Silverstone 4th/5th April (Rounds 1 and 2 of Honda VTEC Challenge) silvertston The opening rounds of the 2015 Honda VTEC Challenge, took place at the well known circuit of Silverstone in Northamptonshire. Qualifying saw the DC5 of Rob Burkinshaw take pole, ahead of a hard charging Matthew Walker in his EK9 Civic, who has returned to the series after a year long absence. In third place was the familiar pairing of Phil Wright and his Accord Type R “Kato”. Photo Photo from Neil Holden FB page With lights out, Burkinshaw retained his lead as the Civic of Walker bogged down with a missed gear change. This allowed Wright and Stu King to capitalise and take 2nd and 3rd respectively. Photo from MotorV8 Media Making a monumental start was Neil Holden in the red EP3 Civic, who launched from 8th up to 6th by turn 1, alongside Craig Smith in the DC2 who had also made up places at the start. james heath Photo from James Heath FB page With the top 5 cleanly through “Maggotts”, trouble hit Smith as the cold rear tyres on his Integra broke free, pitching him into a slide. Although quick tocorrect, the car suddenly snapped back and speared across the track, making contact with Peter Venn in his H22 Integra, causing both cars to retire. Phoot From MotorV8 Media Recovering from his problems on the start line, Walker was soon hunting down King and Wright to retake 2nd place behind Burkinshaw. Wright maintained a gap back to the chasing pack and was comfortably able to retain 3rd overall and 1st in class for the remainder of the race. v8 Photo from MotorV8 Media A race long battle played out between King and Holden as both cars tried to occupy the same piece of tarmac, lap after lap! The racing (whilst breathtakingly close and heart stopping at times!) remained incident free. Walker took his position on the grid, but was unable to better Burkinshaw as the lights went out for round 2. The pair pushed hard and pulled away from the chasing pack, with Burkinshaw taking his second lights to flag victory of the weekend. Starting from 3rd, the Accord of Wright left the line to give chase, but a sudden loss of electrics caused the driver from Exmouth to retire. MotorV8 Media Photo With Wright side-lined, Holden and King had another fantastic race, with the pair going door handle to door handle around the entire length of Luffield. It was a nail biting end to the race for King and Holden as after almost a full 15 minutes of battling forposition, King placed his Integra on the apex of Luffield and proceeded to drive on the inside of Holden to take the position in the final seconds of the race. Having been repaired following the incident in race 1, Smith began to carve his way through from the back of the pack and closed up on the S2000 of Poole (who was suffering with a lack of brakes and grip) before overhauling the Civic of Webb who also benefited from Poole’s circumstances. Our new Sponsor car DAZ SMEE Photo By MotorV8 Media Managing to carry out a better start on the second time around, Martyn Kemp rose through the pack from 6th to 3rd overall, showing a growing confidence in his first weekend of racing. Class wins where awarded to Martyn Kemp (Super Tuner) Rob Burkinshaw (Tuner) and Phil Wright (Production R1) and Stu King (Production R2). Thanks go out to BRSCC, and series sponsors Toyo Tires, Competition Clutch, Ultra Racing, Performance Autoworks, Eurospec, HOT, 6TWO1, Honda Tuner Magazine and MOTORV8 MEDIA for their support. The Honda VTEC Challenge heads to the Rockingham Speedway on the 16th/17th May. - The Honda Race Series for 2015