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2011 News

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2011 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship

Rounds 6, 7 & 8 BRSCC Pembrey 2nd & 3rd July

Dom domin8tes - 8 races-8wins!

 Race 1 Saturday 2nd July (round 7)    Entry & PracticeJuly Pembrey.JPG (920382 bytes)

Dom disappears as Neil & Russell dispute 2nd place

On a hot & sunny summer weekend, there was a half-way decent entry in prospect but we lost Kareem after his car was damaged during testing, leaving the returning Mike Woods as the sole starter in Class B. Richard McVean was another returnee but sadly lost oil & fuel pressure in practice, and although he got the fuel pressure back, oil pressure continued to be a major headache and Richard wisely decided to take the car back home to check it out. Final and best returnee was Neil Watts, who came back from his enforced lay off after his skiing accident and was quickly back in the groove to start in 3rd place and 1st in Class C.  In front of him were Dave Krayem & Dom Evans who took pole with a time of 60.341 seconds. 4th fastest was newcomer Jann Mardenborough from Cardiff in a Nissan 370Z. Jann was one of the latest graduates from the European Nissan Playstation Academy, with Bryan Heitkotter from California, as the first graduate from the USA Nissan Playstation Academy. Jann & Bryan were split by Russell Haggerty, Neil Trainer & Andy Williams. Mike Woods was 8th fastest, with Paul Townsend, Phil Bendal, with John O’Shea in Russells’ Mazda 12th after Richard McVean withdrew. However Phil Bendall would miss the race, as he battled to find a mystery problem, which turned out to be the cars ECU, and not fixable at the circuit.. More seriously also missing for the grid would be Andy Williams, who declared himself unwell after practice with chest pains & was whisked off the hospital in Carmarthen for a check over. Given that Andy had just done 15 minutes practice on a very hot day, in a closed car, with a 3 layer suit on, it was still a very wise precaution. Speaking to his wife Sonia later it appeared that Andy was alright, but they were keeping him for observation. (Later he was to be transfered to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff for further tests)

 The race 15 mins + 1 lap – Rolling Start

So with 4 non starters, it was 10 cars that took the start with Dom shooting into the lead, Behind him an almighty scrap for 2nd place was in prospect, with Dave Krayem on an endurance schedule after finishing a 25 minute Euro Sports & Saloon race only 20 minutes before! Dave was passed by a fast starting Russell Haggerty who had Neil Watts on his tail. However the fun only lasted 3 laps, before the red flags came out after Neil Trainer found himself stranded after a oil pump drive belt snapped and shut down the engine. After towing Neil back the paddock, (Neil sourced at replacement belt in Melksham and hoped to do Sundays races)

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Race restart - Great battle - Dave, Russell & Neil duel for 2nd place

 The race restarted, now for 12 minutes + 1 lap, but it was the same outcome for Dom who came out of Hatchets first and was never headed to record his 6th win in 6 races. However being on your own unchallenged, wasn’t necessarily the picnic you would think, as Dom explained after wards  “ My driving was awful, I was missing the apex a lot of the time. It is better when you are under pressure as it’s easier to keep your concentration level up.” Behind him however, it was another tremendous scrap for 2nd place with Russell, Neil & Dave Krayem at it hammer & tongs. Russell grabbed 2nd place on the first lap, then Neil passed him to lead on lap 3, but then Russ & Dave both passed him to run 2nd & 3rd on lap 4. Dave then got into 2nd place on lap 5 which he held to the end, leaving Russell & Neil to sort it out for 3rd place. Between laps 6 & 10 both Russell & Neil were swapping places in one of the most entertaining duels seen in recent years. However Russell was suffering with gear selection problems, and late in the race had a quick spin which relieved the pressure on Neil, who picked up great 3rd place to make it an excellent comeback in front of the S4C cameras.(see footnote)

 Given that the action was so hot just behind Dom, there was just as much action down the field. Mike Woods was sitting in a Nissan sandwich early on having got past Bryan Heitkotter on lap 2 and then sliced past Jann Mardenborough with a nice move at the paddock turn. Jann retired on lap 4, with shock absorber problems, leaving Mike to fend off Bryan to finish 5th overall but with Bryan hot on his heels all the way through. After Mike said “I am happy that I was driving the car as fast as I can”. Indeed he set his fastest lap time on the last lap which is a sure sign that the pace was hot. At the rear of the field, John O’Shea and Andy Townsend were also having a dice. John got past Andy early on as Andy continued to struggle with a fuel feed problem in the corners. However they swapped places with Andy now leading John until a long grassy off, that lasted almost from Dibeni to the paddock turn, relieved the pressure on Andy & the 924. However late in the race John began to reel Andy back in, but the chequered flag brought proceedings to a halt. Bryan Heitkotter was awarded Driver of the Race for his efforts in his first ever race.

*There were a few film crews about on Saturday. One from the Nissan Playstation Academy taking shots for the forthcoming TV series. We will circulate transmissions times when they are announced. There was also a crew from Ceidog who produce the S4C progamme 'My Big Day' who were doing a feature on Neil Watts' son Evan, who has just started to play cricket. When they learned about dads racing they came along to include that as well. The actual title of the programme is 'Ur Diwron od Mawr' and it's on a 8.00 am on a Monday on S4C and the programme featuring Evan & Neil is liklely to be on in September. They'll certainly choose a sunny day for it and with Neils' supporters giving him plenty of vocal support it should make it some good television!

Report & photos Rob Allender

Times from http://www.tsl-timing.com/  



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