CNC Heads Seasonal Review 05 Dec 20

Article Image

CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship – 2020 Seasonal Review


Having come so close to taking the title in the past, Jamie Cryer finally clinched it in a shortened, but nevertheless very competitive season.

Coming from class E he had more rivals than most of the other classes, but his Ginetta G20 was unbeaten until the final double header, with six consecutive class victories and all from the top 10 overall. His best overall finish being fifth in round three at Donington.

But a combination of the weather, and plenty to lose in the Oulton finale, caution proved to be advisable to make the finish and seal the title by four points.

Not only did Luke Armiger win the class B title, he was second overall and had an outright win at Donington too. He had been third in class in the Cadwell opener from fifth overall, but was soon out of action in the second race after a collision at the start with Olly Allen’s Fiesta. From there on his pace was not just for class position but overall too and was on the podium for every other race. Following his win at Donington he snatched a late second from Jon Woolfitt at Oulton in round five and still managed second again in round six with a broken halfshaft.

Class F Champion Guy Carter was third overall with his Honda CRX, despite missing rounds five and six at Oulton. Apart from the penultimate Oulton race, he won his class in every race he started.

Fourth in the Championship Garry Wardle used his Mini Cooper S and Porsche GT3 this season in class D and had four class wins. He had a first and a third at Cadwell, before third overall and a double class win at Donington in his Porsche set him well on the way to the class title. He lost points in the first Oulton when he pitted after glancing the barrier, not realising it was the last lap. He won again in the second race, before going back to the Mini for the final two rounds.

When Carter failed to take class F, David Green’s Honda Civic cleaned up. He was missing from Cadwell at the start of the Championship, but followed Carter to the flag at distance, for second in both Donington rounds. He won rounds five, six and seven at Oulton, which was enough for second in class and fifth in the Championship, but ended the campaign with a big off in the final round.

Former Champion Paul Rose was able to do four of the eight rounds in his Saker, but still finished sixth in the Championship. He was a winner in round one at Cadwell, but had to retire in the second when he was stuck in second gear. Back at Oulton for the final two rounds, he was a winner again in the first race, but starting the second he was in a race stopping incident at the start with Jon Woolfitt. After taking the restart from the pitlane he managed to climb to third by the flag, enough for sixth in the championship and the Class A title, with one point to spare over Paul Woolfitt’s Lotus Exige.

Woolfitt had missed Cadwell and was forced out of Donington in the first of the two races when he lost drive. But then in rounds five and six at Oulton it all came good with a double victory, before following Rose home in the penultimate round. With Rose taking the restart from the pitlane in the final race of the year, Woolfitt again took charge, recording his third win of the year to secure seventh in the final points.

Former multiple Champion Paul Dobson had quite a few problems along the way with his flame spitting Mazda powered Locost. All was well at Cadwell with a double class win and an outright victory in the second race. But then after colliding with Jon Woolfitt during qualifying at Donington, his repaired car then seized the engine in the first race after shedding a belt and crashed out. Further problems at the first Oulton double header forced him to pull out after qualifying, before returning for the finale and two fourth places overall, two seconds in class, runner-up in Class B overall and eighth best on the final points overall.

The final class title winner was Danny Bird in Class C. As usual his Spire had a dramatic season, which started well at Cadwell with a fourth and a third overall, despite a few spins. At Donington he missed the first race with a clutch problem, but was second overall to Armiger in race two. Rival Dave Harvey only brought his Locosaki out for the first trip to Oulton, but Bird saw him off for the class wins in both races, from fourth and third overall. But in the final meeting Bird was sidelined after qualifying when the rear of his car was clipped and he lost his rear bodywork due to a damaged frame. He had still managed five class wins though and was ninth in the Championship.

Rounding off the top 10 overall was Richard Roundell with his “shopping car” BMW 116. He didn’t managed a class win, but had three seconds and two thirds, which left him with third in the final class placings.

David “Scrappy” Clark was third in class A. His Saker, like Rose, only appeared at two meetings. His best class result was second at Cadwell, but overall he was sixth in the final round at Oulton. At Cadwell’s opening rounds Andy Bicknell made both his CNC debut and his Ginetta G50 debut. He was seventh overall and second in class A in the first race, before coming home sixth in race two for a class win. He was back out for the final rounds, but a lap of the International Circuit when the rest were on Island didn’t help him. He was still fourth best in the final class standings though. Steve Harris’ Saker retired from both Cadwell races with overheating, but when he came back for the Oulton finals he made fifth and sixth overall, for two third in class finishes.

