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2012 WRDA News

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2012 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship

Pembrey October 14th - Round 6 - 15 minutes + 1 lap

Happy Champions! 2012 Joint Champions Mike and Martin with the Awards presentation party, Marshals Francesca and Ruth (Report & Photos by Rob Allender)

It might have been hard to better Race 1, but Race 2 was almost as exciting but for slightly different reasons.  Both Martin Davies and Mike Cond now had the Overall title almost within their grasp. One slip or a mechanical problem could have handed the title to the other. If both slipped up, there were others were ready & waiting to claim it for themselves, with Chris Morris, Phil Bendall and Mike Edgell all within striking distance! Indeed it is a testament to the Championships revival that there were so many possibilities.  

There was a long delay of almost 20 minutes,  after the earlier Pick Up Trucks race, with plenty of  debris to “Pick Up”, especially at Hatchets! Eventually they released the cars to the gird, with the pace car leading the pack though the short circuit cut-through at the end of the pit wall! Mike Cond found himself dicing with the Track Sweeper, as it cut in from the right to get back to its’ position.  Must have been interesting for him!  Glynne Jones did a doughnut, maybe finding the lack of the BMWs’ front splitter had changed the handling, or because of cold tyres, or maybe just because he wanted to, you never know with Glynne!

However after the Green Flag lap, when the lights changed,  it was Martin Davies who took a lead he was never to lose. Keith Butcher was his main challenger this time around, but he soon had his hands full keeping Keith White at bay. This may have relived some of the pressure on Martin, but it was never easy, with the two Keiths’ less than a second away in the early laps.  Martin eased himself a bit more of a lead on lap 5, by setting the fastest lap of the race, but there was never more than 1.5 seconds between Martin and the Keiths’ until late in the race, when he began to stroke away, to win by almost 4 seconds from Keith Butcher in 2nd place and Keith White 3rd. Martins’ wife Sue was probably more relieved than anybody, as she had been almost beside herself, virtually driving every lap with her husband, especially lapping the back-markers.  She knew Martin could have taken it easy but as she explained “He is a racer”

Behind the leaders it was for the most part, a quieter race than race 1, with a few notable exceptions.  Andy Williams pitted on lap 2 with a mystery vibration, possibly clutch or gearbox related, making him the days’ first retirement. 

Michael Cond found himself with Lofty Everill and Geraint Rees for company, after John Morris faded to eventually finish in 8th place, behind rookie Dave Coe, who was having another solid outing. Everill slipped by early on but Mike was driving as hard as he could, banging in his fastest lap late in the race, to seal another maximum points score.  Mike said later "I was driving as hard as I could. That was as fast as the car would go this time."

 However, not having a quiet race was Rhodri Jenkins, (see his in-car on Utube) who found himself dicing with the red moto-Mini, driven this time by Papa Lufferreli. Dad Fabio, was giving daughter Mellissa a few benchmarks for 2013, and he was on the rise passing Rhodri on lap 3. The two cars were then rarely more than a second apart, except when the leaders came by, until the closing laps when sadly Fabio became the days 2nd and last retirement, with a blown engine.  Rhodri ran out into 9th place, winning Class BS.  Glynne Jones was 10th  being the first of the lapped runners, and survived a close encounter with Keith White as he came past, with barely a cigarette papers width between the cars! However the skill of the drivers concerned meant that no paint was swapped. Speaking to Glynne later Keith aplogised for the close encounter, and Glynne replied "I'd seen Martin go past, and I was just about to take my line, when I saw you out of the corner of my eye, so I tried to ease back to give you some room!" Keith thanked Glynne for his consideration.

 Commenting on his Class Championship win, a slightly surprised Rhodri said ”It feels great! You’ve got to be in it to win it!”  In 11th was Chris Morris who had a race long dice with Mike Edgell , who finished 12th. There being less than ½ second between them all the way through. Finishing as last of the lapped runners, Mike had been worried about the loss of his Oil cooler, hoping the weather did not get too hot, but it didn’t seem to inhibit him. Chris ran out as Class winner, and was awarded Driver of the Race for his efforts. Mike again took fastest lap, and won Class AS, with Roger Dowden who finished the first of the runners 2 laps down in 13th place, ending up second in the class.  14th was young Ellis Belton, proving the power of the Joker, by finishing 2nd behind Rhodri in Class BS. 2 laps down, Phil Bendall was 15th and Class BT winner, from Andy Long 14th.  3 laps down  15th was Huw Morgan with Giles Beck last of the runners in 18th place.  Giles had been leading Huw early on but a trip across the grass gave Huw the advantage which he held to the end.

Afterwards Martin confirmed "Boy that was tough! I had to work for that one,  Keith pushed right to the end! I just needed to do the same as this morning and a little bit better. This just rounds off the season lovely. Its' nice to mix it with the lightweight cars, I've got advantages as well, but people may not expect to see a Seirra amongst that breed of car. Keith Butcher kept me honest thoughout the race. I couldn't afford to make a mistake"

Keith Butcher agreed confirming "That was a brilliant race!" Keith White also confirmed "I was faster in some parts than Keith, he was faster in others. It was a good race, I enjoyed it"

Mike Cond said of his race "It was a bit frantic at the first corner, I had to go onto the grass to avoid one of the red cars! I was going as fast as I could but in the end I didn't want to do anything stupid, really. It's been a great day, especially after what happened on Friday, all things considered. I can't fault the car but with a bit more driving skill and bit better set up it might go a bit faster. I'm looking forward to next year now."

So the 2012 Championship came to an end, and with Martin & Mike both scoring the same points, by winning their Class and setting the Class Fastest lap in each of the 6 races. With the 2012 WSSCC Championship rules not allowing for a way of breaking the tie, the 2012 Championship will be shared. 

Many people were already making plans for 2013.  Dave Coe confirmed he would be back, but this time with some slick tyres. Keith White was planning a new body shape.  Joint Champion Michael Cond confirmed he would be looking to improve the handling of the car, and also said 'I could also learn to drive better, so perhaps Martin could give me few lessons, that should make me quicker too'   Having won 3 of the 6 races in the 2012 Welsh Championship,  Davies explained “I have been trying to get the car set up exactly as I wanted it and I knew from early on this season that it was now down to me as a driver.  I don’t think most people would expect a big heavy saloon like mine to be mixing it with the lightweight cars but I was happy to do it. That was a tremendous race. I made a mistake in the first race, but I was determined to put it right in the second race!  It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable year, and that was great way to round it off”  Martin for himself confirmed that he hopes to be supporting his son Jason next year. 'I've said he can use my engine, so I'll have a year on the spanners.

Next important date on the calendar will be the WRDA AGM/Championship Conference when we can run through the plans needed for 2013. One of the nicest tasks of the day was to hand out cheques for the refunds due as per Rhodris plan. Most people were pleased and shocked at the amounts, and although the financial position may change in 2013 the principle should be the same. A few of the several comments were, 'Are you sure?' 'I've never had this before'

  Alan finds a way to make everyone smile

There are still some refunds to be delivered, as and when Alan has finished his calculations, but the sun set slowly on what had been remarkable year. 





(Report & Photos by Rob Allender)

   Final championship points  Final Class Points  Awards Gallery and Champions Interveiws

If you have story on how your race or season has gone, please let us know.

 Times from www.tsl-timing.com