The Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Rounds 11 & 12 Mallory Park August 18th
The weather was good for first practice which was dominated by Terry Brown who put in a storming time of 46.11, which was a good 4 seconds ahead of Elir Morris who was second fastest! Dave Smith and his Mallock was 3rd with Nick Spence and the Marcos 4th. Next up was some American thunder in the shape of Bill Withey and his gorgeous looking Z28 Chevy Camaro. Bills car towered over Peter Williams and his flying Global Light, and it definitely looked a catch-weight contest! Rhodri Jenkins was doing really well to get up to 7th fastest, but sadly we lost Huw Williams early on when his gearbox seized and he spun out at Gerards, but he was 8th quickest at the time. The incident needed a red flag to sort it out, and almost straight after the restart we lost Mike Edgell with a blown engine. Mike has been unlucky having now blown up 2 engines since he joined us. This left Lawrence Tomlinson who was 9th in his Ginetta, ahead of Peter Salter and Larry Phillips who were 11th and 12th fastest.
Practice for the second race brought an end to Terry Browns total domination of pole position when he stopped after 4 laps having gone straight on at the hairpin when a rose joint snapped! Fortunately there was no major damage to either car or driver, but it meant there was a chance of a new face on pole and Dave Smith wound up his Mallock Mk 28 late in the session to take it with 50.44 secs. Elir Morris tried his best to respond and set a time of 50.558 secs in the dying moments of the session. Terrys day wasnt all bad as his best time in the 4 laps he did was enough for 4th place with 50.760! It all looked very close. Just behind there was only a handkerchief covering Nick Spence in 4th (51.679 secs) and Peter Williams 5th (51.891 secs). Bill Withey, Lawrence Tomlinson, Rhodri Jenkins, Peter Salter and Larry Phillips completed the grid.
Race 1 12 laps
At the lights Terry powered into the lead, but Elir Morris got a demon start and tried very hard to outbrake Terry in the big right hander at the end of the straight. Terry got the message and turned up the wick to get a break away from Elir, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 2 a with a tremendous time of 47.473 secs, a speed of 102.37 miles per hour! By now Elir had his hands full with Dave Smith who was pushing hard with his Mallock having seen Peter Williams push through into 3rd early on, and then drop back with a sticking throttle cable. Nick Spence grabbed the opportunity to snatch 4th place, whilst Peters throttle problems put him right within range of Bill Witheys Camaro.
Lawrence Tomlinson found himself another Ginetta to play with when Nick Marsh, who practised out of session, joined us. Lawrence & Nick had a race long personal duel with only a second between them at the end. After a bright start Rhodri Jenkins started to drop away with a sick sounding engine and he was forced to retire on lap 8. Peter Salter and Larry Phillips were tied together but this time Peter had the pleasure of seeing Larrys rear number plate in his face as they crossed the line less than second apart.
However Terry Browns Radical steamroller was reeled off the laps and he crossed the line for the chequered flag less than 10 minutes after he started! Elir followed at a respectful distance, but Terrys 100% race record remains intact. At least for the moment
Race 2 - 12 laps
With a new shape to the front row of the grid this was going to be an interesting start, with Dave Smith on pole position for the very first time, ahead of the hungry Radical duo headed by Elir Morris with Terry right behind, and Nick Spence alongside Terry. The lights changed and the pack headed down to Gerards for the first time and a massive sort out for the lead saw Elir take the lead with Terry tucked in behind and Peter Williams tucked into 3rd place after using all his sprint experience to make another super start. Elir meanwhile was trying everything possible to hold Terry off and kept the lead for the first 4 laps until Terry got a better drive out of Gerards to draft past him on the Stebe Straight. Terry had got the message loud and clear and he put the pressure on to pull away as much as he could from Elir, and began to draw away inexorably. This left Elir safe in second place, but the power of Dave Smith and Nick Spence soon put them in striking distance of Peter Williams, and they began a 3 way knife fight for 3rd place that lasted the whole race! Dave, Pete and Nick where swapping places all around the track, with Peter dropping back on the fast sections, but closing up in the tighter bends. By lap 8 Peter was heading the trio but it didn't stay that way for long and soon he was at the back with Nick in 3rd, Dave 4th and Peter 5th. But on a stunning last lap Peter got ahead of Dave and drove under Nick at the hairpin and held on to cross the line in 3rd followed by Nick and then the charging Terry Brown! (Terry had been powering away at the head of the field and set a new lap record of 104.59 mph on his way to a 100 mph race record!)
In all the excitement of the Pete/Nick/Dave battle, the commentators missed the chequered flag and didn't know the race was over! You've got to be awake when the Welsh Championship is on the track! Bill Withey had a quiet time in his Camaro to take 6th, whilst in 7th place Lawrence Tomlinson again found himself with Nick Marsh for company after Nick powered up from the back of the grid. Peter Salter and Larry Phillips were tied together again. This time Larry had the pleasure of seeing Peter rear number plate in his face as they crossed the line less than second apart for the second race running! Peter Williams for all his efforts deservedly got the Mallory Park 'Driver of the Day' award after a very good days racing. Lets hope the excitement is just starting!
Full results and times can be seen on www.mstworld.com
Ta to TA for the report.!