COVID CUP - Round 2 - Spectacular Racing At Silverstone Produces An Absolute Classic

Updated: May 22, 2020

Following the tight, twisty and technical turns of Summit Point was the very wide, fast and Silverstone National Circuit from 2008 - which started on the straight into Copse, before then taking a hairpin right onto the Club Straight, which lead into the Luffield/Woodcote complex to complete a very short lap.

The chaos would begin even before the race as Truswell spun at the entry into Luffield. The first few cars were able to avoid him...but sitting for so long waiting for a gap...the inevitable happened - Kevin Smith would come into Luffield too hot and T-bone straight into the unfortunate 19 year old. The most painful part about this was the fact that only 7 cars behind Kevin was a large enough gap to utilise.


5 minutes may seem like a long time to qualify for a 1 minute lap-time lap - but waiting for a gap, before getting hit and then going back to the pit-lane takes valuable time. Truswell was eventually able to complete a lap-time.


In the end, a tiny margin of one second separated first to tenth place with pole being decide by just 0.25 of a second - Robin Bailes sitting on pole with a 1:06:828.


New-comer Chaz Cleland would line up next followed by Edward Sibbald.


Joining Sibbald on the second row would be Darren Wood - with no sign of Luis Fernandez - he was the favourite to take the championship lead. With only 8 points thus far in the championship, Joe Bradley would also need a good race starting from 7th. Truswell would be starting from 13th out of a 21 strong grid.


Drivers Outside 107% Rule (1:11.506)

No Time - Ronald Verweij

No Time - Teammie Van Weert

No Time - Ben Constanduros

No Time - Christopher Kane

No Time - Brent Patton

No Time -Paulius Gelezauskas

No Time - Kevin Smith


A Bit Of History

Silverstone too proved that there was some serious style on the Grid.



Sibbald chose the famous colourful Benetton from 1988, whilst Teammie Van Weert would go for something a lot more modern.


The Race

All 21 drivers eagerly awaited the disappearance of the red lights on the gantry - AND THEY'RE GONE! It's a good start from everyone, Coffin slightly bogs down off the line and is swamped by a couple of cars. Into the Copse they all go for the first time, it's three wide between Daman, Gaffney and Seal - Seal being the latest of the brakers - Coffin too brakes a little late, but as (Derek) Roodenberg moves over to take his racing line, Coffin increases the brake pressure and turns right into the corner- sightly losing the back end in the process. At this point there are have a dozen cars within a meters width of one another.....


Kevin Seal goes in-between the middle of Truswell and Coffin on the outside...but Coffin is about to lose it. Seal reacts to the sudden change of direction of the car to his left by hitting the brakes hard - this pitches the car into a slide. Kevin counter-reacts. Seal's left wheels meet Coffin's right ones and Seal is pitched high into the air....



Seal would miraculously walk away from this terrifying accident

Behind Seal, everyone tried to avoid the massively-slowing duo - but braking on a corner with others around usually doesn't end well...and the same was true for this case...Gaffney would lose the back end under harsh braking - only to be collected by the innocent Ronald Verweij, who'd ricochet into Coffin.


Ben Constanduros would also have a horrific debut as he went flying over the front wheel of Teammie Van Weert - who in turn would hit a scrambling Brent Patton. On the outside of this mess was Daman - who avoided every single spinning car involved by using the luxurious run-off at turn one. In total, excluding Daman, a total of 8 vehicles were involved in this pile-up - One would unfortunately retire with 3 receiving severe wheel damage. The crash from everyone involved is below.



Before Kevin even touched the brake pedal however, there was more action happening up front - Dodds would give Wood a little kiss, sending him all the way to the AstroTurf beyond the Kerb - Kristian Heim Lien - who started behind them both in 6th, took full advantage of this, and used the gap where Wood should've been to power himself into 5th - Joe Bradley in hot pursuit on the inside of Lien with Herring watching on from a distance.


Lien would continue to use this momentum to power himself past Dodds, into 4th place.


Next up was a very long straight - and every single driver needed as much slipstream as much as the other.


Some though, didn't need slip-stream - Roodenberg was already making positions by going up the inside of Honeyman even before the straight had properly begun.


Into Luffield, Dodds lost the back end of his Skippy but was somehow able to save it whilst only losing one position - before Wood too would use the advantage of Dodds' error.


On lap 2, things got very spicy, very quickly - The leader, Robin Bailes went much too hot into turn one, but was fortunately able to save it and bring his car back onto the track in front of a chasing Chaz.


