14 June 2015 Round 6
The unfortunate qualifying of 2 out laps and 2 flying laps at best gave
rise to a peculiar first grid. The second, though, was positively bizarre,
albeit the timekeepers did their best. Daniel Hands at 45 seemed odd,
race winner Shane Kelly at 42, and Jeremy Timms 50 didn't seem right,
but of course it was. In the circumstances the rolling start was again
a good idea and, even if the grid was a bit mixed up by the time the cars
were released, it all went smoothly and safely.
From third on the grid, Ben Cater got into the lead on lap 1 when pole
sitter Robbie Watts's throttle cable broke. Ben thereafter built up a19
second lead lap by lap, slowing only slightly when backmarkers came into
play. Tony Bishop was a strong second, hampered by a helmet lifting a
bit in the airstream; there were reports that he held it down on the straights
once in top with one hand, which sounds like a good trick to me.
Back in 8th and 9th on the grid, Mark Harrison and Kevan McLurg swapped
places at the start, and time lost on the first couple of laps as Mark
fought with Jim Blockley was never regained; Mark chipped away at the
5 seconds lost on those laps and ended on Kevan's tail, but the wiley
South Coast racecar entrepreneur did enough to keep him at bay to get
the third step. Malcolm Scott looked to have the measure of both of them
until lap 8 when he slowed a little, and lap 9 which was 10 seconds off
his regular pace. Unfortunately I don't know why (emails explaining happily
received) but it allowed Mark and Kevan past. 6Th, behind Malcolm, was
Shane Kelly from 42nd on the grid, 22 places made up on lap 1, thereafter
gentle chunks until Graham Read offered a bit of resistance and then the
Dallaras proved too much for the restricted Renault in the dry.
Daniel Hands started from 45th on the grid, on brand new, not broken
in, slicks. And a brand new, shiny, very pretty Dan Fox (with Daniel's
support) built F301. Very sensibly he did a conservative first lap and
then moved up, fighting classics mid race and then finishing 7th in class.
A best lap of 2.08 mid race compared with Ben's fastest of 2.05 certainly
lays down a marker that DanLara is going to a force to be reckoned with.
Dan expressed himself as happy with the result, but commented that his
button-rich steerin g wheel might need a bit of development as he switched
the engine off 5 times going into Club.
David Gambling seemed to be heading for a top 10 finish and in fact was
leading Daniel going into the last lap, but had an issue (any info gratefully
received..) and dropped down 5 race places. A similar story applied to
James Rimmer. He spent the race in several multi-class battles and looked
to have had a very busy time, but it all came unstuck in the last 2 laps
and he ended 19th overall.
Matthew Tighe and Mike Hatton had an unfortunate coming together at
Aintree corner (onto the Club Straight) leaving Matthew with a deranged
front wheel and Mike beached on the curb, fortunately well off the racing
BTCC reverse their grid; Jeremy Timms must have thought the same applied
to him. From 50th on the grid he was 22nd by the end of lap 1, 14th at
lap 2 – and 24th at lap3. He had a spin and had to work up the order
again. Jason Timms initially led the class but dropped back on lap 3,
Dallara Moto constructor Graham Read taking first for 6 laps. Jeremy passed
Jason, who seemed to be having some severe problems, on lap 5 and, despite
a gear problem, overtook Graham for the class win on the last lap. Graham
was still very happy, though. Richard Gittings followed Graham in for
third while Craig Hurran took 4th, And Dan Levy 5th, all showing great
consistency. The problem-laden Jason Timms was 6th, while final Moto finisher
was Kyle Cutts.
While some classes enjoyed the more agreeable Sunday weather, it was greeted
with frowns by leading Classics Jim Blockley and Terry Clark. Jim, on
the front row, wasn't able to stay with the Dallaras, but dropped back
to 7th on the first 2 laps and then was demoted bit by bit as the faster
cars starting at the back came through. However, it was the classic win
he was fighting for and that looked in danger mid race when Bryn Tootell
caught up and passed the RT3. Jim re-took the place, but Bryn didn't let
go, and whilst he stayed second he did get fastest Classic lap. Alister
Bell similarly chased Bryn, finishing under 3 seconds away. Robin Dawe,
4th, said “I just went backwards. There's nothing a good set of
Webers shouldn't cure. Today has been frustrating, but the car's in one
piece and it's been a good weekend.” Saturday's 3rd Terry Clark,
was similarly unhappy to be in 6th but happy anyway. Unfortunately I spoke
to few other people in this very vibrant class, so can't say much else,
apart from reporting a couple of Reynard problems. Peter Whitmore was
running well until a fuel problem led him to the pits, though still classified,
while his team-mate, brother in law Wil McAteer in a slightly newer 923
lost a gear, then another, but finished a good 8th, only to be confronted
when taking the back off the box with a range of crunched up ratios and
Tim Kuchel (13th) had a great time in his BT21, spending the race harassing
1600 stalwart Tony Cotton until he powered by on lap 7 on Hangar Straight
and suddenly went 7 seconds faster.
1600, 1800, DTec
Matt Walters was the inevitable winner in the 1800 class, with William
Thorling second and Richard Greening 3rd. While Matt again sailed imperiously,
William seemed to be having a bit of fun with other classes, especially
Kyle Cutts and his Speads.
With John Whitbourn doing only Saturday, Doug McLay was left as sole DTec
and so was the class winner.
Geoff Fern took a lead in the 1600 class and looked to be heading for
a victory until a missed gearchange led to a buzzed engine (“operator
error” he said, “thanks for pulling over” Eddie Guest
said.) Geoff was a bit surprised to not be recovered from a considerate
parking place on the new pitlane entry until the next race. Eddie Guest
won from Tony Cotton in second. Tony commented after his race-long dice
with Tim Kuchel's Brabham “I think I've found the cheapest way to
go Historic Racing.” Jock Sergison was third, John Hare 4th.
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.
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|Wayne Wilson (BT21)
Tim Kuchel BT18