On this occasion, the young drivers in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres had to don the sunglasses and factor 50 to cope with bright and sunny weather conditions and warm temperatures, as Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby welcomed them all for Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2018 season. BRSCC Fiestas use Quaife QDF7Z Ford IB5 ATB Differentials.
Cadwell Park race winner Magnus Kriklywi headed into the weekend off the back of a very successful trip to Lincolnshire, in which he did the double and picked up both victories. He was able to capitalise on a small piece of ill fortune from double Brands Hatch winner James Waite, whose Race 1 accident left him in all kinds of strife and severely off the pace in Race 2. Both were keen to secure victory this weekend as others were on the hunt for podiums and personal best finishes.
Isaac Smith would top the first practice session before Kriklywi went on to go fastest in the second, followed by fastest time in qualifying, taking the point for pole in the process. Waite wasn’t far behind with the second fastest time to start Race 1 on the front row, while a personal best from Nathanael Hodgkiss enabled him to take 3rd on the grid, next to Smith in 4th. Olly Turner and Josh Steed made up row 3 ahead of Alfie Glenie and Todd Garner, with Abby Lock perched at the back of the grid in 9th.
Smith’s race would sadly end before the completion of the first lap as Waite led from the start from Kriklywi and Turner. The safety car made an appearance at the end of lap three as Hodgkiss’ excellent starting position sadly evaporated into retirement, but racing was able to resume at the completion of lap 5 with Waite continuing to hold the lead. His advantage lasted a couple more laps until Kriklywi muscled his way past to take 1st place on Lap 7. Despite Waite’s best efforts to maintain the lead gap to no more than 0.7 seconds for the remainder of the race, there was no further opportunity to pass him. But, as it turned out, he didn’t have to.
Kriklywi went on to take the race win on the road, but after the race, the stewards deemed his move for the lead on Waite to have been a little too forceful. Therefore, he handed him a 2-second penalty to push him down to 2nd place and thus giving Waite the victory by default. Turner was able to drive his race virtually unchallenged to 3rd place from Steed in 4th followed by Garner, Glenie and Lock.
Waite was back on pole for the second race as a result of his Race 1 win, but this time he couldn’t hold the lead for the opening lap, as Kriklywi was able to sweep by and hit the front in the opening few corners. This time, it was Hodgkiss’ turn to be forced out of the race before it had even really begun, as what became a double DNF saw him fail to complete the opening lap. Once Kriklywi hit the front, there was no stopping him as the laps reeled off. Even another brief mid-race safety car didn’t see him lose the lead, as Alfie Glenie was forced out on Lap 7.
From the restart to the chequered flag, Kriklywi remained in the lead and went on to take his third race win of the season, levelling his tally with that of Waite who duly followed him home in 2nd place. Isaac Smith rebounded from his Race 1 disappointment to pick up a 3rd place ahead of Turner and Steed, with Garner and Lock completing the finishers in 6th and 7th places.
With a win each from the weekend and dropped scores now coming into effect with six races completed, Kriklywi and Waite head the table with the Danish driver assuming a 3 point lead over the Jam-Sport youngster. Isaac Smith’s superb start to his rookie year sees him hold 3rd place ahead of Josh Steed and Olly Turner, as all three of them have taken home silverware at least once so far and will be hoping to pick up their first win of their FJC careers if the opportunity presents itself. Nathaniel Hodgkiss has steadily improved and sits 6th, followed by Glenie, Garner and Lock in the remainder of the points table.
The drivers don’t have long to wait for their next outing, as Snetterton’s 300 Circuit in Norfolk beckons for Rounds 7 & 8 on July 7/8. For the full breakdown of results from Rockingham, click the link here – ROCKINGHAM RESULTS.