Updated: Oct 31
SAUNDERS RUN FINALLY ENDS AS SOLLEY WINS AT LAST!
So far this year it’s been all Lewis Saunders in the JSCC, but the 2018 Champions remarkable run of victories finally came to an end at Silverstone, with Alex Solley taking his first and double win.
Although Solley had pole position for race one, it was Saunders who had the lead into Abbey. Solley was then back alongside onto the Vale and led by the exit, with Deagen Fairclough close in third.
The battling trio was then joined by Charlie Hand and Harry Rice as they exited Stowe for the second time, but it was Fairclough alongside Solley for the lead, with Saunders just holding off Hand for third, after rounding Club side by side.
After Saunders was back into second a lap later, the lead trio made their escape, with Solley going on to stretch his growing lead.
Hand had lost some ground in fourth, but was trying to tow the chasing back into contention, and working with Rice, they succeeded in closing down Fairclough’s advantage in third.
Molly Dodd had just joined in the fourth placed fight when she spun exiting the Vale on lap seven, but then Jamie Goode mounted a challenge on Rice, leaving Hand free to pursue Fairclough.
Goode had almost got through on Rice’s inside at the Vale, but he had also been caught by James Wallis and Ruben Hage.
But it was Solley’s race by a clear margin, “I lost out at the start with too many revs and wasn’t really ready. My early pace was good though and once ahead I tried not to look in my mirrors too much,” he said.
“I had a cracking start, but lost the tow and momentum when I clipped the kerb at the Vale,” Saunders replied after settling for second.
Fairclough had managed to keep Hand at bay until the final lap, when a wire came off the fuel pump and he slowed. So Hand was a clear third, from Rice, Wallis and Goode.
Saunders got the jump on Solley again at the start of the second race, followed by Rice, Fairclough and Hand.
It was side by side for the lead through the Vale on lap two, but Hand had made it through into third and left Fairclough fending off Rice and Hage for fourth.
Saunders had nosed back in front and Fairclough had broken clear of Hage, after Rice had dropped back, which allowed him to threaten Hand’s hold on third.
Exiting Stowe for the fourth time however, Saunders ran wide and Solley was not only back in front, but had a decisive gap.
It had paired off behind the lead duo too, with Hand v Fairclough and Hage v Rice.
Hage then started to stretch the chasers and was able to close on the third place duel as that continued to go in Hand’s favor.
But on lap eight Fairclough tried a different approach at the Vale and exited in front, before Hand took the place back through Club two laps later.
While Solley headed home Saunders for his second win, Fairclough claimed third with a lap to go, after retaining. Hage, following a delay when Hand’s clutch expired.
“Today just exceeded all my expectations,” said the victorious Solley. “I felt the clutch going when Deagen first got me, but then at the end I lost all of gears,” Hand explained.
Rice held onto fifth and Goode finished his best raceday so far with another sixth place finish, retaking Archie Tompson, a lap from home.
The penultimate round of the Championship takes place at Oulton Park on October 31st and at present spectators are allowed.
Words: Peter Scherer
Images: peter Schere & Colin Jackson