National racing stars of the weekend: July 8/9

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Our team of reporters pick their star performers from last weekend’s national race meetings.

Snetterton AMOC: Tom Andrew. By Lewis Beales

“It feels like a win” declared an exhausted Tom Andrew (pictured above by Richard Styles) as he made his way to the lower step of the Historic Touring Cars podium. The former Morgan Challenge racer initially found the ex Guy Povey BMW M3 difficult to handle with a ‘diff problem which limited traction. “I lost places at the start” admitted Andrew but once the pit stop sequence had play out he found himself chasing the Peter Hallford Mustang. “He was quick on the straights but I got close enough to put my nose up the inside at the quick hairpin (Agostini) which put him off and onto the grass”.

Jay McCormack raced hard in Caterhams. Pic: Mick Walker

Donington BRSCC: Jay McCormack. By Dom D’Angelillo

With a strapped-up arm and swiftly repaired car, you’d have forgiven Caterham Roadsport driver Jay McCormack for taking it a bit easy at Donington following a nasty shunt last time out, but the Irishman is never one to give up and does everything with a smile.

Not only did he have the largest winning margin by any British Caterham race over the course of the weekend (4.887s), he also halted championship leader Pete Walter’s run of four wins on the bounce.

McCormack went on to finish second in race two behind Walters in another breathless Caterham race, before being slammed with a Code 60 time-penalty. Ever the professional and like the other six offenders, McCormack accepted the penalty like a trooper and failed to let it dampen his spirits. That’s what racing is all about!

Ben Powney dominated in Locost. Pic: Steve Jones

Anglesey 750MC: Ben Powney. By Matt Kew

That the Locost Championship attracts a 30-strong grid all running to the same design dictates, for the most part, extremely close racing.

So for Ben Powney to win the first Anglesey race by five-and-a-half seconds and race two by nearly ten shows just how strong of a weekend he put together.

Having, in his own words, “driven like a knob [at Anglesey] last year” Ben relearned the track with the help of video footage and it paid dividends.

The end result was two commanding victories that put him in championship contention, or would have done if he wasn’t missing the next round at Rockingham to be a best man.

James Clarke shone in Clubmans at Oulton. Pic: Mick Walker

Oulton Park BARC: James Clarke. By Piotr Magdziarz

James Clarke was the class of the field in the Clubmans Championship. “The car was fantastic. We did a bit of testing on Friday and within three sessions we were happy with how it went. We haven’t touched the car since. I just had to steer and push the pedals. It’s a testament of hard work that Orex Competition puts into the car. I’ve never actually felt that comfortable here [at Oulton Park]. For some reason this weekend I felt far more at ease with the track,” said the 17-year-old whose stellar performance moves him a step closer to the title.

Alice Hughes led the way at the MSVR Mini Festival. Pic: Gary Hawkins

Brands Hatch MSVR: Alice Hughes. By Dan Mason

Girl power was very much a force at Brands Hatch with no fewer than 10 ladies taking part in the Mini Festival, but Mighty Minis racer Alice Hughes produced the most popular clean sweep of the weekend.

Although without competition from good friend Sarah Moore, the 22-year-old showed experienced race craft to not only fend off a chasing pack in race one, but do it the hard way from the reverse grid in the second.

Hughes finally joined Moore as a winner in a breakthrough season for the Harrogate racer, joining Ashley Davies, Aaron Smith, Matt Hammond and Chris Slade in being unbeaten in Kent.

O’Hara was triumphant again in Formula Vee Festival in Ireland. Pic: Michael Chester

Mondello Park CKMC: Kevin O’Hara. By Leo Nulty

Kevin O’Hara has forged a reputation as one of the fastest drivers in the country. When he wheels his FF1600 out, he is still a match for the best around and when he entered the Vee Festival in his Leastone chassis, few would have predicted him being beaten.  He won the opening heat from last on the grid, easily won the second from the front and despite his trademark tardy start, charged to the front in the final to win the Festival for the second year in succession.

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