I have been to Donington when it's been dry all day. I think it was 1983. This Sunday, early rain meant a wet/damp practice. Jason Timms took pole with Shane Kelly, always quick in the wet, in second. Hayden Edmonds put the FR ahead of Neil Harrison in F3, while Ewen Sergison was second to the quick youngster Alex Fores in 1800, the class welcoming back Matt Walters. Ian Hughes took classic pole despite coming in after 6 laps with the wheels unexpectedly pointing in a different direction to the steering. Deb diagnosed the problem for him. Geoff Fern led 1600, ahead of the evergreen Simon Davey, while James Gordon-Colebrook had an off in the Esses but still enjoyed himself.
Another slow getaway was that of Bryn Tootell. He started racing with Ewen Sergison, but by the end of lap 2 he had not only eclipsed Ewen but also the well-qualifying Shane Kelly in the Northbrook Renault Van Diemen. Somewhat behind Shane, but enjoying himself with Ewen was Mark Smith. “The midfield was a lot of fun” he said.. The 1800 class was a bit spread out. Ewen raced with the 2000s, but had Alex Fores closing up until he got stuck in traffic on the last lap. In what was once a slim class, Matt Walters was delighted to keep finding his old speed and had a good battle with Ian Hughes until Ian’s engine went off a bit, George Fowler in the SF84, who at one point led Matt, and Nick Catanzaro from Classic. It was close, exciting stuff, and Nick would triumph in Classic. “It makes a change to have a win! I just stuck at it” he said. Ian found water around one of the plugs, sorting everything for race 2. His start had been tight: “You could almost have got a fag paper between me and Geoff” he quipped merrily.
Phil Davies completed the 1800 class, pleased that the woes he had suffered previously at Donington had gone away. He also had a busy afternoon, dicing with Len Turner and Geoff Fern. Both of these were class winners, Geoff on the way to overall victory in the Tiedeman Trophy. The inimitable Simon Davey ran his RF80 in pure FF spec, and was a bit slower than Geoff to come 2nd in class.
Chris Kite in an invitation Dallara qualified 16th and initially raced with Taylor McVean. After Taylor’s off, he moved up the field to finish an overall 10th, after fighting with the frantic foursome of 1800 and Classic. Ben McGhee was second in 1000, enjoying himself and rapidly coming to terms with what is an intimidating and rapid Wingnut-assisted Jedi.
As in race 1, Neil Harrison started well, but this time held the lead to the end of lap 1 at which point a safety car was deployed, effective on lap 3 since poor Ben McGhee had spun at Godards. The marshalls had it cleared up very quickly, and racing resumed on lap 4. After they crossed the line at the end of that lap, Jason Timms moved to the left, which Neil covered. He then moved to the right, and passed. It was a cunningly well planned and executed move, though I forgot to ask Neil if he agreed. Jim Timms in the stands looked happy anyway. 3 laps later a disconsolate Jason retired, leaving the race to Neil which he won by 5 seconds. James Drew-Williams held 3rd for 11 laps, but by no means had an easy time. Hayden Edmonds was initially in 5th, behind Bryn Tootell, but took 4th on lap 7. Thereafter he was on James’s gearbox, and several times they ran through Redgate and towards the Craners virtually side by side. Only on the last lap did he make the pass stick, and it was a sign of the spirit of this championship that the pitlane interviewer had to break them up from smiling and shaking hands to get his microphone in.
After ceasing to play with the F3s, Bryn kept a steady 3 or 4 seconds to win the class from Shane Kelly who was 2nd in 2000. Behind him, race 1 had a re-run. Mark Smith, running 3rd in 2000, had a few good laps with Ewen Sergison, until drawing away in the second half of the race. Ewen in turn managed to keep ahead of Alex Fores, though Alex was a bit pre-occupied for most of the race swapping places with Invitation winner Chris Kite – the music stopped with Chris ahead. Ian Hughes was also part of this group, finishing as 1st Classic, a sort of JPS RF88 Vauxhall victor.
Matt Walters had an excellent start and was running 9th on lap 1, but slipped a little, succumbing to Chris, Alex and Ian, though not without a fight. Matt was 3rd 1800 behind Ewen and Alex, with George Fowler and Phil Davies running very close together for most of the race to finish 4th and 5th 1800s. "It was enjoyable racing with a closely matched car on a circuit where carrying speed is so important" said Phil afterwards.
Geoff Fern spent the first half of the race sandwiched between George and Phil, but wisely kept out of any sort of risk to make sure of the championship in his 1600 RF89. Len Turner (Jedi) won his 1000 class and Simon Davey was second in 1600, ahead of James Gordon-Colebrook who is quickly getting the hang of the legendary and revered ex D. Parkinson Reynard.
As well as James and Ben, another non-finisher was Taylor Macvean who heard an odd noise from the gearbox and decided that investigation and a short race was better than a new Hewland.
And so the spoils of this year’s Tiedeman Trophy went to Geoff Fern on 150 points, from Bryn Tootell on 142 and Len Turner on 111. Despite the shaky start to the championship the entries built up as the JMT became settled, and 21 was a good grid number at Donington. Many thanks to BRSCC for what looked from the spectator’s angle to be a well run and enjoyable meeting.
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.
The startIan Hughes and Ewen Sergison behind Mark SmithShane Kelly, Ewen Sergison, Mark Smith and Alex ForesGeorge Fowler, Matt Walters, Chris Kite and Nick Catanzaro.Ben McGhee is recovered
Jason Timms pits to retireNick Catanzaro