Woolfitt 2 Dobson 1 at Cadwell Park 25 Apr 22

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CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship – Cadwell Park Rounds 2, 3 & 4 - Report


All three races at Cadwell Park proved to be duels between Jon Woolfitt's Spire GTR and Paul Dobson's Locost Mazda.

After the disappointment of non-starting in the opening round at Oulton Park, Woolfitt took pole by 2.067 secs from Saturday's qualifying session.

"It's a new engine after Oulton. It pulls smoother and you can be more aggressive with it. Much better driveability too," he explained.

Dobson was second quickest, again looking for his first points of the season, after retiring at Oulton. "Everything was working OK, but I was looking after the tyres with three races," he added.

Championship debutant Stephen Riley headed the second row in his Caterham 420R. "It's my first time in this Championship, but I might do some more as I am very happy to be on the pace," he said.

Alongside Riley was Marshall Groves in his Vauxhall Vectra Challenge car, which he debuted in the opening round. "I changed a bearing in the gearbox so hopefully it's better now," he said.

Mark Primett's Banks Europa was next up, hopefully having solved the misfire that plagued him at Oulton.

"I have put a new injector in and it's fine. I think there is more to come in me though, as I made too many mistakes and that's why I bailed out of the session early," he explained.

He had defending double Champion Jamie Cryer alongside in his Ginetta G20. "It lacked a bit of grip as usual, but everything seemed to work well and I love it here," he exclaimed.

Paul Rotheroe had hoped to be closer to Cryer's times in his Citroen Xsara VTS, but was only 0.595 secs adrift as he headed the fourth row. "I was trying to take too much speed into some corners and had a tank slapper at Chris Curve. It's good to be fairly close to Jamie though, but I need to push harder and get the temperature into the tyres," he said.

Richard Hall's Caterham was next to Rotheroe, "just a bit too slow," he reckoned.

Getting quicker each time out Connor Modro was on the fifth row with his Ginetta G40. "It was my first here. I had a bit of understeer in high-speed corners and having put bigger wheels on didn't help," he explained.

The first of the Carter's was in 10th, with Guy's TVR Tuscan. "I had new tyres on and was too quick into Hall Bends and spun. I thought I was taking it easy but I didn't have enough temperature in the rears, so there were as few sideways moments," he admitted.

Graeme Smith's Mazda MX5 was the only Class F entry, but was an amazing 11th quickest. "There is no scrapyard engine now. It's going great and we are getting where I want to be now," he said.

Ian Bamber's Ginetta G20 was alongside him, he has never raced cars at Cadwell but he has raced bikes! "I got quicker every lap so it was all good," he confirmed.

Bruce Carter had a brief concern with his MG Midget. "The engine cut out on the straight, but after that it was fine," he said.

Sharing the seventh row was another debutant, with Thomas Frankland in his Clio engine Renault 5GT Turbo chassis. "I used to do Tricolore Trophy, but decided to give this a try. I was stuck in fourth gear at the end though," he explained.

Ric Walker was a late additional entry with his Mini Coper JCW. "It was a good session, I got the slicks warm but there is more to come," he admitted.

Completing the qualifiers were three cars we are used to seeing nearer the sharp end of the grid. Tim Foxlow had no complaints about his car, but wasn't at his best. "I can only go forward from here,"he reckoned.

Oliver Thomas' Subaru Impreza had problems from the start, "I had no third gear, but went out hoping it might clear, but then had to bring it in and park it for the weekend as it was too much of a risk," he admitted.

Finally it was Richard Armiger in the family Vauxhall Tigra, rather than Luke.


With Thomas absent it was 17 cars taking the start, but the Carter Midget pitted after the green flag lap before taking his start.

Poleman Woolfitt led the charge through Coppice from Dobson and Riley, with Cryer battling with Primett and Groves for fourth.

Woolfitt was flying but was a little too quick onto the Mountain and spun. "I had a massive gap, but cold tyres and too hot onto the Mountain I spun," he explained.

Dobson was already 2.7 secs clear as they completed the opening lap, with Riley a clear second, from Cryer, Groves and Primett, before the recovering Woolfitt came through in sixth.

Both Dobson and Riley continued to go clear, but as they arrived at the Mountain for the second time, Woolfitt was already back into third.

Cryer had begun to come under increasing pressure from Groves for fourth too, with Primett still close.

Rotheroe was seventh but running solo, while Modro, Hall and Guy Carter completed the early top 10.

As Dobson continued to increase his lead, Woolfitt closed in on Riley for second. But Modro was the man to watch, having taken Rotheroe and Primett on the same lap to close on the Cryer, Groves duel.

Woolfitt managed to reclaim second after five laps and Groves had surged ahead of Cryer into Coppice, only for their places to revert back on the same lap.

