Boston victorious again in Race of Remembrance
Engine issues and penalties couldn't prevent Rob Boston from taking a hat-trick of wins in the Race of Remembrance at Anglesey last weekend. While at Brands Hatch, World and European karting champion Freddie Slater claimed the Ginetta Junior Winter Series title in style
For the third successive year, Rob Boston’s Lotus Elise was victorious at Anglesey in the Race of Remembrance, but this time he had ex-British GT racer Tom Roche sharing. Roche was in charge from the start of the three-part 12-hour race, as the Caterhams of Calum Lockie and Callum McDougall battled for second with Jason McInulty’s ES Motorsport Elise.
All four had gone a lap clear of the rest at the one-hour mark, with Lockie having reclaimed second from McInulty, and McDougall a further 22 seconds back in the RAF/Turn 7 Motorsports car. Steve McCulley’s Rocket Racing Caterham and Ben Short’s Mazda MX-5 completed the early top six and, with the safety car out, Lockie and McCulley made their first stops.
Roche pitted from the lead after 40 laps, when the safety car appeared again. “We were planning to change at the 90-minute mark, but we were a bit early and then, when Rob rejoined, there were some concerns over the alternator,” he said.
Darkness had fallen before the second hour was completed. McDougall stayed out almost 56s up on Andrew Perry in the Rocket Caterham, while Short was still on the lead lap, with Boston fourth and Rrutuj Patki fifth, having taken over the Williams Motorsport Caterham from Lockie.
“I managed just over two hours – the car felt great but I couldn’t match the pace of the other Caterhams,” McDougall admitted. Lloyd and Neil Huggins were next in for RAF/Turn 7 and still led after the fourth hour. But there was a long safety car period at this point as the McInulty Elise put a rod through the block and caused a number of laps to be completed via the pitlane.
Neil Huggins had a huge four-lap lead by now, with Bailey Edwards second, in the ES relay team Elise, with Patki still in the Williams Caterham third, from Benja Hedley’s Unlimited Performance Consulting Caterham. McCulley/Perry were down to ninth and Boston/Roche were 10th, after a wire came off the alternator.
The race is like no other in the UK, with poignant Remembrance service held part-way through
Photo by: Steve Jones
There were three more hours before part one of the race ended and, as the pitstop strategies began to unfold, more dramas followed. McCulley had a spell in front but was forced to pit with no lights after a wire came off and killed the power, and Andrew Jebson in the RAF/Turn 7 car had to pit in the sixth hour to change batteries, because the alternator wasn’t charging.
As the red-and-white chequered flag appeared, Henry Williams was first in the Williams Caterham, from McCulley and the ES Elise of Michael Edwards. The UPC Caterham of Neil Perry and 360 Mini of Duncan Rogers were next up, while Boston/Roche were sixth but had a two-lap penalty for exceeding driving time.
Overnight, the Boston Elise had an engine change, but it was straight into part two of the race, a 90-minute session, before a break for the pitlane Remembrance service. McCulley came in after one lap so as not to exceed his drive time but, as the flag came out again, Williams still led Edwards, with Rocket’s Perry third, from Boston.
So, as the third and final part commenced, Williams soon pitted from the lead, handing to Lockie. But it wasn’t long before their race was run with a blown engine. The dramas continued when Boston had to pit for a 90s penalty, for an alleged yellow-flag infringement. Therefore, into the final hour, the Edwards’s ES Elises and McCulley/Perry Caterham led the way, with Boston and Roche trying to unlap themselves in third.
It came down to a straight fight between Roche and McCulley. Although the Rocket Caterham was first at the flag, Roche/Boston were the overall winners on the three-part aggregate. The Edwards Elises were two laps down in third, from RAF/Turn 7’s Caterham, followed by UPC’s Caterham and the 360MRC Mini Cooper S.
Mark Jones’s VW Golf soon hunted down Matthew Bolton’s BMW M3, after a slow getaway in the Clubsport Trophy contest. But Connor Modro’s Ginetta G40 was closing on the duelling pair, splitting them at the end of lap eight of 24 and leading into Peel a lap later.
