What a scorcher, having returned to the land of my father (literally) Saturday was a really hot day. Although the entry list showed a 15% shortfall over the permitted 100 maximum, running numbers fell away as the event approached. Nevertheless, having now “binned” their “convoy runs” toward where all such things should be, the club was up and running with practice only a few minutes after the 9am start time.
Practice saw the loss of Simon Bainbridge in the mega-Audi TT with a continuation of his transmission woes and also one of the British Sprint Championship’s visitors from Guernsey was lost, when Tim Tulie’s head gasket cried enough. The latter was a real shame as he looked capable of giving the SBD Westfield some different and serious opposition.
With some classes looking a bit thin, proceedings were opened with the Turners battling in their Mini in the 1400 Roadgoing Series Production class and were divided by a second in the final standings. Bob Ridge-Stearn was the only member of the “Mazda Mafia” who ventured westward and was alone in the 2000 class and Cardiff resident Trevor Hartland was alone in the unlimited class too.
The Spencers were divided by a tad over a tenth in the end in the 1700 Specialist class, and a little over 6/10ths back was John Palmer battling with John Loudon, the pair split by a mere 7/100ths. In the unlimited class Stephen Everall was alone but then there was, as sometimes happens, a Lotus Elise/Elise derived class for some unaccountable reason Richard Hearnden winning that group of 3.
Into ModProd and, yet again, Martin Depper was lonely in the 1400 class as was Tony Barber in the 2000s, interestingly the former beat the latter! Into the Specialists and Mark Anson finished on top comfortably in the 1800s and in the unlimited’s it was again a Craig Sampson/Matt Hillam battle in the SBD Westfield at the top of the tree with the former 7/10ths to the good of the latter, Terry Everall didn’t let them have thing their own way keeping them on their best behaviour under a second back. In the Sports Libre class it was another SBD battle, and this time adding Mallock proponent Philip Young to split them, Colin Early came out in top in appropriately a Welsh car (Darrian T9) with Young and Carole Torkington just a tenth apart.
The came the 1100 Racing cars and Jonathan Toulmin gave Marengo 2 an outing and looked like he was on fire as he sped around to victory (but sadly broke his transmission on his second run), chased home by the other Guernsey visitor Paul Priaulx. To those of an anorak disposition he’s Andy’s younger cousin and visually has the family “look”. He found a venue that was longer than his garden path and not surrounded by granite walls almost agoraphobic and having learned, in practice, that he was about geared about 20mph too short had some cogs to change after practice, and then he came across a new concept - learning lines! It was clear he loved every moment of his weekend. Joining them in this class was HSA man Fyrth Crosse this week giving the Mallock an outing. Next up was a much missed novelty – a FF1600 class with enough membership to make a battle. The HSA Chairman’s wide must have provided him with something fascinating for lunch as Chris Bennett came out comfortably ahead in the end (after first runs it looked a much closer contest), life not being made easy by Peter Caiado-Gillett & Dennis Pickett having a rare old close contest.
Amongst the 2000 cars the SBD duo of Mark Smith & Steve Broughton came out on top with Steve Miles now settled in his latest Van Diemen keeping the pack of Dallaras at bay (Phil Lynch & Simon Keen resuming the battle they had at MIRA). In the unlimited class Stewart Robb was on top but the Chichester Flyers regained their form with both Terry Homes and Graham Porrett much improved and making life difficult for African visitor Ross Napier home for a few weeks.
Class battles ended with Roger Turner another sole runner in Classic Saloons and Sports Cars. In the Rally Cars Michael Williams’ Escort overcame John Jones Renault 11 Turbo. Then finally the event had some very welcome newcomers with a couple of classes of TVRs. In the Vixen class Stewart Lobley finished only 6/10ths ahead of Mike Roe and Geoff Stallard chased them closely home. In the V8 class there was another tight contest with a whole variety of models on show and Paul Edwards & Matthew Oakley were split by less than 2/10ths.
