Alvins Tiga roars!
Round 2 Pembrey 17th April 14 laps. Terry wins but the saloon cars star
Terry Brown won the 2nd round of the Welsh Sport & Saloon Car Championship at Pembrey at Saturday 17th April, but he was chased all the way by Peter Williams in a fast and incident packed race.
On a nice bright spring day Terry Brown took pole position after practice, with Jeff Davies 2nd and Peter Williams 3rd, with Alvin Powell in his mind boggling Le Mans Tiga 4th , but a clash in the closing laps of practice sidelined Davies, and left Peter Williams with a clear run to challenge Brown at the start.
But Brown judged his start perfectly to lead into the first corner and he was never headed. Behind him, Peter Williams first had to resist the challenge of Powell and his Le Mans car, and as Powells challenge faded Williams began to eat into Browns lead.
Afterwards Williams commented "I was catching Terry, but as we came up to lap the slower cars he always seemed able to catch and pass them at just the right place" Even so he kept the pressure on and was only 1.5 seconds behind at the end.
Alvin Powell in the meantime endured the indignity of a spin during a dice with Richard Rhozons much smaller car, before getting into the swing of it and setting some impressively fast lap times late in the race. Alvin commented "After driving a front engined car with a sequential gearbox so many years, Ive got to get used to a whole new way of driving again. Im having to learning to heel and toe again!" Richard was on hand and pleased to take advantage of Alvins embarrassment but wasnt going to stand in his way on he got his act together. At the end of the race Terry certainly looked as if he had been in a race, but revealed he had a worrying moment or two with his brakes. "Once or twice my foot went to the floor and I thought oh dear! But I was just able to hold on"
In the Saloon car classes Saturdays race was one of the most incident packed in recent memory with a no holds barred 3 car fight for the lead. Rhodri Jenkins was fastest in practice (6th overall) but only by a fraction from Rhys Lloyd. Nigel Bowen would have been next, but he was sent to back of the grid with a 10 second penalty as a result of the clash with Jeff Davies Radical "I honestly didnt see him!" Andy Williams was 9th fastest with top new boy Alex Dziurzynski next. With Nigel missing from his grid place Alex would have a good run to the first corner. Making it an all Golf 5th row was Christian Evans, who was not happy with his tyres, "Ive got one set that are too hard but the others are too soft. Ill have to get some new ones, Im 3 seconds a lap slower than last year. Of the remaining runners Lee David and new boy Matthew Perkins were having the least troubled runs. The 4 wheel drive of Lees Lancia Delta Integrale was always going to work in his favour whatever his grid position and Matthew Perkins was looking forward to the race but, Paul Steddy, Ken Rattenbury and Anthony Allitt, were all in a whole load of trouble. Paul Steddy from Bridgend, another of the new boys who was having his first race having rallied and sprinted before, had a bizarre incident in practice when the left front tyre of his Toyota Celica GT4 came apart and the flailing cords of the tyre carcass trashed his wiring loom and cut the electrics! Paul and his crew spent a lot of time trying to jury rig some wiring so he could at least make the start. Ken Rattenbury had radiator troubles following his Silverstone incident and Anthony Allitts car just would not pull properly. Sadly Anthony had to admit defeat and miss the race to get the car looked at. However Ken and his crew hoped to have solved his problems by Aralditing his radiator back together.
The race 14 laps The Saloons
There was plenty of value for money with 14 laps but initially Andrew Williams seemed reluctant to join in the fun. "The car died as I put the clutch in! I tried to restart but no joy, and I was about to get out when I decided to give it one more go and then it started and never missed a beat from then on!" However Andys troubles spelt disaster for Christian Evans hope of a good start "I was right behind Andy on the grid and got stuck. He managed to lurch forward and then I was able to get away."
All this meant that Lee David and Alex had a clear run down to the first corner, to join the 3 already there. What happened next is anybodys guess but Alex emerged from the scrum followed by Rhys Lloyd, Lee David, Rhodri, Christian Evans and Matthew Perkins, followed by Ken Rattenbury with Paul Steddy as quickly as he could and then Nigel Bowen and Andy Williams.
However the action did not stop there as Rhys Lloyd made a bid for the lead at Hatchets and overtook Alex. Rhodri also moved into 3rd place and Christian Evans out-braked Lee to move up one place. Rhodri made his move to take 2nd place as Terry Brown and Peter Williams began to lap the field. Paul Steddy had made a pit stop after about 3 slow laps, but it was all action up front as Rhodri asserted himself and moved into the lead from Rhys with Alex right behind and Christian Evans not too far behind.
Matthew Perkins decided to get into the action with a quick spin at Dibeni and after the next runner Ken Rattenbury had a big sideways moment at the same place it seemed that there might be some oil down, but no else had any problems there so it may have been something else. In the meantime Andrew Williams and Nigel Bowen were making steady progress.
At the front in the saloon car battle, the lead changed hands again as Rhys overtook Rhodri as Alvin and his Tiga came up to lap them. At the same time Christian Evans overtook Alex, but it was so close all the lead positions were up for grabs. At this stage Paul Steddy, who had been in the pits trying to sort out his problems, re-emerged to see if he could pick up the pace. Sadly it was not to be but Paul arrived at the 2nd part of the Esses just as the Rhodri and Rhys road-show arrived. With a massive difference in speed between the flying leaders and the unfortunate Toyota something had to give, and with Rhys diving for the inside, Rhodri had only the outide to go for! A cloud of dust flew up and when it cleared Rhys had a jumped into a crucial lead with Rhodri under threat from Christian Evans. Rhodri managed to draw away from Christian but Rhys was secure in the lead of the saloon cars in 5th place overall. Nigel Bowen made his way up to 8th quietly with a smoky Lee David 9th having backed off after losing touch with the pack. Andy Williams was 10th and Matthew Perkins was 11th (not bad on your debut) with Ken Rattenbury 12th and an unlucky 13th for Alex Dziurzynski. Alexs car looked as if it had been in the wars with a big dent in the drivers side, but the engine was also a problem with a suspected broken valve and a possible cracked block! This was unfortunate after he had contributed so much to a brilliant race. However quietly Christian Evans had made his way up to 3rd place in the saloons after a very bad start, but also won a well supported Class H and set the fastest lap in the class, whereas Rhys took the Class G points but Rhodri took the point for the fastest lap in that class with a new lap record!
Afterwards at the presentation, ably done by mc Tony Allen, Rhodri, Rhys and Alex all gathered round to chat about what had been one of the most exciting saloon battles of all time. "Win some lose some, but it was a brilliant race" said Rhodri "Everyone tried to give each other room" Rhys was also happy to have scored such a notable success "It was great and after having got the lead I was able to protect it."
Overnight Rhys heroics had put him into the points lead, but everyone was looking for any signs as to what the weather would be on Sunday.