|Hcap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Iain Stallard||160||Elan S3||N/A||105.57||103.14||101.00||98.90||105.32||-2.10||98.90|
|2||10||Geoff Stallard||860||Elan S3||106.69||105.90||104.12||102.00||101.81||101.18||-0.82||101.18|
|3||9||Steve Millward||863||Elan S3||108.85||118.66||113.00||109.00||111.74||110.12||1.12||110.12|
|4||8||June Matty||155||69 F3||102.21 (20/22)||116.17||106.89||100.00||103.14||101.35||1.35||101.35|
|7||5||Tony Wallen||154||69 F3||N/A||95.59||92.71||91.00||93.18||93.11||2.11||93.11|
|8||4||Keith Wilford||164||Elan Sprint||105.59 (23B)||119.17||116.54||112.00||115.50||114.38||2.38||114.38|
|9||3||Pete Bottrill||162||Elan S3||104.23||118.95||116.56||108.00||115.53||110.54||2.54||110.54|
|10||2||Dave Hampton||150||69 F2 Atlantic||90.94||103.68||98.93||91.00||95.36||93.95||2.95||93.95|
|11||1||Clive Buffey||158||59/69 F2||N/A||109.57||106.70||98.00||101.47||106.27||3.47||101.47|
|12||1||Paul Matty||156||35 F2||95.91||116.67||106.90||98.00||101.74||105.34||3.74||101.74|
|13||1||Malcolm Thorne||153||69 F2||102.18 (15)||107.76||97.76||92.00||95.79||96.24||3.79||95.79|
|14||1||Jane Millward||163||Elan S3||107.76||120.59||117.05||109.90||114.13||114.28||4.23||114.13|
|15||1||Stephen Palmer||151||51||115.10 (23B)||114.60||109.29||100.00||107.78||108.12||7.78||107.78|
|16||1||Chris Westwood||161||Elise S2||113.08||132.10||130.52||115.00||127.11||124.23||9.23||124.23|
|17||1||Dick Swindall||165||Elan S3||N/A||117.50||121.16||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
REPORT FOR ANGLESEY
SUNDAY 3 APRIL 2022
A planned test day at Curborough in March was cancelled due to a quarter of those signed up for it having COVID so it was left to the individual to test. So, most of the 17 who entered for our meeting on Sunday did the Saturday meeting on the club circuit to get back into the swing after not competing at Anglesey for a few years.
We have a few changes for the 2022 season. We welcome Adrian Reed into our fold. After hill climbing an Elise in the past, he has decided to start racing again and has upgraded to the single seater class by buying Clive’s 61. Clive has bought Mark Goodyear’s 59/69 in lovely Castrol livery. Keith W has sold his 23B and bought a very pretty pistachio green Elan Sprint (with matching harnesses). Malcolm was using the 69 and with Dave H, Tony W, Tony S, Sarah (when her new knee allows), Clive and me, we now have 7 69’s competing, interesting! Geoff had rolling road issues with his 61 so he brought the Elan until the 61 is mended, with Iain sharing, of course.
Sunday dawned bright and after we’d scraped the ice from our cars(!) the sun shone and we lined up for our first run using the international circuit, which is fast! A new alteration since our last outing there was the return route back to the paddock. In the past it used to be back down past the cars lining up to go out which was always a bit dicey but the new route was a sharp left after the finish line taking the back way to the paddock. Much better!
The Saturday-ers predictably did quite good first runs. Adrian did an impressive run, considering it’s the first time he’s driven a single seater and never at Anglesey and what can we say about Iain who went straight out and 105.57! Picking up where he left off last year. Tony W also had a good run and the only one to get a sub-100 time of 95.59. The rest of us did steady runs to warm up for second practice, which came around quite quickly.
Sadly, Dick had a big problem on second practice with third gear which decided to disintegrate as he rounded the final bend which meant the end of his competition. After all the effort he had made to get an entry, it was a cruel blow. Everyone else had a steady improvement but Paul was still having problems with his gears. Clive was getting to grips and enjoying the 59/69 and Tony, Malcolm and Dave H were the only sub-100.
Paul and Clive retreated to work out the handicaps and had to be quite quick as our first practice was going to be run before lunch.
Iain, as expected, did a cracking run of 98.90 and again, everyone else reduced their times without any incidents. So, we came to the final run. Iain overcooked it on the last bend so his first timed run was his best, as it also was for Paul (gearbox again!) Clive, Dave G ,Maclolm and Stephen P. Adrian managed to get a 99.45, Tony W pipped Dave H by 0.84 and the rest of us improved slightly. Final positions were the Super Stallards in first (Iain) and second (Geoff) with Steve M in third, June fourth, Adrian with a very respectable fifth for his first event with us, then Dave G, Tony W, Keith W, Pete and Dave H making the top ten.
A mention to Longton & District Motor Club for the excellent running of the event which gave everyone at least one more run if they wanted it, which a few of us did.
18th September 2021
Here we are at our last event of the season. We all met up at the Bridge on Friday evening for our final pre-race dinner/gathering, except for Stephen and Helen who were attending the MAC AGM and we are pleased to announce that Stephen has been elected to the MAC committee. Many congratulations to him.
Also, at this point, we would like to thank Karen for organising the pre-race gatherings.
Missing at our last event were Dave and Marion who were on a flotilla around the Greek islands (not envious at all!) and Keith B and Tim as Keith was at the Goodwood Revival meeting doing Stirling Moss Tribute laps in his 19. Tony W was racing at Mallory Park.
We arrived at the track on Saturday morning to fog that had descended on the track, which caused a delay to the start of the meeting. It was not our usual format as all the cars except the dual drivers were in the first batch following the Autocar Shelsley Walsh Young Drivers Championship.
Once the sun appeared and the fog cleared enough to race, we approached the start for our sound check. Unfortunately, Geoff’s 61 was popping and banging and it took a time for the Steward to obtain a reading but eventually it was fine.
Clive Buffey was sharing Karen’s Elan, setting out first to warm the car up for Karen. Sarah also had a change of car in the shape of her recently acquired 69 Formula Atlantic, a beast of a car. Malcolm was the victor this meeting but when she’s mastered the gearbox, she will be one to watch! Chris Westwood just managed to get the Elise’s rear end fixed and painted in time to race and John Palmer was back in his Lotus 61 after converting it back to a Formula Ford spec. but sadly had carburetor issues. Bev joined him for the final meet of the year having finally managed to get a flight from Canada. Keith W raced his 23B for the final time as it is now for sale at the Matty emporium and will be using his Elan next year.
Paul had previously been having problems with selecting second gear and had adjusted the gears after the last meeting. Unfortunately, first gear was now a problem, even though it had been fine when tested. That’s racing cars for you! With assistance from Roy and Tim, he quickly got it sorted and was allowed to take his first practice out of programme order.
Apart from these few issues, the practices all went smoothly and everyone improved on their second attempt.
Lunchtime loomed and Paul, Clive and Stephen huddled to work out the handicaps.
Iain had already secured the Championship at Harewood but the battle was on for second, third and fourth between me, JJ and Steve M respectively. At the start of this final meeting, I was 6 points clear of JJ who was only one point in front of Steve. It was all to play for! My first timed run was a dream – everything felt right and, as I crossed the finish line, I thought to myself “if that’s not in the 32’s I’m packing up!” Fortunately, it was 32.96, hallelujah for 4/100ths of a second! A new PB and 0.64 under my handicap. JJ beat his handicap by .25 and Steve was 0.14 over. So far, so good.
My second run was messy, I tried too hard and was slower, as was Steve but only very slightly. JJ improved a little but not enough so we finished as we started with me taking second, JJ third and Steve fourth.
The handicap results for this final meeting – Clive pulled all the stops out on his second run in Karen’s Elan to go first on handicap. Definitely, the first and last time in the Elan, Clive! Iain only managed second this time(!), I was third and Stephen P was fourth, frustratingly only 0.02 off his PB. Next year Stephen! Many congratulations to Tony S for retaining his win on Scratch in the Racing Class and to Pete B for getting first on Scratch in the Road Class. For Pete to still be so competitive after 30 years is commendable. Many congratulations to all.
A double celebration for Tony (and Lyn) as their son, Robin, who had recently won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb King of the Mountain for the second time, came over from Los Angeles to guest drive Lindsay Summers’ DJ Firehawk. Having never driven the hill nor, indeed, the Firehawk, it was a very impressive drive which came very close to Lindsay’s PB. A natural talent.
So, our 30th year finished on a high, in the glorious Shelsley sunshine with no serious incidents to spoil the day. A big thank you to all those involved in helping to run this very special Championship and to Sarah for suggesting and organising the fantastic 30th year commemorative photograph book.
As the dreaded Covid has restricted our choice of dates and venues for our End of Year Do, we have moved it forward to January 2022 and we look forward to seeing you all then, if not before.
Our final thoughts and well wishes are for Kay and Jon. We sincerely hope they will be able to join us for the 2022 season.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Clive Buffey||56||Elan S4||41.16||45.33||42.19||41.16||42.23||39.87||-1.29||39.87|
|3||9||June Matty||73||69 F3||33.60||34.50||33.80||33.60||32.96||33.44||-0.64||32.96|
|5||7||Paul Matty||74||35 F2||31.05||35.86||34.96||33.50||34.05||33.64||0.14||33.64|
|5||7||Steve Millward||759||Elan S3||36.30||38.95||37.45||36.50||36.64||36.91||0.14||36.64|
|7||5||Jonathan Bibby||61||Elise S1||36.39||37.45||36.80||36.39||36.64||36.57||0.18||36.57|
|8||4||Pete Bottrill||60||Elan S3||34.77||40.26||37.35||36.25||36.51||36.84||0.26||36.51|
|9||3||Tony Shute||78||69 F||30.95||32.77||32.32||30.95||31.56||31.47||0.52||31.47|
|Karen Buffey||756||Elan S4||43.04||46.28||45.14||43.04||44.24||43.77||0.73||43.77|
|Dick Swindall||58||Elan S4||35.75||39.79||37.71||36.50||37.33||38.23||0.83||37.33|
|Malcolm Thorne||75||69 F2||31.25 (35)||33.94||32.72||31.50||32.48||33.40||0.98||32.48|
|Jane Millward||59||Elan S3||36.90||40.60||38.38||36.75||38.41||37.83||1.08||37.83|
|Briony Milner||761||Elise S1||37.13||41.99||39.95||37.13||39.73||38.42||1.29||38.42|
|Kenny Lewis||71||61 MX||32.05||36.69||33.31||32.19||37.13||33.53||1.34||33.53|
|Sarah Thorne||76||69 Atlantic||32.21 (20/22)||35.50||32.98||31.50||33.57||33.27||1.77||33.27|
|Chris Westwood||57||Elise S2||38.14||43.58||42.24||39.00||41.61||41.03||2.03||41.03|
|John Palmer||67||61||31.80 (1700)||54.28||44.37||36.00||43.11||50.08||7.11||43.11|
7th August 2021
Having watched the weather forecast all week, it looked like it was going to be a wet meeting, at least for some of the time. The journey to Harewood on Friday was horrendous for the majority of us. Stop-start most of the way. Staycations!
The motor homers gathered in the field adjoining the track and set up home. Stephen P did three laps of the field before settling into position. We joined Stephen and Helen for supper and were later joined by the Thorne’s and David G. We left at 9.30, followed shortly by Sarah. Two hours later she went back to drag Malcolm and David away to let everyone get some sleep! Dave and Marion, Steve and Jane, Tony and Lyn and Pete all gathered at a local hostelry which, by all accounts was excellent food and value for money.
We awoke on Saturday to a lovely sunny morning with fingers crossed that it would last. Those who had them put up their gazebos as the forecast was for rain coming in later. Dick arrived at the meeting in his blue Elan with the explanation that he set out in the yellow one, got to Scotch Corner, developed a vibration and decided to turn back and change cars. A total of 570 miles just to get there. The Proclaimers ‘500 Miles’ comes to mind! It all adds to the mileage history, Dick!
There were a few last minute cancellations – Karen and Clive had to pull out due to Karen’s father falling ill (thankfully he is recovering and we wish him well) and Tony Wallen has an inner ear infection which we hope will clear up soon.
As had been the case for the past two or three years, we were the first batch off at 9am and most of us got round without any major problems. One or two had ‘moments’ but nothing damaging (except for pulse rates!). Harewood is well-run and even with a couple of minor hold ups the second practice came round fairly quickly so we were lining up at the start again at 10.30. Then someone at the end of the first practice came off, apparently due to sheep wandering onto the track, and we sat in our cars for half an hour whilst the car was recovered and the track cleared. It had been hoped by both organizers and competitors that the first timed run would happen before the lunch break but another hold up put paid to that and we broke for lunch at 12.15 with the request that we be ready to run again at 1.00.
The rain clouds were amassing so we were all ready and waiting in our cars to be called at 1.00 in the hope we could all get at least one dry timed run. For some reason, we weren’t called until 1.15 and it began spitting with rain. Sarah had a big wiggle as did Pete B. Dave H also found it a bit slippy and Stephen P retained his “Flappy Paddle King” title by having a moment and demolishing a couple on his way to the top! However, all but the second dual drivers (Geoff, Jane and Briony) had a virtually dry run, which explains their much slower times and is very frustrating. Paul is struggling at the moment getting second gear so he thought he would try leaving the start in second. Don’t think he’ll do it again as he bogged down losing valuable seconds. Back to the drawing board Mr M!
It then rained heavily so we had an ice cream whilst contemplating whether or not to take our second runs. Twelve of us didn’t and the other eight, for their own reasons, did run again. I love Briony’s enthusiasm when asked if she was taking her last run said of course she was, it makes it more fun! It was her first visit to Harewood and I think she was keen to get as many runs in as possible. Dick and Pete had their usual battle (over who’s turn it was to but the ice creams!).
The whole class was randomly chosen to be scrutinised and it is a testament to all of us that there were no problems with any car bar the odd superfluous thing that has to be found!
Congratulations to Keith Wilford who won on handicap. He historically does well at Harewood and he likes the track. Iain was second which has now confirmed his win for this year’s handicap and scratch. Tony S did a respectable time to finish in third.
Iain has driven amazingly and given us all a masterclass in how to hill climb and sprint. Geoff has taught him well and both he and Alison have been generous in their support. Hats off to you all. The remainder of us battle for positions at our final meeting of our 30th year at Shelsley in September.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|3||9||Tony Shute||32||69 F||61.60||66.31||64.18||61.00||62.76||79.27||1.76||62.76|
|4||8||June Matty||24||69 F3||64.31||71.02||66.33||65.00||66.89||100.00||1.89||66.89|
|5||7||Keith Bristow||16||2-Eleven||68.04 (Exige)||74.14||70.90||68.04||70.05||100.00||2.01||70.05|
|8||4||Jonathan Bibby||18||Elise S1||70.06||74.63||72.87||71.00||74.67||84.45||3.67||74.67|
|9||3||Malcolm Thorne||26||69 F2||60.98 (35)||69.22||64.51||61.50||65.58||100.00||4.08||65.58|
|10||2||Steve Millward||19||Elan S3||70.92||77.50||72.39||71.50||75.60||82.92||4.10||75.60|
|Pete Bottrill||17||Elan S3||68.78||75.20||71.82||69.50||74.71||85.06||5.21||74.71|
|Dick Swindall||14||Elan S3||71.05||79.68||78.42||74.00||79.28||91.31||5.28||79.28|
|Dave Hampton||27||69 F2 Atlantic||59.19||65.12||63.36||60.50||65.98||100.00||5.48||65.98|
|Geoff Stallard||729||61||63.61 (Elan)||69.30||66.16||63.00||69.51||100.00||6.51||69.51|
|Paul Matty||25||35 F2||60.34||69.45||66.00||63.00||69.60||100.00||6.60||69.60|
|Jane Millward||719||Elan S3||70.52||78.16||75.66||71.50||80.44||100.00||8.94||80.44|
|Briony Milner||718||Elise S1||N/A||88.40||82.83||74.00||82.95||92.46||8.95||82.95|
|Stephen Palmer||23||51||66.54 (23B)||72.23||70.00||66.00||79.13||100.00||13.13||79.13|
Three Sisters Circuit – 25th July 2021
Here we went again, just a week later after the fun at Shelsley Walsh.
