Saturday greeted us with a beautiful sunny day. The entries had a very surprising look to it, the Roadgoing fraternity looking particularly “thin” but all had a very pleasant surprise in store with 4 timed runs available for those wishing them all.
There were a lot of single entrant classes amongst the roadgoing fraternity. Bob Jones took the standard class with his Mazda 3 Sport, Rhys Palmer the 1400 roadgoing saloons, James Kerr at least had company in the 2000 roadgoing saloons but won comfortably, Robert Holt won the 2000 roadgoing sports cars and Nigel Watkins the unlimited sports cars. Then came the 1700 Specialist brotherhood and there were more entrants for this. That was the good news, the bad news, if your name wasn’t Spencer, was that you would become well beaten. The Sylva Striker was again on good form and there’d be little to choose between David & Jim all day the former ultimately beating the latter by 5/100ths which around the full International Circuit of around 2 miles is incredibly close. Malcolm Thorne in the unlimited class ran alone. Then we had the ModProds Deniol Jones had a comfortable victory over Andrew Warren in the 2000 saloons, and the 2000 sports cars was full of a very tightly bunched pack of Elises. David Ormerod jnr squeaked a victory by 6/10ths over Sarah Bosworth all 4 being covered by 3 seconds, David Williams ran alone in the ModProd Specialist class.
Then came Sports Libre and in the baby class Angus Buchan & Andy Laurence battled all weekend in a contrast of experience Angus’ vast experience contrasted with Andy, new this year, and they were pretty close come the end with under a couple of seconds dividing them. In the unlimited class there were more runners than throughout the Roadgoing bar the 1700 Specialist class? And a pretty mixed bunch they made too. At the top were unsurprisingly a battle between Jim Belt’s Juno and Simon Bainbridge’s Audi TT only 4/10ths splitting these adversaries. Also in the class was a mixed midfield bunch which saw Paul Norris’ Turbo Cosworth re-engined Talbot Sunbeam having a battle with Derek Martlew, now sports car mounted, in a Tiga SC79 Sports 2000 and again 4/10ths split these two ultimately and the latter was almost a full second clear of Paul Horrox’s Exige. Glyn & Mick Thomas were again present in the bike engined Delta IR4 in the 100 racing car class, Glyn coming home the victor, Geoff Ward was also a lonely self in his Swift FF1600, Peter Brogden was also alone in the 1600 class in his March 733.
Then came the 2 litre racing car hoard. Early casualties were Kevin Lealan (who seems to habitually hit trouble in Anglesey) with a return of his ignition problems and Mike Musson with a transmission fault leading to an early return home for both. New to the pack were John Graham & John Moxham sharing the former’s ex Andy Platt F397 Dallara both on steep leaning curves after what they’ve been used to. John Graham demonstrated that his plan to join the British Sprint Championship in 2012 (as it was with Simon Keen a year ago, who since has) is a sensible plan with his times. Top of the pile were the SBD pairing of Mark Smith & Steve Broughton about a second apart, with a returned to form Phil Lynch back in third who was half a second up on Colin Birkbeck. The Lake District man was only a second clear of a tightly packed bunch consisting of John Graham, Simon Keen and Lynch’s co driver John Payne with Steve Miles in pursuit. Then we had another tight bunch with Tony Jarvis ahead this week of co-driver Martin Webb with Simon Keen’s dad Richard having an overdue outing.
In the unlimited racing car class Stewart Robb was again on top, with Terry Holmes pressing hard, Ross Napier came next having benefited from a week’s holiday in Wales before his return to Africa the following week. Then came father and daughter Calder, taking advantage of a third run each to enhance their leaning process of another new venue to them. Graham Porrett, another Wales holidayer in the interim since last week, was behind them.
Then came an interesting historic Roadgoing up to 1600 class. Top of this little pile was Colin Gale, a quarter of a second clear of Dave West now Mini remounted, Mark Owen in another Sprite was behind him battling away with Phil Prince’s Elan these two three quarters of a second apart.
After this was the Paul Matty Championship and first the Saloon & Sports Car class. Graham Parker finished on top of this with his Elise 3/10ths clear of Anthony Shute’s Expose (a quite dreadful looking car in this author’s opinion), and he was just a tenth clear of John Dobson’s Elan +2. Behind these three was mass of Elan models having their own private battle. In the racing car class David Hampton’s 69 finished comfortably on top followed by a rare old battle consisting of Tony Wallen’s 69, John Palmer’s 61 and Paul Matty himself in his 35 F2 car less than 4/10ths covered the trio.
