The legends continue

17.10.15 2673 (640x349) Corbett and Jones provide more sensational racing.

Rob Corbett and Huw Jones’s sparring partnership marks a specific era in Class Four. They provide the kind of rivalry and quality of competition that will be reflected upon with affection in future years. Even though it might be Corbett’s fourth title and third in a row, Jones’s presence in the past seasons since his own title in 2012 are unforgettable, and underline the fact that you don’t need to be the champion to be truly memorable and take your place in history.
That they have provided a classic season of superb head-to-heads means we look back on 2015 with great fondness and excitement; the pair have shared the wins in the final but have also, at various points, had to contend with the increasingly racy Micra of Adam Henley; the pace and characteristics of the Darren Grasby Imp and the youthful exuberance of Jake Bartlett.
There are several other drivers who have taken the odd win, or good result here and there, but arguably the stars of the season are the aforementioned quintet.
It was Jones who started the season with a final victory but Corbett responded to that with two of his own at South Wales and Evesham; the latter was the event at which he took his maximum score, and he was the only driver to achieve this all season.
Corbett suffered a puncture in the final at the first round which prevented him from challenging Jones, but Jones was on Corbett’s tail for both of the subsequent event finals, following his fellow countryman across the line. With two wins apiece the pair went to the final round each with a chance at the title; a contrast to the relative ease with which Corbett took last year’s title in the end.
Jones needed a considerably better tally than Corbett to take his second BAS title, but their similar performances throughout the event meant that the latter held his advantage and was victorious by 50 points in the end.
Henley was the only other driver to have raced in all five finals. He was top qualifier on home dirt at the final round and an incredibly close third in the final, which was a fitting end to a season in which he took a string of excellent results. He was 166 points ahead of Grasby in the end, and Grasby was 185 points clear of fifth placed Bartlett, but these statistics belie the often close nature of the tussling. Bartlett would certainly have been closer to Grasby had he not rolled in the final at South Wales; then his second roll of the year in the first heat of the final round brought his season to a definite end, but it’s beyond doubt that Bartlett has the potential to ascend further up the table in future seasons and mix it with the regular race winners.

As has been the case for many seasons, the entry list was disappointingly sparse in the Ladies class, but featured a decent battle between Gwen Reeves and Lisa Cooper.
Reeves outscored Cooper in three of the five rounds on her way to a first BAS title, but only won at round three as she was the sole runner for the final, completing just one lap to claim the win. By contrast Cooper took four wins, with Alice Bevans the winner at round four as she prepared for another Ladies nationals in Corbett’s car. Cooper’s good run at the final round boosted her championship tally and closed the gap to 40 points in the end
Sue Harris only raced at three of the events and finished 450 points behind Cooper; she is the only other registered driver to have scored this season, as former Class Six champion Josie Cox was a non-starter in the first two heats at round one, then non-scored thereafter.

Main: The Corbett/Jones head-to-heads are legendary. Middle: Henley was impressive and closer to the leaders than many have come over the past few seasons. Above: Gwen Reeves took the title by a pretty narrow margin in the end. (Photos: main and middle: Dan Moffatt; bottom: Sam Barrett).