After the departure of our long serving Championship Coordinator and the closure of Rockingham, Midlands Centre’s most popular sprint venue, 2019 initially had the makings of a challenging season. However, with Bob Adams heading up the BARC Connaught Speed Championship and a number of highly motivated committee members, BARC Midlands has already started to realise a bright future for many of the centre’s activities.
After enjoying a record breaking level of Championship registrations, including the integration of fourteen drivers from the Lotus UK Speed Championship, the inaugural BARC Midlands Spring Sprint at Three Sisters Circuit welcomed our youngest ever recruit, seventeen year old Tom Boulton, taking the total to an outstanding fifty-six competitors.
The relocation of our ever-popular Spring Sprint from Rockingham to Three Sisters was always going to be difficult, a scenario I believe is familiar to almost every motorsport club. However, undeterred by the challenge, the BARC Midlands Centre team has worked relentlessly since our 2019 Sprint Calendar was launched, taking every opportunity to promote this new venue both on and offline. Our efforts have benefitted from an amazing level of support, including a number of BARC Connaught Speed Championship competitors, Three Sisters Circuit, Longton & District Motor Club, the BARC headquarters team, Dave Thomas at ANWCC and the HRCR. We are truly grateful for all the help received.
Arriving at Three Sisters on Saturday morning, we were welcomed by no less than twenty-seven of our Championship contenders, an all time record turn out. They were joined by competitors from the HRCR Moran Motorhomes Speed Series and Midlands Speed Championship, plus drivers from BARC Yorkshire Centre. Although we’d visited the circuit a number of times during the planning phase of our 2019 calendar, running an event at Three Sisters was going to be a new experience for everyone involved. However, we were ably assisted by Graham Malcolm, Chairman of Longton & District Motor Club, plus his wife Margaret and their fantastic team. With Paul Hamilton Smith at the helm as Chief Marshal, supported by a number of BARC marshals and a great turnout of local regulars, everything quickly fell into place.
Three Sisters may be a small venue compared to Rockingham, but it has absolutely everything required to deliver a fantastic event. Its compact nature also means that facilities are easily accessible, from its excellent café, coffee shop and bar, to the drivers briefing room and administration areas, leaving little to be desired.
The weather was kind to us on both days too. Saturday was cool, but dry and bright, with frequent bursts of warm sunshine on Sunday.
The recently resurfaced Club Circuit provided a complex mix of turns, changing cambers, tight bends and a great straight. Those familiar with the layout appeared to negotiate these with relative ease, whilst many circuit rookies quickly got into the flow.
So, based on the first three competitive runs, here’s how our BARC Connaught Speed Championship competitors fared at the end of Round 1.
Class SB – Road-Going Standard Series Production Cars – Sports & Saloon Cars 1401cc up to & including 2000cc
Steve Riddle – 88.23 Seconds
Class 1A – Road-Going Series Production Cars – Sports & Saloon Cars up to & including 1400cc
Mike Edwards – 88.67 Seconds
Andrew Rollason – 90.51 Seconds
Class 1B – Road-Going Series Production Cars – Sports & Saloon Cars 1401cc up to & including 2000cc
Leo Martorana – 89.51 Seconds
Paul Jaggard – 90.45 Seconds
Adrian Martorana – 90.86 Seconds
Class 1C – Road-Going Series Production Cars – Sports & Saloon Cars 2001cc & above
James Hunt – 84.39 Seconds
Cedric Abboud – 86.39 Seconds
Class 2A – Road-Going Specialist Production Cars – Cars up to & including 1700cc – Car derived engines
Anthony Shearman – 80.00 Seconds
Roger Legg – 89.41 Seconds
Class 3B – Modified Series Production Cars – Cars 1401cc up to and Including 2000cc
Taras Andrusin – 87.60 Seconds
Tom Boulton – 90.26 Seconds
Paul Boscott – 93.02 Seconds