Formula Blue Challenge Round 3: Taylor Waldron wins at Clay Pigeon


Taylor Waldron (Nr. 3)


S & B Automotive Academy Blue Challenge Round 3
at Clay Pigeon on 12th April
Jake Calvert, the early leader in the series, held pole by virtue of two Heat wins. Alongside was the other Heat winner Taylor Waldron. Row 2 was filled with the current No 1, Luke Lattimer and novice Mitchell McLeod. Struggling throughout the Heats was Thomas Massarella, having just flown in from the United States, he was suffering from ‘Florida food poisoning’, however rather than let the points slip away he attended and raced as best he could. !
From the off in the Final, Calvert took the lead, followed by Waldron and Lattimer. By lap 2 Massarella pulled off unable to take the buffeting anymore. He had however, achieved the desired aim in not collecting any DNS penalty points. In the race Lattimer passed Waldron but couldn’t make an impression on Calvert who started to pull away at the front. Next lap and it was Waldron retaking Lattimer for 2nd spot.
Positions remained unchanged at the front, with Calvert gradually pulling away over the first part of the Final. By half way distance, Waldron began to string together some perfect laps and after holding Calvert’s lead increase in check, he systematically began to haul him in, putting distance between himself and the 3rd man Lattimer. By lap 10 Waldron had caught Calvert and the race between these two slowed the pair up sufficiently to allow Lattimer to join the race for the lead. Waldron tried a few moves, all effectively blocked by Calvert until on lap 14 Waldron took the inside line around ‘Billy’s’ to take the lead. Calvert then came under the attention of Lattimer, preventing him from focusing on retaking the lead. The last couple of laps unfolded with Waldron gaining a small distance over Calvert, who succeeded in holding off Lattimer. During the whole of the race, novice, McLeod held station in 4th place hoping for an incident with the front three thereby allowing him to pick up some places. It wasn’t to be, at the flag it was Waldron, from Calvert and Lattimer.
1st Taylor Waldron
2nd Jake Calvert
3rd Luke Lattimer
Following dominant drives in the Heats, the Lynx powered duo of Chris Derrick and Sam Dible, took up the front row for the Final. Behind were positioned the Maxi engined pair of Ian Branfield and Duncan McLeod. Branfield, so dominant at the previous Mansell 2nd round, wasn’t having it all his own way at Clay Pigeon. Row 3 had Kevin Ford and Rob Mortimore.
At the change of the lights, Dible snatched the lead from Derrick followed by Branfield and Ford who had slid inside McLeod, whilst the latter was preoccupied with trying to outstart Branfield. In the middle of the grid Andrew Greenway slid wide at ‘Billy’s’, losing 3 places, one of them being to the eventual drive of the day from Robin Stoddart-Stones, who had started last.
Dible didn’t hold the lead for long, as Derrick outbraked him into the hairpin to occupy the front. Behind, McLeod passed Ford for 4th spot. Back in 7th place Matt Turner braked late, under pressure from Matt Parr, losing the place to both Parr and Kaite Crowther. Further back, Rich Wilkes sliped out from 14th place to re-start last.
Lap 3 and Toby cook came to a halt, having lost his front fairing. Over the next 2 laps Mortimore was passed first by Parr and then by Crowther. By half distance the front pair of Derrick and Dibble had opened up a small cushion from Branfield with McLeod a short distance adrift. Stoddart-Stones was now up top 10th and there was still more to come. Mark Cook who had been in 11th spot, slid to a halt with a sprocket problem.
Into lap 9 and Dible made a move on Derrick and made it stick. Parr in 6th cruised to a stop, and was out of the race. He later discovered a loose plug cap, but too late to gain a finish place. One lap later and Andrew Greenway passed Nigel Pritchard for 10th position. The race settled down for a few laps with the front two of Dible and Derrick ‘glued together’ at the front. Stoddart-Stones hadn’t given up on his charge and on lap 13 dived inside Turner to take 8th place.
Things by now had settled down as the last few laps unfolded, but not so at the front. Derrick having lost the lead to Dible, was only inches adrift hoping for the one error to give a glimpse of the lead. It happened on the last lap, Dible just didn’t get it quite right coming out of the ‘esses’ and Derrick pounced going into the hairpin.
So ended an incredible race with Derrick emerging as the victor with Dible virtually alongside and Branfield right in the slipstream. These front three covered by less than 0.3 of a second. Duncan McLeod, a few seconds back, finished 4th and Kevin Ford 5th. At post race scrutineering Rob Mortimore was found to be a mere 200 grams underweight and duly excluded from the result.

The racers now re-group and move on to the Forest Edge circuit in Hampshire for round 4 which is also the 2105 ‘0’ plate race.
1st Chris Derrick 0 + 0 = 0
2nd Sam Dible 2 + 2 = 4
3rd Ian Branfiled 3 + 3 = 6
4th Duncan McLeod 4 + 4 = 8
5th Kevin Ford 5 + 5 = 10
1st Chris Derrick 0 + 0 = 0
2nd Duncan McLeod 4 + 4 = 8
3rd Kevin Ford 5 + 5 = 10
1st Duncan McLeod 4 + 4 = 8
2nd Nigel Pritchard 11 + 10 = 21
1st Nigel Pritchard 11 + 10 = 21
1st Ian Branfield 3 + 3 = 6
2nd Duncan McLeod 4 + 4 = 8

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