Race report by Elliott Harper
The meeting was held from the 13th to 15th of June, 2008, at Stonehaven, Scotland. Weather was unpredictable and it was never clear if it would rain or not. Saturday was very changeable, but Sunday was much more stable! The track is very big and the drivers rostrum is very high providing a birds eye view of the layout.
XRay team drivers included Elliott Harper (UK), Ben Cosgrove (UK), Mark Gilliland (UK), Ali Graham (UK) and Ryan Lee (Korea) and with drivers from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Holland, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia and Austria all in attendance, the meeting had a truly international flavour.
For the meeting, the track was laid out for 2 different classes: modified was the larger of the two and reduced version for pro stock. Friday was an opportunity for free practice and tune the car into the track. Conditions were very aggressive on tyres and chassis and any minor errors were severely penalised. Format for both days and classes was the same, 4 qualifiers and 2 finals all run on 2 sets of tyres.
Saturday Pro Stock
Saturday saw the Prostock event on a shortened track and following early practise everyone was busy making final adjustments to cars. The Pro Stock day saw around half of the heats and finals challenged by showers with the track alternating between wet and dry throughout the heats and finals.
Olly Jefferies took the first qualifier to secure the overall best time and take the win by just over 1/10th sec from Elliott Harper who put in a strong run to finish 2nd in the first qualifier with Ryan Lee finishing 6th and Ben having to retire after 12 laps. This changed in the 2nd qualifier as Ben put in a much cleaner run to finish 2nd displacing Elliott into 3rd whilst Ryan improved on his earlier result to finish 5th.
he 3rd round again positions were swapped with Elliott in 2nd and Ben in 3rd and again Ryan finishing in 5th place and the closeness showed how similar the 2 XRay drivers were performing. In the 4th qualifier Olly Jefferies who had dominated the 3 earlier qualifiers retired. Ben capitalised on this to take the win with Elliott in 2nd whilst Ryan completed 8th.
This placed Olly on pole, with Ben 2nd and Elliott in 3rd. Great driving from Ali Graham ensured there were 3 XRays in the A main.
Pro Stock Finals
The first race went off fast and Elliott moved into challenge the lead with Ben slipping back to 3rd. Olly had the advantage and as the gaps opened up it appeared this is how it might finish until Elliott pulled off with a steering fault after 11 laps. This opened the door for Ben to secure 2nd and further good runs from Ali into 4th.
The second A final saw a more consistent race from Elliott as he dodged his way into the lead to take the win. This was academic following early retirement from the first final and Olly finished in 2nd to secure the overall win with Ben in 4th place taking 2nd position on the winner’s rostrum.
1. Olly Jefferies
2. Ben Cosgrove – XRAY T2’008
3. Alan Bickerstaff
4. Elliott Harper – XRAY T2’008
5. Russell Williams
6. Alistair Graham – XRAY T2’008
7. Matt Dunning
8. Kev Falconer
9. Keith Dempsey
10. Tom Jefferies
The modified class was spilt into 6 cell and 5 cell classes, with each class having 4 qualifiers and 2 finals. 2 sets of tyres are allowed with most using one set for the qualifiers and one for the finals. The heavy wear on the tyres would provide a significant advantage in the qualifiers but a significant disadvantage in the finals.
In the first qualifier, an early error on the 3rd lap lost Elliott Harper time dropping back from 2nd to 5th. Fighting back to finish 2nd behind Olly Jefferies with Mark Gilliland took 6th, Ben Cosgrove 7th and Alistair Graham 8th. The top 7 drivers put in 19 laps, which was about one lap more than 6 cell cars had achieved. Round 2 saw Elliott drive very confidently and put in a very good run to secure the win. Ben improved to secured 4th, Mark Gilliland 6th, Alistair Graham 7th, Ryan Lee 8th .
The last 2 rounds saw no real change in rankings as Elliott took the win in the 3rd round with Olly Jefferies 2nd. It was close on points going into the final qualifier. Elliott was again hot on the leader’s heels, when suddenly Olly pulled up as a tyre shredded leaving Elliott with a substantial lead. Towards the end Elliott pulled up leaving the chasing pack to pick up the points. This gave Ben Cosgrove the win and move up the leader board.
It was close racing between Olly Jefferies and Elliot Harper, with Elliott taking the win ahead of Olly in leg 1 and Ben taking 3rd. The second final was not a re-run of the earlier race and on the first bend there was a slight incident moving Elliott back to 8th place as he watched the rest of the pack chase off. A strong and determined recovery enabled Elliott to move back up the pack and eventually secure 2nd place in the leg. This reversed the result of leg 1 and with both drivers on the same points, the decision went on the fastest run placing Elliott in top position for the overall win of the MuchMore UK GP 2008 in the 5 cell modified class, Olly Jefferies 2nd and Dutch racer Niels Koenekoop 3rd.
The overall results for the Modified Class were:
1. Elliott Harper – XRAY T2’008
2. Olly Jefferies
3. Niels Koenekoop
4. Alistair Graham – XRAY T2’008
5. Russell Williams
6. Ben Cosgrove – XRAY T2’008
7. Alan Bickerstaff
8. Ryan Lee – XRAY T2’008
9. Mark Gilliland- XRAY T2’008
10. Cam Macdonald
Source : XRAY