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2003 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship

supported by the Pembrey Performance Driving School

Rounds 9 -Pembrey - Saturday 5th July report and pics

Terry doubles up but new faces make the scene

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uncatchable - Terry Brown

A couple of good grids, some new faces, some welcome returns, and some determined driving all added up to a super racing weekend. Just for a change it was paddock 2 for the Welsh Championship contenders. Paddock 2 can seem a little remote but it gave us the chance to get together and create our own atmosphere, and we could come and go as we pleased (which was a decided bonus on Sunday when the Welsh race was directly followed by the 46 lap Radical Enduro race!). For the pit crews at least it got rid of the foot-race from assembly to the pits, as they were already in the pits!

Saturday was notable for a number of new faces with Dave Smith in his Mallock M28 and Jonathon Yeldman who was driving Rupert Crooks Moonraker Mallock Mk27 (Rupert drove it on Sunday). Dave was bang on the pace with a time of 60.676 in 4th place with Jonathan in 5th.

Amongst the welcome returns, none was more welcome than Rhodri Jenkins, as this indicated that his daughter Victoria was on the mend! Rhodri confirmed she still has bad days but things look a lot better now. He specifically asked for his thanks to be passed on to everyone for sending their wishes. As well as sending a card which was signed by all in the paddock at the last meeting, Anita Williams arranged for a gift set full of aromatherapy and beauty gifts which she delivered on behalf of us all. "Victoria was thrilled - it really cheered her up" Rhodri looked in good form too taking 6th place in 65.564 seconds, almost a second faster than Richard Rhozon in 7th, whose car was misfiring for most of the session.

Christian Evans is a name that will not be unknown to you if you have been following the sprint scene for a few years, where he has built a formidable reputation as a man to beat. However Christian had now decided to give racing a try with his Mk1 Golf Gti. "Sprinting is quite expensive now, and you only get 4 laps for your 75, whereas for not much more you get 20 minutes practice and a race too!" Christian showed good form to qualify in 8th place, but the question was how consistent would he be in the race?

Another welcome return was Graham Cole, the 1999 Champion whose Darrian T90 looked like it had been on a body building course since his last run in the car. In truth it is a new car from the ground up, and Graham had some new car problems to start with which kept him down in 10th place on the grid on Saturday

Next was a close bunch of saloons headed by Peter Salter 11th and Anthony Allitt in 12th. Peter was cock-a-hoop at his best ever time, after sorting his rear suspension angles gave him a much better turn in. Anthony had a couple of 10ths in hand over Piers Wharton who was the last of the newcomers, but by no means the least. Piers, from Bath debuted his BMW 325i prototype. It looked pretty standard on the outside, but under the bonnet it was looking decidedly empty with a lot of space between the engine and the radiator, despite having a 3.5 litre engine! Piers has moved the block back several inches, but the space wasn’t remain empty for long "I’m going to fit a turbo and I’ll need the space for the intercooler!" All I can say it’s going to be a big turbo to fill all the empty space! Piers was 13th amongst and he was closely followed by Mike Bevington and Lee David in his VW Golf (not the Lancia as noted in the programme (well not yet). However Mike would be missing from the race following a return of major oil surge problems in the Honda Accord.

With new faces and returnees running from 4th place onwards, only the top 3 places remained to be covered.

At the front once again it was that man Terry Brown who put in a real flyer to stop the clocks at 56.292 to annexe pole position. Peter Williams was fastest in Class C with 58.353 secs, with  Huw Williams 3rd (making it a Radical 1-2-3), with 60.665 secs but he was only a whisker faster than Dave Smith in 4th place (60.676), so a close battle seemed in prospect

The race – 12 laps

When the lights changed Peter did his best to get the jump on Terry, but Terry was first into Hatchets again. Peter pressed Terry hard throughout the race, and was less than 3 seconds behind at the end, but it was another race win for Terry and his Class A Radical, another class win for Peter and his Class C machine. Huw Williams completed the Radical 1-2-3 another 20 seconds back, but he had his hands full early on with Dave Smith exerting a lot pressure. However Huw responded and managed to draw away from Dave and his Mallock , who was the last unlapped runner in 4th place. In 5th was Jonathan Yeldman who had a race long battle with Richard Rhozon. Richard made a special effort late on and set his fastest lap on his last lap, and was only just over a second behind at the end. Rhodri was also in the picture less than 6 seconds behind in 7th place. However if Rhodri thought he was due for an easy ride on the track he was in for a suprise, and he was certainly given a fright by a fast starting Christian Evans. "He was certainly keeping me honest" Rhodri managed to draw away a little, setting his fastest ever time at Pembrey and setting a new lap record leaving it at 65.978! This enabled Rhodri to draw away and left Christian facing a tussle with Andy Williams and his coffee grinder Sierra Sapphire, and he certainly seemed to be putting a lot of gusto into the task. Sadly it was all over after 6 laps with a mystery electrical problem, but Christian had certainly made an impact on his Welsh Championship debut, and was awarded the ‘Competitor of the Day’ award for his efforts. Others missing from the fray early on included a disappointed Peter Salter, who didn’t make it around the first lap "It was the battery", and a puzzled Graham Cole. Grahams’ Darrian stopped at the end of the first lap "The fuel pump packed in, but then Dewi gave it a tap with a hammer, and it started again!"

Following Christians’ departure Andrew Williams had a smooth run to 8th place, ahead of the Peirs Wharton and his BMW, with the battling Tony Allitt and Lee David 10th and 11th.

However with the points spread around between the main competitors the situation at the top remains as tight as ever.

Current Points

 All times and results on http://www.mst-group.co.uk

Pics courtesy of Richard Francis

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Richard Rhozon & Rupert Crook battle it out

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Terry laps it up, passing Andy Williams on the way

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Welcome back - Graham Cole gets back on the track

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Paddock scenes

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pics thanks to Richard Francis