The rescheduled Dirt Masters event took place at the Coventry track over the weekend, and it was Darren Bloomfield who mastered the challenging track conditions to take a comfortable victory at the end of the main final.
The weather on Saturday was glorious, with beautiful sunshine greeting the drivers in the morning although there were some showers forecast through the weekend.
Practice comprised of two rounds which saw the drivers experimenting with different tyre treads and compounds to try and get the best traction on the unusual surface. the track has had some vegetable oil added to most of the corners to help bind the dirt together and prevent it from digging out, which it does very successfully. The flip side is the areas that have been treated have become billiard table smooth and glass like in their surface which offers very little traction. The untreated sections between corners are the opposite offering a lot of traction and making the transition between the two very tricky if the car is loaded on its suspension at the time.
Qualifying got underway and Darren dominated all four rounds to take place on saturday, using different tyres as he went to try and find the best balance. In the final round Darren tried a tyre set up used by Jerome Sartel at the Euros in Reims last year to great effect and suddenly found nearly a second a lap. The medium compound tyres finding more traction on the slippery surface than the soft and supersoft had throughout the day.
Overnight rain meant a slightly damp track in the morning and a few light showers during the round meant Darren decided not to run in the final two rounds of qualifying having already secured the overall TQ.
The weather improved as final came around and the track was back to looking as it had done the previous day, so Darren decided to stick with his tyre set up from saturday afternoon.
The final got underway and it was obvious that he didn't have the traction of the previous day and was only pulling away from the field at a steady rate, but he would find his groove as the 30 minute final wore on and eventually would take the flag by a comfortable margin. The excitement of the race was provided by the two Agama youngsters Ollie Currie and Jonny Skidmore, these two were battling through the final and were never separated by more than a few seconds. As it was it was Ollie who came out on top to secure 3rd overall behind Michael Lewis to complete a Bullitt/BETA podium lockout once again. Completing the excellent performance from the Agama drivers, Aaron Girling and William Skidmore also produced excellent drives to make it in to the main final.
After the race was finished the track was opened up for testing, so Darren decided to try some different tyres again and this time he found that the Supersoft he had gone away from on Saturday were quicker than what he had run in the final, the complete opposite of what he had found the previous day. This will mean come the BRCA national, the drivers will have to be on top of their tyre selections at all times to remain competitive...X