Darren Bloomfield made a fantastic start to his Agama career with a dominant display at the inaugural Xmas Cross race held at the Storm Valley Raceway just outside Stoke. A strong field of drivers meant competition would be fierce at the front of the field, and with the tight track ensuring negotiating traffic would be paramount.
The track while small, was immaculately prepared and the drivers all commented how much fun it was to drive, but all agreed time loss in traffic was going to be crucial to overall race times.
After practice Darren was quite happy with his car, although he like many others was looking for a little extra turn in as getting into the tight corners was key to fast lap times on this track. Young Jonny Skidmore was also going well and looking comfortable, along with brother William.
Qualifying got underway and Darren set his stall out by taking the TQ time in all of the first thee rounds to all but secure TQ for the meeting. Darren not only was the quickest car on track, but he was also using his patience in traffic to great advantage which prevented him getting tangled up in accidents and minimised the inevitable time loss that all the drivers faced. We had made a few small changes to Darren's car throughout qualifying that had gradually improved it and he was feeling better and better and his times were improving round by round.
As qualifying resumed on Sunday morning, Darren left nothing to chance by taking both of the final two rounds of qualifying in dominant fashion, and in the final round he was the first and only driver to record a 23 lap run, and take the round win by an impressive 8 seconds.
Jonny Skidmore drove excellently throughout qualifying to finish eighth overall and take the final direct qualifying position for the main final, with William Skidmore qualifying an impressive twelfth after some superb driving.
The main final got underway with the predictable comings together which left Darren at the front from Simon Willetts with Elliott Boots back in fourth. Over the first stint of the 25 minute main, Darren was able to gradually extend his lead over the chasing pack as the others fought over second position, reaching the first round of stops with about a ten second advantage. As the race continued Darren relentlessly continued to pull away with a speed and consistency the others had no answers, which by the flag would give him a winning margin of over two laps from Simon Willetts. Jonny Skidmore fought hard to finish an eventual ninth overall which he should rightly be proud of in this company.
Many thanks to Rob Cockcroft for his help with marshalling and pitting over the weekend contributing to Darren's incredible debut with his new team.
We would like to thank Jared and all the guys at Storm Valley for putting on an excellent event and look forward to returning in the future.