Monoposto Championship Donington Sunday 3 April 2011
Once again your scribe was not at the track for qualifying, but did learn of some incidents. Daniel Rowbottom's successful weekend came to an end when the Aztec suffered bearing failure. It had taken pole position by more than a second when it was withdrawn. This misfortune left Marc Fortune alone on the front row of the grid having set a time of 1:11.268. Dax Ward was 0.4s slower, the two Jedi being followed a second later by Gary Hill's 1400 OMS, and Adrian Wright's GEM. Also in the 1:12s were James Tanser's Aztec and Geoff Fern in the 1400 JKS. Darren Freeman should have occupied the next position on the grid but his Jedi was back on its trailer having suffered an engine failure. John Rawling's Speads completed the front running group of motorcycle engined. cars.
The first batch of 1800s were next up, lead by Peter Bragg with 1:15.024
but a scant 0.03s behind was the vivid green Jamun of Matt Hayes with
Malcolm Cook also in the 1:15s with his RF83. Rupert Reader was the next
1800, he should have been followed by Michael Dale but the immaculate
RF82 was also back in its truck having suffered a gearbox input shaft
failure, Michael blamed himself for jumping the chicane kerbs. The problem
was identified when his gearbox was stripped with Jock Sergison's assistance,
but even Simon’s best efforts failed to track down replacement shaft
from within the paddock community. Jock Sergison lead the next group of
1800s,composed of Marcus Sheard, and Doug McLay in the 1:20s.
Peter Collier could not find the gears in the pretty ex Young Guns JKS, this car has a 750 engine. The problem appeared to be electrical rather than mechanical, it was eventually sorted, Peter did not get out during qualifying, but did make the race.Not for the first time this weekend, the officials found every possible way to ensure that somebody with problems got to race.
It had stopped raining heavily when the cars assembled on a wet track which was unlikely to dry completely in the prevailing conditions. Given Donington Park’s notoriously slippery surface in damp conditions tyre choice was a bit of a problem. The only choice available to most Monoposto competitors is wets or slicks. The majority of the field played safe (and in this scribe's opinion correctly) and chose wets, but (according to the commentary team) Marc Fortune and Dax Ward had cut slicks on their Jedi, and at the other end of the grid Peter Collier had taken a punt by starting the blue JKS on slicks.
From fifth on the grid Adrian Wright immediately showed that wets were the best choice by accelerating fast enough to take an immediate lead diving up the inside of the Jedi as they entered Redgate, his route to the front being made clearer by the absence of Daniel Rowbottom's pole sitting Aztec. Daniel’s team mate James Tanser shared the third row of the grid with Adrian and he also made a good start, but became the obligatory Redgate spinner, he kept his engine running and rejoined at the tail of the field, thus preventing the need for a safety car or a red flag, as occurred respectively in the Mono2000 race and the following F3 race.
Adrian lead for the first two laps, but the story of the race was the meteoric run to the front of the field by Jeremy Timms. Starting midfield but cornering considerably faster than anybody else, in a car that seem to lack a tractable engine, he took the lead from Adrian on lap 3 by diving up the inside into McLeans, thereafter he pulled away from Adrian’s GEM until he overdid it at Redgate on lap 5. The spin was quite a controlled affair but Jeremy had to wait to rejoin, and Adrian retook the lead. The results have him 1.4s behind at the finish. Jeremy set the races fastest lap 1:25.104 the best part of 2s faster than anybody else.
Because of their tyre choices, Marc Fortune and Dax Ward were playing a longer game than most, their misfortune was that the race was red flagged so they never had optimal conditions for their tyres. This pair of Jedi, separated by a quarter of a second, finished 5.5s behind the GEM. they were third and fourth overall, second and third in the Mono1000 class. As his tyres came in Dax Ward took Mono1000 fastest lap with 1:27.093.
After the chicane on the first lap Gary Hill had a more or less unopposed run to Mono1400 class victory, and fifth overall. Geoff Fern had been as high as third on the opening lap, but outbraked himself at Goddards and went straight on, it took a couple of laps for his JKS to regain the track. Geoff finished last but was classified.
Once he had settled to the conditions Malcolm Cook, with the RF83, had the fastest 1800 on the track. He overtook the bright green Jamun of Matt Hayes on lap 5, and Peter Bragg's Mygale for the class lead on lap 6. Peter appeared to be having some difficulty slowing for Redgate. The leading three 1800 occupied sixth to eighth places overall. Rupert Reader’s was next up, tenth overall, with Doug McLay fifth in class, the last unlapped car. Marcus Sheard and Jock Sergison completed the class.
With Jeremy Timms at the front of the field upholding David Parkinson's assertion that the Mono1600s are the premier class, there was naturally a gap before the second 1600 appeared, Jason Timms, second in class with the Lola T644E was among the 1800s in ninth place overall, followed by Nigel Davers, third in class, and eleventh overall. Nigel was having his own private race with Rupert Reader’s 1800.
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of
the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover.
pictures to follow