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JMT Mono Championship Rounds 3 and 4
CADWELL PARK 28 April 2016
F3, MONO 2000, MONO CLASSIC


Entry and Qualifying

A few changes since Oulton in the entry as one or two chose not to be at Cadwell while we welcomed back some returnees, not least poleman Robbie Watts (his 80th according to the commentator). Robbie was chased to second by Tony Bishop with Ben Cater just behind. Robin Dawe put the FVL on Classic pole, ahead even of some very respected F3 competitors, with Chris Lord second on the Classic grid. Mat Jordan, Kevin Otway and Terry Clark were within a second on the 2000 grid.Our Pit and Paddock reporter Patrcik Huston tells me that Richard Purcell's daughter had stuck 'my little pony' (or similar) stickers on both the F302 and his helmet, and being a well trained dad Richard could name all the pastel coloured horses. Only in Monoposto.

Race 1

The front of the grid set off largely in formation but there was drama behind as fourth man Richard Purcell suffered a clutch failure and was stranded on the grid. Everybody avoided him, and each other, which is a tribute to the quality of our drivers. A couple of marshalls hopped over the wall and pushed Richard to safety. (Incidentally, the timesheets awarded a lap time for lap one to him, a rare error by the TSL team). The safety car was then deployed, and so there was effectively a rolling start. Ben Cater had edged out Tony Bishop on lap one, while Dave Gillett had a drop down to 7th from 5th on the grid, to the benefit of James Harris and Russ Giles. Which seemed odd, as he seemed to have been doing well at the start. From there on, Robbie gradually built up his lead, and when it was secure he chilled out a bit (do Dallaras have 8-tracks?) and strolled over the line for victory.

Behind Robbie, Ben was second for the whole of the race but was pushed hard by Tony Bishop in third as the race progressed. As the race restarted, it looked as though we would have quite a fight for fourth. Dave Gilleytt recovered well and put Russ Giles, in 5th, under pressure. By lap 4 he had the place and was chasing James Harris in fourth. Sadly for the spectators looking for a duel, it was not to be as he dropped out and James ran therough to 4th. Meanwhile, semi-team-mates (a sort of Red Bull/Toro Rosso relationship) Russ Giles and Neil harrison were squaring up for battle. Russ worked very hard to keep Neil in his place, but achieved his goals and took a well deserved 5th. After last year's disasters, this was a popular placing. "It's nice to know it does work properly now and again." he told us, tongue in cheek. Neil, meanwhile, seemed to have a bit of an engine issue as he slowed in the last few laps and was passed by series sponsor James Drew-Williams and Peter Venn. James seems to be really fitting into the Lola.

Classic wasn't quite as straightforward. Robin Dawe made life challenging by spinning in front of the restaurant under the safety car which dropped him to the back of the field. This led to a spectacular recovery drive. Coppice was his favourite spot for gaining a place, though others weren't ruled out. The approximate rate was a car a lap, which at Cadwell is as close to inexorable as you're going to get. Robin won Classic and was fastest non-F3.

Mat Jordan ended quali in the pits, but thnat didn't seem to stop him in the race. He ended lap one leading the very competitive Classic/2000 group (excluding the sainted Mr Dawe). Mat built a 4 second lead at one point, but gradually the others chipped away. Terry Clark kept going faster, while Mat slowed towards the end, resulting in Terry taking the class lead. Chris Lord initially followed Terry, but behind him the wily Kevin Otway stalked, and slipped in front of Chris on lap 7. With the momentum gathering, he also passed Mat on the last lap for 2nd in class 2000 behind Terry, which didn't affect Chris's solid 2nd in Classic with Jared Wood third in class.Mark Drew moved forward from the back row in qualifying to have an early battle with Mark Smith, and later to pass both Chris Lord and Jared Wood to move up the overall order and finish 4th in 2000. Total incompetence as a reporter meant that despite having a conversation with Mark Smith, and exchanging emails about the Tiedeman races, I failed to ask why he lost 40 seconds on the last lap, meaning he led Kevin Couling for the entire race, except on the lap that mattered.

Race 2

Once again, Robbie won, see above for description because it was much the same in the second race! Tony Bishop and Ben Cater took 2nd and 3rd with measured runs to the flag. Sorry there is no epic description, it was just great driving. 4th place was much more of a story. James Harris started in 6th and dropped a couple of places on lap 1. After a little hesitation Dave Gillett went through to 4th, and would have had a very safe 4th had it not been fior a flag transgression which penalised him a very specific 17.5 seconds, pushing him down to 6th. However, a close group formed of Russ Giles, Neil Harrison, James Harris, Robin Dawe and Peter Venn. Russ and Neil started dicing, but Neil passed and made a gap. Behind him, Russ watched his mirrors while James, Robin and Peter scuffled. In truth, James was involved in most of the action whether it was side by side with Peter into Charlies and further on a couple of laps, or sharing the track and the grass with Robin. James got the advantage and the commentator (who was better placed than your reporter) said that on the penultimate lap Russ then gave James some space to pass on the Mountain as contact otherwise seemed likely. The excietment wasn't quite over as Neil developed a misfire which took his fight waway - he dropped 8 places to finish a wholly unrepresentative 9th. Russ ended fifth, ahead of the demoted Dave Gillett, Peter Venn in 7th and James Drew-Williams in 8th.

In all this battling, there were still 2 more classes. As is apparent from the above, Robin was involved with the F3s (purely to develop knowledge for when the TOMS appears), and accordingly won Classic, but as he slowed in the race's final laps, 2000 winner Kevin Otway speeded up, ending only 0.3 seconds behind Robin. Mat Jordan initially led Mark Drew by nearly 6 seconds, but as the race progressed Kevin got closer they spent 3 laps glued together until Mark made a break, leaving Mat on the third 2000 step. Mark Smith and Kevin Couling completed the class, with Jared Wood and Chris Lord taking second and third in Classic.

Mark Smith Neil Harrison James Harris and Robin Dawe at Gooseneck Tony Bishop
    and finally........as James Harris goes to the assembly area in the background, Robbie Watts gets into the zone

 

 

Tony Cotton (good pics Norwich Photo/Andrew Cliffe, dodgy ones Tony Cotton)

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.

     

 

Jared WoodKevin Otway

Mark Smith, James Harris, Kevin CoulingThe "Motor Racing (Cadwell Park) Photography Regulations" of 2006 make it a legal requirement to show a car with wheels in the air at the Mountain. This is Ben Cater

Peter Venn

Race 2 gets under wayIn race 2, Terry Clark spun at the Mountain on lap 1 and was unable to recover - after the spin only the top of the roll hoop was visible