Monday’s event consisted of both British Sprint Championship and two groups of Caterham Academy cars, over 50 of them, and judging by the range of tow vehicles something with the name “Rover” (be it Range Rover or Land Rover) in it seems to be de rigueur. Monday benefited from a very pleasant sun for much of the day, and better yet, a reduction in the wind, now down to a steady breeze.
More transmission issues emerged; Ross Napier blowing what was thought to be the clutch however despite the offer of a share drive by fellow Scot Matty Matonti, the Napier family thought it better to make an early start on the journey home to get the problem fixed. Duncan Cowper (having lost a turbo, which was replaced overnight) lost something major (he wasn’t sure whether engine or transmission) so was out.
Having had a day out on the new track the day before nearly everyone was showing improvements during the timed runs. The only ones not in the 80s were Simon Bainbridge taking it gently with the boost turned well down, protecting his transmission before a more permanent repair could be effected and Angus Buchan having to rely on his very old tyres after picking up a puncture the day before. Chris Houston, over for the weekend from Northern Ireland with his younger brother, visited their older brother (working for Lotus just down the road) and he took advice from Steve Broughton and changed wings overnight and found a couple of seconds! Jonathan Toulmin now had his “T” car but although only an 1100 this one had all its gears!
It became self evident that unless you were in the 85s you wouldn’t qualify for the Top 12, and even if you did you could still miss out….just. The SBD duo of Steve Broughton and Mark Smith having had one run, in both cases much better than their Sunday timed runs, fell victim to a further suspension failure resulting from the Ingliston surface, this time an element that wasn’t subject to the earlier repair!
Unlucky candidates were Jim Belt on 85.90, and worse still was Jonathan Toulmin on 85.34 & Tony Jarvis on 85.36, with final qualifier John Payne on 85.33! Martin Webb had surprisingly managed to 85.07s on both timed runs, well it was consistent!
Phil Lynch & Steve Miles both showed improvements over what they were even able to accomplish in Sunday’s Top 12, with 82.01 & 82.35 respectively, so were heading in the right direction. In the 81s were Graham Porrett on 82.01 and Colin Birkbeck, who saved himself and car with just the one timed run on 81.01, close to his Sunday best. Heather Calder improved over anything achieved the previous day to finish just over half a second behind Terry Holmes with her 80.47 against Terry’s 79.79. The SBD duo managed 78.56 for Mark Smith & 79.57 for Steve Broughton, but with that their day was done. Stewart Robb & Colin Calder were both shy of their best Sunday Top 12 efforts but were comfortably the top pair in the timed runs.
This wasn’t going to be easy with 3 share cars and only 10 runners, so some cooling issues might emerge. The cloud cover returned before the Top 12 making the cooling issue less of a problem however many of the runners were concerned that we would be joined by the rain, but that was still a little way away fortunately. John Payne (with a career approaching 20 years in the British Sprint Championship) has rather got the hang of posting a banker on his first run but did so with an improvement on his 2nd timed run to post 85.76. Martin Webb’s opener fell back somewhat with an 86.79. Graham Porrett’s opening effort was a very modest 85.77 with gearbox issues again affecting his time. Phil Lynch’s banker was very close to his best timed run and he was close behind Colin Birkbeck’s 81.98 but they were both behind Steve Miles’ opener - a weekend best of 81.16. Heather Calder opened up with an 80.70 just under a second behind Terry Holmes who just bettered his best run of the day with 79.77. Calder and Robb were getting into the swing of things being a tenth apart (76.73 versus 76.83) - this one was serious!
John Payne finished off with his best of the weekend at 85.15 and just ahead was Martin Webb who performed likewise with 85.06. Ahead of this pair was a still troubled Graham Porrett with 84.92 then Phil Lynch unsurprisingly failed to improve after a “colossal moment” at Palmers. Steve Miles found a couple of tenths to finish the weekend in the 80s and he was joined in that category by Colin Birkbeck on 80.29. In fourth spot was Heather Calder who found just over a second but then we had one of Terry Holmes’ “specials” posting his weekends best of 77.91. It was then down to the two Scots. Stewart Robb set the mark at 76.39 a tad down on his Sunday best, was the cloud cover having an impact? Colin Calder was next and benefiting from an earlier tyre warmer in the guise of daughter Heather he set the best time of the weekend with a 76.21.
That one was close just like Sunday! The Calder family is having a weekend off as the circus descends on Pembrey next weekend and, as I write this, it looks like it could be a warm and sunny weekend, we shall see.
1. Colin Calder (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR37) 76.21s; 2. Stewart Robb (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd KV4 MP88) 76.39s; 3. Terry Holmes (3.5 Lola-Judd CV T90/50) 77.91s; 4. Heather Calder (4.0 Gould-Judd EV GR37) 79.58s; 5. Colin Birkbeck (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 80.29s; 6. Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen-Duratec RF96MM) 80.91s 7. Phil Lynch (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 82.03s; 8. Graham Porrett (3.5 Lola-Judd CV T90/50) 84.92s; 9. Martin Webb (2.0 Formula Vauxhall Lotus) 85.06s 10. John Payne (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 85.15s DNS Mark Smith (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1)
Class Results Caterham Academy Group A 1. Elliott Norris (1.6 Caterham-Sigma) 102.36s; 2. Robert Chappell (1.6 Caterham-Sigma) 103.02s; 3. Matthew Lowe (1.6 Caterham-Sigma) 103.40s; Caterham Academy Group B 1. Brad Smith (1.6 Caterham-Sigma) 100.49s; 2. David Robinson (1.6 Caterham-Sigma) 100.97s; 3. Andrew Welch (1.6 Caterham-Sigma) 101.35s; SBD British Sprint Group 1. Colin Calder 77.92s; 2. Stewart Robb 78.08; 3. Mark Smith 78.56;