Sports/Saloon Car Championship – Rounds 2 & 3 - Cadwell Park
Having proved his pace since joining the Championship, Andrew Southcott finally had the success his promise has showed, taking his MG Modsport to a double win at Cadwell Park.
After the morning’s qualifying session only 0.64 secs covered the top four, with Southcott just edging out Dave Harvey’s Locosaki for pole. “It was another new engine after Oulton, we cured a misfire, but not a lot of power between 7-8000 revs,” said the poleman. “I was late out as we couldn’t start the car,” Harvey replied. Paul Dobson headed the second row in his Locost 7,”the temperature was Ok, the tyres were good, so all’s well,” he said. He had first round winner Jon Woolfitt alongside in his MK Indy. “I didn’t get a clear lap really, but all good,” he added.
“Perfect” was Rob Burkinshaw’s reply, after he managed to take his Honda Integra to fifth best, after getting some clear laps early into the session. He should have had Tony Ellis’ Gemini Elva alongside, “I was struggling a bit with handling,” he explained before non-starting. Steven Parker’s BMW Compact was next up, sharing row four with returnee Brian Dean’s Westfield. “I have been away about four years, but this was always one of my favourite tracks,” he said.
Stephen Keenan’s MK should have been at the head of the fifth row, but he had damaged the front suspension and was also a non-starter. So Nicholas Bartlett’s BMW M3 had the row to himself, “it wasn’t good or bad sort of in the middle,” he reckoned. Graeme Smith’s Caterham had a good session, “really pleased with my time,” he said. Debutant Neal O’Leary was alongside in his Ginetta G20.
Alastair Chilton hadn’t been in his MK for six months and had problems. “The oil temperature started to go up just as I was beginning to enjoy it,” he said. But alongside him Tony Harman was delighted. “My best time yet around here,” said the Ginetta G20 driver. The next row was all Honda, with Ian Bruce’s Civic and Chris Maries with the ex Steve Rowles Integra. “Very daunting on my first visit here and I am struggling with the right gears around the Hairpin,” said Bruce. “The new tyres were good, but I need to work on the suspension,” Maries added.
Garry Wardle’s Mini Cooper S should have headed row nine, but a dramatic session left him sidelined too. “One of the front wheels almost came off, as there was one nut holding it on,” he said. Dave Chilton’s MK therefore sat alone, “no problem,” he confirmed. Les Kirk was next with his Honda Civic, “I am hitting the rev limiter and struggling with the right gears at the Hairpin,” he said. He had David Green’s older Civic alongside him.
Well down the order though was Jamie Cryer, struggling with his Ginetta G20. “It won’t rev passed 4000 then goes fluffy, so I did three laps and came in,” he explained.
David Bird’s Civic struggled for gears too, but Brian Allen’s Puma came through unscathed. Guy Carter’s Honda CRX was the last to set a time, “the crank pulley came off in practice, so I just did a few laps to check it,” he said. Both Danny Bird’s Spire GTR and Paul Woolfitt’s Lotus Exige were on the back having failed to set a time. “No gears,” said Danny, while Woolfitt’s throttle cable broke at Barn on his out lap.
RACE 1 Southcott led Jon Woolfitt through Coppice at the start and they were quickly joined by Harvey and Dobson in an opening lap break, with Burkinshaw already solo in fifth. The lead soon began to grow, while behind Burkinshaw, Dean began to consolidate sixth, as Danny Bird was up to seventh by the end of lap two, with only Graeme Smith between him and fellow back row starter Paul Woolfitt.
Dobson had been pushing hard from start and managed to take both Harvey and Jon Woolfitt on lap three, before closing in on the leader. Danny Bird and Paul Woolfitt were both in the top six by the end of lap four, but further progress would prove more difficult.
As the top three began to close up, Jon Woolfitt lost touch a little, which left him clear for a challenge from Bird and his brother Paul. Bird was into fourth at Barn, but then Woolfitt had to pit with rear bodywork trailing. “Dave hit me up the back, but I was struggling to try and stay on the top three’s pace after the third lap,” said Jon Woolfitt.
Southcott was unable to get way at the front despite leaving Dobson and Harvey to duel nose to tail for second. Harvey was ahead with a lap to go, but as they arrived at the Mountain for the final time, both misjudged as they caught Kirk’s Honda. Harvey got out of shape and Dobson dived ahead and tried to avoid his rival. As his Locost swung like a pendulum up the Mountain, he spun onto the grass and went around and around before rejoining back in third again.
It was therefore a comfortable last lap for Southcott as he took the win by over four seconds. “I had a touch with Dobbo at the Hairpin, but I think I spent too much time looking in my mirrors,” he explained. On his slowing down lap, though, his gear linkage broke! So Harvey came in second from Dobson, Danny Bird and Paul Woolfitt. “The tyres were going off at the end, I actually enjoyed it coming up from the back,” said Bird.
Paul Woolfitt had settled in a solitary fifth, “it was hard work and I was too polite, but I need to finish and family rules applied until Jon pitted,” he said. Although Burkinshaw and Dean had run solo for most of the race too, Dean had Smith closing in on him at the end. “I had a good gap so was able to slow down, “said Dean. “It was a really good start, I made some places and then I was on my own,” Smith added.
