St Cross Electronics
I confess to having a bit of trepidation about Silverstone GP circuit. In the good old days of Bridge Corner (sighs nostalgically) I learnt a new currency when I did "a Formula Vauxhall Junior" worth of damage to Mike Conway's Dallara in practice at Becketts, and a few years later I did around 2 1/2 FVJ's damage to my own F300. As it happened, all went well for me. Although it was a good meeting, with a lot of happy people, not everybody had a trouble free time.
This was probabaly Mono's most cosmopolitan entry with Johann Spiteri from Malta, Cian Carey and Martin Daley from Ireland, Damon Bland from Switzerland and Mono newcomer Thomas Craincourt from France. How long will it be before we add in Jock Sergison and Doug McLay as European visitors? Robin Dawe continues his comeback, and Chris Woodhouse made an appearance in his Dallara, which so far has had a gestation period similar to the V16 BRM (another reference for the kids there).
There were a few incidents and issues in qualifying (besides how fast people went) which had a big effect on the final results. The first happened when a car abourt 2/3 of the way down the practice queue lost fluids on the start finish straight and partly around Woodcote. The general concensus is that the driver/team wasn't at fault, and some thought that perhaps there could have been slightly quicker circuit action. The result was that the best part of a lap later those at the front of the queue reached the fluid on the racing line. Bryn Tootell had a spin which took off the front and rear wings, while Kevin Mason had a dramatic incident captured on his GoPro when he braked for Woodcote and encountered full right grip and zero left. Inevitably the car squarely hit the wall. Fortunately Dallaras are built to take this, the nose was reduced in length to about 6 inches, a corner including a wheel went, and the session was stopped. 2 quick cars were inevitably well down the grid.
Next event was that potential podium man ChrisWoodhouse lost another engine with big end woes. There was disappointment that they hadn't chosen the bullet-proof Speads rather than the recalcitrent Toyota device. Finally, with a tense qualifying over and generally good track craft from a widely differing speed range of cars, there was the surprise of all 50 or so finsihers being checked for weight and ride height. A few didn't pass and a few quick cars went to the back. This had a lap one effect in the race - see later.
The big news on the grid was the beautiful new Dan Fox built Daryl Jones F302, resplendent in a variant of Gulf Blue and Orange. (Doesn't Gulf Blue sound much more evocative than Light Blue or Powder Blue?). In any event, the car went as well as it looked, and Daryl's lost none of the brilliance he showed in his debut season. Pole by a second in this quality company is impressive. Behind him, the usual suspects (Tony Bishop, Robbie Watts, Peter Venn, Kevan McLurg) lined up, with occassional but welcome Moto competitor Dan Clowes in his Jedi in fourth.
In the other classes, Daniel Hands took Classic pole, Thomas Craincourt Dtec, Paul Britten 1800 and Andrew Colebrooke 1600.
With over 50 cars, the chances of at least one failing to get away cleanly was high, so praise to Simon and MSVR for having a well organised rolling start – less exciting perhaps but much safer.
Dan Clowes had a good start and moved up to be leading by the end of lap one. A good clean fight with Daryl Jones ended in the Dallara man's favour. Daryl then built up a lead to win the race (the second Dallara win "straight from the box" this year) from Dan by just over 2 seconds, though not until Kevan McLurg had taken second off Dan on lap 3 and Malcolm Scott, fighting his way up from 8th on the grid took 3rd place for a couple of laps towards the end. Dan came back and ended 2nd overall, winning Moto, with Malcolm 3rd. Kevan dropped back with a misfire to finish 4th while Peter Venn drove a consistent race to finish 5th. 8th overall and 6th 2000 was Cian Carey, recovering well from a back of the grid start. He and fellow Irish FR driver Martin Daley, who dropped out after 2 laps, scythed through the field. Unfortunately, while they did nothing wrong, one 1600 moved slightly when being overtaken by the pair on each side around Copse, and the resultant chain reaction looked to catch Jock Sergison out, who went off.
Graham Read was second Moto, and 6th overall, making up 4,3,2, and 1 place on each of the first 4 laps. The 301 looks to be developing reliability to match its speed. Completing the Moto podium was a disappointed looking Jeremy Timms.
Daniel Hands spent the race shadowing Russ Giles, winning Classic in the process and, with Russ, rounding off the top 10. Word is that Daniel is interested in joining the ranks of poor but happy Dallara owners. Robin Dawe, returning with the FVL, the same type of car which made him such a force at the turn of the century, showed that none of the speed has gone. Alistair Bell and James Rimmer swapped places throughout the race, Alister was holding the parcel for third when the music stopped.
Dtec had an entry of 3, Thomas Craincourt prevailing over John Whitbourn by a reasonable margin.
1800 continues to be Paul Britten's domain. He sent the race mainly in the company of Classics and 2000s. Matt Hayes got second in class, being just pipped on track by Andrew Colebrook who was 1600 victor. TFR team-mate Adrian Heath was second 1600 ahead of Mr 1600 himself, David Parkinson.
Tales of woe included Geoff Cowell, who had a spectacular engine failure at Vale and Adrian Wright who coasted to a halt in the oddly named Arena section. Kevin Mason got his F301 back together.Considering the mess it was in, a major achievement. A collision on lap 7 dropped him down the order, and left more repairs. I only mention his woes as he stayed cheerful despite alos blowing up his Ilmor Chevy engine in the week.
