The B.R.C.A. national rallycross bandwagon came to the Clanfield circuit for round 6 of this years 8 round series at the height of the British summer on the 17th of july so we could expect some great weather for racing on this all dirt track right?? Err maybe not , unfortunately we had typical British summer weather meaning that there was plenty of rain and wind. The Clanfield track is pretty unique in this country with it’s mix of big jumps, fast turns, banked corners and all dirt surface, combining elements of American and European style layouts. The club had worked hard in the build up to this event getting the surface smooth and hard packed with many hours spent driving round and round very slowly atop a huge roller, very boring indeed but it certainly paid off as the circuit looked the best it has been for a long time, the infields were also on the receiving end of some TLC as well with lush green, trimmed grass making a nice contrast between them and the track, and as an added bonus the surrounding areas were also very tidy now with a dedicated area for rubbish behind a fenced off section. Read More…



Darren Bloomfield had been dominating the series so far this year winning 4 of the previous 5 rounds and finishing second on the only occasion that he didn’t win, meaning that he could clinch the title here if he was to win again, and not many who saw him at Clanfield last year would bet against him as he drove a faultless race to win here in 2010. All the top guys were in attendance to try and stop him though, with nearest challengers Simon Willets and Elliot Boots looking to prolong the battle for a while longer by taking the win here. The day started with 2 rounds of practice, giving everyone a chance to get their car’s dialled in and heads switched on, before we moved into the first round of 3 qualifying runs, this round would see the track in the driest and fastest condition of the day and Graham Alsop would go the fastest of all with his trusty hotbodies/RB combination being the only person to record a 9 lap run , behind him was the Durango/RB of Elliot Boots just missing the 9 lap mark by 0.6 of a second and Reece Sawyer in 3rd a further 4 seconds back, a notable performance came from local boy James Kerr putting his Agama buggy 7th in round ahead of some very fast national veterans, Darren Bloomfield had a bad run only managing 56th in round which left him needing 2 good rounds to qualify for the A final.

Before the second round began the rain came down and gave the track a heavy soaking, delaying proceedings for a while as the club and some eager helpers got to work clearing the standing water so that racing could resume, luckily the track drained incredibly well and it wasn’t long before things got underway again. The surface was now a little tacky, and cut up a little because of this, meaning times would be slower than the previous round. Long time Losi driver Darren Bloomfield was quickest in this round as he bounced back in style recording 8 laps in 5m3secs which was 5 secs quicker than the Xray of Reece Saywer in second showing great consistency and Simon Willets Mugen in 3rd less than a sec behind reece, this round proved to be very close at the top with positions 2 through to 8 being split by just 2.4 secs, a couple more of the local boys got involved this time, with Grant Fribbens putting his JQ in 6th and Jon Wolfe placing his Agama 7th in round. There was to be another rain break before the final round of qualifying could get underway, putting the schedule way back, and the organisers waiting to see what the weather would throw at us before deciding if the finals would be run, this uncertainty meant everybody was keen to qualify well as the results would be based on qualifying positions if the finals could not be run. Times in this round were faster than round 2 showing how well the track had coped with all the water, and top of the pile was once again Graham Alsop, securing TQ and just missing out on another 9 lap run by 0.062 of a sec, 2nd was the Associated of Craig Drescher 7.5 seconds back and 3rd would be Simon willets mugen again, after the 2 best scores from the 3 rounds of qualifying had been added up the top 10 looked like this.

1. Graham Alosp Hotbodies/RB
2. Darren Bloomfield Losi/Nitrotec
3. Reece Sawyer Xray/O.S
4. Elloit Boots Durango/RB
5. Simon Willets Mugen/Orion
6. Craig Drescher Associated/Reedy
7. Tony Truman Associated/Reedy
8. Jon Wolfe Agama/Alpha
9. Richard Barton Losi/Bullitt
10. Jon Hazlewood Agama/Bullitt

With 7 different chassis and engines in the top 10 it shows the strength of this class of racing as manufacturers strive to improve on their designs and gain an advantage over rivals ,however it appeared that all the cars and engines were very evenly matched and the driver would be the deciding factor during the finals.

