Home   Bury St Edmunds   Sport   Article

Arthur Debebham's motorsport column: Tom Lebbon earns top six finish on grand prix circuit at Silverstone while Carl Boardley takes the chequered flag in all three races in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch




It has been one of the busiest race weekends I have ever known, so let’s begin at Silverstone where the latest three rounds of the British Formula 3 Championship were run over the full grand prix circuit.

For Tostock’s Tom Lebbon it would be his first ever race on that layout. But our 16-year-old quickly got into the challenge and qualifying saw him put the Elite Motorsport car into P10 for race one and P8 for his second outing.

Race one ended when what has been reported as a racing incident saw retirement due to a damaged wheel on the opening lap.

Tom Lebbon racing for Elite Motorsport in the Silverstone round of the British Touring Car Championship Picture: Jakob Ebrey (48779283)
Tom Lebbon racing for Elite Motorsport in the Silverstone round of the British Touring Car Championship Picture: Jakob Ebrey (48779283)

During race two, eighth position was retained until lap seven, which saw him drop to ninth, only to pull back to eighth by the chequered flag. So P8 would be the launch point for race three, this would see him obtain his best result of the season with a well deserved sixth position.

Donington Park saw action from the Historic Sports Car Club with a huge entry for the Historic Formula Ford 2000 Championship, which included father and son Stephen and Ben Glasswell.

This needed qualifying races to decide who would progress to the championship versions. For Ben, racing at the circuit for the first time, it resulted in victory along with fastest lap. Stephen enjoyed a run into eighth.

Tom Lebbon walks the pit lane in the Silverstone round of the British Touring Car Championship Picture: Jakob Ebrey (48779298)
Tom Lebbon walks the pit lane in the Silverstone round of the British Touring Car Championship Picture: Jakob Ebrey (48779298)

What followed was two point-scoring races with the first one seeing Ben on P15, Stephen on P20. Both of them gained top 10 positions, Ben securing fifth and Stephen 10th.

It was late on Sunday before their second outing and for Stephen this ended on the formation lap with an engine problem. Ben, however, starting from P5, held that to the flag, having enjoyed a good race with Adrian Reynard, the actual designer of their race cars.

Now to Brands Hatch and the latest three rounds of the British Touring Car Championship and its support programme, which included three rounds of the Mini Cooper JCW Championship.

For Kesgrave's Lydia Walmsley it continued to be a season of fitting in as much testing as possible as she comes to grips with the more powerful versions of the Mini Cooper.

Lydia Walmsley has progressed up from competing in the Mini Challenge UK Cooper Championship last season Picture: Jakob Ebrey
Lydia Walmsley has progressed up from competing in the Mini Challenge UK Cooper Championship last season Picture: Jakob Ebrey

It is incredibly competitive with Brands seeing a qualifying session in which all 30 cars were covered by just 0.7 seconds.

From this, Lydia secured P22 for her first race which produced a 26th position. An incident during race two saw her drop back and keep clear of the front-runners, with 28th the end result. This then saw the rear of the grid for race three, one which saw a safety car period but one that provided the best result of the weekend as 23rd was obtained.

The BTCC also saw the top 28 cars covered by just one second in a qualifying session from which Great Blakenham's Carl Boardley placed the Infiniti Q50 into P18 for the first race on a damp track during Sunday morning. However, slick tyres were the unanimous choice and having seen him in 14th the eventual result was 16th, just outside of the points.

A safety car period early in race two was due to an incident in which the Infiniti had suffered some damage, dropping him from 15th to 20th by the race conclusion. A clear run from P20 saw his third race provide a 19th, so thankfully all three races were completed.

Snetterton hosted 43 teams for the Ford KA 12 Hours Endurance Race, including the Team Viking outfit of father and son Nick and Harry Nunn, along with Mark Holme. They qualified fifth and with Harry taking the first stint, pulled out a five-second lead. However, the car returned to high fuel consumption, leading to increased pit-stops, but they still recorded an eighth position finish.

Read more: 'Steamroller' success for Tim and Ian

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport