Sports/Saloon Car Championship – Rounds 8, 9 & 10 - Anglesey
ROSE TREBLE CONSOLIDATES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Paul Rose’s Saker won all three of last weekend’s CNC Heads Sports Saloon races, to help consolidate his lead in the championship.
35 cars were out in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, which went from damp to almost fully wet by the end of the session.
Rose secured a comfortable pole position, by 2.785 secs over Luke Armiger’s Vauxhall Tigra. “It got very slippery on slicks, just about OK but hard getting any heat into them. I needed a good time early on and got it,” said Rose. Although Armiger was a clear second, he had problems with half shafts, which was fortunately rectified before the race.
Steve Harris is normally alongside Rose in the second Saker, but found himself lining up behind his team mate. “I had a big spin out the last corner and just sorted it out before hitting the wall. So I came in for wets and got out for the last five minutes. But only managed one flying lap,” he explained. Danny Bird’s Spire GTR lined up alongside Harris, “well everything seemed be working OK, but too wet to go faster,” he reckoned.
Garry Wardle was another fairly happy with his fifth placed time too. “We mastered the brake problems and it now stops and doesn’t lock up, so I got some good early laps in before it got too wet,” said the Porsche 997 driver. Completing row three was Paul Dobson’s Locost Mazda, “a little water leak but I couldn’t go any faster,” he said. Peter Davies was not quite so happy with seventh best, “we went well in testing but the conditions were deteriorating and it started to put me off,” he admitted.
Intermediate tyres were Dave Harvey’s choice, “I tried intermediates and the got out on wets later, but I had understeer and it wasn’t enough for a good time,” said the Locosaki driver. Returnee Alistair Stenhouse was next up with his BMW M3, his first time out this season. “It is just a one-off though,” he confirmed. He had Oliver Thomas alongside, struggling for grip with his Subaru Impreza. “I had no grip at all, so I came in and tried to lower the boost. I spun twice but just couldn’t get my foot down,” he explained.
Andrew Southcott was back with his Modsports Sprite. “I was too cautious and lacking in confidence a bit after a crash at Castle Combe,” he said. Philip Morris was alongside him in his VW Golf Gti, but more than happy with his time, well over a second up on team mate Dan Crossley. Alongside Crossley was Chris Maries’ Honda Integra, “I played with the brake bias for the first time on this car, got it wrong and spun three times,” he admitted.
While Nick Bartlett was happy heading row eight in his BMW M3, class rival Jamie Cryer had struggled. “I didn’t enjoy the conditions and found it hard to read the track,” he admitted. Mike Hurst’s Seat Leon Cupra, Graeme Laslett’s new Lotus Elise, Ian Bruce’s Honda Civic and David Jones’ Ford Focus completed the top 20. “I am still learning the new car, we found a misfire but cured it though,” said Laslett.
Robert Wakelin’s Honda Civic headed class F from 21st overall, “all good just slippery,” he reckoned. Steven Parker found similar problems, “I had no temperature in the tyres and had a couple of spins,” he said. Alastair Chilton’s MK GTi had a “splutter out of the corner,” but managed to fix it, while Clive Dix strived to solve an alternator problem on his Ford Puma.
Guy Carter also admitted to being too cautious in his TVR Tuscan. “I didn’t really push it, so still think there’s a misfire,” he said. But apart from the conditions all was well with Dave Chilton’s MK Gti. Peter Koukoulas’ Toyota MR2 and David Green’s first lap spinning Honda Civic shared row 14, with Connor Modro’s Ford Focus, Duncan Aukland’s Proton Pultra, Karl Mason’s Ginetta G20, Brian Allen’s Ford Puma, Helen Allen’s Ford Fiesta Zetec, Tony Harman’s Ginetta G20 and Ralph Underwood’s TR7 V8 completing the qualifiers, after Tim Foxlow’s Escort failed to appear after the oil cooler split in the assembly area.
