Blake Evans spoiled a near perfect Sunday for Callum Crawley after the former took out the final race of the third round of the Manfeild Winter Series.
The first race of the day got underway with Boniface successfully converting his front row start to get the lead through turn one. However, this was very short lived as Crawley quickly found his way around Boniface to lead the opening lap of the race.
The second lap saw the #85 Sabre Motorsport entry of Andrew Tierney slip off the road into the turn one gravel trap. This off beaching the car and putting a restriction on passing as a local yellow would stay out for the next two laps.
Lap three found Boniface and Crawley create a small lead over Evans and Murphy who were closely fighting for third. Meanwhile, Craig Greenwood, some five-seconds behind, battled with Kyan Davie for fifth.
The penultimate lap saw Murphy all over the gearbox of Evans, finally passing Evans at Higgins before Evans would fight back down the back straight. A battle of the late brakers began as Evans would attempt a maneuver through the last corner, only to have Murphy holding the inside line and defending his position.
A defensive Murphy led Evans through turn one and feeling the pressure through splash, lost the rear and ran wide as Evans took advantage to get past Murphy. That was, however, until Murphy fought back at Higgins to take third once again, but this time it was for good as the field crossed the line with Crawley leading Boniface by 0.2 seconds over Ronan Murphy 4.4 seconds back from the two fast leaders while Blake Evans was closely behind Murphy in fourth. Craig Greenwood would round up fifth with Kyan Davie in sixth not far behind.
The second race kicked off with Callum Crawley showing the crowd why he is the reigning champion as he converted a beautiful start to lead the field through the entirety of the first lap. The second lap saw the lead pack of Evans, Boniface and Crawley go three abreast into turn one, making for an enthralling battle for the win as Evans prevailed to grab the lead.
Lap three quickly showed that Ronan Murphy wanted a piece of the lead action too as a tight four-way fight emerged with Greenwood, Davie and Tierney in their own battle around four-seconds behind the leaders. The fourth lap of the race proved Crawley now wanted the lead again as he took a move on Evans and lead out of turn one. Simultaneously Murphy looked absolutely everywhere for a move on Boniface for the third spot.
The last corner of lap four saw Boniface run wide allowing Murphy to get past for the run down the main straight onto lap five. Murphy, however, lost out in this move as he was stranded without a solid draft and was swamped by both Evans and Boniface throughout the first sector. Andrew Tierney put in an almighty effort to avoid a huge shunt with an earlier braking Craig Greenwood locking up and spinning through splash.
All of a sudden the final lap came upon the field with Crawley holding anear two-second lead on Evans, Boniface and Murphy. Boniface chose Higgins to attempt to overtake Evans for second as he threw the car deep under brakes. This move proved crucial for Ronan Murphy sitting in behind all this action, and when Boniface forced both he and Evans to get slow exits out of Higgins. But at the flag, however, it was all Callum Crawley as he took his second win of the day leading Boniface across the line by two seconds. Evans and Murphy followed closely behind, taking third and fourth respectively.
The third and the final race of the weekend saw Crawley and Boniface line up on the front row once again. It was Crawley that minimised the wheel-spin the best as he led the first lap despite attempts from Boniface to spoil his perfect win streak.
By the start of the third lap, a top-four had emerged for a tight fight for the last laugh of the weekend. Crawley made another move on Boniface at Higgins and followed with a pass on Evans at turn one.
The penultimate lap began and saw Evans grab Crawley at turn one, Crawley was having none of it though as he fought back to pass Evans at the final corner and lead the field onto the final lap.
The final corner, however, may now be rued by Crawley as he was back to third position by turn one as Evans slipped by with Boniface closely following. Boniface made a move in an attempt to get the win down the back straight over Evans, but the two wouldn’t give an inch, rounding the final turn side by side. This side by side action forced both Evans and Boniface to watch in the mirrors as Crawley, with the preferred racing line, closed greatly in the last gasp effort for the win in a three-wide photo finish.
It was Evans that crossed the line to grab an extraordinary win by 0.078 seconds over a fast charging Crawley. Boniface found himself in third by only 0.089 seconds in what was the tightest finish of the Winter Series so far. Murphy was only 0.288 seconds off the lead cars in a respectable fourth position while Craig Greenwood, Kyan Davie & Andrew Tierney rounded out their days in fifth, sixth & seventh respectively.