Mono at the Walter Hayes Trophy 7 November 2010
The Walter Hayes Trophy (named in honour of the Ford PR Director who gave £100k to Cosworth in 1966 to create the DFV) is the biggest congregation of FF1600 racers in the UK. There were support races and inevitably some Mono folk appeared.
In the Walter Hayes Trophy itself Henry Fryer had appalling luck. His testing day went wrong when the clutch malfunctioned. The car was split, and the bearing replaced. In practice, the clutch exploded. So he drove the car in anger for the first time in the race, from the back of the grid. He took up second on the grid in the Progression race and was running fifth - high enough to move on to the next round - when he spun, 2 laps from the end. Bad luck. Meanwhile, Malcolm Scott foresook his trusty Van Diemen for a Barry Pomfret run Ray, nearly reaching the semi finals. Austin Kimberley reached the semi finals but dropped out on lap 8..
The key Mono event was the Open Wheel race. Unsurprisingly the race was won by a March 742 Formula 2 car (which sounded glorious) in rather nice Bernard de Dryver-style Bang and Olufsen livery. We had expected Chris Woodhouse to appear in his Lola F3000 and Kevin Mason in his F300 but unfortunately neither were out for practice. However, Chris's 2009 close rival Kat Impey did appear. Kat has been making quite a name for herself in Club F3 and she brought her lovely Dallara F302 home second overall, beating a few long established CF3 regulars. If you thought you'd seen smooth driving before, you should have been here. If double cream is meant to be smooth, she's triple cream.
In fifth, Tim Cameron had an interesting race. Running as high as third at one point, he showed the virtues of a simple, light, powerful car. As their tyres came in, he was challenged by 2 Dallaras, Ray Rowan and Dave Porter, both of whom passed in the complex. In both cases, there could have been contact but Tim was wily enough to avoid it. He pursued the first passer, Ray, who raced at our Oulton meeting and was responsible for my own F300, until the latter spun at Becketts. Tim also held off a Kenny Atcheson-style March 793. Ray finished 9th, just behind Terry Clark who, as far as I could see, had a clean and untroubled race to 8th in his FVL. It was good to see Chris Vinall's old Speads out again, immaculate as ever, in the hands of Team Woodhouse prodidgy John Rawlings. Although in practice he initially looked a little uncertain, he soon got into the car's rhythm, and drove quickly to a well deserved and impressive 7th. John should be a valued and competitive addition to the 2011 1000 grid.
ps The Walter Hayes itself was superb, being won by Eire's Peter Dempsey in a Ray GR05. Incredibly close racing but clean and with little damage. After the race the commentary kindly invited spectators to prizegiving at the BRDC Suite where we were made to feel very unwelcome and uncomfortable, and walked out after nothing happened for half an hour. Mono prizegiving is much more professionally done.