Victory to Cragg and Hall at Round 1, BRCA 1/10th Offroad National Championships
Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 12:00am CDT
Former World Champ and current Euro champ score big at RHR
Leg 1 of the 2WD A Final was intense to say the least, with Cragg battling it out with Jamie Hall. The pair broke away from the battling pack behind them and ran at a furious pace before a mistake from Cragg gave Hall the chance to go around the outside and take the lead. Hall then made a break and was about 1.5 seconds ahead of Cragg before the counterattack commenced. Cragg started to draw in Jamie Hall over the remaining 4 or 5 laps, but just couldn't get close enough to set up a move.
Leg 2 of the 2WD A Final ran to a similar pace as Leg 1. No car or driver seemed to have any sort of pace advantage over any of the others. A long train of cars led by Cragg circulated for a few laps. Jamie Hall with Tommy Hall spent the next 5 or 6 laps making little inroads to Cragg's lead but it wasn't enough.
So it was going to a Leg 3 decider. The race started with Neil Cragg out front with the remaining cars in order circulating behind him. Cragg started to gap the field by lap 3, just pulling out a second or two over the battle for second between Jamie & Tommy Hall. With a minute and a half done, Cragg made a slight error touching a hose which saw his lead evaporate very quickly. The Hall brothers spent the remaining three minutes drawing up to Cragg's back bumper, sometime in a frantic manner, but never getting close enough to make a move. You could see then Cragg was giving it everything he could as the car squirmed and moved about through the corners. Even though the Halls put on a last lap charge the final order was Cragg, Jamie Hall, Tommy Hall.
Leg 1 of the 4WD A Final got off to a smooth start. No drivers made significant moves on lap 1. A couple of mistakes from Cragg in the last minute dropped him back and made it a two-horse race between Tommy Hall and Lee Martin. The two drivers ran at very close proximity for 2 laps before the end --- but the pace of the cars was just too similar, and no overtaking opportunity arose.
Leg 2 of the 4WD A Final was a great example of how a driver can set the pace at the front. Tommy Hall got away from the grid with a frantic looking Neil Cragg behind chasing hard! With a minute to go, Cragg out dragged Hall down the straight and took the inside line and the lead into turn 1 but was carrying too much speed and Hall was able to switch back and retake the position. Hall was not fazed by the attack and controlled his pace perfectly. Unfortunately, a lap from the end, Cragg made a couple of errors ruling out his chance of taking the battle to leg 3. Final result -- T. Hall, Cragg, Martin. Tommy Hall takes the 4WD overall win -- podium positions would be decided in Leg 3.
Tommy Hall decided to participate in Leg 3 of the 4WD A Final. With the win stitched up he could afford to open the taps and see how quickly he could push on with no risk. Initially he was rapid and started building a lead over Neil Cragg in second straight from the word go. A mistake from Cragg coming onto the table top in front of the rostrum gave Tommy Hall a large and comfortable lead as Martin came through into second. Cragg dropping to fourth behind Ben Smith. The race continued for the last minute with no changes to the order. Final result T. Hall, Martin, Smith.
The Robin Hood Raceway is a huge asset to racing in the UK and is a great example to other clubs. Tommy Hall and Neil Cragg both achieved double podiums, but that feat will be more difficult as the series continues. Drivers such as Jamie Hall, Josh & Luke Holdsworth, Ben Smith, Tyler Liddle, and Charlie Saunders are all maturing and developing rapidly and it's going to be harder to achieve a podium finish in the future.
The next round of the series is in Mendip, Somerset on the weekend of May 20-21. The track is new to the national series but appears to have all the ingredients needed for another great weekend of racing. Join us then.