Qualifying Saturday Race 1(below)Peter Williams grabs the lead (photos by John William Davies)
10 regulars were joined by a band of travelling TVRs ( 6 TVR Griffiths, Chimaeras, Tuscans and Tasmins to add spice to the weekend) for Rounds 4 and 5 at Pembrey, and there was to be lots of action! It looked particularly murky in the early morning mist on Saturday, and there was much dawn debate about whether the wets would be put into service, but as it turned out there was not a drop of rain all weekend. Clive Hayes was out giving a first showing to us of his great looking green MCR Sports car. This originates from Brazil, so we were expecting lots of samba and salsa from Clive! Clive has fitted a Ford engine which will allow him to compete in the Sports 2000 series as well as ours. He posted a solid 1m 02.041 to claim 3rd place on the grid. Ahead of him was Alexis Coles Nemesis in 1m 01.160, with Peter Williams Radical breaking the one minute barrier to claim pole. In the saloons, Andy Williams was flying in his mighty 400bhp+ Cosworth, getting just under the 1m 05 barrier with a 1m 04.934. Mike Woods also had an excellent session in his Honda Civic with a 1m 06.799 to just pip Anthony Allitts Renault Clio (1m 06.824). Next up was Fredrik Nordstrom, a new young competitor for our series running a Proton Coupe, in 1m 7.776. Fredrik is running in the Mini Cooper Challenge as well this year he is currently heading that series! Mark Nicolson narrowly failed to break 1m 10s barrier and was to start 12, and behind him in 13th was returning 2003 and 2004 champion Rhodri Jenkins. Rhodri had a major front tyre blow out on only his 4th lap going through Dibeni. As one of the marshals at the Dibeni post said "There was a huge bang and we wondered what had happened. Then we saw Rhodri sliding off the circuit. Luckily, he managed to avoid the tyre wall. If it had happened through Honda it might have been a different story". At the tail of the field were Huw Williams who was having problems with his Radical, and Adrian Chapman, who had to qualify in a separate session as his car "refused to proceed" at the allocated time!
Clive was the early leader after a great start, but he eventually had to give way to Peter Williams who won the battle of the sports cars. Alexis continued his quest to reach the parts of the circuit most cars cannot reach, coming off on lap 2! In the saloons, Andy drove an impressive race to stay well ahead of Anthony Allitts Clio. Rhodri continued his eventful day, getting a great start and closing on Anthony, but he had a TVR in the way. He got passed the TVR at Paddock crossing, but the power of the TVR got him back to within striking distance by the next time round at Hatchetts. And striking it literally proved to be, with the TVR locking up under braking and hitting the side of Rhodris car to give some fairly significant panel damage. Both cars spun and re-started, but at least Rhodri recovered to get past Mike Woods and claim the class B win, posting a new Championship class B lap record of 1m 05.350s in the process. Fredrik Nordstron had a good run to claim 9th place, and Mark Nicolson broke the 1m 10s barrier, posting a 1m 09.673, no mean feat in a Rover GTi, particularly in your 1st seasons racing. One to watch for the future, for sure. Adrian was the last of the Welsh finishers, but it must have felt good to have at least beaten at least one TVR Chimaera after starting at the back of the grid.
Qualifying Sunday Race 2
Peter headed qualifying with a blistering 58.245, and Clive "the Boy from Brazil!" Hayes was really limbo dancing in his MCR to get under the magic minute beam, posting a truly quick 59.921! Alexis was next up and the last of the sports cars, as unfortunately Huws problems with his Radical had proved insurmountable overnight. In the saloons, Andys Sierra was again quickest in 1m 5.970, and with Rhodris Civic, Anthonys Clio and Mikes Civic all within a second behind him it promised to be a close race.
(below) Midfield dice
There was huge disappointment for Clive at the start of the warm up lap when his car suddenly gave up the ghost, refusing to fire on more than a single cylinder. That left the way clear for Peter to take a brace of wins for the weekend. Alexis decided to visit the marshals at the post by Brooklands this time round, and was heard to say that he did indeed prefer his cars handing when the brake lines actually had some fluid left in them! Actually, as you can imagine it was quite an off with no brakes resulting in straight off at Brooklands, but luckily Alexis was perfectly OK. Unfortunately, the race was red flagged as the officials decided quite rightly that Alexiss car could act as a launch pad over the tyre wall should any other car suffer the same fate. (left Midfield dice) In the saloons, Andy pulled away at the start, but within a few laps he had Rhodri right up his exhaust. Rhodri just managed to squeeze past Andy through Paddock crossing, and on the next lap Andy spun which put Anthony through to take the Class C win. At the early red flag finish after 10 laps, Rhodri was 4th overall behind Peter and 2 visiting TVRs, with Anthony 5th, Andrew 6th and Mike Woods 7th.
All in all, another great weekend, and it will be greater still when everyone manages to finish their cars and we all get out together! Donnington is next......we need as many there as possible. Your country needs you!!!
Full times etc on http://www.msttiming.com/home.asp