St Cross Electronics
Qualifying began with a couple of surprises. Jason Timms and Nigel Davers both pulled off after a lap, Nigel with a power loss and a suspected lost cylinder, Jason reason unknown but with some fumes coming from the cockpit. Jeremy, on the other hand, got pole from Geoff Fern - by 2.7 seconds! Behind Geoff, Adrian Wright was 0.4 sec away, Graham Read a further 0.2. As usual Paul Britten led 1800, but we had an interesting 1600 grid. 6 Classic FF drivers had joined us for practice and a race with a selection of very pretty and beautifully presented cars. Mike Gardner took pole with his Crossle 30F, habitual polesitter Andrew Colebrooke relegated to second. (Very) late entry David Parkinson seemed to have a trouble free practice but in fact had a clutch engagememnt problem and would start from the pitlane. Doug McLay was behind former ZTec sparring partner Marcus Sheard and was joined in DTec by former 1800 wizz John Whitbourn. DTec seems to be moving.
David Jones, to whom welcome, coasted his RF82 into the chicane run off area where it was dealt with very efficiently by the marshalls. Sadly, we saw him no more.
The commenatator was getting quite excited by the prospect of a Timms at each end of the grid, when at the end of the formation lap Jeremy came in from pole with a broken wheel bearing. Another example of Thruxton revealing any problem a car may have - it's a hard taskmaster.
With no Jeremy, it looked at first as though Adrian Wright was going to have the race all to himself. He pulled out a 5 second lead by the end of the third lap, and with the next 4 cars (Kevin Waring, Geoff Fern, John Reed and Graham Read all being separated from each other by about a second each, it was beginning to look like time to find excitement in the other classes (which wasn't difficult). However, almost without warning Graham Read started reeling in the places. By lap 6 he was second, albeit well behind Adrian. I suspect that lapping took its toll on Adrian as he lost 4 seconds on one lap, and Graham was on his tail 2 laps from the end, Graham took the lead, but Adrian wouldn't let go and a magnificent fight ensued as they scrambled for the lead. Then, on the final lap, the Dallara slowed on Church Hill, dropping back to 4th. Graham told me he'd had a paddleshift malfunction, and then the engine slowed, whether fuel or electrics we don't know. That car will win soon, but nobody could fail to admire Adrian for his tenacity in taking one of his hardest won victories. Kevin Waring in the yellow Wingnut Jedi kept his cool through all this and came in second, while Jason Timms got third the hard way - making up 14 places on the first lap, and being behind the Read Dallara after 3 laps, shadowing Jon Reed for another 3 laps, and then moving up by about a car a lap. During all this drama, Jon Reed got ahead of Geoff Fern, but Geoff managed to recover the place on the last lap as Jon slowed dramatically.
1800 was perhaps a shade less close. Paul Britten led from 5-out to tablecloth, and was initially followed by Marcus Sheard. Malcolm Cook caught and passed Marcus on lap 3, while Marcus added to his problems with a spin on lap 4. With John Whitbourn out before a lap was completed Doug McLay had the DTec class to himself and raced with Andrew Colebrooke and Jim Timms of the1600 class. They were the highest placed of the regular 1600's, only fractionally ahead of Eddie Guest, but the class was dominated on Saturday by some very welcome visitors. BARC Classic FF runners Mike Gardner (Crossle 30F), Leandro Guedes (VD RF80), Ted Pearson (Crossle 32F), Chris Stuart (VD RF80), and Snetterton Mono friend Alan Fincham (RF80) joined us for an extra bit of track time and provided tremendous entertainment. Mike led the group all the way through, but there was much swapping around, slipstreaming, and dicing - much too much for me to have noted down - in some very pretty and nicely prepared cars. Suffice it to say that finishing order was as above, except for Alan who mysteriously dropped out a lap from the end. Matthew Wrigley ( Merlyn Mk20), and Kevin Howell (PRS R01) completed the "Classic Raiding Party", while Dave Parkinson had a lonely trip round at the back, suffering from the lack of a clutch but sportingly carrying on.
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