COVID Cup Round 4 - Wood Falls As Bailes Takes Second Win Of The Season By Millimetres

Updated: May 22, 2020

After the slightly boring Virginia round, everyone was thrilled to be going to Lime Rock Park - a short, tricky circuit with excitement around every corner. This was helped by the fact that many of the drivers who raced at Silverstone had returned for Lime Rock - names such as Cleland, Verweij, Sibbald, Van Weert and Banks.

The Race

Cleland would show Bailes what he's got by lining up on Pole. Behind him was the championship leader Wood, followed by Teymourian, Sibbald and Cleland's rival Bailes himself rounding out the top 5.

Despite starting in 16th, Truswell was also hopeful as Lime Rock was the site of his maiden podium.

Drivers Outside 107% Rule (1:01.962)

20th - Jm L - 1:02.587 No Time - Dirk Reski

No Time - Sean Gaffney

No Time - Manuel Lucchetta


Albeit separate spins from Constanduros and Daman, the start was mostly clean, with all 24 cars avoiding significant contact on the corners. Newcomer Jm L would unfortunately run a bit wide out of the final corner, spin across the track and gently thud against the barrier, breaking his left rear suspension. At the same time Sibbald and Dan Aimetti would also lose it at the last corner - Sibbald running wider than the kerb would allow before crashing into the infield barrier, before an out of control Aimetti would collect him to add insult to injury.

Sibbald (10) Was just a sitting duck.

Across the start/finish line for the first time, Bailes would begin his attack on Cleland by picking off Wood into Turn one, putting Bailes into the Top 3. More unfortunate contact would be made the following lap when Dodds would try to get up the inside of Pearson into the penultimate corner. Pearson would got off incredibly lucky as an alternative layout would stop his slide towards the barrier.

Tragedy would strike for Teymourian on this very lap as he too - like the many before him would lose the back end of his Skippy and end up doing a carbon copy of Sibbald's crash, albeit with a destroyed front instead of a destroyed rear.

From P2 this was absolutely devastating...

Teymourian's race was ruined

With P2 out of the way Bailes could hustle down on Cleland. ~ Following Dodds' and Pearson's contact, Dodds had a slow run up to the final corner, the trio of Heim Lien, Verweij and Bradley however were coming around the penultimate corner at full pelt... Heim Lien would get alongside Dodds, but would lose momentum fighting the car on the kerb at the final corner. This was Verweij's chance to strike. The dutchman would line his car up in between the other two - making it three wide. With Teymourian's accident, this was a battle for 4th place.

Heim Lien (4), Bradely (6), Verweij (33) and Dods (14) do battle as Teymourian shunts

Heim Lien would be the latest of the four brakers, managing to momentarily draw alongside Verweij before Verweij would close the door on him, prompting Heim Lien to pull out his skills practiced at Silverstone...

Heim Line: Sideways Again

Unsurprisingly, Heim Lien was able to save it...but Chaos was about to ensue.... Bradley (rear left) would drift wide to avoid the slowed Drift Racer, but in doing so didn't notice Daniel Clarke attempting a move on the outside of him. Daniel would be sent to the outside barriers with a broken front right wheel. At the same time, Sibbald would leave the pits following repairs from his earlier accident. This would catch Pearson out as he went into the braking zone, sending him very deep into the corner before spinning out after catching the dirt with his left wheels.

This would be a blessing in disguise as Clarke was reversing back on track only a couple of yards ahead of him.

TL: Heim Lien racks up more points in the Skippy Drifting Championship TM: Bradley avoids Heim Lien but hits Clarke. TR: Clarke hit the wall, but would then reverse back on track BL: Martyn was lucky not to hit anything BM: Bradley miraculously misses the rear wing of Heim Following the calamities on the first two laps, Truswell managed to climb to 10th - passing the unfortunate Bradley in the process.

Jm L would also be released on this lap, but a while after the carnage had passed.

Wood was doing pretty well in P3 until he out-braked himself into the first corner, allowing Verweij, Dodds and Heim Lien to pass. Teymourian was also released from the pits on this lap.

Bradley's day, however, was about to get slightly worse after getting a bad exit out of the final corner, (Manuel) Lucchetta and Gaffney would both get ideal runs out of the corner and go three wide upon starting the 4th lap. Lucchetta would hold off the duo, with Gaffney managing to gain the position off Bradley who was also unlapped by Sibbald.

