Monthly Archives: October 2014

Donington Park Race Report

Mr Fourth Wins!

The Nissan GT Academy picked the a very busy weekend to field 4 of their drivers as an incredible 35 MX5’s turned up to race in the final rounds of the 5 Club Racing MX5 Cup around the Donington Park National circuit.

It should have been 36 but the most winning driver of the season Brian Chandler wasn’t able to race due to an critical back operation prior to the season finale.

Ben Short set the fasted time on a crowded circuit throughout the 15 minute qualifying session. He was just 0.04 seconds quicker than Will Blackwell-Chambers, the runaway winner last time at Donington.

The pair were half a second faster than James Rogers who also had a small gap over Ben Tuck. Tuck just beat Jason Greatrex to fourth place. Daniel Stewart, Gary Hufford, Chris Hart, Jack Sycamore and Adam Read completed the top ten positions.

Race 1
Short made a good getaway to make a small break to Blackwell-Chambers but around the fast and flowing Donington Park Circuit Blackwell-Chambers used the typical MX5 slipstream to close in on the race leader and took the position away on the second lap.

WBC’s lead didn’t last long though as just over a lap later Short retook the position with an amazing outside overtake at Redgate.

Then all went wrong for the pair though as they came together at the end of that lap at the Chicane with both drivers having a trip through the gravel. Short fell to fifth with Blackwell-Chambers in ninth.

This allowed Rogers, who has got a reputation of finishing in fourth, to take the lead after he watched the top two fall off the track right in front of him.

Rogers put his head down and pulled away from his competitors and set the fastest lap on his way to claiming his first victory of 2014.

In the meantime, Short fought his way ahead of Greatrex, Tuck and Sycamore who were all battling. He got into second on lap on lap six. He managed to close the gap to Rogers to less than two seconds but never got close enough to make a challenge for the lead.

Greatrex pulled himself clear of the battle for third after he got himself into that position on the sixth lap to take his first podium of the season. Tuck beat Sycamore to finish fourth; he took the place on the penultimate lap.

Blackwell-Chambers finished in sixth after his recovery. He never lost time to the race winner after his off. Hufford won the big battle for seventh ahead of Hart and Stewart who were separated by just 0.001 seconds in a near dead-heat, Scott Leach completed the top ten.

Oliver Allwood was next up ahead of Sam Gendy. Gendy beat GT Academy driver Gaetan Paletou by 0.02 seconds. Paletou was the best of the GT Academy runners. Read, Stephen Craggs, Ian Tomlinson and Marco Aghem were also involved in that scrap for eleventh.
Race 2

Short took the initial advantage and led until lap three when he and Rogers spent half of the lap side-by-side before finally Rogers acquired the lead. Short allowed him to head the pack until lap five when he decided that it was time to go back to the front.

Short then was able to hold to take his third victory of the season. He won by under a second to Blackwell-Chambers who grabbed second on the seventh lap. Rogers also fell behind Greatrex on the final lap as his car continued to lose power. The top four were separated by just over two seconds in a great race.

Sycamore fought off Tuck throughout the ten lap race to take fifth position. Hart claimed seventh ahead of Allwood, Stewart and Paletou in a great battle within the top ten. Allwood grabbed eighth on the penultimate lap.

Gendy finished eleventh with Craggs beating Matthew Short behind him. Short had moved up from 20th on the grid. A very happy Tom Pughe led an almighty eight car train across the line.

Heading away from Donington Park, a delighted James Rogers comes away with a victory as the fourth different winner of 2014. Will Blackwell-Chambers took the opening two races, Brian Chandler won a massive nine races and Ben Short took three.

With 35 cars at Donington Park and some fantastic racing throughout the field, it completed a superb opening season for 5 Club Racing. Attentions turn to next season as, with now very busy grids and some new rule changes, the MX5 Cup becomes a championship which is expected to make the racing even more exciting, we’re definitely looking forward to that!

Words: Joshua Barrett
Pictures: Jonathan Elsey (