Because of the rain delays during qualifying the finals would be of a shorter duration so that everyone could get away at a sensible time, the track was now dry and only a few areas had suffered from the wet conditions earlier, the beginning of the straight had a nasty kick meaning you either drifted out wide around it or you just slowed down, there was also a nasty little hole in the centre of the track on the approach to the first tabletop but either side of this was fine although some people just seemed to keep on trying the same line with the same results, an upturned car requiring marshal assistance. The first final up was the 10 minute H final ,Rob Hedley’s Agama started from pole position and got away to a good start leading for the first couple of laps before dropping away to 5th position at lap 10, Lewis Millman’s Agama and Paul Taylor’s Intech would go onto fight it out for the win with Lewis taking the spoils at the end, Rob Cuss and his Agama finished third trying to make up for a bad day of qualifying and Rob Hedley would recover to finish 4th and take the final bump up position. Next up was the G final which was also 10 minute duration, Stuart Parnell driving a Losi started from pole but was immediately caught up and dropped back into the field before having to retire from proceedings at around the 5 minute mark, Paul Taylor took the lead early on but a 3minute lap on lap 3 put him out of contention, Luke Lee’s Hotbodies from 7th on the grid took over at the front and didn’t look back winning by nearly 20 seconds from Lewis Millman who had bumped up again from 11th on the grid with 3rd place going to the Losi of Ian Ford and the final bump position going to the associated of Jamie Clancy. The F final was also a 10 minute race and the Kyosho of Marc Jones was on pole for this one, he had a tussle with Matthew Ball’s losi for most of this race but Steve Brunsden lead from early on taking his Agama to a comfortable win ahead of Lewis Millman’s Agama, which had bumped for the 3rd time, Marc Jones came home 3rd followed closely by Matthew Ball in 4th.

The E final would see the start of a marathon bump up run from Ben Williams Xray but the end of Lewis Millman’s good run, Scott Walker and his Tamiya were on pole leading till lap 6 when Ben Williams took over at the front and held this till the flag Scott Walker would keep hold of 2nd place and young Jonathan Skidmore would drive a mature race to bump up in 3rd ahead of Matthew ball in 4th after a good drive from 14th on the grid. The D final was up next and pole starter Scott Bass driving JQ car had a good start but then had problems on the second lap dropping to the back of the pack, Elliot Taylor took up the lead with his Losi early on but Ben Williams was right behind and took over at the front on lap 8 and holding it till the finish, Adrian Svensson would finish in 3rd with his Agama and 4th would go to Matthew Lewis’s Losi who just beat Matthew Ball to the bump by 0.6 of a second! The C final would be of 15 minutes duration and had a few surprise names involved David Spashett’s Losi started from pole and lead till lap 7 Ben Williams moved up into second place by the end of lap 1 and was challenging for the lead by lap 6, these 2 drivers fought it out for the next 12 laps with Ben going onto win again, Dave Bailey had got a good clean start and moved his Associated up from 8th on the grid into 3rd early on, Gurdeep Dhami’s Kyosho was caught up at the start and was at the back of the field but he drove a good pace and moved up throughout the race to eventually finish 2nd just ahead of David Spashett in 3rd and Richard Taylor’s Losi came 4th jsut beating Dave Bailey’s Associated to the last bump by 1 second.

