2016 MX5 Cup – Cadwell Park Race Report

Comber and Sycamore take fourth wins


An over-capacity 29 cars took to the Cadwell Park Circuit for Rounds 13 and 14 of the 5 Club Racing MX5 Cup. On adjusted scores, just seven points separated Jack Sycamore, Sam Smith, Will Blackwell-Chambers and Ben Short heading to Lincolnshire, make good results vital.


Triple Anglesey winner Mike Comber continued his strong momentum and posted the quickest time in Qualifying. He found a clear lap and posted a 1:45.71. That time was almost two tenths quicker than championship contender Blackwell-Chambers. WBC beat Short by just 0.02 seconds though. Attempting to hold on to the championship lead Sycamore came fourth.


Sebastien Fisher set the fifth fastest time and a further four other drivers posted a time within a second of pole man Comber, proving the competitiveness of the 5 Club series even on the tricky Cadwell Park. Adam Bessell, Samuel Smith, Jason Greatrex and Sam Smith were the drivers that also lapped within a second of Comber.

Race 1

Comber made a strong enough start to lead into Coppice Corner. Blackwell-Chambers followed him throughout the distance and was never more than a second behind. Despite this he was unable to make a serious assault for the lead. So, instead he settled for important championship points – beating his main three rivals.


Sycamore attempted to get ahead of WBC on the third tour at the Mountain but ended up using a grassy route up the famous hill. That allowed his team-mate Bessell to move ahead. Sycamore had to avoid a Bessell at Mansfield on the following lap which caused the championship leader to take an extremely grassy and bumpy route back to the circuit. That promoted slow-starting Short to fourth. Sycamore fell to eighth.


Bessell, struggling with his brakes, fell down the order as the race went on and after falling to sixth arrived at Park with complete brake failure and wiped out fourth placed Fisher. Short held on to third with Sycamore being promoted to fourth. He had already repassed Samuel Smith and Greatrex – who completed the top six.


On the tail of Greatrex, Sam Smith could only manage seventh and was the lowest finisher of the four headline championship contenders. Sam Tatler held off Harry Deane for eighth after a race-long scrap. The pair made the most of a spin for Roger Chesneau on lap two. Chesneau completed the race down in 18th.


Scott Leach moved past Marcus Bailey on lap eight to complete the top ten. Ben Hancy, who was also involved in that battle, came twelfth. Christian Young took 13th and led home a five car battle. He beat Stephen Craggs, Scott Aprigliano, Ian Tomlinson and Mark Willetts. Aprigliano headed the battle at the start of the final lap but lost out to both Young and Craggs on that crucial tenth lap.


Race 2

The race results of race one set the grid for the second encounter and it was great to see both Fisher and Bessell make their way through the field after their unlucky race one incident.


Comber, who was hoping to make it five in a row, made it rather more difficult for himself with a slow start and he was scored in only fourth at the end of the opening tour. That left Blackwell-Chambers at the head of the pack. Short, who was four seconds behind in race one, made quick work of WBC and moved to the front on the second lap.


Sycamore followed Short through on the following tour and set after race leader, Short. Contact between the pair on the seventh lap saw Short drop to fourth. Sycamore went on to lead and held off the close attentions of Blackwell-Chambers and Comber to take his first victory since Croft in May.


Confusing everyone the two two Sam Smith’s battled for fifth. Sam (31) beat Samuel (42) with a pass on the seventh tour. A spin on lap two eliminated Greatrex from that battle.
Tatler held on to seventh, despite the close attentions of Deane. The latter passing Leach on lap three. Bailey completed the top ten with the charging Bessell and Fisher catching. The pair passing sixteen cars over the distance.


Young once again headed a great scrap. He beat Craggs and Willetts with Chesneau, Hancy and Matthew Short a bit further back.


The fantastic tight, twisty, undulating Cadwell Park once again created some excellent Mazda racing. At the completion of the event both Mike Comber and Jack Sycamore are the most winning drivers, on four. Strong weekends for Short and in particular, Blackwell-Chambers have also assisted their championship battle heading to Silverstone over the 20th and 21st of August. Rounds at Rockingham and Donington Park will follow to make up a busy, twenty round calendar.

Full Race Results

Words: Joshua Barrett

Pictures: Jonathan Elsey (www.jonelseyphotography.photoshelter.com)