The 2010 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Pembrey 15/16 May-Spring Truck Festival
Entry & Practice
A nice sunny Saturday with some welcome spring sunshine saw the grid blossom like some late spring flowers with the return of several regulars and a sprinkling of guests making it a welcome 19 cars lining up in race 1. Heading the times was Jeff Davies, making a welcome return in his Westfield SE. Jeff had been working on the car since last season and it showed, as he took pole with a time of 61.429 secs. 2nd fastest was Keith Butcher and his nice red Ginetta G50 but he was unable to match Jeffs time, with a time of 64.192 secs, but a good race was in prospect as Geraint Rees (Westfield SE) and Colin Chapman (Adrians son) with his Fisher Fury within a few 10ths of Keith. In 5th place was the returning Andy Williams with his Sierra Sapphire just ahead of Neil Watts, the championship points leader. In 7th was John Morris Peugeot 206. John was another making a welcome return, as was Jason Davies in his red Escort, who had Nick Jones Renault Clio in close company in 9th place. Bob Mortimer was the first guest in his Fisher Fury in 10th (no sign of Vic Reeves though. I bet Bobs heard all those). Russell Haggerty was 11th. A surprising sight in 12th place and going well was Chris Morris in a VW Vento, which he was using whilst his Ignis was being worked on. Kareems Rover 216 was leading Class A in 13th from Phil Bendalls Ford Focus ahead of 2nd guest Ben Scrivens and his Ginetta G20 and in the final place was Adrian Chapmans Raw Stryker. However suprisingly absent from the time sheets, but hoping to join at the back was Dave Krayem and his black Ginetta G50. Daves car was suffering with fuel feed problems and he couldnt even set a time. Some work in the paddock got the engine running, and a drive from the back of the grid was in prospect.
Race 1 15 minutes plus 1 lap- Rolling Start
Jeff has already gone as Keith leads the rest in pursuit!
As soon as the lights changed Jeff Davies took an immediate lead he never looked like losing. "I went out hard to build a lead in case someone came up to challenge me, but no-one did so I kept going. Ive done some work on the car to get it really ready, but Im surprised at how effective it is" Behind Jeff it was all action with plenty of dices going on. It was back to the level of 2008 with so much going on it was hard to keep a track of it all. Unfortunately Dave Krayem wasnt part of it as he was only able to tour slowly to the paddock, as his fuel pump problems continued. However back on the track; Keith Butcher was 2nd with a fast starting Colin Chapman, Geraint Rees & John Morris in close company. John got past Colin on lap 3, Geraint a lap later and was past Keith for second on lap 5 but although he began to pull a gap, Keith began to respond and was pushing John hard to get 2nd place back. Geraint was 4th and Colin was 5th . Andy Williams was pushing on well on his return and was 6th ahead of Neil Watts who was heading Class B in 7th place. Russell Haggerty was 8th, but behind him Jason Davies and Nick Jones were have the dice of the year. Nick was crawling all over Jasons Escort in the infield section but Jason was able just keep ahead, taking 9th place only a few 10ths ahead of Nicks Clio "I has able to turn in a bit earlier in the corners, but once he got on the straights he was quicker" Jason confirmed "Nick had me under pressure all around the place" Chris Morris was an excellent 11th ahead of 2 of our guest Ginettas. Kareem & Adrian had an excellent dice behind Phil Bendall, with much swapping of places before Phils promising run ended in a heavy impact with the barriers, bringing out the red flag. The master cylinder failed, and I ended up with no brakes! Phil was looking good for the Class A win, which then went to Kareem. So Jeff was the winner, making it well worth the trip from Gibraltar. The Driver of the Race, again awarded by the race commentating team of Tony Coales , resident Pembrey commentator Johnny Palmer and Dave Vass, was John Morris.
