X Factory | News

STAFFORD WINS A-1, FINISHES SECOND WITH X - 7 PROTOTYPE AT OZWESTRY

 
Ellis Stafford drove the new Gen. 6.2 prototype of the X Factory X - 7 4WD buggy to fourth on the grid, then won A main #1 and finished second overall in the fourth round of the U.K. National Championship series held Sunday at Ozwestry. The weekend was plagued by rain; most of Saturday's 2WD qualifiers and mains were run in the wet, and that affected the grass track for Sunday. Sunday still had a bit of rain early for the 4WD event, but this time the skies were more friendly for qualifying and the mains. However, much grass had been torn from some parts of the racing line, so conditions were, shall we say, interesting, and tyre choice was critical as the muddy track continued to dry through the day.
Stafford showed his X - 7 prototype was competitive indeed in qualifying round four when he finished second, just 0.3 seconds behind TQ Neil Cragg. A-1 racing was as exciting as it gets with the lead swapped several times among the top three qualifiers, Neil Cragg, Lee Martin, and Ellis Stafford. After Martin popped a ball cup, it came down to Cragg's B44.1 and Stafford's X Factory prototype for the last three laps.

A small mistake by Cragg put Stafford in the lead with three laps to go and Cragg right on The Big E's tail. Cragg tried everything to get by, but Stafford drove smooth and steady giving him no room to pass. Getting on the main straight near the
 
Ellis and Cragg race for the lead. Click to Enlarge.
end on the last lap, Cragg swung a bit wide, then cut back inside to nose ahead as the two hammered down the straight. Stafford kept Cragg inside, and Cragg just touched the track marker on the inside, slowing him down enough to let Ellis back in front. They crossed the line that way with the X Factory car a half second in front.

In A-2 Stafford was involved in a crash, finishing fifth, and spent most of A-3 in third place right behind the two leaders. The third in A-3, coupled with his A-1 win gave Stafford and X Factory the #2 spot on the podium.

After the race, Stafford commented: "We began more than two years ago with the test bed cars trying out some radical new design ideas, and have been proving them ever since. The car a very good now, and needs just some final set-up work and a body of its own to go into production."

 
 

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