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2012 WRDA News

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2012 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship

Entry & Practice – Rounds 3 & 4 Pembrey August 5th

Race 1 - lap 1 - Neil Watts leads from pole! (photo Steve Williams)

2012 will be remembered for a number of things but one of the top topics, apart from the revival in the WSSCC will be the weather. Since March the weather in 2012 has been the rainiest since records began, and although the previous rounds of the 2012 WSSCC have been dry if not sunny, the weather in the week or so leading up to the 5th August was especially rainy and cold at times, but practice was on a wet but drying track.  In the weeks leading up to the event there was a suggestion that the entry could be close to the circuit maximum of 32. Sadly that didn’t materialise; amongst the major withdrawals, Alvin Powell was out awaiting a new alternator, Glynne Jones was unfortunately ill and Jeff Davies who has going to enter, but had to withdraw after his father sadly died. However it was nice to see Mark Nicholson, Keith Butcher and a fit again Andy Williams back to make up the 25 car grid. Major newcomer was 16 year old Dexter Compton whose family had travelled from Radcliffe in Manchester so he could make his race debut with us.

During practice as the track dried out, Neil Watts (Westfield - 1st Class CS) was a surprise fastest in practice ‘Don’t read anything into it’ with Keith Butcher (Ginetta G501st Class D) 2nd. John Morris (Vauxhall Silhouette) was 3rd with Geraint Rees (Westfield) 4th. Martin Davies (Ford Sierra Sapphire) was 4th after changing tyres halfway thru practice. Martin Davies and son Jason had a race against time to build up and fit a new engine after finding a cracked block in his usual engine on the previous weekend at Mallory Park. After working a series of marathon shifts, involving some major engineering work, they finally finished at midnight on Friday! After a quick blast at a local airfield on Saturday morning to check things over, they were ready to go on to Pembrey. “We had to try as it was too important to miss as there are only 3 race-days this season” said Martin. Keith White was 6th in his silhouette BMW,

A surprising 7th, and fastest in Class CS, was Kareem Elsorafy with his new all-white Honda Integra, which was just what the Doctor ordered. 8th making it an all Integra 4th row, was the returning Mark Nicholson, who was having his first race of the season. Mark commented, that the car was ok, but he was rusty (or words to that effect!)

Newcomer (Ist Class CT) Kevin Bird was 9th in his BMW 130i, which was a new addition to the usual cars in the WSSCC series. First round sensation Micheal Cond was 10th with a new engine and a new larger oil cooler, was still 1st Class M car.

11th was Rhodri Jenkins (Honda Civic). Roger Dowden was in 12th place and 1st AS, in the all fibre-glass Swansea Met-vet Davrian Mk6 .  13th was the returning Andy Williams, ((Ford Sierra Sapphire) looking slim & fit, Andy was one of the drivers caught out by the changing conditions.  Mike Edgell’s  Mini was 14th , Mike had a taste of the 2012 Olympics on the way to the circuit with the M4 at a standstill as footy fans tried to get into Cardiff for the Team GB v South Korea match. (It ended up with penalties-say no more). Teenage newcomer Dexter Crompton was an excellent 15th in his Peugeot 206GTi. 16th was Andy Long in his Sylva Pheonix. Row 9 was looking like an all BMW row with Giles Beck 17th in his 318Si with Colin Wells M3 18th, but sadly Colin didn’t make it out for the race. On row 10 was Phil Bendall -18th (Ford Fiesta) ist BT car and Chris Morris 19th (Suzuki Ignis) who was 1st AT car. On Row 11 Huw Morgan (Proton) was 21st with Chris Evans (Nova) 22nd.  Andrew Meyrick was 23rd in is Chevette with Verity Banks (MG ZR) 24th and Meillisa Luffarelli in the Moto-Min1 was 25th.

 Race  1 – 15 mins + 1 lap- rolling start

Black rain clouds seemed to circling us at Pembrey all day, with Black Clouds over towards Carmarthen all morning, and with 45 minutes to go before the 1st race, the heavens opened with a stiff rain shower, most drivers switching to wet with a few notable exceptions.  After 2 laps behind the safety car (due to the change in conditions since practice) it was Neil who held the lead exiting Hatchets, with Keith Butcher following him.  But by the paddock turn, Martin, having already passed Geraint Rees and John Morris, had passed Keith and was starting to monster Neil, on the run down to Brooklands. Neil found his tyres had not yet reached full temperature and Martin found himself in a potential squeeze. “I hopped onto the grass, and after a bumpy ride, I was able to get back on the track and get into the lead.” Keith Butcher also managed to get past Neil but Martin was already beginning to pull away, building a 22 second lead over Keith by ½ distance.  Geraint Rees was 3rd, as Neil Watts dropped to 4th, but he had Keith White for company.


Keith had changed his gearbox between practice & the race, and was gambling on an odd combination with Wets on one side & Slicks on the other! 6th was Andy Williams who had an early charge up from a lowly grid position, to start to put pressure on Keith, in a Westfield v Ford v BMW battle. 7th was Michael Cond after having a dice with Mark Nicolson, who in 8thplace was the last unlapped runner. In 9th to 13th Rhodri Jenkins had a close dice with Kevin Bird as did Kareem & Roger Dowden & Mike Edgell, who were scapping for the Class lead.  Chris Morris rose from a lowly 20th to 14th place. Whilst 15th & 16th saw Andrew Meyrick and Dexter Crompton in close company. 17th was Phil Bendall who had Andy Long battling with Huw Morgan & Giles Beck. In the battle of the Ladies, Mellisa got a really good start running just outside the top 20 for the first few laps, before Huw Morgan passed her to join up with Andy & Giles. However she was always ahead of Verity, although the lapping of the leaders did a lot to break up the lower order dices, there was still plenty of action. Sadly Chris Evans had already pitted, but as the race passed half distance a rain shower swept the track again. John Morris who was running 7th at that time, decided to switch on his windscreen wipers, and at that time all his electrics died leaving him stranded at the side of the track on the exit of Dibeni, bringing out the red flags! Afterwards John was able to re-start the car, but the organisers called it a race as it was already after half distance. Martin had a 22 second advantage over Keith Butcher at the end, and took Class CS as well as the outright win.  

 On his own! Martin Davies is back in the winning groove  (photo Steve Williams)

Afterwards Martin confirmed, ‘Although my car is pretty nimble in the wet for a big car, and the 4 wheel drive helps with the traction, you’ve still got to keep it on the black stuff and you can’t let your concentration drop. You’ve got to keep pushing. I could see I was edging away from Keith and I was happy about that, but my tyres were starting to go off, but then we had a sprinkling of rain again which helped them. It was an exciting race, and with 2 overalls wins from 4 races I could get used it this!’ Keith Butcher was also happy with 2nd overall and the Class D win and confirmed 'The rain was really heavy over by Hatchets. You could see it bouncing off the road!', whilst Geraint Rees rounded of the top 3 and confirmed he was a ‘very happy boy’. The other Class winners were Michael Cond with his Class M Sylva Riot. Mark Nicholson won Class BS on his first race of the season so neither his Honda Integra or himself were that rusty!  Roger Dowden (AS), Chris Morris (AT) and Phil Bendall (BT) were the other class winners.

Keith White tries to keep John Morris and the rising Andy Williams behind him  (photo Steve Williams)

After the race news came through that there had been a cloud burst covering the Carmarthen-Tenby & Narberth area with heavy flooding. We were lucky to get away with what we had!


Race 2 – 15 mins + 1 lap- rolling start

Times from www.tsl-timing.com

   2012 Overall & Class Points