Horror crash leaves Blyth on sidelines
Lewis BealesJames Blyth left Silverstone on Sunday unsure when he will be able to race again in the Fiat Trofeo Abarth 500 Championship after his car was severely damaged after rolling several times.Lewis Beales
James Blyth left Silverstone on Sunday unsure when he will be able to race again in the Fiat Trofeo Abarth 500 Championship after his car was severely damaged after rolling several times.
"I lost count of how many times I went over," said the disappointed Brundall driver. "The damage is so great that I may be sitting on the sidelines for some time to come."
Blyth had high hopes of making the podium for the first time as qualifying at the Northampton track started and he quickly headed the timesheet, only to clip a kerb at the first corner which pitched him into the gravel trap on his fourth lap.
Blyth still held the top spot until five minutes from the finish when three of his rivals managed to beat his lap time, demoting him to fourth place.
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Starting on the dirty side of the grid, Blyth lost a couple of places at the start but on the ninth lap he was punted from behind just as he was turning into Becketts Corner.
The heavy contact launched his car skywards and into a series of rolls, from which he emerged unscathed.
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"Every panel apart from the bootlid is damaged. It will probable need reshelling before I can race again," said Blyth.
The accident produced a race stoppage which left his team mates in the Thetford-based Advent Motorsport team in third, fourth and fifth places with Gareth Howell heading home Charlie Butler-Henderson and Josh Wakefield.
In the second race, Howell again led home his team-mates in line astern but this time they occupied second to fourth places with Howell keeping his championship lead intact.
Ryan Bensley narrowly missed out on a podium place in his first foray into the Dunlop Sports Maxx Championship, which took place at Rockingham Speedway.
The King's Lynn racer qualified his Vauxhall Astra VXR in third place for the opening race in which he finished in fourth place having chased eventual winner Adrian Churchill in the early laps.
Sadly just four laps from the finish the local racer suddenly lost engine power and he slipped down two places.
In the second race Bensley fell back to seventh before fighting back to fifth by the finish, while in the third race he took fourth place at the start and kept it to the finish.
"The weekend wasn't a true reflection of what I can do," said Bensley, who has planned upgrades for the engine, brakes and suspension in time for the next round at Snetterton.
Uggeshall's Tom Ashton was another to narrowly miss out on a podium place, this time in the Speeds series at Silverstone.
Ashton was co-driving a Radical PR6 with Gary Kane and finished the first race in fourth place, pleased to have set the second fastest lap of the race. The pair finished the second race in the same position.