St Cross Electronics
Monoposto Championship Round 7
The Monoposto Championship field re-assembled for the second
half of the season to tackle the challenging Snetterton 300 circuit, with
all the Championship titles still wide-open. Interestingly, as people
have become more familiar with the extended in-field twists and turns
they have perhaps become less enthusiastic about the layout, and it’s
certainly the case that the two minute lap can make for some quite periods
in the pit lane. On the upside, there’s more time for the marshals
to sort out any unfortunate competitors who fail to make it off the start
line…something which happened on more than one occasion over the
Entry & Saturday Qualifying
The Mono 2000/Classic 2000 field were first out to qualify on a dry but windy track, and after an early red flag Malcolm Scott waited until the very last lap to establish himself as the pace setter, not helped by the fact that he was running his car single handedly over the weekend, albeit with a range of ad-hoc help from other teams. However the Mono 2000 times were well off Tristan Cliffe's lap record pace from last year, with the track seeming slow for everyone. Despite holding pole position overall for much of the session, Mono Classic leader Jim Blockley couldn’t get below Jeremy Timms record (set in Nick Catanzaro’s car) either. But Jim was flying all weekend and did get there in the end. Next up came Tony Bishop in the Omicron Dallara - another man at the start of a very competitive weekend, Then the order became less conventional, with Adrian Holey running a newly built Dallara-Toyota from the Topmarx stable. The car hadn’t turned a wheel until Friday and new car problems had limited its running to a few laps. Despite this, and a less-than-ideal engine map, Adrian was delighted to pedal it into fourth on the grid, ahead of Russ Giles nicely rebuilt flambéed Dallara. However far less happy in sixth was Robbie Watts, who was starting an unproductive weekend for both his Monoposto and F3 Cup challenges in his very smart Lola and Dallara respectively. Jim Timms took the second Mono Classic grid spot as he campaigned all weekend to try to hold Jim Blockley from taking the Class Championship lead, ahead of Chris Anstruther in the Bowman. Chris and Phil were hoping for fewer mechanical dramas over the weekend than has been the case in previous rounds. It was good to see Adam Lippitt running the ex-Ray Rowan Dallara, which he baptised earlier in the month at Spa, and also Henry Fryer with the Fiamma Rossa Racing Tatuus which was fully, and immaculately, rebuilt after its Silverstone bruising.
The busy MotoMono/1800/1600 qualifying session was also being disrupted by a red flag early on, fortunately for what was a relatively very minor incident, but not until Dan Clowes claimed pole with his very first flying lap. This was just as well because the car had an obscure electrical problem which dogged it for the rest of the sessions, and nearly let Adrian Wright take the place from him right at the end. Jason Timms was third, a little way off the pace of the lead pair and ahead of a resurgent Geoff Fern. We then had the two leading Mono 1800 protagonists, Paul Britten and John Whitbourn, both in beautifully turned-out Zetecs, the latter with a new and very slick-looking wing-set added to the car. The track was still slow and they were a couple of seconds off Ewen Sergison’s lap record, but well ahead of Ewen himself. He only managed 3 laps of the session and ended up right at the back, with a mountain to climb for the race. Mike Reed was next up in the cheerful Wingnut Racing Jedi, holding off a very competitive mid-field Mono 1800 trio of Phil Nicholson, Marcus Sheard and Douglas McLay.
The aforementioned red flag had been occasioned by the exit stage right of Mono 1600 points leader Nigel Davers at Russell (is it called something different now?), and he was maybe a bit lucky to have the car recovered to the pit lane, where Team Fern refettled it enough to put in just one flying lap on the pace – which was good enough for the class pole even though the car was clearly not well. Behind him on the grid his main class challenger and SUNBAC Nova points leader Luke Rosewell had two good laps and then stopped with the water pump drive belt missing and the engine seriously over hot. The misfortunes to the two class leaders held out the prospect of great things come the race for a closely following group of four Mono 1600 class contenders: Mat Jordan, Dave Parkinson (with a Neil Bold-rebuilt engine newly installed), Walter Matthews Taylor Wimpey sponsored Vauxhall, and a great performance in his first ever competitive track session from Jake Mayes in a “spec” FF1600 Jamun, smartly run by Myerscough College.