Further behind, in 4th, Heim Lien was doing the finishing touches to his "Tokyo Drift Competition" submission by getting very sideways into Copse - losing no positions in the process, but a hell of a lot of time to Bradley who passed him seconds after with Wood and Dodds right on his tail - all three of which managed to cleanly pass the drifter.


Speed: 2/10 | Style: 10/10

Roodenberg also used turn one to make a move on Herring. Truswell would then get a sharper line out of the first turn and also make a pass on Honeyman.


Finally crash-victims Verweij, Patton and Kane were also in a heated fight where a good run through turn one made a difference - especially to Verweij who was able to gain two positions by hanging back and letting the other two drift wide, before making a three-wide pass.


Teammie Van Weert was also taking full-advantage of this squabbling, but wasn't able to make a pass until Kane went wide on the exit of Maggots



as they went down the club straight for the second time - Bailes held the lead with Cleland right on his tail, Sibbald in no-man's-land in third, followed by the three way fight for forth featuring fierce rivals Bradley, Wood and Dodds with not an inch between any of them.


Heim Lien was a few seconds behind them with Roodenberg and Herring watching on.


Truswell had climbed to 11th but had a little catching up to do with Honeyman rounding up the top 12.

The Club straight wasn't quite long enough for the battle for 4th - so Bradley and Co. had to wait tediously for the next straight - But Cleland was right on it - Bailes made a ran a little deep into the Luffield section - (Cleland getting this right), so on the exit of Luffield, Cleland was able to make a move down the inside of Bailes to take the lead. despite a good run from Wood, this was still not enough to get past the nippy Skippy in front. Lien unfortunately ran a little wide on the exit of Maggots - meaning that the battle for 4th place was now a 5-car-battle with the introduction of (Derek) Roodenberg.



Further back, Teammie also made an ambitious move on Brent Patton - getting all sorts of sideways in the process - fortunately for Teammie, it paid off and he was able to keep the position despite tapping Patton wide into the gravel-bed and into a self- sustained half-spin.


Lap 3 also saw a rare mistake from Bradley as he went slightly wide into the Luffield section, allowing hungry wolves Wood and Dodds to close in massively.


Dodds was able to find a way past Wood with a bit of pushing and shoving - but next had to contend with Bradley.


Lien was able to capitalise on the contact the duo had made on the previous lap, before completing the move in turn one, lap 4 - Roodenberg also lurking on the inside if anything flared up...


Bradley (Front) leads the battle from Darren, Dodds and Heim Lien

Roodenberg would try up the inside at Maggots, but contact would be made - Wood temporarily losing the position, but gaining it back again on the Club Straight.

During this time, Sibbald would then make a pass for second on a napping Robin Bailes.


Since he had the momentum up the inside, Sibbald would then attempt to get the leader to, but would have to settle for 2nd place for the time being.


The end of the Club straight was also where Dodds would make a pass on Bradley for 4th place... This would not last long however, as Bradley would accidentally touch Dodds' rear wheel, pitching him into a half-spin before collecting Dodds' again. Both Roodenberg and Wood would also make very lucky escapes.



With all his momentum, Simon Herring was able to pass Joe Bradley.


Dodds would then spin the other way, facing the traffic as it exited copse. Still fighting with Truswell, Honeyman got a very good run through Copse, but would have to run wide on exit...straight into the path of the sitting Dodds - this would relieve pressure off Truswell.


Later on this lap, Sibbald would get the slipstream on Cleland - managing to get past him into Luffield, taking the lead of the race in the process. Bailes hung back and observed. Further back, Wood would find his way back past Roodenberg - a definite relief for him.


At this point, the pack was fairly evenly spread out - with only small battles of a couple of drivers being present - the intense three-way battle for the lead being one of them Onto lap 6 we went, and Bradley would find his way past Herring - claiming 7th place.


Due to the crashes, Truswell was now in the top - with Teammie Van Weert breathing down his neck. The lead would once again change as Sibbald would make a costly error on the exit of Maggots - running extremely wide - allowing Cleland to draw alongside - Bailes was present too - gaining massively on the fighting duo, before pulling to the inside and making it three wide.



Bailes used all of the track and more


Sibbald would back out as both Bailes and Cleland attacked from both sides. Cleland would temporarily keep the position - followed by Bailes - who left the door wide open for Sibbald to slip back through.


