St Cross Electronics
Monoposto Championship Round 8 Oulton Park. 13 July2013
I can't think of a witty or pithy introduction so on with the racing.
Race 3 - 2000 and Classic
In the first race, there was a first corner crush. This developed into a first corner crash in race 2. Tony Bishop and Kevan McLurg came together and Tony came off worst with, according to my observer, the car in the air and into the barriers with 2 damaged corners and a destroyed nose. It takes a big bang to do that to a Dallara, and the Clerk lost no time in deploying the safety car. Tony was reported as being ok after the incident, but I imagine he had painful shoulders on Sunday. Incidentally, the safety car was sent out with the customary efficiency we see at MSVR meeting, picking up the leader and running at a reasonable pace, at least it seemed that from the sidelines.
Lap 4 was the next racing lap with Robie Watts firmly established int he lead and Kevan McLurg second. Robbie didn't build up such a big lead this time, but at 4 seconds it was just enough to look comfortable. Until the last lap....between Druids and Lodge there was a bang from the trusty Zetec behind his shoulders. This meant that after a very hard drive to stay in touch, a delighted Kevan McLurg emerged the winner.
Robbie was close enough to the line that at most circuits he could have coasted to the finish and won, or at least scored. Sadly, a low speed corner and a steep incline killed the car achingly close to the line. Robbie took it very sportingly, but it was a cruel blow. He hopes to have an alternative car available if the engine can't be fixed by Combe, so we could be seeing 2 spaceframe cars fighting at the front. Which brings us to Ben Cater, spaceframe exponent. His grid place was held for the first 4 laps but Russ Giles was close behind and took the place on lap 5. I didn't see it, but the times indicate that Ben probably had an issue somewhere on lap 4. The result was that Russ couldn't relax in keeping his second place. Ben was third, with Malcolm Scott 4th on the road after a storming final lap where he gained 2 places, the last lap being his fastest lap. Unfortunately he had found himself disappointed to be held at Deer Leap on the way to the grid and with a dragging clutch was deemed to be moving at the start; the result was a 10 second penalty which dropped him 4 places to 7th. As the cars he dropped behind were Classics it had no effect on his third in class. Ironically, a 10 second penalty was also issued to Tony Bishop, possibly the least of his concerns.
Bryn Tootell eventually got free of Jared Wood and Terry Clark for a 2nd in class behind Ben Cater, leaving Jared to just edge out Terry for 3rd in class. Elsewhere, the busiest man in the race seemed to be Alistair Bell, who had dices with both Mat Jordan and Tim Tudor, coming out ahead on both occassions to finish 11th, 6th in Classic. Mark Smith and Dave Gillett were very close going into Island Bend but Mark subsequentky disappeared and I didn't find out why - until Mark kindly emailed me: "Reason I disappeared was down to a complete lack of talent and a desire not to hit Dave when I made a mess of an overtaking move – locked up and spun into the gravel trap. My fault entirely." If trophies were awarded for self deprecation and humility, Mark would have to keep them in an aircraft hangar.
Incidentally, I think that amongst the Swansea Met team there's a PR person. If they read this, fancy doing a piece for this website ? (email@example.com). Actually, that applies to everybody, but like I say, I think PR is one of their skillsets.
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