Cadwell Park 19
April 2015 Round 2
After a great start to the season the atmosphere in the paddock on Sunday morning had a little less sparkle to it as the news spread that Peter Venn and his team had left the circuit due to the fact Peter was sick to the stomach after having his vehicle broken into and wallet, cards and passport stolen whilst he was on track, for the second time in recent years.
As everyone else made their way down to the assembly area the weather was sunny and dry but still quite cold. Jim Blockley came out of the gates a little slower than on Saturday (not pointing it towards the bar) but was on fire, setting his 4th fastest time of the session on lap three which, in its own right would have been enough to take pole by the end of the session, but along with four others he put his fastest time in on lap seven. Robin Dawe who took up the other front row slot by 4/100ths of a second from Chris Lord in another Vauxhall Lotus which, with its new drive shaft, certainly seemed to be working well. Bell, Drew and Barron took up the next three grid slots then we had the first of the 1800’s being Saturday's winner, Matthew Walters, taking his second pole position of the weekend. With a rebuilt rear wing Pedro Ferreira headed formula Renaults with nearly 3 seconds over Kevin Couling.
Next in the fight was Lou Watts in the car that Will Arif drove on Saturday. Marcus Sheard and Matt Jordan out qualified Saturday's race winner Bryn Tootell, who hit the goose neck on lap 2 with a little too much pace and after a full spin carried on at great speed across the kerbs and grass and managed to get all the way down to Mansfields in one spin. He managed to rejoin the track and limp back to the pits where AVIT! Motorsports mechanic Pod helped lift the car and try to straighten the damaged floor but to no avail as they were still working when the flag dropped, but on the one flying lap he did he had laid a time down good enough to start 13th on the grid.
Douglas McLay did 8 consistent laps in his DTEC to Qualify 14th in front of Monoposto returnee Tony Davies and rookie Richard Greening, who in only his 4th ever qualifying managed to out qualify the last formula Renault of James Williams who rounded up the only session of this grid that didn’t contain a red flag.
With the promised rain of the day holding off for now it was slicks all round and after 4 hours of panel beating, drilling and riveting etc, Bryn Tootell’s car was ready to charge after pole sitter Jim Blockley. It was like looking back to an early 90’s Monoposto grid with the Ralt, two Vauxhall Lotus’s and a Reynard taking up the first two rows, all we were missing was the Anson and David Dudley!
After a well behaved green flag lap and a short wait on the grid the reds went out and racing commenced.
Jim and his trusty Ralt got their usual great start and he got his head down achieving a comfortable gap but constantly looking in his mirrors expecting to see the charging Tootell at any moment. Chris Lord and Alistair Bell had passed Dawe but Tootell had only just passed 1800 pole man Matt Walters, when the accident that caused this grid's third red flag of the weekend happened. This time the reason for the red flag looked, from my position on the pit wall, to be something quite horrific. On the approach to starting his 4th lap Louis Watts came into sight with all four wheels on the grass but it looked like he was getting it under control and he was going to rejoin the circuit. However there was a little lunge towards the tyre wall and it then looked like he was just going to clip the wall and at worst snap a wishbone or two but what actually happened when he hit the wall was the car seemed to strangely launch itself skyward doing not only a 360 but a 180 degree roll before slamming ferociously into the ground while still inverted then doing another 180 roll, landing on its wheels (well the one that was still attached) and pointing in the right direction as his disconnected wheels rolled around the track. It seemed like an age before Lou started to get out the car, but time always stretches when something like that happens. He did so in such a relaxed and slow way my thoughts were that he had either a broken leg or had a bit of concussion but then he stood up, stepped out the car, switched it off at the master and strolled over to the marshall post. (Cool Hand Lou?- ed) The beautiful car looked wrecked and luckily Lou was shaken but perfectly fine and half an hour later assessing the damage to the car and shaking peoples’ hands as they gave him their smiles of joy that he was ok. (Startline adds its best wishes.)
With the wall rebuilt and track cleared with only 8 minutes on the clock it was all still to play for with the remaining cars and drivers. Blockley repeated his good start and once again got his head down and kept his nose clean, 2nd place man Chris Lord got pipped on the first lap by both Bell and Dawe until lap 3 where Bell must have had a moment as when they reappeared into sight, Dawe now had second place and a second back was Lord and Bell.
The 1800’s stayed in the same order of Walters leading Sheard and Greening while Doug got his DTEC times down to a respectable 1:43.
And thats how the order stayed till the chequered flag closed the weekends racing for these devoted Monoposti.
The only other DNF’s to join the ill fated Louis Watts were James Williams and Bryn Tootell.
So to round it up it was a faultless show from Jim Blockley with two lights to flag parts of the race and he even managed to take a quarter of a second off of his own 2000 classic lap record, while Mathew Walters also took a lights to flag victory in the 1800 class giving them both the lead in their respective championships.
Bad parts of the weekend: cold, red flags, Lou Watts’
crash and thieves robbing Peter Venn’s wallet.
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.
All pics Norwich Photo
Kevin Couling and entourage
Aerial Robin Dawe
James Williams with innovative angle of attack