James makes up lost ground in title race
Published on: 30 May 2017
Three rounds into the Vincenzo & Sons Bristol MX5 Challenge, James Hurford of Downend was sitting in third place in the championship. After a personal best time during round 2 at Castle Combe, pipped only by Louis Ruff of Pucklechurch and Andrew O'Malley of Thornbury, he was hoping for a first win at Kemble for round 3. That didn't quite happen as he clipped a cone, receiving a five-second penalty and gifting the win to Andrew. Round 4 was at Llandow Circuit in Wales and he was keen for a good result.
First practice didn't go well and James was nearly three seconds off the pace. Second practice was worse as he improved just 0.01 seconds, while Andrew improved by nearly half a second. He would be playing catch-up in the afternoon. He certainly did catch up, halving the gap to 1.3 seconds on the first run. On the final run, he gave it everything, knocking 0.8 seconds off the gap to Andrew, who won his second round in a row, jumping to the top of the championship. His performance put James in second place, whilst Tom Caldecourt was close behind in third place. James now sits second in the overall championship and at the top of Class A.
While James was battling it out at the top of the timesheets, Staple Hill residents Paul St George and his son Curtis were having their first experience of motorsport. Having picked a remarkably competitive championship, they arrived at Kemble with only the expectation to have fun. A track day at Castle Combe had resulted in some panel damage the previous day and so the car turned up rather bruised and the drivers a little nervous. Both drove well, finishing seventh and eighth respectively.
Before Llandow, Paul and Curtis took the opportunity to get some tips from James and Andrew at a test day. After a few hours circulating the track, they were getting the hang of things. Paul was mixing it in the midfield and finished in eighth place after falling back in the afternoon. Curtis wasn't far behind in 11th, showing remarkable consistency with three runs within 0.3 seconds.