2008 Welsh Saloon & Sports Car Championship
Rounds 7,8 & 9- Alvins Triple-win Joy!
Practice & Entry Pembrey 28/6/2008
What a line up - 20 + cars! Find some room to race if you can!
There was another excellent entry and even if it was unfortunately thinned out it was still an excellent 21 cars actually making it on the track for the one and only practice session of the weekend. Missing from the grid were Glynn Jones, whose dad had been taken ill, Rhodri Jenkins whose arm was in plaster after breaking his wrist (apparently it was on the way into the pub!) and Keith Butcher who found he was still suffering some new car gremlins in the morning warm-up, having bought Dave Jarmans Nissan Primera, and withdrew.
As expected Alvin Powell was fastest with a time of 61.276 secs with Rhys Lloyd next with 61.314 for the Class C Seat Cupra. 3rd was Chris(Lofty) Everill who set a time of 61.349 in only 3 laps before fuel feed problem cut short his practice!
Nigel Pike and his Class C Marcos was 4th, with Nigel Bowen Nissan Primera 5th both in the 63secs. 6th was Martin Davies and his 4wd Sierra Sapphire turbo, having his first race in 2 years, despite declaring himself as "rusty" he got down to a time of 64.309; ahead of Andy Williams 2wd non turbo example. Mark Nicholsons Honda Integra was the fastest Class B car in 8th. Geraint Rees had got his Caterham well wound up and was 9th. Andy, Mark and Geraint were all within 65 secs
Mark Wright was 10th in his Golf VR6 with Anthony Allitt with his new Honda Civic Type R 11th , Paul Trowbridges Ginetta G20 12th all in 66 secs. Stephen Humprhreys Caterham Rover K was the first Class A car with time of 67.354 secs and then Jason Davies, Mike Woods, Ken Rattenbury (in his suprisingly fit looking Ford Sierra Sapphire which he pressed back into service whilst waiting for engine parts for his Mondeo) and Yolande Humprhreys were 14th to 17th all within the 68 secs mark.
Russell Haggerty with his Sylva Striker was 18th ahead of Adrian Chapmans Raw Striker, James Turner was 20th in his VW Vento and our newest competitor Chis Morris who completed the gird giving the Suzuki Ignis its championship debut.
Race 1 20 Minutes +1 lap Rolling Start
Alvin had the lead the first time out of Hatchets, with Rhys following closely, then a gap & a flurry of waved yellows, which turned into reds, as Nigel Bowen was stranded across the track with a stalled engine. As only one complete lap had been done, the gird was re-assembled and the race re-started. This time Alvin & Rhys were closer with Chris Everill briefly threatening, before a return of fuel problems prompted an early exit to the paddock. This moved Nigel Bowen up to 3rd with Martin Davies 4th and Nigel Pike 5th. However Nigel soon moved past Martin to close on Nigel and his Primera. Martin then settled into a quiet slot ahead of Andy Williams who also had a quietish race. Behind him however it was a no-holds barred contest between Mark Nicholson (who eventually came out on top) and Geraint Rees, with each of them taking turns at 7th place and the Class B lead. Geraint did at least deny Mark of the extra point for fastest lap. Mike Wright was 9th and Ken Rattenbury was initially 10th before losing that place to Jason Davies and soldiering on until late in the race, an overheating engine meant that the Super-Rat didnt make it to the finish after an encouraging show. Ken was then involved in a close duel with Anthony Allitt which was eventually settled in Anthonys favour. Paul Trowbridge had a low key race for him, with Class A winner Steve Humphries, and Mike Woods keeping him company. Behind them newcomer James Turner in his VW Vento was having to deal with Adrian Chapman and Yolande Humphries. Approaching half-distance Yolande moved past Adrian and then also James to take 15th . James was 16th Ardian 17th and Chris Morris had a quiet debut with the Suzuki Ignis and was the last runner in 18th.
However at the front it was getting tense and serious with Rhys all over Alvin without actually being able to make a pass. Nigel Bowen also had Nigel Pikes Marcos for very close company until in the closing stages the Marcos slipped past in a manoeuvre that would take a long time to sort out. After the race both drivers had several trips to see the Clerk of the Course before it was eventually decided that Nigel had passed the Primera under a yellow flag. Nigel P was given 3 points on his license and a 10 second penalty putting Nigel Bowen back into 3rd place. Meanwhile at the front Alvin saw out the race with Rhys snapping at his heels, commenting "My tyres are completely gone! I was on full lock in several places & I almost went off several times. If Rhys had have got by I wouldnt have been able to hold him" Rhys for his part was happy to have taken maximum points in his class.
