North East 4WD Regional Round 1 - 27th April 2008 - report by Josh Gilbraith and Ben Jemison

Jarrow 2008 outdoor 4wd NE regional

For the first round of the northeast outdoor regional series of 2008 we see a new venue club playing host; JORCC (Jarrow off Road Car Club). The forecast all week for Jarrow was looking bleak till the Saturday night when it began to pick up.

The track was run in a clock-wise direction with a long straight which had the impression of being much longer due to the sweeping turn at the end of the straight onto a small straight which could be taken flat out. It then moved onto a relatively wide section of flat turns into a chicane with a ‘bump’ going into a left hander onto a smaller straight running parallel to the main straight. This then swept left 180 degrees into the biggest and arguably the best feature of the track; a large table-top jump about four feet high with a sloping kicker as the launch ramp some serious height was available with very little run up here. Also this jump had the impression it was parallel to the rostrum yet it wasn’t so plenty of spectacular mistakes were made here in practice. After the down ramp it swept right then into a ‘hairpin, small jump’ combination three times before two more small hairpins over the loop onto a corner table top and onto the straight.

The day started wet with open practice where it became obvious the track was going to cut up and become muddy quickly once racing got underway. The track held up surprisingly well through all of qualifying and no ruts appeared.
There was a range of tyres being used in qualifying, from ballistic buggy mini-spikes to Schumacher blue full spikes.

Graham North’s ‘infotainment’ drivers briefing came up before the racing started discussing the possibility of worsening weather and the outcomes of it. Heat listings came up showing a total of seven heats for the day to be run over four rounds of qualifying and then finals. It was a good sized entry considering the expected weather. The track was very wet in practice and slowing down the cars on the straight. The longer spiked tires proved to be working slightly better through the first half of qualifying and providing that extra edge to some of the faster drivers.

The top 10 fastest times in round 1 were:

Chris Pattinson – 10/ 327.83
Ben Riley – 10/ 329.61
Richard Lowe – 329.73
Tom Cockerill – 10/ 331.93
Steven Pierce – 10/ 335.00
Graham North – 9/ 301.83
Adam Skelding – 9/ 302.14
Richard Isherwood – 9/ 304.27
Andrew Myers – 9/ 305.65
Lee Farrer – 9/ 306.87

The top 10 fastest times in round 2 were:

Tom Cockerill – 10/ 317.52
Adam Skelding – 10/ 319.09
Richard Lowe – 10/ 319.26
Ben Jemison – 10/ 319.33
Richard Isherwood – 10/ 324.91
Chris Pattinson – 10/ 325.76
Graham North – 327.55
Chris Clarke – 10/ 330.65
Lee Farrer – 10/ 332.65
Steve Kirk – 9/ 300.55

The top fastest times in round 3 were:

Ben Jemison – 10/ 312.42
Richard Lowe – 10/ 316.95
Chris Clarke – 10/ 318.53
Tom Cockerill – 10/ 318.64
Steven Pierce – 10/ 319.88
Adam Skelding – 10/ 320.22
Ben Riley – 10/ 323.23
James Chappell – 10/ 324.71
Richard Isherwood – 10/ 324.86
James Dixon – 10/ 326.18

After 4 rounds of qualifying the top 10 looked like this:

Ben Riley – 10/ 306.01
Ben Jemison – 10/ 312.42
Richard Lowe – 10/ 311.56
Tom Cockerill – 10/ 317.52
Chris Pattinson – 10/ 327.83
Adam Skelding – 10/ 319.09
Chris Clark – 10/ 318.53
Steven Pierce – 10/ 319.88
James Chappell – 10/ 314.17
Richard Isherwod – 10/ 324.91

The final started fairly cleanly with Ben Jemison getting a clean line into the first corner to lead while Ben Riley turned in too hard and clipped the rope, thus letting Ben Jemison through, Ben Riley got away quickly though and was soon right behind Jemison again. Jemison led cleanly till the end of the third lap where Riley slipped past him on the loop where he pulled out a small lead down the straight till a small roll left Jemison pushing behind him again with less than a hairs width between them by the second corner of the fourth lap. Jemison once again regained the lead on the second from last corner of the fourth lap but Riley obviously had a slightly faster car down the straight so they were neck and neck into the first corner. Jemison got away in front but a small mistake left him hanging behind on the fifth lap of the race. A mistake from Riley on the table top this time once again left Jemison pushing right behind him going into the technical bit in front of the rostrum still on lap five.
Jemison straight away saw an opening and slipped through back into the lead and kept ahead till the end of the straight on lap seven when another mistake from Riley gave Jemison enough room to stretch his legs and he never looked back from there on. Now the fight for second place was on between Ben Riley and Richard Lowe with Adam Skelding not far behind. Richard Lowe managed to push through to second place and finished just behind Ben Jemison with the rest of the field around four seconds behind. Adam Skelding also got past Ben Riley to third leaving him to finish in fourth place.

In the end the results look like this:

Ben Jemison
– 10/ 302.24
Richard Lowe – 10/ 303.53
Adam Skelding – 10/ 307.39
Ben Riley – 10/ 311.13
Tom Cockerill – 10/ 317.25
Richard Isherwood – 10/ 318.91
Chris Clarke – 10/ 320.91
Steven Pierce – 10/ 321.17
James Chappell – 10/ 323.27
Chris Pattinson – 9/ 304.84


Right: Ben Jemison looks rather pleased with his first regional win.

All in all the final was great to watch, some real close racing and fantastic driving by Ben Jemison to take his first outdoor regional win in his first outdoor regional A final, so a big well done to him, and a big thank you to the organisers who made this event happen and run smoothly like it did.

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All photos copyright Josh Gilbraith