Sports/Saloon Car Championship - Rounds 2, 3 & 4 - Anglesey
ROSE BLOSSOMS IN ANGLESEY SUNSHINE
Another capacity grid lined up in the spring sunshine at Anglesey for the first triple header in the CNC Heads Sports Saloons. Paul Rose’s Saker was chased all the way home in Sunday’s races by Joe Spencer’s Locosaki, but it was Spencer’s glory on Saturday, when a broken driveshaft for Rose triggered a startline shunt.
With 46 cars out in qualifying on the International circuit, clear laps were still at a premium. Rose secured pole by 2.4 secs but had problems, “the exhaust split,” he explained. Spencer shared the front row, “I tried a different diff but it was spinning the back wheels,” he said. Garry Watson was third quickest but was on the reserve list in his Westfield and so heading the second row was Ric Wood, first time out in his ex-Swedish Touring Car BMW M3 GTR with a Nissan V6 engine. “We had a throttle cable break but it was fantastic,” he said. Steve Harris was next up but his Saker suffered a split exhaust like Rose’s. The third row was David Harvey’s Locasaki and Roddie Paterson’s Caterham. “New tyres and just delighted to be here,” added Paterson.
Garry Wardle’s Porsche 997 headed Danny Bird’s Pell Genesis on the fourth row, “a bit of understeer that’s all,” Bird commented. Peter Davies continues to get to grips with his Spire GTR, “my first time here with this car and space was difficult, a bit of oversteer too,” he said. He had Oliver Thomas’ Impreza alongside, with Matt Spark’s Caterham and Les Kirk’s Fisher Fury completing the next row. “I did OK and stayed out of trouble,” Kirk confirmed. Row seven was an all saloon affair with Alistair Stenhouse’s BMW M3 heading Steve Rowles’ Honda Integra Type R. “A bit of a spongey brake pedal,” Rowles commented. “No space” said Tim Foxlow, but he still headed the eighth row, from Graeme Laslett’s Elise. Richard Roundell’s Vectra continued the trend, but only just edged out Jamie Cryer’s Ginetta G20. “It went well for the whole session,” Cryer confirmed.
Stephen Doran’s Seat Leon Supercopa and Dave Chilton’s MK Indy followed, Dave having comfortably out qualified son Alastair on this occasion, which made a difference of five grid slots, as Steven Parker’s BMW Compact, Colin Robinson’s Escort Mk1, James Aukland’s Capri and Nicholas Bartlett’s BMW M3 were in between. David Jones’ Ford Focus was alongside Chilton Junior, before the class F battlers lined up next, with Clive Dix’s Ford Puma heading Iain Gorrie’s Raw Striker. Michael Houlbrooke’s Seat shared row 15 with Ralph Underwood’s TR7 V8, behind then came Karl Mason’s Ginetta G20 and Graham Saul’s Porsche 928 GTS.
Well down the order was Steven Hibbert in his Elise, while Eric Bamber’s Ginetta G20 had the rest of class F on is heels. Geoff Morton’s Honda Civic edged out Simon Sheridan and David Bird’s similar cars, with John Seery’s Astra separating them from Helen and Brian Allen’s Fiesta’s. Completing the grid were Tony Harman’s Ginetta G20 and Luke Armiger’s Tigra, both with problems. “I didn’t do a lap, the throttle cable broke on the out lap,” said Armiger.
Watson, Piers Grange’s Escort, Mike Hurst’s Seat Leon and Russell Hunter’s MGB all had to wait in the wings as reserves.
There were dramas from the start when Rose had a driveshaft break and Wardle had nowhere to go. “Similar to last year,” said Rose. Both were out on the spot which left Spencer heading Harvey, Paterson, Harris, Bird and Thomas for the top six on the opening lap, followed by Spark, Wood, Stenhouse and Davies, while Armiger was already 17th from 41st on the grid! Wood was the first to progress, up to fifth on lap three after taking Bird, who then had Davies poised to challenge. But Thomas was losing out, dropping three places and trying to defend from Foxlow.