Race 2 Sunday 20mins + a lap
The weather was unusually chilly with a cold wind blowing, The back end of the grid for race 2 had an unfamiliar look too as we were joined by Lee David, Stephen Pearcy, Ken Davies and a returning Keith Butcher. "Quick Chris" Everill was also at the back as was Phillip Bendall and his Fiesta XR3 and it was going to be interesting who was going to get the furthest. When the lights changed however, although Alvin marched straight into the lead this time it was Nigel Bowen who moved into 2nd place having got the drop on Rhys. Thereafter an almighty battle raged between Nigel and Rhys with differences in the cars evening out over the lap, leaving them tied together on a short piece of string. Late in the race Rhys did get by Nigel, only to spin and then slow to a crawl as his ECU tripped out and left the car in "Get-U-Home" mode! Nigel by this time was gathering himself for a run at Alvin who had stretched his lead to 1.5 secs. But however as he came up to a few backmarkers Nigel and Paul Trowbridge tripped over each other. Nigel was stranded once again at Hatchets and the red flags came out, gifting Rhys back into second place, with Nigel Pike 3rd and Martin Davies 4th. Chris Everill was the highest of the risers in 5th place. Andy Williams was 6th . Geraint Rees was the first Class B car home in 7th taking the extra point for Class fastest lap. Earlier risers Keith Butcher & Stephen Pearcy made it up to 8th & 9th respectively. Mike Wright and Jason Davies both failed to make it past lap 10, Jason pulling off with clutch problems after leading Class B but quite a handy margin but gaining himself the Driver of the Race award, as a consolation. (He'll be even more competitive with some decent slicks!). Mike also with gearbox problems, but this time with the car jumping out of gear! This let the battling pair of Anthony Allitt and Mark Nicholson into 10th & 11th. Anthony just loosing out to Steve Pearcy before the red flags. Steve Humprhies again took Class A in 12th. Ken Rattenbury & Lee David had a good sort out until Lee found his way past. To finish 13th Ken 14th. James Turner was 16th, Adrian Chapman 17th and Yolande Humpries 18th. Behind them Chris Morris found he had Phil Bendall and Ken Davies for company, with an enjoyable dice going on for the final places.
Race 3 20 mins +1 lap Rolling Start
For the final championship of the day the grid had a familiar look, except that Nigel Bowen was at the back, as he was the last runner in race 2. Both Jason Davies and Rhys Lloyd were missing with problems that couldnt be sorted out in time, and Ken Rattenbury was out with a cracked rear brake-disc. With Rhys out this left Alvin on his own on the front row, and whilst Nike Pike gave chase in spirited fashion, you had the feeling that Alvin had the situation well in hand. Nigel Bowen was the best riser overtaking 16 cars on the first lap (earning him the Driver of the Race award) and finishing 3rd after quite a hectic dice with the Primera of Keith Butcher. The battle left Keiths car with a few battle scars but thankfully both Nigel & Keith made it up in the paddock afterwards, as did Nigel and Paul Trowbridge. Nigel later went on to take the non-points scoring final race in his Primera which was a nice ending to an eventful weekend for our Nige. Martin Davies was 4th again and his steady performance after 2 years away gained him the Driver of the Day Award. Chris Everill was 6th after being in the top 3 before he dropped away with his engine sounding sour. Geraint Rees was 7th, once again got the better of Mark Nicholson who was 8th, after a storming drive that saw him move past Steve Humprhies, Lee David and Anthony Alitt. Andy Williams had an untypical spin and dropped himself way back but made his way back to 9th ahead of Anthony and Steve, whilst Mike Wright finished 12th despite driving with one hand whilst using the other to holding the gears in. Lee was 13th whilst Mike Woods was a little bemused to be only 14th "Ive lost 1 & half seconds and I cant find out why" Paul Trowbridge was 15th, Yolande was 16th with Steve Pearcy 17th after starting from the pits. Adrian Chapman was the winner in a 3 car dice between him, Ken Davies and Chris Morris. Phil Bendall & James Turner were the only retirements.
So Alvin collected his 3rd set of winners laurels, cap and trophy from the orgainsers, really taking the BRSCC to the cleaners. A very good weekend for our Mr Burns look-a-like. The next races in the championship are at Anglesey on August 2nd 3rd.
Late news Ken Rattenbury had an off in the last race, and although he was sent in for observation has now been allowed home. See Comments for some more upbeat news from the weekend.2008 Welsh Championship Points after 9 rounds Overall> Class> Marque>