The B final was also 15 minutes and the line up of drivers in this race could of been an A final on another day, Stewart Wilcox and Tommy Chung’s Kyosho’s lead them off and there was a huge pile up behind them at the first corner dropping car 3 Jamie Kerr’s agama to last place, the Durango of Chris Doughty would drive around the carnage and begin to make up the gap to the leaders, Ben Williams didn’t have such a great start this time but it didn’t matter as he slowly took places lap by lap until he was once again in the lead at lap 10, local driverJamie Kerr dropped out with mechanical trouble just after 6 minutes and 3 minutes later Clanfield r/c chairman Grant Fribben’s JQ car joined him with electrical gremlins , a disappointing end to the day for these drivers, Richard Taylor made steady progress through out the race to eventually finish 2nd behind Ben Williams , Tommy Chung would claim the 3rd spot and Chris Doughty would also get into the main final ,unlucky 5th place would be the Agama of Brennan Ralls, so the line up for the main final would look like this.

1. Graham Alosp Hotbodies/RB
2. Darren Bloomfield Losi/Nitrotec
3. Reece Sawyer Xray/O.S
4. Elloit Boots Durango/RB
5. Simon Willets Mugen/Orion
6. Craig Drescher Associated/Reedy
7. Tony Truman Associated/Reedy
8. Jon Wolfe Agama/Alpha
9. Richard Barton Losi/Bullitt
10. Jon Hazlewood Agama/Bullitt
11. Ben Williams Xray/Bullitt
12. Richard Taylor Losi/Nitrotec
13. Tommy Chung Kyosho/Orion
14. Chris Doughty Durango/LRP

The A final would started at 17.45 because of the earlier breaks for rain so it would only be 20 minutes in duration, on lap 1 Darren Bloomfield found a way past Graham Alsop with Elliot Boots getting through into 3rd these 3 would start to pull a little gap from the rest of the field, behind these 3, positions were being traded with tussles all the way down through the pack, Jon Hazlewood made good progress in the early stages before an intermittent servo problem halted his progress , at the first pit stops Graham Alsop had a flame out putting him out of contention for the win which was a shame as he was super quick on this track, Craig Drescher was going well and briefly moved into 2nd as he was on a different fuel strategy to Elliot Boots, Simon Willets had fallen as low as 13th at lap 3 but he was very quick and consistent and set about working through the field ,at the end of the 20 minutes Darren Bloomfield crossed the line first having lead every lap of the final, Elliot Boots finished 2nd and only 3 seconds behind despite making an extra fuel stop and 3rd would be Simon Willets, Clanfield local Jon Wolfe lost his head a little being in such illustrious company and finished 12th but was very happy just to have the chance to race against drivers of this ability and speed, the results of the final were as follows.

1. Darren Bloomfield Losi/Nitrotec
2. Elliot Boots Durango/RB
3. Simon Willets Mugen/Orion
4. Craig Drescher Associated/Reedy
5. Graham Alsop Hotbodies/RB
6. Chris Doughty Durango/LRP
7. Reece Sawyer Xray/O.S
8. Richard Barton Losi/Bullitt
9. Ben Williams Xray/Bullitt
10. Tommy Chung Kyosho/Orion
11. Jon Hazlewood Agama/Bullitt
12. Jon Wolfe Agama/Alpha
13. Richard Taylor Losi/Nitrotec
14. Tony Truman Associated/Reedy

It was interesting to note the popularity of the chassis competing at this race as things have changed quite substantially from this time last year with new manufacturers entering and some long time favourites becoming quite scarse, Losi would prove to be the most popular with 23 running, not a huge surprise as it is a proven design and the current champion, Agama was next with 13 cars in attendance and with this being its first year competing it is a little surprising, but Nemo Racing should be very pleased as part of the popularity is down to their excellent trackside support, Associated had 9 cars present and I would expect this to grow in popularity with some recently released updates, with 8 cars each were Durango and Kyosho, Mugen and Xray both had 5 present and there was 4 JQ, 4Hotbodies,1 Hobao,1 Tamiya and 1 Intech.

Overall the day had gone fantastically well despite the horrid weather and it was fitting that the winner, with a brilliant drive ,was also crowned national champion for the second successive year congratulations go out to Darren Bloomfield and his Losi team for an incredible year so far having won 5 from the 6 completed rounds.