There was a little confusion during the five lap safety car period, after which it was down to a three lap sprint to the flag. Spencer had it all under control to take victory by over six seconds from team mate Harvey, “I had a good start and saw Paul had gone, so knew I was ok with Dave behind me. It was still spinning the back wheels though so I had to manage it a bit out of the slow corners,” said Spencer. “I dropped to third at the start then Roddie went straight on at Rocket. But he came back and I had to be late on the brakes into the final corner,” Harvey added.
Paterson’s third places was race long too, “getting to second on the first lap wasn’t good, as I needed someone to follow. I went steaming into Rocket far too quickly and had to catch up again,” he explained. In fourth, Harris was the sole Saker survivor, “uneventful but I got tagged at the first corner too and briefly dropped to sixth,” he explained. Wood was unable to make further progress and settled in fifth, “once the safety car had missed the leader I knew it was game over, but I didn’t start well as I wasn’t in first gear when the lights went out,” he admitted.
From the green flag Davies had continued his challenge on Bird and secured sixth on lap nine on the run up to Rocket. Armiger had continued his charge and having passed 35 cars from the start, he also ousted Bird to clinch seventh on the last lap. “I had done a few before the safety car, then got Danny into Rocket. A good race for me,” he reckoned. “I just couldn’t get away at the green flag and found we had a broken engine mount,” Bird added after taking eighth.
Spark and Kirk completed the top ten, as Thomas’ slide dropped him to 12th, having lost out to Kirk and Foxlow on the last lap. “It was going well until I got a misfire,” said Thomas who still won class D. “I made a poor start and lost places as usual, but made them up and more before the end,” Kirk added. “Brilliant race with Oliver and Les, he got me on the last straight on the last lap, but I got Oliver there too,” said Foxlow. Alistair Chilton pipped Stenhouse for 13th a lap from home after “an incident on the first lap.” In 15th Grange was the first of the reserve’s to get a run. “Not bad, I think the safety car helped, but I didn’t have time to get any further,” he commented.
Grange had ousted Laslett on the last lap which also made him the class E winner. “I did try to keep Piers back,” Laslett admitted. In 17th was Watson after starting from the pitlane. “I was nearly a lap down when I was given permission to start and even had to pass the ambulance. I had some contact and bent the steering, but just got as far as I could,” he said. Cryer had also tried to delay Grange’s progress, but had enough on his hands battling with Aukland and Parker. “I finally got James but Steven didn’t,” he confirmed. “Yes we had a tussle but I could not get James when he was sideways,” Parker added. Robinson just missed out on the top 20, “my car is too heavy for this circuit, we changed the suspension but then got an electrical problem losing charge,” he explained.
Hunter came through to 22nd from the reserve list, demoting Underwood on the final lap, as did Bartlett. “I lost the gear stick and managed to get second and third only,” said Underwood. “I have cured an earlier engine fault, but still not on the pace, improving but missed out at the green flag too,” Bartlett added.
Dix came out on top in the class F battle, 25th overall and just under three seconds up on Gorrie. “I had got some distance and had to do it all over again after the safety car,” said Dix. Dave Chilton was next home, with Sheridan’s “overheating” Honda, Houlbrooke and Hurst completing the top 30. Morton, Jones, David Bird, Saul, Hibbert, Bamber, Mason and Helen and Brian Allen completed the finishers, while Rowles retired two laps in with a puncture and Roundell after eight laps, black flagged after power steering fluid leaked onto the exhaust when he was second in class.
