Alistair Camp took the maiden victory of the 2021 Milltek Civic Cup season. Leading after a flying start at the twisty Cadwell Park circuit, Camp never looked back. During the second half of the race, young star George Alp-Williams was challenging for the win until a mistake saw him hit the barrier and bring out the red flags.
A wet and windy Cadwell Park welcomed the teams and drivers for the first race of the year bringing back memories of the opening round of the 2020 season in which a soaked Oulton Park created early race drama. Third place on that day was Alistair Camp and with the #45 starting on the outside of the front row had something to prove. Camp was forced to change his gearbox over the lunch break and needed the two warm up laps provided to ensure his car was up to pace.
Morgan Bailey was the first casualty of the season as the Red Rocket pulled into the pits at the end of the warmup lap to have his gearbox mended in the build up to the start.
Leading from pole, Dan Thackeray had a treacherous run to the opening corner at Coppice as the earlier rain had created a river across the middle of the first straight. Camp though took full advantage, taking first before the opening corner, with Thackeray dropping to third as the quick starting Jamie Tonks leapfrogged into Charlies.
Thackeray’s opening lap would only get worse as he was edged onto the grass at the famous mountain section. The biggest winner had been rookie Phillip Wright who had temporarily taken second but saw it all fall away on the second lap as he ran wide at the final corner, brushing the barrier before recovering in fourth, behind second place George Alp-Williams and Tonks.
An Area Motorsport 1-2-3 had quickly formed as Alp-Williams was the first driver to set a lap under two minutes, closing on the resilient Alistair Camp. It sadly would not last though as the Mountain caught out the teenager on the fifth lap, seeing him slide into the barrier. Elsewhere, Jon Peerless had also lodged himself at the top of the circuit ensuring the Red Flag was brought out to clear the pair.
The result meant that Alistair Camp took a calm and somewhat collected victory to give him the full 25 points for taking the chequered flag. The result gives him presentence in the title battle and an early advantage as his expected rivals from qualifying; Alp-Williams and Thackeray failed to finish in the top ten.
Instead, it was Jamie Tonks and Phillip Wright who completed the podium after a spectacular recovery from the latter, saw him not only jump five places from his grid position, but do so despite an off-track excursion.
While the rain had not let up throughout the race, most drivers started to find their groove just before the red flag with six minutes remaining on the clock. Matt Luff, after only completing one lap in qualifying, had done well not only to get up to speed with the conditions, but also his car in general, rewarding himself with a fourth place at the end of the race.
Championship veteran David Buky finished fifth, a further 32 seconds behind Luff, proving the advantage that the leaders had over the competition. He had spent the early part of the race initially fighting with Ryan Bensley and Ryan Dalzell dropping the former as the event carried on.
Mervyn Beckett took the lead of the Production Class at the end of the opening lap. Beckett, an experienced racer, knew he could make progress, putting a number of Cup Class runners between himself and Alfie Threlfall, who was keen to make progress in his debut weekend. Beckett would cross the line an incredible seventh overall, maintaining a buffer between himself and Threlfall who had been closing later on finish just 2 seconds behind.
Chris Mullen on his debut weekend and Bensley would split the Production pair as Elliot Lewthwaite and Simon Waite completed the top ten in the Cup Class. The only other class finisher would be Thackeray, who will be disappointed after all his morning promise.
Mark Hughes would pick up third in the Production Class, moving up from fifth in qualifying, ensuring his experience paid off.
Full Results can also be found on TSL Timing.