Silverstone, Sunday 17 October 2010, Round 13 2000, Classic, 1600
It's all over now. But while the odd race can stay unreported we have to have at least a brief summary of the last of a memorable season.
With 12 points separating Tristan Cliffe (139) and Jeremy Timms (127) and no dropped scores, the strategy was simple. Tristan had to finish to win the championship, Jeremy had to win to have a chance. So Tristan could go easily in qualifying. Er, no. Well he doesn't know how to go easily does he? So he topped the timesheets by 0.66s from Jeremy, Richard Purcell a further 0.7s back. Nick Anstruther came in fourth, first Classic, 3 seconds behind Tristan, but a scant 0.007 ahead of an ever-improving Tony Bishop, who was ahead of the always competitive Kevin Mason in his F3-spec Dallara F300. Francis Phillips's team spent a lot of hard work resolving his misfire and it worked – he was 7th on the grid.
In the 1600 class, there was no surprise that Nigel Davers was on pole, and Henry Fryer was delighted to keep up the honour of the Vauxhall Junior brigade by being ahead of outgoing champ David Parkinson. David shaded out young Austin Kimberly – ACB10 tyres now a handicap rather than a benefit – who was just under half a second in front of fellow young Mono debutante Dane Catanzaro.
First event of the race was poor Nick Anstruther who, having struggled with gear selection problems on Saturday, had clutch problems which dropped him down at the start; he made up to7th/9th by the end of lap 1. Jeremy Timms got away well to lead Tristan who had been eating sensible pills for lunch, and stayed out of trouble, a fairly constant distance behind. Both achieved their objectives. Jeremy drove a fault free race, quick and smooth as always, and got his 16 points. But as Tristan got 12 points it wasn't enough and (subject to final ratification) Tristan wins the 2000 class. One quite impressive piece of driving came when, on lap 7, the leaders caught Lenny Coleman and proceeded to pass him between Copse and Becketts, one either side. Good mirror work by Lenny, and performed safely by Tristan and Jeremy.
Thereafter my report is a bit shaky. I rely for detail on the published lap charts. The results tell me that Richard Purcell and Kevin Mason were disqualified, I don't know why, so in true Orwellian style they disappear from the lap charts, except that poor Kevin got a 10 second penalty, which seems a little bit odd when by being disqualified, according to the lap charts and the results on TSL he didn't start.
In any event, both ran strongly in the real world until lap 8 when Richard spun at Becketts. Yellows came out, and a lap or so later Kevin had a touch with (I think) Austin Kimberly. Having owned both makes, I know that the Dallara's suspension is crafted from Italian spider webs, woven into gossamer thin tubes and painted micron-thin black whereas Van Diemen's are forged from solid bar and will knock down the proverbial brick privy before giving way. So Austin continued and Kevin spun, rear wheel awry, parking vaguely parallel to Richard. With 2 dead Dallarae at about the same spot the red flags came out. All this meant that Anthony Bishop ended his season with a well deserved third in 2000, overall fifth. He didn't achieve this without some hard work as he had a bit of a fight with Lou Watts who these days is doing amazing things with his Mark One FVL - a 23 year old design. Lou was ahead of Anthony and behind Nick Anstruther. Nick recovered from his bad start by 2 places on lap 2, demoted the dueling Watts/Bishop pair on lap 5, and thereafter ran as leading Classic to the end of the race.
Last 2000 finisher was Yunus Amiere in his new carbon F Renault. He would have finished much higher if he hadn't had a spin at Copse around lap 4 which looked as though it might have been precipitated by gear selection issues.
Elsewhere in Classic, Lou Watts' team-mate Kevin Otway defeated many of the regular front runners to finish just behind third place man Francis Philips. Richard Snuggs, Russ Giles (“still enthusiastic”, he said post-race), Jeremy Goodman, Terry Clark, Nick Catanzaro, Graham Probyn, Superclutch Driver of the Day Chris Anstruther and Lenny Coleman were next up. Simon Lonnergan visited the pits and on lap 4 stayed there, the only mechanical retirement.
In 1600, qualifying performance was spun away. Henry Fryer spun on the first lap, having stalled at the start and then suffered a minor clash. He ended up last on lap 1 and gradually worked up the order to finish third behind the ever reliable and wily Dave Parkinson (first, narrowly coming ahead of Classic FR returnee Phillip Carter) and Nigel Davers. He told me he was quite angry with himself, and it certainly seemed to motivate him as he had 1600 fastest lap. Last year I thought Henry our most improved driver, and I would venture the same suggestion this year.
Having started from pole Nigel Davers had a fairly spectacular Copse misdemeanor of the rotational kind (a spin) on lap 3, which dropped him behind David, from where he never recovered. Austin Kimberly put up a good fight but slicks are worth a fair bit over ACB10's in the dry, and he never looked like doing better than fourth. Richard Evans and Michael Wilkinson in Swift FR's came satisfyingly close together, with Dane Catanzaro a little behind. Dane was running well, just behind Henry, until an indiscretion out of my sight on lap 8 dropped him back. He could go well in a 2 litre Classic, I think. I wonder if one is available...
Joe Venor had resolved a few handling issues which resulted in some rear wheel steering in earlier races, and he finished just ahead of Sara Hughes in the prestigious Ray Dackombe trophy-winning Agent, possibly in its last 1600 appearance.
Yunus Amiere leads Nigel Davers and Chrus Anstruther
Francis Philips's Reynard 923 in front of Kevin Otway's FVL and Russ Giles's Reynard 913. Reynards in a row.
Lou Watts, Nick Anstruther, Tony Bishop and Francis Philips
Jeremy offers Tristan a drink
All photos Norwich Photo/Andrew Cliffe