1 Joe Spencer (Stuart Taylor Locosaki) 11 laps in 21m38.717s (64.03mph); 2 David Harvey (Stuart Taylor Locosaki) +6.701s; 3 Roddie Paterson (Caterham R400); 4 Steve Harris (Saker RAPX); 5 Ric Wood (BMW M3 GTR); 6 Peter Davies (Spire GTR); 7 Luke Armiger (Vauxhall Tigra); 8 Danny Bird (Pell Genesis); 9 Matt Spark (Caterham C400); 10 Les Kirk (Fisher Fury).
Class A: 1 Harris; 2 Wood; 3 James Aukland (Ford Capri); 4 Graham Saul (Porsche 928 GTS); no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Paterson; 2 Armiger; 3 Spark; 4 Tim Foxlow (Ford Escort RSR); 5 Garry Watson (Westfield SEW); 6 Colin Robinson (Ford Escort); 7 Eric Bamber (Ginetta G20); 8 Karl Mason (Ginetta G20).
Class C: 1 Spencer; 2 Harvey; 3 Davies; 4 Danny Bird; 5 Kirk; 6 Alastair Chilton (MK Gti); 7 Dave Chilton (MK GTi).
Class D: 1 Oliver Thomas (Subaru Impreza); 2 Alistair Stenhouse (BMW E36 M3); 3 Russell Hunter (MGB Roadster); 4 Ralph Underwood (Triumph TR7 V8); 5 Michael Houlbrooke (Seat Leon Cupra); 6 Mike Hurst (Seat Leon Cupra).
Class E: 1 Piers Grange (Ford Escort Mk2); 2 Graeme Laslett (Lotus Elise); 3 Jamie Cryer (Ginetta G20); 4 Steven Parker (BMW Compact); 5 Nicholas Bartlett (BMW E30 M3); 6 David Jones (Ford Focus); 7 Steven Hibbert (Lotus Sport Elise).
Class F: 1 Clive Dix (Ford Puma); 2 Iain Gorrie (Raw Striker); 3 Simon Sheridan (Honda Civic); 4 Geoff Morton (Honda Civic); 5 David Bird (Honda Civic); 6 Helen Allen (Ford Fiesta Zetec S); 7 Brian Allen (Ford Fiesta XR2i).
Fastest lap: Spencer 1m30.693s (83.35mph).
With a few casualties from race one everyone got a run in race two, so Watson was on the second row behind Rose and Spencer, with Harvey alongside. With his Porsche not repaired, Wardle lined up on the back with his Ginetta G50, but there were still gaps where Doran had broken a driveshaft on the green flag lap and neither Sheridan nor Brian Allen could get their cars to start in the paddock.
The lights went out and Spencer led through Turn One again from Watson, Harvey and Paterson, but by Church Rose was into fourth and Harris was poised to challenge Paterson for fifth. Heading for Rocket for the second time Rose was third and the lead quartet had made the break, as Paterson, Harris and Wood fought for fifth. Bird was eighth but had Davies challenging again, while Foxlow completed the early top ten, ousting Spark on lap two. Thomas had been 12th on the opening lap, but was under pressure immediately, losing out to Hurst on lap two before Armiger, on another charge from 40th, was already 12th after three laps.
Spencer had done his best to build a lead but with Watson pitting after four laps, Rose had a clear track ahead. “I had a good start, off like a bullet but then something broke with the gearbox and I was stuck in sixth,” Watson explained. Davies was up to eighth into Rocket, but Bird had great view of the duel for tenth between Foxlow and Spark in his mirrors. But pressure told on Thomas, “it was missing again so I started to overdrive, missed my braking and went straight on at the last turn,” he said after dropping well down. Armiger’s next target was the Foxlow v Spark duel, but behind him Hurst was progressing too, taking Kirk along too after he demoted Stenhouse from 14th.
It had begun to close up at the front after five laps and Rose finally made his move a lap later through Church to lead along the back straight. Paterson had also started to threaten Harvey for third, while Wardle’s climb to 16th went into reverse as his Ginetta picked up a misfire. Fifth place Harris had also started to slow. “I was just starting to catch fourth when the exhaust split again,” he explained.