Again, the weather was being kind to us. Although Sue Wilford had said that she had been in contact with the Dobsons and as they have not been unable to join us at any of the events, she was blaming for them for the strange weather.
Upon our arrival with many motorhomes, campervans and cars with trailers in tow, there were many discussions about parking arrangements – Dick would have loved it! Finally, with an agreement by all, we settled in for the night.
After a leisurely start, then drivers’ briefing and sound check done, our first practice began. The dual drivers went out first with Briony Milner experiencing her first time ever on a circuit. She did brilliantly with some great lines. As soon as the first of the dual drivers had been out, the second driver went out and came back to the pits before the rest of group had chance to put on their helmets on.
Soon it was the rest of our group’s first practice run. Off went Dave Hampton and John Palmer, with no issue, followed by Chris Westwood, then came Pete Bottrill! During Pete’s run, and before launching himself into the long right hand bend, he approached it great speed, chipping the green painted edge then headed onto the dirt with a great plumb of smoke. He continued to drive over the red and white rumble strip which appeared to pull him around the bend. Amazing to watch! Pete did mention later that this happens to him every time he drives here! Then Pete was red flagged and was stopped on the track. Unfortunately, Chris Westwood had an incident just before the finishing line. Apparently, a wheel locked under heavy braking which spun him round and he ended up in the tyre wall. Fortunately, Chris wasn’t hurt but the same couldn’t be said about the car. Also, Stephen Palmer had been on the track and was red flagged. Once the track was cleared and the Tyre wall repaired Pete and Stephen drove slowly back to the paddock which that meant their practice was over. The rest of the group drove without any problems, but it was game over for Chris.
With not many other competitors driving and the way the event is run, our second practice came upon us very quickly. The dual drivers slotted back within our group as normal. When it came to Iain Stallard, Dave Hampton and John Palmer’s turn, for some reason the timing decided not to work properly so they were later given another run. As this track was a different route from two years ago it was challenging the drivers – even Paul Matty had lots of ‘wiggles’ and wheels on the grass.
We then stopped for lunch. Dave Hampton, Clive Buffey and Paul Matty gathered together and the handicap times were set.
After lunch it was time for our first timed run. Panic stations with Stephen Palmer as his seat belts were stuck under the bodywork. With a bit of persuasion, they were put back into the correct position and off he went, followed by Clive Buffey. Clive, first time at this circuit, was flying down the final stretch and passed the finish line when he touched the brake, kicking out the rear of the car. As this did not slow the car down sufficiently, he applied the brakes again which sent him into 360 spin. Fortunately, he ended up on the track and returned to the paddock unharmed. The marshals did a great job in red flagging the session which meant the Keith Wilford and Anthony Shute would have to have a re-run. Meanwhile Malcolm Thorne had a flat battery so was going to have to start his Lotus 35 off a separate battery.
Our second timed run came around very quickly and off everyone went, with no known issues and most people’s times improving. In the end, Jonathan Bibby, with a brilliant drive, won the round with a time of 52.15. This was -1.70 off his handicap.
With only two events remaining, the Championship is very close between second, third and four place, with only 5 points between them. It is also very close between fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place with only 3 points between them. It is even closer in ‘Scratch’ as in the Road Class Pete Bottrill is just ahead from Jonathan Bibby by 3 points and in the Racing Class only one point separates Tony Shute and Dave Hampton.
So, it’s still all to play for!
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Jonathan Bibby||133||Elise S1||56.81||54.60||53.85||53.47||52.15||-1.70||52.15|
|2||10||Pete Bottrill||134||Elan S3||100.00||55.62||54.25||54.35||53.88||-0.37||53.88|
|3||9||John Palmer||131||Elise 111R||100.00||57.65||55.00||56.19||54.86||-0.14||54.86|
|6||6||June Matty||143||69 F3||55.79||54.74||50.00||51.04||50.69||0.69||50.69|
|9||3||Steve Millward||837||Elan S3||58.35||58.11||55.00||55.87||56.14||0.87||55.87|
|10||2||Paul Matty||144||35 F2||52.00||51.96||49.00||50.09||50.43||1.09||50.09|
|Jane Millward||137||Elan S3||60.60||59.68||55.25||58.60||56.38||1.13||56.38|
|Tony Wallen||145||69 F3||49.58||47.98||46.50||47.65||48.33||1.15||47.65|
|Tony Shute||139||69 F||51.55||48.73||46.75||48.87||47.94||1.19||47.94|
|Dave Hampton||130||69 F2 Atlantic||82.05||48.27||46.50||48.21||48.13||1.63||48.13|
|Malcolm Thorne||141||35 F2||52.64||50.77||47.00||49.43||50.14||2.43||49.43|
|Briony Milner||833||Elise S1||63.96||65.56||56.00||62.78||63.68||6.78||62.78|
|Chris Westwood||132||Elise S2||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|3||9||Paul Matty||30||35 F2||31.05||35.76||34.35||33.60||33.57||35.79||-0.03||33.57|
|4||8||Dave Hampton||71||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||32.08||30.95||30.85||30.86||31.17||0.01||30.86|
|6||6||John Palmer||65||Elise 111R||36.49||38.40||37.82||37.25||37.32||37.89||0.07||37.32|
|8||4||Jonathan Bibby||68||Elise S1||36.39||37.77||36.82||36.39||36.50||36.87||0.11||36.50|
|9||3||Briony Milner||768||Elise S1||37.78||39.23||37.43||37.00||37.13||38.30||0.13||37.13|
|10||2||Pete Bottrill||69||Elan S3||34.77||37.19||36.47||36.00||36.14||37.19||0.14||36.14|
|Karen Buffey||63||Elan S4||43.04||45.82||45.12||43.25||43.46||45.49||0.21||43.46|
|Chris Westwood||67||Elise S2||38.24||38.99||38.17||37.85||38.14||39.53||0.29||38.14|
|June Matty||84||69 F3||33.60||34.28||34.30||33.60||33.89||34.10||0.29||33.89|
|Dick Swindall||66||Elan S4||35.75||39.92||39.25||37.85||38.73||39.21||0.88||38.73|
|Tony Shute||77||69 F||30.95||32.23||31.73||31.00||32.13||31.98||0.98||31.98|
|Tony Wallen||81||69 F3||30.67||32.34||31.41||30.99||32.10||32.06||1.07||32.06|
|Malcolm Thorne||79||69 F2||31.25 (35)||32.94||32.37||31.50||32.73||33.23||1.23||32.73|
|Steve Millward||764||Elan S3||36.30||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Jane Millward||64||Elan S3||36.90||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
Shelsley Walsh Report – 17/18 July 2021
Well, what a weekend that was!! Blisteringly hot, cloudless bright blue skies to celebrate our 30th Anniversary of the Paul Matty Sportscars Lotus Hill Climb Championship at the oldest continuous motor sport track in the world. It was wonderful to have the spectators mingling between the trackside and the paddock for the first time since lockdown and, of course, this was the Classic Nostalgia meeting which is now one of Shelsley’s main event of the year with lots of entertainment going on around the racing.
At last, we could gather as near to normal as possible and began our weekend with a meal at The Bridge just a handy couple of miles from Shelsley. We were all in good spirits and were pleased to welcome Steve Cropley who was competing with us on Saturday in his Elan M100. He had recently been to see the new MD of Lotus, Matt Windle and surprised Paul by standing up at the end of the meal to read a message sent from him via Steve which was extremely complementary, acknowledging the passion Paul has always had for Lotus and how he had promoted the Marque throughout the decades. A very humbling moment for Paul!
We were running in batches 2 for the road cars and 3 for the race cars which was perfect, although it meant an early start for the dual drivers as they had to do their first runs in batch 1.
All went well for the first two practices for the majority of us. Malcolm was having misfire problems in his 69 and was allowed to nip home and swap the 69 for the 35 for the remainder of the weekend. On the second practice, the hose split on Sarah’s 20/22, fortunately after she had parked up at the top of the hill following her second practice. Paul nipped home to get a spare hose and Roy and Paul set about fitting it during the lunch break while Dave H, Clive and Tony S (standing in for Paul) worked out the handicaps. Lucky, we live so close! Tony Shute got two extra practices having been red flagged twice on the same run due to spectators standing too near the track! Kenny Lewis had a big moment coming out of Top Ess but managed to avoid mounting the bank (just!) and still managed to do a 32.19. Shame – that would’ve been a 31 without the excursion.
It was good to see Brian back with us for the first time since his big off at “Medding’s Mount” earlier in the year.
Jeremy Bouckley had a guest drive with us in Stephen Palmer’s 23B. Jeremy was an instigator and one of the initial members of the first ever Paul Matty Sportscars Lotus Challenge as it was then called, so it was fitting that he was able to join us for our 30th celebration. Apart from a couple of hold ups the rest of the meeting went well.
So, on day 1 results were as follows:
Road class saw Keith Bristow in first place with Pete B in second followed closely by JJ Bibby in third. In the racing class it was Dave in first, Iain Stallard in second and Tony Wallen third, all within half a second of each other.
Then the evening’s entertainment began. A huge surprise for Paul and me was the presentation from the gang of specially printed 30th anniversary T shirts for everyone and a brass plaque mounted on the end shed in the paddock commemorating 30 years of the PMSCLC with champagne to toast. It was a very emotional moment for us. John Palmer presented us with a CD of the Prescott Driving School Day, at which John was also present, that kick-started Paul’s venture into hill climbing and John subsequently became a competitor in the first Challenge. A massive hug to you all for such wonderful, thoughtful gifts. We are all now an official part of Shelsley’s noble history. A big thank you, also, to Paul (PJR) Robinshaw who has been a part of the Championship almost since its beginning, both as a previous competitor and our official photographer and generously gives us all copies of the photographs he has taken. Cheers, Paul!
We then retired to the cottages at the foot of Shelsley to continue the celebrations with entertainment supplied by Dick Swindall and Barbara Meddings who had each composed a poem which were both very amusing and excellently performed. With food delivered from The Bridge and a special cake from the MAC organised by Lucy Hart – it made for the perfect Covid restricted celebration, and we had another race day tomorrow.
Even hotter temperatures!
Sadly, Steve and Jane had to pull out of Sunday altogether as the starter motor packed up on the Elan. Other than that, everyone else was good to go and the practices ran without incident. Kenny was missing too as he and Heather had a long-standing reunion with friends they hadn’t seen for many years.
On our first timed run, I followed Keith Wilford to the start line. I was primed and waiting for the light to turn to green with Paul on the warm-up grid behind me. I waited and waited then the red flags came out with seemingly no problem with Keith’s run. It transpired that a spectator had been taken ill and the ambulance had to attend to him, so the track was closed until that was sorted. I was given a brolly by the thoughtful start line martial and was given the choice of backing down the track but as no-one knew how long it was going to be, I decided to stay on the line rather than having to get kitted up again which would have delayed my run even further. Twenty minutes later(!) the flags came in and we were off again. Not my fastest time but we still had one run to go.
The battle between Dave H and Iain continued with Dave doing an impressive 30.86, just pipping Iain’s time by 0.03, two cracking times.
On the final run, Iain managed to squeeze 0.13 of a second more than his previous time and as Dave must’ve had a moment on his last run, Iain beat Dave’s best time by 1/10th of a second to take scratch and handicap, prompting Tony Wallen to comment that the Championship should have a minimum age of 40!
Sarah pulled out all the stops to get down into the 32’s which resulted in her being awarded Fastest Lady of the Day with a prestigious historic silver cup to mark the occasion. Many congratulations to her.
So, this memorable weekend finished with the road scratch positions unchanged from Saturday and race scratch 1st and 2nd unchanged but Tony S taking third place from Tony W.
Iain Stallard was first with Clive B in second and Paul in third.
It was wonderful to see some of our previous competitors come to see us at the weekend, John Crook and Dave Rose, both of whom were at that first Prescott Driving School Day, and Philip Rushforth who, with his wife Lisa, ran with us for many years in his stunning aluminium Lotus 6. Also, Vanessa Lee who won the handicap and scratch championship outright for more years than I can remember in her Lotus 61, always having a battle with John Crook, along with husband Kelvin, another previous competitor, and Saffron, their now adult daughter who was a little tot when Vanessa competed. Tempus fugit as they say!
I would also like to mention absent friends. Wolfgang Wernecke, our German contingent, and another previous competitor, who desperately wanted to be there this weekend but had to make do with a FaceTime call. Also, Jon and Kay Dobson, get well soon Kay and come back to be Jon’s support team. Hope to see you both soon.
Paul Robinshaw has kindly informed me that he was also at that first Prescott Drivers School and joined the Challenge from day one and was, in fact, 2nd in class at Prescott, the second meeting of the first season, only to be equaled with a second at Loton Park years later. Thank you for letting me know Paul.
A final gathering at the bar and then home to recover in time for Three Sisters next Sunday. What a weekend to remember!
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||June Matty||84||69 F3||33.74||34.87||34.40||33.85||35.05||33.60||-0.25||33.60|
|3||9||Paul Matty||30||35 F2||31.05||34.98||34.76||33.85||33.65||34.73||-0.20||33.65|
|4||8||Briony Milner||768||Elise S1||37.78||43.30||42.68||38.50||39.33||38.40||-0.10||38.40|
|6||6||Jonathan Bibby||68||Elise S1||36.39||38.57||37.50||36.50||36.89||36.45||-0.05||36.45|
|9||3||Dave Hampton||71||69 F2||29.94||32.47||31.78||31.00||31.67||31.36||0.36||31.36|
|10||2||Malcolm Thorne||79||69 F2||31.25 (35)||37.99||36.02||32.00||32.41||33.26||0.41||32.41|
|Kenny Lewis||75||61 MX||32.05||33.35||31.94||31.75||32.19||32.73||0.44||32.19|
|John Palmer||65||Elise 111R||36.49||38.90||38.69||37.25||38.39||37.75||0.50||37.75|
|Steve Millward||764||Elan S3||36.30||38.37||37.82||36.50||37.03||38.01||0.53||37.03|
|Tony Wallen||81||69 F3||30.67||32.82||31.72||31.25||32.44||31.92||0.67||31.92|
|Karen Buffey||63||Elan S4||43.04||44.93||45.10||43.25||43.94||100.00||0.69||43.94|
|Chris Westwood||67||Elise S2||38.24||39.35||38.84||38.30||40.97||39.00||0.70||39.00|
|Tony Shute||77||69 F||30.95||32.68||32.08||31.50||32.28||32.24||0.74||32.24|
|Pete Bottrill||69||Elan S3||34.77||36.91||36.27||35.25||36.14||36.25||0.89||36.14|
|Dick Swindall||66||Elan S4||35.75||38.55||39.11||37.50||38.51||39.14||1.01||38.51|
|Jane Millward||64||Elan S3||36.90||41.81||38.92||37.20||38.30||38.65||1.10||38.30|
|Steve Cropley||61||Elan M100||N/A||47.48||44.51||42.00||45.30||45.52||3.30||45.30|
The Paul Matty Sportscars Lotus Championship
Championship Permit Number: CH2021/S047
Championship Grade: C
The following change is to be made to the official Championship Regulations already publish for the above Championship and in accordance with motorsport UK general regulation D11.2
This change is to be made from 2nd July 2021.
