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St Cross Electronics Mono Championship
26 April, Round, 1600, 1800, DTec, Classic
Donington


Qualifying

The mixture of Classics with 16/18/DTecs had an almost traditional feel, as if the Monoposto races of the 80's had made a comeback, albeit with much more modern versions of the same style of cars where "engines" mean "car engines" and "downforce" means "wings" not floors. However, some other things never change and that's the competitiveness of the Mono grid. The front was very close (within 0.2 sec) and it was all Van Diemen (Lee Cunningham, Daniel Hands and, racing on Saturday only, the Northbrook College car of Shane Kelly. Francis Philips was just behind and the Paul Britten interloped his indecently fast 1800. Luke Rosewell led the 1600's (and was also in amongst the Classics) while Doug McLay led the DTec's, not too difficult as he was the sole representative of this very attractive and practical class.

It was good to see Marcus Sheard running well after Snetterton woes, and fascinating to see Jock Sergison's innovative HighlanderIII. Kevin Couling joined in for the first time, and benefitted from the tending of Lee and Brian Bennett. Another "newcomer" was Tony Cotton, dragging the FVJ from under the home compost heap where the Dallara took its place.

Lou Watts was unable to start the race due to a clutch problem.

Race

The competitiveness continued, maybe a bit too much so. Ian Hughes and Richard Snuggs had a nudge, ending in retirement, while outside my view there was a spin, resulting in Damon Bland's car being badly damaged, Terry Clark's a little less so, and then the well-qualifying Michael Dale found his path blocked by these two and took off a front corner. It was no surprise that the safety car came out immediately (and effectively), followed by a red flag.

The restart was clean and poleman Lee Cunningham kept the lead for a couple of laps and was then passed by Daniel Hands, who held on to the lead to the finish. There was never a big gap though, whereas Lee built quite a lead over Mike Hatton in third. Mike had leapt to third, whereas Shane Kelly dropped back from his qualifying third to fifth, Francis Philips taking fourth and Alistair Bell joining in behind. The third to sixth race of Mike, Francis Philips, Shane and Alistair was a cracker – they came through lap after lap like a train. (Well not really like a train because they didn't stop randomly and become a replacement bus service, but you know what I mean.) On lap 8 of 9, Alistair demoted Shane, and then on the last lap the ever-wily Francis eased Mike off the podium.

Kevin Otway made the most of his new Van Diemen mount to run seventh for the whole race, initially challenged by Paul Britten, but The extra power and technology of the Classic left Paul to have a brief fight with Adrian Holey, where the Classic Reynard man went ahead after a lap, then Paul ran to a dominant 1800 win. Mat Jordan was next up in the evergreen TFR VD RF99, who kept himself well ahead of another train. Doug McLay, Marcus Sheard, Peter Whitmore, and Malcolm Cook drove four very different cars, separated in age by 27 years, with four very different engines in 3 different classes, but the competition was close and intense. Doug initially led, Peter then took over and made a break, while Doug dropped to the back of the group, and then repassed Marcus, with Malcolm ending up second in the group and second 1800, ahead of Doug and Marcus who were fighting to the end.

Amidst all this activity, Luke Rosewall pretty much had the 1600 class to himself, running for half the race ahead of the distinguished group of 4 above. Andrew Colebrook continued his initiation into 1600 with a second in class, with David Parkinson refusing to be shaken by the youngster for third. (They're all youngsters compared with DP – ed). Eddie Guest and a misfiring Matt Walters followed the podium in with Tony Cotton picking up the wooden spoon. Kevin Couling dropped out after 6 laps, while Jock didn't start.

Tony Cotton

 

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.

Luke Rosewell leads Mat Jordan Francis Phillips looked fresh and relaxed, despite a 6 hour journey from home in Cornwall Daniel Hands and Mike Hatton were happy.

All pics Tim Wood/Norwich Photo except paddock Simon Davey

Damon Bland's Van Diemen left the circuit less pristine than in practice

Daniel Hands leads Lee Cunningham

Mike Hatton would ultimately be overtaken by Francis Phillips

Doug McLay, Peter Whitmore, Marcus Sheard and Malcolm Cook

Adrian Holey. In one way or another, Adrian races most generations of F3 car