THE British Automobile Racing Club raced into the sunset on Saturday (June 16) as a host of championships duked it out at Rockingham.
In what was another first for the Northamptonshire circuit, a sizeable crowd turned out in force to witness a flat-out day’s racing which started at 09:00 and ended more than 12 hours later at 21:30.
Taking to the oval of Rockingham for the first time this year, the Pickup Truck Racing Championship was in fine form. Going wheel-to-wheel on the steep bankings, providing plenty of jaw-dropping moments along the way, the championship saw a maiden win for George Turiccki in race one.
Running as low as seventh at one stage, Turiccki scythed his way up the order to narrowly pip Mark Willis and Scott Bourne to victory. Reigning champion Bourne struck back in race two as he underlined his credentials of still being the man to beat in the championship.
Despite losing the lead from pole position in the early stages, Bourne produced a superlative driver to muscle his way back to the helm of proceedings and then onto victory, with Willis and Mel Collins close behind.
Spoils were shared in the Junior Saloon Car Championship, which served up two lively races. On what was their second visit to Rockingham this year, the current crop of 14 to 17-year-old racers were in fine form as they went wheel-to-wheel for victory.
Joel Wren, who won both races on the championship’s first visit to the venue, led the way in race one to notch his third victory of the season. Starting fourth, Wren threaded his way to the front of the field and once there, stretched his legs to take the chequered flag by more than six seconds ahead of Thomas Ward and Lewis Saunders.
Race two was to be a closer affair as Saunders took his breakthrough victory of 2018, becoming the fourth different winner. In a tense battle that saw the top five covered by little over two seconds at the flag, Saunders held his nerve to control proceedings and pip Ward to the win, whilst Jemma Moore rounded off the podium.
There was action aplenty in the Classic Touring Car Championship too; with no less than six races being run as a variety of classes were amalgamated together.
In the pair of Classic Thunder and Blue Oval Saloon Series encounters, Dale Gent and Dave Cockell scored a win apiece. Gent was the man to beat in race one at the wheel of his Subaru Impreza, finishing ahead of Cockell before the latter than took control in race two, piloting his Ford Escort Cosworth to the top of the podium.
Steve Barden proved to be an irresistible force in the two Pre 93 Touring Cars, Pre 03 Touring Cars and Pre 05 Production Touring Cars races. Behind the wheel of his trusty Honda Civic Type R, Barden narrowly triumphed in race one, finishing ahead of Ian Bower and Luke Allen by just a couple of seconds.
Race two was more clear cut for the championship front runner as he powered his Type R to victory, once again ahead of Bower and Allen, but this time by more than eight seconds.
Stephen Primett showcased similar levels of dominance in the Pre 83 Group 1 Touring Cars, Paul Inch Race Engines Pre 66 Classic Saloon and Historic Touring Cars races. Having been the benchmark over the past couple of years, the Ford Escort Mk1 driver powered his way to two wins. Mark Osbourne and Stephen Cripps bagged a pair of podiums.
The Scrapco Avon Intermarque Championship rounded off the day’s racing with a bumper grid producing a brace of frenetic encounters. Having largely been dominated by Malcolm Blackman thus far, the series was calling out for some fresh faces to grace the top step of the podium – and that’s what it got at Rockingham.
Lewis Smith led home Steve Burrows and Richard Smith in the opener before doubling up in race two, triumphing in a chaotic second race.
For the full classification of results across all categories, click here.