MACAW show promising start to season…
MACAW Motorsport had all 3 cars out for last weekends start to the season at the wonderfully sunny Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent. All of the drivers were keen to get the season underway after the false start at Donington last month due to the weather.
With a capacity grid of 34 cars out on track at the same time, qualifying was always going to be difficult to get a clear lap, however early on in the session Rob Fagg put in an early lap of 57.99 which temporally placed him in pole position, however a late surge in the session saw him pipped to pole by just 0.1 of a second by newcomer Michael Winkworth, pushing Rob down to 2nd. Paul Kaynes had a busy session but eventually found some space to put in a solid 58.93 placing him 5th place on the grid. However circuit racing newcomer Chris Woods was not far behind putting in an impressive lap of 59.01 getting him up to 8th place on the grid.
After a great qualifying session by all of the MACAW drivers and hopes of some silverware, race 1 was sure to be a busy with all to play for. Unfortunately this was not the case for Rob who started 2nd on the grid. After a clean getaway from the line and heading into the braking zone along side the pole man Winkworth, Rob found himself involved in a multiple car incident, sustaining race ending damage and sent crashing into the barrier before turn one. This was not the start to the season that the team or the driver was hoping for. With Rob out of the race before it had even begun, it was down to Paul and Chris to chase down the leaders to try and gain a spot on the podium and some MACAW silverware. Both Paul and Chris got fantastic starts and managed to avoid the first corner mayhem and were quickly on the pace of the front runners. From their starting positions of P5 & P8, both drivers were quickly into the top 5 and chasing down the front of the pack. The race was then red flagged due to another incident at clearways and the grid was re-set for a 6 lap shootout. On the restart Chris managed to get the jump on Paul and also on 3rd place man at the time, Ian Williamson. Chris remained in 3rd for most of the restarted race but was slowly being closed down by both Ian and Paul. However it was not meant to be as on the last lap Chris ended up going across the grass into the last corner which allowed Ian to slip through and gain the last step on the podium. Paul also managed to get past and brought home his best ever result in 4th place, with Chris coming across the line in 5th. Both drivers had a fantastic race and showed they were on the pace and would be challenging this season for the podium positions.
With the grid positions for the 2nd race of the weekend being decided by the finishing positions of the previous race, Paul was to begin 4th in class and Chris was 5th. With the help of Chief Mechanic Mark Freeman and the guys from Dumpsport, Rob’s Saxo was repaired over night and joined the back row of the grid, determined to try and gain as many points as possible for the championship. The start of race 2 saw Paul get passed by Chris, who was again quickly on the tail of the leading trio up ahead. Paul was holding his own with competitors around him and Rob had a great start and began picking his way through the field, overtaking an impressive 7 cars in the opening lap of the race. As Rob continued to find his way through the field, Chris continued where he had left off and was battling for the podium positions. As this was happening Rob caught up with Paul and they began dicing for positions, however Paul began having engine problems and allowed Rob to get past and chase the leading pack. Unfortunately the problem got worse and after spitting oil onto his tyres causing a huge moment at the bottom of Paddock Hill Bend, Paul had to retire the car. Chris remained out at the front challenging Ian as he did in the first race, however after a wide moment through Graham Hill bend and bouncing across the grass, one of his exhaust mounts failed and his exhaust began dragging along the ground. Keen to carry on he tried to stay out to gain maximum points, however he was called in by the track officials and also had to retire his car. This left Rob as the only remaining MACAW driver in the race and he was soon closing down 3rd place man Ian. Unfortunately he was not able to close the gap before the chequered flag dropped, but it was a valiant effort from the back of the grid which earned a 4th place finish and much needed points for the championship.
In summary it was a mixed weekend for the team, all drivers showed excellent pace and put on a fantastic show for the TV cameras who were filming for Motors TV, with all 3 having strong results but also suffering a DNF each.
As it stands, Rob & Paul are tied for 6th Place in the Championship with Chris just 1 point behind in 7th Place.
The next race meeting will be at Croft with qualifying and both races on Saturday 26th May. In the mean time, enjoy the below videos from Rob, showing his qualifying lap, race 1 crash and race 2 footage coming through the field. Also be sure to check out the photo gallery below…