This was a weekend of firsts - the first time the Snetterton 100 circuit had been used for a competitive event and the first time that competitive events had taken part on both the 100 and 200 circuits at the same time.
Initial observations were that the new asphalt surface was a little slippery, but understandable with little or no rubber laid, but this was quickly surpassed by the challenge of the layout. The position of the finish line, despite discussions on the subject with MSA, was universally agreed as daft, being far earlier than it either needed to be or that it was safe to be, but that’s for another day…For now a dry weekend was in store…..and many found the venue to be rather quicker than anticipated resulting in ratio changes.
The Sunday event consisted of the British Sprint Championship joined by many local series plus the Westfield Speed series for the weekend opener.
Early casualties were Mike Musson with what was thought to be a broken gearbox, he soon headed home. Also transmission related, Jonathan Toulmin unable to secure each gear when he wanted it also headed for home to swap cars and bring back Marengo 2 for the Monday event; Mrs. Toulmin suggested that JT’s Christmas present would be a double deck trailer!
With the British Sprint fraternity in a separate “class” to the remainder of the entry there were some odd set ups so the Nat B runners first. It might be that the “local” entry had been negatively impacted with the clash with Crystal Palace on the same weekend, this is planned not to happen in 2011.
Steve MacMaster in the Clio 172 came out on top of a pair sharing an MR2 in the “Standard” class. Tim Cole was on his own in the Roadgoing 1400 class, the 2 litres were better supported with Jason Alton’s Integra coming out on top beating another pair sharing a Clio, but the class was supplemented with a 1960s Peerless (looking much like an early Aston Martin to the author’s uncultured eye). The Unlimited Roadgoing class was well supported by Porsche and Ferrari models. Bill McKenna took the win in his 996 beating Brain Winstone in his GT3 RS, these two well clear of the remainder. Justin Andrews ran alone in the 4WD unlimited class.
Into the Specialist Production cars and David Hussey dominated the 1700s but the class did contain one rather strange hybrid. A Bond Bug, converted to a 4 wheeler, with the aid of a Mini front subframe and powered by a 912 motorcycle engine, nicely done but not competitive with the Westfield opposition. The over 1700 class was very closely fought Barry Slingsby squeezing the victory from Peter Goulding with Paul Bowden close behind in his Caterham.
In Mod Prod Christopher Hussey was alone in the 1400s and in the 2 litres Craig Sampson came out on top in the SBD Westfield with co-driver Matt Hillam in second spot, the Paul Aspden/Derek Hodder pairing were not far back in 3rd and 4th all of them beating top BSC Mod Prod runner Duncan Cowper with his Dax Rush in the process! Kurt Ramsden won the unlimited class in his Westfield SEight finishing well clear of the Impreza/Evo opposition.
Finally the 1800 Sports Libre class saw Gerry Fincham’s Caterham overcome Phil Johnson’s Mallock and David Daniel was alone in the unlimited class. There was but one Racing Car class with Malcolm Boorman in his 1300 OMS 2000M clear of Roy Millbank, in his MP62 Pilbeam, and Boorman’s customary co-driver Bill Johnson with Tony Staines back in fourth.
Of the British Sprint fraternity it was Scots to the fore, the timed runs saw Steward Robb out front from Ross Napier (the arrival of a newly acquired trailer unfortunately failed to contain the car’s nose cone!) with Colin Calder back in 3rd The SBD pairing of Mark Smith & Steve Broughton were hot in pursuit of Terry Holmes and amongst the Sports Libre fraternity a good old battle was taking place between Simon Bainbridge’s Audi and Jim Belt’s beautiful Juno-Jaguar joined this week by Matty Matonti in his Radical (on his way back from Scotland to his home in France for a few Hillclimb outings over there).
Although having qualified a transmission issue prevented Simon Bainbridge running, the team wanting to effect repairs for the following day. In the first runs Steve Miles ended as bottom runner with a very gentle “banker” at 86.69, headed by Phil Lynch, back from his “pot hunting season” close to home at MIRA on perhaps for him slightly disappointing form with an 83.27? Next up was Graham Porrett showing a continued steady improvement on timed run times on 82.37 with title sponsor Steve Broughton performing likewise with his 81.03. These two were split by Cumbrian Colin Birkbeck on 81.95, but showing a major step up on her timed run times was Heather Calder on 80.75 - this probably connected with her attaining the vast old age of 21 in the week of the event and now beginning to return to form after a two year absence. Heather doesn’t even have a car to drive whilst away at college where public transport is the norm). Mark Smith & Terry Holmes were continuing their battle – the latter’s 80.30 heading the 2 litre car by a mere 5/100ths. Then the battling Scots were tight together Stewart Robb out on top with 77.41 chased by Gabon-returnee (for a few weeks anyway) Ross Napier on 77.85 and Colin Calder on his tail on 77.87. This was going to be a close one.
Off they went again for the second time around. Phil Lynch despite an improvement to 82.83 was unable to better 11th spot. Steve Miles did improve his place with an 82.16 second run. Heather Calder was uncharacteristically slower on her second run, and Colin Birkbeck’s second run of 80.96, although a second improvement was perhaps modest by his standards? Graham Porrett’s second run was rather more in line with what we expect and he jumped ahead of both Calder & Birkbeck. An even bigger improvement came from the 2011 “relaxed” Steve Broughton and he jumped to 6th, but wasn’t able to overcome Terry Holmes’s first time which was to stand as the only one to count this day. Mark Smith did however manage to accomplish an important improvement into the 77s for the first time in the weekend, with 77.89 and close to the first run times of the Scottish V8s. Ross Napier, although slightly improved, dropped back to 3rd spot with 77.56. Colin Calder found a second and a half to capture 2nd with 76.27 and 4 hundredth ahead was winner Stewart Robb on 76.23. Phew that was close as a certain Scot was heard to mumble!
1 Stewart Robb Sr (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd KV4 MP88) 76.23s; 2 Colin Calder (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR37) 76.27s; 3 Ross Napier (3.5 Gould –DFR GR37S) 77.57s; 4 Mark Smith (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) 77.89s; 5 Terry Holmes (3.5 Lola-Judd CV T90/50) 78.30s; 6. Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) 78.57s; 7 Graham Porrett (3.5 Lola-Judd CV T90/50) 80.24s; 8 Heather Calder (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR37) 80.75s; 9 Colin Birkbeck (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 80.96s; 10 Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen-Duratec RF96MM) 82.16s; 11 Phil Lynch (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 82.83s; Simon Bainbridge (4.2T Audi TT V8) DNS
Class Results: Steve MacMaster (2.0 Renault Clio 172) 107.62s; Tim Cole (1.4 Mini Cooper) 108.41s; Jason Alton (2.0 Honda Integra) 106.16s; Bill McKenna (3.6 Porsche 996) 97.55s; Justin Andrews (2.1 Subaru Impreza) 98.51s; David Hussey (1.6 Westfield Sei) 97.16s; Barry Slingsby (2.0 Westfield SeiW) 93.33s; Christopher Hussey (1.4 Raw Striker) 92.05s; Craig Sampson (2.0 Westfield-Duratec SBD) 86.80s; Kurt Ramsden (5.0 Westfield Seight) 89.92s; Gerry Fincham (1.9 Caterham R400) 96.93s; David Daniel (2.0 Ford Focus) 113.18s; Malcolm Boorman (1.3 OMS 2000M) 87.88s