2009 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Rounds 7, 8 & 9 Pembrey 13/14 June
Micheal Riordan scores another triple but Andy and Jeff make him work for it
There was plenty of midfield action too!
It was another beautiful sunny weekend for the latest rounds of the 2009 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship and although some of the championships heavy hitters were still missing Mike Woods & Anthony Allitt showed some enterprise by joining together for a joint drive in Mikes car. Anthony doing the practice & race on Saturday with Mike down for Sunday. Also making welcome returns were Yolande & Steve Humpreys, Jason Davies & Chris Morris all adding some much needed colour to the grid.
Michael Roirdan was also back and back on pole with a time of 61.74 sec. Jeff Davies as 2nd fastest with Andy Williams 3rd & Geraint Rees 4th. Nick Jones was 5th with Jason Davies 6th. Steve & Yolande were 7th & 9th with Russell Haggerty right in the middle of the Caterham sandwich in 8th. Adrian Chapman was 10th with Chris Morris 11th & Anthony Allitt 12th. Dave Marson joined us from the Caterham clan for practice, but didnt make the race.
Race 1 Pembrey 13th June - 15 mins + 1 lap Rolling Start
With Michaels Tigra on pole you might have expected him or Jeff Davies to take the lead but instead it was the blue Sierra Sapphire of Andy Williams who grabbed the lead to the great excitement of his team, from Mike with Jeff & Geraint in close quarter action. Andys time in the lead was brief, with Mike taking the lead on lap 2 and drawing away the rest inexorably lap after lap to a comfortable 22 second win. Behind him there was plenty of action as first Jeff made some determined efforts to get past Andy, who resisted for quite a while until Jeff made a decisive break as they began to lap the slower cars. Andy then began to fall back into Geraints clutches but had plenty in hand to secure 3rd at the end. Geraint was 4th, It was a nice clean race, but I dont have the speed to keep up with Jeff anymore. I think Ill have to get the car on the rolling road. As usual Jason Davies used several parts of the track that front wheel drive cars never reach on his way to 5th His sideways RS 2000 was always just out of reach of Nick Jones and his Renault Clio who finished in 6th place and was the last of the un-lapped runners. In 7th Steve Humpreys had a quiet race, but behind him there was plenty of action as Russell Haggerty and Yolande Humpreys put on the Dice of the Day with plenty of passing & re-passing and side by side racing with only a few 10ths between them at the end. Yolande was given the Driver of the Race award for her efforts. Anthony Allitt was 10th in Mike Woods car and was able to offer Mike a new insight into some of the problems that had been puzzling Mike for some time. Chris Morris was 11th leaving Adrian with no-one else to dice with after passing him early on. Im not the best at the rolling start, I like the standing starts as it gives you a chance to overtake a few cars said Adrian. Michael himself was pleased to get some racing in even if Andys challenge wasnt to last. He was to find plenty more to keep him on his toes on Sunday,
Race 2 Pembrey 14th June - 15 mins + 1 lap Rolling Start
Jeff Davies was quickest off the line, with his new 2 litre engine giving some extra power. "The 1800 c.c unit didnt have enough gee-gees" Mike Riordan was second initially and Jeff kept him behind for the first 2 laps, and kept the pressure on once Mike was past, to keep him on his toes. Behind them Andy & Geriant were in close company and by half distance Geriant was turning the screw, eventually getting past Andy after a few tyre smoking moments from the Sapphire "My clutch cable snapped so I spent half the race without a clutch, which made it difficult.". Geraint drew away and later in the race Andrew began to drop back towards Jason Davies, but he had just enough in hand to keep the red RS2000 at bay. Nick Jones disappeared to the pits early on with two flat front tyres. "I hit a kerb a bit hard" He did emerge later for the final laps, but was too far back to be classified. Yolande also pitted early on, leaving Russell on his own once Steve had passed him. Behind Russell, Adrian was having a better race, with Dave Marson, Chris Morris and Mike Woods for close company. Mike was making good progress early on from his back of the grid starting slot, but then began to loose ground as his brakes began to overheat.
