GRID Open Members Race - Tuesday 19th November
November’s GRID Open Members Race was a good opportunity for some more established members to pit their talents against some new faces. Running in a three-session format, drivers scored points in qualifying and both races to form a leaderboard whereby the top 3 drivers took home the spoils.
Qualifying saw Chase The Ace driver Ben Churchill set an impressive lap to head the seven strong field. Currently sat second in points to Oliver Bayani, Churchill set a 34.980 to put himself 0.802 seconds ahead of GRID newcomer Scott Davies. The rest of the field, completed by Mark Fitzgibbon, Andy Nowicki, Mike Westhoff, Paul Bray, and Billy Britton, was only separated by 2 seconds meaning it was all to play for in race 1. The first fifteen-minute race saw Ben Churchill streak out to an early lead with a sizeable gap over Scott Davies after only a couple of laps. A grippy surface coupled with a blind kart draw ensured that all drivers were evenly matched. Despite some close racing in the pack, every driver came home where they finished, with Churchill also taking the fastest lap and lap leader bonus points. At the end of session number two, Churchill led by 5 points over Davies meaning a 3rd place finish in race 2 would all but guarantee him the victory. Race 2 saw the finishing result from race 1 reversed, meaning 13-year old Billy Britton started on pole. Britton looked promising all night in his first competitive GRID event, setting lap times only tenths slower than vastly more experienced drivers. Britton sped away from the line as soon as the lights turned green and held the lead for the first two laps, picking up a lap leader bonus point in the process. He succumbed to the pressure however a lap later and the pack freight trained him to the back. All of the dicing mid-pack meant that overtaking was important, and the cream once again rose to the top with Ben Churchill resuming his usual position out from at the end of lap 4. Mark Fitzgibbon started in second and held that position for most of the race until the charging trio of Mike Westhoff, Paul Bray, and Scott Davies caught up to his rear bumper. An exciting few laps followed with a few controversial moves being executed. It was eighth in Chase points Westhoff who took second place at the flag, giving him his first podium in a GRID event. The gold trophy was won in emphatic style by Ben Churchill, who scored a maximum 39 points in total, including a fastest lap of 34.583, enough to put him fourth fastest overall for the month. Scott Davies finished in second on 26 points in just his third full session on the circuit. The final podium position was decided on countback as both Mike Westhoff and Mark Fitzgibbon were tied on 21 points. Westhoff’s 2nd place finish in race 2 was enough to give him his first trophy in a GRID event. The GRID Open Members Race is held monthly, with a variety of formats being rolled out over the coming year. January will see the return of the team endurance format, last time won by the McGregor brothers. Future events in the works are the F1, the Indy, and a Grand Prix. To book your place or for more information, call 0117 982 5698 or email Bristol.firstname.lastname@example.org.