The European B Championships of 2015 will be held in the UK at the excellent Herts Nitro facility near Ware this year, and as ever there was a warm up race held to allow EFRA to check the facilities and foreign competitors some track time before the event.
This year only a few drivers from overseas made the trip to the warm up, but the UK contingent who will be present at the main event in June was strong.
Qualifying saw saw new NEMO team member Callum Nibblet perform exceptionally to qualify in second position, and only a few seconds behind Elliott Boots who was using the event for testing as he can’t compete in the actual race.
Fellow NEMO/Agama team members Ollie Currie and Leon Goode were also contesting the top 5 and were posting very quick times as they tested various set ups and tyres options to get an understanding of what to use for the main race. Although the Herts track is familiar to most of the UK racers, they have made some recent changes in anticipation of the Euros coming to visit, so this was a good opportunity for the non regular Herts competitors to familiarise themselves with the updated layout.
The chilly but bright weather of the Saturday, was replaced by cold and wet weather on Sunday morning that looked as if it was in for the day, and potentially meeting over.
However around 10.00 a.m. the weather started to break and the track crew did a great job of getting the worst of the standing water off the track and the finals underway. The lower finals were run with reduced duration and some drivers elected to not run at all as the track was pretty muddy, but a marked change in the temperature in the afternoon quickly dried the track out and by semi finals time it was all but dry.
The first semi final was out and running when half way through there was a sudden downpour that soaked the track and made the driving very tricky for those in that final, and would also mean the other side of the semi finals would be quicker due to a drier track.
All the NEMO/Agama boys made it through and ready for the main final, including Jonny Skidmore who has had a good start to the season after making the final at the first National. The start was a scrappy one with a few guys losing out near the front and Ollie Currie dropping right to the back. Callum was able to make a calm start and recover some positions from his low grid slot due to the raining his semi and after about 10 minutes was up to 2nd and chasing down breakaway leader Simon Reeves. Callum closed the gap from 7 down to 2 seconds when the electrical gremlins struck and he was out. The rest of the race was a canter for BETA shod Simon Reeves as he was able to drive without pressure and drive away to comfortable win. Ollie Currie made a great comeback from his dreadful start to secure a good 2nd overall and with Jon Hazlewood taking 3rd, he made it a BETA clean sweep of the podium and Agama Bullitt 2nd and 3rd.
While the drivers were preparing for the main final, an over 40’s final and a Junior final were run to fill in the time. The Junior drivers who had made the semi finals were excluded from from participation, which wiped out all but William Skidmore from the NEMO/Agama team, and he upheld honour well by taking a well deserved 3rd place and spot on the podium.
The over 40”s however was a great success and saw complete domination from the NEMO/Agama team, Barkley Abernethy took a fantastic win after a great battle with Mike Cradock who unfortunately dropped out near the end, but this meant that NEMO drivers Dave Blakeley and James Tatlow were able to fill the podium spots and complete an Agama/BETA/Bullitt/Piranha podium lockout!
Congratulations to the guys!
Looking forward to the main event in June, we can’t wait to get there to see what the young chargers in the team can achieve at this prestigious event….