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Tiedeman Trophy
Rockingham 19 June 2016


Rockingham is a strange place. Mono ran at one of its first meetings, and it promised much. Its original purpose, to run Indycar races, has long since died, and sad to say it's beginning to be a bit rough round the edges, a bit like Donington was state of the art 1977, and in some places still is. However, MSVR weaved their usual magic and the bits that mattered looked good. (Though JP would sieze if he saw the toilets.) The welcome was warm, and I will mention the positive approach of the officials more than once in this report.

Qualifying

The entry was interesting. Cato Poulsen (from Denmark) and Omar Gazzaz (Dubai, I believe) were entered in Firmin RF 1000s. The cars are run by GulfSport Racing who run an Academey series for the cars in the Gulf. Cato normally flies to Dubai from Denmark, so Rockingham was virtually in the back garden. 4 cars had been shipped over, and they are Ralph Firman's spaceframe of around 2009 developed to take a GSXR. Also new amongst a selection of Monoposti regulars was Chris Kite in a very nice BRM-green early Dallara - I'm guessing 393/394. Chris, of course, used to run a Formula 4 Pilbeam which I think was built specially for him. There was initial concern when there was a paperwork problem with his helemt, resolved when the scrutineer contacted the MSA. A similar positive approach was adopted by the noise judge when the writer's car failed the noise test. I was allowed to practice and then with the help of GulfSport's spare wadding from a test day problem when they ran to Silverstone to get some, the noise dropped and the noise judge was very kind with his comments. I would like to thank GulfSport for their help (and urge people to carry spare wadding if they don't already do so. I have now done so.)

Cato Poulsen put his RF1000 on pole by over 4 seconds from Nathan Corridon's 2000 883. James Drew Williams put the familiar Lola on pole for F3, very close behind Nathan, while Omar Gazzaz put his RF1000 into 4th spot. Shane Kelly swapped his regular Wolverhampton University F3 car for the re-liveried Renault of Northbrook College, 2015 winners (by the narrowest of margins) of the STEM Trophy, and put it 5th, a little ahead of Bryn Tootell in the RF99 which took him to Classic Champion in 2015. Another couple of seconds brought Mark Smith and the 2000 Class ex-Martin O'Connell F395, a second ahead of Taylor Macvean and Tony Cotton. Geoff Fern was very welcome, with Spa looming, but doubtless with an eye on the Tiedeman Trophy, running the ex-David Parkinson Reynard. (Paddock rumour has it that the DP connection adds at least £10,000 to the value of this historic machine.) He edged out Chris Kite by 1/4 second, with Len Turner just behind. Simon Hare was using the event to build up race experience in a less pressured atmosphere than the hotbed of the JMT Championship, and was going very well.

Race 1

Poleman Cato stalled on the grid and, missed by everybody, started dead last. He made up 6 places on the first lap, then 2 more on lap 2, 2 more on lap 3. He passed Nathan on lap 4, and then slotted behind Omar's sister car. Omar took a little longer to catch, and it was lap 9 before he was past. Omar had meanwhile been pursuing James Drew Williams and got within 3/4 of a second, which is a long way on the banking but pretty close on the sinuous infield. With 1 lap still to go, Cato took the lead leaving James in second but winning the F3 division. James had pulled out a lead of 7 seconds by lap 3, was extremely consistent, and quick, and was unlucky to be pipped by Cato. Omar was third. Once Cato's catching up was done, Nathan Corridon had a reasonably serene run to fourth and first 2000. For much of the race, he had Shane Kelly sandwiched symetrically between himself and Bryn Tootell, but on lap 9 Bryn passed Shane, and came through to fifth. Shane dropped down the order with a mechanical malady, completing each successive lap slower until he limped into parc ferme, 9th. Mark Smith finished 6th, without getting into any serious fights along the way, while Chris Kite and Taylor Macvean had a reasonably close race, starting out with Taylor leading for 3 laps, but then Chris took the lead, they finished 7th and 8th, Taylor 4th in 2000.

After stalling on the grid, Tony Cotton got away last but one and had a leisurely rise, past Simon Hare on lap one, Len Turner on lap 2 and then fought with old 1600 sparring partner Geoff Fern for a couple of laps until settling in for 10th. Geoff won 1600 with some rapid driving, while Len Turner kept ahead of the increasingly speedy Simon Hare for 3rd in Moto 1000 and 2nd 1600 respectively.

Race 2

Cato again had a poor start, and James once more took the lead which he held for 6 laps when Cato passed to finish first. Omar in the second RF1000 then put the pressure on James, and it looked as though ot would be an exciting race but sadly it ended unsatisfactorily when there was contact resulting in damage to the Lola, which finsihed behind Omar on the road. However, after a 10 second penalty, Omar was demoted behind James. The story for Nathan and Bryn was much as the first race, a series of quick consistent laps ending in 4th and 5th, 1st and 2nd in class. The battle for 6th proved to have a bit more drama. Shane Kelly looked to have the Northbrook Renault fixed, and moved up from 9th on the grid to 5th at the end of lap 1. Sadly, the car slowed a little on lap 2 and then retired on lap 3 having already been demoted by Bryn. Mark Smith therefore moved up a place, where he would finish. He had to work for the place, though. Taylor Macvean and Tony Cotton started off tussling for 8th, but on lap 3 Taylor retired, inside rear wheel looking a bit non-standard to at least one observer due to mechanical rather than accident reasons. This left Tony free to chase Mark, and they had a decent race, slowed only by an oil issue around PifPaf. Chris Kite left the grid a touch early, realised his mistake and stopped, penalising himself, and the got penal;ised hy 10 seconds at the end. He spent the first laps in the company of Geoff Fern but had a bit of an issue on lap 3 which dropped him back. He overhauled Geoff on lap 6, and started to reel in Tony, but the clock proved the master and he finished 8th, with Geoff 9th. Simon Hare got ahead of Len Turner on lap 1, which Len recovered on lap 2. Len, however, then slowed fairly dramatically (nothing serious we hope) leaving Simon with a top ten finish.

 

Tony Cotton

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