Round One Of Armed Forces Race Challenge Starts With A Bang

There's been a record entry for round one of the Armed Forces Race Challenge, as more people get into the thrills - and spills - of the...

Round one of the Armed Forces Race Challenge has taken place at Donington Park in Leicestershire.

This year has produced the biggest entry ever as more and more servicemen are getting into motor racing.

More than 30 cars were on the grid at Donington Park for the first round of the championship.

In just a few years this competition, designed to give affordable motorsport opportunities to service personnel of all standards in all types of cars, has mushroomed. 

For experienced and novice drivers alike there's a mutual respect - but a competitive edge once the race begins.

This year brought many newcomers, swelling the grid to 18 rows. Amongst them was the Army's Ro Barrett, who admitted to being slightly nervous at his first outing.

Fastest in qualifying was RAF Squadron Leader Darren Berris in his Westfield V8, chased all the way by Richard Evans' BMW M3, which set the fastest lap.

His race came to a sudden and premature end, though, when he touched some gravel coming out of Redgate and skidded off into a barrier.

After the 45-minute race, Berris emerged as track winner, with Andy Ebdon, in a Caterham, second and the Army's Darren Smee third in his Honda Integra.

Round two next month is at Silverstone, with the third leg taking place at Cadwell Park in July and the last event at Rockingham in September - with more thrills and spills guaranteed.

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