ARL - TCR Winter Series 2019/20 R10 Watkins
So the all important last rounds of the ARLTC Winter Series main season were held on Thursday of last week. Drivers were fighting tooth-and-nail at the last opportunity to get their hands on the limited “showdown” spots and have a shot at the drivers and teams titles!
Qualifying was as predicted very close, with championship leaders Jack Sedgwick & Nicol Foggie lining up side-by-side on the front row of the grid.
This set up yet another clash of the titans for Race 1, as the pair got straight into a 4 wheeled game of chess right from the first lap.
Nicol Foggie took the early lead with a pass on lap 1, while Sedgwick elected to stay behind and conserve tyres, the pair working together to try and break the tow to the following pack, including bump-drafting down the straights.
On lap 2 they were given the break they needed as unfortunate contact between Ash Sutton and Sven Glatzel gave them just enough room to move out of drafting distance
From here, Sedgewick held his game and waited to the final lap for the gloves to come off. Making a move around the outside of Foggie into the outer loop, resulting in the inside line for the Chute. This was enough to give Sedwick track position, and with just a few corners left Foggie had no time or tyres left to mount a comeback.
Further back, David Baker made the best of the rest after narrowly holding off a trio of Apex Racing Team cars for the final podium spot.
In the AM category Adam Mcnally came up with the goods once again, finishing in 16th place and wrapping up another AM victory and some more crucial showdown bonus points!
Race 2 was surely one of the most destructive in ARLTC’s short history, with two separate, yet innocent mistakes causing carnage on the 2nd lap of the race and removing both title-chasers and tail-enders alike!
In the mid-pack contact exiting turn 1 saw 13 cars involved and a 2nd incident at the head of the field then saw a further 9 cars trading paint and bodywork!
Overall there were 11 retirements as a result of the accident damage! But thankfully, our bad luck seemed to have all come at once, as the remainder of the evening was as clean as a whistle!
It really was anyone’s game, with Ross & Daniel battling for the lead throughout. Sadly Cooper ended his victory fight after getting his rear-quarter clipped by Harrod with just a few corners to go, but recovered to bring the car home 7th.
Meanwhile the leaders went side-by-side through the final corner with Ross just holding enough momentum around the outside to nose infront across the line for the win.
In the AM battle Russell Rusty Laidler managed to step clear of nearest challenger Paul Smith. Rusty fought a hard battle with George Simmons for most of the race, and got the better of him at the checkered for 12th place overall.
The final race of the main season was thankfully easier on the recovery crews than Race 2, with most of the field managing to keep it on the black stuff!
The first big-reverse grid of the night meant the fast boys were in the mid-pack this time, and they wasted no time in making progress through the field.
The two AM drivers who did manage to hang onto their grid positions were Rich Warmingham and Kip Stephens, who started alongside each other on the 2nd row of the grid, and 11 laps later were both still positioned well inside of the top 10.
Warmingham took the AM victory with 4th place, having only failed to hold off the CQR duo of David Baker and Ashley Sutton after leading most of the race. He would’ve been on the podium had he not chosen to allow championship leader and teammate Nicol Foggie past at the final bend.
In the lead battle Baker drove a superb race to work his way through the field, hold his own in a fantastic dogfight with Alex Simpson & Nicol Foggie, and then keep ex. BTCC champ Ash Sutton behind to the checkered flag.
We’re back tomorrow at Monza for the first round of the showdown! I can’t wait!!!