Throughout the duration of the next lap, Sibbald forgot that he was a lap down, and started to get competitive with the duo ahead. Turn one, lap 4. Sibbald brakes a little too late and slide into Gaffney who was fighting for 11th with Lucchetta.

Gaffney would lose 3 positions and his rear wing. Sibbald would only lose dignity.

The following lap, Van Weert would attempt to pass Wood, but following 3 corners side-by-side, Wood would momentarily hold the position before Van Weert would be successful on the following lap. Wood had now fallen down to 7th after starting on 3rd on the grid.

The Van Weert VS Wood battle was a good one whilst it lasted

With Wood and Van Weert fighting, Banks and Teymourian would also be able to close up the gap.

Lucchetta was also on a roll - Climbing into the top 10 on the 6th lap.

Lap 6 also saw the controversial Sibbald unlap himself from Constanduros as Dirk Reski, a new driver from Kabort Motorsport became the latest victim of the infamous last corner

A scene seen many times before

Van Weert would run wide at the final corner, giving Wood back 6th place - but with a hungry Banks on his tail. Teymourian (A lap down) would also look up the inside. Starting the next lap, Luccheta would then pass Truswell for 9th place. A lap after this (Lap 7), Bradley would get Truswell under braking into turn one...corners ahead...disaster was about to strike. Lap 8. Reski (pictured above) was released from the pit-lane after his mechanics repaired his car. He was released in the worst possible place - the gaggle for 6th. Wood followed by Banks followed by Van Weert in an intense battle - the last thing they needed was traffic.

Despite being a lap down, 19th place man Teymourian was also in this train. Down the start/finish straight they would all benefit from one another's slip-stream. Taymourian would pull out first, followed by Van Weert. Banks would stay safely tucked behind Wood.

Wood (13), Van Weert (070), Banks (06) and Teymourian (9) put a right show on for the crowd

On the exit of turn one, the group caught a slower Reski (since he had just left pits and didn't have the momentum of the straight). Reski would lose the back end at the exit of turn two after Wood got quite close, Reski would have a tank slapper before spinning perpendicular to the track.

Both Wood and Van Weer would avoid the spinner by going either side of Reski....but the duo didn't exactly plan to how meet... Wood couldn't see Van Weert and Van Weert thought that Wood would leave the room...but they both collided, Van Weert spinning Wood who would get collected by Banks who was avoiding the calamity via the grass. this would majorly disrupt the order of the race - taking a championship contender out of high-scoring position and ending an intense battle for 6th.

TL: Reski Spins and others scatter TM: Seconds Before Disaster TR: Van Weert spins wood as Banks takes to the grass

BL: Moments before impact BM: It was a hefty shunt BR: Wood was shaken, but was able to get out unassisted

Van Weert was also next on Teymourian's "To Lap" list - which was done a lap after the large accident. Another lap after this, (end of lap 9), Van Weert would lose the back end at the final corner, despite saving it, he lost 7th place from Bradley - Truswell would try too, but to no avail.

~ Lap 10. The fight was on. Bailes had caught Cleland and both were ready for a fight. Bailes was successful at Silverstone - did he have enough to hold Cleland off again?

(P-51) Mustang VS Mouse -The battles between Bailes And Clelands are simply breathtaking

At the other end of the quality-of-racing level is Edward Sibbald, who made contact with his second driver of the race - Sean Gaffney. This time the consequences would be catastrophic.

Down the start finish straight to start lap 11 Gaffney went. As he had a rear wing (and Gaffney's slipstream), Sibbald has he has much more momentum and pulled out to pass Gaffney. Gaffney - defended his position, but Sibbald's reactions weren't quick enough and the pair made contact Sibbald would launch over the right rear of Gaffney, upon landing the car would veer right - upon correcting Sibbald would hit Gaffney's right rear, pitching him into a terrifying series of rolls - Thanks to the safety of the Skippies, after a night in the infield medical centre, he did make a full recovery.