Finally the usual enthusiastic Malvern mixture of Morgans appeared for another outing in their championship. Jonathan & Simon Baines battled together in their shared Roadster, the former overcoming the latter by half a second. A variety of +8 and 4 cylinder models made up the remainder of this class.
Simon Keen’s Peugeot engine in his Dallara was being temperamental and would not perform to its usual standard. This left Simon at the bottom of the pile. Then there was a little battle between Midlanders John Payne and Steve Miles, the former’s “banker” showing a modest half a second improvement on his best timed run yet the latter’s being a tenth and a half slower. Payne didn’t manage to improve, whereas Miles found over 2 seconds to lead. Colin Birkbeck opened with a modest “banker” some 4 and a half tenths slower than best timed run but then came back with a modest hundredths improvement on his best timed run to better Miles by a tenth and half. Ahead of him Phil Lynch started with an opener some three tenths quicker than his best timed run, further showing his form at a venue he loves, and then managed to find almost another couple of tenths to wind up 8th. With college exams behind her Heather Calder opened with a modest run but found more than a further 1.6 seconds over her thus far best of the day to capture 7th. Then it was the SBD duo battling hard both putting modest openers on the board but then started to get serious with their respective bests of the day to find just 2/100ths apart! With gearbox once again co-operating after attention in the week from dad Roy, Ross Napier really started to pour it on with an opener over a second better than the SBD duo had managed and then found another second and a quarter to finish up 4th. In third, and rather disappointed to be there finding the International circuit hard to learn, Colin Calder was two tenths back from Napier with his opener but then found 1.7 seconds in his locker to finish a quarter of a second clear of his fellow Scot. Stewart Robb began with an opener which was almost a second up on his best of the day so far and well clear of the rest, but in a misjudgment failed to improve. Terry Holmes’s opener was only good enough for 2nd place and was a little over 6/10ths behind Robb, but then came up with a real cracker to snatch the win accompanied by his characteristic wide smile; he was well pleased with that result!
1. Terry Holmes (3.5 Lola-Judd T90/50) 74.89 2. Stewart Robb (4.0 Pilbeam – Judd MP88) 75.12 3. Colin Calder (4.0 Gould-Judd GR37) 75.18 4. Ross Napier (3.5 Gould-DFR GR37) 75.44 5. Mark Smith (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) 77.84 6. Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Reynard-Duratec DB Mk 1) 77.86 7. Heather Calder (4.0 Gould-Judd GR37) 79.14 8. Phil Lynch (2.0 Dallara- Vauxhall F301) 80.01 9. Colin Birkbeck (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 80.92 10. Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen-Duratec RF96) 81.06 11. John Payne (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F301) 81.47 12. Simon Keen (2.0 Dallara-Peugeot F302) 84.17
Class results: Bob Jones (2.0T Mazda 3 Sport) 115.25; Rhys Palmer (1.4 Rover 114) 116.60; James Kerr (2.0 Peugeot 205 GTi) 103.65; Nigel Watkins (3.6 Porsche 911) 104.34; Robert Holt (2.0 Lotus Elise) 110.44; David Spencer (1.6 Sylva Striker) 93.53; Malcolm Thorne (5.0S AC Cobra) 109.40; Deniol Jones (2.0 Peugeot 205 GTi) 107.22; David Ormerod Jnr (2.0 Lotus Elise) 98.61; David Williams (2.0 Westfield Se) 115.14; Angus Buchan (1.4 Radical Clubsport) 91.24; Jim Belt (3.0 Juno TR400) 85.92; Glyn Thomas (1.1 Delta IR4) 94.16; Geoff Ward (1.6 Swift SC93F) 98.65; Peter Brogden (1.6 March 733) 101.96; Mark Smith 77.89; Stewart Robb 76.02; Colin Gale (1.4 Austin Healey Sprite) 108.24; Grayham Parker (2.0 Lotus Elise) 98.56; David Hampton (1.6 Lotus 69) 92.35; Jonathan Baines (3.0 Morgan Roadster) 100.62.