St Cross Electronics
Monoposto Championship Round 7 Oulton Park. 13 July2013
I don't know how you became a Monoposto racer, but Tony Gauntlet has a strange tale to tell. He was a 125 gearbox Kart racer who fancied a single seater so bought a Jedi. After looking at the otherwise excellent Jedi series, he decided it was a bit expensive and didn't allow him to play with the car, so he decided to sell it. Chris Woodhouse rang, thinking of buying it, and asked why Tony hadn't considered Mono. Never heard of it, he replied, despite living half a mile from The Chairman. Chris explained, and so Tony was at Oulton. We are the secret jewel of British Motorsport.
MonoMoto, 1600 & 1800 Qualifying
The assembly area was full of very hot drivers. One had a fan, another tipped a bottle of water inside his overalls. He was dry before qualifying started. Once it did, Chris Woodhouse opened as quickest but was overhauled by Dan Clowes. Chris had some problems with traffic, but his major worry after qualifying was a broken drive shaft. The spare needed some tweaking to make it fit, and it was touch and go whether he made the race. Adrian Wright was third, with Jason Timms and Geoff Fern a couple of seconds behind. In his first race, Tony Gauntlet was behind Geoff Fern but did well to be ahead of Stephen Brooks, making his customary appearance at his local circuit.Stephen only did 4 laps and took the start but didn't trouble the lap scorers, so there was an issue of which I don't know the details.
It was a welcome return to Mono for Ewan Sergison, at least for the spectators. Always quick and good to watch, it must be mixed feelings for his competitors. He's so difficult to keep up with, but is such an asset to the class as he's unable to avoid helping people in the paddock. In fact, his work was apparent with the most popular of all returns, Michael Dale. Still with a few marks from his scalds, Michael returned to Team Laid Back (himself and Parky) as if he's never been away. Michael/Ewan and Ewan's team won the Cartek trophy, awarded by Alister. Nobody thought any other decision would have been possible. Though one smart-ass asked Simon why the nose badge said Van Dieman when the entry says Van Diemen. Simon hit him.
Ewan poled* 1800, Paul Britten was a little behind, Marcus Sheard a little further back, but leading the Ztec class.
1600's were led by Luke Rosewell, who had a nervous moment in the assembly area when the car failed to start. A little of Dad's and Simon's experience, and all was well. David Parkinson was second on the 1600 grid having spent a lot of time and effort devising a strategy for the assembly area. Saturday was the day for welcome returns, because Prajesh Shah, who left the Premier Class last year for F3, saw the light and came back in a Team Fern FVJ. It was good to see him again - always a neat, safe but quick driver, and to also see his dad again. Mono and families go together.
Stephen Griffin was frustrated at his position - "I've bought a new Cosworth ECU, but I've still got a misfire. When I use Ewan's box, I haven't. When he uses my box, he hasn't either. What's going on?". Probably not as frustrated as Peter Bassill who looked troubled and completed only 2 laps, Adrian Wright who suffered problems after overheating and went home, and Pedro Ferreira. Pedro was joining us and the Swansea Met team for the first time for this event, but did just 2 practice laps. We hope to see more of him at a later event.
MonoMoto/1600/1800/ZTec Race 1
Chris Woodhouse got the advatage over Dan Clowes at the start and built up a small lead,which Dan reduced on lap 4, and overtook Chris on lap 5 as he pulled into the pits, the engine at an unhealthy temperature. Such was the team's concern that they went home straight away. Dan then simply took command of the race ("imperious" said the commentators), to win by 16 seconds. Jason Timms in turn was unchallenged for second, and so was Geoff Fern in third. However, fourth was a slightly different story. Tony Gauntlet started from the pitlane and battled his way through the field. The position went 23,17,11,8, 7, 6,5, 4,4. Not all races will be that exciting, Tony. Craig Hurran was fifth, his best result to date and after the awful season he had in 2012 it's good to see Craig and his immaculate black Jedi moving up the results. Mike Reed was sixth in class, but edged out for sixth overall by Ewan Sergsion (more later) while Len Turner had his customary close dicing with the 1800's and 1600's, notably Luke Rosewell who I saw in Cascades, and Dave Parkinson in Shell. Christian Parker's so far unique Seward pulled off with a mystery electrical problem
If Dan's drive was imperious, much the same could be said for Ewan's. There wasn't really any doubt he would win the 1800 class, it was whether he would get the record which was a personal objective, and I understand that he did. Paul Britten was the last unlapped runner, and was 10 seconds behind Ewan. 2nd was enough to consolidate his lead in the class championship. Likewise, Marcus Sheard in ZTec, who spent most of the race shadowing Stephen Griffin. Like so many, Stephen detected overheating and was about to pull into the pits until he saw the chequered flag, and no racer can resist that so he did the last few metres and hoped for the best on temperature. However, he lost places on that last lap to Michael Dale and Len Turner. Michael therefore got a podium on his return - you couldn't ask for more. He spent lap 1 behind semi-team-mate David Parkinson, but got the advantage when Dave watched his mirrors too closely round Lodge and ran wide, losing a few places. Final 1800 was Peter Bassill.
Luke Rosewell had a pole to flag win in 1600, though was chased at one stage by Dave Parkinson. Prajesh Shah got back into the swing of a low downforce car, initially losing out to Douglas McLay on lap1. It took 4 laps to regain the place, all the while watching for Adrian Heath and David Parkinson in the mirrors. Adrian, of course, gained from David Parkinson's indiscretion but was unable to hold the old maestro off; David got third, Adrian 4th. Eddie Guest had a relatively uneventful run to 5th, while Peter Bassill in the 1800 kept Joe Venor busy in one of the best rivalries of the race. Final finisher was Matt Walters who avoided the 2 Brands rounds, and had a very poor start from which he never recovered.
Part 2 to follow
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. 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.
*I have deliberately used this abberation of a phrase, pole being a noun not a verb, in the hope that the sheer awfulness will be so obvious nobody will ever violate the English language again by saying "poled".
Keeping cool: - umbrella and bucket for Mike Reed
- evaporative cooling nomex for Chris Woodhouse, with air cooling for Roy
- while Stephen Brooks has a fan.
Prajesh Shah returns to his roots
Peter Bassill and Doug McLay, engine-coverless in practice
Dave Parkinson and Len Turner fight it out on lap 1