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2009 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship August 29/30th - Rounds 13,14 & 15

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Chris Everill - The man from Seafire Hanger flies in

Entry & Practice

The weather for Saturdays round was at least sunny, if cloudy, but with a slight chill to the breeze, something we have got used it in what passed for a summer in 2009.

After a good grid at Brands Hatch it was a select band of hardy racers who made up an 8 car grid, with several newcomers making their debut. Adrian Chapman & Phil Bendall were with us as spectators following engine problems at Brands, Mike Woods is also hoping to get his engine fixed, Dave Krayem was also missing with an engine blow-up, and Andrew Williams was missing after a unfortunate triple roll brought an end to his away-day trip to Lydden Hill. Andy also broke a finger as well as damaging the car! Painful all round for Andy as well as us, however lets hope they will all be with us in October for the season finale, along with a few more regulars. Glynne Jones was on hand with doing a car share with new driver Ray Hanson. However Glynne & Ray had to return to the workshop after the Alfa 33 developed gearbox problems, hoping to get the car back on the track for Sundays extra and very handy second practice session.

Chris Everill, now a WRDA member, planted his Ginetta G4 firmly on pole with a 62.472 secs, which he was pleased about, although he wished for more opposition, "It would be nice". Nick Jones was 2nd fastest with a time of a 65.836 secs.

wpe26.jpg (52949 bytes)New driver Neil Watts (left) was 3rd in his Westfield SeiW with a handy time of 66.861 secs. Neil was having his first race ever and confirmed "Its the first time I’ve sat in this car too, so I’m suprised to be where I am!" 4th was Russell Haggerty with the jet-black Raw Striker. Paul Trowbridge was 5th. "I’ve had a busy day, as I am also doing the Club Ginetta Series races today, so tomorrows practice is going to be good for me as I can put my wings back on, as I cant run them in Club Ginetta Series". Cheerful Chris Morris was next with the Suzuki Ignis, with the final newcomer Kareem (Dr Doom) Elsorafy 7th having his debut in his Rover Gti run by Muzz Racing. Russell & Muzz Racing had pulled a practical joke on Kareem by secretly adding the Dr Doom stickers to his car and getting him to pose next to them after practice! Kareem took it with good humour.

Race 1 - Saturday 29th August -15 minutes + 1 lap – Standing Start

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Chris escapes to win as Russell & Neil eyeball each other (see the race report & Photo Gallery (thanks to Steve Williams)

The track was dry for the first race and for someone who prefers rolling starts "I think we should do all the Welsh races as rolling starts, as they are safer, as you don’t get someone stalling in front of you" Russell made the most of the opportunity and took an immediate lead. "Not bad for a Class A car!" However it only lasted as far as the exit of Debeni, as Russ spun in front of the pack. Chris Everill was lining up to overtake on the inside and easily avoided the Striker, to draw away to an comfortable win. However he did work for it by putting in the races fastest lap in the closing stages. Neil Watts, who had made an excellent start to be 3rd , and Nick Jones were confronted with the spinning Striker, and although they both avoided him, Nick was right on Neil’s tail and quickly made it past. The race then settled into a bit of a pattern with Chris, Nick, Neil, Paul Trowbridge, and Cheerful Chris Morris all equally spaced apart. Russell started to climb back up, with Kareem (Dr Doom) Elsorafy 7th having a quiet debut in his Rover, and was past Chris on lap 2, but was a long way back from Paul Trowbridge. However, late in the race Russell got the bit between his teeth and began to cut the gap to Paul, setting his fastest lap on lap 12 to close up and then overtake Paul to take 4th place overall, giving us plenty of entertainment in the race. Meanwhile Chris ran out the winner, with Nick in second place, both of them lapping the rest of the field. Neil Watts was an excellent 3rd on his debut "I can’t complain, but I know it wont be so easy when the front runners come back" Chris Morris was 6th and Kareem completed his first race in 7th. Afterwards Russell summed up "It was great. It may have only been 10 seconds but it was great for a Class A car. I knew I had to put the clutch in after I was about halfway around as you can't let a motorcycle engine turn over backwards. After that I was off like a scalded cat" Russell was doing his usual excellent job of keeping the Class A runners together and keeping everyone’s spirits up. However the points situation still remains tight between Russell & Nick "It’s a 2 horse race. If we both keeping winning our classes I don’t know how it’ll be sorted out".

Photo Gallery (thanks to Steve for his camera work)

Results http://www.tsl-timing.com

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