Mallory Park, Bank Holiday Monday, 30 August 2010, Round 8
Team Cliffe with Ewan's assistance had repaired their Dallara's throttle linkage, the Cliffe Dallara ran well throughout qualifying, allowing Tristan to post an impressive 43.642s for pole. Tristan was followed by Jeremy Timms and Richard Purcell in the 44s. All the remaining Mono2000s were in the 45s, headed by Malcolm Scott, a Monday only entry, with his Van Diemen RF01. Their order was Graham Read, Tony Cotton in Dallarae, and Anthony Bishop with his Formula Renault.
Nigel Davers just got into the 49s to take the Team Fern Van Diemen to 1600 pole ahead of Dave Parkinson’s unstable looking Reynard, and Richard Evan's Swift Formula Renault. David had a spin at Gerards when the upper plane of the wing detached itself. This brought out the safety car. Henry Fryer (now with securely attached bodywork) was next up ahead of the Lolas of Joe Venor and Eddie Guest. Sara Hughes was next in the 'Just Plain Sexy' team's 1600 Agent, now resplendent in opalescent ivory with gold detailing. Jonathan Baggott (with advice and parts from Simon Davey) had got the AW1 working moderately well, and took the last place on the grid.
Between qualifying and the race Team Timms had replaced their Dallara's injection system with carburettors, for reasons unknown to your scribe, this car left the assembley area but stpopped on Stebbe Straight and did not take the start. Meanwhile, Tristan Cliffe's Dallara developed gearbox problems. "I lost 2nd gear leaving the assembly area,and gained some very odd noises in the gearbox, then lost 1st gear whilst starting, which stalled the car." said the Norfolk-based engineer.
With the pole sitter last away, the race was for the healthy pair of Malcolm Scott and Richard Purcell, Malcolm with an unimpeded start headed Richard Purcell into Gerards, and even though Richard was probably faster, he set fastest lap (43.971s, a new record, and the first Mono2000 lap record under 44s), he could not get past. Malcolm defended his lead with skill and tenacity, Richard never gave up forcing Malcolm to take defensive lines throughout the race, even so he was circulating at lap record pace.
For half of the race third place was the property of Graham Read, but on lap twelve Graham and Sara had a misunderstanding at the hairpin, the unfortunate Graham lost his front wing and promptly retired his F300. Tony Cotton had a good run in his F300 but was eventually displaced from third in class by the recovering Tristan Cliffe, Tristan's progress being hampered by progressively worsening gearbox problems. Anthony Bishop had a relatively quiet run to fifth overall.
The leading 1600s were two laps down, Nigel Davers headed David Parkinson throughout the race and finished 22.6s ahead, his Van Diemen visibly more stable through the Esses. David's Reynard had worn a front tyre down to the cords by the finish. Richard Evans caught and passed David, only for his Renault to run out of fuel with several laps remaining. Eddie Guest brought his Lola home 4s ahead of Sarah's Agent, after Sara had a yellow-flag causing moment exiting Gerards, while Jonathan Baggott's very flat sounding AW1 occupied the final position.
There was some concern in the Woodhouse camp about the oil on the circuit preventing Chris and the Speads showing its full potential, but a pole time of 43.995s seemed reasonable to us mere mortals. A second further back Dax Ward was nearly matched by Christopher Hill in the OMS Mono1400. Chris formerly shared the car in hillclimbs and sprints with father Gary, but this was his circuit debut. Darren Freeman, with a recharged battery and Stuart Digby were also in the 45s.
A somewhat subdued Stephen Brooks was just into the 46s while Geoff Fern managed a painful 47s. Heavily bruised, Geoff was finding the hairpin a challenge. Len Turner was the last competitor under 50s. He was followed by Brian Jones, Geoffrey Cowell, and Jonathan Reed, the latter credited with a time of 8m 16s, 9.8 mph the miracles of computer timing!!!!
There was evidently some gamesmanship at the start. This had the unintended
effect of putting Christopher Hill into the lead in his first race. I
think a first for a Mono1400, and a certainly a first for Christopher
because it was his first race! Unfortunately, Christopher's lead did not
last long, because when he got to the Hairpin, he left the door open and
Chris Woodhouse promptly went through it into a lead that was never challenged.
With Chris Woodhouse intent on taking the lap record, which he did on the penultimate lap with a time of 43.861s (0.007s faster than Kat), he won the race with consumate ease. The evenly matched Jedi of Dax Ward and Darren Freeman were racing for second position, a gap of several seconds was established early on which Darren was unable to close, they finished second and third.
The car to car racing was taking place between Geoff Fern, Jonathan Reed and Stephen Brooks. Being a 1400 with a battered driver Geoff could have cruised to class victory but he is a racer and took fourth overall 0.2s ahead of Reed's Jedi who in turn was 0.2 ahead of Stephen Brooks.