Roodenberg would also use the entry to Luffield to pass Wood once more and Van Weert found his way around the outside of Truswell in the same corner. The intense battle for 5th further continued as Wood was able to get up the inside of Roodenberg along the start/finish straight - but this was immediately undone a Wood would slide off into the gravel at the entry to Maggots - Roodenberg managing to escape.


On this lap (7), Dodds would emerge from the pit-lane after his large accident with Honeyman - it was about to be a very long day for him.

Bradley would also go a little deep into Luffield, littering cones everywhere as he did so. Van Weer had a little bit of oversteer going into Luffield on this lap, which allowed Truswell to have a look around the outside - but he would leave the door wide open and Kane would slip down the inside for the exit of Luffield and down the start finish straight.

Herring would catch one (the first) of these under his front wing, whilst the others dispersed harmlessly. On the start/finish straight, the cone underneath Herrings car would unhitch and be tossed out at a good 84mph. Van Weert would hit this cone with his front right tyre - sending the cone airborne....missing my helmet by mere centimetres.


- A hit at that speed would be catastrophic.... Bailes would then use turn one on lap 8 to get pat a slightly wide Sibbald.

The other Robin would also get past Kane who was discovering the AstroTurf on the outside of the circuit.

~

The following lap, Bailes try down the inside of Cleland, but would run a little deep, and thus Cleland would re-gain the position. Down in 11th, Kane too would try down the inside - but just like Bailes before him, he too ran a little deep, and Truswell would take back the position. Aside from the battle for first and battle for 10th, featuring Truswell, everything had settled down pretty nicely.

In 16th however, Kevin Smith mounted the back of Ben Constanduros whilst trying to overtake him on the start/finish straight, causing Ben's rear wing to fall off and a significant loss of traction. He'd retreat to the pits after this.

Lap 10, Truswell would get alongside Kane on the start/finish straight - and the duo would stay this way until the end of the Club straight - Patton (12th) desperately trying to find a way past the both of them. Kane would be on the inside for Luffield - so Truswell gave up the position. Wood would unfortunately lose it at Copse on the following lap - spinning out towards the inside wall. He was 6th. There was still 28 laps left in the race - so all hope was not lost for Wood. Truswell would gave a further position when Kane would go much too deep into Luffield - meeting the inside gravel bed whilst doing so.


This would put Truswell back in 9th place.


The Leaders Re-United

Wood would also start his comeback by picking off Kane at turn one and Patton before Maggots. In the leaders fight, Bailes would pass Sibbald using a great move under braking, and proceed to have a great duel with Cleland for the lead. Cleland would be slightly better on the brakes, Sibbald also managed to nip down the inside. A bit further back, a lap after clearing Kane, Bailes was still trying to get past Truswell. This time he would try and go around the outside of turn one, they remained side by side. Patton would have an even better run out of Copse and make it three wide with himself in the middle.

There was close racing up and down the whole grid

both would get past Truswell, before he'd get the slip-stream down the Club Straight.

Into Luffield, he tried to go around the outside of Patton, but the momentum wasn't there, and slipped through the open door. Truswell was surprised at how early the duo broke going into Copse and unfortunately spun out - ending what I'm sure would have been quite a fun little battle. Truswell would lose three potions due to the spin - the last of which to his close rival Nick Daman - both about to have close fights in the opening two rounds of the championship. Before the spin, Truswell was 12th. Just ahead Wood managed to clear Van Weert too.


~ Back up front, Bailes managed to pull off an impressive move on Sibbald - around the outside at the end of the Club Straight - which put him on the inside (the prime place to be) for Luffield. Fast forward to a lap later, Sibbald dummied a move to the right, before going up the inside at the entry to Luffield. This moved Sibbald back into 2nd


Sibbald then tried up the inside for the lead, but touched the grass with a wheel, losing all momentum gained - the trio was once again three wide.


Cleland (Centre) leads the arrow formation from Bailes (right) and Sibbald (left)

Bailes would brake much too late for Maggots - and would go right to the edge of the black stuff - Sibbald would be appreciative and take the place, but wouldn't be close enough to catch the leader.


At the same time this was occurring, Wood had caught up with the next driver on his list - Simon Herring. The duo fighting meant that Brent Patton could catch up - and draw alongside Herring- however this was an unsuccessful attempt and his day was only about to get worse.... Kane would misjudge how slowly Patton was going after avoiding the back of Herring ahead and (Kane) would tap Patton into a spin- before hitting the front of Patton, breaking his steering. Gelezauskas, Van Weert and Verweij all gained position out of this accident. Wood would escape since he was in front of Herring at the time. However a glitch occurred where Patton's damage appeared to fix itself - and he was able to (almost) continue as normal, whereas others (in the start shunt) had to lose many positions.