The strength of the Skippies saved Gaffney's life

Lap 11 and Bailes had the speed, momentum and slipstream of the little mouse ahead... a move on the brakes into turn one was all Bailes needed to do - but as Newton's Third Law states - "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" - by being in front Clelands would have the slipstream for the following lap - and he'd then take the lead for Lap 12... Cleland would lead the next two laps too - leading an oddly silent (aside from a mildly humorous pit-blunder from Daman on Lap 13 and Pearson almost running into the back of Truswell on Lap 14) - race with not much action. Daman would keep the crowds entertained as he tried to enter the pits on lap 13


Lap 15 rolled around, and Bradley lost 7th place from Van Weert, but would gain it back on the start of the next lap. Onto Lap 16 the leaders went - and this time Bailes had enough momentum to get down the inside of Cleland - it was a long time coming, and Bailes had to do everything he could to hold of Cleland.

On the start/finish straight of that lap, Cleland had the opportunity to pass Bailes, but oddly declined it, the following lap, Cleland would take it. Lap 19 and the Van Weert/Bradley battle gets too close for comfort. As they get onto the straight, Van Weert pulls to the right, side of the track, defending the inside line for the next turn...Bradley follows him, consuming all his slipstream before pulling to the left and getting alongside. Bradley brakes later than Van Weert, but Van Weert still has the momentum up the Van Weert slides outwards slightly....they touch

Van Weert goes Skyward

Aside from Van Weert having a rather bruised bottom, both get away unscathed....Truswell in 8th leading from Bradley, Honeyman and Van Weert at the back(side).

On Lap 21, Bailes would attempt a pass for the lead, but just like every previous time, it foiled.

But going into lap 22, there'd be a change...Bailes would finally make the move and more importantly make it stick, the job was done at the exit of turn one. Since Truswell had overtaken Bradley on lap 19, Truswell had kept the experienced competitor at Bay, but going onto Lap 22, Bradley had the slipstream and momentum...despite almost getting taken out by Truswell's wondering antics Bradley was able to seal the move before turn one - Truswell may have been able to not let Bradley get away, but Truswell jut had no way to close the gap. Lap 23 - Clelands Turn to get back into the lead. Pearson was also on a move, overtaking Dodds for 6th. Lap 24 should have been Bailes' turn to get back in front, but a mistake under braking meant that he had to return to 2nd. The successful move happens a lap later. The race was pretty much "stale" now with huge gaps between all drivers.

After the opening dozen laps overtakes were a rare sight

On Lap 28 - Constanduros' race, of a low but important couple of points was about to come to an abrupt end. After getting two wheels on the Kerb coming up the hill, before going wide at the crest, Constanduros was slower than Clarke was anticipating. Constanduros weaved back over to the right to get back control of his Skippy. Clarke saw this opportunity to overtake and went for it...Constanduros' left rear and Clarke's front right touch.

Constanduros' car is jerked to the left, Clarke's car flips. Two incredibly dangerous accidents in one race. Neither saw the checkered flag.

Pearson would spice it up by overtaking Heim Lien for 5th place on the penultimate lap. Despite a very exciting battle, it was very much dependent on the start/finish line, and although they were close, on occasions it got tedious to wait for the next lap (or lap after that) to wait for a development

- here is leaders per lap (after turn one):

Lap 26 - 29: Cleland Lap 30: Bailes

Lap 31: Cleland (Move was done at final corner of lap 30) Lap 32: Bailes (final lap)

on the final lap Cleland would pull out of Bailes' slipstream and Bailes would clinch it by 0.007 of a second

Race Highlights

Race Results

1st - Robin Bailes 2nd - Chaz Cleland 3rd - Ronald Verweij 4th - Manuel Lucchetta 5th - Martyn Pearson 6th - Kristian Heim Lien 7th - Gary Dodds 8th - Joe Bradley 9th - Robin Truswell 10th - Ewen Honeyman 11th - Simon Herring 12th - Darren Wood (-1 Lap) 13th - Naser Teymourian (-1 Lap) 14th- Edward Sibbald (-2 Laps) 15th - Sean Gaffney (-2 Laps) 16th - Ben Constanduros (-2 Laps) 17th - Nicholas Daman (-5 Laps) DNF -Daniel Clark -( 5 Laps) DNF - Teammie Van Weert DNF - Dirk Reski DNF - Troy Banks DNF - Jm L DNF - Dan Aimetti

Championship Standings

An excellent photobomb by Simon Herring who was a lap down


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