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LAY VICTORY ON BUSY WEEKEND

It was another busy weekend for RAW Motorsports with eight cars on the Radical Challenge grid at Brands Hatch.





James Lay had qualified on the front row of the grid for the first race of the weekend, but failed to make the start due to a brake problem on the green flag lap.


When the race finally got underway Championship leader Chris Short led the way for RAW in fourth place. He managed to escape from a massive midfield scrap to claim fourth in the red flag shortened race, after team-mate Ben Stone was hit by the brakeless Mark Williams at Paddock as he held seventh, with both cars extensively damaged.


“I found the car quite difficult to handle and I am not used to the Grand Prix Circuit,” Short added.






Chris Preen and Jacek Zielonka also made the top 10 in eighth and ninth respectively, with Chris Myhill in 11th, followed by John Macleod and Nicholas Francis.

Lay’s car was fixed and back on the grid for the second, from where he made a sensational start.


As poleman Degnbol held a tight line through Paddock, Lay took the outside to emerge with a clear lead. “I wasn’t going to go for it, so hesitated and just did it. With the new tarmac there was just as much grip on the outside,” he explained.




He gradually increased his advantage during lappery and was 3.265 secs clear at the flag for a comfortable win. “I felt fairly much in control once I got away,” he added.


With Stone absent, the rest of the RAW cars were once again embroiled in a midfield battle, with Macleod holding seventh throughout, but was almost caught by Short at the end. “I could see I was losing touch, but it was only when I realised Chris was closing that it sparked me into action,” Macleod admitted.




Preen was heading for a top 10 finish too until he went off at Paddock and the race was red flagged. His loss however promoted Zielonka to 10th, with Myhill 12th after a spin at Druids. Francis was also a casualty of the Paddock Hill gravel.


It was Degnbol and Lay at the front for Sunday’s pitstop race too, but Lay’s first corner challenge was less successful at the second attempt. “He saw me coming and there was no way he was going to let me through a second time,” Lay admitted as he slotted into second.



After a brief safety car intervention the lead pair escaped and held station until the stops, while in fifth Macleod had successfully held Rishover at bay.

Lay had rejoined in second behind Ayres, but lost out on his 16th lap. “I went wide coming out of Stirlings, bounced on the grass and stalled the car,” he explained after rejoining 12th.


Preen and Macleod had both been in the top six too after the stops until the 19th lap proved unfortunate for them both.

Lay stormed back to finish fifth on the road, but with two of the cars ahead penalised, he came away with third.


Short was also in the top 10 again after a difficult weekend in seventh, while Preen and Macleod recovered to finish 11th and 13th.

Myhill was 14th, with Francis 16th, after Zielonka’s race ended after 10 laps.

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