2002 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Jointly adminsitered by WRDA & BARC Wales
Supported by The Pembrey Performance Driving School
Round 5. Oulton Park 18/5/2002
The usual core of competitors in this years championship were joined by some new faces. Eric Bamber was out in a Darrian T 90, Neil Clark in a superb looking Harrier LR9C90, Pete Osbourne in a full-on TVR Tuscan. There were some first appearances of the season from Andrew Williams in his Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, Dave Green in his Darren Mark 6 and Paul Townsend, (who passed scrutineering this time!) in his Escort RS Turbo. Elir Morris also made an appearance in what looked suspiciously like Cath Browns' Radical! 16 cars in total had made the trip, an excellent turn-out for an event that was only confirmed as being definitely on a matter of a few weeks ago.
Dawn broke, and it was pouring. It was still raining up until mid-morning, and then it stopped, causing much consternation on tyre choice for the late morning Welsh qualifying session. Most went out on slicks, and the best times were set in the first few laps of practice, as after 2 or 3 laps the heavens opened and the track became a river. Terry decided that he had done his best and pulled into the pits there being nothing to be gained by staying out. Elir Morris was of the same opinion but however as he backed off after Druids, the rear end locked up and spun on the now slippery surface. Contact was made with the tyre walls with enough damage being caused to the car for it to remain on the trailer for the rest of the day.
Terrys practice on Friday paid off big time for he secured pole with a time almost 6 seconds quicker than Clive Hayes who was 2nd, but only just one second ahead of Dave Green. Keith White has got his hot-rod Corrado really flying now and he was 4th, with newcomer Jim Bamber 5th in his Darrian T90. Neil Clarks Harrier was next, with a time only a 10ths or so ahead of the time set but the now absent Elir Morris. Peter Osborn and the TVR Tuscan in 10th, was the meat in a Ford Sandwich with Andrew Williams (Seirra) 8th , Paul Townsend (Escort) 9th , and Martin Jones (Seirra) 11th. Rhodri Jenkins, Mark Fennell, Peter Williams and Cindy Pearce made up the grid with the Global lights not liking the wet at all.
The last race of the day was a much better affair for the drivers. The rain had stopped some three races earlier and the sun and previous races had dried the track. The grid all got away well with Terry pulled away into first spot whilst Dave Green shot into 2nd place, followed very closely by Clive Hayes & Keith White. Green and Hayes had a mighty battle until a Dave overcooked it at Old Hall, and a spin and quick trip through the gravel handed 2nd to Clive. Dave then began a tremendous fight back to re-take second place, only to be forced out by a puncture in the closing stages. This prompted Keith White to 3rd place. On the first lap Peter Williams & Mark Fennel were exceptional with Peter jumping from 15th on the grid to 7th by the time they got to Lakeside. Mark then managed to hold off the battling Peter Williams to take 4th, with Peter only 5 seconds behind in 5th. 6th was Neil Clark and the Harrier. Peter Osborn in 7th must have an anti-Ford disrupter ray fitted to his TVR, as the 3 Fords that surrounded him on the grid all dropped out in the first few laps! Paul Townsend and Andrew Williams spun off at Old Hall and Jonesy was once again unfortunate as gearbox problems forced him out after just 2 laps. Rhodri Jenkins came in 8th place with Mike and Cindy completing the finishers. Eric Bamber sadly only lasting one lap before gear linkage problems forced him out.
Terry Brown set the fastest time in the race of 1:27.497; which was also the fastest lap of the day by quite a margin! Other fastest laps went to Keith White, Rhodri Jenkins, and Peter Williams. Mark Fennel was the driver of the day having gone from 13th on the grid to 4th on the road!
Next race is at Pembrey on 22nd and 23rd June. See you all there!!
Results and times