It’s been an odd year. It’s safe to say nobody could predict what kind of twists and turns lay gleefully in wait for us back in January. It feels like a lifetime ago.
We lost some big attractions that we had worked hard to get, the things we were hoping would bring the crowds through the doors. From the cancellation of the DMEC season to the loss of Format, to the travel bans ruining the plans of many international drivers to head over and compete, It’s safe to say that there was a great temptation to simply curl up into a ball and start crying.
But we didn’t. We wouldn’t. We couldn’t. We couldn’t let people down. Our drivers, our fans, our friends. We scrambled to put together a season in spite of the world collapsing around us. We boxed clever amidst heavy regulations, tight laws, and dozens of other problems which would make all but the most resilient people throw their hands up in the air and scream profanity at the tops of their lungs.
And we did it. The finale at Buxton is now close enough to taste. What a ride it’s been.
Thinking back to the season opener at Driftland, we headed up to Scotland with some nervousness. A brand new livestream system, the lack of any substantial crowd, a whole host of new drivers thanks to the introduction of the Pro 2 permit, the last minute addition of two DMEC drivers to the grid and a gnawing fear of what could, or might, go wrong.
On track, the action was awesome. The sun shone all weekend, an extremely unusual occurrence for the BDC. The permit drivers were out to prove themselves and at the end of the Pro 2 day, one driver was the name on everyone’s lips: Max Cotton.
The Pro day continued the strong showing from the drivers, clearly relishing the chance to get out there in their machines after such a long off-season. Duane McKeever showed just why he’s a former champion and bested defending champ Ollie Evans in the final in what was unquestionably one of the best battles in recent memory.
The weekend was not all rosy from our perspective unfortunately, as the livestream was plagued with teething issues on the Pro day. Issues which we diligently tracked down and fixed in time for the second round.
With the fortunate news that we were going to be allowed limited spectators at our second round at Three Sisters, and that we had fixed many of the livestream problems knocking us at Driftland, we were feeling confident about being able to put on a great show for the fans! And so it was, with dozens of exotic cars on parade for the official start of The Cannon Run, to the nuts autograss racers doing huge wheelies and running door-on-door with the fastest BDC drivers around the track, to the gorgeous hot weather we enjoyed all weekend, the spectacle was immense. McKeever and Max Cotton continued their dominant streak, each beginning to build up a strong lead within their respective championship. Max and Duane even finally got the chance to battle, with contact being the deciding factor in Duane advancing! However, two challengers in the form of Ollie Evans and Dylan Kehoe were hot on their heels!
After the success of Round Two, we were riding high before fate dealt us another cruel blow. A rise in the level of infection meant that we could no longer run our Teesside event with spectators as we had planned. It was equally as disappointing to us as it was to the fans, many of whom were extremely keen to attend after the action of Three Sisters. Alas, we were able to accommodate only a token number of spectators, those who had held tickets from the very start of the year, and that was the way it was forced to be.
At Teesside, the rain came. We had dodged it for two events, but it fell strongly and solidly for the entirety of the Pro 2 competition day. In the wet conditions, upset after upset was pulled off. Right from the off, Pro 2 32nd place qualifier Will Gibbs knocked out first-place man Jay Wilding. We started as we meant to go on, with two-time 2020 winner Max Cotton being knocked out in the Funk Motorsport Great 8 by his closest championship rival Dylan Kehoe.
Another Irishman was quickly scything his way through the field in the torrential weather. Sean Devine shrugged off all the challengers in his trusty BMW, before heading to the final against local favourite Charlie Hulme. A man who had never driven Teesside before versus a man who knows it like the back of his hand, fought valiantly, with Sean Devine taking the win after one of the closest battles of the year!
The major upset on the Pro day was the knockout of defending champ Ollie Evans in the top 16 against Nerijus Voliukevicius. Ollie was previously sat only ten points shy of his nemesis McKeever, but with Duane claiming his third successive victory (this time squaring off against veteran driver and gymkhana champ Luke Woodham in the final battle) the gap has now extended to 37 points. Ollie could still snatch victory, but what was already going to be an uphill battle for the Welshman has just gotten significantly steeper.
With the events of Round Three which saw Max back on the trailer after the Great Eight, Max now sits just eleven points ahead of the flying Dylan Kehoe, and five drivers are still mathematically within a shot of winning the Pro 2 championship, so there is everything to play for at the finale!
It’s just as tight in the Constructors Championship, with the top four teams separated by a mere fourteen points. Tarmac Sportz are still in the lead, but for how long? Team Betty’s Surf and Team Two and A Half Men are tied for second and running close behind!
Buxton was the standout event for most people in last year’s calendar. The danger, the action, the electric atmosphere, the insane runs and the show in general meant that, despite our plans for Buxton to be a one-off, it’s insane popularity meant that we had to bring it back for 2020!
The good news from a fan’s perspective is that we can allow spectators to this round! Tickets are on-sale now so make sure you’re joining us, because it really is not to be missed!