Of the 11 entries, 10 appeared, one went home and 9 took to the track for qualifying. 8 wore wets, Geoff Fern chose slicks. Russ Giles used his experience to get pole, ahead of James Drew-Williams and Mark Smith, leading the Classics.
James took the lead from Russ on lap 1, and Ian Hughes moved Mark down a place. Bryn Tootell, Geoff Fern, Chris Kite, Eddie Guest and Len Turner finished the order on lap 1. On lap 3, an oil pump drive belt failed on James’s Lola, putting him out for the day. Eddie moved ahead of Chris Kite who, rather harshly some thought, was penalised 10 seconds for lining up wrongly on the grid. Then on lap 4, Ian Hughes’s battery started moving about more than he was comfortable with so he came in. 3 laps later, the third retirement happened when leader Russ Giles’s fuel pressure dropped . This left Bryn in the lead followed by a delighted Mark Smith with Geoff Fern 3rd. Len Turner had battled up to 4th while a spin at the hairpin demoted Eddie behind Chris.
An interesting observation was that Geoff, Len and Chris all has a 1.34 best time – 3 very different cars.
With the grid established from the finishing order of race 1, and no JD-W due to the oil pump issue (hopefully fixable for Silverstone GP), Bryn led the way. Somewhat like Mr Hamilton in Belgium, Russ Giles came from the back and was in second by the start of lap 2. Ian had moved up to 5th, and Chris Kite had reached 4th, so it was quite a mix-up of the starting grid. Ian passed Chris on the next lap, and Russ was rapidly catching Bryn. By lap 3 the gap was down to 0.6sec, and stayed around there as the wily Welsh Dragon held off Redditch’s finest Mono F3 driver. Ian Hughes and Chris Kite had a bit of a dice, backwards and forwards, and then on lap 6 Russ took the lead. Ian dropped down (reason unknown) so that at the flag the order was Russ, Bryn, Mark, Chris, Geoff, Len and Eddie, with Ian again DNF’ing.
I’m not sure what gets served for afternoon tea in North Yorkshire, but I want some because the effect on Geoff Fern and Chris Kite between races was to lose respectively 4 and 6 seconds from fastest lap.
10 become 9 – an indulgent, slightly tongue in cheek, personal story
I’ve been keen for us to visit Croft as I’ve enjoyed myself here in the past. Arriving 2½ hours before the advertised Saturday practice session, I thought there should be no problem. Ha! A broken zip on my race suit wasted some time, but nowhere near as much as scrutineering. I had concerns when asked to test my brake light, but then the jolly chap got me taking off the nose, engine cover, damper cover, sidepod, headrest, seat, and seat support. Certainly a record for me in dismantling the Dallara. Though I can understand as it does look a bit of a shed. So I was worried about whether there would be time to get to practice. No problem, assured the sign on secretaries, we’ll hold it for you. They said this to somebody else too.
So when I got to the noise test – there was everybody circulating. And had been for 5 minutes. Apart from the other driver for whom they were going to hold. Practice started about 25 minutes before advertised time. And finished after the alloted 15 minutes. Obviously, for DDMC, an early finish trumps an assurance. After all, we’re only the customer. Then to cap things, a driver was black flagged. He’d been told that it was ok to pay cash on Sunday for non-production of licence, but The Powers had over-ruled that decision and called him in during practice. I might point out that if they’d started on time they wouldn’t have needed to call him in.
Finally, when I got back to the paddock I realised that in my rush to fuel up I hadn’t secured the fuel cap and I had lost it. I tried to make a bodge (sorry, improvised paddock repair) but came to the conclusion that whilst it was leak proof, 2 Jubilee clips, a length of hose and an ally cap wouldn’t satisfy our zealous and enthusiastic scrute friends. So I went home, never to return to Croft (unless it's with MSVR). Incidentally, they didn't mention us on their website and we didn't get a proper programme write up.
For the organisers/officials:
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsoever. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.