St Cross Electronics
When the race was in its rainy, wet progress I was watching another event in the Worcestershire countryside, worried that the sun was burning my head. So I need to rely on data and drivers' comments. Unlike the first few graphs I've done, these 2 show the total difference between the lap time of the driver and the average of the winner (rather than the lap-by-lap difference). Stick with me if you don't do maths.Obviously, where the lines cross there's a change of position, a straight line means consistent lap times, one getting steeper upwards is slowing lap times and one getting less steep or sloping down is speeding up. Additionally, one sloping down is faster than the winner's average lap. Lines close together mean close racing. The world's most boring race would have a load of lines radiating, straight, evenly spaced, from the origin (0,0). I like spreadsheets even more than I like FVJ's.
The race split into a leading group of 4, led by a spectacularly consistent Dan Clowes (Moto/1). Then Peter Venn started to speed up dramatically to take a commanding win. Robbie Watts (2000/2) shadowed Dan, and Kevan McLurg (2000/3) slowed slightly towards the end, showing his usual cunning and preserving the 301 from unneccesary stress. Cian Carey, again started from the back but by the end of lap 2 was through the bulk of the pack, and by the end of lap 3 was in clear air. His laps were a match for Peter and had he started further up we may have seen a memorable tussle. Nonetheless, he got fastest lap.
Terry Clark in his Van Diemen was 6th overall, slowed down at the end - and why not with class victory assured, wasn't that Jackie Stewart's maxim? Everybody was surely delighted for him after the troubles the team has had with the 903 over the last couple of years. Jason Timms (Moto/2) and Neil Harrison, returning from the wilderness of Saturday, broke away from Jeremy Timms (Moto/2) and Malcolm Scott at the end. Graham Read might well have challenged the Timms Cousins had he not stumbled on lap 2.
Thomas Craincourt again made DTec his own, while it looked for much of the race as though James Rimmer (Classic/3) would take second in Classic, until he slowed dramatically on the last 2 laps allowing the smooth and consistent Cathay Pacific captain Alistair Bell into Classic Second.
Meanwhile, in the depelted but still competitive Dtec, 1600 and 1800 classes, Thomas Craincourt (Dtec/1) had the advantage over John Whitbourn (Dtec/2), who might have had a closer race had he not stumbled in some way that the data doesn't tell me on lap 2 (email me John and I'll put it in!). Doug McLay (Dtec/3) passed John during his lap of woe, but was caught and re- passed on the last lap.
Paul Britten did well to feature in the overall top 20 in an 1800, and dominated 1800 to win from Nigel Davers and Richard Greening, the latter delighted to have a cup at his first Mono meeting.Matt Hayes looked to be heading for second, having had a slowish start, passed Dave Parkinson and then dropped out a lap from the end.
The 1600 class was down to 3. Andrew Colebrook (1600/1) showed an incredible consistency (you can tell by how straight the line is) to take victory from team-mate Adrian Heath (1600/2) leaving DP to pick up the cup for 1600/3.
Leading Driver comments (Race 2) (more to come, we hope, please email email@example.com if you have anything to say):
Peter Venn: "We put the "normal" wing on and decided before the race what changes we would need to make if it rained. Set off on the warm up with the light rain and thought "this could be interesting" but as the rain got heavier it was obviously the right call by race control to red flag it. Back to the pits and put the full wet set-up on - no trade secrets to share with you all but we do change quite a lot - and it works. It was good team work as we had discussed before the race who would do what if we needed to switch to the wet set-up and it all worked perfectly and they turned me around quicker than some teams who just changed tyres.
Come the race start I could run with Robbie and Dan without problem, it was a good close scrap for the first lap or so - racing with Robbie is good, we had scraps before when I was in the Anson - hard but fair.. Robbie struggles for top speed ( the Ford is down on power compared to the Opel) so once I got alongside I could pass. Things were tougher with Dan. Again, I've raced with Dan wheel to wheel before (at Spa in the Anson) so we know and respect one another. The Jedi has terrific acceleration but struggled for traction out of the slower corners so time and again I was able to get alongside him at the exit of slower corners, only for him to pull it back as his better acceleration showed. We were fairly even on top speed so this resulted in us getting to the end of the straights and entering the faster corners side by side on several occasions - definitely side by side through Copse, through Stowe (more then once) and the full length of the Wellington straight and around Brooklands. Finally I got an opening when he was a little wider entering Luffield and I was able to force the nose inside, get on the power earlier and hold him out wide on the exit. We ran side by side for the first part of pit straight but I had the inside and was by before Copse and was then able to pull away. I had a scare late on when coming up to lap two red cars - Bryn Tootell and whoever was ahead of him - and the front guy spun in Beckets and Bryn spun to avoid him Fortunately for me, they went one either way and I was able to drive straight through the middle - Moses and the parting of the waters... After that, the last couple of laps were straightforward - it was drying out but the tyres were still good."
Dan Clowes:"The rain in Race 2 proved particularly challenging for my lightweight Jedi 1000 against the heavier Mono 2000 cars. Scrabbling for grip out of the slow corners only to see Peter Venn seemingly cruise alongside as we headed down the next straight and another late braking duel before slithering into the next corner. Great racing, fast, hard and fair. Inevitably Peter made a move stick and streaked away to a well-deserved win.If only Race 2 had been dry, maybe, just maybe an overall win was possible.
Can I please thank all those who rushed to help in the mad dash to change from slicks to wets before race 2. I wouldn't have made the start without the help of other competitors and their teams."