As the lights went out Bird looked set to lead into Turn One until Harvey rocketed from the fourth row to head the 35 car field through the first left hander, with Armiger in third, from poleman Rose. “I thought mine was good, but what a blinder from Dave,” said Bird.
Harvey retained his lead until Church on the second lap, when Bird stormed ahead, only for Harvey to spin down to sixth, as Rose, Harris, Armiger and Southcott went by. But out came the safety car as Morris had crashed heavily exiting the Hairpin, but after only more lap the race was red flagged and lined-up for a restart. Underwood had failed to make the original start and Aukland, Crossley and Mason returned to the paddock too, leaving 31 to take the restart.
Bird’s lightening start gave him the lead this time, with Southcott following through as Harvey settled in third and Harris gained an early advantage over Rose for fourth. As Harvey seemed to slow through Church, both Saker’s rocketed by, with Rose completing the opening lap back ahead of Harris. The top four had already started to break clear as Armiger and Harvey disputed fifth, sharing a number of exchanges.
But exiting the Hairpin for the second time Bird spun and was collected by Southcott, which left Rose in front, from Harris, Harvey and Armiger, with Davies chasing Dobson for fifth. “I think there was coolant or something, but as I spun I came back across the track and that’s when I was hit,” said Bird. “I had to choose which side to go when Danny spun and I chose the wrong one,” Southcott added.
The safety car was out again however to remove the stricken cars, and unfortunately it continued to circulate for four laps until the chequered flag was shown.
“That was a bit of a non-event really, but Steve made me work hard on the first lap, before I got him onto the straight. It’s nice to see him give me a bit of a race though,” said Rose. “It was the only decent bit of the race as the rest was all safety car,” Harris added. Harvey was classified third, “a great start and I was leading until I spun on to the grass, then a great scrap with Luke,” he explained, as Armiger had to settle for fourth.
Dobson and Davies retained fifth and sixth, “he was catching me on the twisty bits but I had him on the straights,” said Dobson. “The car was spot on and I was ready to go for Paul under braking, “Davies replied. In seventh Wardle led home a quartet of class D runners, from Stenhouse, Hurst and Thomas. “It was OK but the car was getting really hot going so slowly behind the safety car. I had been boxed in too at both starts,” said Wardle.
“I had got Oliver on the first lap, but both he and Mike Hurst were coming back at me when the safety car came out. After that it was just like being back on the A55,” said Stenhouse. “My car was going a lot better, now the driver needs to catch up with its pace,” Hurst reckoned. “I was struggling to select gears under acceleration, but at least I had some grip,” Thomas added.
Alastair Chilton was next home, with Foxlow having climbed to 12th from a pitlane start. “I had a good time coming through, made lots of places and was starting to enjoy it,” said Foxlow. Cryer was happier than after qualifying and took the victory spoils in class E. “I had a good second start and just managed to get away from the rest of the class,” he admitted.
Carter continued to struggle home in 14th, with Bartlett, Laslett, Parker, Bruce, Jones and class D victor Wakelin completing the top 20. “Brilliant, loved it, just disappointing,” said Laslett. I was glad to see the flag as the warning light was on and it began to sound a bit rough,” Wakelin added.
“I was starting to gain pace and close on the class lead,” said Dix in 21st. Harman. Modro and Dave Chilton were next home, before Helen Allen who fended off Green’s Honda. “I was thinking about going for Helen,” Green admitted. “It had started to be a good duel but I had it covered,” she replied. Koukoulas and Brian Allen followed them to the flag, with Maries the final finisher after a quick pitstop.
1 Paul Rose (Saker RAPX) 6 laps in 13m45.303s (54.96mph); 2 Steve Harris (Saker RAPX) +1.147s; 3 Dave Harvey (Stuart Taylor Locosaki); 4 Luke Armiger (Vauxhall Tigra); 5 Paul Dobson (Locost Mazda); 6 Peter Davies (Spire GTR); 7 Garry Wardle (Porsche (997); 8 Alistair Stenhouse (BMW E36 M3); 9 Mike Hurst (Seat Leon Cupra); 10 Oliver Thomas (Subaru Impreza).
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Harris; 3 Guy Carter (TVR Tuscan); no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Armiger; 2 Dobson; 3 Tim Foxlow (Ford Escort RSR); no other finishers,
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 Davies; 3 Alastair Chilton (MK Gti); 4 Dave Chilton (MK Gti); no other finishers,
Class D: 1 Wardle; 2 Stenhouse; 3 Hurst; 4 Thomas; no other finishers.
Class E: 1 Jamie Cryer (Ginetta G20); 2 Nicholas Bartlett (BMW E30 M3); 3 Graeme Laslett (Lotus Elise); 4 Steven Parker (BMW Compact); 5 Ian Bruce (Honda Civic); 6 David Jones (Ford Focus); 7 Tony Harman (Ginetta G20); 8 Conor Modro (Ford Focus); 9 Peter Koukoulas (Toyota MR2); 10 Brian Allen (Ford Puma); 11 Chris Maries (Honda Integra).
Class F: 1 Robert Wakelin (Honda Civic); 2 Clive Dix (Ford Puma); 3 Helen Allen (Ford Fiesta Zetec); 4 David Green (Honda Civic) no other starters.
Fastest lap: Rose 1m32.351s (81.86mph).
Once again Bird and Harvey took flight as the lights went out, but Rose had already managed to split them before the end of the opening lap and led into the final turn as they completed lap two. Dobson and Armiger had an early duel for fourth, before Armiger went by as the turned onto the International circuit and escaped from lap four, with Davies settling in the early top six.
While Rose began to build on his lead, Harvey successfully challenged Bird for second and began to ease clear too, while Armiger and Dobson continued as the top five. Davies had started to be caught by Wardle however, who in turn had Harris closing in after a pitlane start. “I went out on wets and decided to pit for slicks, so was half a lap down when I started,” said Harris.
While Rose eased his way to another win, Bird had managed to retake Harvey with two laps remaining but was later excluded from second after failing the ride height. Harvey therefore was back to second, with Armiger completing the overall podium. “It has been brilliant with Dobbo early on, but know way was I going to catch Dave,” said Armiger.
Dobson looked set to take fifth on the road but was pipped by Harris on the last lap. “I lost the brakes mid race and the clutch was going at the end too, so there was no chance of defending when Steve caught me,” he explained. “I’d had to be patient coming through the field though, but enjoyed the comeback drive,” Harris added.
Wardle had managed to gap Davies after they exchanged on lap six and were the final unlapped runners. Although Thomas was classified eighth and second in class, he had hoped to be closer to class winner Wardle. “I had managed to get clear of Alistair Stenhouse then about half way through got brake fade and started to comeback. Then into Rocket on the last lap I had a big moment, but just held on,” he said after taking the flag only 0.301s ahead of Stenhouse.
Alastair Chilton rounded off the top 10 after demoting Hurst a lap from home. Hurst retained 11th well clear of Crossley, before Cryer’s Ginetta secured another class E win over class rival Bartlett. Foxlow battled from the back of the grid to hold 16th from lap seven, with Maries following in a fairly lonely race. Bruce had been clear of both Parker and Jones until mid-race, but from lap nine it was Jones heading the trio, with Bruce losing ground.
Mason won the battle of the G20’s over Harman to complete the top 20, while Wakelin had the legs of the class F runners and had Modro and Dave Chilton between him and second placed Dix. “I had to back off with a downshift problem, after getting neutral a couple of times,” said Dix. Koukoulas, Green Helen and Brian Allen and Aukland completed the finishers, with Carter and Laslett having been early retirements.
1 Rose 14 laps in 22m02.051s (80.05mph); 2 Harvey +11.433s; 3 Armiger; 4 Harris; 5 Dobson; 6 Wardle; 7 Davies; 8 Thomas; 9 Stenhouse; 10 A.Chilton.
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Harris; 3 Aukland; no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Armiger; 2 Dobson; 3 Foxlow; 4 Karl Mason (Ginetta G20); no other starters.
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 Davies; 3 A.Chilton; 4 D.Chilton; no other finishers.
Class D: 1 Wardle; 2 Thomas; 3 Stenhouse; 4 Hurst; 5 Dan Crossley (VW Golf Gti); no other starters.
Class E: 1 Cryer; 2 Bartlett; 3 Maries; 4 Jones; 5 Parker; 6 Bruce; 7 Harman; 8 Modro; 9 Koukoulas; 10 B.Allen.
Class F: 1 Wakelin; 2 Dix; 3 Green; 4 H.Allen; no other starters.
Fastest lap: Rose 1m32.031s (82.14mph).
It was a drying track for the final race of the weekend, but both Saker’s elected to start from the pitlane and Bird was on the back too after his exclusion.
Harvey sprinted clear and had managed to build a 3.625 secs lead over Armiger before Rose reeled them in. Dobson had been an early third, losing out to Rose on lap three, before Harris followed a lap later. “It seemed easier to get through the field than in the dry,” said Rose after he had the lead on lap five. “I had to back off a little though as my wets were worn out,” he added after taking a 16 secs plus victory over team mate Harris. “I thought we got through quicker than I had expected too,” Harris added.
Once the Saker’s had gone by Harvey had a solitary race into third, but Bird had come charging from the back of the grid too for a late challenge. “I was on old wets and it was brilliant to start with and even stayed with Dave for a while. But then it started to dry out, my tyres were wrecked, Dobbo came back at me and Danny caught us to. They got by and I locked up at the Hairpin and they were gone,” said Armiger after dropping to sixth with a lap to go.
“I did a repeat move on Luke that he did on me in race two, but Danny got us both,” Dobson added. So Bird was fourth, from Dobson, but Wardle snatched sixth from Armiger on the last lap. Davies had managed to keep Thomas at a safe distance throughout for eighth. “I struggled a bit for grip again and then got brake fade at the end, so just made sure I finished,” said Thomas. Hurst completed the top 10 and Alastair Chilton in 11th also went home with the Cam Forbes Trophy.
It was a close battle in class E though, with Bartlett once again excelling in the damp to keep Cryer at bay for 12th overall and the class win. Crossley was next home, from Jones, Bruce, Maries and Dave Chilton, before Dix returned to winning ways in class F. “It hadn’t been dry enough for slicks, but the car was faultless and felt more like we did last year now,” said Dix.
Harman rounded off the top 20 from a struggling Foxlow, while Parker headed class F runner-up Wakelin. Modro, Aukland, Koukoulas, Green and Helen Allen completed the finishers, with Stenhouse having retired on lap eight, after running inside the top 10 and both Carter and Brian Allen out from the start.
1 Rose 13 laps in 21m35.066s (75.88mph); 2 Harris +16.690s; 3 Harvey; 4 Bird; 5 Dobson; 6 Wardle; 7 Armiger; 8 Davies; 9 Thomas; 10 Hurst.
Class A: 1 Rose; 2 Harris; 3 Aukland; no other finishers.
Class B: 1 Dobson; 2 Armiger; 3 Foxlow; no other starters.
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 Bird; 3 Davies; 4 A.Chilton; 5 D.Chilton; no other starters.
Class D: 1 Wardle; 2 Thomas; 3 Hurst; 4 Crossley; no other finishers,
Class E: 1 Bartlett; 2 Cryer; 3 Jones; 4 Bruce; 5 Maries; 6 Harman; 7 Parker; 8 Modro; 9 Koukoulas.
Class F: 1 Dix; 2 Wakelin; 3 Green; 4 H.Allen; no other starters.
Fastest lap: Rose 1m36.372s (78.44mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC (NW) September 4th 2018.