Reason: Cancellation of permit by Midland Automobile Club for Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb
All remaining rounds count for the Championship
Sunday 4th April Anglesey Circuit Longton & District MC
Saturday 1st May Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Midland Automobile Club
Saturday 15th May Loton Park Hillclimb Hagley & District LCC
Sunday 16th May Loton Park Hillclimb Hayley & District LCC
Saturday 5th June Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Midland Automobile Club
Sunday 20th June Prescott Bugatti Owners Club
Saturday 17th July Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Midland Automobile Club
Sunday 18th July Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Midland Automobile Club
Sunday 25th July Three Sister Circuit Longton & District MC
Saturday 7th August Harewood Hillclimb BARC
Saturday 18th September Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Midland Automobile Club
Signed Championship Coordinator ………………………………………………………………………………………………
Prescott Report – 20th June 2021
This event was slightly different from our previous events this year as all the racing and road cars were mixed up. Although we thought the weather would be against us it did improve during the day, as did the track.
Being in the second batch we were off quite early which caught Paul by surprise. As he prepared to start, he put his cup of tea down on his car and forgot about it, then pulled away. Then there was a ‘thud’ – the cup had turned upside down leaking tea into the cockpit of the car! A good contender for the ‘Dipstick’ award?
We all completed our first practice run without any problems, but with the track incredibly slippery times were slow. Someone commented we were having more value for money being on the track longer. Keith Wilford said he had enjoyed himself as his car was wheel spinning in every gear.
After lots of cups of tea and brunch treats for all, we were ready for our second practice run. As we began to line up to the start, with the light rain being intermittent, June rolled down to join the line. When she pressed the start button, she saw sparks down by her left leg and swiftly pulled off to one side and was pushed back to her paddock space. Everyone else ran well and times were greatly improving as the track began to dry out a little. Unfortunately, as Stephen Palmer came down the return road his oil light came on and when checked found there was no oil pressure. So, it was game over for Stephen.
Fortunately, the event was still running practise laps, so Paul and Roy came to June’s rescue and sorted out an earthing problem and she went out a couple of batches later improving on her first practice run.
Great lunchtime! Time to sort out the handicaps. After a fantastic job from Helen Palmer and Marion Hampton inputting the practice run times into the computer. Paul, Dave Hampton and Clive huddled together to work out the handicaps. With consideration of people’s previous times at Prescott and weather conditions, the times were set.
As we were the second batch out and with several red flags lunch seemed to last quite a long time for a change. During this time Anthony Shute’s car tyres were being use for seats. Then it was decided that in fact instead of just seats, it was tyre warming for Anthony. It was ironic that appropriately, David Gidden was sitting on the larger rear tyre and Clive Buffey was sitting on the smaller front tyre.
It was time for our first timed run. As we fired up the engines, Keith Wilford’s fuel pump switch suddenly decided to stop working. Yet again Roy came to the rescue and fixed the problem and off Keith went. We were informed that the track was dry at the bottom but still damp at the top. It was all to play for and everyone was ready for the challenge. Even Karen managed to beat her previous Personal best.
The event was running very smoothly and we were soon out for our second timed run. In preparation for this Kenny Lewis was having a lovely Father’s Day with his son Andrew who was giving him some driver’s coaching. Kenny has also noticed that one of his stickers had flown off during his previous run and jokingly said he would look for it on his way up. Whether Andrew’s advice helped or not Kenny did a superb time as he flew up the track to win on scratch .
All-in-all, a most enjoyable day with Sarah Thorne taking the top spot and 11 points. Well done again Sarah. With no bar on the competitor’s side, we celebrated with ice creams all round – a first for the Championship!
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Kenny Lewis||66||61 MX||46.64||61.03||58.63||53.00||50.59||47.74||-5.26||47.74|
|3||9||Steve Millward||51||Elan S3||52.69||70.97||66.58||60.75||57.78||55.70||-5.05||55.70|
|4||8||June Matty||59||69 F3||49.69||63.45||61.61||54.00||53.80||49.26||-4.74||49.26|
|5||7||Jane Millward||751||Elan S3||52.62||69.98||68.65||60.90||58.85||57.28||-3.62||57.28|
|6||6||Dick Swindall||62||Elan S3||53.62||77.19||67.72||61.25||58.90||57.65||-3.60||57.65|
|8||4||Karen Buffey||64||Elan S4||71.35||80.89||74.60||71.50||68.78||70.31||-2.72||68.78|
|9||3||Geoff Stallard||750||61||49.14 (Elan)||59.28||61.93||52.00||53.03||49.88||-2.12||49.88|
|10||2||Malcolm Thorne||55||35 F2||48.17||66.02||60.28||52.00||51.90||50.04||-1.96||50.04|
|1||Paul Matty||60||35 F2||45.81||67.05||61.43||53.00||53.92||51.38||-1.62||51.38|
|1||Tony Shute||56||69 F||46.04||58.39||54.53||49.00||48.71||47.79||-1.21||47.79|
|1||Dave Hampton||61||69 F2 Atlantic||44.68||61.29||58.05||49.00||50.43||48.05||-0.95||48.05|
|1||Stephen Palmer||68||51||51.76 (23B)||62.32||61.92||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
Shelsley Walsh Report 5th June 2021
With the change to the regulations, it was nice getting back to some familiarities with spectators on the hill and all the garages being used. It was noticed that there were more single seaters than saloon cars which makes a change.
Jonathan and Briony arrived with their Elise overheating. After a quick look over, water was added with no serious problems found, but when they reached the waiting line for the first practice the water poured out. Unfortunately, that was game over for both of them. Dick had fitted a new set of tyres but after travelling 300 miles from home, they were bedded in and ready for action.
All went well for our first practice run except for David Gidden in 23B who had a ‘sucky’ problem with his air filters which was restricting the air flow to only 45 mph but the problem was sorted in time for the next run.
June Matty was given a solution to remove a chock from her wheel whilst sitting in the car with the aid of a line attached to it but when she pulled it the chock didn’t move and after some frantic waving, Roy Bury came to her rescue.
Upon returning to the pits there were some issued with other inconsiderate competitors opposite the road car spaces taking up a bit too much room making it difficult to manoeuvre back into the garages. This was especially difficult for John Palmer who caught one of the struts then decided to make life easier and park elsewhere for the rest of the day.
Our practice runs came and went, fortunately without any incidents. The sun continued to shine, giving Heather Lewis time to catch up with her sleep and at lunchtime Kenny Lewis found a new use for his rear wing as a picnic table.
Straight after lunch we were off for our first timed run. Before this Clive Buffey and Dave Hampton decided that there were marginal gains needed then after the run realised, they needed major gains!
There was an announcement just before our class began their run that the Red Arrows would be flying over in five minutes. The first few road going cars to reach the top of the hill were lucky enough to see them. Again, everyone finished the run without any problems.
We then had to wait until the end of the meeting for our final timed run. During this time Marion Hampton was trying to motivate Karen by suggesting that there was a handbag in the sale at the top of the hill and she had to beat her handicap to get it but the shop was closed when she got there as she did not beat her best time!
Our second timed run began with Malcolm Thorne being victorious over Sarah Thorne this time. Sarah generously gave him a victory sign! However, Sarah achieved maximum points on handicap. Well done, Sarah.
Stephen Palmer was pleased as he had beaten David Gidden with just 10th of a second between them. Although no one beat their personal bests, we all manage to find some good times and just 0.76 of a second separated the top 7 positions. Steve Millward continues to be competitive by finishing third and Jane is getting her confidence back after being unable to compete at all last year due to her knee injury. Pete also managed to get into the points again. The more mature members of our championship are still up there!!
We came back down the hill showing our appreciation to the great job that the Marshall do at Shelsley Walsh.
Yet another entertaining round of our Championship with this being summed up by June Matty saying “What a fantastic social day interrupted by motor racing!”
On to Prescott 20th June.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Kenny Lewis||261||61 MX||32.05||35.19||34.05||32.05||33.20||32.48||0.43||32.48|
|3||9||Steve Millward||955||Elan S3||36.30||39.10||37.36||36.00||36.72||37.51||0.72||36.72|
|4||8||Dave Hampton||265||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||33.69||32.26||31.00||31.95||31.73||0.73||31.73|
|5||7||Iain Stallard||266||61||31.80 (Elan)||37.25||35.05||32.00||32.77||32.85||0.77||32.77|
|6||6||June Matty||268||69 F3||33.74||34.34||35.09||33.74||34.53||34.69||0.79||34.53|
|7||5||Malcolm Thorne||270||35 F2||31.25||33.80||36.07||31.25||32.75||32.12||0.87||32.12|
|8||4||Tony Shute||271||69 F||30.95||32.54||32.28||31.20||32.32||32.74||1.12||32.32|
|9||3||Geoff Stallard||966||61||32.93 (Elan)||36.90||35.47||32.25||34.21||33.42||1.17||33.42|
|10||2||Pete Bottrill||254||Elan S3||34.77||37.04||36.95||34.77||36.30||36.05||1.28||36.05|
|11||1||John Palmer||252||Elise 111R||36.49||40.43||38.55||36.49||37.89||37.96||1.40||37.89|
|12||1||Paul Matty||267||35 F2||31.05||35.00||34.47||32.25||34.50||33.69||1.44||33.69|
|16||1||Karen Buffey||253||Elan S4||43.04||46.04||45.97||43.04||45.67||45.20||2.16||45.20|
|17||1||Keith Bristow||957||2-Eleven||32.33 (Exige)||37.74||35.77||33.00||35.27||35.54||2.27||35.27|
|18||1||Jane Millward||255||Elan S3||36.90||38.96||39.26||36.00||38.93||38.40||2.40||38.40|
|19||1||Dick Swindall||258||Elan S4||35.75||39.45||38.85||36.00||38.68||40.04||2.68||38.68|
|20||1||Chris Westwood||259||Elise S2||38.24||40.59||38.42||35.50||38.78||39.15||3.28||38.78|
|21||1||Tim Grasby||257||2-Eleven||36.05 (Exige)||43.38||42.73||34.77||42.71||46.02||7.94||42.71|
|22||1||Jonathan Bibby||956||Elise S1||36.39||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|23||1||Briony Milner||256||Elise S1||37.78||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Class||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Racing||June Matty||168||69 F3||60.61||100.00||68.83||61.86||60.89||-7.94||60.89|
|2||10||Road||Pete Bottrill||166||Elan S3||61.93||71.81||69.50||66.43||63.39||-6.11||63.39|
|5||7||Racing||Tony Wallen||180||69 F3||54.82||64.53||62.53||61.27||57.66||-4.87||57.66|
|6||6||Road||Steve Millward||863||Elan S3||64.98||72.40||70.00||66.45||65.20||-4.80||65.20|
|7||5||Racing||Dave Hampton||179||69 F2 Atlantic||54.41||64.69||62.69||58.96||58.15||-4.54||58.15|
|8||4||Road||Geoff Stallard||867||61||59.23 (Elan)||78.85||65.50||63.85||61.13||-4.37||61.13|
|9||3||Racing||Tony Shute||170||69 F||54.81||68.55||62.00||58.06||57.92||-4.08||57.92|
|10||2||Racing||Kenny Lewis||177||61 MX||58.10||69.16||67.16||63.60||63.19||-3.97||63.19|
|Road||Jonathan Bibby||165||Elise S1||62.19||74.54||67.90||65.99||64.75||-3.15||64.75|
|Road||Jane Millward||163||Elan S3||65.08||82.14||72.00||70.64||68.90||-3.10||68.90|
|Racing||Paul Matty||169||35 F2||56.07||80.35||64.50||62.05||61.58||-2.92||61.58|
|Racing||Stephen Palmer||171||51||61.13 (23B)||73.04||68.27||65.44||100.00||-2.83||65.44|
|Road||John Palmer||162||Elise 111R||65.22||72.12||70.00||67.29||67.75||-2.71||67.29|
|Road||Keith Bristow||160||2-Eleven||61.04 (Exige)||72.63||68.00||66.45||65.52||-2.48||65.52|
|Racing||Malcolm Thorne||178||69 F2||63.63 (340R)||72.59||63.69||63.85||61.73||-1.96||61.73|
|Road||Chris Westwood||164||Elise S2||65.31||72.32||69.00||68.51||67.14||-1.86||67.14|
|Road||Briony Milner||865||Elise S1||90.22||86.64||75.00||79.20||76.10||1.10||76.10|
|Road||Karen Buffey||161||Elan S4||81.99||91.38||82.50||89.93||85.87||3.37||85.87|
Shelsley Walsh Sunday 16th May 2021
What difference day makes! The sun was shining and it felt a lot warmer.
Off came the car covers and all the cars started except Sarah Thorne’s Lotus 20/22, fortunately Roy Bury’s magic was about and as soon as he came close the car started!
We were first ones off again in the meeting and were told via June Matty, who had been informed by another competitor, that there was mud on the track by ‘Triangle’. Our practice runs began, although the track was still a little slippy in other places, even catching Paul who sent the car sideways approaching the first corner, everyone completing their run except June Matty who aborted her lap at ‘Triangle’ after catching the mud that she warned everyone about! Malcolm Thorne’s Lotus 69 F2 had been tweaked and was sounding beautiful.
A group decision was made to run the same as the day before, with one practice run and two-timed runs, as the weather was too unpredictable and the forecast was for more rain.
The time passed with only a few light showers our first run was upon us. All cars headed up with no issues until Kenny Lewis passed the finishing line, tried to see his time, and span the car. This then brought out the red flags for Malcolm Thorne then subsequently David Hampton. David managed to turn around at ‘Fallow’ but Malcolm was unable to. So as David headed back for his re-run, they brought the rest of us down followed by Malcolm to do his re-run.
Straight after lunch it was time for our final run. After a bit of confusion on whether we were being called to the line, off we went again with Pete Bottrill enjoying his new set of tyres. All was good until Stephen Palmer decided to take the original line down into ‘Triangle’, making friends with some flappy paddles on the way, then aborting the lap. Everyone’s time improved and yet again it was a very tight on the handicap with June Matty coming out on top.
When the results were announced June could not believe that she was taking the top spot.
Congratulations June, the Championship is going to be very interesting in this 30th year!
