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Campbell-Smith Enjoys Dominant GRDC Opener

Campbell-Smith Enjoys Dominant GRDC Opener 15 brand new racing drivers made their motorsport debut at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend as the newly qualified competitors took to the track in somewhat mixed conditions.

A qualifying session plus two races saw Adrian Campbell-Smith enjoy the perfect start to his racing career as he started on pole position for both encounters. Qualifying with a time of 1:47.437 and taking the prime spot from Richard Evans by 0.484 seconds, an advantage he managed to translate into a win for both encounters.

A blistering start to race one for Evans saw him claim the lead off the line, but a spin at Brooke Chicane at the end of the opening lap saw him drop to the very back of the pack. Richard Smith was waiting in the wings to take advantage of the action, slipping past Campbell-Smith and Mike Jarvis from fourth on the grid to take a somewhat brief race lead, before Campbell-Smith retook the place on lap two whilst Perkins and Walker rounded out the top five. By lap three, Evans had already recovered to ninth place, certainly not being shy about pushing on his opening appearance, and eventually finishing in a very respectable fifth place.

Lap four saw Garstang lose the back end of his G40 Club Car as he headed into Tarzan with a little too much vigour, a spin dropped him to P11 but he managed to recover to ninth by the time the chequered flag came out, and in doing so providing fans with some fantastic viewing as he raced with Phil McGarty and Roy Perkins throughout the latter half of the encounter. A little further down the order, Mike Newbould, Paul Garstang, Colin Plumb and Mark Cundy had a fantastic race for 10th place.

At the flag, Campbell-Smith had managed to maintain his lead, taking the debut win of the year from Smith, who just fended off Jarvis to cross the line 0.232 seconds up the road.

Race two was a very different affair with the rain coming down by the bucket load as the drivers lined up for what would only be the second race of their career. As the lights went out, Campbell-Smith enjoyed a lightening start as others struggled for grip off the line, handing him a strong advantage as the cars headed towards Deene for the first time.

A spin for Jarvis from third saw him tumble down the order, although contact was avoided as the racers filed past the rotating car. Benefitting on the opening lap were McGarty, who leapfrogged from sixth to third, and Newbould, who climbed from tenth to sixth, only to have his hard work undone has he fell to the very back of the field following a spin on lap two.

In the middle of the pack, Perkins, Hughes and Nadjaran – the latter of whom who started at the very back of the grid - had a superb fight over eighth place, the position of which was maintained by Perkins, whilst Nadjaran managed to find a way around Hughes to take ninth before the flag fell.

A great drive by Jarvis saw him reclaim third place by the penultimate lap, but with Evans close behind in fourth - having passed McGarty on lap four – he was shuffled down to the order as Evans made a move. Out front, Smith fell from second place and in doing so promoted Evans to second, albeit for a short while as a spin of the last lap left him to finish an eventual fourth.

The result means Campbell-Smith took his second win of the weekend – by an impressive 19 seconds – with Jarvis securing second, a comfortable 3.781s up the road from McGarty in third. Evans settled for fourth, whilst a photo finish for Garstang and Walker saw them finish fifth and sixth with 0.110 between them.

Adrian Campbell-Smith said; “Two wins! Fabulous! Thanks to all the guys at Ginetta who have made the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club a great thing to be a part of, and all the other drivers who were great to race alongside and passed their ARDS tests just a month ago like me! There really is nothing like racing, although straight into it with a wet race here at Rockingham was a special experience to say the least, but what a great start to my motorsport career!”