Christopher Hill was classified seventh, and the final finisher was Len Turner eighth. Brian Jones was not classified, he did do fifteen laps but I last saw his Jedi emitting what looked like an expensive cloud of oil smoke. Stuart Digby retired after one lap, while Geoffrey Cowell survived the classic spin when exiting Gerrard's, but retired shortly after this incident, on lap seven.
Peter Venn with the Anson SA4 headed the sheet with an impressive 44.923s. The FVL of an on form Richard Purcell was next up, but he was more than a second slower. He headed a 46s group composed of Russ Giles, Jeremy Goodman, and Francis Phillips. Esteemed company. These F3 cars were followed by the major FVL contingent of Terry Clark, Louis Watts, Kevin Otway, Ian Hughes, and Nick Catanzaro, Ian's Van Diemen being an interloper, but his Van Diemen was withdrawn from the race.
The remaining four Classic 2000s were mixed in with the Mono1800s, whose field was lead by Jim Timms who set a pole time of 49.257s. Peter Bragg, Jock Sergison and Michael Dale were within six tenths of each other, another cracking Mono1800 race was in prospect.
If you ever watched Formula Ford in the '80's, when full grids raced closely and cleanly wheel to wheel, and wondered what it would be like at 150mph - here was your answer!
Richard Purcell won the start and lead the first couple of laps in his FVL, when last did a FVL lead a Monoposto race? Soon Richard was defending hard from Peter Venn in the Anson and Jeremy Goodman's Ralt RT3, this threesome produced some excellent close racing but the Anson was just too fast to hold off, Peter swept into the lead at Gerards and then pulled away at about half a second a lap, in the process the Anson lowered it's own lap record to 45.234s, and Peter Venn replaced David Dudley as the lap record holder.
Jeremy Goodman's RT3 and the FVL were more evenly matched, eventually Jeremy out fumbled Richard at the Hairpin. Richard gave close chase until he tried an opportunistic move at the Hairpin while lapping backmarkers; Jeremy, who was ahead, went for the inside line, the lapped cars moved out to give him room, forcing Richard who was trying the outside route onto the grass. After a bit of autocross, and possibly some aviation Richard rejoined having lost about five seconds to Jeremy.
Fourth and fifth throughout were Russ Giles and Francis Phillips, lapping in the 46s the two Reynards seemed to hold station for most of the race. The main FVL contingent occupied the next four places. Initially the four of them raced as a group but they became two pairs when split by traffic. Terry Clark finished 1.7s ahead of Louis Watts while Nick Catanzaro won his personal battle with Kevin Otway, the latter lost contact later in the race. Mark Smith and Mick Kinghorn were another pair who raced each other, Mark being 1.5s ahead at the chequered flag. Caterham racer Sam Ardbeg in Barry Smith's elegantly liveried Van Diemen FX completed the finishers. The field lost Lenny Coleman's Reynard, a first lap retirement.
The Mono1800 field lost its pole sitter on the first lap when a wheel fell off Jim Timm's Van Diemen, with Jeremy's Mono2000 Dallara being a DNS on Monday, it was not a good day for Team Timms. Jim parked up at the Devil's Elbow, he missed leading or participating in a tremendous scrap that developed for the lead of the Mono1800s. Initially Peter Bragg lead in his paint starved Mygale, but he was hauled in by Michael Dale in the orange RF82 and then Jock Sergison, Swift SC98, caught the pair of them. For much of the latter half of the race you could throw a largish gazebo over these three. Eventually Jock overtook Peter, and drove away to win by 1.6s. An immensely popular win, reputedly Jock's first in forty years of racing. Michael Dale was a close third. The lap times of these three cars were very close, Peter took fastest lap with 49.134s. Rupert Reader in his smart Formula Vauxhall Junior and Douglas McLay in the rather flat sounding Mygale were next up but could match the three leaders pace. Richard Reeve in the Anstruther run Reynard SF84, making a welcome return to Mono after the occassional run in an FVJ 4 years ago and much more in the '90's, had a much better outing, but unfortunately retired on lap 17.
Pics: Hayden Shorthouse
Driver of the Day Awards
Super Clutch Mono 2000/1600: Sara Hughes
Only Classic/1800 racepics available at the moment.....
Richard Purcell leads Jeremy Goodman
Kevin Otway and Terry Clark
Peter Venn leads Jeremy Goodman
Mick Kinghorn and Mark Smith
One permutation of the Pete Bragg/Michael Dale/Jock Sergison train
Jock is approached by Russ Giles
Debutant Sam Ardbeg
Nick Catanzaro and Lou Wattts
How many cars can you fit into the hairpin without damage??