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Class||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Road||Jonathan Bibby||165||Elise S1||62.19||81.21||77.00||74.57||69.90||-7.10||69.90|
|2||10||Racing||Sarah Thorne||175||20/22||59.46 (61/69)||79.80||74.00||76.02||66.98||-7.02||66.98|
|3||9||Road||Iain Stallard||167||61||59.23 (Elan)||84.71||74.00||73.90||67.24||-6.76||67.24|
|4||8||Road||Steve Millward||863||Elan S3||64.98||83.47||77.00||79.51||71.85||-5.15||71.85|
|6||6||Racing||Stephen Palmer||171||51||61.13 (23B)||80.29||74.00||75.98||70.27||-3.73||70.27|
|7||5||Road||John Palmer||162||Elise 111R||65.22||80.14||77.00||78.91||73.29||-3.71||73.29|
|8||4||Road||Pete Bottrill||166||Elan S3||61.93||77.94||76.00||74.51||72.40||-3.60||72.40|
|10||2||Racing||June Matty||168||69 F3||60.61||76.95||74.00||74.69||70.83||-3.17||70.83|
|Road||Chris Westwood||164||Elise S2||65.31||79.41||75.00||76.96||72.06||-2.94||72.06|
|Racing||Kenny Lewis||177||61 MX||58.10||78.47||74.00||76.70||71.73||-2.27||71.73|
|Racing||Tony Shute||170||69 F||54.81||68.52||66.00||65.78||63.95||-2.05||63.95|
|Road||Keith Bristow||160||2-Eleven||61.04 (Exige)||82.91||73.00||78.06||70.97||-2.03||70.97|
|Road||Jane Millward||163||Elan S3||65.08||84.78||76.00||81.83||74.29||-1.71||74.29|
|Racing||Tony Wallen||180||69 F3||54.82||73.15||67.00||70.61||65.86||-1.14||65.86|
|Racing||Dave Hampton||179||69 F2 Atlantic||54.41||76.10||67.00||74.60||68.99||1.99||68.99|
|Racing||Paul Matty||169||35 F2||56.07||86.26||72.00||88.36||75.82||3.82||75.82|
|Road||Karen Buffey||161||Elan S4||81.99||95.74||80.00||100.00||88.85||8.85||88.85|
|Road||Briony Milner||865||Elise S1||N/A||98.76||80.00||93.86||90.22||10.22||90.22|
|Racing||Malcolm Thorne||178||69 F2||63.63 (340R)||86.95||67.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
Loton Park 15th May 2021
Back to Loton Park after having a year off, only to be presented with a horrible rainy day and a painfully slow meeting.
Even before the meeting started, there was fun and games with Geoff and Iain Stallard trying to work out their seating arrangements in their first outing in the Lotus 61 with a variety of booster seats. As Jane Millward, Steve Millward and Pete Bottrill were stopping off site, then driving to the circuit, Jane arrived in a custom-made passenger seat which she assured us was very comfortable but was immediately taken out for racing.
Due to the weather and delays with so many offs, we were asked if we would consider having just one practice run and two-timed runs, which we all agreed.
So on to our one and only practice run in the rain which was Briony’s first time out at Loton and Malcolm’s first time in his Lotus 69 F2. Fortunately, we all manage to get through it without any major incidents. As we waited at the top for other cars to join us, the heavens opened. This was not ideal for the single seaters. Eventually we returned to the paddock to a traffic jam waiting for the other cars sort themselves out, then we finally parked up. Unfortunately, Tony Shute discovered his starter motor had broken and was deemed to spend the rest of the weekend being push started.
As the time passed and the numerous red flags were shown, our first timed run was upon us. The paddock Marshall came to tell us to get ready, then out came another red flag. As we sat there waiting with the single seater umbrellas up it was noted that quite a few drivers were having ‘forty winks’ and could not keep their umbrellas up straight. Thank you to Sue Wilford kindly offering everyone her chocolate bars to trying and keep everyone’s energy up. Eventually we were called forward. We approached the line to yet another red flag, which went in then came out again then in, we had been sitting in our cars for over an hour. As Karen Buffey approached the line the car stalled, would not start and had to be pushed back off the line and then to the paddock. Thank you all who helped. Everyone else except Malcolm managed to go slightly quicker than their practice times, due to Lotus 69 F2 not running correctly.
Lunch was then called giving time to fix Karen’s Elan. Thank goodness for Roy Bury who found the loose wire. The handicap was then set but only using the times from the first and only practice run. Straight after lunch our second run commenced. Everyone again improved on their time with Jonathan Bibby just winning on handicapped by 8/100th of a second over Sarah Thorne.
That was us finished for the day which was the right call as the heavens opened up again and there were even more red flags.
Cars all cleaned and put undercover for the next day, round three.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Iain Stallard||954||Elan S3||31.80||35.94||33.96||32.85||32.34||-0.51||32.34|
|2||10||Pete Bottrill||242||Elan S3||34.77||39.95||36.56||36.00||35.89||-0.11||35.89|
|3||9||Jonathan Bibby||244||Elise S1||36.39||40.57||38.09||37.44||37.65||38.49||0.21||37.65|
|4||8||John Palmer||240||Elise 111R||36.49||40.00||38.41||37.54||37.83||43.47||0.29||37.83|
|6||6||Geoff Stallard||254||Elan S3||32.93||36.69||35.53||34.00||34.88||0.88||34.88|
|7||5||Chris Westwood||247||Elise S2||38.24||41.51||40.67||39.00||40.00||1.00||40.00|
|8||5||Tony Shute||259||69 F||30.95||34.31||33.95||32.00||35.44||33.00||1.00||33.00|
|9||3||Steve Millward||943||Elan S3||36.30||42.21||38.47||37.00||38.09||1.09||38.09|
|11||1||Dick Swindall||246||Elan S4||35.75||39.20||37.69||37.00||38.33||1.33||38.33|
|12||1||Karen Buffey||241||Elan S4||43.04||48.14||47.55||44.09||45.73||1.64||45.73|
|14||1||Jane Millward||243||Elan S3||36.90||48.89||40.93||38.00||40.09||2.09||40.09|
|15||1||Dave Hampton||252||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||34.83||32.97||31.00||33.50||2.50||33.50|
|16||1||Kenny Lewis||248||61 MX||32.05||36.23||33.90||33.10||35.64||2.54||35.64|
|18||1||Tim Grasby||245||2-Eleven||36.05 (Exige)||42.44||40.58||37.00||41.35||4.35||41.35|
|19||1||Keith Bristow||945||2-Eleven||32.33 (Exige)||43.90||38.26||33.38||37.85||4.47||37.85|
|20||1||Malcolm Thorne||258||69 F2||31.25 (35)||36.37||34.87||32.30||37.72||5.42||37.72|
|21||1||June Matty||256||69 F3||33.74||38.10||37.82||34.79||40.97||6.18||40.97|
|22||1||Paul Matty||255||35 F2||31.05||36.21||34.78||32.10||39.88||7.78||39.88|
|23||1||Brian Meddings||253||35 F2||33.26||36.33||35.31||34.31||0.00|
Paul Matty Sportscars Lotus Championship
Shelsley Walsh – Saturday 1st May 2021
What a strange event! The weather was cold with intermittent rain showers. The track was very green and cold which made it extremely difficult to find grip of the line. All our cars including Keith Bristow and Tim Grasby first outing in their 2-Eleven and the Stallards in the Elan not 61, managed to achieve their first practice run without any major problems then the waiting began. With several other cars having accidents, we finally managed to get our second practice run amidst some of us avoiding light showers, just before lunch.
Straight after lunch we were out for our first timed run. The track had improved with more rubber down with only Iain Stallard and Pete Bottrill beating their handicap. The meeting then came to an unfortunate stoppage as Brian had and incident after Top Ess. Fortunately, Brian did not break anything, but the car was less lucky. After a short break, the event resumed and the rest of the Championship did their timed run.
Then the waiting began again. The rain came and went so did the time. As the day went by our last time run was going to be very late in the afternoon, so many of us decided to forfeit our last timed run with only four of us deciding to complete. As the weather improved slightly but only the rain master Tony Shute was able to produce his best time of the day.
Hopefully, the weather will be better at our next event at Loton Park.
About The Driver:
ABOUT THE CAR:
About The Driver:
ABOUT THE CAR:
About The Driver:
ABOUT THE CAR:
About The Driver:
ABOUT THE CAR:
PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP
SUNDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2020
After a weekend breather between meetings we were back again at the hallowed track that is Shelsley Walsh. It was a two one-day meeting and we were entered for Sunday’s event, although some of our lot decided they can’t get enough of Shelsley and also did the Saturday meeting.
I estimate the Championship will have done two years’ normal competing at Shelsley over the past couple of months which may explain why so many PB’s have been achieved!
It was a beautiful September day with perfect weather for hill climbing – warm enough to heat the track up nicely but not too hot for the engines. There were members only spectators again with no entrance to the paddock for them but it was nice to see a few people watching, including John Palmer who couldn’t race with us but came to watch and gave us a wave on the way back down the hill!
Due to the reduced entry, we were given a third practice before the lunch break and, as is the norm, everyone improved on their first runs. Briony in the Elise, and Clive who is sharing Karen’s Elan for the remainder of the season, and Stephen and myself are getting a little more familiar with our new machines and all improved on our PB’s. Malcolm was back on form, getting back into the 31’s. Steve M decided not to take his third practice.
Everyone seemed to have a trouble-free practice session except for Paul who had a misfire off the line. Back in the paddock, after eliminating a few possible reasons, he decided to try fitting a new coil which sorted the problem. Hurray!
The handicap was then thrashed out by Paul, Tony W and Clive and our timed runs commenced.
First off were the dual drives with Iain, JJ and Clive taking the first runs and all improving on their practice times. While they all swopped drivers, the rest of the road class went up the hill and all improved again, bar Pete and Karen.
No dual drives for the race class. The running order was slightly askew as those who had entered the Saturday meeting kept the same numbers. Only 4 of the 9 managed to improve on best practice, Paul, Tony S and Tony W, who got into the 30’s and notably Sarah who managed to beat my PB in the 20/22 by 700th of a second. Well done! (no imogis available!)
Final road class runs saw yet another batch of PBs from Briony, Clive, JJ and Iain and handicaps beaten by Clive, JJ and Iain. Geoff, Steve M, Dick, Pete and Karen all went slightly slower than their first runs.
Final race class runs were roughly the same split as the road class with Sarah, Tony S, Tony W, Dave G and Paul going fractionally slower. Malcolm, Brian and I went faster, as did Stephen P.
The handicaps were extremely close again, with only .68 of a second separating the top 10. Well done guys!
Speaking of the top 10, its worth mentioning the exciting top 10 run off on Sunday which saw PB after PB broken and Sean Gould got very close to the outright hill record.
So, leading up to the final meeting of this strange and unsettled season, Road scratch sees Iain with a comfortable lead behind Dad, Geoff with Pete hot on Geoff’s heels. Race scratch is closer at the top with only two points separating Tony S ahead of Tony W with Malcolm currently in third.
The handicap is another end of season cliff hanger with only one point separating Iain with 33 points and Sarah on 32, then Tony W and Tony Shute in third and fourth, again with only one point separating them, and only 5 and 6 points respectively behind Iain. Very exciting.
We look forward immensely to seeing the few who haven’t managed to be with us for various reasons at our final meeting next Saturday, namely Jon, Chris, Ken, Keith and our newcomer, Nick Atkins who will all be there for our finale.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Clive Buffey||843||Elan S4||41.97||43.74||41.79||41.79||41.16||41.44||-0.63||41.16|
|3||9||June Matty||156||69 F3||33.84||34.43||34.32||33.84||35.85||33.74||-0.10||33.74|
|5||7||Iain Stallard||840||Elan S3||31.80||34.61||32.32||31.80||31.88||31.91||0.08||31.88|
|6||6||Pete Bottrill||136||Elan S3||34.77||37.25||36.42||36.00||36.12||37.00||0.12||36.12|
|7||5||John Palmer||134||Elise 111R||36.49||37.69||37.62||36.49||36.65||36.92||0.16||36.65|
|8||4||Briony Milner||138||Elise S1||37.78||41.68||39.78||37.78||38.50||38.07||0.29||38.07|
|9||3||Kenny Lewis||150||61 MX||32.05||33.23||34.42||32.05||33.00||32.35||0.30||32.35|
|10||2||Jonathan Bibby||838||Elise S1||36.39||38.03||37.32||36.39||36.70||36.82||0.31||36.70|
|11||1||Tony Shute||160||69 F||30.95||32.18||31.36||30.95||31.54||31.29||0.34||31.29|
|12||1||Dick Swindall||142||Elan S4||35.75||38.30||38.11||37.00||37.72||37.54||0.54||37.54|
|13||1||Steve Millward||137||Elan S3||36.30||38.58||38.67||36.30||36.93||37.05||0.63||36.93|
|14||1||Geoff Stallard||140||Elan S3||33.04||34.31||32.93||32.93||33.59||34.21||0.66||33.59|
|15||1||Karen Buffey||143||Elan S4||43.04||45.37||44.38||43.04||44.14||44.99||1.10||44.14|
|16||1||Brian Meddings||154||35 F2||33.26||36.25||34.73||33.26||35.13||34.60||1.34||34.60|
|19||1||Malcolm Thorne||159||35 F2||31.25||33.89||32.41||31.25||33.10||33.46||1.85||33.10|
|20||1||Paul Matty||157||35 F2||31.05||34.97||34.59||31.05||33.70||33.78||2.65||33.70|
|21||1||Tony Wallen||155||69 F3||30.67||31.53||30.64||30.64||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP
SATURDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER 2020
Well, our short, and it could be said, weird 2020 season is complete. I think we got our last meeting in just in the nick of time, if the current news is anything to go by.
From thinking that there wouldn’t be any racing at all this year, to scraping together a shortened season, it has been a ‘journey’! At this early juncture we would like to thank everyone involved in helping to put this season together. To name a few, Clive for the IT support, Helen and Barbara for collecting the times, Tony W, Clive, Stephen and Dave H for helping Paul to thrash out the handicaps, Sarah for the catering back up, Karen for the admin (not an easy task), Janey and Sarah (we presume) for sorting our pressie, Janey for distributing the wristbands (very important role) and not forgetting Lyn for providing the most amazing cakes. Apologies If we’ve forgotten anyone, but huge thanks to everyone who stepped in to lend a hand.
With all the meetings being held at Shelsley, it threw up some interesting times. I presume it was because we did 2 years’ meetings almost back-to-back over a few weeks, that quite a few PB’s were achieved.
And so to the final event. One thing that has been consistent has been the weather (I have to mention it, I’m British!). It has been very well behaved indeed, including the final weekend which was warm and sunny yet again.
It was nice to have John Palmer back in the fold, as it was Kenny and Keith W who joined in for the final meeting. Sadly, Bev could not join us but Heather and Sue came along and it was nice to have a chat and catch up.
The previous meeting resulted in a cliff-hanger for the final event with only one point separating Iain and Sarah for the Championship, and the two Tony’s only two points apart for the Race Scratch. Iain was leading the Road Scratch by 5 points ahead of Geoff so was in a good position to win that trophy.
The first of the dual drives, JJ, Iain and Clive, kicked off our final event and all had a steady first run, as did the rest of us as it should be with first practice. Second practice saw Clive, Geoff and Tony W fractionally beating their PBs and virtually everyone else bringing their times down with no problems. Then Paul, Tony W and Clive sat down to trash out the handicaps. Not an easy task due to the tiny margins and various close battles going on. It was decided to give the majority their PB’s as the handicap to make it as fair as possible.