Rose didn’t have it easy at the front, he took the win but Spencer stayed close and was only 0.262s down at the flag. “Joe briefly retook me in the backmarkers, I wasn’t as quick as Saturday but don’t know why,” he said. “I just tried to stay with him, which was easier once Garry had retired,” Spencer added. Paterson had been chasing Harvey for third and finally made it on lap seven. “I have never had to come through so many backmarkers, but managed to get David at Rocket,” said Paterson. “I had been well aware that Roddie was there, but then Ric got me and I hadn’t seen him,” said Harvey. So Wood clinched fourth from lap eight, leaving Harvey to take fifth, while the Bird and Davies duel continued right to the red flag ending. “That was great, we had a touch and changed again on the last lap,” said Bird after surrendering the place. “Great yes, but I just can’t get the car off the line at the start,” Davies added.
Harris limped to the flag in eighth and second in class A, while Armiger’s charge got to ninth on this occasion. “That was manic but my tyres had gone after six laps,” he said. Spark clinched 10th when Foxlow spun on lap nine. “I was right behind Matt and he braked very hard at the Hairpin and I spun to avoid him,” Foxlow explained. Kirk recovered from a poor start to retrieve 11th, “usual terrible start, loads of grip though but I just needed to get up to speed,” he said.
Although Hurst was classified 12th and class D winner over Stenhouse, they had clashed and brought out the red flag. “I made room for Ric to lap us and Alistair touched my back wheel and it spun me into the pitwall,” Hurst explained. “I had gone to follow Ric through and Mike seemed to come across me,” Stenhouse replied.
Grange came through with a late charge to take 14th, while Laslett gained from more misfortune for Rowles. “Brilliant race, even though the wheel was rubbing on the suspension,” said the Elise driver. “I was in a good battle then I lost drive, we have got a hole in the gearbox,” Rowles added. Foxlow managed to recover to take 16th from Thomas, while Robinson, Roundell and Cryer rounded off the top 20. “I had a battle at the start with Graeme’s Lotus but over the moon just to finish at last,” said Roundell. “I had a job to get passed James’s Capri again, but then got a gap,” Cryer added. Bartlett was next home from Dave Chilton, who had turned the tables on Alistair this time. “I was chasing Stenhouse’s BMW for 14th and the pedal went to the floor at the Hairpin, so I parked it,” Alistair admitted.
Hunter and Parker headed the class F duel, which this time went to Gorrie. “I feel like I want more grunt, but kept pushing on as I thought Clive was in front of me,” said Gorrie. “That’s 10 consecutive wins ended, I took too long to get clear of the Honda’s,” Dix added. Aukland, Morton, Houlbrooke and Saul rounded off the top 30, with Jones, Harman, Bamber, David Bird, Wardle, Mason and Helen Allen the rest of the finishers.
1 Rose 12 laps in 18m13.948s (82.92mph); 2 Spencer +0.362s; 3 Paterson; 4 Wood; 5 Harvey; 6 Davies; 7 Danny Bird; 8 Harris; 9 Armiger; 10 Spark.
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Wood; 3 Harris; 4 Aukland; 5 Saul; 6 Gary Wardle (Ginetta G50).
Class B: 1 Paterson; 2 Armiger; 3 Spark; 4 Foxlow; 5 Robinson; 6 Bamber; 7 Mason.
Class C: 1 Spencer; 2 Harvey; 3 Davies; 4 Danny Bird; 5 Kirk; 6 Dave Chilton.
Class D: 1 Hurst; 2 Stenhouse; 3 Thomas; 4 Hunter; 5 Houlbrooke; no other starters.
Class E: 1 Grange; 2 Laslett; 3 Richard Roundell (Vauxhall Vectra); 4 Cryer; 5 Bartlett; 6 Parker; 7 Jones; 8 Tony Harman (Ginetta G20).
