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St Cross Electronics Mono Championship
27 April 2014, Round 4, 1600, 1800, DTec, Classic
Donington


Qualifying

As this report is both written and posted fairly late, I won't go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that qualifying was very similar to Saturday, save for Adrian Holey being in a more expected 4th place than his Saturday 8th.

Malcolm Cook was unlucky to spin towards the end of qualifying, ending up straddling the kerb at the Old Hairpin. All would have been well but Luke Rosewell was a little off line, possibly as a result of an overtake, and he too spun, collecting Malcolm. With limited time and facilities, both headed for home. The incident brought out a red flag, which many took as the end of session, but a few hardy souls got an extra couple of laps, which proved to be an improvement for nearly all of them.Your treasurer took the extra practice because being an accountant he just wanted every penny's worth of time.

Matt Walters solved his mid-race/practice misfire with a change of oil, the new super-gloop being sufficient to keep the hydraulic tappets in their place.Clever folk, team Avit.

Race

As Simon has explained elsewhere, weather and other issues caused a few delays in the GT race and our own 2000/Moto race. It still seemed a bit paradoxical when with the sun coming out and the paddock close to dry, and at least half the grid on slicks, a wet race was declared, which of course meant we had to race on the tyres on which we went to the grid. The weather was so variable that almost everybody had 2 changes of tyres, and by assembly time, around 2/3 of the grid was on slicks, a decision which seemed to be right as we entered the track. The circuit was bone dry except for a surprisingly wet patch at Coppice and on Starkey's Straight. Then - I'm told - it rained quite heavily on the grid (which incidentally wasn't quite the same as the grid sheets). It might just be me but when it rains, unless the spots bounce on the road, it's difficult to know it when in a single seater. Accordingly we set off, mainly on slicks, on a wet track. Fairly soon it was obvious how wet it was, though interestingly nobody pulled off. However sensible and prudent we may be, and nobody is more prudent than me, the leaders want to keep on racing and those at the back just want a few points, or don't have the Lauda (Mt Fuji) -like courage to pull off.

So at the front, poleman Daniel Hands initially moved away from Lee Cunningham. It looked like a race was going to ensue, as Lee might fight back, but as the rain got heavier, lap times on slicks went up, and nobody took more advantage of this than Kevin Otway who I have to deduce was on wets. From 7th on the grid he had moved up a couple of places by lap 2 and then one a lap until lap 6 by which time he had a pretty dominant lead - 6 seconds at the end for a notable victory. Daniel and Lee came in 2nd and 3rd. The exact opposite fate of Kevin befell 2nd grid-place man Francis Philips. At first maintaining a solid 3rd, he slipped down when the rains came and ended 8th. Another presumed wet man was the phoenix-like Lou Watts, who rose dramatically from the back of the grid to 5th, behind Alistair Bell. At the other end of the field, Kevin Couling was another "wet" to be pleased with his result as he passed cars in appalling conditions..

Anybody who has seen an 1800 class in tricky conditions will know that's what Paul Britten thrives in, so it was as expected that he won the class by 9 seconds from Marcus Sheard.

With Luke out of the 1600 class there were quite a few candidates for the win, but Matt Walters made the most of an on-song engine to pip Andrew Colebrook for top spot, leaving the ever-reliable Dave Parkinson on the third step.

Doug McLay was very unlucky to be one of the few non-finishers in his DTec Mygale when he was touched by a lapping car into the chicane and ended up in the gravel.

The race came to an end with a red flag on lap 7, thanks to Peter Whitmore spinning without damage on the chicane exit. I think it's fair to say that if a ballot for a knighthood, or even for Pope, had been held after the race, Peter would have walked it, such was the relief that the entire field finished without any significant damage.

Alistair Bell Lee Cuningham Kevin Couling

 

All pics Tim Wood/Norwich Photo except paddock Simon Davey

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.

 

Dave Parkinson is passed by Daniel HandsFrancis Philips - slicksLou Watts, wetsPeter Whitmore saved a lot of peopleDaniel Hands passes Kevin Couling

Winner Kevin Otway