The 2014 Disklok RGB Championship moved into the second half of the season at Rockingham contesting rounds 7 and 8. This would be the first time for an RGB meeting to be held here and therefore the first laps for many of the 29 drivers entered. The International super sportcar long circuit configuration provides a vast mixture of slow, fast, narrow and wide sections which would certainly test the drivers. The weather stayed dry throughout although clouds threatened rain at times, however the driver had the luxury of utilising the pit garages all weekend.
The driver line up was given a great boost with the return of Championship rep Austen Greenway (F), Kevin Bolton (F) and ex rep Tim Hoverd (R) all with brand new cars, plus new drivers Mark Betts (R) and Jeremy Tetley (F).
John Cutmore headed qualifying with a sizable gap to Alastair and Matt, Dave Watson had found good pace to be the leading class F in 12th.
For race 1, the front three all had similarly slow get a ways however Matt had a slightly better one from row two to challenge for the lead by the heavy braking zone at turn two. John clinched the lead from Matt with Alastair slotting in next in front of Scott who would all stay in close proximity throughout the race but Matt was most likely to alter the positions with two laps remaining. A chance presented itself on the approach to Deene hairpin as lapped cars approached and Matt passed on the inside but relinquished the leadback to John as a yellow flag was out. Again for the next turn, the leaders arrived at Yentwood at the same time as a second back marker causing an anxious Matt to lock his brakes and spin John around at the right hander. Fortunately John recovered and re-joined the race with now Alastair chasing for the lead and Scott in 3rd with a lap or so to go. On what was to be the final lap and the leaders holding station a stationary car smoking on the last turn brought out the red flag. Similarly a second stranded car of Rogers on Brook chicane close by had been the result of a collision with Cutmore recovering from the earlier incident. With the count back rule John would have taken the victory from Higginson and Boulton however John received a trio of very harsh penalties for “causing an accident” which included a 5 sec addition to his time demoting him to 3rd place. The fastest lap was picked up by Higginson with the narrowest of margins (3 hundredths of a sec) to move him in to the overall and class lead by a narrow 3 points.
In class F, Bike Sports racer Wise maintained his grid slot off the start to lead with the quick starting Steve Bell making up 10 places from 22nd to follow Wise by the end of the 1st lap, early class leader Rickers was returning from an absence and was running in 3rd place amongst the mid pack of the class R runners. Positions where unchanged throughout the race but all were within 5 seconds of each other by the chequered flag.
Wise had his first podium place in this class proving you can successfully switch from slicks and wings to the very loose class F car. Bell finished 2nd ahead of Rickers. Dave Watson clinched the fastest lap of the race by over half a second to confirm his progression this season. Greenway finished his first race in the MNR GM3 which was encouraging, but setup needs tweaking to move him closer to a podium place.
Unfortunately 3 guys didn’t make the start for Sunday’s race 2 due to car issues so 26 took to the grid for a dry race. Cutmore had to or elected to take his 3 place grid penalty so he would start 4th with Mittell, Higginson and Boulton on pole. Conversely to race one the front two rows got away well with Cutmore joining Higginson and Boulton round the left oval turn to fight for the lead at Deene hair pin. This time Higginson emerged the leader followed by Cutmore, Bolton, Mittell and seemed to have his car switched on faster than the others opening an early gap. Once Cutmore had settled he kept up the pressure on Higginson and he also opened a gap back to Boulton and there were moments he closed to striking distance. Mittell was also under pressure from Rogers for 4th spot as the leaders were catching the tail after 8 laps. It was an intense battle for the lead as Cutmore would be looking for the win he should have claimed in race 1, however Higginson slipped through the back markers quicker and held on for his 2nd win of the weekend and Boulton in 3rd place. Rogers completed a great move on the last lap to take 4th at Deene hairpin away from Mittell. Fastest lap again went to Higginson which will be a lap record for this first visit (1.30.67s).
The class F boys made great progress throughout the race passing many of the Class R cars and all finished several places higher than their grid slots. With race one podiums’ Wise and Rickers not starting, there was a chance for others to claim a trophy spot and with his engine fixed, Watson carried on his race one pace and lead the class, followed by Bell who made up 8 places on lap one and Malyon.
Watson held on to his lead and his first class win, a major achievement with his new car and deservedly so after lots of retched luck. Bell again finished 2nd only 1.5sec behind so another strong race from him. Steve Malyon picked up his 2nd trophy of the season in his re-bodied MNR also benefiting from the aero benefits. Watson also picked up the fastest lap (1.35.20s) again and consolidated his 2nd in class position behind the absent leader Walker.