St Cross Electronics
Monoposto Championship Round 13 Snetterton 7 September 2013
With 1800 resolved in favour of the absent Paul Britten; Ztec, frequently a byword for dependability, effectively resolved in favour of Marcus Sheard when he and Douglas McLay bothhad engine troubles; 1600 having only a mathematical possibility for DP to overhaul Adrian Heath, but quite a lot at stake in Moto, the race was combination of "out for the fun of it" and "deadly serious", which in my opinion is just how it should be. Most drivers are actually both of those things..
Jason Timms laid down a marker by qualifying 1.3 seconds ahead of Geoff Fern, 3 seconds ahead of Dan Clowes. After his Silverstone woes, all didn't seem right with Marc Fortune as he did only 4 laps, though Dan had done just 2. Dax Ward had mixture problems, meaning no practice and a run behind the safety car at lunchtime. "Many thanks to the selfless support of Wingnut Racing in brilliantly fixing the problem" said Jon Reed on behalf of Dax.
1800 was led by new-to-Mono Mark Jackson in a beautifully prepared Reynard 84SF, the cars that dominated FF2000 nearly 30 years ago. Mark had an engine problem in testing on Friday - an emigrating flywheel - and the team began fitting the replacement engine at 6.00am on Saturday.They finished as practice was called, Simon arranged scrutineering and noise testing (many thanks to Simon and the officials) and Mark got in 5 laps. Phew! "Thanks to Wally, Matt and Wendy for all the work in changing the engine" he said. 2nd on the 1800 grid was another newcomer to Mono in 2013, Chris Levy, in another FF2000, but this an RF83. The evergreen Michael Dale brought up 3rd on the grid with Steven Griffin next, just edging out leading 1600, local Alan Fincham. David Parkinson felt the championship pressure off and was pleased to be ahead of the Champion elect Adrian Heath.
Some spectators feared the worst when Geoff Fern got the Speads VERY sideways at the start, but all was well and Jason led into the first corner. And the last corner too, for that matter, because he wasn't closely challenged for the race. Dan Clowes passed Geoff for second, but then went out after 1 lap, parking up neatly behind the concrete at Williams. Marc Fortune started but didn't complete a lap, looking as though he was suffering from loose bodywork. So Geoff got second, with third Moto, fourth overall falling to Dax Ward, who had a stunning drive from the back of the grid - 9 places on lap 1, 5 on lap 12, and then he stalked Chris Levy and Mike Scott for fifth which he got on lap 5. Dax then set out after Mike Reed, who was looking good for fourth overall, 3rd Moto, until retiring on lap 6. Mike Scott, who we don't see often enough, finished 4th in class, not helped by an incident on lap 4 which dropped him down 2 places.
With the 1800 first place taken rapidly but undramatically by Mark Jackson, Chris Levy was unchallenged for second, and in the overall stakes did just enough to keep ahead of Mike Scott of the Motos.As surely as the sun rises, Len Turner finishes races, and he had an entertaining mixed class race with Steven Griffin, 3rd 1800, and Adrian Heath, 1600 winner. Although they stayed in this order, there was very little air between them and it looked good racing from the bank. As did the next band of Michael Dale (1800, 4th), Dane Catanzaro (Ztec, 1st) and Alan Fincham (2nd 1600, his RF80 in original FF1600 trim). Michael had started off well, with an impressive 3rd 1800, 1st Mono regular, but slipped down the overall order after losing a couple of seconds on lap 3. Dane passed Alan on lap 5.
3rd in 1600 David Parkinson spent most of the race being closely trailed by Eddie Guest, whilst Prajesh Shah had a slightly lonely run to 5th in 1800.
Finally we come to, arguably, the most predictably close but clean racing you're likely to find in club motorsport, and where the finish is always uncertain. Peter Bassill and Joe Venor embody the spirit of the club. They passed and repassed, gave each other space, and had a fantastic time out there, delighting the spectators with their side by side running, and proving that you don't have to be at the very pointy end to have a great time. Somebody said to me the other week "the trouble with some of your Mono lot is that they're just out to enjoy themselves". Er, yes. And the problem is?
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