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The seventh round of the 2012 BRCA national championship was hosted by the Halifax circuit in West Yorkshire, the host club for the 2013 European A Championship. The entry was low compared to the previous rounds but this was due to this meeting being rescheduled after the track was flooded earlier in the season. At the top of the Championship is Tim Wood who had a comfortable lead over Andy North, but the threat would come from Branson and Green who can overtake the current leader if they cement podium finishes over the remaining 3 rounds.

With both Branson and Green back from their European adventures, the chasing pack consisted of Tim Wood, Jason Frost, John Carr (Serpent), Andrew North, Adam Catchpole (Mugen), Pete and Andy Hastings (Shepherd) and not to forget The Motonica of Daniel Bancroft. Practice started with a damp track so not many drivers ventured out, but once the sun broke out, the grip levels soon increased and meaningful practice could begin. From previous track knowledge, the quickest lap times are around the 14.7 secs zone and if you get it perfect a time of 14.5 secs can be achieved. With this being the case, fuel consumption would have to be sacrificed so it was a fine balancing act to determine whether out right speed overcomes around a 4 second pitstop for fuel. At the top of the time sheets, Kyle Branson had a little speed advantage over Mark and after doing the relevant duration tests, decided he would stop for fuel and so concentrated on finding the quickest engine setup configuration which eventually produced a lap time of 14.5secs. It looked likely at times that Green could run 5 minutes but this not the case come Sunday in full dry conditions. The alternative option is to run 5 minutes which is the safe option to prevent any potential pit stop errors and the risk of having to pass traffic twice. This however provides a set up challenge to prevent sacrificing too much speed. With the majority of the racers using Picco based engines, this seems to be less of an issue to those drivers using Novarossi / Sirio based products. Bodyshells were also tested with the top drivers deciding that the P909 was more consistent but I guess it is personal choice in the end.

Sunday was again greeted with wet conditions. This however dried for controlled practice but just prior to round 1, showers arrived which would eventually continue and disrupt the whole of Qualifying.

Round 1 started with conditions that required damp tires until the track surprisingly dried very quickly allowing the top heat to experience almost a dry track, but it lasted for 3.5 minutes until the showers returned. Therefore the overall results were not relative of ultimate pace.

Round 2 was again very similar to Round 1 with showers very much dictating the tire strategy. The final heat however had a dry track which produced results of around 1 lap slower that the usual standard but gave drivers the assurance of a decent result if conditions got worse. Kyle Branson was quickest ahead of Mark Green, Tim Wood and Adam Catchpole.

Round 3 and again it was interrupted by rain showers so ne real improvements at the top, but the shock of the season was that Earl Mclean had posted a time to currently ensure a main final position.

Round 4 would eventually determine the final positions since this was a full dry round. In Heat 3, Alex Thurston inherited TQ with the first 20 Lap result of the day. Ross Simons and Simon Wood posted respectable 19 Lap results which gave them a chance of making the top ten. In the final heat, The first casualty was Adam catchpole who ran out of fuel in the warm up and failed to make the start, so a potential winner was unfortunately out. Kyle Branson established an early lead from Mark Green who had to both make fuel stops. Andy North was circulating at a fast pace and without a fuel stop would make it close at the top. In the end, it was Kyle who had just enough pace to post a 20 lap 302 secs result to regain TQ ahead of Andy North and Mark Green. Tim Wood failed to finish and so just missed out on a main final position but good to see Simon Wood start to show his potential in tenth position.

The top ten is as follows:
1. Kyle Branson – MugenSeiki / Sirio / Contact – 20 Laps 302 secs
2. Andy North – MugenSeiki / IDM/Contact – 20 Laps 304 secs
3. Mark Green – Serpent / Novarossi – 20 Laps 306 secs
4. Daniel Bancroft – Motonica / Vox – 20 Laps 310 secs
5. Pete Hastings – Shepherd / IDM – 20 Laps 313 secs
6. Alex Thurston – Motonica /Gimar/ Contact – 20 Laps 314 secs
7. Jason Frost – Serpent / Novarossi / Exceed – 19 Laps 301 secs
8. Andy Hastings – Shepherd / Sonic – 19 laps 305 secs
9. Ross Simons – Serpent / Exceed – 19 laps 306 secs
10.Simon Wood – Xray / Novarossi – 19 laps 307 secs

The final
The final started with Branson leading and Green passing North. The top 3 then started to pull away from the chasing pack of Frost. Branson had built a very comfortable lead over Green and the top 3 seemed set for the podium until North had a stop and go penalty for bad refuelling and also started to encounter handling problems which enabled Frost to take over third position. North however continued to drive around the problem and during a spin, collected Green which damaged his car and dropped him down the order. Up front Kyle was 2 laps in front when he ran off the track caused by having no front tires. Kyle then continued at a slower pace but allowed Frost to pass in the closing stages to take victory. Daniel Bancroft then passed Green to take the final podium position.

The Final Results are as follows:
1. Jason Frost – Serpent / Novarossi / Exceed – 113 Laps
2. Kyle Branson – MugenSeiki / Sirio / Contact – 113 Laps
3. Daniel Bancroft – Motonica / Vox – 111 Laps
4. Mark Green – Serpent / Novarossi – 110 Laps
5. Andy North – MugenSeiki / IDM/Contact – 110 Laps
6. Andy Hastings – Shepherd / Sonic – 109 laps
7. Ross Simons – Serpent / Exceed – 106 laps
8. Pete Hastings – Shepherd / IDM – 102 Laps
9. Alex Thurston – Motonica /Gimar/ Contact – 82 Laps
10.Simon Wood – Xray / Novarossi – 24 laps

The next round is at the Cotswolds Circuit on 28th September.

Thanks to Andy North for the report.

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