Cadwell Park 18
April 2015 Round 1
So after what seemed to be the longest winter ever, round 1 is finally here. The devoted Monoposti started to land on Thursday evening with the rest descending on Friday. With a good weather forecast and the cars beautifully turned out over 3 large grids, the atmosphere was full of excitement and anticipation.
The 2000 Classic had been teamed with the 1800 and DTec classes, which made a total of 18 cars lining up for their first qualifying of the 2015 season. Tony Davies, who many know from his Renault 1700 days in the last decade, had a scrutineer problem regarding HANS device and non HANS belts. The Wolverhampton Uni team not only lent him belts for the rest of the season but supplied a mechanic to help fit them. Pedro Ferreira had an earlier problem when either a drive shafty went and damaged a wishbone or vice-versa, but that was repaired. (By Avit on Friday - ed).
Jim Blockley was the first car out on track and nearly the first off it as he got a little too giddy with the “loud” pedal and could have ordered a pint he was that close to the bar! Bryn Tootell was next up and had an excellent view of Blockley's drift school lesson. The session was warming up nicely with Tootell taking pole from the off, closely followed by Blockley, Dawe and then Drew in the 2000 Classic class. With Marcus Sheard holding 1800 pole over Matt Walters and Richard Greening, Doug Mclay set a time only 0.715 off what would be his fastest time of the session. The session was the stopped by Red Flag after just 3 timed laps. Upon the restart Tootell and Blockley shot off with the pack hot on their heels with only 9 minutes left everyone was on it. Lap 7 was a high point for more drivers than any other with 5 drivers setting their fastest times of the session, one of which was Matthew Walters, in his new to him Mygale 1800 Zetec, taking pole from Marcus Sheard. Tootell held pole in the 2000 Classic throughout, but with Peter Venn joining the fight the next 4 places switched numerous times until the very last lap, the session ending with Tootell, Dawe, Blockley, Venn, Bell, Drew and Barron topping the order. Matt Jordan parked the Team Fern Van Diemen on the pit straight after only 1 lap and Chris Lord also only setting 1 lap. I can only presume he was the cause of the Red Flag. As was reported in the 2000 race, Lord had a drive shaft snap, got it repaired and re-appeared in the 2000 race.
Jim Blockley, Peter Venn and Chris Lord all entered the 2000 race so time was precious. The fact Jim’s Ralt dropped all its coolant in Parc Ferme didn’t help, but a quick water pump change and weld to a cracked oil tank by Avit Motorsport and they all made it in the nick time for the 2000 race.
It was a great clean start for all the classics with Tootell leading Blockley and Dawe side by side into turn 1. The 1800 class was turned upside down when pole sitter Walters got bogged down and crawled off pole position so slow he was dead last into turn 1, even the ambulance was in front. By the end of lap 1 Blockley was still harassing Tootell after passing Robin Dawe who now had Peter Venn biting his bottom! Doug Mclay got a clean start and staying out of trouble but by lap 2 the angry charging Walters had now passed him and 3 others but the consistent Marcus was still a long way down the road, but having 5-6 seconds taken off his lead every lap by the possessed Walters. It was looking like they’d be together by the penultimate lap but this epic drive was halted by yet another Red Flag, as James Williams spun his Renault at the botom of the Mountain and was unlucky to beach it. On the restart there was only enough time for 3 laps, a good restart by all at the front, giving Walters a good opportunity for a good restart too. As they went into the penultimate lap Blockley was with Tootell and Venn had made a pass on Dawe and made it stick. Walters was all over Marcus so it was all down to the last lap. As they came into sight out of Mansfields Tootell was still getting hassle from the Ralt of Blockley with a slight gap to Peter Venn. Robin Dawe must have had a last lap nightmare as he was now behind Alistair Bell and Andrew Barron, leaving this as the running order as they crossed the line. As the 1800’s came into view it was now the Avit Team colours that had jumped into 1st place leading the black and yellow Mygale of Marcus Sheard as they headed up the mountain for one final jump.
At the chequered flag it was a clear light to flag victory for Bryn Tootell with Blockley and Venn taking the remaining podium spots. Walters managed to recover from dead last to1st and take the win and fastest lap from Marcus Sheard with Richard Greening bringing the car home safely in his 3rd ever race. Douglas Mclay’s reliable Duratec notched another victory with a great drive taking 7 seconds off his fastest qualifying time. Wil Arif retired Lou Watts's Mygale with an electrical fault, which they found overnight.
Fantastic, exciting first race of the season from start to finish for, I’m sure, drivers and spectators.
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.
Bryn Tootell has a practice off
Jim Blockley challenges Bryn
Matt Walters has a difficult start - Formula Renault doesn't usually mean an ambulance
Pedro Ferreira, Mark Drew, Andrew Barron and Wil Arif
Picture by Norwich Photo/Andrew Cliffe and Nigel Bland