Former Champion, Rob Sayell, made it two wins out of three at Rockingham, in his final outing in the Speed group F1000 Championship before retiring.
Sayell took a lights to flag win in race 1 after taking pole, but was chased all the way by Paul Butcher and Michael Watton, who had to settle for second and third. Butcher finished only eight tenths of a second behind the race winner with Watton a further three and a half behind. Dan Clowes had a fairly lonely race, but finished with a solid fourth place ahead of Dax Ward and Rob Welham. Sixth for Welham marked a respectable finishing position for his debut single seater race as he stepped up from karting.
Butcher made the most of the reverse grid race 2 by getting through the traffic and hitting the front after getting past race leader Rob Bailey, quickly followed by Watton. A short safety car period to rescue Marc Fortune’s car from the gravel interrupted the next few laps, but once the race got under way again Butcher remained at the front of the field and went on to take his first win of the 2018 season. By no means did he run away with it though as Sayell was only two tenths behind at the finish having passed Watton on the last lap, with the latter also finishing within a second. Clowes again took fourth, this time ahead of Adam Walker, and the top five were only covered by just over two and a half seconds! After initially leading from pole, Bailey put in a great drive to take sixth.
Having set the fastest lap in race 2, Sayell was on pole for the final race of the weekend. Following a good start Sayell’s advantage was made even stronger as Butcher and Watton touched on the opening lap, causing both to spin and fall to the back of the field. After a handful of laps, and similarly to race 2, the safety car was deployed as Peter Lague’s car was recovered from the gravel where it had ended up with mechanical woes. Following the restart Sayell had a clear road ahead of him and built up a two second lead before taking the chequered flag, retiring on a win and ending a great race weekend for the former champ. Clowes’s car was the next to follow, resulting in his best result of the meeting, with Walker also back on the podium after taking third. Getting stronger as the weekend went on, and despite a race 2 DNF, Welham put in a great drive to finish fourth after starting ninth, holding off Watton who managed to recover to fifth. Alok Iyengar completed the top six.
Strong performances in his debut car racing weekend resulted in karting graduate Rob Welham being named Sonic Equipment Driver of the Meeting, as well as taking the iZone Performance rookie award.
As a mechanic, Dominic Crawford was also having his first weekend working in the Speed Group F1000 paddock with Jedi Racing Cars, and showed great commitment and attitude to the work. This was enough for Crawford to be presented with the Sonic Equipment Technician of the Meeting award.