It’s victory again for Bobby at Cadwell Park

On Sunday 6th October, Team BRIT headed to Cadwell Park for the final race of the BMW 116 Trophy.

Lining up for the team were Bobby Trundley and Matty Street, two of the team’s newest drivers who have made a huge impact this year.

Both Bobby and Matty live with autism, something Bobby describes as ‘his secret weapon’ on the track, and both have supported other young drivers with the condition to access motorsport.

Unable to take part in testing on Friday, Sunday’s race was the first time that the crew and drivers had competed on the circuit. Added to the changeable weather forecast, this meant there were a number of challenges ahead, not least the setup decisions for Race Engineer, Al Locke and his team, who were anxiously monitoring the unpredictable rain.

With no testing, the team used qualifying on Sunday morning to set up the cars and get the drivers used to the track. Despite never driving on the circuit, Bobby qualified in P2 and Matty in P9. 

With conditions changing drastically from the forecast heavy rain, resulting in a rapidly drying track, more changes were made to the cars before the race start.  With no garages in the pits, there was no option to visit the team trailer for tools and spares, so everything had to be planned and organised as far as possible. 

After a rolling start the green flag dropped and Bobby had a good start, sticking with the P1 car while the pair of them pulled away from the pack. Bobby fought hard to keep up with the leader whilst learning the circuit and Matty made up a few positions early on.

Early in the race the Safety Car pulled out onto the circuit. Matty had just missed the pit entry and was forced to complete another lap before pitting, but Bobby's timing was perfect, and the crew responded instantly, meaning he lost no positions. Sadly Matty was held at the end of the pitlane by marshals, re-joining after the pack had passed the pit exit, a lap down, but still in a strong position. 

The race leaders had not completed their pit stop after the safety car and Bobby was on their tail, meaning Bobby was effectively in pole position.  His lap times came down as he became more familiar with the circuit, and as the track dried, the crew’s setup choices paid off, with Bobby getting faster and faster. Matty was making his way back up through the pack, until an incident with another car saw him hit hard in the side, severely damaging both right hand wheels. He limped back to the pits where the team quickly changed both wheels and got the car back out in seconds, before getting back out and delivering impressive lap times, determined to finish.

After a second safety car, Bobby took the lead, with the grid now bunched back together and the #8 car of Ben Wilcox hot on his tail.  Matty was holding position well, but the changing conditions and damaged car got the better of him with a few minutes to go and he went backwards into a tyrewall, damaging the rear of the car. With bodywork hanging off, he had no choice but to return to the pits.

After the last minute pitstop from Matty to fix the damaged bodywork, the crew made their way back to the pit wall just in time to see Bobby's name light up purple on the timing screen - fastest lap of the race, with minutes left to go. He'd found some time and was pulling away from the competitor in P2. As the flag dropped the pit wall erupted, Bobby in P1 and Matty in P9. 

Race Engineer Al Locke said, “What a way to end our season.  The grit and determination showed by every member of our team this weekend was just incredible.

“Both Bobby and Matty gave absolutely everything they had, despite being total newcomers to the track and coping with tricky conditions.  For Matty to keep pressing on, delivering some seriously impressive times, even with a couple of incidents out on track, showed just how determined he is to make a real impact.

“Bobby just keeps on stunning with his skill and expertise behind the wheel.  As soon as he knew he had a real battle on his hands, he did everything he could to fight for pole.  With his incredible talent and the fantastic work of the crew, we've claimed our fourth win in 116 Trophy this season and couldn't be happier.”

The team will race in the Birkett Relay at Silverstone on Saturday 26th October.

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