News Walter Hayes Trophy

Van der Watt wins chaotic second semi-final

Julian Van der Watt won a chaotic second semi final of the Walter Hayes Trophy at a drying Silverstone, surviving a late attack from Jake Craig.

South African Van der Watt, driving a Spectrum SC11, started third but had taken over the lead from polesitter Rory Smith (Medina) and Roger Orgee by the time the pack reached Brooklands.

On a drying surface after the rain shower in Semi Final 1, what followed was a bizarre and often chaotic 12-lap encounter in which most of the top eight were embroiled in an intense battle for second.

That allowed Van der Watt to escape in the lead, until the last-lap effort from Team USA Scholarship driver Craig at Brooklands. The Californian tried around the outside but spun, allowing Van der Watt to escape, promoting Oliver White (Medina) and the Van Diemen of Thomas McArthur into the final podium positions.

That was the second incident of the race for Craig at Brooklands, who ran wide from third on lap two and dropped down to sixth, but was never away from the huge train of cars scrapping for second and would end up regaining ground on the last few laps.

Joey Foster had looked like the quickest of the pack early on, and moved his Firman ahead of White at Brooklands on lap three. He was up to third, and closing in on Rory Smith, but couldn’t find a way through and a moment on lap seven dropped him down to sixth.

The FF1600 veteran quickly worked his way back up and on the penultimate tour dived down the inside of Craig for second at Brooklands, but ran wide and allowed the American back through.

White was fifth at this point, but managed to pass Austrian Nico Gruber (Ray GR11)- who was in the middle of the pack all the way through- and Thomas McArthur, who had made great progress from eighth.

Another to show strong pace was Josh Smith, who rounded out the top five in his Van Diemen. The Formula Ford Festival winner started 11th but by the halfway point had joined the train of cars fighting for second. He crossed the line just 0.1s ahead of Foster, who lost positions to White and Smith on the last lap whilst battling with McArthur at Copse. Foster just managed to hold off seventh-placed Ross Martin (Ray GR17) by 0.081s.

Orgee finished eighth, having dropped back on the first lap, ahead of Carter Williams (Ray) and polesitter Rory Smith, who had a tough race aboard his Medina with a spin at Copse on the ninth lap.

Craig managed to recover from his last-lap spin to 11th, just ahead of the other Team USA driver Colin Mullan, also in a Cliff Dempsey Racing-run Ray.

Cameron Fenton and Josh Fisher were 13th and 14th respectively, whilst Thomas Cappezone was the first Swift home in 15th ahead of Class C winner Callum Grant (Van Diemen).

Nicolas Beloou and Chris Hodgen completed the Class C podium. Liam McShane’s Crossle 45F was the only Class H competitor in the race.

Stephane Lemeret and Logan Hannah came to grief at Copse right at the start with both retiring on the spot. Meanwhile Lloyd Hopes and Sam Street had an all-Swift tangle at Woodcoote; Hopes retired but Street was able to continue and finished 26th.

Race results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 Julian Van der Watt Spectrum 12 laps
2 Oliver White Medina +0.967
3 Thomas McArthur Van Diemen +1.808
4 Nico Gruber Ray +2.183
5 Josh Smith Van Diemen +2.661
6 Joey Foster Firman +2.845
7 Ross Martin Ray +2.926
8 Roger Orgee Spectrum +4.505
9 Carter Williams Ray +5.971
10 Rory Smith Medina +6.636
11 Jake Craig Ray +8.036
12 Colin Mullan Ray +8.215
13 Cameron Fenton Van Diemen +11.527
14 Josh Fisher Van Diemen +15.580
15 Thomas Capezzone Swift +16.301
16 C Callum Grant Van Diemen +20.656
17 Peter Gillespie Spectrum +26.321
18 Lewis Fox Ray +33.715
19 C Nicolas Beloou Van Diemen +35.111
20 Jason Down Getem Mygale +35.551
21 C Chris Hodgen Van Diemen +36.253
22 Neil Broome Ray +38.772
23 C Jaap Blijleven Reynard +39.256
24 David McArthur Van Diemen +43.249
25 C Maxime Lebreton Van Diemen +44.409
26 C Samuel Street Swift +54.272
27 C Mark de Rozarieux Van Diemen + 1 lap
28 C Paul Barnes Swift + 1 lap
29 H Liam McShane Crossle + 1 lap
30 C Graham Goodin Van Diemen + 1 lap
DNF Lloyd Hopes Swift
DNF John Svensson Van Diemen
DNF Adam Quartermaine Van Diemen
DNF Henry Chart Van Diemen
DNF Logan Hannah Ray
DNF C Stephane Lemeret Van Diemen
Fastest lap: R Smith, 1:06.764

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