Class F: 1 Gorrie; 2 Dix; 3 Morton; 4 David Bird; 5 Helen Allen; no other starters.
Fastest lap Rose 1m29.211s (84.74mph).
That was a slight hold up at the start when Danny Bird had a driveshaft break on the grid.
Spencer made the best of the start again, heading Paterson, Wood, Harvey and Rose, but Armiger had given Kirk a nudge at Turn One, he spun and so did Foxlow in avoidance. As they charged through Church Rose was already in to third and ousted Paterson for second in the final turn, as the top four went clear again.
Harvey had lost out and had to fight his way passed Davies again, but Armiger was closing in too. He got by on lap four but all three had Watson reeling them in. The Scot took them all on consecutive laps, but on lap 11 began to slow again and Harvey was back to fifth. “It was out of fuel but I had brimmed it before the start, so I can’t really understand it,” Watson explained.
Rose pressed on to a convincing win, over nine seconds clear of Spencer. “I had a lousy start as I didn’t want to risk another driveshaft, so had to work hard and had a grassy moment at 140 mph too,” he said. “I had a nudge with Paul going through Turn One, when I could see he was going to make a move my car bounced out of gear and he had at least two wheels off but he got me later,” Spencer replied. Paterson was a solitary third, with Harvey snatching fourth from Wood on the last lap. “I had a chance to get Roddie but didn’t want to swap paintwork, then fell over a backmarker on the last lap,” said Wood.
“I had a great duel with Peter Davies, I must have been asleep when he got me and knew I would get him back, “said a confident Harvey. “I was disappointed I couldn’t beat him though,” Davies replied. In contrast to the rest of his weekend, Armiger had a quiet race into seventh. “I tried to miss Les at the start and swapped a bit with Dave Harvey on the first lap, but fairly quiet,” he agreed. Spark, Stenhouse and Kirk completed the top ten. “I gave the Caterham a bit of a fight I think,” said Stenhouse. “It was just red mist for me after Luke tagged me at the start,” Kirk added. Alistair Chilton was set for 11th until a dramatic departure. “I was battling with Les and the engine blew,” he said after parking up at the final turn.
Grange was 11th and left Laslett to keep Roundell at bay for second in class E. “It was hard to shake them off though, a tough race,” Grange admitted. Cryer had managed to get away from Aukland to join in his class fight, but was out after eight laps with a sticking throttle. Foxlow headed home Aukland, while Dave Chilton, Robinson, Bartlett, Parker ad Dix completed the top 20.
Gorrie had been unable to match the Puma pace for a second time in class F, finishing six seconds back. He had Jones behind him, followed by Houlbrooke, Morton and the Ginetta G20’s of Harman, Bamber and Mason. Seery’s Astra, David Bird, Saul and Helen and Brian Allen were the other finishers, as Doran, Hurst, Hunter and Wardle had all fallen by the wayside.
1 Rose 15 laps in 22m51.170s (82.70mph); 2 Spencer +9.223s; 3 Paterson; 4 Harvey; 5 Wood; 6 Davies; 7 Armiger; 8 Spark; 9 Stenhouse; 10 Kirk.
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Wood; 3 Aukland; 4 Saul; no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Paterson; 2 Armiger; 3 Spark; 4 Foxlow; 5 Robinson; 6 Bamber; 7 Mason.
Class C: 1 Spencer; 2 Harvey; 3 Davies; 4 Kirk; 5 Dave Chilton; no other finishers,
Class D: 1 Stenhouse; 2 Houlbrooke; no other finishers.
Class E: 1 Grange; 2 Laslett; 3 Roundell; 4 Bartlett; 5 Parker; 6 John Seery (Vauxhall Astra); 7 Jones.
Class F: 1 Dix; 2 Gorrie; 3 Morton; 4 David Bird; 5 Helen Allen; 6 Brian Allen,
Fastest lap: Rose 1m29.539s (84.43mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, April 25th 2017