The Whiteline 22B.com Sprint Series got off to a flying start on Saturday 2nd April, with round one at Pembrey in southwest Wales welcoming some of the UK’s top Subaru sprinters and an array of impressive machinery.
Despite weather conditions in the morning resembling a monsoon in Asia rather than a spring day in Carmarthenshire, the competition was as fierce as usual and, as the track dried out in the afternoon, it was Steven Darley who eventually took the top spot in Class 3 and claimed FTD in the process. Nial Bradley took the honours in Class S2 in his Impreza STI, whilst Adrian Bradley did likewise in class S1 driving an Impreza WRX.
Utilising most of Pembrey circuit’s 1.456-mile lap, the sprint course needed some considered negotiation during the morning’s three practice runs, with the track’s usually predictable surface punctuated with stretches of standing water. Quickest in practice was Olly Clark, who set a 53.64 in his Type R Impreza, a time notably faster than anyone else.
But it’s the competitive sessions where it counts and it was local driver Dave Coe who set the pace overall and in Class S3 (the category for cars that are allowed unlimited modifications) with a time of 53.34 in the first of the afternoon’s seven runs. Darley then snatched the baton on run number two with a 51.60 that, at the time, looked like it was unlikely to be beaten.
Indeed it wasn’t bettered until run five, when Darley himself posted a 50.55 to seal the deal in Class S3 and set FTD. It was no easy feat through, as Damien Bradley - who was possibly now regretting he had offered to share his Legacy with Darley - together with Clark and Coe continued to snap at his heels. Consequently, just 1.92 seconds separated the top four Class S3 drivers, who also finished as the top four overall.
In Class S2 for track specification cars it was Nial Bradley who managed to hold off the advances of another chasing trio behind him. Setting his fastest time on run five, he ended the event a slender 0.46 seconds ahead of Clive Fulcher in his Type R Impreza and nearly a full second in front of Rob Attwood in his Impreza.
Class S1 proved to be equally as competitive, after Adrian Bradley saved the best to last and snatched victory on the seventh and final run posting a 57.63, his time beating the 57.98 set by Alan Tait in his Impreza STI as early as run two.
Driving his Impreza, Adrian Bristow rounded off the podium finishing third in the category for fast road specification cars.
The series now takes a four-week break before battle recommences at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Sunday 1st May.Increasing the series’ profile this year is the addition of live commentary and video filming at every round that will be broadcast throughout the season on social media.
The 2016 Whiteline 22B.com Sprint Series is sponsored by: Whiteline Performance Suspension, AS Performance, Chevron Motorsport and Area 52 Autosport.
Round 1 Class WinnersClass Class sponsor Driver Car TimeS1 AS Performance Adrian Bradley Impreza WRX 57.63S2 Chevron Motorsport Nial Bradley Impreza STI 55.06S3 Area 52 Autosport Steven Darley Legacy 50.55 (FTD)