With 21 cars taking to the track for qualifying, we were only 3 short
of a capacity grid. Highlights of qualifying were Jeremy Timms being “only”
1.4 seconds ahead of everybody else, Robin Dawe’s TOMS 037 car running
in derestricted lower CR “hillclimb” spec in the invitation
class, and Chris Woodhouse in the brand new (first test on Thursday) PR3
spaceframe motorcycle powered car (GSXR). The car was decorated in circuit
maps which gave a camouflage effect. Paddock studious types spent some
time identifying them. Despite an 18 second difference in front and back
cars (15 if you assume Nigel Daver’s Beemer Jedi was a bit poorly),
there was no real issue with sharing the track. A wise man said that it
was because we all entered knowing the position and worked with it. Incidentally
it was good to see 2000 refugee Mark Smith with son/mechanic Robert looking
very wistful (which is good…) and Moto’s Martin Wright pitching
in to help Chris and the PR3 boys.
A clean start and then a bit of excitement round Gerards as Jeremy Timms suffered a broken chain. Robin Dawe took over the lead and held it to the end of the race while Jedi racer James Maclachlan won Moto class and overall second. Neil Harrison in the family shopping Dallara held second for 15 of the laps, closely pursued by Cian Carey and James Maclachlan. In a 3 horse race, back the third, so they say, and indeed on lap 16 the order was reversed to James, Cian, Neil. Cian had nudged into Neil and Neil had a half spin, which let James past. Pleasingly, there were amicable handshakes in the paddock afterwards for what was a pure racing accident. The lapping was by this time so intense that there wasn’t much chance of any further changes.
Shane Kelly was next up, winning the Classic class from Terry Clark and racing closely with Jason Timms for the first half of the race until Jason’s pace dramatically diminished, and initially with Graham Read until Graham retired. As Jason slowed, Terry overhauled him and Jason almost fell into the clutches of Ewen Sergison, who naturally won the 1800 class by a Yorkshire mile. Geoff Fern took 1600 convincingly, which was a bit of a surprise when the second man was seasoned 1600 maestro Simon Davey. Matt Walters took second in 1800, just ahead of Simon, with Philip Davies 3rd and Richard Greening 4th. Kevin Couling took advantage of a spin by James Williams on lap 2 to move up a class place, retaining it until until 3 laps from the end when James nailbitingly nipped past. Tony Cotton is shown in the results as 15th in his Dallara, second in 2000, but was in fact 3rd in class in the FVJ, after a 30 second planned pit stop (yes, honestly) where mechanic Nigel Bland checked a vital nut and sent Tony on his way, about 25 seconds lost in total, which we reckon is pretty good for accountants.
Chris Woodhouse failed to finish with a new car problem, Nick Catanzaro was flagged due to a problem with the undertray and Nigel Davers had another Big Bang with smoke, flames, bits, dancing girls and wild animals coming out of the back of the car. It will come good soon.
Race 1 finishing order for the grid is a very sensible way to start the second race, but it does raise stress levels for those of us at the back when we aren’t any more. Nonetheless, intelligence by all, including use of mirrors, eyes and brains (some professional formulae might try the concept) meant an incident free start. Jeremy Timms ended lap 1 midfield (9th). Robin Dawe led, followed by Neil Harrison and James Maclachlan with a very close Cian Carey in 4th. After 6 laps of the tight Leicestershire circuit, Jeremy was behind the group. Now began the hard work for him. These are 4 experienced, fair but firm drivers. Gradually, the might of the Timms/Dallara/Read/Hayabusa combination was irresistible. By lap 7, 4th, 8, 3rd, 9, 2nd and eventually on lap 11 Jeremy took the lead to hold it to the end. Behind him, the group continued, reorganised a little on lap 9 when Cian moved ahead of James and got a bit bigger in Neil’s mirrors. Top 5 was Jeremy, Robin, Neil, Cian, and James. Incidentally, from the back I would like to praise the blue flag marshals who were excellent. I hope the fast boys agree with me.
It seems strange to describe Jason Timms as being lapped, but he was the first of those, on the way to a still very rapid seventh. Shane Kelly, in the Northbrook Classic VD Renault, was just 8 seconds behind. Ewen Sergison and Nick Catanzaro started from different ends of the grid but converged as the race progressed, and had a bit of a fight, Ewen just maintaining the edge. Geoff Fern in the RF89 is becoming the 1600 Jim Blockley. By that I mean hugely experienced in a much loved and well developed car, and very rapid thanks to inherent talent. In any event, Geoff managed to keep ahead of the well driven Classic Renault of James Williams (3rd in Classic), who lagged the Warminster Wizard by only 4 seconds. Matt Walters is smart enough to know that when Ewen is on form he is uncatchable, and took few chances to come 5 seconds behind James, second in 1800. Philip Davies was third in 1800 and was delayed on lap 3 by a massive high speed spin coming out of Gerards. A wheel on the grass on the left and he was soon reversing across the track. “I was concerned I was heading for the barrier” he told our parc ferme reporter. “I wasn’t” interrupted the driver following him “because if you hadn’t headed for the barrier I would have been heading for you.” The joviality was allowed, as the only damage to the very pretty pale blue RF98 was a bit of dust on the side pod. Simon Davey (1600) began a couple of places ahead of Kevin Couling (Classic) but Kevin passed about halfway through the race. Simon finished a full lap ahead of 3rd and last 1600, Tony Cotton.
Chris Woodhouse retired the PR3 with more new car woes after 11 laps but commented on the promise it showed, while Richard Greening and Graham Read also pulled off after 7 and 1 lap respectively. Terry Clark had withdrawn due to a clutch problem.
Now it’s off to Donington in November for the finale.
See you there!
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.