This past weekend was the Nitro X Cross rounds 13 & 14 at Swansea’s new dirt track, down in sunny South Wales, which is located inside the grounds of a full size motorsport circuit called Pembrey Race Circuit. Leading up to the race weekend the local area, as much of Britain, was hammered with rain with it being Summer, however a dry day on the Saturday meant that the club could do a few little touches and alterations before round 13 on the Sunday.
So Sunday came and so did the rain, not as heavy as in the week but a constant drizzle meant for a cold and soggy day, with 4 rounds of qualifying to get through in the day, as well as finals later on, the Nitro X Cross series combine practice with the first round, giving each heat 3 minutes before the start of the heat to get a feel of the track, with the standard Nemo Team dirt setup on the car from the nationals, nothing on the car was changed and just a refresh of the shock oil and we were ready to go, with the track having oiled sections as well as hard packed dirt, I opted to run Super Soft Freeride for the first round to learn where the traction and grip will be. Second round I changed on to Super Soft V-Maxx giving the car more side bite on the oiled sections which resulted in TQ for that round. The A215 was forgiving and very easy to drive in the slippery conditions meaning I can push on TQing 3 of the 4 rounds. On to the A Main and after a slightly ropey start by me catching a stone just before roller jump meant I had to the job of fighting from the back of the pack if I was going to take the win, by lap 5 we were back up to 3rd and fighting for the lead, every time I took the lead I’d then have a moment putting me back to 3rd and having to do it all again. On the 4th time of trying I managed to not throw it away and started to gap the field, after the first stop we had managed to fuel and still be out in front and held on to take the win of the 25 minute main by over a lap.
The Monday Round 14, everyone was greeted with a very wet track with puddles after heavy over night rain, which had even seen some people’s tents leak, the Swansea club knew however that the track dried very quickly and with a few brushes and some sawdust we were ready to go by half 9. Even before the first heat had finished the track was almost bone dry. In the first round I opted to try Super Soft Cubez seeing as it was now a dry track with lots of smooth oiled areas, these were fast but I was losing time on the un-oiled/rutted sections so switched to Super Soft V-Maxx for the rest of the day taking 2 of the 4 rounds and starting on Pole again for the A Main. Today I got a better start and was being chased and having a good battle’s with Jon Howells and Chris Leighton, this went on up to just before the first fuel stops, where some mistakes from the rest and the constant/clean/fast laps the A215 could easily do, meant I was able to open up the gap, re-fuel and still hold on to the lead, which I was able to maintain till the end of the race, taking the win by just over a lap again.
A great weekends racing and many thanks to the Swansea club for the work put in after and during the rain and to the Nitro X Cross organisers, to my Dad for the Pit Work through out the day and to Nemo Racing for their constant and unbeatable support.
Ben Williams - Nemo Racing
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