As is the norm, we were the last batch to run and began our first timed runs mid-afternoon. Again, the majority went a little quicker and the battle for first was on. Iain was just 800th of his handicap and put the pressure on Sarah. Tony W went off the line and was really giving it all…. until Bottom Ess! His beautiful 69 went straight on into the Recticel and wiped the front off. Fortunately, Tony was fine but the car definitely was not. I’m sure Tony S wouldn’t have wanted it this way but it meant, barring disaster, he was assured first on Scratch.
So, the meeting was held up while the recovery truck was called and the Recticel repaired. I was supposed to be following Tony W but due to a flat battery problem I missed my slot. Paul was red flagged with Sarah waiting on the start line. The start approach was cleared, and Paul and Sarah retreated to the paddock. Meanwhile, Tim and Roy and a very kind young chap whose Dad was entered in a Peugeot were going to push start me when the race re-started. It took about half an hour or so to clear the track and I was called to the start line as soon as the red flags were pulled in. Having to push start the car with a cold engine and be first off after Tony’s accident was not pleasant and I made a complete mess of my run, missing gears and driving like a numpty! (Apologise at this point to Paul, who really shouldn’t have asked me how I’d got on!).
Paul followed me, then it was Sarah’s turn and got a time just 500th off her handicap, which gave her equal points to Iain. So, it was all down to the final run. Only Briony, Tony S, Dick, Brian, Malcolm, Kenny and me improved on our first runs, everyone else was slightly slower which meant the first run results stood. Can I just comment on Kenny’s times. It was the first time out for him and the car since last September, he hasn’t been able to test the car (other than a couple of turns around his paddock) and he pulled a 32.35 out of the bag giving him sixth on Race Scratch after only one meeting! Respect, Ken.
Final Handicap Positions saw Sarah and Iain on equal points and Tony W still managed an equal third with Briony who has loved the competition and will be back sharing the Elie with JJ next year. There were only 6 points separating third to ninth positions on Handicap.
As Sarah had won more meetings overall, she took first place and Iain was generous in his defeat. He won first on Road Scratch, followed by Geoff in second place and Pete in third. An amazing result for him as a founder member of the PMS Championship. Still very competitive and winning points. The battle between him, Dick and Steve M is as fierce as it has ever been. We salute you. Awesome!
We hope to see Jane back competing next year after her dog/knee disaster and Chris after his dog/wrist disaster! And Dave H and Tony W with repaired 69s, not forgetting Clive who will give Karen’s Elan back.
It just leaves me to congratulate Sarah on everyone’s behalf for her impressive win, only the third time the PMS Championship has been won outright by a lady, the first being Vanessa Lee way back in 2001 in her 61, and then Jane in her Elan in 2015. Also, congratulations to Iain for a tremendous season and such a close-run battle. I have enjoyed watching your in-car footage
We hope to see you all sometime next year, whatever it may bring. Hopefully, the pre-season gathering will happen. Information will be forthcoming as it evolves.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||Practice 3||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Iain Stallard||828||Elan S3||31.94||35.04||33.63||32.24||31.94||32.19||31.80||-0.14||31.80|
|4||8||Jonathan Bibby||827||Elise S1||36.44||38.18||36.72||36.73||36.44||36.66||36.39||-0.05||36.39|
|5||7||Tony Shute||138||69 F||30.98||33.31||31.39||31.45||30.98||31.42||30.95||-0.03||30.95|
|5||7||Clive Buffey||830||Elan S4||42.65||44.95||43.58||42.63||42.00||42.14||41.97||-0.03||41.97|
|7||5||Briony Milner||127||Elise S1||39.51||41.72||39.92||38.35||37.75||37.78||38.98||0.03||37.78|
|8||4||Geoff Stallard||128||Elan S3||33.04||34.07||33.54||33.82||33.04||33.10||33.25||0.06||33.10|
|9||3||Tony Wallen||135||69 F3||30.67||31.81||31.15||31.13||30.67||30.96||31.01||0.29||30.96|
|10||2||June Matty||136||69 F3||34.01||34.92||35.09||33.86||33.50||33.90||33.84||0.34||33.84|
|11||1||Steve Millward||126||Elan S3||36.30||37.21||36.98||0.00||36.30||36.75||37.19||0.45||36.75|
|12||1||Dick Swindall||129||Elan S4||35.75||38.39||38.06||37.28||36.50||37.16||37.20||0.66||37.16|
|13||1||Pete Bottrill||125||Elan S3||34.77||37.19||36.62||36.09||35.50||36.22||36.67||0.72||36.22|
|15||1||Paul Matty||137||35 F2||31.05||46.10||35.01||34.31||32.75||33.81||34.03||1.06||33.81|
|16||1||Malcolm Thorne||122||35 F2||31.25||34.24||32.67||31.95||31.25||32.48||32.43||1.18||32.43|
|17||1||Brian Meddings||119||35 F2||33.26||35.32||33.87||34.66||33.26||35.42||34.73||1.47||34.73|
|18||1||Karen Buffey||130||Elan S4||43.04||44.80||44.44||43.98||42.95||45.34||44.69||1.74||44.69|
PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP
29 AUGUST 2020
There were 18 of us, once more, competing at this meeting, with Dick Swindall our Scottish representative, joining us for the first time this year and replacing John Palmer who was not competing this time. It was good to see Dick looking so well after his recent knee replacement surgery. Steve M was also back to full health and raring to go.
The forecast was for a cool but dry day with sunny intervals and that is exactly what we got! The running order for the day was quite different to a normal race day with the Covid-necessary trimmed down entries, the morning was for the competitors event with the afternoon given over to any MAC members wishing to pay to drive the track.
With only 60 or so competitors, and (mostly) incident-free, we finished our two practices and two timed runs by 1.15pm. There was an hours’ turnaround for the members’ track runs which continued until around 4.30pm with members allowed to line up for as many runs as they wanted. John Crook brought his Elan to do a few runs for old times’ sake and still showed his competitive side.
It would have been preferable to have had the whole day with extra practice and timed runs but as the intended Sunday meeting had to be cancelled due to lack of entries, it is understandable that the Club need to try and earn as much as possible.
So, to the competition. There were no changes to drivers and cars except for Clive, who shared Karen’s Elan again due to the 61’s problems needing an over-winter rebuild. I think they will finish the season sharing the Elan. It has spurred Karen on as she got a PB on Saturday and was actually beating Clive until the final run.
The other husband/wife needle match between Sarah and Malcolm saw Malcolm just pipping Sarah on time but Sarah won on handicap with another impressive final run, beating her recent PB by almost 2/10ths. The 20/22 is well-sorted and really suits her and I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t swapped it for the 69!
Briony has joined us for her first competitive season and shares JJ’s Elise. She continues to bring her times down rapidly which is usual for first time competitors, finishing 5th on handicap.
The final shared entry is Geoff and son, Iain, in Geoff’s Elan S3. Geoff’s warning to Iain to be careful as the Elan is his pension doesn’t seem to have reach Iain’s ears as you can see if you watch his in-car footage on YouTube!! Another PB and a first on handicap was the result!
The two Tony’s had a good battle with Tony W having a great final run with an amazing time of 30.67. Another PB and earning him second on handicap. Well, it was his turn as Tony S won last time!
Steve M continues to chip away at his time and gained another PB, finishing joint 3rd and Pete beat his handicap to finish 8th. They are both usually in the points, as is Dick but, as it was his first event since last September, not this time. May I take this opportunity to show our admiration for the senior members of our Championship. They are quite incredible – still ultra-competitive and a reminder that age is a state of mind.
Stephen P managed to quietly knock over a second off his PB in the fairly newly acquired 51, just missing out on 10th place to Karen but no doubt happy with his time. Brian got well into the 33’s and I would imagine was also quite pleased with his time.
Looking at the results, there were eight PB’s overall on Saturday, which is quite impressive. As was the handicapping with a time difference between the first ten of just 1.04 seconds, and 1.37 for 16 out of 18 (we won’t mention the last two!). Congratulations to Tony W and Clive for a great job done whilst Paul tried to mend my car, and with no lunchtime to ponder the practice times.
I’m not even going to mention the problems we had with my 69, save to say it is being fitted with a new distributor, leads, caps, coil and ignition module. A belt and braces job in the hope we never have those problems again. My immense gratitude yet again to Tim and Paul for working so hard to try and get me running again and succeeding three out of four times. Just one of those annoying things that is racing!
We have a break this weekend before the penultimate meeting of this shortened season on Sunday 13th September, closely followed by our final event at Shelsley on Saturday 19th September.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Iain Stallard||810||Elan S3||32.79||38.25||36.51||32.95||32.68||31.94||-1.01||31.94|
|2||10||Tony Wallen||119||69 F3||30.87||35.01||32.41||31.25||31.74||30.67||-0.58||30.67|
|3||9||Steve Millward||107||Elan S3||36.40||37.65||38.57||36.75||36.44||36.30||-0.45||36.30|
|5||7||Briony Milner||109||Elise S1||44.14||44.46||41.26||39.95||40.99||39.51||-0.44||39.51|
|6||6||Malcolm Thorne||123||35 F2||31.25||34.75||33.32||32.75||32.93||32.37||-0.38||32.37|
|7||5||Geoff Stallard||110||Elan S3||33.04||36.20||34.52||33.75||34.12||33.45||-0.30||33.45|
|8||4||Pete Bottrill||106||Elan S3||34.77||41.70||38.18||36.00||36.03||35.71||-0.29||35.71|
|9||3||Clive Buffey||813||Elan S4||43.07||46.89||45.41||42.75||43.76||42.65||-0.10||42.65|
|10||2||Karen Buffey||113||Elan S4||43.07||49.60||45.60||43.07||43.04||44.81||-0.03||43.04|
|12||1||Tony Shute||124||69 F||30.98||33.30||31.99||31.25||31.60||31.34||0.09||31.34|
|13||1||Brian Meddings||118||35 F2||33.26||36.60||34.56||33.30||34.03||33.51||0.21||33.51|
|15||1||Dick Swindall||111||Elan S3||37.12||40.88||37.94||37.25||37.57||37.86||0.32||37.57|
|16||1||Jonathan Bibby||809||Elise S1||36.44||40.11||38.07||36.75||37.38||37.11||0.36||37.11|
|17||1||Paul Matty||121||35 F2||31.05||37.61||35.39||32.75||34.58||34.18||1.43||34.18|
|18||1||June Matty||120||69 F3||34.01||35.74||35.04||34.25||38.76||4.51||38.76|
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Tony Shute||181||69 F||30.98||38.59||34.82||33.98||32.01||31.27||-2.71||31.27|
|3||9||Tony Wallen||176||69 F3||30.87||37.86||35.48||33.87||32.10||31.40||-2.47||31.40|
|4||8||Briony Milner||166||Elise S1||44.14||55.39||45.98||47.14||44.70||45.63||-2.44||44.70|
|5||7||John Palmer||165||Elise 111R||36.49||44.79||42.60||39.49||38.72||37.74||-1.75||37.74|
|6||6||Pete Bottrill||163||Elan S3||34.77||50.34||42.16||37.77||37.12||36.03||-1.74||36.03|
|7||5||Brian Meddings||174||35 F2||33.26||48.77||42.52||36.26||35.58||34.72||-1.54||34.72|
|8||4||Jonathan Bibby||866||Elise S1||36.44||47.05||42.55||39.44||38.50||38.10||-1.34||38.10|
|9||3||Iain Stallard||867||Elan S3||32.79||43.03||40.25||35.79||35.61||34.49||-1.30||34.49|
|10||2||June Matty||177||69 F3||34.01||52.48||42.58||37.01||37.20||36.00||-1.01||36.00|
|11||1||Malcolm Thorne||180||35 F2||31.25||42.82||37.02||34.25||33.41||33.77||-0.84||33.41|
|13||1||Paul Matty||178||35 F2||31.05||45.72||39.10||34.05||36.63||34.40||0.35||34.40|
|14||1||Geoff Stallard||167||Elan S3||33.04||42.22||39.86||36.04||36.57||36.90||0.53||36.57|
|15||1||Clive Buffey||175||Elan S4||32.63 (61)||53.81||46.13||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|16||1||Karen Buffey||161||Elan S4||43.07||53.04||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|18||1||Steve Millward||164||Elan S3||36.40||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP
SHELSLEY WALSH 16TH AUGUST 2020
Well, another incident packed meeting. It began on Saturday afternoon when Steve and Helen arrived sans trailer, as its lights had packed up! Annoyingly, his 51 was fine but no trailer, no car so they came anyway to support the rest of us, and Helen to help Clive with the results, which was much appreciated.
Our pre-race gatherings have evolved into a more casual dining experience of alfresco fish and chips (not forgetting the mushy peas!)/pizza/Thai green curry from the Shelsley restaurant (thankfully, the weather has been kind to us so far). The venue and menu may have altered due to current restrictions but the camaraderie and enjoyment have not.
Still missing from the meeting was Chris Westwood due to his broken hand, and Steve Millward pulled out due to not feeling 100%. Hope he is recovered for the next meeting.
Sunday morning was raining as preparations began and Clive started his car to warm it up and a rather nasty noise came from the engine which meant his day’s racing in the 61 was over, but he was able to swap his entry in time to dual-drive Karen’s Elan. Update is valve seat problems. It’s hoped it will be ready for the next meeting but not yet sure how much damage has occurred.
The rain soon stopped but our first runs were in the wet and Top Ess was particularly lethal but we all got to the top in one piece, albeit only just for a couple of us! I was under strict instructions to not use too many revs on the first couple of runs due to the rebuild after last Sunday’s debacle, but the engine sounded sweet and hopefully I will become more familiar with its different set up over the next three events. My immense gratitude to Tim and Paul for their monumental efforts to get both my 69 and Karen’s Elan repaired in time for Sunday, especially in last week’s oppressive heat. However, on Karen’s second practice, there was another problem with the Elan and the Buffeys’ competition was over. Back to the workshop!
It was a little tricky to work out the handicaps as the track was rapidly drying out and there was a risk of rain but Paul and Tony Wallen, with Stephen sitting in, worked their way through it and decided to give everyone the same handicap of 3 seconds over their PB.
It was warming up nicely for our first timed run and the track was dry bar a small section out of Top Ess, which an MR2 in the batch before us discovered when it hit the left-hand bank coming out of Top Ess. The driver was unhurt but a half hour’s delay ensued. With the forecast for thundery showers predicted any time after 3pm, it was hoped, as the last class, we would manage to escape it.
Dick Swindall called Botty halfway through the afternoon to say he was watching the live stream and that the track was now dry. Our spy in the sky! We look forward to seeing Dick for the remaining couple of meetings.
The dual drives went off for the first timed runs and Briony managed to knock over a second off her best practice. In fact everyone dropped at least a couple of seconds or more due to the now dry track.
The final run was quite exciting with the two Tony’s only 0.13 between them with Tony S just pipping Tony W, taking second and third respectively on handicap . Geoff and Briony were a fraction slower than their first runs but everyone else improved, the best one being Sarah in the 20/22 with an extremely respectable 32.73, taking a deserved first on handicap and setting the bar for the rest of the ’33-ers’! My old car obviously suits her!
Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday 29th August.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||John Palmer||98||Elise 111R||37.07||38.48||38.07||37.25||37.52||36.49||-0.76||36.49|
|2||10||Steve Millward||97||Elan S3||37.14||38.27||37.52||37.14||36.40||36.68||-0.74||36.40|
|3||9||Iain Stallard||800||Elan S3||n/a||37.36||34.23||33.15||33.28||32.79||-0.36||32.79|
|4||8||Pete Bottrill||99||Elan S3||36.3||38.39||36.68||36.40||36.51||36.12||-0.28||36.12|
|5||7||Tony Shute||110||69 F||30.98||32.15||32.31||31.00||31.46||31.09||0.09||31.09|
|6||6||Brian Meddings||109||35 F2||33.00||37.09||33.77||33.00||33.26||33.56||0.26||33.26|
|7||5||Geoff Stallard||100||Elan S3||33.04||35.90||34.45||33.25||34.25||33.68||0.43||33.68|
|8||4||Tony Wallen||103||69 F3||30.87||33.68||31.50||31.00||31.89||31.49||0.49||31.49|
|9||3||Briony Milner||101||Elise S1||n/a||52.47||49.45||43.50||46.20||44.14||0.64||44.14|
|10||2||Jonathan Bibby||801||Elise S1||36.44||39.59||38.37||36.55||37.46||38.10||0.91||37.46|
|13||1||Paul Matty||107||35 F2||31.05||38.89||34.89||32.00||33.39||34.20||1.39||33.39|
|15||1||Malcolm Thorne||112||35 F2||31.25||33.95||32.53||31.25||33.14||33.14||1.89||33.14|
|16||1||Stephen Palmer||104||51||33.84 (23B)||37.83||38.13||33.75||36.02||36.74||2.27||36.02|
|17||1||Karen Buffey||96||Elan S4||43.07||45.54||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|18||1||June Matty||106||69 F3||34.01||74.95||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP 2020
SHELSLEY WALSH – SUNDAY 9TH AUGUST 2020
After it looked as though we would be writing off our championship for 2020, with much speculation, uncertainty and too-ing and fro-ing with the various clubs, we finally managed to put together a reduced championship of 5 events – all of them at Shelsley Walsh, as they had managed to obtain a permit to run some trimmed down events. Our first event was the Reg Phillips meeting.
With Jon taking a sabbatical this season and Marion not present to collect the times due to Dave’s engine problems, Clive and Helen very kindly agreed to step in and compile the results. With apologies to Jon, Paul and I have put together a report of the day.
The weather was baking hot on Saturday with the forecast for Sunday slightly cooler but still dry. However, Sunday started quite cool and misty and the sun didn’t appear until late afternoon. But, most importantly for us all (bar Tony!), it was dry. Hallelujah!
It was a two 1-day event weekend with the VSCC meeting on Saturday. With the strict Covid measures, no spectators are currently allowed and we were not allowed to enter the paddock to unload our cars on Saturday until after 5pm and the VSCC meeting had cleared. There are strict measures in place. All competitors have to sign in online before the event. On arrival, temperatures are taken, wristbands issued and your name ticked off the list. The paddock has every other shed left empty to distance competitors, so the entry list is much reduced.
So, we all got our cars unloaded into our designated sheds. However, David Gidden had noticed a problem with his 23b when unloading so Paul and Tim got to work and after a couple hours’ intense labour, managed to solve the problem. As the fish and chip supper at the Shelsley restaurant was calling, they decided to arrive early on Sunday morning to put it all back together.
It was quite different to a normal meeting with no spectators or commentary and no split times, just the finishing time so we resorted to our mobile phones to check them on Resultsman!
There were only 16 of us competing for various reasons. Some are unable to do all five meetings. Jane was still convalescing due to a neighbour’s excitable dog crashing into her leg, breaking her knee and Chris Westwood has broken his hand falling over whilst walking dog. Aren’t dogs supposed to keep you healthy?! Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Steve Hopkins is missing this season as his father’s health is not good. We wish him well. Dave H was missing as his engine blew when testing at Curborough. It is hoped he will be able to join us soon, and two of our new competitors were self-isolating. JJ’s partner, Briony, has joined us for the first time and is sharing his Elise and Iain Stallard shared Dad Geoff’s Elan S3.
First practice saw us all lined up and eager to go. First off was Iain, warming the car up for Geoff, and JJ, doing the same for Briony, then Steve, John Palmer who was in his Elise 111R as his 61 is not quite ready yet, then Pete, Geoff and Briony. All did a steady first run except for Karen who had a smoking exhaust problem. After inspection it was discovered the Elan had blown a head gasket, so that was the end of her meeting and the first of the day’s casualties.
Tony Wallen got the race class going with a respectable 33.68, setting the pace for the rest of the class. Stephen Palmer went next in his first competitive run in the newly acquired and beautifully turned out 51, then Clive in his 61. June was next and was going well until Crossing when she suddenly slowed right down and coasted gingerly the top. On return to the pits, Tim, Paul and Roy investigated and found a rather serious engine failure, so that was the end of June’s competition.
It is hoped both Karen’s Elan and June’s 69 can be repaired in time for next Sunday’s meeting. Fingers crossed.
Paul was behind June and was turned around to restart, followed by Dave Gidden, now repaired and running well. Brian was next followed by Tony S who did an impressive 32.15. We discovered on his return that he had lost the brakes on one side. Maybe the reason why he got such a good time?! He managed to fix the problem and got all the brakes working for the remaining runs. Sarah and Malcolm finished the first practice run.
After the second practice, Tony W and Clive agreed to work out the handicaps as Paul was loading June’s car and checking a problem with the air suspension, or lack of it, on their transporter. It turned out to be a squirrel had chewed through the tube! Fortunately, it worked just enough to raise the suspension to get it home. Paul sat in for the final check of the handicaps and we were set for the timed runs.
First timed runs went well with everybody trying very hard to beat their handicaps.
Then on the final run of the day, we were lined up ready to go and the meeting was held up due to a problem at the top paddock. By the time it was sorted, we had all been sitting in our cars in the hot sun and only about half managed to improve on their first run. Notably John Palmer, who was first on handicap, followed by Steve in second place and Iain in third, a bittersweet result for Geoff, proud Dad but miffed competitor! Although he did predict that Iain would get a 32 on his final run.
So we go back to Shelsley next Sunday to continue the battle!
June and Paul
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Sarah Bosworth||159||Elise S1||32.29||33.45||33.12||32.00||31.98||32.63||-0.02||31.98|
|3||9||Geoff Stallard||160||Elan S3||33.78||34.80||33.72||33.00||33.19||33.04||0.04||33.04|
|5||7||Kenny Lewis||171||61 MX||32.05||34.33||33.07||32.25||33.33||32.39||0.14||32.39|
|6||6||Dick Swindall||163||Elan S4||35.75||38.49||36.80||36.50||36.65||37.87||0.15||36.65|
|7||5||Malcolm Thorne||166||340R||34.91 (340R)||37.10||35.15||34.50||34.68||34.81||0.18||34.68|
|8||4||Jonathan Bibby||156||Elise S1||36.44||38.90||38.30||36.50||36.89||36.74||0.24||36.74|
|9||3||John Palmer||155||Elise 111R||37.87||38.25||37.45||36.50||36.86||37.07||0.36||36.86|
|10||2||Steve Millward||864||Elan S3||37.14||40.17||38.11||36.95||37.51||37.56||0.56||37.51|
|10||2||Tony Wallen||172||69 F3||30.87 (P)||32.05||30.91||30.55||31.45||31.11||0.56||31.11|
|12||1||Jon Dobson||162||Elan +2||32.89||37.21||35.89||34.00||35.13||34.68||0.68||34.68|
|12||1||Jane Millward||164||Elan S3||36.90||39.41||38.10||36.95||37.63||37.69||0.68||37.63|
|14||1||Dave Hampton||177||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||31.77||31.58||30.25||31.89||30.97||0.72||30.97|
|15||1||Tony Shute||178||69 F||30.98||31.97||31.17||30.95||31.68||32.12||0.73||31.68|
|16||1||Pete Bottrill||161||Elan S3||34.77||37.12||36.74||35.50||37.20||36.30||0.80||36.30|
|19||1||June Matty||179||69 F3||34.01||33.97||33.97||32.25||35.80||34.06||1.81||34.06|
|20||1||Chris Westwood||165||Elise 111R||38.24||42.85||39.77||37.50||40.92||39.99||2.49||39.99|
|21||1||David Gidden||167||Elise 135R||32.11 (23B)||42.32||40.60||38.00||40.63||41.05||2.63||40.63|
|22||1||Paul Matty||180||35 F2||31.05||34.15||33.45||31.75||34.50||34.68||2.75||34.50|
|24||1||Karen Buffey||158||Elan S4||43.07||51.89||44.64||41.00||44.84||46.77||3.84||44.84|
This was our final visit to Shelsley this year and, of course, the final event of this 28th year of the championship. We were also to be blessed with the best weather that I can recall at Shelsley. Clear blue sky but still not too hot. Having been dry for some days previously there were no worries about the grip in the Esses – a rare occurrence!
The main championship positions were all very tight with Steve Millward having a one-point lead over Steve Hopkins but with the latter not having an entry for this event it was left to 4 other drivers to be able to make a last-ditch attempt on the title.
The road scratch was already decided really as Sarah Bosworth had a 3-point lead over Steve Hopkins and with Sarah at this event and again with Steve unable to score that looked a shoe in for Sarah. Only misfortune would deny her.
Race scratch however was very tight with Tony Wallen having just a one-point lead over Dave Hampton.
In the end it was one of the tightest finishes I can recall with the result not decided until the last run.
Fortunately, Dave Hampton was able to rebuild his clutch after the MIRA problem, burning the midnight oil during the week, and was hoping the car would be OK.
David Gidden, after his Bo’ness crash in the 23B (he thinks the front suspension failure was a legacy of his gravel excursion at Harewood) was in his road Elise S2 135R. He had had this car for quite some time but had only done a couple of hundred miles in it, so this was going to be a challenge.
Brian Meddings, with his 35 sick, had brought his trusty 51C. Malcolm Thorne with another 35 hors de combat was driving Sarah’s 340R as he had at MIRA.
Most meetings this year had seen Mr Matty wrestling with a misfire issue that would come and go. He had changed carbs this time and initially that seemed fine running it at home. But later starting it again, the misfire was back. Just by chance he noticed the back of the ignition switch had some loose wire showing. Basically, this had been causing the intermittent problem though it was surprising behaviour in that usually with that sort of issue it would either work or not. Clive Buffey was back at Shelsley now but determined to get further than the Esses bank this time. We were towards the end of the running order for this event. Steve Millward was first and then John Palmer led us off in the main batch and the 38.25 was only 1/2 second shy of his PB. The other Mr Palmer, Stephen, was also close to his PB with a 34.81. The other noteworthy performance was June who set a new ’69’ PB on 33.97.
Our second practice run came around quite quickly. This time John Palmer set a new PB with a 37.45. Geoff Stallard now on his new slicks also set a new PB, only by 6/100ths, with a 33.72. Dick Swindall was going very well and while his 36.80 was a second away from his PB set in the mists of time, when he was even younger, it was far quicker than anything he’d done so far this year. Malcolm Thorne was only 1/4 second away from his PB in the 340R. Stephen Palmer got to just 9/100ths away from his PB. Tony Wallen’s 30.91 was just 0.04 shy of his best Shelsley time in practice in July before he had the timing belt slip. Sarah Thorne was just 3/100ths away from her PB with a 34.39. Dave Hampton, whilst very pleased that the clutch was functioning fine was not so pleased with a 31.58. We had not seen Tony Shute for some recent meetings and when he then set a 31.17, just 0.2 off his PB that left Dave unusually third fastest. This was just practice however! June exactly equaled her first practice time!
Although, in reality, every handicap decision throughout the year was important to the final outcome this last event of the year saw even more emphasis on getting it right. Accordingly, Paul and I sought the opinion of a third party, Dave Hampton to participate in the process. It was not just vital to try and get the leading drivers targets correct but everyone, as ‘mistakes’ lower down the order could compromise the overall points allocation.
There had been some oil put down over at least half the hill by a single seater which caused quite a delay as the marshals cleared things up. The first car up the hill afterwards was lost in a white cloud! Quite a few more cars had gone up before it was our turn and the dust had cleared, as it were, but the white witness line up the hill was still rather off putting.
Unusually our road and race classes were not in the same batch so that the road class were back down the hill before our race class set off.
It was the dual driving Steve Millward that was first on the road for us in the previous batch and his 37.51 was 0.56 over.
John Palmer was in very determined mood and set yet another new PB with a 36.86, 0.36 over. Jonathan Bibby was only just slower than John and the 36.89 and with the same handicap was just 0.39 over. Karen was a bit slower than her best practice but then Sarah Bosworth set a blistering 31.98 that was a new PB for her and 0.02 under handicap.
That time got me thinking of some past top times in the road class, both in Elise/Exige derivatives. Our late friend Grayham Parker’s best in the Motorsport Elise was 31.79 and going back further to 2007 it was Chris Beadsmore in his Exige with a 31.91.
Geoff Stallard was getting quicker run on run and the 33.19 was another new PB and just 0.19 over. Botty was a bit slower than his best in practice, but Dick was still improving and his 36.65 was just 0.15 over and a very impressive performance. In fact, Dick’s very quick practice time gave us a bit of a handicap problem because often we will give Dick a similar handicap to Steve and Jane. We just couldn’t this time.
Jane’s 37.63 was 0.68 over and Chris Westwood was slower than his best from the morning. Malcolm’s 34.68 was a new 340R PB and was 0.18 over. David Gidden did his best time so far with a 40.63. Another getting quicker every run was Stephen Palmer and his 34.19 was just 0.08 shy of his PB and 0.19 over. Kenny Lewis was not as quick as in the morning and, surprisingly, nor was Tony Wallen. Clive Buffey was improving but quite understandably was being cautious. Keith Wilford improved to a 35.33 but marshals had seen the 23 leaving a fluid trail so there was a delay. It transpired that actually it was just fuel as there was a problem with a carburettor. This was later resolved in the paddock by Keith and his regular, and cheap, mechanic, Gordon Morrison.
Sarah Thorne was also faster again and the 33.89 was 0.79 over, but a new PB. Brian Meddings wasn’t as fast as in the morning and neither was Dave Hampton nor Tony Shute. June was a couple of seconds slower than her morning runs. Maybe she had and gear change issue? Paul was also slower.
So, after the first run it was Sarah B leading from Dick and then Malcolm. At that point Steve Millward was still out front with 4 points from Geoff Stallard on 7.
So, the final run of the year with both the main championship and the race scratch championship was still not settled.
Steve Millward’s final run was 5/100ths slower than his first which was leaving him exposed. John Palmer was slower this time, but Jonathan Bibby was a bit faster and the 36.74 left him just 0.24 over. Karen was slower as was Sarah Bosworth. Geoff Stallard seemed to leave a good layer of his new rubber in the tyre warming area, but his efforts paid off as the 33.04 was yet another PB and also, more importantly just 0.04 over. Botty had his best run of the day on 36.30 to finish 0.80 over. I also managed a half decent run (at last) to get a 34.68, 0.68 over. Dick was slower this time as was Jane, but Chris Westwood just got under 40 seconds though this was some good way off his PB.
