2016 MX5 Cup – Snetterton Race Report

Blackwell-Chambers double

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After Croft, it was decided that Jack Sycamore would be off to Europe to compete for a place in the Global Cup due to being the championship leader. However, the 5 Club Racing MX-5 Cup continued at Snetterton for rounds eight and nine of the Championship.

Thirty-nine cars headed out to qualify for the largest 5 Club entry and it was Will Blackwell-Chambers that won twice.

Qualifying

Newcomer to the championship, Brian Trott set the quickest time in the 15 minute qualifying session, setting a time of 2:21.86. He beat Will Blackwell-Chambers by an impressive four tenths of a second. Ben Short and Samuel Smith were also able to lap within a second of the pole man around the three mile circuit.

After a stint in the Club Enduro the day prior, championship leader Sycamore went fifth with Sam Smith and Marcus Bailey close in pursuit. Roger Chesneau, Harry Deane and Jason Greatrex completed the top ten. Mike Comber was excluded due to be underweight, so would have to start the opening race with a ten second penalty.

Race 1

Blackwell-Chambers immediately transformed his front row start into the race lead for the opening of two fifteen minute plus one lap encounters. He was followed by defending champion, Ben Short. The pair ran nose-to-tail throughout but Short couldn’t find a way ahead, which allowed Blackwell-Chambers to take his second victory of the season. Short finished second, two thirds of a second behind.

Samuel Smith also passed pole man Trott off the start but by the time they got to Brundle, Trott was back into third and was followed by Sycamore.

Trott pitted with a mechanical issue at half-distance which promoted Sycamore onto the podium. Samuel Smith had also fallen further down the pecking order, which meant Sam Smith battled with Sycamore. The sixth lap saw a change for that position with Smith getting ahead and holding on to finish third with Sycamore behind.

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Samuel Smith passed Sam Tatler on the final lap to get fifth place back with Greatrex, Bailey and Sebastien Fisher close behind. However, Tatler was at the back of that train on the penultimate lap. The five cars completed the eight lap race separated by just a second.

Deane dropped off the battle ahead at half-distance and finished tenth with Chesneau behind.

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Ian Tomlinson beat Grant Williamson and Paul Bateman. Comber took fifteenth after coming from the back with the penalty. He just beat Mark Willetts by 0.03 seconds. He gained three positions on the final lap alone after also moving ahead of Scott Leach and Christian Young had an off.

The top twenty was completed by Matthew Short, Tom Smith and Stuart Brittle.

Race 2

The second race grid is set by the finishing order of race one so Blackwell-Chambers had no one to pass off the line and he sprinted into the lead. He had Short and Sam Smith nearby throughout.

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But he never looked back and made it a double victory. Race two saw a slightly larger winning margin, this time a second. Smith had a few looks to pass Short but couldn’t do it so stayed third.

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Sycamore had a fairly lonely race to come fourth. Samuel Smith worked his way ahead of Tatler at Hamilton on the third lap. Smith pushed on and finished just over a second ahead of Sycamore.

Tatler slowed on the final lap with an engine issue and dropped to tenth. He had a broken HT lead, leaving the car on three cylinders. That promoted the flying Trott to sixth – he started 30th.

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Greatrex just held off Comber to complete the race in seventh. Fisher finished just under a second behind the pair ahead.

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Bailey passed Chesneau on the final lap to finish eleventh. Tomlinson and Deane finished behind. Leach, Short, Williamson, Dan Stewart, Tom Smith and Scott Aprigliano completed the top 20.

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With Will Blackwell-Chambers taking a double victory, that brings him closer into the championship battle heading to the triple header at Anglesey. It’s a very tight battle this year at the head of field with five different race winners and others well in contention for the title.

Full Race Results

Words: Joshua Barrett

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

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