Silverstone, Sunday 17 October 2010, Round 13
Fun In The Autumn Sun
The season ended on a high note with an end of term atmosphere in the sunny and spacious Silverstone paddock with an excellent entry of 30 in the 1000/1400/1800 race. The racing was simply outstanding.
Qualifying was exciting enough in itself. Arty Cameron took an early lead but by no means had it all his own way. Chris Woodhouse took the lead at one point, Dax Ward led at another, and Adrian Wright joined in the top places, with Stephen Brookes just outside the very top. Eventually the grid was Arty, Dax, Chris, Adrian and – joining in with a high speed lap at the end – Jonathan Reed. Stephen was at number 6, with North Staffordshire's Gary Hill in 7th just edging out Geoff Fern for 1400 pole. It was a surprise to see Darren Freeman as low as 9th, just ahead of Tim Cameron who seemed to have bought a big box of reliability after his recent engine woes. A similar box of reliability seems to have found its way to Paul Heavey, running well after early season woes. Paul's Leastone times were closely matched by Peter Whitmore's Van Diemen, both bike engined but very different concepts, and the National circuit seems (reason unknown to me) to like lighter cars and dislike weightier ones.
1800 pole was taken, as expected, by Pete Bragg, ahead of James Chapman having the second race of his 2010 Mono debut weekend. John Rawlings, another Kidderminster mafia member, was enjoying his first double header, and Karl Davidson, well known to forum frequentees, was just behind him. Amnon Needham foresook his Dallara for a Dermot-tended RF82 FF2000. Tom Brown brought out the ex-Yunus Amiere FVJ and was a surprising 2nd slowest qualifier, but as I said earlier, the National circuit isn't so keen on weight and the Tom/FVJ combo's not quite on the limit.
Whether Len Turner was pleased with his qualifying, I don't know. But he was certainly unhappy when he returned to the motorhome to find it ransacked by some opportunist thieves. The paddock's sympathy went to Len. Silverstone used to be a “safe” paddock, it seems that scum are now everywhere.
Imagine one of those stretched limos. Then imagine 3 racing cars painted on the side of it and you have some idea how close the leading trio of Arty Cameron, Chris Woodhouse and Dax Ward were. Except that a limo would never manage the incredible speed of these three, and the order was constantly changing. According to the TSL timing sheets, Chris got the best start and took the lead from the start but by Copse, Arty was back in charge with Dax second. For lap after lap, Dax seemed to have the best of Arty at Copse, and drew alongside several times, but Arty defended cleanly and went through Becketts each time in the lead. It took 10 laps before the cold-affected Chris Woodhouse deposed Dax, lapping being undoubtedly one of the factors affecting the order at the front. Thereafter the lap charts show that Chris took the lead on the next lap, lost it on lap 12, regained it, and lost it on the last corner of the last lap to Arty. But it was much more complicated than that and there were lead changes within laps. Yet at no point did any of the three look as though they would take each other out, and postings on Facebook confirmed that Arty and Chris have the utmost trust in, and respect for, each other. (I think the same goes for Dax but unfortunately I don't see his Facebook posts (hint).) This was one of the best races I've ever seen, clean, fast, exciting and full of tension. Congratulations to all 3, the final order being Arty, Chris, Dax.
There was a gap of 18 seconds before Gary Hill finished a satisfied fourth (“That was hard work but I feel great”). Gary had got ahead of Adrian Wright – who spent most of the race in the top 5 until a failure put him into the pits a lap from the end – on lap one and then caught Jonathan Reed when the latter went wide at Copse. Jonathan finished just behind Gary. Geoff Fern gained a place on Darren Freeman on lap 1, overtook Tim Cameron when the lapping started on lap 7, and just to keep Joanie and Sarah on edge, left it until 4 laps from the end to to depose Stephen Brooks and then Jonathan Reed on the penultimate lap. It was around this time that Stephen appeared without a nose (or his JKS did) so whether the two facts are related I don't know. In a sort of symmetry with son Arty's experience which Tim Cameron would probably sooner not have seen, he spent the last 6 laps battling with fellow Jedi jockey Darren Freeman, who overhauled him on the very last lap.
Peter Whitmore completed the top 10, and resumed his practice battle with Paul Heavey to give yet another close race-within-a-race. Paul fought off Peter for 10 laps and when Peter passed his he still didn't let go until, just a lap from the end, Peter passed Pete Bragg's well developed Mygale and left Paul's Leastone behind it. Pete, of course, won the1800 class.
First lapped runner was Karl Davidson's smart Jedi. Karl had a bad first lap and was 19th at the end of it, but making up places is always fun (allegedly) and after 10 laps he was up with John Rawlings where they had a tremendous dice. Karl got the lead on lap 14, John got it back on 15, and then Karl got it back at the flag. More breathless activity, and John was already looking forward to next season as the race finished.
Another close group brought up the back of the field, but still a great race between them. Richard Reeve headed it, having fought back mightily from dropping back in the early laps, and Bill Janson worked his way up from a dreadful first lap to follow him in. Tom Brown was consistent, but unfortunately for him Richard and Bill had quicker patches. Marcus Sheard and Jonathan Baggott brought up the rear, but only just, having lapped closely together. Geoff Cowell had been part of this group until what looked like an engine problem put him out on lap 12, shortly after Amnon Needham had pulled off on the approach to Becketts with an apparent mechanical problem.
And so the 1000/1400/1800 season came to a close, and what a close. Who could not have enjoyed a race where there was dicing and close competition from 1st to 26th?
Adrian Wright commits a faux pas
John Rawlings's Jedi
Peter Whitmore's Van Diemen chased by Paul Heavey's Leastone, Marcus Sheard and Jonathan Baggot follow
Dax Ward is morte than acr length behind Chris Woodhouse, but Chris is less than a car length from Arty Cameron
Tom Brown and Richard Reeve
Pics by Andrew Cliffe/Norwich Photo
Full results here