Milltek Sport Civic Cup – Rounds 13, 14 & 15
Silverstone National – 30th September 2023
A terrific Silverstone race day for Dan Thackeray has lifted him to the top of the Milltek Sport Civic Cup championship standings ahead of the season finale later this month.
Thackeray was in imperious form at the home of British motorsport, scorching to pole position and a pair of race wins as he stamped his authority on the championship chase. Young gun Max Edmundson also had a strong event, but erstwhile points leader Alistair Camp had a tough weekend, as Sam Kirkpatrick was also a race winner.
The three main title contenders were all to the fore in the early-morning qualifying session. But it was Motion Motorsport’s Dan Thackeray who laid down a marker by claiming double pole position in a typically tight session around the 1.6-mile National circuit.
Thackeray went 0.067 second faster than Area Motorsport man Max Edmundson, with 2021 champion Alistair Camp (Pro Alloys Racing Team) also within two tenths of Thackeray’s pace. The trio’s second fastest times, which set the grid for third race of the day, were in the same order but even closer – Thackeray pipped Edmundson by just 0.024s, with Camp 0.142s further back.
Dave Buky (Kinetic Motorsport) was fourth fastest overall, ahead of Camp’s team-mate Will Redford. Breaking up the EP3-shape Civic domination, Dave Marshall’s FN2 model just edged out Civic Cup debutant Lewis Kent (Area Motorsport) for the sixth fastest time overall.
Round 13 – Race Report
Thackeray led the day’s opening race from start to finish, but it was far from easy. The Londoner was under intense pressure from Edmundson from most of the race. The youngster was making multiple challenges on almost every lap for the first few tours before Thackeray managed to eke out a gap of a few tenths mid-race.
Having given is tyres a chance to recover, Edmundson redoubled his efforts over the closing stages. But try as he might, the Durham driver could not find a way past, and Thackeray held on to win by three-quarters of a second.
Behind them, there was drama before the race had even started as a cracked brake disc prevented Camp from taking up his third position on the grid. A rapid change from his Pro Alloys crew did at least allow the championship leader coming into the weekend to start from the rear.
A strong recovery included recording the fastest lap of the race, but Camp could only manage to climb to 11th place by the time the chequered flag fell, falling agonisingly short of benefiting from the top-10 reversal for the race two grid.
Instead, it was Buky and Redford who duelled for the final podium place. Redford got ahead at Becketts on the first lap, and Buky briefly slipped to fifth before coming back strongly. The pair remained in touch with the leaders, on hand to take advantage if the lead battle got messy, but were dropped in the last couple of laps. In the end, they crossed the line neck and neck, as Redford hit some power issues on the exit of corners. The teenager hung on though, getting the verdict by just 0.045s.
Marshall drove a tidy race to fifth, ahead of a terrific scrap for sixth from which two-time TCR UK champion Kent prevailed. Privateer Harvey Caton therefore had to settle for seventh, with Alex Kite (Pro Alloys) pipping Sam Kirkpatrick (Area) to ninth.
Motion Motorsport debutant Chris Nylan was the man who clinched that all-important 10th position and pole position for Round 14 of the championship that came with it.
Round 14 – Race Report
A good start allowed Nylan to convert his pole position into the race lead ahead of Kite as Kirkpatrick’s Achilles heel of race starts struck again. Kirkpatrick initially managed to hold off Caton for third, before losing out later in the lap.
Nylan’s lead lasted only until the second lap when he ran wide at Brooklands, allowing Kite to pounce. Caton also followed through into Luffield, with Kirkpatrick snatching third before a safety car neutralised the field.
As the race resumed with just five minutes left on the clock, Caton looked to have got the jump on Kite with a move into Copse. But with his tyres having lost temperature, Caton’s car squirmed and Kirkpatrick pounced to snatch second.
On just his third appearance in the championship, Kirkpatrick then dived inside Kite at Brooklands to take the lead. Any thoughts the Cumbrian may have had of clearing off into the distance were quickly dispelled, however. Caton dispatched Kite at Copse and then quickly latched on to Kirkpatrick’s tail.
Caton got a run exiting Luffield and briefly led, only to run wide exiting Copse and let Kirkpatrick back ahead. The one-time MG Trophy champion then held firm to take his maiden Civic Cup win and leave Caton still seeking to break his own duck.
