The results of the first Walter Hayes Trophy semi-final have been changed following a post-race penalty decision.
Wayne Poole Racing’s Felix Fisher took the on-the-road win ahead of Team Dolan’s Chris Middlehurst, but was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision. The incident in question occurred at Maggotts halfway through the race, with B-M Racing’s Rory Smith and Middlehurst going side-by-side for the lead with the latter’s team-mate Jason Smyth and Fisher just behind.
Fisher made contact with Smyth who then was sent into the path of Smith and out of the race. There was not too much damage to Smyth’s Ray GR14 as it avoided the barriers, while Smith picked up greater damage to his Medina Sport JL18 as it bounced over a kerb while spinning.
The involved parties were summoned to the stewards post-race, and there was initially a lack of clarity over whether Fisher could provide onboard footage of the incident with the side-mounted cockpit camera. Stewards decided to issue a penalty to him, which dropped him down to ninth in the race results, and Fisher than had the opportunity to appeal the penalty to avoid having to start 18th for the final rather than the second place he had initially expected to line up from.
Ultimately the penalty stood, and Middlehurst inherited the semi-final win (having been passed by Fisher late on) and the front row grid spot for the final while Fisher was knocked down a further six places on the grid by another five-second penalty.
Since Smith and Smyth retired from the semi-final, neither made it to the final.
“When the suspension snapped, it was scraping along the asphalt and then when it hit a kerb it broke the chassis,” B-M Racing team principal Andy Brickles explained to Formula Scout about the damage inflicted to Smith’s car.
“The floor was damaged so lucky Rory’s feet didn’t get hurt. The car is repairable. It will be stripped back down and will be rejigged, the chassis will be bent back into shape and built back up from there [for 2024]. Rory really wanted to win this one.”
1 Michael Eastwell KMR Sport
2 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan
3 Michael Moyers Simon Hadfield Motorsport
4 Joey Foster Don Hardman Racing
5 Jonathan Kotyk Team Dolan
6 Julian Van der Watt KMR Sport
7 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper
8 Andrew Rackstraw KMR Sport
9 Felix Fisher TM Racing
10 Adam Higgins Beastworx
11 Tom McArthur B-M Racing
12 Alex Berg Graham Brunton Racing
13 Logan Pacza Graham Brunton Racing
14 Lewis Fox Team Fox Racing
15 Alex Ames Sema Racing
16 Jeremy Fairbairn PWR1 Racing
17 Charlie Mann Mann Motorsport
18 James Littlejohn Simon Hadfield Motorsport
19 Ben Cox Souley Motorsport
20 Hugh Esterson Ammonite Motorsport
21 Chris Acton Souley Motorsport
22 Tom Bradshaw Nigel Grant Motorsport
23 Tom Hawkins TM Racing
24 Josh Fisher Wayne Poole Racing
25 Brandon McCaughan Oldfield Motorsport
26 Richard Higgins Beastworx
27 Ben Mitchell Wayne Poole Racing
28 Nolan Allaer Ammonite Motorsport
29 Sam Street Swift Cooper
30 James Clarke Enigma Motorsport
31 Ayrton Houk Ammonite Motorsport
32 Richard Tarling Midland Classic Restorations
33 Robert Wolk KMR Sport
34 Josh Le Roux KMR Sport
35 Spencer Shinner Oldfield Motorsport
36 Joe Ahrens Enigma Motorsport
Isaac Canto da Silva Team Dolan
Jordan Kelly Team Dolan
Patrick McKenna Team Dolan
Vincent Jay TM Racing