Round 1 Cadwell Park
Tegiwa Civic Cup
Cadwell Park 2013- Rounds 1
Written by Neil Davies
The harsh winter is long gone and that can mean only one thing, time for some racing! The much anticipated start to the highly entertaining Civic Cup, kicked off in spectacular fashion at Cadwell Park with Rounds 1 and 2. The teams and drivers headed over to the “Mini-Nurburg” to lay down their markers in an impressive start to the season. The 2013 grid welcomes back some familiar faces, but also several new cars and drivers who are all gunning for the podium and Civic Cup glory! Despite the biting cold weather, there was a real air of excitement in the build-up to the first qualifying session.
Qualification showed just how close the Cadwell event would be. Many drivers had little to separate them, and two of the “new boys”, Martin Coles and Matt Kirby put a Vtec-powered cat amongst the pigeons as they powered into the 2nd and 3rd qualification spots respectively. Both driving SW Motorsports prepared cars as though they had been racing Civic’s since the beginning. But they were soon upped a position as Danny Winstanley who came first in qualifying was found to be slightly underweight and penalised, getting dropped to 6th on the grid. This was going to get real interesting, real quick!
The crowd hushed as the grid was ready to launch. Many eyes were on Matt Kirby in the Green EK at the front, but as the lights changed, Matt by his own admission had a shocker of a start. Dropping several places in quick succession, placing him right in the mix in the middle of the pack! This was a baptism of fire; Civic Cup style! Shaun Woods also had a nightmare as he broke a driveshaft when launching, ruling him out of action.
Danny Winstanley continued his previous good form in the Cup and pulled away from the pack in a freshly built “mint” EG Civic. With drivers hot in the chase, the action was at full throttle! Rich Hockley outbraked himself on the chicane and trimmed the Cadwell Park lawns free of charge; luckily he was able to join the track again. This was what the fans came to see! No-nonsense, pure racing!
People were soon pushing to and beyond the limit. Only on such a tight unforgiving circuit, it wasn’t long before some minor “love taps” and rubbing was happening amongst the ranks. It was inevitable! One lap saw Nick Chatburn sandwiched between “Push ‘em off” Pete Isherwood and Tim “Dog” Evans, the following lap, Nick had broken free and started to stake a claim for 2nd place. These heroics cost him a front bumper though! It was obliterated and he was dragging his cold air feed underneath the car, creating a tail-wind of foil confetti as it was eroding at speed. Tim Evans claimed 3rd, with Isherwood hot on his tail. A solid debut from Mark Burnett in 5th and Matt Kirby taking 6th, followed by Tegiwa Imports frontman Luke Sedzikowski in 7th. Martin Coles showed great promise, but a frustrating blunder with a loose fuel cap meant that the safety Marshalls pulled him from the track to rectify it; costing him his position and giving him an unwanted “DNF”! Another driver who had a frustrating start to his season was new driver Steve Slawson. Steve’s Vtec wasn’t kicking in and it was more “oh no”, than “yo”. He was soon seen in the pits hastily stripping his engine in the hope of regaining his power for the next race.
Right from the off, it was clear that the drivers had clearly got familiar with the lack of space on the Cadwell tarmac, they we all fighting hard to stamp their authority. As they steamed into Coppice at the end of the main straight, it was a tense moment but thankfully nobody clashed. We soon noted that once again Danny Winstanley had somehow found room to separate himself from the chasing mob and was slowly creeping off into his own race, further down the pack it was motoring mayhem. The lack of space to manoeuvre and the equal power-to weight ratios on the cars meant that finding those all-important gaps was a tough task! If you were caught in the group, you had a tough race on your hands! Regardless, it made for great viewing for the spectators as drivers gave their all; sometimes swapping paint and pressing on each other’s rub strips! New driver Luke Sedzikowski was having a tough time, looking fast in points, but being hampered by a troublesome binding brake issue.
Nick Chatburn with his zip-tied and masking taped bumper was soon punching on; hunting for his second podium spot of the day, and the crafty veteran Tim “Dog” Evans was once again in hot pursuit for a well-earned 3rd place. The flag was waved, bringing a triumphant end to the start of what is sure to be a landmark year for the Civic Cup. The new control tyre, the Toyo R888 had drivers singing its praises; the pits looked great wearing the new Tegiwa livery and sponsors graphics, and the racing was the day’s highlight for many! We are just itching to get to Croft Circuit on the 12th of May, where the action is sure to be fast paced and with even more Civics booked onto the grid, it’s going to be a wild one!