Practice | The Race | Results

The weather reports were predicting rain showers over the weekend, and after driving up to Mallory Park through heavy rain on Saturday evening things were not looking good for Sunday. Fortunately, Sunday morning saw bright sunshine and little sign of the heavy rain that had fallen through the night. As usual, there were a couple of things to do to the car - this time it was to fit a new throttle cable, as the other one was too short and grabby, making the car difficult to drive. The 3 week gap since Pembrey had given me time to replace some of the front left suspension, and also to fit propshaft restraining straps after Mark Owens incident at Pembrey. I also took the opportunity to take the car along to Terry Nightingale's for the suspension to be setup on his computerised scales.

Practice itself was pretty uneventful - the car felt great, although a little "squidgy" through the Esses (this turned out to be caused by me forgetting to adjust the dampers from their softest setting after my suspension was setup!). I was far more confident in the car than previous races, and was encouraged to see that Mike Topp and the two Owens didn't pull away from me at the rate they usually did when they passed me. I didn't get to see my lap times as I was driving, as my dash displayed the time just as I was going into Gerrards - a very fast (and attention grabbing) right hander. I was extremely pleased when I checked it in the paddock and saw a time of 55.24 seconds - almost 6 seconds faster than my previous best time at the circuit! The official qualifying times confirmed this - I had actually done 55:21 - a time that would have put me 3rd on the grid at the first race of last year! Unfortunately everyone else has got quicker, and I ended up 11th out of 15 starters.

The front of the grid was extremely close, with the first 7 drivers separated by 1 second! Unfortunately Martin Smith wasn't to be involved, as 2 valves broke in his engine which punched a hole in a piston and damaged the head. Martin's neighbour/mechanic and friend Rob Putnam had been bitten by the racing bug, and this was to be his first race. He seemed remarkably calm through practice, and posted a very respectable time for his first time out.

The Race | Results | Practice

A couple of brief showers during the day caused a bit of worry, but luckily the weather held out for the race. I had decided to try a different approach to starting, and it seemed to work - I made my best start ever, gaining several places by the end of the first corner. Unfortunately I lost them again under braking for the Esses - but it was good to actually go past people for a change! As the front runners went away, I tried to stay with Jonathan Edwards, but couldn't quite manage it. As he slowly extended his lead over me, I was on my own until I came across Mark Owen, who was cruising round slowly as his car was throwing out a lot of oil.

The race saw several retirements - Mike Topp's engine blew, and Rob Putnam pulled off on the last lap when his engine seized. This seems to have been caused by the oil pump gear shearing, which should be easy to fix and Rob should be back out at Cadwell at the end of the month. It was a shame that Rob couldn't finish as he was going very well - posting a very respectable fastest lap time of 59.97.

Results | Practice | The Race

Qualifying Times

Fastest Lap
1 C Steve Taylor Sylva Striker 0:52.61 92.37
2 B Clive Hudson Sylva Phoenix 0:53.02 91.66
3 B Mike Topp Westfield CVH 0:53.05 91.61
4 C Tim Harmer Sylva Striker 0:53.48 90.87
5 C Andrew Owen Sylva Phoenix 0:53.49 90.85
6 B Nick Flynn Sylva Striker 0:53.54 90.77
7 B Mark Owen Sylva Striker 0:53.63 90.62
8 C Jonathan Edwards Westfield SE 0:54:57 89.05
9 C Barry Obey Sylva Striker Mk2 0:55.01 88.34
10 C Paul Gill Sylva Striker Mk2 0:55.06 88.26
11 C Edward Hasler Westfield SEiW 0:55.21 88.02
12 B Martin Smith Vindicator Sprint 0:55.28 87.91
13 B Ian Creba Vindicator Vulcan 0:55.48 87.59
14 B John Sims Westfield SE 0:58.66 82.85
15 B Robert Putnam Vindicator Sprint 1:03.56 76.46

Race Results

Race Time
Fastest Lap
1 B Clive Hudson Sylva Phoenix 12 10:47.99 0:53.04 91.62
2 C Steve Taylor Sylva Striker 12 10:48.74 0:52.67 92.27
3 C Andrew Owen Sylva Phoenix 12 10:49.04 0:53.00 91.69
4 C Paul Gill Sylva Striker 12 10:56.79 0:53.10 91.52
5 C Tim Harmer Sylva Striker 12 10:57.09 0:53.16 91.42
6 C Barry Obey Sylva Striker 12 10:57.83 0:53.26 91.25
7 C Jonathan Edwards Westfield SE 12 11:17.92 0:55.20 88.04
8 C Edward Hasler Westfield SEiW 12 11:30.06 0:55.51 87.55
9 B Mark Owen Sylva Striker 12 11:49.60 0:53.80 90.33
10 B John Sims Westfield SE 11 10:49.00 0:57.08 85.14
11 B Ian Creba Vindicator Vulcan 11 10:50.30 0:57.19 84.97