Double dose of rally for Raleigh Motorsport Association

Monday 23 November, 2020
Photos: Bruce Thomas Photography
The Raleigh Motorsports Association has successfully completed a busy weekend of motorsport after running two events at its home course of Raleigh Raceway.

With a rallysprint involving 15 competitors on two different circuit formations and a rallycross seeing 33 drivers over three classes battle it out, there was plenty of action taking place all weekend.

Saturday's rallysprint kicked off the weekend with 12 drivers in the S1 division tackling the 3.1km course and three taking on the 5.3km course as part of the S2 division. All competitors got three attempts at the forward direction and three in the backward direction, with their best two accumulating a final score.

Having already tasted some success this year, it was Ben Semple who continued his good run of form in 2020, coming away with the S1 AWD class victory, as well as the outright fastest time.

While fellow AWD members Darryl Hadley and Dave Carlton made up the outright top three, the next best driver was Lee Falkner who also won the RWD class, while the fifth placed Luke Pell claimed the FWD class win.

As for the S2 competitors, RWD winner Jukka Ylinen was fastest outright and FWD winner Jonah Summersell finished in second place ahead of Harvey Summersell in third.

Falkner was again in the thick of the action on Sunday as the veteran fought it out for some silverware in the fourth and final round of the club’s 2020 rallycross series.

With all 33 drivers competing in four heats of four laps throughout the day, their fastest time would be the deciding factor in both the round and title fight.

While Falkner battled hard all day, he was unable to beat Darren Kennedy in the RWD class after Kennedy proved faster in all four heats. And with class leader Phil Isaac finishing the round behind the duo in third, Falkner couldn't make up the 13 points needed to win the title, settling for second place.

In the AWD class, Lee Grace’s first victory for 2020 all but confirmed the class title after three runner-up placings in the lead up set him up nicely to finish the season on top. Behind him was an extremely close battle between Grant Cannon and Tony Fullford, which was ultimately won by Cannon despite Fullford finishing the final round ahead.

Remarkably, the FWD class season came down to the final round as Troy Haworth managed to clinch the title by just two points.

Having had a forgettable opening round where he finished last, Haworth bounced back to win the next three rounds, including the finale, where the four point buffer between he and David Morrow proved to be the difference.

It was a heartbreaking end to the season for Lee Bale who was in fact leading the class heading into the final round, but an eighth place in the final round saw him drop to fourth and just three points off Haworth.

Following on from the series finale, Raleigh Motorsports Association secretary Helen Haworth was proud the club could operate as close to normal as possible in 2020.

 “There has been a lot going on in the last few weeks which is why the entries were a little down this week, but at the end of the weekend, all competitors were really happy,” Haworth said.

“It’s been pretty consistent for us amongst the rallycross competition as we have been able to run the full series and at least one events every month since starting back up again in June, so we have been very fortunate.

“All our officials have been fantastic and we couldn’t do it without them, so a big thanks to them for helping throughout the year.”
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