1. Kevin Brunsden + TQ XRAY T2‘009
2. Jon Bowden XRAY T2‘009
3. Ricky Copsy XRAY T2‘009
4. David Bown
5. Ben Cosgrove XRAY T2‘009
6. Adam Mackman
7. Chris Clark XRAY T2‘009
8. Richard King
9. Tim Harrop
10. Rob Fox
Modified A Final
The first A main was a classic pole to flag win and the XRAY T2‘009 performed faultlessly. The early part of the race was close racing but after the first 4 laps I started to pull away and open up a gap stretch the chasing cars behind. I only felt Andy Moore was close enough to be real threat as his car also seemed to have good balance and pace.
The 2nd A main was again hotly contested. Again I had the lead from the start and Andy Moore was hot on my heels. We were both driving very close and I was enjoying this very much as we both steadily pulled away from the chasing pack, no more than 3 feet apart speeding around the track. I felt this was a good race not only for me and Andy but the watching spectators and then disaster struck Andy on the 7th lap on the straight. A driver had lost control and shot his car across the barrier just missing me but Andy had no where to go. I heard the watching crowd gasp at the unfortunate incident and I realised Andy's car was damaged and had to withdraw. This allowed me to cruise home for the 2nd win and secure the title.
The 3rd A Main was another opportunity for to reconstruct the 2nd final but Andy's car looked shaky from the start and didn't safely navigate the fist few bends as he ended in 10th place. This gave the opportunity to chase over to Olly Jefferies. I slowly pulled away and Olly made a slight error and lost even more ground allowing the 3rd placed driver Adam Rogers, also in an XRAY to close him down and he spent the rest of the race defending the challenge.
1. Elliott Harper + TQ XRAY T2‘009
2. Olly Jefferies
3. Adam Rogers XRAY T2‘009
4. Andy Moore
5. Chris Kerswell
6. Matthew White
7. Glenn Doman
8. Brian Eldridge XRAY T2‘009
9. Andy Childs
10. John Pape XRAY T2‘009