The stewards decided to make note of it -but didn't take action - their reasoning being that he scored so few points out of this race (5) that it'd wouldn't make a huge difference to the outcome of the championship - and should he return at any future races, these points (+ a fraction of the 5) would be used instead.


Earlier on in the lap, Gaffney un-lapped himself from Truswell. Daman would then go wide at Maggots allowing both to catch up with him.


Gaffney was able to do it at the end of the Club Straight, whilst Truswell had an incredibly entertaining battle, trying to find a way past.

Returning to the leaders, Bailes finally managed to get past Sibbald at the end of the Club Straight - a great relief for Bailes.


Daman also found an ambitious way past Gaffney into Maggots, while Truswell kept fighting.


Bailes was on a roll, and the next lap, he passed Cleland for the lead in the same spot Daman passed Gaffney - up the inside. Try as he may, Cleland was not able to get passed Bailes.


It was only on lap 18, two laps after the battle had start, when Truswell went up the inside of Copse (Daman ran wide) was Truswell finally able to secure the move.


Fans always love battles between Daman and Truswell

Back to the leaders, and Bailes made a small mistake - just touching the grass on the inside of turn one. Cleland was onto this like a hound-dog - getting along the outside of Bailes for Maggots before getting only marginally ahead for the duration of the Club straight, before Sibbald too pulled out and managed to get both under braking - Before Cleland would have the inside line for Luffield - and managed to take back the position momentarily.


This wasn't the end however, as Sibbald would then get the cutback out of Luffield and was able to go side by side with Cleland down the back-straight.


Lap 20. Bailes would look up the inside of both, but thought better of it - almost coming together with Cleland in the process. Much further back, Daman would try up the inside of Truswell at Maggots, however this would result in him going very wide and spinning out. This would be the end of the Daman VS Truswell battle for the race.


Returning to the battle for the lead, Cleland managed to get Sibbald's slipstream down the back-straight and return to the lead. Two laps later (lap 22) Bailes was finally able to get himself out of third by managing to do the cut-back on the exit of Maggots. A further two laps on, Sibbald would be able to get Bailes back on the run down to Maggots, this was short lived, as Bailes would do another cut-back to reclaim the position.


Despite a two-corner battle, Sibbald couldn't hold on any longer and gave up the place.


Bailes would run deep into turn one on the following two lap, but was far enough ahead to get away with it. The following lap he wasn't as lucky however, whilst trying to get around the outside of Cleland, he'd go beyond the AstroTurf - giving Sibbald the chance to have another shot at passing him.

Sibbald completed the move even before the straight had begun. Time and Laps were running out. Less than 5 laps remained - and not a soul was going to give up


Sibbald's move was unsuccessful, but Bailes tried around the outside once again, running over the worn AstroTurf again, giving Sibbald yet another chance. As he'd done so many times before, Sibbald went to the inside, and remained to be on the inside for Maggots - but Bailes had the slip-stream of the car ahead - Cleland did everything in his power to protect the lead but it wasn't enough...Bailes had the speed and was coming through no matter what. And He Did. Bailes would win by a tiny margin of just 0.181 seconds!


All Or Nothing For Bailes on the Final Lap



Truswell would also run into a little spot of bother on the final lap, when Van Weert would try and get up the inside - Teammie would kindly give the position. to Robin. Race Highlights

COVID CUP Round 2, Silverstone, Results After 30 Minutes (28 Laps)

1st Robin Bailes

2nd Chaz Cleland

3rd Edward Sibbald

4th Kristian Heim Lien

5th Derek Roodenberg

6th Joe Bradley

7th Darren Wood

8th Ronald Verweij

9th Paulius Gelzauskas

10th Simon Herring

11th Brent Patton

12th Robin Truswell

13th Teamie Van Weert

14th Nicolas Daman

15th Kevin Smith (-1 Lap)

16th Sean Gaffney (-1 Lap)

17th Ewen Honeyman (-1 Lap)

18th Kevin Seal (-2 Laps) DNF - Ben Constanduros

DNF - Gary Dodds

DNF - Christopher Kane

DNF- Mark Coffin

DNS - Chuck Norris COVID Cup Championship After 2 Rounds:




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