2015 MX5 Cup Donington Race Report

Win Win situation for Ben Short at Donington opener

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The 5Club Racing Nankang MX5 Cup becomes a Championship for 2015 and an impressive 34 cars arrived at the Donington Park National Circuit for the opening two rounds. Many of the familiar faces were back looking for success as well as numerous new drivers too.

Qualifying

Rain greeted the drivers during their 15 minute qualifying session; the drivers would become very familiar with those track conditions throughout the day.

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Ben Short stormed to pole position with a 1:38.78 which was over a second quicker than any of his rivals.

Race winners from last year Will Blackwell-Chambers, Brian Chandler and James Rogers were next up.

James Harris was fifth quickest with Sam Gendy, Jason Greatrex, Ian Tomlinson, Jack Sycamore and Oliver Allwood all inside the top ten.

Race 1

Short was slow off of the line but wasted no time to take the lead back before the first lap had been completed. Relishing the wet conditions, he then slowly pulled away from the pack to take a three second victory over Blackwell-Chambers.

Chandler, who was by far the most winning driver last season, pulled into the pits on lap two as he suffered terminal brake failure after an off track excursion damaged a brake hose.
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Rogers spun away third position when he went off at Coppice on the fourth lap. He was unable to get out of the gravel trap, so had to retire.

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Jason Greatrex also had a spin on the fourth lap at Redgate, dropping him out of the top ten but fought his way back into fifth. Gendy held on to the final podium spot despite Harris chasing him down to the flag.
Kris Greatrex was next best in sixth with Daniel Stewart and Tomlinson behind. Mike Comber and Allwood were battling for seventh but came together at Coppice on lap 7 and both ended up in the gravel trap and out of the race.
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That allowed Sycamore to come through in ninth with Adam Bessell on his tail. Scott Leach finished a lonely eleventh.

Adam Read led a trio of cars for 12th with Stephen Craggs and Sebastian Fisher chasing him. Matthew Short worked his way back to up to 15th after an off on the opening lap.

Race 2

The grid for race two saw the race results of race one setting the grid, meaning retirements such as Chandler, Rogers, Comber and Allwood had to start from the back.

However, in his race through the pack Chandler had a coming together with Le-Doyen and a second DNF as a result. In dry conditions a battle for the lead saw Short and Blackwell-Chambers battle it out for the victory.
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They broke away from the pack immediately but Blackwell-Chambers, who took a double victory in the first ever meeting for 5Club Racing, could not find a way ahead of Short leaving the BS Motorsport driver to take a double victory and to Stamp his authority on the top of the championship.

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Jason Greatrex climbed his way into third position on lap three and managed to pull away from the rest of the field leaving him an easy podium finish.
Rogers, who started 31st after his off in race one, steadily fought his way fantastically through the field to take fourth on the final lap where he passed Stewart and Kris Greatrex.
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Gendy came through in seventh just behind Greatrex. Allwood, another driver coming through from a race one retirement finished in eighth with Sycamore and Harris behind.

Read claimed 11th with Matthew Short heading Leach, Grant Williamson, Adam Bessell and Fisher. That quintet came through just a few seconds apart in true MX5 style.

With the first couple of rounds completed of the 5Club Racing Nankang MX5 Cup, no one will be happier than Ben Short as he kicked off the championship with two victories – therefore immediately giving him the championship lead but Will Blackwell-Chambers will be hunting him down.

Brian Chandler will be very disappointed with his issues after being the quickest and most successful season driver last season, starting this year with two DNF’s will make it very difficult for him to battle for the inaugural 5Club championship.

You will be able to catch the Donington Park rounds on 5club Web TV in a couple of weeks and make sure you join us at Brands Hatch over the 25th and 26th of April at Brands Hatch which is set to see a capacity grid.

Words: Joshua Barrett
Pictures: John Rees (www.jrphoto.co)

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