I am the webmaster for the 10th Offroad BRCA Section website and while I was entering all the details for the British Winter Offroad Championship (BWOC) event, I decided as it was my holiday as a teacher here in Turkey I would enter it when the entries were open.
I released the entry form at the time promised, I then entered the 2WD, within 40 minutes there were over 200 entries to 2WD alone, even though I released the form I was 50th on the list so just goes to show how popular the entry to this race was.
This was to be a steep learning curve for me, as I have never entered a national event in UK before, I was using my new Xray XB2 and with a 6.5t motor (usually run 13.5t Super Stock), I managed to get a starting setup from Chris Ely (UK Xray driver) who had run the astro surface there at Silverstone before.
So I packed my bags to go to stay with my good mate Tony Evdoka in Surrey, UK from Wednesday to Friday, then up to Silverstone area at a Motel.
My sponsor and good friend Umut Turkay from Team-NCRC sent me a huge spares package for the XB2, a big thanks for that as I did not know what I would need there.
My expectations were low considering the competition and my lack of experience with the car and surface, my aim was not to be in last final.
I arrived around 12:00 midday at Gatwick airport to see the smiling face of Tony waiting for me at the gate, we loaded the car and set off to his house. On the way he said let’s get breakfast so I jumped at the chance not having been in UK for over 5 years I needed SAUSAGES 🙂 When we turned up at the fish and chip cafe we saw a motorbike meeting for some old/vintage motorbikes so I was in heaven.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent chewing the fat eating loads of pork, lamb and Chinese food but mainly getting cars prepared and chatting with Tony and his fantastic family.
We set off for the track and Motel at around 16:30, took us a while being Friday on the M25 but when we arrived we went straight to the Motel and booked in, after that we went to the track to see how the build was going by the club members.
The track was looking very big, very fast and with astro turf on the main parts and carpet over the jumps, I couldn’t wait to drive on it. We setup our tables in the pit area and headed off to the Motel for some food and sleep.
Early start getting to the track for 7am and first practice set for 8am, the practice was not timed officially and we had two heats. I met some old and new people at the race weekend and had a lot of fun. When I took my car out for first practice it was a bit of a handful and David Burton with Tony said the same when I finished the first round, I went to marshal straight after my 1st heat and by the time I got back Dave was already working on my car, he told me what he had done and then said just to change oil fr and rr and put front lower suspension to outside hole.
I did the changes and in the 2nd heat the car was amazing from the start, completely different and smooth. Thanks Dave 🙂
At the BRCA official events this is a big thing and all announcements and schedules are released, the format is quite simple one set of 10 drivers on the stand, one set of drivers ready for next heat followed by next set of 10 getting cars checked and scrutineered, this was like this all day and amazingly with 13 heats x 4 of qualifying and then finals the BRCA finished ahead of schedule.
You would have 4 rounds of qualifying best 2 counting, then A-Main would get 3 finals, everybody else would get one.
Qualifying Round 1: Video at bottom of page
I was set to the 2nd group and 7th on the grid due to the fact I was ranked low so I was happy with that as it meant no pressure for me, first round I qualified 5th in group with 11 laps not what I wanted but a good start. best lap 25.81 and average lap 27.75
Qualifying Round 2: Video at bottom of page
Again 5th in group and 11 laps. best lap 25.29 and average lap 28.46
Qualifying Round 3: Video at bottom of page
Much better round 1st in group and 12 laps 🙂 best lap 24.58 and average lap 26.23
Qualifying Round 4: Video at bottom of page
4th in round, 12 laps best lap 24.70 and average lap 27.04
The top guys were on 14 laps (Lee Martin, Neil Cragg) so not unhappy but this believe it or not meant I was in 106th place overall and the K-Final WOW good for me a nice surprise but just goes to show the cometiton.
K-Final: Video at bottom of page
The race was very strange everybody making errors the commentator was right it seemed nobody wanted to lead the race, I lead 2 or 3 times from 6th on the grid, once it all settled down it was between me and 1st place on the last lap as everybody else did 11 laps we went through together so I had to be quick to do or die, I was guaranteed 2nd place so had nothing to lose. Off the table top there are 2 jumps before the straight, so I was right up behind 1st place and decided to try and jump 2 together, my car landed in the right spot but crashed, after the straight across the line I was 2 seconds back so ended up 2nd. Great race and great learning experience.
After the race I learnt that I could have won a plaque for 1st place, never mind all was good. My Xray was superb.
This was the first of many (hopefully) BRCA races I have attended and the experience was fantastic, a great job running the event by the BRCA and the Silverstone club organisation was fantastic as well, the best racing experience with no stress whatsoever. I hope I can visit again soon and enjoy some more racing.
A special mention to Tony Evdoka for being the hostess with the mostest 🙂 and for showing me how to chill and have fun for the first time in a long time.
Another big thank you to David Burton for the setup help and Rob York for the pit lane assistance.
Last but not least to all my sponsors a BIG thanks.
If you want to seem some videos of the racing see below the images.
The Main 2WD A-Final: Videos of each round at bottom of page
2wd was amazing to watch the top guys battling it out and it was a 2 man race for the overall between Neil Cragg and Lee Martin, the racing moves that Cragg put on Martin were amazing and something I will remember for a long time, such close racing was great to watch live. Watch the 1st and 2nd round of videos below to see the overtakes by Neil Cragg
Video Gallery from 2WD: Each video will start at the beginning of the race
A-final round 1
A-Final round 2
A-Final round 3
My Qual rounds: (7th on grid in orange car)
Round 2 BEST ROUND
My K-Final (6th on grid orange car)