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 The 2012 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship

Great Spring Sunshine - Great Grid - Great Racing

 Martin Davies &  Patrick Havill score a race victory each, but race-day debutant Michael Cond steals the show

Living the Dream! Rounds 1 & 2 Pembrey Circuit – April 1st

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Drama of the Race as Michael Cond hounds Martin Davies for the lead in Race 1 (photo Steve Williams)

After a week of record breaking, and perhaps unseasonable, sunshine, with temperatures in the 20’s, Race-day offered some more sunshine if a little cooler temperatures. But on the track the heat was on, with  22 cars all trying to get some space to get their laps in.

 That we had a race, and a grid that size,  was due to hard work of both Alan  Jenkins & Rhodri. Jenkins.  Following on from last years crisis meetings, they got together to devise a new set of regulations that would widen the championships appeal, and a credit system which would allow us to buy the grid and as the number of entries rose, to give competitors credit, which would reduce the cost of the seasons racing!  This lit the fuse that saw the grid explode by some 800%! with many new faces, some familiar ones and some we had not seen for a few years.

 Entry & Practice

The BMW Z4 silhouette of Keith White was fastest in practice on 61.99 secs, with newcomer Patrick Havill 2nd in his Caterham. Alvin Powell was 3rd with Martin Davies 4th all 4 within a second of each other. 5th was newcomer Michael Cond from Aberaeron in a Class M bright orange Silver Riot with a motorcycle engine. Neil Watts & Geraint Rees were next ahead of John Morris’ silhouette Tigra, all four of them within a second or so. Glynne Jones was 9th in his new and striking BMW 320. With a high wing and a paint job that echoed his old Ford Anglia, it looked the part. Lets hope Glynne can entertain us as much as he did with the sideways Anglia! Completing the Top 10 was Graham Hollis mounted on a Ford Escort Mk2 but taking the chance to run on Treaded Tyres in Class BT and was the fastest of the treaded tyre runners with 67.641 secs.

Recent returnee Mike Wood had his Honda Civic on slicks and was 11th on 69.516. 12th was a quick Mini of Mike Edgell on 70.229. Ben Scrivens (BT) was next in his Ginetta G20. Ben usually spanners for Dave Krayem (who was at Pembrey but due to run his Ginetta in Dutch Supercars) 14th was Chris Morris who had his revitalised Suzuki flying in Class AT, Newcomer Giles Beck was next with his BMW 318si also in BT ahead of Phil Bendalls’ Ford Feista also in BT. Andrew Meyrick has 17th in his Vauxhall Chevette, ahead of 5 newcomers headed by Chris Evans, Vauxhall Nova, Andy Long ,Silva Pheonix. Verity Banks, first of the lady drivers in her MG ZR, Huw Morgan, Proton and finally Mellisa Luffarelli in her unique Suzuki Hayabusa powered silhouette Mini.

Mellisa and her family are from Camelford (isn’t that somewhere near Larkrise?) but whilst Mellisa only had to come from Cardiff where she is student, her family had come all the way from Cornwall! All through the grid cars where within 10ths of each, ensuring most everybody should have someone to race with.

Familiar faces in the paddock were Andy & Sonia Williams. Andy, looking lean and fit, had some special news that he had just got his race licence back! After undergoing a triple heat bypass (CABG 3)he had to undergo some special test. "I had to do a stress ECG where you exercise on a tread-mill, amongst other things." He plans to be out at the next meeting. Good News indeed!

 Missing from the race were Kareem, who damaged his car in Friday testing, + Craig Freeman, Richard MacVean and Rhys Lloyd didn’t get the part he needed for his gearbox. However to paraphrase Shakespeare those "now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here

Race 1 15 Minutes + 1 Lap

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Martin hits the lead  (photo Steve Williams)

Martin Davies  scored a popular and well deserved victory at Pembrey on Sunday, but after making it to the front, he was chased all the way to the line by newcomer Michael Cond from Aberaeron. Davies,
driving his usual Ford Seirra Sapphire turbo, started the race in 4th place on the grid, alongside Alvin Powell and behind the Caterham of Patrick Havill from Dorset and the BMW silhouette of Glastonburys Keith White. Cond, driving a bright orange Silva (pronouced Silver) Riot (a lightweight sports car with a Motorcycle engine) and Neil Watts in his Westfield were 6th & 7th in a bumper 22 car grid. As the lights changed Davies got a good start and emerged from Hatchets hairpin in 2nd place. However a few sideways moments saw him drop to 3rd place and after a frantic first lap Keith White was leading from Havill and Davies. Keith then spun, eventually dropping down to finish 6th. This left Havill in the lead from Davies, who began to stalk the Caterham, before pouncing at the high speed Honda Curve on the 3rd lap. Martin said “I could see he was slower through the kink before Honda so I backed off a little, but then built my speed, so I had more momentum at Honda. He didn’t make it easy though”

Once through, Davies began to build his lead as Patrick faded to be passed by Cond, ' I didn't even know he was in the race, he just flew by me!' eventually fighting hard with Neil Watts for 3rd place. From lap 7 on Cond moved to be within a few seconds of Davies but better use of the traffic by Martin kept Michael at an arms length. However going into to final stages the orange Riot sqaud began to close up, making some determined bids to close the gap; eventually posting the races’ fastest lap with only 5 laps to go. With his son Jason urging him on from the pitlane, and the rest of his friends and family providing support from the crowd, Davies was doing all he could to keep Michael at a distance. However going into the finals laps less than 4/10ths of a second was all that separated them, but Martin  hung on to take an exultant victory. Later he explained as he shared out the victory champagne. “I wasn’t expecting to see Michaels little car in my mirrors. It wasn’t until 3 laps from the end that he started to close and I thought this is a lightweight car, kind on it’s tryes, I had better watch my step here! Jason was egging me on for the pitwall, and I thought, Yes I get the message, but we had some traffic to pass and I went a bit wide onto the grass! I wasn’t sure how many laps we had left. I didn’t have a clue. Then when I came up to the line I could see the Last Lap board, so I thought oh dear. But that was for the cars just in front, and they took it in and gave me the chequered flag and I thought brilliant! This is a real sweet victory, the last time I won at Pembrey was in my old car in 1996, and I’ve been trying all this time to win again.” Asked by the commentator if the thought this could be sign for the future, Martin replied “I’d like to think so. I knew from the first laps this morning, the car was back to it’s best, and I thought it’s down to me now, pull your finger out!”  After the race Michael, who had been racing motorccyles, then doing sprints and track days with the car summed up ' I could see I was slowly catching him in parts and then Martin had a bit of bad luck with the traffic which allowed me to get closer but not close enough!" He then paid tribute to his support crew Nick Carr amongst others. 'We hadn't decided to go racing, until Ray Hanson popped around to say they had changed the regulations. We had to do lots of things to get it right for racing, like rose jointing the suspension, and fitting the extinguisher, and we only finished at 11.00 p.m. on Saturday night. Then I got up again at 4 am to get it down here'

Behind the flying pair dicing for the lead, Neil Watts was involved with a battle with Patrick Havill for 3rd place saying  “He was very wily, he knew where to place his car”  Report continued on page 2

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Martin gets set to spray the Champers and shares some with wife Sue

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

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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