But the gap at the front continued to reduce, with barely 0.5 secs between the lead pair from lap six onwards.

"I kept looking for Jon and then suddenly he was there, so I had to push as hard as I could to the end," said Dobson after taking victory by just 0.360secs.

"Paul just blocked me, I did try a couple of times at Park though, but it was too risky," Woolfitt replied.

Riley was the only other driver to go full distance in third. "It was mega. I had to take a wide line on the first lap to avoid Jon spinning, then I was just looking for him coming back. But I had to back off as trying to keep up with the leaders was killing my rear tyres," he explained.

It took a while for Guy Carter to make progress, but once he started it was rapid. By lap six he was sixth after Groves' challenge faded and saw off Cryer three laps later. Modro was the next target and that came on lap 11, to settle in a solid fourth. "It was hard work but I enjoyed it, the car was perfect though," he said.

Modro eased his way clear of Cryer from lap seven, "really good fun and I didn't expect to be that quick," he said.

Cryer added another Class E win to his tally from sixth. "I had a few scraps and Connor got me at Charlies, he surprised me by going around the outside," he replied.

Rotheroe was a solitary seventh and second in Class E. "Apart from going on the grass at Mansfield, it was brilliant," he reckoned.

Neither Primett nor Groves made it to the flag after promising starts. "A driveshaft broke and it damaged the gearbox seal, so there was oil all over my back wheels and it was getting looser," Primett explained, while Groves found his gearbox had engaged two gears!

Hall, Bamber and Foxlow completed the top 10. "I wasn't quite close enough to challenge, I could see them, but doing was another matter," said Hall.

"I had to back off a little as it started to get loose," Bamber confirmed.

Frankland had an entertaining early duel with Walker, joined by Smith too. Smith came home 11th, with Walker 12th, but Frankland was a casualty too with a broken engine mount.

"I didn't have anyone to beat in class, but had a good dice," Smith admitted. "It was a cracking start, but then the cars in front stuttered and I lost momentum," Walker concluded.


1 Paul Dobson (Locost Mazda) 14 laps in 21m36.132 secs (85.04mph); 2 Jon Woolfitt (Spire GTR) +0.360s; 3 Stephen Riley (Caterham 420R); 4 Guy Carter (TVR Tuscan); 5 Connor Modro (Ginetta G40); 6 Jamie Cryer (Ginetta G20); 7 Paul Rotheroe (Citroen Xsara VTS); 8 Richard Hall (Caterham 420R); 9 Ian Bamber (Ginetta G20); 10 Tim Foxlow (Ford Escort RSR).

Class A: 1 Carter; no other starters.

Class B: 1 Dobson; 2 Woolfitt; Riley 4 Modro; 5 Hall; 6 Foxlow.

Class C: no finishers.

Class D: 1 Ric Walker (Mini Cooper JCW); no other finishers.

Class E: 1 Cryer; 2 Rotheroe; 3 Bamber; no other starters.

Class F: 1 Graeme Smith (Mazda MX5); no other starters.

Fastest lap: Woolfitt 1m29.488s (87.98mph).


Unfortunately there were three more cars missing from the grid for Sunday mornings race, with Groves, Primett and Bruce Carter all casualties, leaving 14 starters.

Woolfitt made no mistake as the lights went out, heading Dobson and Riley again as they climbed to Charlies, with Cryer in fourth from Rotheroe and Modro.

The top three were soon on their own and spreading out, with Cryer comfortably fourth, as Rotheroe continued his duel with Modro, with Hall close by too.

On lap three Modro made his move and was soon going clear and beginning to close on Cryer too.

Carter had also started to progress and managed to pick off Hall and Rotheroe on consecutive laps, for sixth by the end of the fifth lap.

Foxlow had got passed Bamber into ninth and behind them Walker and Frankland had an entertaining duel, with Smith looking on.

By half distance Woolfitt's lead was over eight seconds, with both Dobson and Riley running solo. The battle for fourth was still raging though as Carter closed in on the Cryer and Modro duel.

Modro finally got the place on lap eight, but Carter soon followed and piled the pressure on the new fourth-placed man.

It was the power of the V8 Tuscan that told as Carter surged passed his rival on the start and finish straight, as they started lap 10.

"That's what I should have done yesterday, as everything was fine. I changed the gearing slightly too so I wasn't on the rev limiter, "said Woolfitt, after taking the win by a massive 22.5 secs.

Dobson was still a solid second, despite having a slight touch with Foxlow during lappery. "I had thought Tim was letting me through onto the Mountain, but I had a big lock-up, my own fault though," he admitted.

Third place Riley had tried pushing harder too, "I was trying to catch Paul and then I got a track limits warning. I was trying everything though," he admitted.

