Championship Finals Day Pembrey October 25/26 October
Rhodris title triumph Terrys race double
Entry and Practice
It had to happen and for once all those people who are always planning to enter the "next" race, actually all entered at once. Combined with the championship regulars and some welcome newcomers this made for a fantastic 23 car entry for both days. The weather certainly smiled on us, with plenty of sunshine for practice on Saturday, but there was an autumnal edge to it too!
Overnight frost gave a very low track temperature, and the usual problems associated with a meeting featuring Track Racing, made for some very wide sideways moments for some people especially at Dibeni bend where it seemed as if there was less than no grip at all if you got off line and went even slightly wide. Amongst those having spectacular spins at Dibeni was Alvin Powell, Peter Salter and several Radicals. Alvin had what he called "a real tank slapper" as he applied full lock in both directions to try to control a really big series of slides, eventually sliding to a halt just before the paddock gates before getting going again. Peter did a quick pirouette but ended up in the middle of the track, facing a trackfull of on coming cars! and the Radicals seemed to shedding pieces of bodywork on almost every other lap!
At the end of the session the times showed that Terry Brown had continued his phenomenal run of pole positions at Pembrey with a lap at 57.637 seconds, but in second place was the Darrian of Graham Cole who was less than 3/10ths slower, without out even realising how he did it! Graham has made excellent progress with his new car, hitting the front row in only a few races, making him the first Darrian and the first non Radical to get on the front row in a long while.
Next up was top newcomer Jeff Davies from Swansea, who planted his Radical Prosport in 3rd place ahead of the welcome return of Clive Hayes with Peter Williams and then Huw Williams completing a Prosport sweep with Richard Rhozon 7th on his Clubsport version.
8th and the first saloon was Martin Davies, less than a second ahead of 2nd newcomer Tim Watson with one of the BTCC Mondeos formerly pedalled by the Crocketts. Right in the picture and putting super display was Nigel Bowen who with a time of 65.946 secs, had his Cavalier just ahead of Graham Hollis. (Both Martin and Graham must have had an adavnce weather forecast). Graham as always seemed to be driving his Mk2 Escort sideways even in a straight line to set a time of 66.119 seconds! Graham in 11th was closely followed by Champion in waiting Rhodri Jenkins (66.555) making 3 drivers covered by less than one second! Rhys Lloyd was also in the picture in 14th. Larry Phillips was 15th in a nice turned out Rover Tomcat showing Mark Fish stickers. Despite his spin, Peter Salter found some welcome speed in his 216 to take 16th place with 68.937 (his best ever time!) to make it a very close midfield bunch.
Andy Williams was17th ahead of Cindy Pearce and Mike Bevington who was only just ahead of the final newcomer Ken Rattenbury from Wenvoe, with his unusual Ford Sierra XR4i. Ken said he got the car from a scrapyard and got the engine from the Freeads! Whatever the origins its performance was certainly no disgrace and Ken should be congratulated for some enterprising work to get out there and get racing! Anthony Allit was next, ahead of the World Championship Mondeo of Alvin Powell, who was in all sorts of trouble with the blue beauty, and just could not get it running right. Last and final qualifier was Lee David who had problems with his throttle linkage and only did 6 laps.
The Race 14 laps - Rolling Start
So you've got a low track temperature, truck racing and a 23 car grid trying to make their way around on cold tyres for a championship deciding 14 lap race. So what's the last thing you need? Thats right, a shower of rain, which is exactly what happened before the start of the race, making the track like a skating rink in places. When the lights changed there was a suprise as Graham Cole got good grip and outdragged Terry into Hatchetts to lead the first lap. Unfortuntely it all ended for Graham on the run down to Brooklands when he found the car going straight on as he turned the steering wheel due to a broken track control arm. The car was undamaged but it put an end to a potentially exciting battle for the lead.
On the move early on was Martin Davies, who was as high as 3rd initially on the greasy track, but began to loose places to the Radicals as the track dried out, eventually finishing in 7th place as the first saloon car home. However whilst Terry Brown made good his escape, to win by 8 seconds, there was a terrific scrap going on between the Class C Radicals of Jeff Davies, Clive Hayes and Peter Williams. Behind them there was action aplenty as the greasy surface caught out the unwary. Lee David managed to spin twice (on the same lap!), the second time in the company of Cindy Pearce. Nigel Bowen spun on the exit of Dibeni and was left stranded sideways on at the edge of the track with a dead engine! Rather than scramble the safety car, or red flag the race, to move the car to a safer place, the organizers decided to leave Nigels car where it was, like a sitting duck. It must made it a nervous 15 minutes for poor Nigel, who feared the worst! Fortunately everyone avoided the temptation and the Cavalier was left unscathed. Alvin had also disappeared in the paddock early on after a quick spin, but the only non finishers were Graham, Nigel and Alvin. They were barely noticed, but was by no means the end of the incidents. At this stage Jeff Davies was keeping pace with Terry, but a quick spin dropped him back Also spinners, at various times during the race, were Ken Rattenbury (what difficult conditions to start your first race!) Mike Bevington, Andy Williams (twice), Christian Evans, Anthony Allitt and Peter Salter. At the front things were warming up with the Radicals of Jeff Davies, Clive Hayes and Peter Williams almost tied together, and a few seconds back
Huw Williams and Richard Rhozon were also tied together. As the race entered the final laps the times began to fall as the track dried, with Peter Williams setting the fastest of the race on his final lap to close to within a second of Clive Hayes in 3rd place. Richard Rhozon also set his fastest lap on the last lap and was only ½ second behind Huw to complete the top 6.
7th was Martin Davies, another driver to set his fastest lap late on, and 8th was Graham Hollis, the last unlapped runner. Graham as usual, actually looked to be enjoying himself with all sorts sideways angles, which shows how much fun a front engine rear wheel drive car can be to drive, and to watch, at least the way Graham drives it! Tim Watson was 9th, one lap back, with Larry Phillips 10th, and the triumphant Rhodri Jenkins 11th. Rhodri did more than just score the points he needed by winning his class, but he was given a very hard race by Christian Evans who was only 1 second behind at the end! (Rhodris family was on hand to watch him triumph, and it was very nice to see them all) Rhys Lloyd in 13th was the last of the runners one lap down. Cindy recovered from her spins to finish 14th, ahead of the recovering Peter Salter (15th), and Anthony Allitt (16th). 17th and involved in a race for the line was Ken Rattenbury who was less than a second ahead of Andy Williams in 18th. Mike Bevington and Lee David overcame a series of problems to finish 19th and 20th.
All times and results on http://www.mst-group.co.uk