RACE BULLETIN No. 7 – 4th October 2016
Twenty six cars made it for the last two rounds of the 2016 season. Once again the title went down to the wire (for the 10th year in succession) with two drivers in with a mathematical chance of taking the honours, novice Will Payne in his 160 and Lee Sullivan in his 170. Both drivers were new to the championship this year and both have had exceptional results. This meeting also saw the last two races by Chris Bray in his 190, Chris joined in 2006 and has raced every year except 2015. In those 9 years he has been in the top 3 eight times with two 3rd places, three 2nd places and the outright title three times, a truly anmazing record, we wish Chris well in his ‘retirement’, he will be missed.
There was testing available on the Friday and 12 cars were out on track at some point during the day.Testing dramas included Jim Kennon spreading oil everywhere due to an oil seal coming adrift, Paul Croker going hard into the wall backwards avoiding a Midget, and Mike Harris who’s oil filter fell off. The best lap time noted was a 1:25.8s by an on form Rob Perkins with his new car set up.
The Croker car wasn’t repaired in time so 25 cars made it out for the second qualifying session of the day which started at 09:20 on a cloudy/dry morning. Martin was out after just 1 lap as the rest settled down to post their grid slots for the two races. Initial front runners were Roberts, Luti, Perkins, Cole(J), Kennon and Harrris, Booth was flagged for smoking after just two laps but rejoined after a quick pit stop for a check over. Boulton made contact with the barrier early on as Rogerson topped the times with Luti, Cole(J), Bray, Sullivan and Perkins next up. Bray then went to the top with Sullivan, Perkins, Rogerson, Luti and Cole(J). On his 8th lap Perkins claimed overall pole with Bray next up 0.42s adrift, third place went to the recovering Cole(D). Next up was Luti claiming the class B pole just in front of Rogerson, the class C honours went to Payne in 16th overall followed by Turnbull in 19th. Booth’s car expired with an impressive engine blow up as the flag came out to finish the session, those following had a big wake up call as some only just managed to keep their cars out of the barriers.
Martin’s problem was down to a shredded alternator belt which somehow got trapped under the cam belt causing it to miss position itself with the obvious consequences. Booth sourced another engine but didn’t get it replaced in time for the first race while Croker continued his repairs. This left 23 cars to take the first race of the afternnon at 13:18. Weather/Track : Cloudy/Dry.
Cole(D) bogged down on the line and Perkins took advantage of his pole position and blasted off into the distance, the chasing pack some way behind. He gradually opened up a lead over Bray and by lap 4 he had a lead of over 4.7secs however Bray then started his relentless charge back and by lap 12 was within 0.6secs of the leader. The pressure told and a mistake at Nelson saw Perkins off the circuit for long enough to let Bray through to take the lead and the class A win. Perkins rejoined to take 2nd with Doug Cole 3rd 2.3secs behind, Walker took the last 190 place.
Sullivan, Luti and Rogerson toured together in that order before Rogerson claimed the lead on lap 3 as Sullivan’s engine cut out altogether. Quick thinking by Sullivan got his car restarted and he rejoined in 8th and began working his way back up the field. Harris had an off at Nelson on lap 5 and failed to rejoin. Rogerson and Luti had a great scrap for a few laps and some way behind Roberts and Cole(J) did the same swapping places several times. Behind the recovering Sullivan, Kennon and Weidner enjoyed some close racing as did Firth and an off song Marsh. At the flag Rogerson took the class win, Luti was 2nd just 0.42 secs adrift, Cole (J) just held off Roberts to take 3rd.
Payne dominated the class C race leading from start to finish, Picone held onto 2nd for 4 laps until Turnbull made his move on lap 5 to take second place. Turnbull gradually increased his lead over Picone the only other class C car to complete the 14 laps, Jones and Heasman completing the class finishers.
Fastest laps Class A was Bray with a 1:25.838 on lap 7. Class B was Rogerson with a 1:27.632 (n/r) on lap 9 and Class C, Payne on lap 9 with 1:30.479 (n/r).
Driver of the Race – Andrew Rogerson
Marsh took preventative measures and popped a spare head on to try and rectify his poor running. Booth completed fitting his new engine, Martin fitted a new head to his car and was allowed to race due to him having raced here less than 12 months ago while novice Croker had to qualify with the BARC Tin Tops first thing on the Sunday morning. This meant that our grid was back up to 26 for the final race of the season at 09:29, Weather/Track : Showers/Wet. Two green flag laps were given as most cars ventured out on wets but some gambled as the rain eased slightly only to return during the race.
Bray was on pole for his last ever race, quite fitting, however he made a poor start and got a nudge from Luti in the row behind. This left Perkins to take the initial lead but 50m later his race was over as he pulled off to the left unable to select any gears. Bray resumed the lead after initially being headed by a class B fast starter (see below). Bray then raced off into the distance with no competition, something he would have liked for his last race. At the flag Bray won the race by over 14secs, the second and third cars being 170’s. The second class A car was Cole (D) some 26.6 secs adrift, the third and final class A finisher was Walker.
Cole (J) made a storming start from row 3 and lead the race until Bray (class A) squeezed past at Riches. Rogerson snatched the lead away before the end of lap one with Cole and Luti squabbling for second and Sullivan fourth. Luti moved into P1 on lap 5 the rest staying in the same order, Marsh’s car was running much better in fifth until a big blow up on lap 6 at Coram finished his racing season a bit earlier than planned! Sullivan moved into second on lap 7 as Rogerson visibly slowed but still managed to hold his position from Cole and Coles who were next up at the finish.
Payne once again lead from start with Turnbull in tow, Croker, who had started from last on the grid in his repaired car was already up 6 places by the end of the first lap. He got to within 2.8secs of Turnbull but couldn’t manage anymore, all 3 class C cars beating some of the 160 cars at the finish. Jones and Heasman were next to the line with Picone, not liking the wet, sixth and Martin completing the group.
Fastest laps Class A was Bray with a 1:35.670 on lap 2. Class B was Luti with a 1:36.159 on lap 12 and Class C, Payne on lap 11 with 1:43.414 .
Driver of the Race – Paul Luti