Rounds 9 & 10 of The Milltek Sport Civic Cup

Alistair Camp consolidates championship lead as he and Rob Butler take wins at action-packed Castle Combe. Alfie Jeakins and Loui Hounsell also topped the Production Class podium.

The Milltek Sport Civic Cup lived up to its reputation as one of the closest and most exciting race championships in the UK. There were two action-packed races at Castle Combe on Saturday (6th August). Alistair Camp extended his championship advantage by taking his fourth win of the season in round nine. Whilst Rob Butler scored his first victory of the year in round 10.

In the Production Class (for cars with fewer modifications) Alfie Jeakins and Loui Hounsell each recorded top scores. On a day that saw the fast 1.85-mile circuit become even more demanding than usual in hot and dusty conditions.

For a handful of drivers, the day’s 15-minute qualifying session was the first time that they had ever set a wheel on the circuit competitively. This included championship leader Alistair Camp. But that didn’t stop the reigning champion from claiming pole position by 0.031 seconds ahead of Ryan Bensley, who was in turn 0.074 seconds ahead of Dan Thackeray in third.
In the Production Class, Alfie Jeakins unrelenting run of pole positions also saw him set a time 0.165 seconds from Dave Marshall – with whom he shared the category lead going into the event – who stopped the clock 0.151 seconds ahead of Loui Hounsell.
All of the top 10 were separated by less than a second, highlighting the true strength of the Championship.

Race 1 – Round 9

The first of the 15-minute races on the day stopped almost as quick as it started. Marshall was unable to avoid the stalled Civic of George Alp-Williams in the middle of the grid. This resulted in both drivers being put out of the race and triggered the appearance of the red flag while the track was cleared. Thankfully, Alp-Williams and Marshall were unharmed, the cars however were far from it.

At the second time of asking, Camp took the lead ahead of Bensley and Thackeray, with Matt Luff, Rob Butler, Morgan Bailey, Will Redford and Harvey Caton in hot pursuit. However, Bensley’s challenge for the lead was short-lived when he was caught up in a scuffle at the Esses chicane and ended up on the grass after contact with Bailey.

Whilst there was position changes further down the field, by the half-way point the leading trio of Camp, Thackeray and initially Luff pulled away from the next trio of Butler, Bailey and Redford, who pushed hard in the latter part of the race in an attempt to earn fourth place. In the meantime, Bensley was slicing his way through the field until a contact with another car and then the barrier at Bobbies stopped him in his tracks.

Out in front, the rest of the race was business as usual for Camp who managed the gap expertly and crossed the line to record his fourth victory of the year, ahead of Thackeray and Luff. The fight for the next three places also ended as it began, with Butler fourth, Baily fifth and Redford sixth. Next up was 16-year-old Harvey Caton in seventh, followed by Daniel MacDonald in eighth.

In ninth place, making a guest appearance for the Pro Alloys Racing team, was Castle Combe regular Simon Norris, followed by Mervyn Beckett (last year’s Production Class Champion) who made a welcome return to the championship, this time in a recently completed Cup Class EP3 Civic.

In the Production Class, Jeakins and Hounsell battled throughout the race, with Jeakins just staying ahead to record his sixth victory of the season. Such was their pace, they found themselves battling amongst some of the more powerful Cup Class cars, whilst behind them Mark Hughes was thrilled to score his third Production podium finish.

Race 2 – Round 10

With the top ten places from the first race inverted to form the top ten places in the second, it was Becket who started from pole position, and Norris lining up a few metres behind in second place. When the light went out, Beckett made a perfect getaway and held onto the lead, whilst Norris was swamped by Caton, Redford, Bailey, MacDonald and Butler, with Luff, Thackeray and Camp all in hot pursuit.

Beckett managed to hold the lead for the first lap, before contact with Redford on the approach to Tower Corner. Caton, who was already alongside the spinning Beckett, took the lead just ahead of a chasing Redford and Bailey.

As the top three fought for supremacy, Butler was the driver in waiting in fourth place, having made up three positions in the first couple of laps. Norris, Thackeray, MacDonald, Camp, Luff and Matthew Cripps, rounded off the top ten.

Two laps later, contact between Caton and Redford at the Esses allowed Bailey to take the lead and Butler to follow through into second place, the resulting damage forcing Caton to retire later on in the lap. On the next lap, it was the turn of leader Bailey to retire. Butler grasping the advantage before the safety car was deployed to recover the two stranded Civics.

When racing resumed, Butler held on to the lead for the remaining five minutes to take his first win of the season ahead of Redford and a little further down the road, Norris, who was using his circuit knowledge to hold off a hard charging Thackeray and Luff, who did all he could to get past.

Thackeray crossed the line in fifth with MacDonald sixth. Camp however, struggled to stay in contention, which was hardly surprising as his car’s braking system had ejected nearly all its fluid onto the passenger-side floor. He therefore did well to claim seventh place and hold on to his championship lead.

Behind him, Cripps finished eighth, Travis Coyne (who was making his first championship appearance of the season) in ninth and Beckett, having led for the opening lap, finished tenth. Following the Race, Butler was presented with the Co-ordSport Driver-of-the-Day award.

In the Production Class the tables were turned when Loui Hounsell took his second win of the year, having passed teammate Jeakins in the early stages of the race. Hughes recorded his second podium finish of the day ahead of Simon Welch in fourth.

Teams and drivers now have three weeks to prepare themselves and their cars for their next encounter in rounds 11 and 12 of the 16-round season, which takes place at Donington Park on Bank Holiday Monday, 29thAugust.

Words from the Winners

Alistair Camp – Round 9 Winner and Championship Leader

“Although it was hot out there, I managed to get ahead at the start and then just manage the gap, which is exactly what I was hoping to do.  The second race was a very different matter, as towards the end the brake system lost fluid and the pedal went almost to the floor. In fact, I’m not sure how I managed to keep it together, but I was pleased I did as finishing seventh means I hang on to the championship lead”. 

Robert Butler – Round 10 Winner

“After a difficult year in terms of results, the team at Area Motorsport has put together a good car for me and when the second of the two races fell my way, I was very pleased to be able to take the advantage and score my first win of the season. It feels great and I hope there’s more to come!”

Facebook: @CivicCupOfficial
You Tube: @CivicCup

Photo Credit – Jakob Ebrey

The Milltek Sport Civic Cup is supported by Milltek Sport, Goodyear, Maximum Networks, Liqui Moly, MaxiCloud Hosted Telephony, Co-ordSport, Berkshire Turbo, Joyce Design, Steel Seal, PBS braking systems and Maximum Performance. The Championship is administered by Club Time Attack.

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