Race winners chat for Jeff
Race 2 Sunday 15 minutes plus 1 lap- Rolling Start
Sunday dawned wet & drizzly and as the cars went for 2 laps behind the pace car, due to changing conditions, we were missing Adrian Chapman (water pump failure) but Phil Bendall was there having switched to his Ford Fiesta. Dave Krayem was back for another go, hopefully with his problem now sorted, but sadly it turned out that the problem was still there, and it was another sad exit back to the paddock. Daves problems were in sharp contrast to the first Pembrey meeting of the year, when he romped home to 3 wins out of 3 races. However back in the race, with the rain now turned to a penetrating drizzle, Jeff Davies took the lead when the lights changed with the rest of the pack hidden in a ball of spray. First to emerge was Keith Butcher and he soon had Jeff in his sights, moving into the lead on lap 6 and pulling away slightly. John Morris held 3rd initially but began to drop back to eventually retire. Johns demise elevated a tremendous scrap with Andy Williams, Jason Davies, Geraint Rees and Nick Jones all in big bunch contesting 3rd place, with plenty of ducking & diving going on, with at times only inches to spare. Neil Watts wasnt able to join in the fun, finding his car undriveable on road tyres It was like driving on marbles all the way around Neil looped into a slow spin on the exit to Dibeni, and by the time he got going again he was dead last. Russell was keeping ahead of Colin Chapman who was also ahead of Chris Morris. Lucky Bob Mortimer was keeping ahead of 2nd guest Ben Scriven and Phil Bendall was initially ahead of Kareem, but the race was ended again by the red flag again. This time it was Colin Chapman who needed recovery. Colin confirmed It was my fault. I adjusted the brake balance but then I overcooked it. With his cars live rear axle bent it would need a complete replacement. However with the red flag coming before the race had not run 75% of its distance (by a matter of seconds!), the event was re-started for a 6 lap dash to the flag. Keith pulled out a gap to take his 1st race win at Pembrey. Jeff was 2nd, his Westfield no match for the Ginetta It was like trying to steer a canoe! Andrew Williams was 3rd, Jason was 4th Geraint & Nick were 6th & 7th. Russell was 8th but Neil was able to take a suprising 9th. Chris Morris was 9th. Bob Mortimer was 10th and Kareem was 11th. Phil sadly exited with another damaged car after getting 2 wheels on the grass trying to avoid Kareem who has having a moment in the wet. I will be away for the next few weeks so I dont know if I will have time to repair either of the cars Keith was delighted with his win, but having thought the race distance might have been added together, as I did, found out that apparently they have not done it for 5 years! Jasons efforts won him The Driver of the Race award.
Race 3 Sunday 15 minutes plus 1 lap- Rolling Start
The weather changed just in time for the start of race 3 and it was back to nice and sunny. Dave Krayem was back for another try " We changed the pump so we think it might be a faulty map sensor, so weve changed that too." Sadly it was not to be and he pulled off again as the cars went for another 2 laps behind the pace car, due to changing conditions. Although Keith did harbour a faint hope that he might be able to match Jeff in the dry, Jeff marched off into the distance for an unchallenged win. This time the race did run the full 15 minutes plus 1 lap and although Jeff and Keith were safe in 1st & 2nd, behind there was a battle royal for places from 3rd to 8th with Andy Williams, Jason Davies, Geraint Rees and Nick Jones all in big bunch contesting 3rd place. If the battle between them in race 1 was tremendous, this scrap was mindboggling! Andy lead Jason, Geraint & Nick, until Geraint got past Jason and then past Andy into 3rd place with some demon overtaking that had his team on the edge of their seats! Sit down dad I need another tablet was some of the banter. Jason then began to attack Andy with the Davies & Williams teams now getting involved almost as much as the drivers. Behind this dice, almost unnoticed Neil Watts & Russell Haggerty were having their own battle and they caught and past Nick as well as passing and re-passing themselves. Late in the race with Jason shaping for a final attack on Andy, Russell began to reel them in, setting the fastest Class B lap in the process. In a dramatic final lap, Russell caught and passed Jason to win Class B by the narrowest of margins, crossing the line in 5th place and only a few 10ths behind Andy! Jason only just held off Neil Watts. Nick Jones was 8th Bob Mortimer won the battle of the guests to finish 9th ahead of Chris Morris, Ben Scrivens & Kareem in 12th taking his 3rd Class A win of the weekend, but without Adrian or Phil to play with, he would only take half points from the race. Our other guest Dominic Pettit, joined John Morris & the unfortunate Dave Krayem as those who did not finish. Talking about his mega-drive afterwards Russell confirmed . "I could see that Neil & me were catching Jason so I went for it without any limiters on. The engine went just as I passed the line. At the moment my superchargers gone and the crankshafts gone. I'll have to put the limiters back on, I cant go on using an engine a meeting!" Russell was given a thoroughly well deserved Driver of the Race award to go with his Class B winners trophy.
Trophy winners gathering-sunny smiles for a sunny end to the day
With the grid spread around the paddock I wasnt able to get the usual info from the teams as to what might be going on, so if anyone has any stories please let me know. Kareem did mention something about Russell selling him some tyres for the price of a burger, but hell have to tell us more. The price of burgers these days!
The next meeting is 26 /27th June. which is 20th Anniversary Meeting of BARC taking over Pembrey
Times from http://www.tsl-timing.com/