A small band of Sprint Championship contenders gathered at the Royal Scottish Showground at Ingliston which nestles under the flight path for the neighbouring Edinburgh airport. Maybe the lack of entries was due to the financial climate or possibly a hang-over from the Royal Wedding?
Once practice was over the club were getting into the swing of things and rattled through the qualifying runs. First classes were for Saloons & Sports Cars on Road Tyres (the Scottish class naming is rather odd!) In A1 for Up to 1400 Saloons David Wiggins in his venerable 205 Rallye won at a canter from John McGill’s Rover 25. In A2 for the 1400 to 1800 Saloons Andrew Scott was the class act in his Escort whilst David Manson (Golf) grabbed second at one point only to be relegated to third by Ian Wright’s Civic. Just two Imprezas contested A3 and Jac Koumides took the win with ease. Into the Sports Car classes and in A4 there was a solo runner so John Kinmond cruised home. In A5 (1400 to 1700) it was a Marshall 1-2 as Peter took the win over Gavin in the pair’s Caterham Academy; Stephen Mallet was over a second adrift in third with his Westfield. The final “Road Tyres” class (A6) for Over 1700 Sports Cars saw Stephen Alexander & David Loomes score a 1-2 in their shared Westfield ahead of the Honda S2000GT of Ronnie MacGregor.
Class A7 was next to the line – that’s Classics & Thoroughbreds – and it was a thoroughbred display by the great Olly Ross in his Europa that shone out. Olly romped home with seconds to spare as he posted identical times with Nigel Galvin (Escort) in second and Colin Sutherland (Spitfire) in third. Class A8 is for Marque Road Sports Cars and it was a gift for Ben Lyons in his VX220 Turbo as he left Andrew Kinmond (TVR Vixen) & David Exton (Toyota MR2) in his wake.
Now we were into the Modified classes and we started with B1 for Up to 1400 Mod Prod Saloons. Jonathan Brown hustled his Mini round to the win ahead of the usual suspects: Mike Hunter (Metro) and Stuart Sugden (Mini). In B2 Malcolm Milne’s very pink Nova won with ease as Andrew Massie tried to keep the Saxo on terms. There were no entries in B3 so the Up to 1400 Modified Sports Cars of B4 was next. Paul Lawrence in the vivid green MNR Vortex led the pack with Lenny Bray recovering to second after a first run spin; Richard Quinn in the Striker was the only other to break the 50 second barrier in third. With no entries in B5 it was the B6 runners next. Mark Purdham took the class from evergreen Melvyn Hartley in the Autotune Gemini with Purdham’s co-driver, David Jackson, third.
In the unique Saloon Libre Class (C0) there was but one runner and Mike Murchie took the honours. Likewise in C1 (Up to 1400 Sports Libre) there was just Angus Buchan in his Radical but the Scot wasn’t hanging about as he had a Top 12 to qualify for! In C2 (Over 1400 to 1800cc) there was a close battle which Richard Matossian won in his OMS leaving Mathew Matonti in the Radical PR6 less than a second behind. In C3, the final Sports Libre class, there was a real melange of cars. Paul Norris in the Cosworth turbo powered Talbot Sunbeam would finish third ahead of Jennifer Bremner in the Radical. David Seaton, who was making his first appearance for many years, was at the wheel of his Pilbeam MP43 now fitted with a V8 BMW engine and would finish second. However the win went to Graeme Bremner sharing the Radical with his wife. Maybe Graeme should have registered for the Top 12?
Into the Racing Car classes and in C4 (Up to 1100) Roy Munro fought back to grab the win on his second run after being a disappointing third. Les Campbell finished second in the carbon fibre chassied OMS whilst Alan Neill was third in the Jedi after leading the class. The 1100 to 1600 class (C5) saw Eric Kiltie given a truly miraculous time for his second run but he duly pointed out that the time was incorrect thus the class went to Mark Hemingway who was really flying in the 1.1 turbocharged Force. David Robertson was not unsurprisingly third in his rapid Van Diemen FF1600 – he did set a new Sprint Championship record for FF1600s!
Class C6 is for Over 1600s so featured the remaining single seaters. Stewart Robb was the only person to get below the 40 second barrier and so took the class win. Colin Calder just pipped Mark Smith for second spot whilst Colin Birkbeck was fourth. The final class saw Bruce Edwards and his mechanic John Welsh battle out the Rallycar class in the former’s Darrian. Naturally the driver won with the mechanic second!