Adrian however began to catch Russell for a late race dice finishing only a few tenths behind. "I enjoyed that it was much better" Dave Marson kept his Caterham ahead of Chris Morris Suzuki after a race long dice, despite Chris e-bay special roof spoiler and front splitter. "They cost me £9.99 and Ive got much better rear grip now" Clearly you dont have to spend a fortune to get competitive. Late in the race Jeff who had kept Mike in sight began to close in as the came up to lap some back markers, finishing less than 2 seconds behind, with both drivers looking like they were really trying. "That was a better race. Jeff didnt drop away, and I had to keep an eye on him. He was very competitve" said Michael afterwards.
Race 3 Pembrey 14th June - 15 mins + 1 lap Rolling Start
Michael made another slow start and found himself behind Andy Williams as Jeff made good his escape, building up quite a good lead in the process, reveling in the power of his new engine. Michael eventually got past Andrew and began to try to haul Jeff in. Jeff lead for the first 5 laps but Mike was making some determined challenges. Coming out of Debeni on lap 6 they were side by side, and as sometimes happens when you have close racing, the cars touched . Jeff spun off to end up beached, at 900 to the track facing the oncoming traffic, with a dead engine In the absence of a red flag, Jeff decided it was not the place to be and jumped out of the car. "I didnt want to sit there grinding the engine when all I could see was these big saloon cars coming right at me!" Naturally disappointed, he eventually made his way over the pit-wall banking. At that time the red flags came out.
Race 3 re-start Pembrey 14th June - 15 mins + 1 lap Rolling Start
After some confusion with some cars correctly going to the start line, and others going to the pit lane, the grid re-assembled but this time without Jeff. With the loudspeakers not working on the paddock spectator banking it took some time for the news to filter back that the race was going to be re-started for 7 laps (they did 8 laps in the end). Its all confusing at the moment, with different race distances and all sorts of things happening. Anyway back in race 3, part 1, there was plenty of dicing with Andy & Geraint and Adrian, Mike & Yolande all having fun.
At the restart Andy out-dragged the field down to Hatchets, but Michael & Geraint were both ahead of him by lap 2, although Geraint was never too far in front. Jason was 4th with Nick for close company. Andy & Jason were both doing their share of sideways motoring as ever. Steve Humphreys got past Russell "I let him go" but he still had Yolande to contend with. However he made a break to leave Yolande, Adrain and Mike Woods to battle it out. Chris Morris & Dave Marson were also having another battle, this time with Chris coming out on top. N.B Yolande won the Driver of the Race for her efforts in race 1 and Dave was the Guest of the Day.
The real action was happening further up the road and the race drew to a close with Jason and Nick tied together for the last few laps. Coming into Hatchets on lap 7 Nick made a big effort but Jason resisted in fine style. However they were side by side at the Paddock turn but crucially Nick had the inside line for the Senna S and the run to Brooklands and the dash to the flag, pulling away to win by almost a second, and taking the Driver of the Race for his efforts. Afterwards Nick said "I knew it was the last lap" Jason said "I tried everything but I had the best of the tyres yesterday"
So Michael scored his 2nd triple win of the season, but the warning signs are out that it may not be so easy for him in the future, which he is quite pleased about. Some real racing thats what we all want" Lets hope with some of the series top contenders due to make a re-appearance, and maybe with a few more shared drives, there is a lot more real racing to come.
Steve & Yolande pick up their 2008 Championship Awards
At the prestation afterwards our chairman Mike Woods was able to present Steve & Yolande Humpreys with their awards from last season. Yolande picked up the Ladies Award and said "Come on girls get yourself a racing licence and start racing!" Steve picked up his Class Winners award and a trophy for 3rd place overall
The remaining rounds are
Brands Hatch 15/16 August, Pembrey 29/30 August & Pembrey 17/18 October