2002 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Jointly adminsitered by WRDA & BARC Wales
Supported by The Pembrey Performance Driving School
Rounds 1 & 2 Pembrey April 6th/7th
The weather was sunny and dry at Pembrey for the start of this years Championship. A host of new cars and new faces joined the familiar crew, and a great week-end of racing was in store.
Race 1 - Practice
Practice went well for most people, with some extremely quick times being set. This, of course, was before the trucks came out and laid rubber and diesel all over the circuit! Nick Spence was the only casualty, bending the front of his Marcos on the back wheel of Stuart Eyres Toyota at Hatchetts. The back wheel faired much better than the Marcos! Pity as it was going well. Terry was quickest in his new Radical Prosport, at 56.91s, while daughter Catherine was doing well in her first outing in her Prosport, posting a 1.04.69. Clive Hayes had been helping Cindy Pierce to fix her Global Light after a pretty big off on Friday, and qualified 2nd in his shiny red Radical. David Smith, in an immaculate Mallock Mk28, was looking very quick and assured in third place. Jonathan Coleman was 4th up in a beautiful brand new Prosport. Alvin Powell was trying hard to master the superb 2000 BTCC winning Mondeo, and was fifth fastest after some hairy looking moments. Ian Hall had his lovely Darrian out for Saturday only and was 6th fastest, followed by Mark Fennell in the Corrado, Catherine Brown, Martin Jones Sierra Cosworth, Nick Spence, Mark Smithers, Peter Williams in his Global Light and Nigel Bowens Cavalier Touring car all within a second or so of one another. Just behind them by less than a second was Rhodri Jenkins in his Civic R, followed by the visiting Caterham of Michaele Apostolides, Cindy Pearce, Pete Salter in his Rover Gti, Stuart, Mike Quenby in a Nova and Paul Gibbs in the Renault Clio.
Terry had a great start and looked more at home as he gradually pulled away from the field. Clive kept him in sight until he had an annoying intermittent problem from half way through the race which deprived him of a few cylinders, but he still held on to finish second behind Terry. Alvin had some wild moments in his Mondeo, with an early spin putting him well down the field. As he made his way through, he hit Mark Fennell and lost further time, and ended up 6th. David Smith continued to look good in his Mallock, but could not quite stay with Ians Darrian, and ended up a comfortable 5th with Ian 4th behind Jonathans Radical in 3rd. Further down the field, Peter Williams had a great race, moving up to 7th place to win the driver of the day, and very close racing for 8th place resulted in Martins Sierra just keeping ahead of Nigels Cavalier and Catherines Radical. Rhodri kept all the cars behind him that he realistically could to finish 12th, and Cindy was getting used to her car in 15th place. Other finishers were Michaele Apostolides, Mark Fennell, Peter Salter, Stuart Eyres, Mike Quenby and Paul Gibbs.
Race 2 Practice
There was a fair bit of diesel and rubber on the circuit and times were generally slower. Three additional drivers joined us for practice, 2 Nissan Primeras of Guy Lidbury and Gus Singh, and Valerie Diederichs in her Caterham. Terry was again fastest in practice, with Jonathan getting ahead of Clive for second place on the grid. Catherine was really getting used to her car and put in a 1.02.87 to qualify 5th.
The trucks had been out immediately prior to the race and it was a treacherous track to be racing on. The Nissans had had problems in their earlier races and did not start. The race was red flagged on the first lap after Alvins Mondeo spun at Brooklands and ended up half way across the circuit. At the re-start of what was now a 10 lap race, Terry again pulled away and led to the finish, with Clive again having a mysterious intermittent fuel feed problem. However, he did manage to get 2nd place as Jonathan had to pit before the re-start for a safety check and then start from the back of the grid. Jonathan managed to fight his way through to a creditable 3rd despite this, and in doing so won the driver of the day award. Behind this, Rhodri came off at Hatchetts as he tried to overtake Cindy, who by now was really getting to grips with her Global Light. Rhodri made up places and ended up with another class win. Catherine was 1st of the ladies home in 8th place, with Cindy 11th and Valerie 13th.
All in all, an excellent weekend. Next races are at Pembrey on 11th and 12th May. See you all there!!
Full results and times can be seen on www.mstworld.com