Round 6 Review

 Hello all,

1. CASTROL BMW RACE DRIVER SERIES ROUND 6.
A big thank you must go out to all those competitors that were able to attend the Hampton Downs “Legends Of Speed” meeting last weekend.
And after thinking that racing couldn’t get any closer than what we experienced during Round 5 of the Championship at Pukekohe, we were proven wrong!!
After all three races of the weekend had been completed, race points for the top 3 competitors in the CASTROL BMW 2.0 Litre Championship had all three tied on 558 points for the round.
All three having scored a 1st / 2nd and 3rd placing from the three races.
Final placing’s being decided in favour of Peter Ball in first place courtesy of the fastest time in qualifying moving his overall tally out to 568 points, followed by Ashley Blewett in second, ahead of Graham Ball by virtue of setting the faster overall lap time of the two.
Similarly the top two placing’s in CASTROL BMW Open A also ended tied on 558 points once the additional 10 points for top qualifying had been added.
1st place again needing to be decided by fastest lap of the meeting, giving the round win to Andre Mortimer ahead of Andrew Nugent, with Rob Berggren third for the round on 512 points.
In CASTROL BMW Open B it was another close run competition for round honours.
Two out of three race wins was not quite enough for Michael Starnes, who was the class pace man all weekend, after a very wet and slippery reverse grid race played havoc with his horsepower and tyre combo.
A well measured wet run by a returning Neville Findlay had him at the top of the point sheet for the weekend on 558 points (again!!) ahead of Michael on 549 in second.
Steve Lawrence was relishing the power of the 3.0 Litre E30 over his normal E46 2.0 Litre class mount taking out 3rd for the round on 490 points.
CASTROL BMW E30’s this time experiencing slightly more breathing space for round results, with Matt Griffin taking out the round on 583 points ahead of Matthew Seddon on 551 and Aaron Hodgeson on 544 points.
The same couldn’t be said for overall series podium placing’s though, with this coming right down to the wire in the last two race groups.
The first scenario had Mark Crompton needing to do all he could from a last grid starting position for the “Bottom Half Final” to salvage any chance of hanging onto 3rd place for the season after a last corner DNF in Race 2 took away any chance of making the Top Half final group.
Mark ably cutting his way through the field to take the chequered flag (and an effective 16th place points finish).
With 200 for 1st and 185 for second the pressure was now back onto Matthew Seddon who now trailed by 182 points going into the “Top Half Final”.
Up ahead Matt Griffin held a comfortable series lead over 2nd placed Aaron Hodgeson, requiring no worse than a 9th place finish in the final race of the season.
After some early 11/10ths moments the implications of a potential DNF seemed to kick in, with Matt dropping back to a covering 3rd place position for the rest of the race.
This allowed Matthew Seddon to battle it out with Aaron for the race win, and after several side by side attempts up the front straight Aaron held on for the win ahead of Matthew who also grabbed another 10 points for the fastest lap of the race, his first since competing in the series!
Provisional Season Results;
Matt Griffin                 2793
Aaron Hodgeson        2733
Matthew Seddon       2596
Things were even more intense going into the CASTROL BMW 2.0 Litre final with Peter Ball holding a slim lead of only 33 points over Ash Blewett, with Graham Ball only 22 point further back in 3rd position.
For Peter it meant a top 3 finish was needed, for the others a win was critical, with everything else left up to the gods of speed.
A partly damp / slippery surface for the 2.0 Litre final did its best to test this trio as they pushed to the limits throughout the race.
The final result being the win for Peter ahead of a fast closing Graham in second, with Ash coming home in third.
This cemented the provision season win for Peter Ball on 2877 points ahead of Ash Blewett on 2817, with Graham only 10 points behind on 2807 for 3rd place.
VERY IMPORTANT!!!
2. The CASTROL BMW OPEN A and CASTROL BMW OPEN B championship final round was scheduled to be part of the MSNZ Summer Series Final being held next weekend.
(16th – 17th April at Pukekohe Park Raceway).
Due to changes made, outside what had been agreed with meeting organisers, within the last week to race formats it has been made impossible to run our season deciding finale in a fair and equitable manner for all competitors.
As a result we have withdrawn the CASTROL BMW Open A / B group from this meeting.
Your final three races for the season will take place at Hampton Downs on Saturday the 7th May.
This will be followed by the final round of our 1 hour endurance series on Sunday the 8th May.
For those still wishing to compete next weekend the offer to run within the NZV8 and V8 SuperTourer grid is still extended to our Open Group A competitors.
Online entry is open at www.motorsportentry.com
ALSO COMING UP………………….
2016 AGM / Prize giving dinner.
The Ellerslie Events Centre will again be the venue for our yearly AGM and Prize giving dinner.
More information will be sent out closer to the event, however you can lock the date in as Saturday the 18th June 2016.
DUNLOP 800.
The Dunlop 800 is an 800km race being held at Hampton Downs on the 2nd July 2016.
While this has been organized for 2K Cup competitors, an invite to compete has been extended to our BMW E30 competitors.
You will find a copy of this invite and associated rules / regulations etc in an earlier e-mail.
If anyone is keen to participate please, in the first instance, get in touch with James Watson c/oj@mez.co.nz to express your interest.
We’ll keep you updated, and will help with putting teams together for any interested individual drivers if needed.
CASTROL BMW Race Driver Series Track Day.   
The newly finished (by then) Hampton Downs extension has been booked for our “Pre-season” track day and E30 Scholarship program.
This will be the ideal introduction to a new set of interesting corners!
The date to mark on your calendar’s for this is, Saturday the 30th July 2016.
Regards
CASTROL BMW Race Driver Series Committee.