The 2004 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Terry wins as the sportscars take their turn to shine
Terry's toughest win? It was certainly a cracker!
Terry Brown won the 3rd round of the Welsh Sport & Saloon Car Championship at Pembrey at Sunday 18th April, but he was chased all the way by Peter Williams and Alvin Powell in a fast and furious race at Pembrey on Sunday.
Practice & Entry
Whilst most people spend Saturday thinking that Sunday was going to wet in the extreme, once the overnight rain had passed, the rest of the day was dry. However the track was still wet for practice, and Peter Williams made good use of his wets to take pole, making it the first time for I dont know how long, that pole has gone to someone other than Terry. However Terry wasnt far away in second place with Jeff Davies making it a Prosport 1-2-3 (all 3 Prosports were Terry Brown tended cars which may be something of a record too). 4th was Richard Rhozon with Rhys Lloyd, the overnight championship points leader, in 5th place, as the first saloon and another driver to make good use of his wets. Alvin was 6th after treating the session with caution, having only got slicks with him! Andy Williams was 6th on his 49th birthday, with Rhodri, Nigel Bowen, Christian Evans and Lee David filling 8th to 11th places with less than a second between them. Ken Rattenbury was 12th heading a group with only 1 second between them of Matthew Perkins and Tony Allitt (now in Peter Salters 216* see note at the end of the report)
Peter leads - but it was Terrys' triumph
The race 14 laps
However by the time the race came the track was completely dry and Peter Williams took the lead as the lights changed to lead the first lap from Terry Brown with Alvin moving into 3rd place after Jeff Davies failed to get off the line. "I thought the chain had broken, but it seems to be ok. Maybe something in the gearbox was damaged yesterday!". However on the next lap Brown had Williams under extreme pressure and got in the slipstream as they passed the pits to overtake on the run down to Hatchets hairpin. This left Peter Williams trying to hold off the fast starting Le Mans Tiga of Alvin Powell. This time Alvin made it through into 2nd place early on and began to pursue the leader, Terry Brown, with a vengeance. Ducking in and out of the traffic gave Terry some respite but as the race entered its final crucial stage there was a clear track between Terry and Alvin. Alvin was flying, almost breaking the lap record on lap 11, to close to almost within striking distance! At this stage the race for the lead was electrifying with Terry pushing his car to the limit at Dibeni and Alvin relentless in his pursuit! However the clear track was running out fast and Andy Williams was coming into view. As the flying leaders reduced the distance, Terry managed to slip past Andys Sierra on the back part of the circuit, but unfortunately it didnt work out for Alvin as he and Andys car made contact in the type of incident that it is difficult to report on, but has been mercifully rare in the 15 years of the Welsh Championship. Suffice to say a lot of dust flew up from the behind the paddock area and Alvins Tiga emerged sideways-on with substantial looking front-end damage and Andy with a puncture in one of his rear tyres, causing his retirement on the next lap. Alvin got going again to finish 3rd but Peter Williams had slipped through to take 2nd place. After the race Terry looked exhausted as he pulled into Parc Ferme, and he sat in his car for several moments whilst he got his thoughts together and summoned up the strength undo his belts and climb out of the car! Accepting his hard-won laurels he commented "That was tough, I had nothing left. I got a good tow out of Honda on the 2nd lap but I was suprised that Peter allowed me so much room to take the lead, but when Alvin was chasing me I was sure he was going to get me!".
Richard Rhozon had another 4th place to his credit having kept clear of any trouble throughout the weekend.
The Saloons 14 laps
In the saloon cars Rhodri Jenkins had a slightly easier time to take full points in his Class after Jeff Davies troubles delayed Rhys Lloyd at the start. Rhys had made the best of his wet weather tyres to start in 6th place, the top saloon car, but the delays left Rhodri Jenkins with a big lead which he began to build on. However he came under threat from Nigel Bowen, as the Cavlier man began to turn up the pressure. Sadly Bowen never got the chance to challenge Rhodri as he retired to the pits just before half distance with fuel pressure problems. At the same time Lee David also disappeared after a bright start. Rhys Lloyd eventually made it up to second in the class but Jenkins was long gone. Afterwards Jenkins said "I knew I had to keep my concentration up as Rhys tends to come back at you later in the race as his tyres come in. Just behind Rhys was Christian Evans GTi who had a stirring battle with Andrew Williams before getting the better of the Risca driver. Matthew Perkins who was having his first race weekend, had a race long battle with Anthony Allitt in Peters 216, just beating the Neath lad to the line just a ¼ of a second! Ken Rattenbury was last, having failed to get off the line until everyone else had gone. Sadly Paul Steddy could not get his car running well enough to make the practice or the race. Better luck next time Paul.
So all in all it was one of the best weekends racing for many years and if we can repeat it for the rest of the year, but without the incidents of course, it will be a cracking year!
The next rounds are at Pembrey on May 15/16th, and entries close on Monday 26th April.
* Hi Robert , I would just like to say a big thank you to two people who helped me out at Pembrey last weekend. Firstly Lee David, who spent most of the time, from first qualifying to just before he went out to race, trying to fix my race car and Peter Salter who offered me his race car for the Sunday. I am truly grateful to these two people and is becoming typical of everyone in our championship. I hope that one day I am in a position to help others as they have helped me this weekend. In fact I enjoyed Peters car so much I made him an offer..watch this space.....many thanks
Seen in the paddock were Huw Williams, Keith Butcher and Larry Phillips, lets hope we can see them out again with us soon. Remember if we have 20+ entries before the official close of entries then we have chance of getting 2 seperate races in.