Monoposto Championship Snetterton, Sunday 20 June 2010 All Classes
After the trials of Saturday, Sunday provided good conditions for racing. The historic Lotus event, or more probably the presence of a current Lotus F1 car, and the team of F1 drivers, generated a vast crowd, reputedly there were more than 20,000 spectators. Queuing for everything was the order of the day, but for competitors, this was presumably offset by the pleasure of racing in front of a large crowd.
It took me one and a half hours to drive the seventy miles to circuit (not quite true, but if you do the maths, you will understand the reason for one and a half hours), and an equal time in the queue to get in, there was no express route for competitors or ticket holders, I was rather pleased that I was not a competitor. As a result of this unexpected delay I missed both qualifying sessions.
Sunday, Mono2000 & Classic Qualifying.
Tristan Cliffe was very pleased with his pole setting time of 1:06.542s, well inside the current lap record of 1:07.790s. Jeremy Timms was 1.6s slower and managed few laps before being black flagged, his Dallara having developed a serious oil leak. Andrew Holey took the Harrison Dallara to third fastest time, ahead of Malcolm Scott’s Van Diemen. Once again Jeremy Goodman set the fastest Classic time, heading Geoff Fern, and Terry Clark. Both LouWatts and Ian Hughes had repaired their cars, though the latter only managed three laps before some wheel studs came loose.
After qualifying there was much work being done amongst the Dallarae. The Timms team plugged their oil leak successfully, while the Cliffe team attempted to secure their airbox, Graham Read had resigned himself to running without a starter motor, but I presume that he and his wife would put in a plea for more understanding officials, or at least officials that don't swear at wives (I am talking MSA officials, not MSVR). In contrast to all this work by mechanics, Kevin Mason's sat Dallara resplendent and ready to race. Lenny Coleman's Reynard 883 was another with airbox problems, his had fallen off and been lost, hopefully a temporary loss.
Mono2000 & Classic Race, Sunday.
Jeremy Timms won the start and came through Bombhole with Tristan in close attendance, but by lap four Jeremy was drawing away from Tristan, as Tristan's airbox problems returned. The lap times said it all, Tristan was 2.2s slower than in qualifying. Both drivers were trying hard through the Esses and Bombhole, it is remarkable how well these Dallarae stick, when they land after taking an excessive amount of kerb.
Tristan, nursing his car, eventually finishing approximately half a minute behind Jeremy, but only 5.6s in front of Malcolm Scott’s Van Diemen. As the race progressed, Malcolm closed rapidly, he seemed satisfied with his car’s performance, and his third place. Jeremy set the fastest lap 1:07.833s, just outside the lap record that he set last year.
Once again Jeremy Goodman made a good start, briefly occupying third position in his Ralt RT3. After racing with Adrian Holey and Malcolm Scott, the RT3 fell back to fifth position, which became fourth when Holey's Dallara went off song. The Dallara was retired an on lap 9, with a faulty battery. Jeremy Goodman narrowly beat Russ Giles to the Classic class win. Russ had moved his Reynard steadily through the field, he lost the sprint to the line by a scant 0.17s. Geoff Fern made the race for the lead of the Classic class a three way affair, he finished just over a second behind Russ, but set fastest lap.
Kevin Mason was the last unlapped driver, Terry Clark was next up, having won a three way fight with Graham Read and Francis Phillips. Andy Wooley was just behind followed by a lonely Anthony Bishop. The final group had a race long battle, it was lead across the line by Nick Catanzaro, 0.1s ahead of Graham Probyn, with Chris Scott, Kevin Otway and Ian Hughes in close attendance.
Mark Schofield was the last finisher, Lou Watts had pulled off at Bombhole on lap 2, Lenny Coleman also retired on the second lap.
Sunday, Mono1000/1400/1600/1800. Qualifying.
As previously stated, half mile long queues on the A11 kept me outside the circuit during qualification.
Darren Freeman took Mono1000 pole a second aheaded of Arty Cameron, whose practice was truncated. They were followed by Stephen Brooks, Mike Reed's yellow Jedi and Len Turner in his familiar Jedi. Peter Whitmore was very pleased with a time 1:12.094s, his Van Diemen being several seconds a lap faster with the Hayabusa installed, He was 1.5s faster than Geoff Fern's repaired TFR9/JKS(?).
The Mono1800s returned to a semblance of normality, Peter Bragg had rediscovered his mojo and 1:14.487s was both half a second faster than the lap record and nearly three seconds a lap faster then second in class Phil Nicholson. Michael Dales, Jim Timms and Rupert Reader were all in the 1:18s, Followed by Doug McLay,, Jock Sergison and Jonathan Baggott.
The Mono1600 times also followed a more conventional pattern with David Parkinson on pole, half a second faster than Nigel Davers, Richard Evans was third fastest.
Sunday, Mono1000/1400/1600/1800. Race.
Darren Freeman made a slow start from pole, Arty Cameron started well to take an immediate lead which he stretched to 9s at the (red) flag. Stephen Brooks retired from third when he parked up at Bombhole after one lap. This allowed Mike Reed to take third in class from Len Turner whose Jedi was involved in the incident that bought out the red flag, Len was classified fourth in class.
Geoff Fern initially had the advantage in the Mono1400 class, but Peter Whitmore caught him, setting fastest lap in the process. Peter was challenging for the class lead at Russell when he left the track and retired, naturally Geoff won the class.
Peter Bragg won the Mono1800 class, and set fastest lap by some margin, but he was a third of a second slower than Philip House’s lap record. Peter spent his time racing with the Motorcycle engined cars. Second in class was a closely fought contest between Phil Nicholson's Swift and Jim Timms Van Diemen, these two drivers raced to similar positions at Snetterton at the end of last season, on track Len Turner was just ahead of this battle. Michael Dales followed a few seconds behind but was not close enough to become involved in the pair’s racing. Doug McLay was next 1800 home, he seemed to have a fairly lonely race. Early in the race Rupert Reader had an off at Russell, he eventually rejoined to catch and overtake Jock Sergison and Jonathan Baggott in the last few laps, this trio was still close at the finish.
On this occasion Nigel Davers took the Mono1600 class win, he caught and passed David Parkinson, David made a contest of it, and was a couple of seconds adrift at the (red) flag. Nigel Davers set fastest 1600 lap. Henry Fryer's, 8v Formula Vauxhall was third in class for the second time in the weekend.
Richard Evans spent his time racing with Geoffrey Cowell's Hitec while Eddie Guest and Sara Hughes were contesting the final places. I believe that it was a collision between Eddie's Lola and Len Turner’s Jedi, at Russell which bought out the red flag. On count back both were included as finishers and appear in the results.
Action Pictures to follow
Ian Hughes sits disconsolately, head in hands, and is comforted by Nick Catanzaro. Ian says it was because his timing was a tooth out. (pic: Geoff Pashley)