CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship – SEASONAL REVIEW 2021
CRYER MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
Going into the final double-header of the season at Oulton Park, it was still any one from six that could take the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car title. For Jamie Cryer, Paul Rose and Paul Dobson, it wouldn’t have been a first, but for Jon Woolfitt, Paul Rotheroe and Graeme Smith it would. Rose, Cryer and Smith all won their classes again, but for the second successive year it was Cryer the Champion, by just two points from Rose.
Cryer’s Ginetta G20 had to work hard all season though, with Paul Rotheroe’s Citroen Xsara proving to be a tough rival. Having won his class at the opening two Oulton rounds, Cryer repeated the feat at Cadwell’s double header and even led the second race overall. Rotheroe had been second in three of the four rounds, but missed the podium at Oulton round two, as Don Hughes’ Peugeot and Steven Parker’s BMW Compact beat him. It was Cryer’s turn to settle for second in both races at Croft, with Rotheroe and Conor Modro’s Focus shining, in wet conditions.
With Hughes and Rotheroe the victors at Donington after Cryer spun in the first race and suffered few niggling issues, his challenge for class supremacy had begun to wane slightly. But after taking two wins out of three at Knockhill, before his winning double in the Oulton finale, the title was sealed both in class C again and overall in Cryer’s favour. Rotheroe’s three wins netted him second in class and fifth overall, with Ian Bruce’s Honda Civic, Peter Koukoulas’ Toyota MR2, Parker and Hughes completing the class top six.
Missing the Cadwell double-header probably cost Rose the title, but he was away on Fun Cup duty along with the rest of his Saker team, Steve Harris and David Clark. The Saker’s appeared to be better off the line this season, which despite losing out to the kit cars on opening laps, were soon challenging.
Rose started the season with two wins at Oulton, but a broken driveshaft in the first race at Croft put him out. But after another double at Donington, like many had his first trip to Knockhill. He won the first of the weekend’s races and had just retaken Jon Woolfitt for the lead in race two after a spin, when red flags took the result back a lap and he was classified second. He was leading the third race too, but went straight on at the first corner with his wet tyres totally worn out, and handed the win to team mate Harris.
Harris finished second in Class A and eighth overall, as well as his Knockhill win, he was second overall at Croft and Donington, and was in second again in the penultimate race at Oulton, until a late clash with Gary Warburton’s Mini put him out. Andy Bicknell’s Ginetta G50 was third in the class, with six class podiums and a best overall finish of third in the final round. His low point was the opening lap at a wet Croft, when his slicks saw him spin twice before hitting the pitwall. Wrong tyres tended to cost Guy Carter’s TVR Tuscan dearly too, but he had a win at Croft and three other class podiums, while David Clark’s Saker and Kingsley Ingram’s Ford Mustang completed the class top six.
Woolfitt’s Spire was third overall and class B champion after a season long battle with Dobson’s flame spitting Locost. They tended to be the early leaders until Rose got up to pace, but both had overall wins too. Dobson won both races at Cadwell, despite starting the second from the pitlane, while Woolfitt got his wins at Croft and Knockhill, both rain affected.
Rob Wakelin’s Peugeot 205 was also in class B and was third overall at Croft, surprising no one more than himself. Apart from Cadwell where his Spire collided with Danny Bird’s similar car during qualifying, Woolfitt was only off the class podium once all season, with a fourth at Knockhill. Dobson had to fight back from a straight on at the first corner at Donington and retired from the Oulton finale with a loss of power, and was only off the class podium twice too.
Having returned to the Championship after a number of years away, Richard Hall was third in class B with his Caterham, while Roddie Paterson’s Caterham, Luke Armiger’s Vauxhall Tigra and Chris Maries’ Honda Civic were the rest of the class top six, with Armiger and Paterson both taking a class win too.
Only four drivers came out in class C all season and having contested just the four Oulton rounds at the beginning and end of the season, Gary Warburton’s Mini was class champion. Bird was third overall in round two at Oulton, winning his class after an early duel with Dave Harvey’s Locosaki. Bird’s Cadwell crash then ended his year and Harvey failed to re-appear too. Bruce Carter’s Midget was the only other contender, but blew the engine in the second round at Oulton and swapped to brother Guy’s Honda CRX.
Ric Walker’s Mini R56 JCW topped class D and was sixth in the Championship overall. The rest of the class support was less regular, and Walker took the title with four wins. Garry Wardle started to get to grips with his TCR Seat Cupra mid season and with three successive class wins, before ending his season early, he was second in class.
Championship sponsor Ric Wood’s brought his Nissan Skyline on occasions, taking two wins at Oulton and one at Donington for third in the final class standings, with Clive Dix’s Mazda RX7 appearing at the four Oulton rounds to take fourth in class and Bob Claxton’s VW Golf and Allan Davies’ BMW the rest of the top six.
Class F also struggled for starters but still had enough for Smith’s Mazda MX5 to finish fourth overall in the Championship. After starting the year with seven class wins, he was finally beaten by Bruce Carter’s CRX at Donington. He won again in the first race at Knockhill, but after Carter beat him race two, he was sidelined with a blown engine. But back to form he rounded off his season with another double at Oulton. Carter’s two wins gave him second in class, while Helen Allen left the scene after the Croft rounds, but was back with her Fiesta for the Oulton finale to seal third in class.
1 JAMIE CRYER (Ginetta G20) 94E
2 PAUL ROSE (Saker RAPX S1-500) 92A
3 JON WOOLFITT (Spire GTR) 90B
4 GRAEME SMITH (MAZDA MX-5) 83F
5 PAUL ROTHEROE (Citroen Xsara) 77E
6 RIC WALKER (Mini R56 JCW) 72D
7 PAUL DOBSON (Locost Mazda) 72B
8 STEVE HARRIS (Saker RAPX S1-500) 47A
9 IAN BRUCE (Honda Civic) 46E
10 ANDY BICKNELL (Ginetta G50) 45A
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, November 30th 2021