St Cross Electronics
Monoposto Championship Round 6
I hope I'm not confusing things when I say this was the first 2 litre race on Sunday which was round 6. The second 2 litre race was the end of round 5 which had been stopped on Saturday.
Robbie Watts' Lola Dome 106 took pole, with Malcolm Scott behind by 0.4 seconds. Tony Bishop was third and I suspect he must now be one of the fittest men in the paddock as he runs between his Mono and MSV F3 Dallaras. Russ Giles seemed delighted with a 4th only .009s behind Tony after Saturday woes including a stop on the circuit in practice and a bang in the race meaning he was running a red nosecone on the otherwise pristine white Harrison Dallara.
Falco Wauer led the Classics with Jim Blockley over a second in arrears, that's not like Jim.
Robbie Watts was leading narrowly from pole at the end of lap 1 but Malcolm Scott managed to get by on lap 2 and thereafter built up a steady lead. Both drove faultlessly to finish in that order. Third man on the grid, Tony Bishop, had a bit of a disaster at the complex and spun, rejoining last. With a practice session and 4 races in the day he obviously staged it to make sure he had a challenge. Surprisingly it was lap 4 before he made up any places but thereafter it was a steady climb through the field to finish 6th on the road - but hold your breath because it didn't end like that
I thought something went wrong with my glasses next because they told my eyes that Jim Blockley had risen to 3rd from 9th on the grid in the super-classic RT3. In fact, he really had achieved this miracle, though was gradually demoted first by Falco Wauer and later by Richard Purcell. Falco went on to better the very experienced Robbie Watts to finish 2nd on the road, but it was all for nothing when post race scrutineering identified that the rear wing on his US spec FF2000 Mygale was a shade high - something we should perhaps all check on our own cars just in case. This disqualification promoted Jim Blockley to a podium place. He went from the podium to the garages, and was promptly disqualified for missing parc ferme, which he took in much better spirit than many would have done, joking that memory isn't so good at his age. (He should grumble. I can neither remember how old I am or where my racing car is.) So with 2 disqualified drivers, Tony Bishop took fourth.
Anton Spires continues to impress in his Formula Renault. He gave Jim B a very hard time and was narrowly beaten on the road. Really, there couldn't be a bigger contrast between the high tech Renault and the bent tin but beatiful RT3, but they were very well matched. Anton moved up to a podium when Jim and Falco DQ'd.
Jared Wood had a good first lap to end it 2 places up in 8th, but dropped back behind Kevin Mason and Antonio Impieri on lap 2. He kept Antonio in his sights and took the place back on lap 5. On lap 13, Richard Purcell was racing for 3rd with Robbie Watts when he spun at Luffield and dropped behind Jared, so with the DQ's Jared got a fifth overall and was delighted to win the classic class, his first class victory in Mono, I believe.
Russ Giles started from the pitlane having had an out lap problem so came round last. He was making good ground and had reached 9th by lap 8 when disaster struck. A fire started on the car in the engine bay and caused severe damage to the engine cover and anything "meltable" - fuel lines, filters - and then the whole was doused in powder, excellent from a safety and protection point of view but a nightmare to clean out of the engine and its ancillaries. Russ had the paddock's sympathy for a huge disappointment after a brilliant qualifying.
Another retiree from 2000 was Kevin Mason, who pulled into the assembly area after 9 laps having run in 7th and, in the early laps, having a good ding dong with Anton Spires.
The rest of the Classics were led in by Chris Anstruther, Jim Timms and Nick Catanzaro who ran in that order but were generally well separated. Lou Watts in the ex-Barry Smith VDFX and Richard Snuggs in the Dallara 387 were very well matched and had some very exciting place swapping. At least it looked it from my viewpoint, it must have been extremely exciting where they were. It was resolved in favour of the Driver of the Day sponsor. Adam Lippitt's first Mono finish was the last of the cars, but the result bodes well for his future racing.
Finally, there were a few non-starters, Peter Venn with engine trouble, Terry Clark, reason unknown but running a front upright loaned by Lenny Coleman after the Saturday pileup, and Mike Hatton whose engine stopped in the assembly area and wouldn’t restart.
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce offical results due to copyright reasons.
Peter Venn was in and out of the pits in practice and didn't start
Russ Giles's excellent qualifying counted for nought as he started from the pit lane
Tony Bishop spun, happily everybody missed him
Racing was close - Jim, Falco, Richard and Anton
Falco Wauer puts the pressure on Jim Blockley
Russ Giles makes up a place from Lou Watts