Malcolm Scott made good use of his pole position in the Mono 2000/Classic race, and came round at the end of the first lap with a 4 second lead, which he steadily developed and then held at 10 seconds, to take an excellent win. Behind him things were much closer and more complicated. Adrian Holey had got the slightly fluffy Topmarx Dallara off the line very well and held second, but only just from Jim Blockley, the Classic leader, then Tony Bishop and Robbie Watts. Robbie had a moment on lap 2 which dropped back a couple of seconds, but he sorted himself out for lap 3 and put in the fastest race lap, climbing to second place only for the car to suffer terminal gremlins which sidelined it for the rest of the weekend. At the same time Bishop dropped back to fifth and then rose immediately to third, still circulating in very close company with Holey and Blockley. By lap 6 Tony had passed Adrian to get into second, and that’s how the order ran out at the front, with Adrian Holey just holding off Jim Blockley to take the car to an excellent first time podium slot, despite continuing engine map problems. Jim Blockley took the Classic win, but the track still wasn’t quick enough to let him have a bite at Jeremy Timms lap record. Behind him Chris Anstruther had a consistent run to second in Classic ahead of Jim Timms, with Adam Lippitt’s Dallara climbing ahead of the Anstruther Bowman right at the end. Less fortunate was Russ Giles who pulled off right at the beginning when the car developed a serious misfire.
The 2 litre action had created quite a buzz, and the tension level was definitely rising as the larger Moto/1800/1600 field launched without mishap. By now the day was getting warmer and brighter and the track was speeding up. Poleman Dan Clowes lead in his Jedi at the end of lap 1, but only just from Adrian Wright’s GEM, with Jason Timms and Geoff Fern’s Speads/JKS cars locked together about 3 seconds back. But on the second lap Clowes made a minor mistake which dropped him to the back of the leading quartet. He then put in two quick laps including the race fastest lap (which was quicker than the fastest lap in the 2 litre race) to climb right back onto Adrian Wright’s tail, only to have the Jedi’s qualifying gremlins disable the car. This left Adrian Wright with a handy lead which he held to the end, but Geoff Fern and Jason Timms black cars continued to dispute second place which went to Jason, but only by about a tenth of second. Behind the leading MotoMono group the action centred on Mono 1800. For the first couple of laps Paul Britten’s Van Diemen slightly pulled away from John Whitbourn’s Ray until the latter’s car came to an abrupt halt when a drive shaft snapped – a very unusual failure which eventually proved to be concealing a deeper mechanical malady. This meant that Ewen Sergison surged into second place in the class having started dead last, having passed 11 cars on the first lap. However Paul still took the win and fastest lap, to boot. Phil Nicholson took the third 1800 spot with a steady run, helped by both Douglas McLay and Marcus Sheard joining the DNF list with mechanical problems. Nigel Davers initially lead Mono 1600 but after a couple of laps the car developed a major fuel feed problem and, although he kept going in fits and starts, he inevitably tumbled down the order to dead last. His misfortune elevated an interesting duel between Dave Parkinson and Luke Rosewell to centre stage for the class honours. Luke’s car had survived its qualifying overheating problems, and Dave did well to pull away from the younger driver just enough to take a well deserved win. Behind them Mat Jordan took the remaining class podium spot in his Team Fern Vauxhall, from the duelling pair of Walter Matthews and Jake Mayes, in his first ever race. Jake also very deservedly took the Driver of Day award for this performance.
We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.
Henry FryerAdrian Holey, Robbie Watts, Tony Bishop, Jim Blockley
Jeremy Goodman, with angled wingJason Timms
Mat Walters David Parkinson