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RACE BULLETIN No. 4 – 12th July 2017

Knockhill 8/9th July 2017

A ‘best ever’ total of 27 cars made the trip to Knockhill in Scotland for rounds 7 & 8 and what a fantastic weekend we had, for me this was the best visit to the Fife circuit by far. Joining the 25 regular drivers, we had guests Iain Dowler who races his ZR in the PBIC and ex champ Chris Bray out in the ‘spare’ Dreadnought ZR170 dusting off his race gear for some fun. As ‘guests’ Iain and Chris were not taking points they were just enjoying their trip to this brilliant circuit to experience some ‘both ways’ action. We raced anti clockwise on the Saturday (reverse) and clockwise (normal) on the Sunday. A big thank you to Colin and Karen Robertson of Burnbrae Garage for sponsoring both our races here once again.

Testing

The Luti’s had arranged a track night on the Thursday between 6 & 8 pm and about 30 cars had booked places including nine Trophy cars. Jack Roberts had a big off launching his car quite a distance and scooping out a huge divot of Knockhill earth. The frontal damage looked quite bad but with lots of help forthcoming (and some late work) his car looked almost as good as new on the Friday morning.

The Friday was a full day track day and as more Trophy cars arrived there were about 40 cars on circuit. The evening session between 6 & 8 pm was reserved for those racing over the weekend with a 50 minute session in the reverse direction first and 19 of the Trophy cars took part. Late arrivals including Will Payne made it just in time to catch the reverse direction session, however low pressure on two cylinders necessitated a head swap, other incidents included a broken exhaust on Ross Makar’s car.

Familiarisation session       

The KMSC had arranged familiarisation sessions on the Saturday for those unable to test the previous day, our cars were out at 09.10 for a reverse direction stint of 15 mins., all but three of our cars took part. Walker had continuing problems from the day before with a loose track rod end and a faulty wheel bearing.

Qualifying

Last minute electrical problems on the Payne car were sorted in time for him to join the 20 minute qualifying session at 11.15. Initial front runners were Firth, Makar, Roberts, Luti, Cole J., Cole D., Bray and Butler. Wetton was the first class A car to go top on lap 3, followed by Makar on his 4th lap with Wetton 2nd, Luti 3rd, Roberts 4th. Ross went to P1 on his 5th tour, Makar 2nd, Wetton 3rd, followed by Luti, Roberts and Robertson. All the class A cars took the top five places by lap 9, the front running class B cars were Roberts, Luti, Rogerson and Firth. Roberts pulled in after completing 13 laps with the engine hunting and hoped his pole position would hold, which it did. The final order was Ross, from Makar by 0.132s., and Robertson 3rd, Walker pulled in after 5 laps but took the final class A position. Unfortunately, the timing screen only showed the top 17 places but Spencer took the class C pole, Turnbull 2nd and Ballard an excellent 3rd. Walker’s problem was due to the ring gear coming off the flywheel, explaining why he only competed 5 laps in qualifying. Payne only completed 4 laps due to his recurring electrical problem.

Race 1

Our Knockhill theme music “The Final Countdown” blasted out as all 27 cars completed their green flag lap for the first Trophy race in the reverse direction which commenced at 15.28. Weather:- Sunny/Dry.

Class A

Despite Makar getting the better initial start Ross was first into the hairpin followed by Makar, Wetton, Cole and the slow starting Robertson. These positions held until lap 3 when Robertson moved into P4 ahead of Cole and on lap 11 Robertson moved up another place demoting Wetton down to 4th. Ross had now increased his lead and at the flag he was 2.83 secs clear of second place man Makar who was 3.87 secs clear of Robertson. Wetton and Cole completed the top 5 with Walker 6th in class down in 15th.

Class B

There were 15 cars in class B and front row drivers Roberts and Luti were both passed by Rogerson who was into the lead from third on the opening lap. Byrne was up to third a lap later and into the lead by lap 5 as the frenetic action continued. Luti was into the lead by lap 9, Byrne clinging onto second and Roberts back up to 3rd by lap 10 as Rogerson dropped down the order. Firth had been running just behind this group and was up to 3rd on lap 15 demoting Roberts. Rogerson retired on lap 16 and Payne two laps later. Luti took the hard earned win with Byrne less than a second behind and Firth a well deserved 3rd.  

Class C

Six class C cars took part and pole sitter Spencer had two class B cars between him and second place man Turnbull on the grid. This gave him the cushion he needed to fend off Turnbull which he did by managing to keep one of the class B cars between them. At the flag Spencer took the win by over 7 secs from Turnbull, Ballard held onto 3rd and Cruttenden a distant 4th.

Fastest laps  (all new records on the reverse circuit) Class A was Ross with a 1:00.078 on lap 2 ! Class B was Cole with a 1:01.572 on lap 6 and Class C, Spencer on lap 9 with 1:03.396.  

Driver of the Race Colin Robertson.

Rogerson’s problem was down to a leaking fuel tank, this was discovered to be due to a poor breather pipe joint. Payne’s engine had expired in grand fashion with half the crankshaft coming through the block. Good work by the 4G team had another engine cobbled together by late on the Saturday evening.

Familiarisation session

A second familiarisation session took place on the Sunday morning at 09.10 so drivers could get some practice in the clockwise (normal) direction, all except Luti, Bray and Byrne took part.

Qualifying

Because of the change of direction a second qualifying session took place at 11.15. All 27 cars took part but a red flag after 14 minutes halted proceedings as the stricken Firth car was recovered from the hairpin, this held things up for quite a while. The session resumed with 6 more minutes to run but the only change noted was Ross with a slight improvement on his previous time no other position changes were noted as all the tyres were now cold. Makar got the class A pole from Ross, Luti and Roberts headed the class B runners and Turnbull beat Spencer to the class C pole.

Race 2

The Firth car had the front left hub changed which had seized causing the red flag.The Payne car was being worked on again with the crankshaft oil seal being replaced. With conditions noted as Dull/Wet tyre choice was critical and most opted for wets although some took a gamble with mixed ‘front/rear’ combinations. Some very late last minute changes were made.

Class A

Makar lead from pole with Ross in close contention, Robertson 3rd. On lap 7, Ross moved into the lead and two laps later Robertson moved into P2 demoting Makar to 3rd, Wetton 4th but running in P6. Cole, who started from the back of the grid, was already up to P10 by this stage. On the final lap, Robertson muscled his way past Ross at the hairpin to take the win, however this move was later penalised demoting Robertson to 2nd. Makar held on to 3rd as Walker took 4th and Wetton 5th. Cole retired on lap 14 with no clutch.

Class B

Booth pulled into the pits at the end of the green flag lap and took no part in the race. Luti held his pole position with Roberts, Rogerson and Marsh next in line until lap 7, when Marsh moved into P3. These positions held until lap 8 when Roberts dropped down the order. Marsh just held off Rogerson until the last lap when Rogerson outdragged Marsh up the hill to the flag to take 2nd, Marsh 3rd, guest Bray 4th and Roberts 5th.

Class C

Turnbull had pole for race two which he held with Spencer in close contention for the entire race. Booth was out on lap 2 when he rolled at the chicane which brought out the safety car for a couple of laps.  Ballard held onto 3rd until lap 11 when Cruttenden got past, these positions held until the flag with Jones 5th.

Fastest laps  Class A was Robertson 1:02.613 on lap 17, Class B, Cole 1:02.699 on lap 16, Class C, Turnbull 1:04.442 on lap 17. Should all these be new lap records due to the new barrier at the chicane?

Driver of the Race Ollie Hood