Terry Clark: "Like most, we were not really prepared for the downpour and it was a bit frantic in the pits. My team, Steve and new student Neil, told me to stay in the car while they frantically swapped the wheels, only to find one was flat, because someone nicked our adapter overnight and we didn’t get round to sorting out power for the compressor. They got it all sorted though and made what adjustments they could. Thanks lads, all I had to do was adjust my bias. I made the right gear choice this time for the rolling start and got a good run down in to Copse. James Rimmer managed to slip past at Stowe through the spray on a busy first lap. We both passed Daniel on the exit of Stowe next lap when he ran wide, but I think had a problem. I managed to reel James back in and pass through Brooklands and then to pull a gap. It was a fairly clear run from there to the end on a drying track, apart from a half spin at the Arena hairpin being too optimistic trying to chase Cian Carey. The car felt great and I had a few laps to think about what would break or go wrong, but thankfully nothing did which makes a really pleasant change. Delighted with the result, a first class win in Mono for me and fastest lap was also good to see. The car was obviously a good decision after the trouble we have had over the last couple of years with the 903, though there is still unfinished business there….."
John Whitbourn: "In race two I was right with Thomas
and Paul for a lap and half but I got on the power too hard and early
exiting Becketts (Chapel?) trying to get a run on both of them down the
Hanger straight. It was a minor spin flicked into a 360 and off again.
I then tried too hard to catch them and had another spin coming onto the
national straight, this time I was driving it backwards down the straight
at about 40mph with cars streaming passed on both sides and I had to wait
an age before I could safely flick it around and safely drive forward
down the straight. It was the first time I had used Duratec Dunlop wets
and driven the peaky powered Duratec in the rain. Had great fun drive
more carefully (I did not want to bend the new car) back up the field
had a good dice with Douglas and especially Will Arif on the second to
Paul Britten: "Now, it's fair to say I'm
not a 'morning person' so a race at 9.45am wouldn't have been my first
choice but that was to be the least of my worries once we'd left the assembly
area. All was well until the heavens opened halfway through the warm-up
lap and the race was red-flagged. A wise move on the part of the Clerk
of the Course but some of us were then faced with the dilemma of how to
put wets on (which were still in the outer paddock) without any mechanics.
I gambled on driving back to the paddock, as did a number of others, and
prepared myself for some blind panic. Fortunately Matt (Walters) and Ewen
(Sergison) appeared and set about changing the tyres for me whilst I ran
around like a headless chicken looking for some Rain-X. Simon (Davey)
then appeared and torqued up my wheel bolts and in a little more than
5 minutes I was back in the pit-lane ready to go. God knows how long it
would have taken me (or what I'd have forgotten to do) without their help
so it's a massive thank you to all three. Back on track the next problem
to contend with was the extraordinary amount of spray in the middle of
a 50 car grid. As the race started it became apparent that the rain lights
were pretty much invisible in a wall of water so I just hoped for the
best and left a few car lengths between me and the car in front. A lap
later and the visibility wasn't much better so it wasn't until the third
or fourth lap that I actually started to make any progress by which time
the field had become pretty spread out. Having said that it was still
an enjoyable race as we tried to mix it with some of the Classic field
again and anyone else that had been delayed by the conditions.
Andrew Colebrooke: "The 2nd race was even stranger than the first. As well as the penalties from the previous day once again creating a mish-mashed grid, the rain made everything just that little bit more chaotic. I have to confess that at the end of the first warm up lap I was not aware that there was going to be a second, so upon seeing no lights on when I got to the pit straight (and being too far down the grid to see the safety car) I floored it, and must have overtaken some 5 or 6 rows before I noticed the safety car and (feeling fairly embarrassed) allowed everyone back past me again. I thought I'd had an amazing start!! Once the race eventually got under way properly (at this point I have to thank everyone at TFR for their brilliant work getting me onto wet tyres in plenty of time to get back out onto the grid) the first two laps were once again spent staying out of trouble as faster cars made their way past me and a wall of spray ahead meant that any spinning/stationary cars would have been near impossible to avoid. Considering my class rivals started from the pit lane, the rest of the race was really just making sure not to fall foul of the wet conditions and keep all four wheels pointing the same way until the end. An action packed weekend."
Daniel Hands: "Race 2 was a disaster as after working all night to get a new clutch in, the plug for the coil was not inserted correctly and the car came to a halt. The car broke down in the new wing complex, so Idecided to have a wander round and make use of their lovely toilet facilities, so all was not too bad!" [Toilet reviews represent a first for Startline.- asst ed]
Kevan McLurg: "We were in the assembly area with rain predicted which duly came as we were on our green flag lap behind the safety car. The start was delayed and there was a mad rush in the pitlane to fit the wets and get the race started. A rolling start and I made another good start from 10th up to 4th by the 3rd corner hunting down the lead bunch.I was pulling them back in on lap 4 when I nipped up the rear under braking for the Vale chicane with a full 360 spin and lost ground to 4th spot. A lap later coming out of the chicane over the new start finish line with another spin this time heading backwards towards the pitwall and I thought "here we go again rear wing off" but fortunatley the car swung back round and I selected gear. I was off again this time dropping a spot to 5th but a lap later 4th place ran off the road and I was back to 4th for the last lap. Now to sort out the wiring loom for Brands Hatch GP race in 4 weeks time "
By the way, over at Shelsley I witnessed a Hayabusa powered car doing 142mph up a windy country road. Like this.
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 first lap of the green flag lapsWetter by the startLooks bad from outside the pack, within the pack there's nothing to seeMat Jordan and Wil Arif
Peter Venn challenges Dan ClowesDoug McLay and Kevin CoulingDan and Peter againPhil Anstruther droive the Bowman with brio
Close racing the right way
Close racing the wrong wayCian CareyNeil Harrison and Malcolm ScottGraham Read
Bryn Tootell, back in one piece
Kevan McLurg, at one point in many pieces
Photos by Norwich Photo/Jonathan Henchman, with thanks apart from K McLurg photo