July 2nd and 3rd this weekend was rounds 9 and 10 of the Nemo NitroXcross summer series at the popular Ledbury Track in Herefordshire. Over half way through the series now, and with the championship hotting up, every round counts.
Saturday and Round 9 and with a field of over 70 drivers, a mix of rain and sun and a fast/technical track would bring some fantastic races.
In the Nitro Class and after 4 rounds of hard fought qualifying it was Associated’s Craig Drescher on the top of the pile, he took an impressive TQ in rounds 1 and 2, with Kyosho driver Milan Dragojlovic taking the TQ in the last two rounds, on count back Craig got the overall TQ. Championship leader TLR driver Mike Lewis sat 3rd on the grid, with AE driver Jon Howells and Sworkz/Nova Rossi driver Ben Billing completing the top 5 in Nitro. In Electric Chris Lovell and his Mugen dominated the class and took the overall TQ with 3 round wins. 2nd on the grid was AE driver Lloyd Pitt and rounding off the top 3 was Jnr Sworkz driver Aaron Ford.
First final of the day was the E final, Sean Wiles drove a great race from 3rd on the grid to a fantastic win, even getting the lap on the field, Chris Cox came home 2nd but under pressure and wheel to wheel with Neal Francis who came from 5th to take the final bump in 3rd less than 1/2 second behind. A great race between the 2 at the end of the 20mins of an epic final!
The D final was won by TLR driver Michael Saunders; he managed to pull a decent lead on the 2nd place Paul Abbott. He had also forced a gap between himself and 3rd place man Michael Isaacs, and all of the top 3 had lapped the rest of the field. Michael continued on in the same vein n the C final, starting 13th he was flying and was up battling for another bump, he got his way up to 6th with an amazing drive. Fellow TLR men Matt Slaney and Wayne Davies were also at the head of the field as well, they both showed some real pace, Matt eventually pulling away with his Bullett powered machine to take the Win from Wayne in 2nd. Kamil Jablonski and his Mugen took the 3rd and last bump to the B final.
In the B it was a straight fight between Simon White and his OS/ Mugen Combo and the Sworkz of Rob West, both on identical pace, they were wheel to wheel at the head of the pack, Simon just grasped the win by only 2 seconds from Rob in 2nd. 3rd was a bit more of a scrap, with the main pack all going round together behind the top 2. Matt Slaney, who had bumped from the C final managed to get ahead of the pack, a tremendous drive from 13th to take the final bump in to the A main.
In the A it was all about Craig and Milan, the swapped the lead, fastest lap time and both had amazing consistency. Milans awesome looking Ninja powered Kyosho crossed the line in 1st after a fantastic race, Craig pulled in 2nd and some way ahead of 3rd place and fellow AE driver Jon Howells. Top Jnr James Harrold and his AE finished 15th.
In the Electric class, pole sitter Chris Lovell had a race on his hands with Lloyd Pitt and Tekno driver Michael Lightfoot. All 3 were lightning fast off the grid, it was the Tekno that took the lead and converted it into his first NitroxCross win. Lloyds AE looking good as always came in 2nd and Chris got 3rd after 15mins of fast paced action.
Sunday saw round 10 and the track was looking good, a dry night and glorious weather again being kind to the field of racers. With a slightly changed line up and a now dry track qualifying was going to be even quicker and more competitive. Milan, Mike and Craig once again were the 3 top drivers, but in which order was to be determined. All three drivers took a round but Craig pulled off the TQ in round 4 to seal the top grid slot. Mike Lewis with his Nova Rossi engine and Milan were very evenly matched, Mike got 2nd and Milan 3rd. 4th was Jon Howells and a very impressive qualifying from top Jnr James Harold clinched him the 5th the last place in the top 5. James drove to a 2nd in round in the last round, a fine drive from the young driver. In Electric it was Chris Lovell who drove to another TQ, a fine feet considering he was running 2 classes. Michael Lightfoot got the 2nd and Lloyd Pitt the 3rd with his AE, he also running both classes.
In the F Final we had the Sworkz of Richard Lightfoot do battle with Ray Sargent. The two driving clear of the pack, and Richard took a fine win, Ray 2nd and Stephen Lockley of TLR taking a well deserved 3rd. In the E final Clinton Dredge and his Mugen pulled out a lead with Ben Austen just behind, both raced to the end with Clinton taking a win by 15s over Ben, back in 3rd was Sworkz driver Richard Turner, all three taking a bump to the D.
At the start of the D final the pack got mixed up after some drama at the first few corners and as the race went on it was Chris Lovell and his Mugen that was mixing it with the leaders TLR driver Michael Saunders and Sworkz driver Elliot Jones who both started high up the grid, Chris however started in 11th, but went on to an impressive 2nd, less than a second behind Michael in 1st and with Elliot and his Nova Rossi power plant bringing it home in 3rd.
The C final was close, all very evenly matched on pace, so it was a fantastic drive by TLR driver Darren Moult who eventually crossed the line in 1st, Kamil Jablonski and his Ultimate powered Mugen 2nd and ahead of a 3 car group battling out for the final bump was Wayne Davies, but with only a few seconds to spare!
In the B final the top two Matt Slaney and Carlo DeMarco had a superb race, wheel to wheel at the end of the 20 mins, with Matt and his TLR just edging it over the Tekno driver as the buzzer went. Fellow Tekno driver Daniel Austin a lap down on the top two brought his car home in 3rd, but barely 0.5s ahead of the chasing man Dan Workman.
The A main in Nitro was all about the dominance of AE driver and pole sitter Craig Drecsher, he lead the majority of the race, he and his REX 7 Legend engine didn’t skip a beat, his lap times were incredibly consistent. Kyosho driver Milan was unable to match the amazing feet of driving skill and so Craig took the win in style, with Milan in 2nd and Jon Howells and his AE in 3rd. Ben Billing drove an impressive race coming from 6th in the very strong field to take 4th and Mike Lewis took 5th. Top Jnr Gareth Harold came home in a fine 7th place.
In the E buggy final, Jnr Sworkz driver Aaron Ford drove a very, very good race, leading from start to finish, driving so well with strong competition from Chris Lovell and his RC Concepts powered Mugen, he managed to keep the lead and crossed the line for his first E buggy victory – the first of many to come I’m sure. Chris was less than a second behind as the crossed the line, and AE driver Lloyd Pitt was hot on the lead 2’s tale, coming home in 3rd.
Another good weekend of racing, well done to all the Ledbury Crew on getting the track in such good condition after it being flooded in the weeks before the event and well done to all the winners!
The next round of the series is to be held at the end of July at the “new” JC Raceway. Check out the website for all the information, championship results and booking in for the next round @ http://nitroxcross.co.uk/wordpress/