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The 2012 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship Pembrey 1st April

In the gap between races there was plenty of work for Mellissa' family to do and her dad and the team got the car running with a new engine installed. Whilst some of the other crews were buffing their tryes with hot-air paint strippers, a block of wood was good enough for our Cornish cousins to remove the gravel from the Class M Mini-Huyabusa rear tyres. Proper Job! It worked too as we found out in the race!

Martin also revealed that some TLC involving the wiring loom, a biiger intercooler and the correct octane rating of petrol had transformed his car, and as the winner of race 1 he lined up in pole position. Michael Cond was next. Patrick Havil was 3rd and Neil Watts was 4th. 5th and 6th were the silhouettes of Keith White & John Morris. Alvin, Graham and Andy Meyrick were missing with Mellisa, Geraint Rees & Ben Scrivens starting from the back.

In the lunch break everyone lined up near the crossing so the spectators (there was a good crowd) may see the cars on a Grid Walk (photos Steve Williams &   Richard Francis)

DSC05129.JPG (197491 bytes) photo by Richard Francis.jpg (155337 bytes)

 

Race 2 15 Minutes + 1 Lap Start Race 2  by Richard Francis.jpg (120209 bytes)

Martin lead the first lap, but Patrick was out for revenge, and took a lead on lap 2, that he was able to maintain to the end. However it never looked comfortable, as first he had Martins car seemingly glued to back of his car for lap after lap. Behind them Keith White was 3rd for a while with John Morris for company after they had pushed Michael Cond back to 5th. Neil Watts was 6th with a fast starting Geraint Rees catching him!

Outside the top 6 there were a lot of drivers deserving a lot of credit for some excellent racing and Mike Woods got a good start and was 8th early on, until Glynne passed him, but they would stay close for many laps. Chris Morris and his Ignis was an excellent 10th early on, until first Mike Edgell & Ben Scrivens got past him. Chris had Ben in his sights all the way through and took Class AT, with Ben taking Class BT and Mike Class AS. Behind them there was plenty of action between Chris Evans and Phil Bendall too, with newcomer Chris getting an excellent result in his tiny Nova. Andy Long  (15th) & Giles Beck (16th) were close too with Giles getting into 15th place for a while.

Mellisa Luffarelli (how does she get all that lovely hair inside her racing helmet?), meanwhile showed what a new engine and some properly treated tyres could do, as she passed first Huw and then Vertity to run in 17th place to the end. Verity & Huw had a good scrap for 18th & 19th until Huw got the better of it at half distance.

Meanwhile back at the front,  Patrick had a narrow lead from Martin. Keith was initially 3rd with John Morris, Michael Cond and Neil Watts in close company. John, whose driving style could be perhaps described as wildly exuberant and uninhibited, challenged Keith at Hatchets, which allowed Michael and Neil to slip past the BMW S Type. Neil later said "John was on one side and Keith was on the other. I saw the gap, closed my eyes and went for it."

John then started to hound Martin, using all the track and more & occasionally, the bit that Martin was trying to use too! This was a real dice for the lead with the 3 cars in close order and the occasional puff of dust! However all this close quarter action gave Michael the chance to nip past both Martin & John into 2nd place at 2/3rds distance. Patrick by now had a 2 second lead from the Riot squad with John Morris 3rd and Martin close by in 4th. Patrick soon found his lead shrinking and Martin took over 3rd when John spun down to 5th behind Keith White.

Now  was the time for Michael to make a serious bid for the lead and he made several attempts, most notably at Hatchets and on the last lap, Patrick & Mike crossed the line with only .25 of a second between them! Martin was 3rd 3 seconds back with Keith White 1/2 a second further back. Remarkably there were no retirements with all 19 starters making it to the end!

Afterwards  Patrick was thrilled with the win "There were a few suprises out there! My tyres weren't that good and sometimes I had to rely on the power of the car to keep me ahead. I did Castle Combe last year but I don't like it as its too bumpy. I like Pembrey as it is a good track to setup on "  Michael himself was happy   "Two Class wins & two second places is as much as you could hope for."

At  the presentation a Special Ladies Award was made to Verity & Mellisa to mark the first occasion that 2 ladies had competed at the the same race. After feedback from the race marshals, Martin was awaded Driver of the Race for Race 1 and Glynne Jones for Race 2.

Glynne later contacted us to say, " I had an excellent two races. In the first one, I had a great dice with Graham which unfortunately ended when his rear tyre shredded by the start/finish line. Race two, I had no one to play with, I had done some alterations to try to reduce the understeer but that made it unstable through the corners hence the slower lap times, well that's my excuse anyway. Couldn't believe I had the driver of the race pot, but what an excellent day all round! Thanks to all, Cheers ( presentation link here)

After the race the points tally showed that 5 drivers,  Martin Davies, Michael Cond, Patrick Havill, Mike Edgell and Chris Morris all share the championship lead with a perfect score of 22, having all taken maximum points in their classes!   This year could really be a classic! 

The next round in the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship is on August 4/5th at Pembrey

Entry form here!

If you have a story to tell from a great weekend, drop us a line, via wrda@ntlworld.com

Times from www.tsl-timing.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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