Winter Series Races 19

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Winter Series Races 19/20 November

Peter Williams nets double, Clive also wins in the winter sunshine at Pembrey, Saloons shine through

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Peter Williams - the weekends big winner

It was a super sunny November weekend with a good entry featuring some new faces and some welcome returns as well as a good selection of regulars, making 14 starters for the first of 4 races supporting the Formula Woman Novice Challenge and Caterham Academy. Mydrian Harries headed the new faces with the ex Jeff Davies Radical with Andrew Meyrick also making his debut in his unusual standard looking Vauxhall Chevette. Keith Butcher and his ALMS Porsche 996 GT3R, Graham Hollis (Escort Mk11), Martin Davies (Sapphire Turbo), Alvin Powell (Mondeo), Christian Evans (Golf Gti) & Nigel Bowen (Nissan) were all making welcome returns, along with blast from the past Jonathon Williams with a nice looking Honda Civic R.

Peter Williams took the first of Saturdays races with Mydrian Harries coming though the field to an excellent 2nd overall in what has his first race! Mydrain has plenty of rally experience but found racing a new experience. "It was a bit scary coming through the saloons but I enjoyed it. I wont be going back to rallying"

Clive Hayes took the 2nd of Saturdays races with Peter Williams 2nd & Martin Davies 3rd .

Sunday Practice and race

There was only 1 practice session to decide the grid for the 2 races & Clive took pole from Peter with Mydrian 3rd making it a Radical 1-2-3. With Alvin 4th, Keith Butcher 5th and Martin Davies 6th the front part of the grid had a familiar sort of look to it. On Saturdays runs, Alvin had problems with the fit of his front wheels and Martin was trailing a lot of smoke when the power steering hose split and let all the fluid out, and they were all looking for a good scrap.

The Williams dominated the 3rd row with Andrew 7th in his Sapphire from Jonathon 8th in the Honda Civic. Only a few 10ths behind was Anthony Allitt and his Honda in 9th , just ahead of Ken Rattenbury and then Mike Woods. Mike had replaced the windscreen on his Rover 216 Gti, and a good job too as it may have been sunny but there was a distinct chill in the air. Stephen Pearcy was 12th with Christian Evans 13th. Christian was having a load of problem with the Golf having tweaked the suspension and fitted bigger wheels and only completed a few laps in practice. "I felt the front end shudder and didn’t like it, so I stopped". After trying various fixes Christian was missing but Nigel Bowen started from the pits, even though the Primera sounded rough throughout the race.

Race 3 15 mins plus 1 lap

As soon as the lights changed Peter Williams got a good start and using his 4wd to best advantage Martin was a fast starter along with Alvin, (Clive clearly wasn’t happy and trailed off to retire after one lap and Mydrian stalled on the grid ), but Martins 2nd place only lasted until Debini when a big (and I mean big) understeer moment put him on the grass, allowing almost all but a slowing Clive past, joining behind a recovering Mydrian and Mike Wood! Alvin seemed happy in 2nd as Peter started to pull away and dominate. Keith Butcher settled into 3rd with a fast starting Jonathon Williams in 4th. Andrew Williams exited on lap 2, having lost his gear lever, leaving him with only 3rd gear. Mydrian visited the pits having lost part of his front splitter but got going again and proceed to pull through the field to finish 2nd. There were plenty of battles through the field. Nigel Bowen pulled the unhappy sounding Primera into the midfield, finding himself in 6th having profited when Anthony Allitt spun, having found himself without brakes at the Esses. Anthony rejoined and chased hard and was only a couple of 10ths behind at the flag. Ken Rattenbury settled into 8th ahead of Stephen Pearcy and Mike Woods who were also only separated by a few 10ths. But the battle that was holding the attention was Martin v Keith. Martin was soon beginning to pull some of the distance back and it became really interesting as they came to lap the midfield with plenty of heavy metal occupying the track . Going into the later stages Martin and Keith were left to duke it out alone and the pace began to quicken with Keith responding to the pressure but Martin still closing the gap. In the final minutes it was a question of how much and how may laps. Suddenly the tension was racked up another notch as Alvin, who had been the last unlapped runner pulled off, with failing oil pressure as the oil pump belt striped itself, soon after Peter lapped him. Now Keith and Martin were fighting for the podium, and Martin pounced by getting inside Keith at the paddock turn and pulling out a few cars lengths. But as they entered the final lap Martins car began to smoke. Was it the power steering again or something more serious? Keith began to close in again, ready to pounce if Martins car faltered, and at the end there was only .5 of a second between them at the end. Peter Williams in the meantime reeled off 17 laps, keeping busy by setting the fastest lap in the later stages, to take a dominant win. "That was good but I really didn’t know who was second so I kept on pressing"

With only a short break before the 4th and final race there was plenty of fettling to be done, including Mydrians nose splitter, and Martins power steering, with only a few like Keith able to relax. However the race against time was rendered futile when the race was cancelled following an accident in the preceding Formula Woman Novice race, bringing to a close what had been a super weekend.