Last weekend saw the final round of the Schumacher sponsored winter series at Deerdale Off Road. The only position that was secure at the start of the meeting was first place in the buggies, all the other buggy and truggy places were still to be decided. In the first round of qualifying for the buggies championship leader Graham Alsop struggled to find his regular full pace and was left in third place with the top five being dominated by the hot bodies team. In first and second were John Holmes and Rachel Merry and fourth and fifth Luke and Michael Lee. The first round of truggy qualifying was convincingly won by Tony Drabble with his associated RC8T, second was Vince Ping, third, fourth and fifth were Paul Jepson, Colin Gibbon and Chris Jeffery. Second round of buggy qualifying Sloppy regained his quick Deerdale pace and led a reordered top five of John Holmes, Luke Lee, Rachel Merry and Michael Lee. In the truggies once again Tony Drabble set the pace and took the TQ he needed for pole position in the finals. Second place was Dean Coupland and third Jason Cook, fourth and fifth were Colin Gibbon and Paul Jepson. Read More…
For the final round in buggies the notable change to the top five was LRP driver Jordan Banks breaking the stronghold of the Hot Boddies by taking an excellent fourth place. Once again John Holmes took first place with Graham Alsop having to settle for second, Luke Lee finished third for the second time, with John Vickers with his Durango in fifth.
Tony opted not to run in the final round of qualifying leaving Paul Jepson to take the last first place and second on the grid. Second was Chris Jeffery, third Colin Gibbon, fourth Arron Girling and fifth Vince Ping.
The finals got underway and leading out with the truggy B final on pole was Stan Gill who was running an electric short course truck, second was Steve Winson, third was Adam Hall. The final was led from an early stage by Jason Cook who by two minutes had a lead that nobody would challenge for the rest of the race. However the next few places often changed, the main contenders being Adam Hall, Jonathon Weldon, Stan Gill and Steve Komarek. Each driver taking his turn to lead the group until breakages for Adam and Stan caused them to drop out of contention for the two remaining bump up places. Jonathan kept his nerve and stayed mostly in second place but nearing the end being overtaken by Steve.
Next saw the B final buggy pole was Neil Percival, second was Jimmy Price and third was Josh Marshall. Jimmy took an early lead followed by Josh and Neil. Just over half way Josh dropped out of contention leaving David Liddle to take the third and last bump up position.
Tony Drabble took up his pole position for the truggy A final, in second place was Paul Jepson and third was Vince Ping. By the end of the first lap Vince had taken the lead closely followed by Tony with Arron Girling in pursuit in third place. Tony regained his lead and kept his head down and got on with the job of winning the A final, his quickest lap being almost two seconds quicker than anybody else in the race. Second place was taken by a stunning drive by Jason Cook who had bumped up from the B final but even he was not able to catch the on form Mr Drabble. Third place went to Paul who was returning after a long break from racing – well done Flo.
Graham Alsop for the first time in the series did not have pole position he had to sit behind John Holmes in the fellow hot bodies car, third place was Rachel Merry. When the flag was raised Sloppy slid through to first place and by the end of the first lap the order was Graham, John, Luke, Michael and Rachel. Sloppy pulled away from John Holmes and John was keeping a stable gap to Luke, Rachel was catching up again and overtook Michael and started to chase the top three. With less than four minutes to go the top four places looked settled just as it seemed that Luke would finish his first final of the winter series the gremlins struck and he started to get radio problems which forced him to retire with one minute to go. John Holmes had eaten into Sloppys lead and given more time would have been able to challenge for the win. Rachel Merry secured third place with making a hot bodies dominated podium.
At the end of the race the trophies for the top ten buggies and top ten truggies in the series were presented along with raffle prizes provided by Schumacher Racing and the Deerdale Club for the drivers who completed enough rounds to count. The top five truggies in the series were:
1st Tony Drabble / Associated RC8T / RB / Byron
2nd Jason Cook / LRP S8TX / RB / Optifuel
3rd Vince Ping / Losi 8T2 / O.S. Speed / Optifuel
4th Dean Coupland / Hot Bodies D8T / Alpha / Ammo
5th Colin Gibbon / Losi 8T / Go GX5R / Optifuel
Top 5 buggys:
1st Graham Alsop / Hot Bodies D8 Hara / RB B11 / RB 30%
2nd John Holmes / Hot Bodies D8 / Hara / HPI Optifuel
3rd John Vickers / Durango DNX408 / Novarossi / Byron
4th Michael Lee / Hot Bodies D8 / RB / Optifuel
5th Jack Keatley / Losi 8 / RB B9 / Optifuel
The full results can be found here.
Deerdale Off Road would like to thank Schumacher Racing Products for the sponsorship of the Winter Series.