The 2012 UK Off-Road season finished with the now yearly Area 51 event, put on by the ever growing and popular Silverstone Model Car Club. Although a change of venue from last year, the club had built another excellent track that was certain to challenge drivers of all abilities. The event was very popular, with over 200 people wanting to race on Saturday alone for 2wd, 4wd took place on the Sunday.
The first round was taken by resident shop owner, Kev Lee, followed by Schumacher driver Lloyd Storey with his Cougar SV2. The second round saw Kev again lead the way home, closely followed by Tom Cockerill, and Lloyd backing up his round 1 score with a third in round. The third round saw Tom continue his climb, taking the round, but in a slower overall time, setting up a final round shootout where he would need to better Kev’s round two time and take the round. Lloyd took second in the round, confirming a top 3 grid slot for the finals. In the 4th and final round, a first lap accident saw Kev drop out the lead and it was down to Tom to beat the previous time. An almost flawless run saw him get through for the extra lap, and guarantee himself the TQ spot for the finals, Lloyd would line up 3rd.
The first leg saw a very close race between Tom & Kev, both making several small errors allowing each other to pass. Tom was in the lead when the 5 minutes was up, and despite a last corner lunge from Kev, he held on to take the win. Leg 2 was a totally different story, a first lap incident dropped Kev and Lloyd down the pack, and Tom was left to lead the final comfortably from start to finish, taking the overall win. Lloyd took the 3rd leg in front of Kev to give himself 2nd overall and a 1-2 for the Schumacher Cougar SV2.
4wd had fewer entries, but was just as hard at the sharp end with Lee Martin, John Spencer and Nathan Ralls turning up for the Sunday event. Tom opened up round 1 as he finished the previous day, taking the round in dominant fashion with his new CAT K1 ahead of a very impressive young Jack Embling. Round 2 saw Tom have a bad first lap, essentially putting him out of the round. He managed to continue, putting in the fastest laps of the meeting. Meanwhile, at the top, Jack would continue his good form, taking the round ahead of Nathan Ralls and Mark Penny, who had travelled over from Ireland for the event.
Round 3 saw Tom return to the top of the scores with another quick time, followed by Mark Penny and yesterday’s quick man Kev Lee. Going into the final round only Jack could stop Tom taking TQ again, with plenty of other A main places to battle for. The 4th round saw Tom once again take the top spot and confirm TQ. Jack would line up second on the grid after an impressive display in qualifying. Tom was joined in the A main by Chris Grainger and Matt Owen, both driving the new Schumacher CAT K1.
Tom made easier work of the 4wd finals, taking the first two legs in convincing style. Mark Penny produced some great final runs to take second overall and Kev Lee showed his pace by coming through from ninth on the grid to take the final podium spot.
Overall a fantastic weekend for the Schumacher team and an exceptional run for the new CAT K1.