Three pole positions, three race wins and three fastest laps, so a dominant weekend for RAW Motorsports Matt Bell as he consolidates his lead in the Radical Challenge.
At the start of the first race it was close into the first corner with Jerome De Sadeleer, but from the exit of Wilson Hairpin on the opening lap the gap began to open.
After the initial break the gap remained fairly dormant until De Sadeleer had problems and retired.
“Jerome kept me honest after that early gap, but I couldn’t have stayed at the pace I was if he had still been there,” he explained after taking win number one by 11.6 secs.
After a wrong tyre choice in qualifying, Chris Short came through strongly to hold fifth from half distance. “I made some places at the start and after I got Peter Tyler for fifth on the inside of Coram, I just ran out of time to progress more,” he said.
Both Spencer Bourne and John Macleod had been as high as seventh, Macleod was forced out when an input bearing failed and Bourne slipped to 11th after a spin at Nelson as he chased down Tyler for sixth, which promoted team mate Barry Liversidge to 9th.
Bell led away from pole again in race two, but the safety car was soon in action after Liversidge was tapped and crashed out at Agostini’s.
There was only one lap from the green flag before the safety car was out again, quickly followed by red flags.
“That was harder than the first race, Jerome seemed much closer and I didn’t really have time to think about the safety car. He was there at the green flag and I think he kept his tyres warm better than me,” said Bell after win number was secured.
Short was into sixth on the opening lap and held station until contact with Antony Ayres as he tried to move up. He continued to be classified ninth, while Bourne benefited from the same incident to claim a late sixth.
It had been a faultless run from driver, car and team all weekend and Sunday’s Enduro race proved no different.
Bell was in charge from the start, pitting from the lead and continuing to dominate throughout the second half to complete his perfect weekend of three wins!
The winning margin was over 32 secs after De Sadeleer suffered late brake problems and fell back. “I had good pace all weekend, everything felt good and there is a vast improvement in my personal fitness,” Bell concluded.
Macleod had been hit hard in the rear at the first corner, but escaped virtually undamaged. He had pitted from eighth but a strong determined second half charge brought him into fourth, which then became third after De Sadeleer’s demise. “I was lucky not to sustain damage in that hit, had a good stop and chased hard to catch Jerome, so a good finish to the weekend,” he said.
Bourne finished eighth but completed the race stuck in fifth gear, “the hairpins were a bit difficult,” he reckoned.
While Macleod had escaped damage in the first corner incident, Short was not so fortunate as it brought an early end to his weekend.
Next port of call for the Championship is Silverstone August 14th.