Leading Driver comments (Race 1):
Dan Clowes: "As a very very late entry, and at the start of qualifying still a reserve I was really pleased to be able to race, and even happier knowing I had qualified on the Moto pole and 4th for Race 1, and remarkably on the front row for Race 2. Both in Race 1 and 2 I had a fantastic scrap with some of the quick Mono 2000 cars, namely Daryl Jones, Peter Venn, Robbie Watts, Malcolm Scott and Tony Bishop. I'm sure that none of them particularly enjoyed me being there, especially those with championship aspirations."
Paul Britten:"It's the meeting I was most looking forward to for a number of reasons and it didn't disappoint. Racing at a current GP track is always going to be a big draw and this years' entry list proved that to be the case. Yes, it might have acres of run-off to comply with FIA safety standards but I don't think that's a bad thing if the circuit itself is still a challenge.
Qualifying went OK although I soon wished that I'd tested on the Friday as my guess at the right gear ratios proved a little way off. The only issue of any note was the red flag in the first half of the session which then created a traffic jam in the pit-lane. I didn't have any mechanics or an assistant to discuss things with (moan at) so I did my best to queue jump in a stealthy manner which wasn't very successful.
Race 1 was fairly uneventful until we started dicing with some of the Classic field and John Whitbourn in his Duratec. That proved quite entertaining but Race 2 was a whole different experience, although no less entertaining....."
John Whitbourn: "First race had a great fight with Paul all race I was faster down the straights, more BHP and no wings but Paul with wings and torque was faster in the bends. We must have swapped places half a dozen times before my brakes and front tyres went off. We later found that one of the front tyres was nearly flat, the valve had split."
Andrew Colebrooke: "1st race was strange due to the fact that numerous penalties had elevated me about 10 or so places up the grid and put several fasters cars out of position at the back. The first lap and a half was spent trying to stay out of the way of the quicker cars behind me (some of whom came through really quickly) and trying to make sure that my TFR team mate Mr. Heath didn't sneak through with them! Once normal service was resumed I was able to get some heat in the tyres and, with only faster cars ahead of me that I was never going to catch, just made certain to bring the car home in one piece."
Daniel Hands: "Not a bad weekend, race one was good until the last 5 laps when the clutch started slipping, so backed off and nursed her home."
Tony Bishop (out on lap 2): "We had a bad weekend overall , one stupid drive and one a little unlucky , but racing in Mono 2000 is very, very competitive and all the better for it."
Peter Venn: "The story starts at Spa - the engine blew in qualifying and it was a big blow-up - broken sump, hole in the block, bits of piston found in the airbox. So it has been a complete new engine and a new cnc sump for the Dallara from Kevin [Mason]. So Dave and Keith rolled up on Friday and Keith ran the engine in during Friday testing.
For qualifying I ran the low downforce wing. I had a bit of traffic but not too much, thought it was OK but ran off onto the marbles on the outside of Copse after getting a bit optimistic with the entry speed. This helped in a way because by slowing to clear the gravel and clean up the tyres, I gave myself a bit of clear circuit to push - and promptly went 2 seconds quicker. Then came the chequered flag so I might have been able to go quicker. So 5th was OK, particularly as most of the frontrunners had tested Friday and were running new tyres. I bought a new set at the beginning of the year and two new ones for the left side for Thruxton so mine have a few miles on them.
For the race I thought I might be quicker with a bit more downforce - we were quick on the speedtraps but the car was moving around a lot in the quick corners so I thought I might be quicker if it was more planted. This was a mistake! Malcolm took wing off for the race and went a second quicker than in qualifying, I put wing on and went a second slower! We live and learn... So story of the first race - not much, started 5th, finished 5th. Got a reasonable start, got close to Tony Bishop who then spun but got passed by Malcolm. Thought we might end up with a 5 car scrap for the lead but the other 4 pulled away and I couldn't keep with them. Had a quick spin at Club late on but didn't lose a place."
Kevan McLurg: "I made a good getaway to jump from 6th to 3rd after the first corner upto 2nd on the next lap chasing for the lead. Dropped back to 3rd 2 laps later when a misfire appeared and then dropped to 4th for the end of the race.
Back in the paddock I started looking at plugs for the misfire.No 2
was sooty so a new plug was fitted. I went to start the car to find the
starter was not operating properly. I tried it again to then have part
of the wiring loom fry itself against the carbon tub and a braided pipe!
The main power cables were chopped trimmed and reconnected, and a spare
starter fitted. I tried it again to find that it wasnt engaging. Dan the
mechanic then saw that the
Name and address supplied in case the pub owner has his details: "We went for a meal in the only pub within walking distance. Have you seen "Deliverance"? The landlord shouted "Stay There! We don't do food for another 23 minutes. I was too scared to move...."
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.
The grid passes the line and rolling startsGrid from the middle and back
Lap one and Kevan pushes Daryl. Mike Hatton and Alistair BellAdrian Holey, Kevin Mason and Thomas CraincourtTony Cotton passes Daryl Jones on the outside. Guess who writes the captions.Richard Purcell passes Richard ReeveRichard Greening - if Avit are good enough for Jim Blockley.....Lou WattsRobin Dawe and James RimmerTerry Clark and Mark Smith
Mat Jordan, Kevin Mason, David Gambling
Photos by Norwich Photo, with thanks