Following some set-up tweaks, another strong drive from Marshall was rewarded with his second podium finish of the season. Thackeray drove a very impressive race to climb from 10th on the grid to fourth and claim another very important big points score for his championship challenge.
Thackeray again outscored his two main championship rivals, although Edmundson restricted the damage with sixth position and fastest lap. A big moment on cold tyres on the first lap had cost Edmundson several places before he climbed back through the order.
As for Camp, the third championship contender’s weekend went from bad to worse as engine and gearbox problems forced him out – his first non-finish of the season.
Kite and Nylan would be a little disappointed to slip to fifth and seventh respectively, but both remained ahead of Kent, who was disappointed with his own performance on the way to eighth.
Ryan Bensley, fourth in the points coming into the weekend, managed ninth. A qualifying accident prevented the Pro Alloys driver from setting a time so the team did well to get his car back on track, albeit not fully set-up, in race one where he climbed to 14th. He then made further progress in race two, heading home 10th-placed Buky.
Round 15 – Race Report
The race day finale began in similar fashion to the day’s first race, with Thackeray leading the way under pressure from Edmundson. Marshall jumped Camp off the line to run third, as Camp completed the lead quartet.
Edmundson attempted a couple of moves on the inside of Maggot’s, which becomes the outside for the run through Becketts on to the Wellington Straight, but was rebuffed by Thackeray. As they battled, Marshall and Camp were able to join in, with Buky and Kirkpatrick making it a lead group of six.
That soon became three, as a gap emerged when Camp ran wide at Brooklands. That let Kirkpatrick slip past but Camp fought back and, as he did so, it let Buky snatch fifth from Kirkpatrick too. With Kirkpatrick wrong-footed, Caton sniffed an opportunity and further demoted Kirkpatrick who would lose out to Kent before the flag too.
Out front, Marshall’s pressure on Edmundson allowed Thackeray the chance to focus on his own driving. The leader pumped in some fastest laps to open a gap from where he was able to bring the car home for a 1.5s victory, his fifth of the season.
Edmundson withstood Marshall’s pressure for second – incredibly, the young gun’s seventh second position of the season – as the pair completed the podium. Thanks to a very swift change of engine and ’box between the races, Camp was at least able to salvage something from the weekend in fourth, ahead of Buky and Caton.
Next were Kent and Kirkpatrick, as returnees Ryan Jenkinson (Ben Sharpe Racing) and Loui Hounsell (Pro Alloys) completed the top 10.
It all means that Dan Thackeray holds a points lead of 15 points over Max Edmundson heading into the Milltek Sport Civic Cup title decider at Brands Hatch on 21/22 October. Alistair Camp remains in contention but is now something of an outsider.
Among the Milltek Sport Civic Cup sub-categories, successes in the Paul Winfield Trophy – for rookie drivers and those without a podium finish in the previous two seasons – were split between Will Redford, Sam Kirkpatrick and Max Edmundson.
In the Goodyear Diamond Award, for those aged 40 and over, it was a very good weekend for Anthony Gannon who took the honours in all three races.
Rounds 13 & 15 winner, Dan Thackeray
“That was probably the dream weekend really. We really needed a weekend like this, to be honest. We’ve had plenty of good first races of the weekend, and then the reversed-grid race has been a disaster for many reasons.
“If you’d offered me this at the start of the weekend, I wouldn’t have believed it, so I’m definitely happy.”
Round 14 winner, Sam Kirkpatrick
“I didn’t get a great start again but it wasn’t too bad so I was still in third. Then I got an all right restart, and Harvey Caton went for a move for first and they ran a bit wide and I snuck up the inside.
“It was really close. Harvey’s extremely good on the brakes – every corner he was all over me.”
Next time – The Brands Hatch Finale!
The 2023 Milltek port Civic Cup is back in action in 3 weeks time, on Sunday 22nd October, where rounds 16 & 17 will take place at Brands Hatch in Kent on the Indy layout.
This will be the final event of the 2023 season where champions for the overall title, Paul Winfield Trophy and Goodyear Diamond Trophy will be crowned!
Tickets for this event can be purchased at the following link: https://www.brandshatch.co.uk/2023/october/formula-ford-festival
To find out more about the Milltek Sport Civic Cup, visit https://civic-cup.co.uk/ for more info and how to get involved.