Jonathan Toulmin was unable to run with his stricken transmission. John Payne put in his banker as the opener and SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship debutant Simon Keen managed to cruise back to the pits having turned off his fuel in his opener! Phil Lynch opened just shy of his timed run best and Pembrey virgin Terry Graves was finding more time every time he got on the track . Steve Miles was finding great hunks of time but making it look fairly easy. Graham Porrett was much more back on form and posted a good solid time for his opener with further improvement on his best timed run, emphasising his return to form. Steve Broughton found another half a second over timed runs. A mistake on his opener put Ross Napier under a little more pressure than he needed. Mark Smith weighed in with a better run than in the timed runs to find more time but then Terry Holmes found even more time to pop into the runner up spot. Finally Stewart Robb, struggling with his traction control sensors (giving inconsistent application which was worrying), popped in one of his stormers with a time bettering son, Junior’s, record from a few years ago to top spot. He knew then that, given what he’d just done, it wasn’t a conversation he wanted to have with us son that evening!
Into second runs and with 3 different groups closely matched it was clear some performances were going to have to be “upped” to gain points this day. In the “Dallara” group John Payne found more time in Run 2 to finish with a PB time on the day. Simon Keen did likewise (and kept his fingers away from switches he shouldn’t be pressing) to pop into 11th and Phil Lynch knew he had to more to get ahead of the tightly bunched Dallara runners and found over a second which was excellent work. Terry Graves found more than a couple of seconds to “jump groups” and join the Miles/Porrett pairing to secure 8th. Steve Miles second run unusually showed no improvement in 7th and the same was the case with Graham Porrett who had to be satisfied with 6th spot. Steve Broughton then weighed in with a corking run finding more than another second, this was getting interesting. However then Ross showed that the work the family had carried out putting their gearbox back into full working order after Snetterton was worth it put in a solid run to gain 4th spot just pipping the Championship sponsor by a tenth. Terry Holmes was conscious that he wasn’t secure in his position as he ran before Mark Smith, so found another second which was going to take some matching. Mark Smith improved his time yet further but not enough to catch to Terry Holmes, who was now secure in 2nd. Stewart Robb’s second run time showed no improvement but was the worthy winner.
1. Stewart Robb (4.0 Pilbeam-Judd KV4 MP88) 90.71s; 2. Terry Holmes (3.5 Lola-Judd CV T90/50) 92.26s; 3. Mark Smith (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) 93.36s; 4. Ross Napier (3.5 Gould –DFR GR37S) 94.08s; 5. Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) 94.17s; 6. Graham Porrett (3.5 Lola-Judd CV T90/50) 97.30s; 7. Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen-Duratec RF96MM) 98.88s; 8. Terry Graves (3.5 Gould-DFR GR37) 99.24s; 9. Phil Lynch (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 100.48 10. Simon Keen (2.0 Dallara-Peugeot F302) 101.04s; 11. John Payne (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 101.81s; DNS Jonathan Toulmin (1.1 Marengo-Suzuki 2)
Class Results Owain Turner (Mini) 136.31; Bob Ridge-Stearn (Mazda MX5) 150.45; Trevor Hartland (Mitsubishi Evo 6) 126.08; Dave Spencer (Sylva Striker) 115.46; Stephen Everall (Westfield SeiW) 124.88; Richard Hearnden (Lotus Elise R) 134.65; Martin Depper (Rover Mini Cooper) 120.70; Tony Barber (VW Golf) 122.07; Mark Anson (Westfield Megablade RR) 111.15; Craig Sampson (SBD Westfield 2000S) 107.37; Colin Early (Darrian T9) 121.26; Jonathan Toulmin 103.64; Chris Bennett (Van Diemen RF89) 119.47; Mark Smith 94.83; Stewart Robb 92.30; Roger Turner (Triumph TR3A) 196.46; Michael Williams (Ford Escort) 132.54; Stewart Lobley (TVR Vixen S4) 129.36; Paul Edwards (TVR T350R) 119.31: