Sports/Saloon Car Championship – Rounds 2 & 3 - Cadwell Park
THREE IN A ROW FOR ROSE, BUT CRYER STARS AT CADWELL
It was a double win for Paul Rose’s Saker as the CNC Heads Sports Saloons Championship made its annual visit to Cadwell Park, but Jamie Cryer’s Ginetta G20 was the star of the weekend, best of the Modified cars in both races.
The 28 car entry was split into Specials and Modifieds for qualifying, with the intention of split races too. It was fine and sunny for qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but fog on Sunday morning delayed the programme and both races were combined.
Rose was comfortably on pole, “ we had a good balance and car felt just fine,” he said. He had team mate Steve Harris alongside, “no dramas just hope I am quick enough,” he added. Just 0.7 secs back in third Roddie Patterson was back with his Caterham R400. “We had a wire off the starter motor at the end of the session, otherwise good,” he said. He had Andrew Southcott’s Modsport MG Midget alongside, just edging out Dave Harvey’s Stuart Taylor Locosaki. “I was stuck behind Roddie for a while, but the car was spot on, flowing nicely,” Harvey added.
Luke Armiger completed the third row having had a lot of work done to his Vauxhall Tigra over the winter. “The car was much quicker but I had brake fade, then we found a crack in the diff after the session,” he explained. Although Paul Woolfitt’s Lotus Exige was seventh quickest, all was not well. “There’s just no power again and I don’t know why,” he said after withdrawing from the races.
With Paul absent, brother Jon was left solo on the fourth row, with his super quick MK Indy, while behind was an all Mazda engined row. Tony Ellis’ Gemini Elva just edged out Paul Dobson’s Locost 7. “A bit scary though, 10 years since I was last here. But oil was coming out of the breather onto the tyres and I had a grassy moment exiting the Hairpin,” Ellis explained. “My throttle was sticking so I had to pit, but wanted to stay out longer really,” Dobson replied. Heading the next row was Cryer’s Ginetta G20, first of the Modified cars and would have had pole if the races had been split. “Better than I had expected and I just love Cadwell. All the changes seem to have worked and great to have class pole,” he said. He had James Aukland’s Ford Capri alongside, also surprised by his position. “Steady I thought, but then saw I was quicker, so maybe not,” he reckoned.
After debuting at Oulton Park, Guy Carter had a couple of problems with his TVR Tuscan. “A misfire and a strange noise from the rear end,” he said. Alastair Chilton’s MK GTi was next to him, but also had a problem. “A new throttle cable, Dad put it on. There was nothing at first and then boom and I nearly lost it,” he explained.
Oliver Thomas’ Subaru Impreza and Paul Rotheroe’s Citroen Xsara VTS were next quickest. “Still trying to find my feet really, with gear selection etc. Sure I can find more time though,” said Rotheroe.
Stephen Keenan’s MK RR had a trouble free session and for once so did Steve Rowles, lining his Honda Civic Type R alongside. Chris Maries was back for more in his Honda Integra, sharing row 10 with Mike Hurst’s Seat Leon Cupra. “It’s getting nearer but it’s still not right. Predictably down on power, but now it’s more even,” Hurst explained.
Dave Chilton’s MK GTi had Robert Wakelin’s Honda Civic next to him. I tried following Alastair for a while, but he couldn’t go around the corners,” reckoned Chilton Snr. “I had a spin at Charlies, finding my limits,” Wakelin added.
Ralph Underwood’s TR7 V8 was next and had race debutant David Green sharing row 12 in his Honda Accord. “My first ever race, but I had done sprints and hillclimbs. I am just here for fun and hadn’t even sat in the car before qualifying,” he explained.
On the penultimate row Brian Allen debuted his Ford Puma, “a learning curve, but doing OK. Not sure about the power steering though,” he said. With his Porsche still damaged after the Oulton Park opener, Garry Wardle brought his Mini Cooper along. “A massive misfire, it wouldn’t rev so just did three laps and pitted,” he explained.
Alex Modro also had problems with his Ford Focus when the water temperature soared on the out lap, so he was straight into the pits too. Clive Dix completed the grid but had been stuck in third gear in his Ford Puma. “I just did my three qualifying laps too,” he said.
The morning fog had finally lifted and the track was dry as the 27 car field lined up for the second round of the Championship.
Patterson headed the charge into Coppice, from Southcott, but Rose was already on the attack and into third at Park, before ousting Southcott on the exit of Barn, to complete the opening lap in second. Southcott then had to defend from Harvey, who had Armiger and Harris on his tail, while Woolfitt was doing his best to hold on too.
Rose stormed ahead at Mansfield on the second lap, but the top seven had gone clear. Dobson was next up, being pursued by Ellis, while Cryer was doing his best to shake-off Aukland and Carter for 10th.
The lead soon began to grow but the fight for the other podium places continued to intensify, but Ellis peeled off to the paddock on lap four to retire. “I was slowly catching Dobbo but the oil pressure went and I didn’t want to risk the engine, plus I was hungry too so got a burger and chips,” he explained.
Cryer was up to ninth but with Aukland and Carter still duelling, including almost touching at the Mountain approach, he was safe for a while. Also making progress was Thomas’ Impreza, having demoted Rotheroe, he began to set his sights on the Aukland and Carter duel too. Keenan and Chilton Jnr. were fighting for 15th and Rowles had Maries threatening, after the former had made a sensational start.
In the fight for second it just got closer and closer, with Armiger taking Harvey on lap four for fourth into Park, and Harris following a lap later. Out though was Woolfitt with gearbox problems on lap five, but two laps later there was drama approaching Park Corner. Patterson was in second and his engine let go, so Southcott tried to take late avoiding action, but had Harris alongside, after he had charged ahead of Armiger, The MG and Saker touched, but Southcott had nowhere to go, hit Patterson firmly in the rear, aided by impact from being hit by Armiger himself.
“It was a rod through the block and I was trying to pull off. I was hit so hard it split my tank and caught fire and damaged my helmet,” Patterson explained. “I tried to go around him then got hit by Luke,” Southcott added. “I just had nowhere to go,” replied Armiger.
Two more laps were completed before the safety car appeared, which continued before a final one lap sprint to the chequered flag. “I had a better start than normal and caught them napping at the green flag for that last lap,” said race winner Rose. With the carnage behind Harris came away with second, “thoroughly enjoyable, a cracking race, side by side racing, great. I was lucky when the others collided though,” he said.
Harvey clinched third, with Dobson fourth. “That was better but still not quite right and I need to try harder,” Dobson reckoned.
Carter had finally got the better of Aukland into Park after four duelling laps and was quick to pounce at the final green flag, powering ahead of Cryer into Charlies for fifth. “It’s still not revving right, but James does defend well and it got very close a couple of times,” said Carter. “I had a swap with James at the start, retook into Park and just got my head down and really enjoyed it,” said Cryer. “A good mature drive and great fun with Guy, but we were trying to aim for Jamie too,” seventh placed Aukland replied.
Thomas Chilton Jnr. and Rotheroe completed the top 10. “I had a terrible start and got pushed wide onto the grass at Coppice,” said Chilton. He had dropped to 18th place, but made rapid progress, finally deposing Rotheroe on lap six.
“I had a bad start too and had to fight my way passed Steve Rowles on the third lap. I had changed my gear selection at the Gooseneck and felt I gelled more with the circuit,” Rotheroe explained.
Keenan was next home, from Maries, who had got the better of Rowles midrace, but Hurst still struggled home 14th. Wakelin’s Honda dominated the class F trio and had Dave Chilton between him and Dix. “Absolutely brilliant and I got Dave at the Hairpin too,” he said. “I had to watch my back, but quite pleased with that,” Dix added.
Green and Allen completed the finishers, but Wardle had failed to make a lap due a throttle pedal problem, Underwood retired four laps in with a “horrible grating noise,” and Modro has more problems too, retiring after five laps.
1 Paul Rose (Saker RAPX) 12 laps in 23m43.816s (66.35mph); 2 Steve Harris (Saker RAPX) +13.692s; 3 David Harvey (Stuart Taylor Locosaki); 4 Paul Dobson (Locost 7); 5 Guy Carter (TVR Tuscan); 6 Jamie Cryer (Ginetta G20); 7 James Aukland (Ford Capri); 8 Oliver Thomas (Subaru Impreza); 9 Alastair Chilton (MK GTi); 10 Paul Rotheroe (Citroen Xsara VTS).
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Harris; 3 Carter; 4 Aukland; 5 Stephen Keenan (MK Indy); no other starters.
Class B: 1 Dobson; no other finishers.
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 A.Chilton; 3 Dave Chilton (MK GTi); no other starters.
Class D: 1 Thomas; 2 Mike Hurst (Seat Leon Cupra); no other finishers.
Class E: 1 Cryer; 2 Rotheroe; 3 Chris Maries (Honda Integra); 4 Steve Rowles (Honda Civic Type R); 5 Brian Allen (Ford Puma); no other finishers.
Class F: 1 Robert Wakelin (Honda Civic); 2 Clive Dix (Ford Puma); 3 David Green (Honda Civic) no other starters.
Fastest lap: Rose 1m28.382s (89.08mph).
With Patterson and Armiger out with damage from the first race and Woolfitt, Underwood and Wardle unable to fix their problems, it was a 22 car grid for the second race of the weekend.
Southcott led from the start, with Harvey under immediate pressure from the Saker twins, Rose and Harris. Rose got by into Park and Harris followed at Chris Curve. As they completed the opening lap it was side by side for the lead, but Rose charged by through Coppice and left Southcott to dispute second with Harris.
It had started to spread out behind, as Harvey had a good gap over Dobson, with Ellis, Cryer, Keenan and Aukland following, before a five car train for 10th. Thomas headed the quintet, with Chilton A and Carter demoting Rotheroe on lap two and Rowles stayed close too.
The lead continued to grow and grow but Harris couldn’t breach Southcott’s defence. He finally went by on the pits straight as they completed lap five, but Southcott then went straight to the paddock to retire. “I felt something in the drive, maybe the diff, so came in and then found nothing,” he said.
Dobson had also retired from fifth, “I clipped a marker at Hall Bends and got a puncture,” he explained. Ellis inherited the place but had Cryer edging closer, Aukland began to make inroads on Keenan’s seventh place while Thomas had to give best to both Chilton and Carter as he slipped to 11th.
It remained all fairly settled and calm for the lead trio, “I set a personal time target and tried to break it, another good start though,” said Rose as he celebrated his third win of the season.
“I had changed tyres but it was the wrong decision as it took too long to get the heat in,” Harris added, as he finished 42.8 secs adrift of team mate Rose.” I put new tyres on and had to get up to pace on my own really, but couldn’t stay with Steve,” Harvey replied.
Ellis retained a healthy gap over Cryer to retain fourth, “still low oil pressure so busy watching the gauge and my mirrors,” he said. “I did have a go at Tony into Mansfield, but maybe not brave enough. The car has been mega though all weekend,” Cryer added.
Chilton made it past Aukland to secure sixth from lap eight, with Carter following a couple of laps later. “Another bad start and let off when I heard a clunk. I could see Guy catching again though and had to go again,” said Chilton. “When I caught James this time I didn’t give him any thinking time,” Carter added.
“I had enough at the end and could see Oliver closing on me, so quite pleased to see the flag,” said Aukland after holding onto eighth. Thomas was happy, another class win too, “a handful though as I lost my brakes from about lap five. I went to full boost at the end though to try and catch James though, “He explained.
Hurst completed the top 10, ousting Rotheroe on lap nine. “I had to overdrive though to keep Steve Rowles back,” said Rotheroe. “I finished but no brakes,” Rowles added.
Wakelin took class F again but had Modro’s Focus close for a while. “I had an off chasing him though,” Modro admitted.
Dix, Green and Allen completed the order, but Keenan, Maries and Chilton Snr were all early casualties.
1 Rose 15 laps in 22m29.643s (87.50mph); 2 Harris +42.862s; 3 Harvey; 4 Tony Ellis (Gemini Elva); 5 Cryer; 6 A.Chilton; 7 Carter; 8 Aukland; 9 Thomas; 10 Hurst.
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Harris; 3 Carter; 4 Aukland; no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Ellis; no other finishers;
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 A.Chilton; no other finishers;
Class D: 1 Thomas; 2 Hurst; no other starters.
Class E: 1 Cryer; 2 Rotheroe; 3 Rowles; 4 Alex Modro (Ford Focus); 5 Allen; no other finishers.
Class F: 1 Wakelin; 2 Dix; 3 Green; no other starters.
Fastest lap: Rose 1m27.914s (69.55mph).
Latest Championship Positions :
1 Paul Rose 32 Joker
2 Oliver Thomas 23 Joker
3 Dave Harvey 22
4 Jamie Cryer 20
5 Rob Wakelin 19
6 Clive Dix 16
Paul Rotheroe 16
8 Guy Carter 14
9 Tony Ellis 13
10 Steve Harris 12 Joker
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, April 17th 2018