A series of firsts took place at Rockingham this past weekend (May 11/12/13) as the Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge and Pickup Truck Racing Championship produced non-stop action around the popular Corby venue.
In what proved to be three days of high-octane on-track thrills, the weekend was largely dominated by the C1 Challenge, which staged both three and 24hr endurance races.
The event not only marked the first time that the one-make tin top category had visited Rockingham, but also the inaugural 24hr race the venue had held since its opened its doors in 2001.
Boasting an entry list of more than 50 cars and 200 drivers, action began on Saturday at 17:00 in treacherous conditions as the series roared into life. Following a frenetic opening hour, where positions were being swapped on a regular basis throughout the field, teams and drivers settled into the race as the laps and clock began to tick by.
Following a full days racing, Team C’est La Vie emerged as the victors, finishing two laps ahead of their nearest challengers. James Macintyre-Ure, Robin Welsh, Paul Dickinson, Max Maxted and Chris Chadwick shared driving duties of the #349 machine and were regular front runners, leading a majority of the race.
Second place went the way of Richard Dalton, Louis Tyson and Peter Rundle, running under the Daltonator banner. Leading the race for a couple of hours overnight, the trio were unable to remain at the summit of the standings, dropping to second.
Rounding off the podium after 24 hours was HE Racing, made up of Symon, Hannah, Edward and Harry Cockhill.
Such was the popularity of the 24hr race, an additional three-hour encounter was also run during the weekend for those that were unable to secure a spot in the main event.
Boasting a starting grid of 32 cars, Poorboys Racing emerged as race winners with James Kenyon and Stewart Linn behind the wheel. The duo notched 91 laps overall, winning the race by a single lap ahead of Old Hat Motorsport and Hurricane Motorsport, who finished second and third respectively.
History was also made in the Pickup Truck Racing Championship on Saturday as they made the first of several visits to the Northamptonshire circuit this year. Traditionally competing on the challenging oval layout, the series debuted on the International Super Sports Car Circuit, the same layout used by the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Lea Wood further cemented his status as the man to beat in the series in race one as he stormed to victory. His road to the chequered flag however wasn’t a smooth one as he fought back after dropping to fifth, ultimately threading his way into top spot on lap ten. From there, Wood powered his way to his fourth win of 2018 whilst reigning champion Scott Bourne and Mark Willis rounded off the podium.
In race two, Carl Boardley hit the front to take victory. Dicing with Wood throughout the race, Boardley went on to be in a class of his own as he stretched his legs out front, crossing the line over four seconds ahead of Wood, who further extended his championship lead. Bourne picked up another podium finish in third, albeit more than 20 second behind the race winner.
The Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge is next in action at Pembrey on June 9/10 whilst the Pickup Truck Racing Championship visits Thruxton on July 7/8.