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Neil Cragg - 2011 BRCA 2WD Champion & Southport Winner

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Neil Cragg is the new 2011 BRCA 2WD champion!

Two people, quite literally, could win the 2011 BRCA 10th off road 2WD national series. Neil Cragg was certain of victory but coming into the final round of the series Paul Bradby was the only one capable of catching him on point - and with the same count-back score they'd potentially tie the series. Bradby would have to TQ and win the round however and that was not going to be easy at Cragg's local track.

Neil Cragg set about the qualifying as he meant to go on - taking the opening round by a huge 12 seconds over Tom Yardy, with Tom Cockerill just behind in 3rd.

Neil went on to TQ all rounds of qualifying and confirned the overall series win by round 3 of qualifying when it was clear Paul Bradby couldn't catch.

A hiccup in the opening leg of the A final saw Neil drop to 2nd after an error - Tom Yardy taking the win as Neil dropped even further to 5th on the last corner. Neil didn't let this upset his near-perfect racing however, and he went on to win the next two legs and take the overall win at the final round of the season along with the overall series title.

Full report and photos online sono on our partner Oople

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The final round of the 2011 BRCA 1:10 Off-Road Nationals was hosted by Southport Model Car Club on Merseyside. A challenging mixed surface track always tests the drivers and this year was no exception. With championship positions and next years formula ratings still up for grabs there was plenty of work to be done by the drivers.

The 2WD event started wet, but quickly dried out to give a fine days racing. Always quick at Southport and looking continue his form from the recent World Championships, Neil Cragg dominated qualifying and by denying his team-mate Paul Bradby the extra point for TQ Neil sealed himself another 2WD title. The A finals saw some great racing as Tom Yardy gave a great display of 'holding your nerve' to win the first leg and take the challenge to Neil. However, Neil showed a champions resolve to come back in the next two legs and take the overall win with his Associated/Centro C4.1 - an awesome result for the car's first year of competition as it also clinched second and third in the championship with Paul in second and Tom in third.

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Sunday saw the 4WD event had the cars running the other way round the track – something that hasn't been done at a Southport National before - and this made the infamous 'back section' of the track even more difficult. In a bid to dial out the super-high bite the track was producing, drivers were actually cutting down already worn Ballistic Buggy Spikes to make the cars easier to drive and incredibly this didn't effect forward drive.

Qualifying was much closer this time with Neil taking the pole position with his Associated B44.1 on count-back from Ellis Stafford's Tamiya. The already crowned 4WD Champion Lee Martin struggled during qualifying as transponder issues left him with only two runs to make the A final – which he managed, but it left him slightly further down the order then we are used to. The A finals was some rollicking good racing and after wins from Tom Cockerill (Schumacher) in the first leg and Ellis Stafford in the second leg it went all the way down (literally) to the drag race for the line in the final leg. It was pole man Neil Cragg who took that accolade and the overall win after taking the fastest final time. Maybe the signature of 14-time world champ and RC legend Masami Hirosaka on his rear wing gave that extra little bit he needed...

Lee Martin had already been confirmed with his well-deserved 4WD National Championship and once the points had been tallied up joining him on the podium were Ellis Stafford in second and Paul Bradby (Associated) in third. Finally, well done to all the drivers that have participated in this years series which has a new high in attendance figures.

source: Racer

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