Winter Series Round 3 – 1/8th Rallycross

Wednesday 29th December 2021

With most Nene Valley Raceway members on an extended Christmas break and with Deerdale Nitro X Cross running over the New Year weekend it was decided to run a mid-week event for round 3 of the Nene Winter Series, with a twist… We wouldn’t start racing until 2pm and would finish the event under the floodlights.

To keep the damp theme of previous meetings going, the day started with all hands to the pump / shovels / vacuum cleaner to try and eradicate the as much standing water as possible before we started racing.

Qualifying commenced at approximately 2pm as planned with just 3 regular Nene seniors George Harrison, Paul (Chewy) Drewitt and yours truly Dan Doleman entered. Young Cal Drewitt was running as the only junior until Tristan Doleman arrived fashionably late for the last two qualifiers and the final.

With George fresh from a wet Nitro X Cross meeting, his driving and car seemed already dialled for the damp conditions; with him being the only driver all afternoon being able to do 8 laps or a sub 50 second lap.

By the 4th round of qualifying the sun had gone down and racing had commenced underneath the floodlights. This threw the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of being able to see your car depending on where you were standing on the driver’s rostrum. I think everyone found it difficult to adapt to, but some did a better job than others. George and Paul seemed to adapt the best out of the seniors and the two Junior’s young eyes seemed to be relatively unfazed by the dappled light conditions.

After the 4 qualifying rounds the start order was George, Dan, Paul, Cal and Tristan.

With no pit stops required the drivers were looking forward to a halt free 20 minutes final of just “quiet” eBuggies!

The start wasn’t too eventful, but Dan got the hole shot and led the race for the first few laps until a silly mistake in the challenging conditions dropped him to 3rd place. Paul seemed to get the hang of night racing the quickest with George finding the going tricky; dropping to 3rd place on lap 4. The gap between Paul and Dan was consistent for 12 laps but on lap 16 a large tumble and long marshal recovery, allowed Dan to snatch the lead. All the while George was putting in some consistent laps and creeping up on the top 2 drivers. Within the last 5 minutes of the race the winner could have been anyone of these 3.

Dan’s lead only lasted one lap when a couple of bobbles in the tricky light conditions led to him dropping back down to 3rd. Paul made a mistake on the very last lap which allowed George to pip him to the line, Dan crossed the line 3 seconds too slow to be able to be on the same lap and make amends.

Cal was troubled with steering problems on and off during his final which made for a frustrating time for him, Tristan just kept himself relatively out of trouble just trying not to get blinded by the floodlights and falling off the track.

I think Dan and George agreed their carrot consumption needed to be increased for them to be more suited to floodlight racing! If it wasn’t for the 3 or 4 of Paul’s incidents he would have run away with the win, he was the one to catch for most of the race.

The finishing order was: George, Paul, Dan, Tristan, Cal.

The results for this meeting are available via this link

Round 4 of our Winter Series is only 10 days away on Sunday 9th January.

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