Jones handed to Tony Rogers in the pits but, although he rejoined ahead, a short-stop penalty was added, which dropped the pair to sixth. Bolton was the real leader, but couldn’t shake off Modro. They swapped again on lap 18, but only briefly, before any hope Modro had of another attack was dashed as the last three laps were behind the safety car. Rob Phillips’s Honda Civic was third, from Paul Bancroft’s similar car, and Gary Mitchell’s Renault Clio was fifth.
Brands Hatch BARC: Superb Slater seals Ginetta Winter Series
Three out of four wins handed Slater the Ginetta Winter Series title
Photo by: Gary Hawkins
World and European karting champion Freddie Slater produced a brilliant performance to claim the Ginetta Junior Winter Series title at Brands Hatch, recording three dominant victories and coming close to a clean sweep had a troublesome clutch not forced him to make a false start in the opening contest.
Slater, a mid-season debutant in the main Junior Championship in 2022, shone in all four races held at the Kent circuit over the weekend as he battled R Racing team-mates and fellow returning drivers Luke Watts and Luca Hopkinson for the title. The trio also faced strong competition from two other notable returnees Alisha Palmowski, the 2022 Ginetta Scholarship winner, and Elite Motorsport’s Mckenzie Douglass.
Race one began dramatically when Slater, struggling with his clutch, lurched forward long before the starting lights had gone out, but even the inevitable awarding of a 10-second penalty did not prevent him indulging in a battle for the lead with Watts, who was unaware that he did not need to overhaul Slater to take the race win.
Watts eventually claimed the victory ahead of Hopkinson after the resultant sanction dropped Slater to eighth, while Douglass charged through to third from 14th on the grid.
Slater got the better of poleman Watts in race two and was never headed thereafter, while Palmowski took third to put her in championship contention. This was after she had salvaged fourth in race one despite running wide at Clark Curve early on.
Preptech UK star Palmowski claimed pole for race three, but Slater repeated his second race performance to secure another convincing win, as Watts lost second to Palmowski when he was handed a penalty for exceeding track limits.
The trio headed into the finale separated by just six points, but Watts’s hopes of taking the crown disappeared within yards of the start as he was involved in an incident that led to a race stoppage. At the restart, Slater overcame an early challenge from Douglass before powering to a third win and a deserved title triumph. After falling away from Slater, Douglass emerged from a six-car tussle to take a hard-earned second ahead of Reza Seewooruthun.
Hall was never headed at Brands and won the 2022 Junior Saloon Car Championship crown
Photo by: Gary Hawkins
Maximus Hall picked the perfect moment to record his second successive hat-trick in the trio of Junior Saloon Car Championship contests, enabling him to grab the title at the expense of season-long rival Harry Hickton, who was hindered by engine problems throughout the weekend.
Hall claimed a lights-to-flag win in race one ahead of Travis Chapman and Jamie Petters after Daire Flock and Harry Smith had tangled at Druids on the penultimate lap. Chapman and Flock took the challenge to Hall in races two and three respectively, but he proved to be unbeatable.
Wayne Rockett took advantage of a mistake at Graham Hill Bend by long-time race leader Neale Hurren to take his fifth victory of the season in the opening Hyundai Coupe Cup contest. Mark Ridout admitted being on pole for the race “felt like being thrown into the deep end” as he dropped to third at the start, but he was able to hold the position through to the finish.
Hurren was also honest in his assessment when he confessed “he did not know what was happening” when he slid off on to the grass seconds after spotting leader Rockett slowing with gearbox issues in the closing stages of race two. Ridout picked up the pieces as he came through to snatch the spoils ahead of Adam Jones.
Michael Eustace (BMW E46 M3) twice got the better of Rod Birley’s Ford Escort WRC to claim both Classic and Modern Motorsport Club Super Saloons/Tin Tops wins, although Birley’s challenge in race two was slowed by a puncture. Paul Watson was delighted to collect a pair of thirds in his E36 M3, the first of which came after Ronan Bradley spun his M3 into the gravel exiting Graham Hill Bend on the penultimate lap.
Lewis Smith took victory in both Intermarque Silhouette races aboard his Mercedes SLK. Malcolm Blackman grappled with brake bias issues in his Vauxhall Tigra before claiming second in race one, but a retirement in the second contest enabled Eric Boulton to claim the position in his similar car after he fended off the challenge of Dave York’s Tigra.
Reports by Peter Scherer and Mark Libbeter. Photography by Steve Jones and Gary Hawkins. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine.
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