Terry wins - Rhys & Rhodri battle it out
Catch him if you can - Terry storms into the lead
Carmarthens Terry Brown driving his Radical sportscar won the 10th round of the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship at Pembrey on Sunday. Brown who was fastest in practice, lead every lap, and set the fastest lap of the race, to dominate the race. Behind there was plenty of action in the Saloon car classes.Pembrey Sunday 22nd August
The 10th round of the 2004 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship was the only one day race meeting of the year as our hosts the Aston Martin Owners Club preferred a gentler pace than doing a full race meeting on both days. The event however was dominated by the weather, or rather the weather forecast, which predicted dire weather for the Sunday after a nice sunny day on Saturday. In actual fact Sunday was probably the better day with some sunny spells but definitely no rain!
Entry & practice
13 intrepid souls started practice although there were 15 Welsh Championship regulars contenders in the paddock, the other 2 not getting a run in our race as the AMOC stuck rigidly to the MSA rules. However it the usual suspects at the front with Terry Brown in his most dominant form taking pole with a time of 56.669, Peter Williams was 2nd with 57.418, with Jeff Davies making it a Radical 1-2-3 with 57.691. Graham Coles Darrian T90, which looked very pretty in his nice new bodywork, broke the Radical lock out in 4th place (58.026), the Radicals of Keith Butcher (59.923) and Huw Williams (60.798) completed the top 6 places.
7th and first saloon was Rhys Lloyd with a time of 66.276, ahead of Christian Evans (67.364) and Championship points leader Rhodri Jenkins down in 9th (67.566) after problems with oil surge caused by a loose dipstick! (Ill avoid temptation). Anthony Allitt was 10th (69.884) with Stephen Pearcy close behind (70.172) 12th was Lee David who has now joined the Rover 216Gti set but was still finding his way (75.406) with Adrian Chapman last on 78.696 seconds.
The Race 15 minutes
Although Terry was clear on pole there was less than a second covering Peter, Jeff & Graham, so a close contest looked in prospect, especially if they could bridge the gap to Terry. As the lights changed it looked like there might be a fight for the lead, and there was a lot of tyre smoke at Hatchets, but as the pack emerged from Dibeni it was Terry in the lead from Jeff Davies who was under pressure from Peter Williams and then a gap back to Keith Butcher and Huw Williams with Graham Cole down amongst the saloons and looking to make up places quickly. Peter made it past Jeff and briefly began to close on Terry whilst Graham made up places but then disappeared in another cloud of tyre smoke before trailing into the paddock with a misfire. Huw passed Keith for to move into 4th but from there the places remained static, even if the gaps didnt. In the end Terry Brown drew way to finish almost 7.5 seconds ahead of Williams and almost 20 seconds ahead of Davies, to rack up a healthy batch of points in a well supported class.
Rhys & Rhodri - hard to seperate
However if the positions remained fairly static in the Sportscars the Saloons was a real nailbiter. Off the line Rhodri found Christian Evans easy to deal with and then attached himself to the bumper of Rhys car and stayed as if stuck by superglue. To be fair Rhys was doing a mighty job keeping him behind and the Honda duo moved away from Christian who was having a lonely race without Andy Williams his usual sparring partner who has a lot of work to do after having bent his Sapphire quite badly before the last round. Whilst Rhys & Rhodri were demanding all the attention at the front of the saloons, behind Christian, Stephen Pearcy and Anthony Allitt were having their own ding-dong battle, with Stephens Accord having a slight advantage over Anthonys Rover 216 Gti. Lee David and his neat looking Zebra stripped 216 was some way detached from them as was Adrian Chapman and his Striker. As the race moved into the final stages the unrelenting pressure from Rhodri paid off as Rhys locked a wheel going into Hatchets, giving Rhodri the opening he was looking for.
At about the same time Anthony moved past Stephen up into 9th place. However neither Rhys or Stephen were giving up and Rhys in particular was flying, setting the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to finish just 3/10ths behind! Stephen also chased Anthony hard & Anthony only had a second to spare as the flag fell.However with the points shared between Rhodri & Rhys, and with Christian Evans and Terry taking full points from their classes, the situation at the top of the championship table will have tightened with only 4 rounds to go.
At the end it was Terry who deservedly took a nice set of laurels from
the AMOC for a dominant performance, and Rhys got a deserved Driver of the Day
award for his efforts. Any time you can set a fastest lap on the last lap within a few
10ths of the class lap record you are really flying!
Terry accepts his class winners trophy from Clive