JMT Mono Championship Rounds 11 and 12
Despite a fairly trouble free qualifying there was much to cause interest. Jason out qualified Jeremy Timms, by just over 1/100thsec, while 3rd was the 17year old Cato Poulson in the Van Diemen 1000, providing an interesting change to Jedis. Zachary Anderton, a new name to me, was 4th overall, edging out the reliably rapid Richard Gittings. Although 12th, mention must be made of Graham Read, out after a 15 month break in a new car. Both Graham and Dallara (306 based this time) performed without fault. Poor Peter Lague's bad luck continued with a mysterious and terminal fault on lap3, James Maclachlan also parked up.
Young Alex Fores, mentored by Mono luminaries Terry Clark and Steve Magill, led in the 1800s ahead of Chris Levy, with Rodney Toft in 3rd and Phil Davies 4th. F1 Commentator and Formula First wizz from the 80s Ben Edwards took 1600 class pole. It's always good to have somebody with a history like Ben as a benchmark. Geoff Fern held up the honour of Mono regulars being 3/4 of a second behind Ben, with Martin Short in 3rd.
Tony Gauntlett “I didn’t get out with the grid because of problems with the plugs – hopefully I’ll qualify with the 2 litres.”
Jeremy Timms soon got into a lead over Jason which he gradually extended to cross the line nearly 10 seconds ahead of Jason. Sadly, post race scrutineering failed ride height at one or two points and Jeremy was excluded. To say he was mortified would be an understatement. Jason had, of course, also built up a lead (nearly 20 seconds at the flag) over the next man, which in this case was 1000 class leader Richard Gittings. Andrew Gordon-Colebrook took second place on the 1400 podium and overall 4th but with a bit more action. Dropping behind Richard Moorcroft and Omar Gazzaz on lap 3, he regained the place from Omar on lap 6 and Richard on lap 8. Graham Read continued to play himself back in with an overall trouble free run to 9th overall and a pleasing podium finish.
1000 polesitter Cato Poulson had a poor start, and the wily and experienced Richard Gittings got into the lead ahead of Zachary Anderton as well. From here, he drove a fairly lonely race apart from lapping. Cato dropped down to 11th overall, more of that later. Wily and experienced might also be applied to Jon Reed, who almost swapped places with Cato – from 11th on the grid he was up to overall 5th by lap1, behind Zachary. Zachary spent 7 laps stalking Richard, rarely more than a second behind, but dropped out on lap 8.
In 1800 it looked as though RF97 mounted Alex Forres had built a 4 second lead over RF83 mounted Chris Levy which he would keep to the end. But disaster struck on lap 5 when Chris gained the lead. There was a terrific fight back, with Alex and Chris crossing the line on lap 7 almost side by side, finishing the race with Alex half a second ahead. Rodney Toft, like Chris in the “FF2000 mini-class”, had a great race with our 2 infrequently seen but welcome 1600 guests of Ben Edwards and Martin Short, swapping places but in a solid 1800 third. Phil Davies might have pushed him, but had a major moment at Starkeys and converted his RF98 into a potentially very fast but parked gravel lorry. Doug McLay’s chances of a challenge were also scuppered by an incident, this time a spin at the Melbourne Hairpin which left David Jones to 4th. Lou Watts forsook his F3000 demo car for a bit less power in an RF82 and completed the class.
1600 reversed qualifying. Geoff Fern had a good start and got ahead of Ben Edwards. Ben picked off Peter Lague on lap 2, and Rodney Toft on lap 3 to get in pursuit of Geoff, but it was only in the last 3 laps where Ben was able to get closer, gaining a second on 7 and 8. Ross Brawn-like pit wall strategy signalled “screwdriver time” to Geoff (he never knew the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer….) and he put on a spurt to get class fastest lap at the end. At least that’s my fantasy. Chances are he just looked in the mirrors. Martin Short took third while Eddie Guest had a great race with David Jones of 1800 for 4th in class.
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. .
Jeremy builds an early lead ahead of Jason, Richard and Zachary
Jon Reed, Andrew Gordon-Colebrook
1000 was pretty close
Martin Short avoids Doug McLay