There had been a huge train of cars disputing 10th for much of the race, with Harman leading the way. Maries was the first to get by on lap eight but lap later Harman had gone. “A blinding start and got a clear gap. Then had lots of pressure but it was when Bartlett went for me I understeered off at Charlies as the track wasn’t wide enough for me,” Harman explained.
As Maries consolidated ninth, Bartlett managed to shake off O’Leary, but despite their lack of pace, Parker and Cryer finally began to make progress. “I bogged down at the start and had no real pace to move on,” said Parker, who managed to snatch 10th from Bartlett on the last lap. “I got boxed in at Charlies when I was trying to overtake so lost places to Steven and Jamie,” Bartlett explained.
“O’Leary was 13th, from Bruce and class F front runners Green and Carter. Dave Chilton, David Bird and Brian Allen completed the finishers.
1 Andrew Southcott (MG Modsport) 13 laps in 20m22.734s (83.70mph; 2 David Harvey (Stuart Taylor Locosaki) +4.482s; 3 Paul Dobson (Locost 7); 4 Danny Bird (Spire GTR); 5 Paul Woolfitt (Lotus Exige); 6 Rob Burkinshaw (Honda Integra); 7 Brian Dean (Westfield SE); 8 Graeme Smith (Caterham Classic) 9 Chris Maries (Honda Integra) 10 Steven Parker (BMW Compact).
Class A: 1 no finishers.
Class B: 1 Southcott; 2 Dobson; 3 P.Woolfitt; 4 Dean; no other starters;
Class C: 1 Harvey; 2 Bird; 3 Smith; 4 Dave Chilton (MK Gti); no other finishers.
Class D: no starters.
Class E: 1 Burkinshaw; 2 Maries; 3 Parker; 4 Jamie Cryer (Ginetta G20); 5 Nicholas Bartlett (BMW M3); 6 Neal O’Leary (Ginetta G20); 7 Ian Bruce (Honda Civic Type R); 8 Les Kirk (Honda Civic Type R); 9 Brian Allen (Ford Puma).
Class F: 1 David Green (Honda Civic); 2 Guy Carter (Honda CRX); 3 David Bird (Honda Civic); no other starters.
Fastest lap: Southcott 1m31.318s (86.21mph).
Harvey had pole for race two with Dobson sharing the front row, while Southcott was alongside Jon Woolfitt on row two. Additional non-starters were the Chilton’s, Dean and Cryer, but after missing race one, Ellis was back to make it a 20 car grid.
Harvey converted pole into a first lap lead, which left Southcott and Dobson disputing second. But his lead was shortlived as Southcott went by a lap later, with Dobson following onto the Mountain on lap three, as the lead quartet paired off. Once again Paul Woolfitt and Bird began to work their way from the back of the grid and by the end of lap three were fifth and sixth, with Jon Woolfitt the next target.
There was another duel for seventh as Burkinshaw began to edge out Ellis, while behind them Bartlett’s hold ninth was starting to look threatened by Parker.
The intensity of the top four battles was unrelenting, but on lap four Jon Woolfitt lost ground with a spin at the Hall Bends. Brother Paul was even closer and although he sat patiently and dutifully behind, Bird was starting to close on them both. Paul flouted their family agreement and went by four laps later, “I didn’t let him by, he outbraked me into Park,” said Jon.
As Southcott continued to lead Harvey was back to threaten Dobson for second and almost got inside at the Mountain, before being forced to back off. They continued running nose to tail, until Harvey snatched second onto the Mountain on lap 10, but Dobson’s challenge ended when he went straight on at Coppice two laps later after his rear suspension broke.
Harvey was free to pursue the lead for the final two laps, but had to accept second, as Southcott made it a winning double. “That was too much pressure, but I didn’t use my mirrors so much this time,” said the victor. Paul and Jon Woolfitt both managed to retain third and fourth, with Bird having tried every possible angle to breach Jon’s defence, missing out at the flag by only 0.332 secs. “I stalled at the start and nosed ahead of Jon at Barn, but he just powered back ahead on the straight,” said Bird.
Birkinshaw and Ellis retained sixth and seventh, with Parker having taken Bartlett no lap eight, had to fend off the M3 driver’s recovery again to retain eighth. “I had an intermittent electrical fault, that made that quite hard,” said Parker. “A proper race,” added ninth placed Bartlett, with Smith completing the top 10. Kirk and Harman were next home, with O’Leary dropping to 15th, having spun at the exit of Barn on lap two from eighth place.
Bird won the Class F battle on this occasion from Green, as Carter retired, and Allen completed the finishers.
1 Southcott 14 laps in 21m56.267s (83.74mph); 2 Harvey +0.569s; 3 P.Woolfitt; 4 Jon Woolfitt (Mk Indy); 5 Danny Bird; 6 Burkinshaw; 7 Tony Ellis (Gemini Elva); 8 Parker; 9 Bartlett; 10 Smith.
Class A: 1 J.Woolfitt; no other starters.
Class B: 1 Southcott; 2 P.Woolfitt; 3 Ellis; no other finishers.
Class C: Harvey; 2 Bird; 3 Smith; no other starters.
Class D: no starters.
Class E: 1 Burkinshaw; 2 Parker; 3 Bartlett; 4 Bruce; 5 Kirk; 6 Tony Harman (Ginetta G20); 7 O’Leary; 8 Allen.
Class F: 1 David Bird; 3 Green; no other finishers.
Fastest lap: Harvey 1m30.919s (86.59mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, April 22nd 2019