Bandit Newland shocks competition with Endurance win
The lead up to the Thruxton round was subject to much discussion. With Jon unavailable for the race despite having blistering form, a gentleman’s agreement was reached between the top four competitors (Darren, Jon, Julian and Mark) to only score their top four rounds to counter for Jon’s Diversity date. The step will not affect the rest of the standings but should provide an entertaining finale.
Talk of an elusive club, ‘the 1:09’s’ was touted heavily before the event, however during qualifying only two drivers managed to join the club, with Julian taking another pole position ahead of Mark and a resurgent Sam. Omar was 4th in the second Team Racelogic car with Darren languishing back in his lowest quali position of the year.
Race one had an entertaining battle between the top 5, with Julian taking another dominating victory in front of a hard charging Mark and Omar, with Sam narrowly missing the podium. Darren was sat behind this in 5th place but span and fell to 6th behind Sanjoy, taking his best position since starting. Dan was 7th in front of Kevin in 8th, followed by both the Posh Stiffy cars.
Race 2 started well with only Darren facing the wrong way after turn 1 after being caught out by Gary’s T1 cautiousness but managed to spin the car away from the field. Apart from the usual jockeying for position once the field has straightened out, Julian, Omar and Sam were involved in a battle for the lead, with Mark and Darren going side by side behind through Church at 150+ mph. Team Racelogic both span in the chicane
The following lap Mark was hit by technical failure and he was forced to reset and was guided back into position (albeit reporting a lap down) by a quick acting Race Control. At this point, Sam found himself in the lead with a 5 second gap to his Bandito team mate in second. Mark was behind somewhere in third with Julian/Omar 10 seconds behind in 4th and 5th. Despite one naughty straightlining of the chicane by Kevin, he finished a solid 6th after a battle with Sanjoy and Dan Fox for 7th and 8th followed by both the Posh Stiffy cars.
Interestingly, here is a screenshot of the fastest lap times by the end of the evening. Anyone with a grey background made a step forward and improved, so Julian, Sam, Mark, Sanjoy, Kevin, Dan, Steve and Gary.
Taking Dropped Rounds into account, Darren has won the Championship but the battle for second is ultra-close. Working with Excel and a prediction spreadsheet, we are anticipating a Battle Royale for third place between Julian, Mark and Jon. Silverstone will be a crucial round for the three contenders as a strong result will be required and with other drivers like Darren, Omar and Sam potentially taking big points away from the other drivers.
Bandito Racing have now what looks like an unbeatable 49-point advantage over a resurgent Team Racelogic in 2nd place, with 15 points between Racelogic in 2nd and Team Yob in 4th. Barring a major catastrophe, Silverstone is likely to see Bandito Racing taking the Team Championship trophy.
Sam has proven that practice pays off…. However what will Silverstone bring?