It was all-out action at Rockingham this past weekend (April 14/15) as the British Automobile Racing Club produced a blockbuster two days of racing, with a host of championships coming to the fore.
On what was the first of what are set to be many visits that the Club will make to the Corby circuit over the course of the 2018 campaign, wheel-to-wheel edge-of-the-seat thrills were on order from the get-go.
The Dunlop Endurance Championship roared into life for a new season with another jaw-dropping array of cars and drivers making up the entry list. In the shorter 50-minute sprint race, Richard Neary powered his Mercedes AMG GT GT3 to victory ahead of the Ferrari 458 GT3 pairing of David Mason and Ross Wylie.
Neary notched a second sprint race win later in the day as the longer two-hour endurance race began to unfold. Following a total of 79 laps being completed, Andreas Demetriou and Luke Williams of Black Mamba Racing stormed to take the chequered flag, a mere three seconds ahead of the KTM X-Bow duo of Mike McCollum and Sean Cooper.
Ben Palmer continued his dominance of the Michelin Clio Cup Series, making it four wins from four races with another double at Rockingham. Living up the mantel of defending champion, Palmer once again swept his way to the top step of the podium in both races, further strengthening his position at the top of the points. The road class saw Nic Harrison win twice too.
The Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship saw similar levels of dominance with Gus Burton propelling himself to the top of the point’s standings after notching two wins.
In the Junior Saloon Car Championship, Joel Wren staked his claim as a credible title contender with a double of his own. In what turned out to be another frenetic weekend for the Citroen Saxo category, Wren made a lightening start in race one to take a commanding lights-to-flag victory.
Despite finishing second on the road in race two, Wren was declared the winner following a post-race exclusion for Ben Kasperczak, making it a dream weekend for him. Kasperczak picked up a rostrum finisher in the opener with Steven Chandler. Frankie Taylor and Charlotte Birch meanwhile scored silverware in race two.
Scott Kendall and Nevan Kirkpatrick shared the spoils in the Mighty Minis Championship whilst the Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship saw two wins go the way of Lee Sullivan in his MG ZR.
The curtain lifted on a new season for the Classic VW Cup with a variety of different models from the German brand doing battle. In what proved to be two thrilling encounters, Daniel Rose and Ken Lark proved to be in a league of their own, with Rose narrowly getting the better of Lark in his Golf to take both wins.
Rounding out the action at Rockingham was the new-for-2018 BARC Saloon Series, which also encompassed the Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge. Open to all manner of saloon cars, the latest series to align itself with the Club enjoyed a strong first showing.
Robert Burkinshaw claimed race honours both in the overall and the VTEC Challenge classifications whilst Alistair Lindsey and Jacob Carter took a win apiece in the BARC Saloons classification.
For the full race results from every championship, click here.