In the race class Stephen Palmer went quicker again with a very good drive and his 33.84 left him 0.16 under. Kenny Lewis also had a very good run and the 32.39 was just 0.14 over. Tony Wallen was frustrated that while his 31.11 was a competition improvement it was not as fast as he had done in the morning nor as fast as July practice. This left him 0.56 over. Clive took a smidgen off for a 36.04 and Keith Wilford and small improvement to finish with 35.16. Sarah Thorne is driving the ex-June 20/22 very well now and the 33.18 was a good time and only 0.08 over. Brian Meddings set his best of the day with a 34.43.
Now Mr Hampton knew this was his last chance to best Tony Wallen and gave it his all and the 30.97 was the successful result on scratch but it was still 0.72 over in the main competition. Tony Shute was unusually slower this run. June improved to a 34.06 but that was still not as fast as she had managed in the morning. The Guv’nor was a bit slower this time.
It was therefore a win for Stephen Palmer with Sarah Bosworth second and Geoff Stallard third. In race scratch it was DH from Tony Wallen and then Mr Shute. Road scratch saw Sarah Bosworth take an emphatic win from a hard charging Geoff Stallard with Malcolm and me equal third.
Well that certainly changed the complexion of the championship around. Of the top contenders only Geoff Stallard, Jonathan Bibby and Steve Millward scored more than the attendance 1 point. Now the 9 points that Geoff Stallard scored gave him 51 points and the 2 that Steve Millward scored gave him 51 points! Obviously to resolve this we had to employ a best scores countback. Geoff had two wins and a second while Steve was more consistent his best results were 3 third places. So, on that basis Geoff Stallard retains the championship. Commiserations to Steve Millward, and, indeed Steve Hopkins at being pipped at the post.
In race scratch with the win Dave Hampton levelled the scores at 37 each but Tony had 4 wins to Dave’s 2 so that one goes to Tony.
What a great meeting. As a side issue, as I have discussed with lots of people, I am convinced that Shelsley is slower now than it used to be. One change I really notice is the now the low tyre wall at the ‘Kink’ that seems, maybe only mentally, to compromise the line we used to be able to take. I don’t think it is coincidence that Martin Groves hill record of 22.58 has now stood for 11 years. It does make it difficult to compare times from that long ago and old PB’s. It’s not only Shelsley of course, other tracks have understandable ‘safety’ mods.
Anyway, congratulations to Geoff Stallard again on a great year. Speculation at the bar after the meeting centred on what clothes he would be removing at the dinner after last year’s ‘t’ shirt extravaganza.
Also, congratulations to Tony Wallen on his first scratch championship and Sarah Bosworth on hers.
My final point is just to put on record the great work that Marion Hampton does in rushing round getting all the times for me. It isn’t a well-paid position but then………..
See you at the ‘do’
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Pete Bottrill||130||Elan S3||52.07 (61)||65.82||63.25||61.25||60.39||59.34||-1.91||59.34|
|2||10||Geoff Stallard||132||Elan S3||N/A||58.16||55.78||54.75||53.47||53.31||-1.44||53.31|
|3||9||John Palmer||127||Elise 111R||N/A||61.33||59.41||58.00||56.87||56.78||-1.22||56.78|
|4||8||Jonathan Bibby||129||Elise S1||N/A||70.07||64.70||61.50||62.21||60.57||-0.93||60.57|
|6||6||Jane Millward||134||Elan S3||66.92 (M100)||68.73||64.88||62.00||62.42||61.33||-0.67||61.33|
|7||5||Steve Millward||834||Elan S3||54.02 (23B)||67.37||64.20||62.00||78.96||62.07||0.07||62.07|
|8||4||Tony Wallen||144||69 F3||N/A||53.14||50.58||49.88||50.67||50.19||0.31||50.19|
|9||3||June Matty||148||69 F3||60.60 (IWR)||63.18||58.72||54.00||57.14||54.33||0.33||54.33|
|10||2||Jon Dobson||131||Elan +2||54.55||63.26||60.73||57.00||59.70||57.64||0.64||57.64|
|11||1||Dick Swindall||128||Elan S4||58.31||68.32||64.70||62.00||63.15||62.75||0.75||62.75|
|13||1||Kenny Lewis||139||61 MX||N/A||60.98||58.93||54.00||56.09||54.87||0.87||54.87|
|14||1||Keith Wilford||141||23B||55.75 (Europa)||62.56||60.45||56.00||58.69||57.44||1.44||57.44|
|15||1||Steve Hopkins||133||Elise S1||N/A||58.44||56.62||55.25||56.81||66.67||1.56||56.81|
|16||1||Brian Meddings||143||35 F2||N/A||61.15||59.88||54.00||56.51||55.83||1.83||55.83|
|18||1||Dave Hampton||147||69 F2 Atlantic||55.72 (Elan)||56.65||53.37||50.50||53.11||Retd||2.61||53.11|
|19||1||Chris Westwood||126||Elise 111R||N/A||66.59||62.95||57.75||62.53||60.42||2.67||60.42|
|20||1||Paul Matty||149||35 F2||N/A||62.55||59.38||54.00||56.82||57.59||2.82||56.82|
|22||1||Karen Buffey||125||Elan S4||N/A||86.49||83.74||70.00||82.06||78.82||8.82||78.82|
This, the penultimate round of the championship this year, was also another dry meeting! The class had not been to MIRA since 2003. We had run there for four years from 2000. Looking back at the spreadsheets for those days in the list are some 20 drivers that no longer compete with us. Only 3 current drivers had been at all those first meetings. Mr & Mrs Millward and me. Botty had done 3 (missing 2002 apparently due to his Silver wedding!) as had Dave Hampton. Dick had been there twice before (though he couldn’t remember it!!!) as had Keith and June. To finalise this bit of ‘all our yesterday’s’ only Dick and I were in the car we had used back then.
Geoff Stallard had also been to MIRA before in a previous HSA existence with his TVR.
Steve Hopkins had come into this meeting with a 3-point lead over Steve Millward and was very keen to maintain or improve on that position.
Several drivers weren’t there, Sarah Bosworth, Ian Parmenter, Tony Shute and David Gidden. Back with us however was Clive Buffey with both him and the 61 fully repaired and Brian Meddings also was there in his 35.
Whether David Gidden had originally entered I don’t know but he had made a trip north to Bo’ness Hillclimb together with Malcolm and Sarah. Unfortunately, only Sarah’s car made it back in one piece. Malcolm had a quite big off and then David apparently had a front suspension failure that caused him to crash. Luckily both Malcolm and David were not hurt themselves. Malcolm was using Sarah’s 340R for MIRA.
Anyway, although there were a lot of current drivers that had not been to MIRA before it was scarcely much different to those that had due to the 16 year gap.
The MIRA track for the sprint is a very high grip tarmac surface to test vehicle handling and although the basic layout cannot have changed the latter part of that layout was marked with cones and was making the course, I think, tighter. Not much difference but there had been some crashes due to the very fast nature of the last part of the track (ask Mr Morrison!) and some effort had been made to slow the corner exit onto the straight and corner entry at the last left hander.
We were close to the end of the class running order. It was all fairly quiet that first practice run although one or two drivers made their intentions clear. Tony Wallen was fastest with 53.14 (John Crook had the class record from 2003 with a 49.88 but as I said I’m not certain times can be directly compared) from Dave Hampton on 56.55. Only just behind on scratch time were Geoff Stallard enjoying his new slicks on 58.16 with Steve Hopkins very close with an excellent 58.44.
Mr Matty was having (wait for it!) misfiring problems.
The second practice run came around quite quickly and everyone improved. Tony Wallen to 50.58 and DH to 53.37. Geoff improved to 55.58 and Steve Hopkins to 56.62.
Paul and I sat down as usual to consider the handicaps. We treated it basically as a ‘new’ venue which it was for most. We then could only factor in our knowledge and experience of the drivers and their expected ‘behaviour’. There is always more pressure to get it right as the season draws to its close but this was the worst situation to guarantee ‘getting it right’.
Steve Millward as the usual first dual driver had a longish moment and was very slow. Karen set a 82.06 and Chris Westwood a 62.53, both improvements on practice but some way off their targets. John Palmer however, immediately busted through his 58 handicap with an excellent 56.87. Dick was 1.15 away with his 63.15 and Jonathan Bibby just 0.71 down with a 62.21. Pretty good for not far from standard S1 Elise.
Botty was another with a really good time and his 60.39 was 0.86 under. I improved a bit but was revving the nuts off of it in 3rd to end up not going very fast. A different approach was needed (and how). Mr Stallard emphasised that very effectively with a fantastic 53.47, 1.28 under. Steve Hopkins was always going to be trying but this time got a bit of a tank slapper going on the back of the circuit and side swiped a cone leaving a very visible witness in the paint on the side of the Elise but still got a 56.81. But that was 1.56 over. Jane Millward was improving a lot and her 62.42 was just 0.42 over. Last road car entry was Malcolm in the 340R and he beat his 57 handicap by 0.23.
In the race class it was Kenny Lewis in the 61 last campaigned here in 2003 by Botty. Kenny set a 56.09 was was some way over. In the first of the 23B’s Stephen Palmer set a 58.24 and then Keith a 58.69. Both had been given 56 handicaps. Clive Buffey was obviously fairly rusty but was playing himself in with a 59.46. Brian Meddings was going well with a 56.51. Tony Wallen then set a 50.67 which was tenth slower than his best practice and a little bit off the John Crook 49.88 target we had given him. Sarah Thorne took nearly four seconds off her best from the morning but that was still 2.65 over target. Dave Hampton set a slightly improved 53.11 but had heard a bang on leaving the line. When he returned a start line marshal brought him a piece of metal that had been found on the track. A bit of looking and thinking revealed it to be a roughly 2 inch section of an AP twin plate clutch internally splined adaptor ring that sits between clutch cover and the flywheel and transmits the torque to the intermediate pressure plate. After some inspection by Messrs. Matty and Wallen under the 69 it was determined that it was indeed from Dave’s clutch. It looks like a piece of the one of the sintered pressure plates had broken and forced its way out via the ‘A’ ring. Not all drive would be lost which was why Dave was able to complete his run but it would be mad to try another start, so Dave had to retire the car. These things always happen when there are only a few days between events.
June improved to a 57.14 and then Paul to a 56.82.
So, after the first run it was Geoff Stallard from John Palmer and the Pete Bottrill.
The meeting was going quite well and with a strictly enforced 5 pm curfew at MIRA that was just as well.
Steve Millward made up for his earlier indiscretion with a 62.07 that was just 0.07 over. Karen improved into the 70’s with a 78.82 and Chris Westwood took a couple more seconds off for a 60.42 that ended the day for him 2.67 over. John Palmer was continuing his good performances with another 0.09 shaved him to finish with a 56.78 and 1.22 under. Dick also improved to a 62.75 that was 0.75 over. Mr Bibby was setting some super times and the 60.57 was another big improvement and 0.93 under.
Botty was determined to chase me (and I hadn’t been making it too hard for him) and this incentive pushed him to find another second and the 59.34 took him to 1.91 under.
I was equally determined to stop driving like a prat and did what I should have done at least by the second practice and used top gear where I had been holding third way above the power peak of the engine. That produced an immediate 2 second improvement and the 57.64 was just 0.74 over. Mr Stallard was still giving it everything and the 53.31 was another PB and was 1.44 under.
After his excitement of the first run Steve Hopkins was again on max attack but again the plan backfired when the car spun onto the grass on the last bend and the recovery left him way off. He was fairly p*ss*d off but adopted the usual comment that we all use – “that’s motorsport!” Very similar words used by DH.
Jane Millward was also giving it everything and she was very pleased with a 61.33 that left her with another PB and 0.67 under. Malcolm also had a do or die effort and the 56.11 effort left him 0.89 under
Kenny Lewis also took more time off and his 54.87 was just 0.87 over. Stephen Palmer won the 23B battle with a 56.84 to Keith’s 57.44 leaving them 0.84 and 1.44 over respectively. Clive was a little slower this run but then Brian Meddings improved to 55.83. Brian, however, was concerned that all was not well with the car and indeed a subsequent check revealed the top rear wishbone mountings had broken on the Hewland gear casing. More work for the Bromsgrove workshop it seems!
Tony Wallen made a big effort and the 50.19 was our BTD and was just 0.31 over. Sarah took another 1/2 second off to finish on 56.10.
In the absence of Mr Hampton June produced a committed run to end with a 54.33 that was just 0.33 and third fastest single seater. Paul was a bit slower and I think the T/C may not be all that well.
So this meeting ended with a win for Botty with Geoff Stallard second and John Palmer third. In some ways of more significance was that Steve Millward scored 5 points with Steve Hopkins only getting the ‘attendance’ 1 point. So now Steve Millward is just one point ahead in the championship but the curved ball is that Steve Hopkins has not got an entry for Shelsley so he can’t add any more points.
It is by no means a done deal for Steve Millward as there are four other drivers that could just pip him if he no scores at Shelsley. Maybe the worst scenario for marital harmony is that Jane is one of those four!
In race scratch it is also tight with Tony Wallen just one point ahead of Dave Hampton but just between those two drivers No-one else is close.
In road scratch it looks like a win for Sarah Bosworth and the second place driver currently is Steve Hopkins. Geoff Stallard is 5 points behind Sarah.
In the end I think that Paul and I did a reasonable job of setting target times considering the lack of data to go on. I think MIRA is a great track and most enjoyed it a lot. I hope we can go there again and that is absolutely nothing to do with the fact that’s it’s only a 19 mile drive for me!
Harewood 3rd August
Despite so much bad weather in the North and the consequent fear for the state of trailer park and the paddock, in the event Harewood had not had much rain and everything was fine. And, thanks be to someone in overall control, it was also to be a fully dry meeting. Only the second so far this year for us.
We were missing quite a few regulars and particularly championship leader Stephen Hopkins. It was a first visit for Karen Buffey. Mr Buffey, last year’s Harewood winner, although his hand was now quite a bit better was still not yet driving. Geoff Stallard was looking forward to exercising his improved engine and new slicks. Tony Wallen, after finding nothing obvious amiss with anything on the BDA after the belt tooth jump at Shelsley caused an ignition timing issue, had replaced a few bits and pieces, including the belt and was hoping for a trouble free run. This was the first time at Harewood in our class for Sarah Bosworth and, as an instructor there, she was likely to go quite fast! It was a return to Harewood for the Millwards after Jane had that scary crash last year at Clark’s, the first right hander, following steering failure.
We were the first batch to go on the hill and it was a fairly restrained first practice run for most although David Gidden did his best to liven up proceedings when he ended up going left at the right hand Orchard corner after hitting a kerb too hard which upset the car. He returned to the paddock with no damage but with significant quantities of gravel and foliage distributed about the 23B. As it was practice, I thought I would try a few different gearing options around the course. A dismal failure compounded by having a low oil pressure warning light flashing at me at various points of the course. Somewhat off putting though there was no engine issue, just an electrical connector problem that was soon resolved. The 35 of Mr Matty was suffering from a misfire as has become too frequent a problem for him as of late. He was somewhat (very) exasperated as he had changed lots of ignition bits to try and sort it out.
Second practice saw all improve except for Keith Wilford who had an exciting and grassy moment coming out of Chippy’s at the bottom of the course. He was telling me that when he started competing at Harewood it was still the old course and that was the start line. Paul was still having misfiring problems despite putting on a new coil.
We knew it was likely that the timed runs would start before lunch and so we knew that we had to get the handicaps sorted quickly. With Paul struggling to sort his car we agreed that we would co-opt Tony Wallen (who helped the process at Three Sisters) and the Clive Buffey to help me with the handicaps. We got things sorted in good time but I think Clive was quite surprised at the thought and deliberation that goes into setting the targets for our drivers.
