Words by SSgt Dan Moughton
This weekend saw the start of the 2023 Armed Forces Race Challenge season, with rounds 1 and 2 hosted at Silverstone. All of the drivers were ready to show off their driving skills and put into practice their off season training. For 2023,the Army Sports Car Racing team had some new cars and some very familiar favourites including Blairs stunning Black Honda Civic Type R EP3 to the head turning anime style livery of Alex's Nissan 350z.
Round 1 was naturally full of drama, evidently everyone on the circuit was eager to get down to business! Blair and JC had an epic first race and went corner for corner with some outstanding racing between these two AFRC experienced drivers. Alex, debuting that gorgeous 350z, had an unlucky first lap, taking a curb a little eagerly which caused an electrical issue and ending race 1. Scotty in his Fiesta ST 150 had damage to his front right tyre, meaning a late call pit stop, to which the pit crew demonstrated why the Army Sports Car Racing Team is one of the best in the paddock. For the rest of the team, playing it safe and staying out of trouble was the right call, with Paul bringing in some really consistent lap times in his Renault Clio RenaultSport and Nick making a season comeback in his BMW 3 Series Compact.
Round 2 and everyone across the grid brought their A game! Paul and Ben swapped seats for this race, and Ben demonstrated just what the Clio RS could really do when pushed on track. Just like Race 1 JC and Blair had some more incredible track battles, unfortunately for JC and his Lionheart Racing 306, Blairs Honda Civic Type R was just a little quicker on the straights. Scotty had a very clean race, meaning the removal of his Novice sticker is mere rounds away. Matty and Nick had a driver swap for race 2 with the pair delivering some great racing and consistent lap times in their BMW 3 Series Compact. When it comes to power, speed and race craft, ASCR Veteran Chalky White, hammered home with a few top 3 results in his Mission Motorsport livery Honda Civic Type R EP3.
With all of this, it was Alex and his Nissan 350z that brought home the big points in Race 2, with consistent driving and clean racing, Alex was awarded with the Performance Index winner. This is the key to winning the Armed Forces Race Challenge, as demonstrated by SSgt Dougie Inglis in 2022 with his Mazda MX-5.
Overall, it was a great start to the season, with silverware for the team and some points on the board for many of the drivers. With 8 more rounds to go over 4 more venues, the 2023 Armed Forces Race Challenge is already promising to be one of the best seasons so far! It's pretty evident that everyone had a fantastic weekend (as per Bens very happy helmet smile bottom right) and are already eager for round 3 and 4 at Croft Circuit... We hope to see you there!
Don't forget, you can watch the full ASCR video on our YouTube channel @Armysportscarracing.
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