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Grahams Silverstone Diary : National Circuit 29 September DH

This was the WRDA's second visit to the home of British Motorsport this year and 16 entrants were attracted to this last WRDA round of the year. In class A it was good to see Steve Griffiths bring along his ridiculously powerful Jade to see he could keep pace with the similar, more nimble, machine of Class A leader Graham Cole (writes Graham).

Ginger Marshall's Bowlby was also to feature well in Class A along with Peter Williams (Radical), Huw Williams (Radical), Leigh Parkes (Nemesis), and guest driver Simon Tate (Nemesis). Also guesting was Phantom P26 Pilot Michael St.Clair John, the clubman car providing a real feel of variety to the field (No one-make championship here methinks!)

In Class B Rhys Lloyd in his trusty MG ZR was out to consolidate his class lead, while Andy Williams had bigger things in mind as he battled for the overall title - although with arch rival Doug Bowcett (Renault Megane) still in dry dock, a finish was his main priority.

Class D saw a welcome outing for Alvin Powell, this time in his pristine Mondeo, which was sure to give class rival Keith Butcher in his mighty Audi some healthy competition. Adrian Chapman also appeared in Class D for this event in his trusty Westfield, Adrian favouring the more tried and tested machine over his ADR for this event. Conditions for Qualifying were extremely tricky with the rain subsiding but with oil down at two key corners. Several drivers were seen revolving as they sussed out the grip levels, including Steve Griffiths (Luffield), Huw Williams, Andy Williams, Luffield I think!) and Keith Butcher (or so it was rumoured!). Aside from the track several unusual problems beset the crews with Alvin Powel reporting a 5th/4th gear confusion, and Simon Tate suffering a curious high speed fluttering at the front of the Nemesis which slowed his progress. (Simon - Give me a ring if you want regarding that vibration problem, I ran a Prosport front end once which suffered a similar problem and will be happy to suggest a solution. (07860 421937)

At the end of all that, the time sheets showed Steve on pole in the Orange Jade, with Graham 0.3 of a second adrift in second. Ginger posted probably his best qualifying time of the season, with the Bowlby pilot missing pole by just 4 tenths of a second. Peter Williams was 4th, followed by Rain expert Alvin Powell in 5th despite his gear problems. Keith Butcher somehow managed to wrestle the Big Audi to 6th, while Simon Tate pipped Leigh Parkes in the Nemesis tussle despite his vibration problems. Michael St Clair John brought the Phantom home safely in 8th, followed by Rhys Lloyd, Huw Williams, and Adrian Chapman. Unfortunately Michael was not able to make the start in the Phantom as the car veered off the track on the start straight in the extremely slippery conditions. Every driver agreed that this was an outcome that could have afflicted any driver as the track surface remained treacherous.


The race was interesting to say the least as the cars lined up for the now dry track. A black cloud loomed overhead just as the cars completed the warm up lap, depositing it's contents just as the 5 second board was shown! This didn't seem to bother the Orange Jade of Steve Griffiths though as he shot off the line with hardly any wheelspin, and was never seen again! Graham Cole meanwhile caused mayhem at Luffield as the revolving Jade found no grip and the entire field did well to avoid him. Graham recovered to a battling 4th place finish not helped by a turbo pipe popping off. Peter meanwhile was locked in a race long battle with Ginger, the Bowlby pilot coming off best with Peter commenting that "he cornered faster, and braked at the same places, so overtaking was impossible". The pair finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. Peter is now considering more powerful options for next year !?? (Ginger's plans remain cloaked in secrecy!) 

Alvin pulled the Mondeo up to finish 5th pipping Keith's Audi (8th) as the drying track saw improving lap times. Several spectators commented on the cornering of the nimbler Mondeo compared with the heavier Audi which Keith did well to control in the earlier laps when he was unable to use the superior horse power down the straights. 6th was Leigh who just got the upper hand over Nemesis rival Simon, Simon eventually retiring as the front end instability proved too difficult to handle. Huw did well to bring home the Prosport home in 7th despite some lurid moments witnessed first hand! Also witnessed first hand were the sideways slides of Andy Williams, the Cosworth absolutely broadside on at least one occasion in the damp approaching Luffield!

Rhys and Adrian in 10th and 11th both did well to bring home particularly twitchy vehicles in the tricky conditions praying for drier conditions in the last race of the year.

So, with Graham's Jade out of the running, Steve was left to power home the Chrysler Jade for his first appearance and first race win of the year! In the post race interview Steve reported a relatively trouble free run and attracted several admiring gestures from passing competitors - see U-Tube soon !

Great to see you all, especially so many guest drivers, and we hope you can make the last rounds in Pembrey. 

Next and last rounds Pembrey 20 / 21 October DH ( 21st October will be double points)

Results and times from http://www.msttiming.com




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