Saturday 23rd March and Formula G returned to Santa Pod to host round 1 of the 2019 Championship.
A brand new track layout, new obstacles and a batch of brand new drivers all ready to tackle the head to head layout.
Not only were drivers keen to make a good start to the season and pick up vital points for the championship, round 1 was also the qualifier for entry to Coventry Motofest
Only the Top 12 RWD and top 4 AWD and U1 cars would win their spot to attend the city’s annual celebration of motorsport and represent Formula G in the Champion of Champions event in June.
To win the places, it was vital to score well in qualifying as well as to push through to the highest battles.
Some of the big contenders and previous drivers at Motofest, Mike Newland and Phil Staniford were taken out of contention when mechanical failure took them out of the competition before qualifying, making way for some of the newer drivers to take up those places.
Topping the RWD qualifying was Stephen McConnell who had travelled down from Scotland to compete in the championship in his yellow E36 BMW.
The battles commenced and it was great to see a new mix of drivers taking the top 16 positions and bringing a real fight to the knockouts.
A tense 5 minute rule was called by 2018 champion of champions winner, Ryan Milton on his top 8 battle against Spencer Peacock when his brakes failed and needed to be repaired before his race. With seconds to go Ryan made it back out to track but unfortunately this was the race where his day ended.
Making their way into the top four were Neal Beagley, Mantas Sliogeris alongside Spencer and top qualifier Steven.
The final battle between Steven and Neal saw Steven pull out two 47 second runs to take the win with a 3.3 second lead! After winning both at the final last season and Round 1 this weekend can anyone reclaim that top spot from the flying Scotsman?
The AWD class saw familiar faces return to the track and as always friendly in the pits and the biggest rivalry seen on track.
Dmitrij Sribnyj and his Subaru BRZ stole the show, shaving 2 seconds off his competitors in qualifying and continuing that success through his battles. The past years dialling in work and upgrades over the winter have clearly paid off and we are finally seeing what this great build has to offer to the world of gymkhana.
Battles in the class were still exciting as Dmitrij’s, scoobyclinic teammate Bucky, kept the pressure on and pushed Sribryj all the way till crossing the line in the final.
Mention to Michael Irwin who pushed himself and his Subaru to a 3rd place qualifying position and the 3rd spot overall on the podium.
The Biddle brothers were back in their U1 class , GBS Zero and Andy Biddle seemed to take the edge over Nick and regular Mark Elder with a 2 second gap. We can’t wait to see these guys join the larger field when we take on the interclass completion at Coventry Motofest.
Make sure you click the link below to see the current 2019 standings and who’s made the cut for Coventry Motofest.Want to see us race at Motofest?
Well the great news is it’s a completely free event! Yes a motorsport event that’s free for all spectators!
On June 1st and 2nd, Coventry City centre will he turned into a motorsport spectacular, with timed sprint racing on the closed ring road and Fueltopia take over the moat street car park, live action arena right by Ikea. The rest of the city streets are filled with club displays and the green has stages with live music, more displays and great places to eat.
It’s a great day out (or full weekend!) with lots to see for all the family. Down at the Fueltopia arena you can catch Formula G racing, Michelle Westby drift demonstrations, stunt bike driving, driver meet and greet sessions, giveaways, trade stands and a burnout finale not to be missed!
With thanks to: CTRL
, HPI Racing
, Ruislip Tyres
, Jelf Motorsport
and EBC Brakes
Photos by: Craig Toull