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BRCA Modified Touring Car National rd 4 Halifax click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
By Ben Cosgrove

At short notice during the build up to the latest national both myself and Kev Brunsden decided to run again for team Xray, it was an easy decision to make and one we are not likely to regret. Halifax is a ‘euro’ style track with a large straight and a large fast but fairly technical infield. Laptimes are usually low 18’s and high 17’s to get a top grid slot here.

Kev had done some home track testing during the week and was very happy with the balance and speed of his car during the early runs of Saturday practice. For me it was a case of finish building the car on Friday and my first run was on the Saturday afternoon. The initial runs were spent getting used to the feel of the car again I has had not driven it on asphalt since September 03. Within 3 packs of cells it was apparent that the car was very good and we were running very fast lap times.

Saturday practice left me and Kev feeling very positive about running our factory kits on Sunday. The only problem was the weather was forecast to be rather cold and wet for the day, conditions we had not tested for at all.

Surprise, surprise we arrived at a wet track on Sunday morning and had to start water proofing the cars in preparation for qualifying. Most drivers sat out the controlled practice round before qualifying started as we were not sure about how wet things would be as the skies looked to be getting better only then to turn bad again.

With the race format being FTD it was going to be a complete lottery on which round was going to be the fastest. Round 1 was the wettest and this round saw kev top the time sheets followed by myself by less than half a second with a 4 second gap back to the rest headed by Craig Drescher. Round 2 was still wet but the track had hit the greasy stage and therefore was slower, no change in the top 5. Round 3 became the fastest round as the track started to dry even though we were still on wet tyres. Chris Grainger took the tq from Andy Moore with Kev in third. I had a motor problem at three minutes from a strong position to end up in 5th. We were both pleased to have made the final considering the conditions.

The first final saw 7 drivers use wet tyres and 3 use slick tyres. The wets were the way to go for the first 3 minutes until the slicks came in, once again I had a slight motor problem coupled with being on the wrong tyres saw me slip back from 4th to 7th in the last 3 laps, Kev had a strong final ending up in 4th.

The second final saw all the drivers on slicks for the first time on the day so the playing field was evened. My car was absolutely amazing in this final running the fastest lap times by some margin. I made a mistake on lap 2 which saw me drop to last place and then I fought my way upto the lead battle between Chris and Kev just as it rained. The track was 8 seconds a lap slower as we all slid off. I decided to consolidate my second position for the last minute and a half of rain as it was so easy to make a mistake. Kev dropped down the order during the rain to finish mid pack from the front.

After all the points had been calculated it was Chris Grainger who won followed by Adam Rogers and myself. Kev finished fifth overall. All in all we were both pleased at the speed and handling of the car. Considering I had no preparation time before the race I was pleased to have come away with a solid result. The next round takes place at Stafford in 4 weeks and we are both looking forward to it very much.

Interesting points
• Teemu Leino was at this round as he had been preparing the Schumacher Gas Car since Wednesday for the upcoming Euros in Austria.
• No Spashett as he was away racing 1/8th scale Euros in Luxembourg.
• Drescher had an electrical problem before the third round so ended up in D final.
• Xrays were fastest in both the wet and the dry.
• Kev ran the Factory Kit with the setup out of the box.
• The ‘silo’ salt pots were in force again after the Euros in Sweden.

Ben Cosgrove