Championship Finals Day Pembrey October 26 October
Action a plenty in the seasons finale - Terry takes pole and win double
Entry and Practice
Round 16 Pembrey Sunday 26th October
With no casualties after Terry Brown showed true championship spirit by helping Graham Cole get his steering sorted out (see the bottom of the report), it was the full 23 cars out for an early practice. With the track still damp from a heavy dew and greasy from yesterdays activities it wasnt going to be easy to set any sort of time until the track dried.
Martin Davies banged in a lap to set the provisional pole early on with a time of 70.239 seconds and then retired to the paddock to sit out the rest of the session. "I know everyone thinks 4 wheel drive is the thing to have when its wet, but in greasy conditions its no joy ride. You can feel the centre diff shifting the power and fighting against the other diffs, to be honest it can get very uncomfortable and you are never really certain if youre just about to loose it"
However late in the session the track had begun to dry and the times started tumble with the majority of the grid setting their fastest times late in the session. Fastest again was Terry Brown who was the only runner to break the 70 second barrier with a time of 69.911 seconds to take pole by just over 3/10ths of a second.
Terrys dominance of pole at Pembrey, has reached a Sennaesque dimension, stretching back so far it is hard to remember who else last had pole. (The last time I can think of was Alvin Powell during a wet practice in April 2001, unless of course you know different).
3rd behind Terry and Martin was the Prosport of Jeff Davies, followed closely by Nigel Bowen who turned in a sensational performance to take 4th place, and become the 2nd saloon amongst the Radicals. 5th was Peter Williams but another driver to upset the odds was Richard Rhozon who put his Clubsport 6th , ahead of the seemingly more potent Prosports of Clive Hayes and Huw Williams. Andy Williams was 9th ahead of Graham Hollis and Rhodri Jenkins with less than a second covering them. Larry Phillips was a solid 12th. Ken Rattenbury was an excellent 13th ahead of Rhys Lloyd, Christian Evans and the exBTCC Mondeo of Tim Watson with only 1.5 secs covering the 4 cars. Peter Salter was 17th with Graham Cole a lowly 18th. Lee David was 19th with Alvin Powell a disappointing 20th!!! Anthony Allitt, Mike Bevington, and Cindy Pearce were the remaining runners.
The race 14 laps rolling start
With several runners in unfamiliar positions the early laps were going to be interesting but the race had stopped almost as soon as it started. Nigel Bowen, going for it from the 2nd row, spun and was stranded in the middle of the Esses, but this time the race was red flagged. However that was not before a certain amount mayhem had ensued. With cars flying everywhere to avoid the stranded Cavalier, Rhodri Jenkins our newly crowned champion, found what he thought was a safe place on the grass, only to find the rear of Andy Williams car sliding towards him. "It was like in slow motion" said the crestfallen Rhodri. Andrews car gave Rhodris Honda a fairly hefty clout on the front wing and that was that with body and suspension damage ruling him out. "It was just as well I scored the points I needed yesterday." Also missing from the restart was Alvin Powell who finally gave up the struggle with his blue Mondeo, having never got to the bottom of a mystery fuel feed problem.
The restart 12 laps
Coming up to the re-start Terry Brown was at the head of the 21 car field, went straight into the lead as soon as the red lights went out and stayed there. (Barc had decided to prempt the new 2004 starting regualtions and had already removed the green lights form the starting lights sequence)
Behind Terry however the action was red hot as Peter Williams and Jeff Davies dueled for 2nd place.
Also in the shake up early on was Clive Hayes and Richard Rhozon.
Going backwards was Nigel Bowen, whilst on the rise was Graham Cole. On the way out was Martin Davies who did not complete the first lap when his turbo actuator rod broke. "It was a shame. The car was going like never before"
Huw Williams put on a spirited defense of 6th place but had to give way to Graham Cole. Graham Hollis was on the move and had a big dice with Nigel Bowen before getting the upper hand and pulling away to a safe 8th place ahead of Nigel who was the last unlapped runner
Andy Williams was 10th, with Larry Phillips well in sight in 11th place. Larry had his hands full with Tim Watson ex BTCC Mondeo, the tomcats turbo grunt giving the Larry the edge. Christian Evans was a solid 13th with equal gaps between him, Rhys Lloyd, Peter Salter and Ken Rattenbury. Anthony Allitt was a little further back and the last runner 1 lap down, with Mike Bevinton and Lee David as the final runners.
However the battle for 2nd place was the dice that was holding the attention, and it was getting a little fraught at times, with Peter Williams coming out on top in the end. "I did not have a good practice, I was almost 2 seconds off the pace! It was a bit puzzling but I had a chat with Terry Brown and he helped me get the engine covers off and check the timing which was slightly out. That seemed to do the trick and I was able to get by Jeff off the line, but he got me back in the first corner mix up. After that we swapped places and a bit of paint until I finally got by him going past the pits. I was then able to defend the line into Hatchets and make it stick".
Peter then seemed to set to repay Terry for his generous help and began to close in on 1st place, but with Jeff Davies still as very close company. On lap 9 Jeff set the fastest lap of the race with 58.367 seconds just a shade under 90 mph. "We were really flying and I reckon I was even faster on the next lap, but Cindy had spun off and they red flagged the race, so I lost that, but it was really good race, there was a bit of body damage but you get that with close racing."
In the end Terry had just under 4 seconds lead to make it a 100% race winning record at Pembrey. Terry has been unbeatable at Pembrey this season, but wasnt giving anything away when it came to discussing 2004. "Well have to see"
With a few more entries and races like that and it will be another interesting season.
See you all at the AGM and the at NEC next year.
To be continued ... next season* Rob,
Just a note of public thanks to Mr Brown, Heilwen, and Dewi for their help in getting my suspension fixed so I could compete in the last race of the Season. Terry kindly let us use his garage and Dewi (Ben Gunn) Jones set about the welding, while Terry and his family left for a night out ! Many Thanks.
Just a shame I couldn't have shown my gratitude by beating the bugger !Still, there's always next season !! CU, Graham Cole
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