Adam takes two
Jonathan Adam made up for his recent disappointing lack of wins by notching up double victories at Thruxton. In Round 7 Daniel Welch pushed him right to the finish, but in Round 8 the reigning champion cruised out into the lead after a dramatic start and stayed there untested until the end. Current champioship leader Robert Lawson didn't enjoy quite as much success despite blistering qualification times yet will leave Thruxton having still stretched his lead a little from his nearest competitors.
Round 8: Thruxton
A race full of incident eventually saw Jonathan Adam (Total Control Racing) cross the finish line for his second win of not only the day, but also of the season. The start of the race had seen a great start from Daniel Welch (Marriott/Welch Motorsport) who squeezed down the inside of Robert Lawson (Bardon/JHR) but as the pack went through the first complex disaster struck. Adam received a tap from behind which knocked him into Welch and sent him spinning, with the helpless Carl Breeze (Blue Chip/Welch Motorsport) forced off the track in a bid to avoid collision. Welch managed to regroup and rejoin the race a little quicker than Breeze who now found himself at the back.
Adam meanwhile had managed to push on into the lead and was closely followed by Andrew Herron (Brian Herron Plant/JHR) and Martin Byford (AB Glass/Z Speed Racing) as they sped into the second half of lap one. Lawson was also still in touch and ruing his poor start, while behind him Jeremy Gumbley (Millionpixeldriver.com/Welch Motorsport) had managed to get into 6th place having started way down in 12th. More impressive though was Welch’s charge through the pack. By lap three Freddy Nordström had caught up with Gumbley and made his move at Club, only to find the flying Welch take them both in one swift move, leaving Lawson in his sights.
Lawson was still a fair way ahead though and had his own targets, 2nd place via Byford and Herron who had fallen some way behind the leader Adam. Once again Club proved the talking point, Byford braking late on the outside of Herron and the pair heading through the chicane neck and neck. In the tyre smoke and commotion, Lawson took the straight line through the bends, gaining two places in the process and keeping his charge towards keeping his position. Meanwhile Herron and Byford had allowed Welch to get right on their tails, and Welch’s attentions were firmly fixed on Byford. The two cars ended up side by side through Club on lap 10 and on the next lap Welch made his move at that eventful section. Launching through the high curbs, Welch planted himself into 3rd position but the two cars weren’t couldn’t keep going on the lines their drivers wanted them to without collision. Byford suffered damage but managed to finish the race still in 4th place while Welch’s injuries were more serious. He struggled across the finish line on effectively three wheels but lost places to both Nordström and Gumbley to take a 7th place.
So with incidents galore, Adam managed to secure a second win in a race where he was out on his own for much of it. Lawson was afterwards given an 8sec penalty for inadvertently gaining a two place advantage which knocked him back down to 4th place meaning Byford gained one position and picks up the points for 3rd while Herron takes the points for 2nd. Lawson’s penalty still meant he left Thruxton with a decent haul and thanks to the misfortunes of others and Adam’s resurgence he actually increases his championship lead. There are plenty of quick drivers in the mix now, so Croft may be another meeting where the action is fast and furious and the racing intense.
ROUND 8 RESULTS
1. Jonathan Adam (Total Control Racing)…16:06.799
2. Andrew Herron (Brian Herron Plant/JHR)…16:14.360
3. Martin Byford (AB Glass/Z Speed Racing)…16:19.310
4. Robert Lawson (Bardon/JHR)…16:20.159
5. Freddy Nordström (Plumbertraining.com/Advent M’sport)…16:20.942
6. Jeremy Gumbley (Millionpixeldriver.com/JHR)…16:21.155
Fastest lap: Jonathan Adam (Total Control Racing)…1:19.307
Round 7: Thruxton
As Jonathan Adam (Total Control Racing) came into the Club section of Thruxton for the last time in Round 7, Daniel Welch (Marriott/Welch Motorsport) made one final attempt to snatch the win. Adam had pulled an early lead on the pack having held off a determined Welch for the first few corners, and Welch had been chasing ever since. The Welch Motorsport driver had even had to regain that second spot after loosing out to Robert Lawson (Bardon/JHR), something he managed at the same corner at the end of the first lap with a brave dive on the inside. Setting the fastest lap of the race on the way, Welch continually looked like he may catch a flying Adam, but a series of small errors meant he never managed to get into a position to make a serious challenge from. Welch made one last attempt, launching his Cupra over curbs through Club, but Adam was just too far ahead and crossed the line for his long-awaited first win of the season.
Behind the front two there had been a fair amount of drama too. Steve Mitchell (JP Motorsport) had over-stretched his Leon early on, slamming hard into a tyre wall and bringing out the safety car until the beginning of lap seven. Carl Breeze (Blue Chip/Welch Motorsport) and Martin Byford (AB Glass/Z Speed Racing) had both managed to slip past Andrew Herron (Brian Herron Plant/JHR) before that incident and after the restart all three drivers kept right with each other. It was only as they too crossed the finish line that Byford made his classic last minute grab for places, but despite nosing alongside Breeze, it didn’t work for him this time. Breeze ended up holding onto 4th with Byford and Herron in 5th and 6th places respectively. Lawson, who finished 3rd had driven a reasonably safe race, not looking to compete for 2nd and too far ahead of Breeze to miss out on a podium finish which gives him more valuable championship points.
Another notable finish was David Green (Daniels Motorsport) who finished in 7th suggesting that he’s finding his feet with the SEAT now and starts Round 8 in 7th too. But it seems that the six drivers of Adam, Welch, Lawson, Breeze, Byford and Herron have all found the sort of pace the rest of the pack are struggling for, and with those same drivers all at the front end of the grid for Round 8 it’s likely to be the same six taking the top points. Which order they’ll cross the line at this fast-flowing circuit though is anyone’s guess.
ROUND 7 RESULTS
1. Jonathan Adam (Total Control Racing)…24:26.233
2. Daniel Welch (Marriott/Welch Motorsport)…24:26.552
3. Robert Lawson (Bardon/JHR)… 24:32.081
4. Carl Breeze (Blue Chip/Welch Motorsport)…24:34.920
5. Martin Byford (AB Glass/Z Speed Racing)…24:35.187
6. Andrew Herron (Brian Herron Plant/JHR)…24:35.365
Fastest lap: Daniel Welch (Marriott/Welch M’sport)…1:19.468