High expectations blighted by unfortunate issues.
Round Two of the Kent Cams/Simpson Race Exhausts British Autograss Series was somewhat up and down. While there was some excellent racing, particulalry on day two, the event wasn't without its problems.
Expectations were high on such an experienced club and fantastic venue and while they carried out ongoing track management to save the track from polishing up this did perhaps become a contributor to some of the incidents, particulalry early on during the first heats on Saturday. Rightly so, driving standards were criticised for incident after incident during the first heats however it did seem that due to the track markers being pushed out so far at the end of the start straight, the early classes were expecting the first corner of the track to come upon them a great deal earlier than it did. Many of the early saloon classes were turning into the bend too early leading to cars heading in all directions, meanwhile the later saloon and specials classes were carrying incresed speed down the long start straight but found they then had limited track space at the first turn. The intention to save the track was good, it did work out somewhat come the finals, but it could inadvertantly have been a contributor to so many early incidents. The long wait since Round One was probably also a contributor to drivers being so desperate to further their series campaign that they brought thier driving standards into question.
A heavy downpour at the end of the first heats only served to delay the programme further but once the mud cleared up it was clear that drivers had a better hold of the track and racing started to move more smoothly. The first day concluded at six o'clock after the second heat of Mens Class Six, leaving Mens Classes Eight and Ten and all of the Ladies second heats to be carried over to Sunday. Like in 2014, the start time was brough forward to 8.30am on Sunday but the amount of racing still to get through was going to be no easy task. The Scunthorpe Club however exceeded expectations and the urgency we know they can act with shone through for a full programme to be complete by 5.20pm thus underlying their ability as an organiser.
As always marshalling decisions will be questioned. A number of reruns had to to be called time after time, many being called quite some time after the original race had believed to have been complete. Some incidents seemed to result in a green/black flag being issued while similar ones didn't. Needless to say we will all hear about the questionable deicisions rather than the good calls made by the team in such intense circumstance during long hours of volunteering.
Delays and decisions aside, there was some excellent racing at Round Two, with an entry number of approximately 550 drivers. While the track did polish-up as expected for the finals it seemed less so than in past events here and there was certainly a great deal of place swapping where drivers slipped wide in the bends and allowed other drivers to come through. Class Eight needed semi-finals which were as always spectacular and their final equally so. Run-off's for places in the final were called for in some classes and were as closely matched as you would expect for drivers tying for points. A mix of results in heats saw different people qualifying for finals and some of those that we'd expect to be there weren't. This has an interesting affect on points where in some cases it has moved people sibstantially up the order but in others people have hardly moved up or down like you would have expected them to.
Fortunatley we don't have quite so long to wait until the next Round where we head to St Neots on 16th & 17th July. In the meantime please check our Facebook page for Class reviews, photos and video's from the Round Two event at Scunthorpe.
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