UK: Jamie Edwards Roskirk Stages summary

Jamie takes tenth - but only just! Wrexham's Jamie Edwards hoped for a top ten finish on this weekend's opening round of the Formula 1000 Tarmac Rally Championship, and the Welshman only just made it as he finished a fine 10th in the ...

Jamie takes tenth - but only just!

Wrexham's Jamie Edwards hoped for a top ten finish on this weekend's opening round of the Formula 1000 Tarmac Rally Championship, and the Welshman only just made it as he finished a fine 10th in the season opening F1000 battle. Edwards would later be awarded the prize of 'Driver of the Day' for his efforts by the Formula 1000 Championship teams.

Based at the Three Sisters Race Track near Wigan, the Roskirk Stages offered 12 stages of twisty all tarmac tests for Edwards and Farnborough based co-driver Pamela Hilton to master in their Matador Tyres backed Nissan Micra. Jamie will concentrate his efforts on the Formula 1000 Gravel Championship this season, so the 29 year old from Kings Mills was looking for some much needed match practice on the Roskirk event, where 19 other near identical Formula 1000 cars would also contest the rally.

The RidCom Media and Denbigh Plant Services backed duo were hopeful of achieving a top ten placing, despite the very stiff opposition on the day. An abundance of similar Nissan Micras would make life hard for Edwards, but he held joint 8th in the proceedings after the first stage of the day, despite a few dramas as the Micra finished the stage with steam pouring out of the front of the car.

Inspection at service showed the problem to be nothing more than a loose radiator cap - and Edwards was mighty relieved that the problem was not serious. With Jamie and Pamela also competing together for the first time, the duo were happy with their pace as Jamie continued to set top ten stage times throughout the morning stages.

A close battle was now beginning to develop in the lower reaches of the top ten. Around 15 seconds covered no less than 5 drivers, with Jamie locked in a battle with guest driver David Winstanley, and former National Tarmac Champion Steve King, making his return to the sport after a long lay off. Just two seconds separated Edwards from 9th placed Winstanley, while King was just five seconds back from Jamie. Winstanley pulled another two seconds from Jamie over the final loop of stages, and King closed the gap by a solitary second to claim 11th, leaving Jamie very happy to have had a trouble free day, taking 10th spot in the process.

"Its been a really great day out, and our times were very consistent if not spectacular" commented Jamie. "The car had a number of new components fitted for today, including a complete new transmission and a few other small changes. Fortunately they all worked seamlessly, so we were able to concentrate on our battle with Steve and David, which was great fun. The slightest mistake could have meant the difference between finishing 8th or 12th, so it was pressure on for us over the final couple of stages to make sure we stayed 10th.

I tried my best to catch David on the final stage, but we both set identical stage times - so we had to settle for the 10th. With 20 finishers in the category, I was very happy to have finished inside the top ten in such a highly competitive series. Its a credit to the Championship organisers for setting such good regulations to make the rallies so close in terms of stage times. Its excellent fun."

Edwards now leaves the tarmac challenge behind, as he sets his sights on the all new Formula 1000 Gravel Championship. Starting with Jamie's home event, the Astra Stages in Llangollen, the series takes the teams to some of the best forest rally stages in the country. Competition will be tough, and Jamie will be keen to make a good start on home soil on April 9th.

-jemsport-

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