With only 11 qualifiers there would still be some close encounters for points up & down the order. Brian Woffenden posted a conservative time on his first run on his return to the scene of last year’s encounter with the tree. Second time round he did improve but by not enough & he remained in 11th. Angus Buchan posted two competitive times in the diminutive Radical and would finish a respectable 10th as he tried to come to terms with a new flappy paddle gear change mechanism! David Seaton was really on a steep learning curve and on his first Top 12 run (for over 15 years!) chopped over seven tenths off his Q-time. On his second run Seaton slashed a further 1.27 seconds off but would remain anchored in 9th. Peter Howgate made improvement on both his runs but was still somewhat behind the pace and finished eighth. Seventh went to Eric Kiltie on his BSC Top 12 debut. Both his runs were inside his corrected class time and he was pleased as punch with 7th. Mike Musson on the other hand wasn’t as impressed! His first run was a ‘banker’ and on his second he spun off and naturally failed to improve; this left him 6th. Colin Birkbeck’s first Top 12 run was another ‘banker’ being a couple of tenths shy of his Q-time. On his second shot Colin set his best time of the day but it wasn’t enough to move him up out of 5th place. Steve Broughton was on a week-end fly-drive and was duly relaxed and in fine form. His first Top 12 run was his personal best of the day and would take him to 4th whilst his second run was slightly slower. Mark Smith’s first run took him up into second when the first Top 12 runs were completed however as he didn’t improve with his second run he dropped down to 3rd. Colin Calder was knocking big chunks off his times run after run and in the Top 12 his first was his fastest of the day – but it was only good enough for third! On his second run Colin pulled out all the stops and dropped into the 38 second bracket, a vast improvement that would see him finish 2nd. Stewart Robb Snr had been on top form through-out and his first run was stellar, his second was a meagre 0.02 slower but the result was just what he wanted 1st. The result increased Stewart’s lead and with his pace a repeat the following day looked on the cards.
1 Stewart Robb Snr (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd MP88) 38.32secs; 2 Colin Calder (3.5 Gould-Judd GR37) 38.90secs; 3 Mark Smith (2.0 SBD Reynard 903/DB-Mk01 Duratec) 39.05secs; 4 Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Reynard 903/DB-Mk01 Duratec) 40.34secs; 5 Colin Birkbeck -2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 40.57secs; 6 Mike Musson (1.3t Force-Suzuki/Holeshot PT11) 44.10secs; 7 Eric Kiltie (1.4 OMS-Suzuki 2000M) 44.74secs; 8 Peter Howgate (3.2 Ralt-Judd RT37) 45.35; 9 David Seaton (4.9 Pilbeam-BMW MP43) 46.69secs; 10 Angus Buchan (1.3 Radical Clubsport+) 48.63secs; 11 Brian Woffenden (3.2 Ralt-Judd RT37) 49.61secs; No other qualifiers.
David Wiggins (1.4 Peugeot 205 Rallye) 54.87secs; Andrew Scott (2.0 Ford Escort RS2000) 52.42secs; Jac Koumides (2.4t Subaru Impreza STI) 48.32secs; John Kinmond (1.0 Fisher Fury) 52.78secs; Peter Marshall (1.6 Caterham 7 Academy) 51.561secs; Stephen Alexander (2.0 Westfield SEiW) 46.47secs; Olly Ross (1.6 Lotus Europa) 52.86secs; Ben Lyons (2.0t Vauxhall VX220 Turbo) 51.07secs; Jonathan Brown (1.4 Morris Mini Cooper S) 50.85secs; Malcolm Milne (1.6 Vauxhall Nova) 50.58secs; Paul Lawrence (1.3 MNR Vortex) 46.02secs; Mark Purdham (2.3 MJ Engineering) 47.34secs; Mike Murchie (1.8 Ford Fiesta) 54.77secs; Angus Buchan 48.79secs; Richard Matossian (1.5 OMS-Suzuki SC1) 45.02secs; Graeme Bremner (1.3t Radical Prosport+) 44.31secs; Roy Munro (1.0 OMS S2000M) 43.38secs; Mark Hemingway (1.1t Force-Suzuki PS) 39.77secs; Stewart Robb Snr 39.15secs.