Milltek Sport Civic Cup – Rounds 10, 11 & 12
Cadwell Park – 12th & 13th August 2023
Another dramatic weekend of racing for the Milltek Sport Civic Cup at Cadwell Park’s challenging ‘mini-Nurburgring’ left the title race very finely poised.
While Dave Marshall secured a maiden victory, strong performances from Alistair Camp and Max Edmundson allowed them to jump Dan Thackeray in the standings, with the trio covered by just six points with two weekends remaining.
The title protagonists demonstrated their class in Saturday morning’s qualifying session as the top four in the standings locked out the front two rows of the grid for Rounds 10 and 12 of the championship.
It was tight at the top, as Pro Alloys Racing driver Ryan Bensley secured a double pole, edging out Area Motorsport man Max Edmundson by less than a tenth of second on fastest and second-fastest times.
Alistair Camp (Pro Alloys) was left to rue a couple of track-limits transgressions as he had to settle for third, ahead of pre-weekend points leader Dan Thackeray (Motion Motorsport).
Young gun Harvey Caton was twice fifth in his family-run car. Alex Kite (Pro Alloys) was sixth fastest but only managed one really quick lap, which allowed Jack Harding onto row three of Round 12’s grid, set on second-fastest times.
Round 10 – Race Report
It was Edmundson who got the jump at the start of the race, with Camp slotting into second and Bensley dropping to third, holding off Thackeray and Caton.
After an early safety car, to retrieve Anthony Gannon’s stricken machine, Bensley continued to slip down the order with a lack of power, while Morgan Bailey managed to make a move on Caton, which gave him fourth position.
Ahead of them, Camp kept the pressure on Edmundson, but the youngster held on to take a second consecutive win, with Thackeray completing the podium.
Caton was fifth, ahead of Harding, with Dave Marshall securing a best-ever result in seventh, at the wheel of his distinctive FN2-shape machine.
Will Redford, who was another to suffer in qualifying as a result of track-limits transgressions, worked his way up from 12th to finish eighth, ahead of Pro Alloys team-mates Alex Kite and Travis Chapman.
Nick Charlier and Jack Ruddell were 11th and 12th, as Bensley plummeted to 13th at the flag.
Round 11 – Race Report
With the grid for the second race of the weekend formed by a top-10 reversal of the first race result, it left Chapman and Kite on the front row.
Unfortunately at the first attempt, a start line shunt towards the rear of the field caused a red flag, requiring a complete restart.
A problem for Chapman prevented him taking up his pole position for the second attempt and instead left him having to start from the pitlane.
Marshall’s flying start jumped him into second behind Kite, while Harding’s attempt to follow past Redford cost him time and allowed Bailey to make a move around the outside of Park and Chris Curve for fourth.
Kite initially built a small margin to Marshall, but the FN2 driver whittled it down and produced a stunning move to take the lead mid-race. The pair ran side by side through Park, Chris Curve and the Gooseneck before Marshall made it stick on the inside into Mansfield.
Sadly, Kite’s left front shock absorber broke going into The Mountain and forced him into retirement, joining team-mate Redford who had pulled in a lap earlier.
That promoted Bailey to second, but Camp was the fastest man on track. He had earlier cleared Thackeray as his championship rival tried to find a way past Harding, then quickly dispatched Harding too before closing up to Bailey.
Camp was unable to complete a move on Bailey, and neither did the local driver have the pace to catch Marshall who was delighted to take his maiden Milltek Sport Civic Cup victory. It was also the first win for the FN2 model since 2019.
Bailey and Camp completed the podium, while Thackeray and Edmundson limited their points-loss to Camp by snatching fourth and fifth after Harding was forced out on the final lap.
Bensley climbed from 13th to seventh, as Nick Charlier, Owen Hillman and James Ramsden completed the top 10.
Round 12 – Race Report
The weekend finale was stopped at half-distance after two mid-grid runners crashed at the famous Mountain corner, leaving barrier damage that required repairs.
The race at that point had settled down with Bensley converting his pole position into the lead, harried by Edmundson. Thackeray was running third, under pressure from Camp, with Caton keeping a watching brief.
The race was restarted over what was scheduled to be a six-minute sprint, equating to three laps, with a rain shower set to spice things up further.
But first to hit trouble was Harding, whose car was finished the first lap into into the barriers on the entry to Chris Curve after contact with Will Redford. A further incident between Travis Chapman and Anthony Gannon at the Mountain brought out red flags, with the race declared based on countback to the first lap.
So Bensley took his second win of the season ahead of the title-leading trio Edmundson, Camp and Thackeray, leaving the standings finely balanced with Camp just in front ahead of next month’s penultimate round at Silverstone.
Caton was fifth, ahead of Bailey and Redford, while Kite, Marshall and Charlier completed the top 10.
Edmundson’s fine weekend also brought him a double win in the Paul Winfield Trophy, for drivers without a podium finish in the previous two seasons, sandwiching Dave Marshall’s success.
In the Goodyear Diamond Award, for drivers over 40, Mark Hughes took the honours in the weekend’s first two races, before Simon Welch triumphed in the finale.
Round 10 winner, Max Edmundson
“I’m not making as many mistakes, but the pace is there so that’s quite good. I knew that Campy’s always quick, he’s always consistent so I’d just got to stick to my lines, get consistent laps in, and that’s what I did. So I’m happy with that.
“The championship’s close now, isn’t it? I just need to stay consistent, stay fast and hopefully have a good end to the year.”
Round 11 winner, Dave Marshall
“I knew the car was strong after this morning, the gears worked really well with the car. Going down Gooseneck side by side all the way with Alex Kite – fair play, he gave racing room, great racing.
“It has been a hard slog to get here, and without these people here – and two people not here that are very special, my mum and dad – this would not be possible.”
Round 12 winner, Ryan Bensley
“We had a mechanical issue yesterday in race one – it was totally out of our control, a sensor issue, you couldn’t foresee it – which put us on the back foot a little bit because we had two non-scores at Snetterton too. So the rest of the year we’re just full-attack, nothing to lose.
“Normally you’re pleased when the red flags come out when you’re leading, but I know I had good pace and I was managing the gap behind to Max. I knew he didn’t want to do anything stupid because he’s in the championship battle, so it was a little bit annoying when the red flags came out. I don’t normally enjoy the races when you’re under pressure like that but it was quite enjoyable.”
Next time – Silverstone!
The 2023 Milltek port Civic Cup is back in action in 7 weeks time, on Saturday 30th September, where rounds 13, 14 & 15 will take place at Silverstone in Northamptonshire on the National layout.
Tickets for this event can be purchased at the following link: https://www.silverstone.co.uk/events/brscc-supersport-endurance