2002 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Jointly adminsitered by WRDA & BARC Wales
Supported by The Pembrey Performance Driving School
Round 13. Pembrey 19/10/2002
Terry triumphs - but Clive makes him race for it!
Entry & Qualifing
The weather, or more precisely the weather forecast, dominated the small talk in the paddock, but for Saturday it was fine and sunny for practice & the race. However although it was no surprise to see Terry Brown on pole with a time of 57.638 secs, heading a 17 car entry, he certainly didnt look or feel sunny side up! "I had the flu about 2 weeks ago and Im still trying to shake off the symptoms. Ive dosed myself up no end, but Im not feeling any better. I could feel all the strength drain out of my legs about half way through the session, and I was thinking about coming in all the time." With Clive Hayes alongside in 2nd place, but over 2 seconds slower and Elir Morris in 3rd place almost 3 seconds slower, it may not have been nice but clearly wasnt slowing him down that much! Next up behind the Radical 1-2-3 on the grid was Alvin Powell and the Menu Mondeo. Peter Williams was next in his Global Light, whilst in 6th was Huw Williams after an excellent effort. Nick Spence was 7th, ahead of Rhodri Jenkins, who was really flying with his refettled Honda Civic. 8th was Martin Davies who was heading a phalanx of Fords with his 4wd Sapphire. Martin wasnt happy with his car however and spent a lot of time ducking into the paddock to try and trace a mysterious loss of power and was only just ahead of Graham Hollis who arrived with hisnhers RS2000s for himself and his wife Sue. Cindy Pearce was the faster of the ladies, only just behind Graham, with Nigel Bowen and his lovely looking Porsche 911 GT just behind. Graham, Cindy and Nigel all set times at around 67 secs. In 13th place Peter Salter was followed only a couple of 10ths faster than another of this years newcomers Andy Williams in the Risca Garages non-turbo Seirra Sapphire. Risca Garages is a name that goes back to 1960 & 70ss when they ran a string of big Jaguars, and it was nice to see the Valleys represented once again in the Welsh Championship. In 15th Larry Phillips was having all sorts of problems with fuel feed in the Integra. Sue Hollis was next with newcomer Andrew McInnes having his debut in a Ford Sierra Sapphire. A time of 1.13.05 is not bad on your debut, and you have to start some where.
The race 12 laps - Rolling start
It was perhaps no surprise to see Terry in the lead as the pack emerged from Hatchets, but this time Alvin Powell got an excellent start but Clive Hayes was close and the two cars touched early on. Clive recovered and kept his Radical close to Alvins Mondeo as they chased Terry, in the early laps. Behind them however it seemed a contest to see who could throw themselves furthest off the track! Graham Hollis was first to depart to the scenery with a box full of neutrals. Graham eventually found a gear to get going, and began to make progress though the field, as soon as he could work out which gears were working and which werent! Elir Morris slipped into 4th place early on, but understeered off for a quick spin resuming in 6th place. In a frantic first lap Nick Spence and Huw Williams clashed, with Huw retiring with broken steering and Nick following him to the paddock a lap later. Larry Phillips also only put 2 laps on the score sheet and with Nigel Bowen and Martin Davies non starters (fuel and gearbox problems for Nigel and a misfire for Martin), the field was thinning out. At the front Terry was building himself a big lead, but Clive was harrying Alvin and made a big effort at the paddock turn. The pressure paid off next time around when Alvin missed the apex at Honda and spun on the outside, leaving Clive a free run at Terry. The top 6 on lap 5 was, Terry in the lead from Clive with Peter Williams 3rd, the recovering Elir Morris, closely followed by Alvin who was also on the rise. Rhodri Jenkins was next with Cindy Pearce homing in on him. Andy Williams in the non turbo Sapphire was 7th, the normally apsirated engine sounding like a coffee grinder without the turbo to mask it, and Peter Salter in 8th, followed by Sue Hollis, Andrew McInnes and Graham Hollis who was just about to be lapped by the leader Terry Brown.
On lap 6 Elir slipped by Peter Williams for 3rd and Alvin closed in to follow him through and then proceed to pressure Elir for 3rd, slipping past on lap 9. At the same time, as the race moved to the closing laps, Terry looked safe but Clive was putting on the pressure. The gap began to narrow as Clive dipped under the 58 second barrier for the first time. Terry responded, but the traffic began to thicken and Clive continued to close in for a nail biting last lap finish. Also responding was Elir who decided that Alvin wasnt going to have a easy ride to 3rd place. Behind them the race settled into a pattern with Cindy moving past Rhodri for 6th, but was too far behind Peter Williams to challenge him. Rhodri was now an easy class winner and backed off to secure the points. Graham Hollis had recovered to 8th. (Sue slowed in the later stages and then exited in a big cloud of oil smoke, as her engine blew up at Honda curve). Andy Williams in the non turbo Sapphire was 9th, and in the absence of Nick Spence and Martin Davies, was the first Class H runner home. Peter Salter was next in 10th with Sue Hollis classified 11th ahead of Andrew McInnes who improved his lap times to 71.797 seconds, not bad for his first run in the car!
As the man with the Chequered flag made his way on to the rostrum Terry had enough in hand over Clive to take to win by less than a second. Coming up to the flag in 3rd place Alvin was under real pressure from Elir and there was only just a 10th of a second between them at the finish!
Afterwards Terry confirmed that it was no easy deal to take his 13th straight win of the year. "Clive had me under real pressure, its not often you set those sort of lap times that late in a race!"
The small talk returned to the weather forecast, with some forecasters promising a deluge of almost biblical proportions for Sunday, putting Terrys a 100% race winning record to one more test before the end of the season!
Full results can be seen on www.mstworld.com
Round 14 report