Carter was made to work hard for his fourth place, with Modro proving to be a stubborn opponent. "The car felt more stable and better handling, but I messed up the start wheel spinning," he said.

Modro had pulled a nine second gap over Cryer by the flag. "We were about the same pace at first, but as I got closer to Jamie I started to get faster and got him at the Gooseneck," he said.

So Cryer took his class win again and sixth overall, "I had tried to stay with Connor after he got me, but just couldn't," he added. It was another solitary race for Rotheroe though. "I was quicker than before, but still on my own," he said.

Hall was on his own too in eighth, "that was a better start for me though, as I only lost one place," he reckoned.

Foxlow had a recurrence of the sticking throttle from Oulton, but was still a clear ninth for most of the race. Bamber was 10th after an interesting duel with Frankland.

"I could see the Renault starting to smoke though," said Bamber. "I had been off at the first corner, then had an oil leak onto the front tyres and I was black flagged," said Frankland, which left Walker and Smith to complete the finishers.


1 Woolfitt 14 laps in 21m24.064s (85.84mph); 2 Dobson +22.550s; 3 Riley; 4 Carter; 5 Modro 6 Cryer; 7 Rotheroe; 8 Hall; 9 Foxlow; 10 Bamber.

Class A: 1 Carter; no other starters.

Class B: 1 Woolfitt; 2 Dobson; 3 Riley; 4 Modro; 5 Hall; 6 Foxlow.

Class C: no starters.

Class D: 1 Walker; no other starters.

Class E: 1 Cryer; 2 Rotheroe; 3 Bamber; no other starters.

Class F: 1 Smith; no other starters.

Fastest lap: Woolfitt 1m30.270s (87.21mph).


It was down to 12 starters for the final race of the weekend, with both Armiger and Hall failing to take the start.

It was Dobson fastest out of the blocks on this occasion though, heading Woolfitt and Riley, with Carter taking Cryer for fourth.

There was little between the lead pair, but Dobson's defence was holding, as Riley settled into a solitary third again.

Although Carter had made his best start of the weekend, he was still struggling to shake-off Cryer and Modro to consolidate fourth, but on lap three his rivals swapped and Modro took up the challenge.

Rotheroe was on his own again in seventh and Foxlow had also got ahead of Bamber for eighth, although they remained fairly close.

But at the front Woolfitt's persistence finally paid off on lap four, "I thought my start was good but Paul defended well again and I had to try a few things, before finally getting him around the outside at Mansfield," he explained.

"I had a much better start but I still thought he would get me, so I defended as much as I could, as he felt so close," Dobson replied. Once ahead the gap soon opened, until the safety car came out after seven laps. Modro's pursuit of Carter to challenge for fourth, had ended in the tyre wall at the Gooseneck. "I was tempted to try and make a move at the Hairpin, but then just lost it on my own," Modro explained.

After going green again with two laps to go Woolfitt's final winning margin was just over two second from Dobson, with Riley another 10 seconds down in third.

Carter was still fourth, but only just held off Cryer and Rotheroe for the final sprint to the chequered flag. "It was a second gear start and much better, but still not perfect. I kept looking for Connor after he had gone, as there was a lot of pressure," he said. Only 0.251 secs split Class E rivals Cryer and Rotheroe for fifth overall. "I was OK until that safety car, but couldn't stay with Guy and Connor," said Cryer.

"Happy now, but it took a safety car to get me close enough to challenge Jamie, and for just a minute I thought I may have had a chance of a class win," Rotheroe added.

Foxlow finally eased his way clear of Bamber for seventh. "Tim kept dangling the carrot and then driving off again," Bamber reckoned, "I was pleased to see the safety car as it gave me a breather," Foxlow added.

Walker and Frankland had another duel which ended early when the Renault pulled off a couple of laps from home.

"We had a really good fight there" Walker added as he kept final finisher Smith at a safe distance.


1 Woolfitt 12 laps in 22m00.458s (71.54mph); 2 Dobson +2.195 secs; 3 Riley; 4 Carter; 5 Cryer; 6 Rotheroe; 7 Foxlow; 8 Bamber; 9 Walker; 10 Smith.

Class A: 1 Carter; no other starters.

Class B: 1 Woolfitt; 2 Dobson; 3 Riley; 4 Foxlow; no other finishers.

Class C: no finishers.

Class D: 1 Walker; no other starters.

Class E: 1 Cryer; 2 Rotheroe; 3 Bamber; no other starters.

Class F: 1 Smith; no other starters.

Fastest lap: Woolfitt 1m29.522s (87.94mph).

It's just over a month before the next round of the Championship, with a return to Oulton Park.

Next stop Oulton Park, May 28th

Published by Peter Scherer for BARC North West, April 25th 2022