Championship sponsor Ric Wood had an outright win at Donington with his ex-Swedish Touring Car Kia and also brought it out at the first Oulton too, while Piers Grange also had a couple of outings with his Mk1 Escort in Class A, taking fourth overall at Donington and third in class at Oulton in round five.

Jon Woolfitt debuted his new Spire this year and finished third in class B, with four class podiums. He was third overall at the first Cadwell and again in round five at Oulton, but was absent from the Donington races after his qualifying clash with Dobson. Having missed Cadwell, Tom Foxlow came out for Donington, but had a catalogue of handling problems with his Escort RSR. His best result was a second in class in round six at Oulton.

Rob Wakelin brought out his new Peugeot 205, but snapped a cv on his Donington debut. But he had a third in class in race two, which he repeated in round six at Oulton. Tony Ellis’ Gemini Elva and Andrew Southcott’s Sprite also came out in Class B. Ellis ended his season early with a huge crash at Oulton in round five, while Southcott led at Donington until his engine let go.

Gary Warburton’s Mini did the four Oulton rounds, with a best finish of second in Class C in the penultimate race at Oulton. It was enough for second in the Class Championship, over Harvey. Tom Grensinger’s Caterham came to Cadwell, but a broken wrist after a qualifying off put him out. Bruce Carter’s MG came out for the Oulton finale as did Chris Grimes in the Les Kirk Fisher Fury, Grimes won the class in both races.

Class D was one of the better supported and it was Allan Davies’ BMW that clinched second overall behind Wardle. He had managed two seconds at Donington, despite a misfire, but after second again in the penultimate race of the season, he took his class win in the finale. Andrew Smith’s VW showed pace, but tended to have late race problems. He had two class podiums but could have had a lot more, but was still third best in class.

Having started at Cadwell, Oliver Thomas’ Subaru re-appeared at the Oulton finals and relished the wet conditions. Riccy Walker made his racing debut at Cadwell and did the whole season in his Mini, while Mike Nash returned for the four Oulton rounds and took three second in class finishes in his Seat Supercopa.

Jonathan Beeson only came out at Cadwell in a TCR Seat, but took two class podiums, while the ex Nissan Playstation cars came out in a few races, in the hands of Mark Burton and Charlie Kennedy. Ric Wood used his Nissan Skyline at Cadwell, and Bob Claxton’s VW Golf Gti, Steve Matthias’ Escort Cosworth, Ralph Underwood’s TR7 V8, David Jones’ Honda S2000 and Ian Burrows’ Toyota also made brief Class D appearances.

Behind Cryer in Class E it was a close run thing between Ben Griffiths’ Honda Civic, Peter Koukoulas’ Toyota MR2 and Connor Modro’s Ford Focus. After a gravel visit at Donington in his opening round, Griffiths took three class podiums, including a win in the final round to clinch second in the final class positions. Koukoulas was only three points behind however, having recorded his best result, a third at Cadwell in round one. Modro had a few niggling problems, which robbed him of some good results, but was still fourth best in class E.

Ian Bruce’s Civic had a couple of third’s and made the top 10 overall at Donington, while Hyundai racer Kevin Smiles joined in from Donington with another Civic and took two podiums in the Oulton finals. Brian Allen did most of the rounds in his Puma, but Chris Maries’ Civic was absent from Donington, after taking third in both Cadwell races.

Rob Phillips appeared in a Honda for the Oulton rounds, taking second in rounds five at six, while Steve Parker had ecu problems plaguing his BMW and only came out at Cadwell. David Jones also came out in his Focus, as did Olly Allen’s Fiesta, Angus Eddowes’ Clio and Jamie Martin’s Golf.

Following in the wake of Carter, Green and Roundell in Class F, Graeme Smith started the season by blowing his Mazda MX5’s engine at Cadwell. He saved the best until last, with second in class in both Oulton finale races. Helen Allen’s Fiesta had missed Cadwell too, but was otherwise ever present until the Oulton finals, when her day ended early with a heavy off at Druids in race one. The only other Class F runner was XR racer Jason Hennefer. He came out for the last Oulton races and was third in each race.

53 drivers took part in this shortened season and they will all ready for action at Oulton Park on April 17th 2021.

Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, November 27th 2020