As expected, our first timed run was, indeed, before lunch.
Geoff Stallard was reveling in the extra grip his new slicks were giving him and set a convincing new PB of 63.61 that was 1.49 under handicap! Botty was also going well and his 68.94 was only 0.16 outside his quite long standing PB and was 1.26 under. Dick set a 71.47 that was only just over a second off his ‘Blue car’ PB. Chris Westwood was the second driver to set a new PB but this time by just 2/100ths with a 74.08. Sarah Bosworth then did what we all expected and set an excellent 60.91, easily eclipsing my 11 year old class record though it was about a second off her own sub 60 PB from last year in a Class 3B win. Steve Millward was a bit slower than Dick with a 71.95. I enjoyed my run and thought there was not much more to come. Oh, apart from the time! 67.04 was not what I was looking for.
Jane set a 71.20 and this was pretty good going overcoming any demons from last year.
In the race class Stephen Palmer saw a big time improvement and the 66.72 dropped his PB by 1.63 seconds and he was just 0.22 over. Kenny Lewis set a 65.06, 0.56 over. Tony Wallen was obviously having no engine issues at all as he saw a new 60.84 PB by 0.7 compared with his best with Twin Cam power. Keith Wilford was not pleased with a 68.11 but Sarah Thorne had found a big chunk of time compared with practice and the 65.35 was just 0.35 over. Setting targets for Sarah, in June’s old car, and June in the ex-John Crook 69 was as tricky as it had been for previous events. We could have set Sarah a 64 and June a mid 59 based on what the cars had done in the past but we just aren’t that cruel and went for something more sensible. Tony Shute set his best time so far but felt he was losing time up the final straight before Quarry with less power than the other 69’s. It was a 62.49 that was 1.22 over.
June was much quicker than in practice and the 65.32 was just 1.32 over. Paul Matty seemed to have found a solution to his misfire problems by retarding the ignition a bit and was much happier with a 63.55, 1.55 over. Malcolm Thorne set a 62.84 but that was two seconds or so outside his PB and his handicap.
David Gidden was gaining confidence after his Orchard excursion and saw a time of 66.42, 0.92 over. Last man, race class record holder, Dave Hampton was not having a great day and his 61.66 was 2.41 over handicap.
So, after that first run it was Geoff Stallard leading from Botty in second and Stephen Palmer third.
We were the first class to run again after lunch. Karen took a little more time off but Geoff Stallard was over a second slower than first time up. Botty was also slower but only by 3/100ths. Dick however did improve and his 71.02 put him 0.52 over. Chris Westwood had a good run this time and the 72.75 was another new PB and 1.75 over. Sarah Bosworth improved again to a 60.61 and this was 0.46 over and our new road car class record. Steve Millward took 0.80 off his first run best and the 71.15 that was 0.65 over. This time the octogenarian battle was resolved in Dick’s favour! I was determined to give it a good go and was really pleased with how the run felt but the clock didn’t agree again. 66.91 was just 0.13 faster than first time and 1.81 over. I just cannot conceive how, 11 years ago, I could do times 4 1/2 seconds faster, particularly when the run felt so good. Jane Millward set her best time of the day with a 70.57 that was just 0.05 outside her PB and 0.07 over.
Stephen Palmer improved again for another new PB with a 66.54 that was now just 0.04 over. Kenny Lewis then pulled a stormer and his 63.24 was a new PB and 1.26 under. Tony Wallen also set a new mark by 0.11 and the 60.73 was just 0.23 over. Keith Wilford’s 67.81 was an improvement but some good way off his PB and 1.31 over. Sarah Thorne was a bit slower this run but Tony Shute was faster, though only by 1/100th and he finished 1.23 over. June took another second off and the 64.31 left much better placed to be just 0.31 over. Paul was a bit slower this run but Malcolm was a bit faster and his 62.62 was 1.87 over. David Gidden also improved to a 65.55 and that was a new PB and 0.05 over. Last man Dave Hampton was extremely frustrated to go slower this run and that was over 3 seconds adrift of his record from last year.
As is usual at Harewood our result was declared at that point and it was only 2 pm when most of the class retired. A few drivers did decide to take a later third run and those times are shown in italics on the spreadsheet.
So, it was a clear win for Geoff Stallard but with Kenny Lewis not far behind in second and Botty taking a well deserved third. In race scratch it was Tony Wallen taking the honours from Dave Hampton and then Tony Shute. In road scratch it was an unsurprising win for Sarah Bosworth (and just pipping Tony Wallen for the overall scratch best time) from Geoff Stallard and then me a rather distant third.
Steve Hopkins remains the championship leader on an unchanged 47, now 3 points ahead of Steve Millward with Tony Wallen third with 38. In race scratch we have the interesting situation where Tony Wallen and Dave Hampton share first place on 28 points, six ahead of third place man, Tony Shute. The road scratch table has Sarah Bosworth at its head on 30 points with Steve Hopkins 5 points behind and Geoff Stallard a further 5 down on 20 points.
I mentioned that a few drivers did have another go. In the end nobody improved their best time that run. I suppose I came closest by recording an identical time of 66.91. Again, I had thought it was a really good run……….. I was 1.4 seconds quicker last year! It was a strange meeting in that there were many drivers that saw PB improvements and conversely others that could not get near. Harewood is a very enjoyable drive but it can be frustrating.
Just two meetings to go now. MIRA and Shelsley.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Geoff Stallard||17||Elan S3||65.36||67.60||66.53||65.10||63.61||65.01||-1.49||63.61|
|2||10||Kenny Lewis||26||61 MX||63.96||71.07||68.17||64.50||65.06||63.24||-1.26||63.24|
|3||9||Pete Bottrill||18||Elan S3||68.78||73.64||70.89||69.50||68.94||68.97||-0.56||68.94|
|6||6||Jane Millward||722||Elan S3||70.52||73.57||72.30||70.50||71.20||70.57||0.07||70.57|
|7||5||Tony Wallen||27||69 F3||61.54||63.95||62.23||60.50||60.84||60.73||0.23||60.73|
|8||4||June Matty||31||69 F3||64.09*||68.41||68.03||64.00||65.52||64.31||0.31||64.31|
|10||2||Sarah Bosworth||21||Elise S1||59.93 (3B recd)||62.93||61.80||60.15||60.91||60.61||0.46||60.61|
|11||1||Dick Swindall||19||Elan S4||70.33||74.00||72.77||70.50||71.47||71.02||0.52||71.02|
|12||1||Steve Millward||22||Elan S3||70.92||75.33||72.10||70.50||71.95||71.15||0.65||71.15|
|15||1||Paul Matty||32||35 F2||60.34||68.13||67.41||62.00||63.55||64.04||1.55||63.55|
|16||1||Chris Westwood||20||Elise 111R||74.10||75.94||75.22||71.00||74.08||72.75||1.75||72.75|
|17||1||Jon Dobson||23||Elan +2||62.27||73.86||68.82||65.10||67.04||66.91||1.81||66.91|
|18||1||Malcolm Thorne||33||35 F2||60.98||66.35||64.05||60.75||62.84||62.62||1.87||62.62|
|19||1||Dave Hampton||35||69 F2 Atlantic||59.19||63.96||61.86||59.25||61.66||62.40||2.41||61.66|
|20||1||Karen Buffey||16||Elan S4||N/A||99.65||98.54||80.00||96.82||96.17||16.17||96.17|
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Sarah Bosworth||126||Elise S1||32.55||33.53||33.41||32.55||32.29||Retd||-0.26||32.29|
|2||10||Jonathan Bibby||120||Elise S1||36.44||38.19||37.48||36.50||36.94||42.58||0.44||36.94|
|3||9||Paul Matty||138||35 F2||31.05||36.02||33.95||32.50||33.00||44.80||0.50||33.00|
|4||8||Geoff Stallard||123||Elan S3||33.84||36.65||33.90||33.25||33.78||42.40||0.53||33.78|
|5||7||Steve Hopkins||124||Elise S1||35.71||36.54||35.62||34.75||35.31||45.28||0.56||35.31|
|6||6||Malcolm Thorne||135||35 F2||31.25||33.46||32.13||31.50||32.09||38.76||0.59||32.09|
|7||5||Jane Millward||125||Elan S3||36.90||39.07||37.84||37.00||37.60||49.10||0.60||37.60|
|8||4||Dick Swindall||119||Elan S4||35.75||39.48||37.65||37.00||37.66||45.54||0.66||37.66|
|9||4||Steve Millward||825||Elan S3||37.14||40.21||38.14||37.00||37.66||47.90||0.66||37.66|
|10||4||June Matty||137||69 F3||35.04||34.29||34.45||33.35||34.01||41.40||0.66||34.01|
|11||1||Pete Bottrill||121||Elan S3||34.77||38.29||37.92||37.00||37.77||46.07||0.77||37.77|
|13||1||Chris Westwood||117||Elise 111R||38.24||40.11||38.57||37.75||38.71||44.43||0.96||38.71|
|14||1||Ian Parmenter||118||Elan S4||37.18||40.64||39.41||37.75||38.74||43.01||0.99||38.74|
|15||1||Jon Dobson||122||Elan +2||32.89||37.18||34.89||33.95||34.95||44.41||1.00||34.95|
|18||1||Brian Meddings||131||35 F2||34.55||34.36||35.37||33.25||35.13||43.82||1.88||35.13|
|20||1||Dave Hampton||136||69 F2||29.94||33.85||32.75||30.00||32.49||43.72||2.49||32.49|
|21||1||Karen Buffey||116||Elan S4||43.07||47.89||45.92||41.00||47.49||54.65||6.49||47.49|
|22||1||Tony Wallen||133||69 F3||31.03||30.92||30.87||30.50||41.46||Retd||10.96||41.46|
Shelsley 6th July
Our second visit to Shelsley this year and one that had looked, earlier in the week, to be heading for a dry meeting. We had only had one fully dry event this year so far, Pembrey, and, for a variety of reasons not many of us made that event. After the deluge at Three Sisters (Tony Wallen even took his engine out to clean it after the attack from the paddock grey sludge that we all suffered from) our prayers for a dry meeting were, unfortunately, not answered.
Clive Buffey was on the provisional entry list but he had left it to the last minute to see if his injured hand, from the first Shelsley meeting crash, had recovered sufficiently to enter. Unfortunately, medical advice and indeed the hand itself did not support a return so he was there in Karen support mode. He also did a fantastic job helping some of us, me particularly, in and out of the more awkward pit garages.
Dick Swindall was in the blue Elan, now just about recovered from the 6 hours wait for the RAC (!!!) to rescue him from just near Three Sisters when the engine in the yellow car tightened up as there was suddenly no oil pressure. Probably not the moment to discuss the benefits of having a trailer in that situation. Geoff Stallard was giving his new slicks a first outing and he also wanted to see how the rebuilt engine with the new cams would go. Not an evaluation that Three Sisters really allowed! An earth fault deep in the wiring loom had been found by Mick on Sarah Bosworth’s Elise that had prevented the car from running at all at Three Sisters and the car was now back in business.
Although rain was now forecast, in varying degrees depending on which app was consulted the track was fully dry and in reasonable nick for the first run. There was evidence of a previous oil spill in Bottom Ess but otherwise it was fine.
Three performances are particularly worthy of mention on that first run. Brian Meddings set a new PB in the 35 of 34.36 and then Tony Wallen beat his already quick PB with a 30.92. Finally, June set a new 69 PB for her with a 34.29. Mr Matty was complaining of a misfire. I think it was this run that Dave Hampton also had a misfire and he found that there was still some of the Three Sisters precipitation in the spark plug wells.
The second runs came around quite quickly and although there were some spits in the air the track was still fine. Most people in the class improved, only Brian and June being a bit slower. Chris Westwood was within 3/10ths of his PB and Geoff Stallard was just 6/100ths off his best with a 33.90. Tony Wallen improved again to another new 30.87 PB. It seemed like there would be ‘game on’ at the top. Sarah Thorne also set a new PB with a 34.27. There was some rain about as we were in the top paddock.
Paul and I sat down to do the handicaps and although it was starting to rain a bit we based things on dry times, quite correctly as it turned out. Although we were in the last batch in the running order it was dry again as we lined up for the first competitive run.
Steve Millward set a 37.66, 0.66 over. We had given the Millwards, and both Dick and Pete the same 37.00 handicap. Karen and Chris were a bit slower than their best practice time but Ian Parmenter improved to 38.74, about a second off his mark. Dick Swindall then exactly equalled Steve Millward’s time with a 37.66 to end up the same 0.66 over. Mr Bibby’s 36.94 was just 0.44 over and Botty’s 37.77 was 0.77 over. My 34.95 was slower than by second practice and one second over handicap. Must try harder. Mr Stallard was finding the slicks suited the car well, particularly off the startline, and set a new PB on 33.78. Steve Hopkins’s 35.31 was a new PB set with the now much improved car. Jane just pipped Steve with a 37.60, 0.60 over.
Sarah Bosworth, like many others, finds Shelsley somewhat scary but nevertheless she had dug deep and produced a great time of 32.29 that was 0.26 under her handicap and a new PB. Neither Keith Wilford nor Stephen Palmer took their 23B’s to an improvement on their second practice. Brian Meddings also couldn’t improve on his first practice time. David Gidden in the third 23B also was slower than in practice.
We had set Tony Wallen a 30.50 handicap and from his performances in the morning we were sure that he would attack that time with some vigour. But, during the run the BDA had started misfiring badly and the 41.46 result at the top of the hill was not quite what he, or we, expected.
In the paddock later with much spannering and head scratching no-one from the large assembled company could come up with a solution and, after such promise, Tony reluctantly had to retire the car. When Tony got the car home on the Sunday, he found that the cause was a slipped timing belt tooth on the jack shaft pulley resulting in a 15 degree ignition timing error. The cam timing was still fine. He is now investigating further in terms of lighter pulleys and/or a different configuration of timing belt used on race BDA’s
Misfiring seemed to be becoming somewhat of a theme as Sarah Thorne was much slower than in the morning. She wasn’t happy!
Malcolm however, improved on his best of the morning and his 32.09 was 0.59 over.
Dave Hampton, though no longer suffering a misfire (I think) was faster but the 32.49 was not the time he was looking for. June set her best so far and a new PB with 34.01 and that was the third driver to go 0.66 over. Paul had definitely sorted the misfire and the improvement to 33.00 was 0.50 over.
As we were still in the top paddock it started to rain again and this time with a bit more commitment. As we parked up at the bottom it was obvious that our second run was going to be damp at best. Several of us were debating whether it was going to be worth going up a second time, certainly not with any hope of improvement anyway. In the end all the class did do the final run with the exception of Sarah Bosworth who had, not unreasonably, decided to rest on her laurels.
Not really much to report for this run. There were a few drivers that were braver than others but most definitely the majority decided on the discretionary approach.
So, the end result was a decisive win for Sarah B with Jonathan Bibby second and Mr Matty in third place.
In race scratch Malcolm pipped Dave Hampton to first place with Paul again in third place. I think obviously Tony Wallen would have been in first or second place had it not been for the engine problem.
In road scratch unsurprisingly it was Sarah Bosworth first from Geoff Stallard and then me.
So, in the main championship Steve Hopkins is on 47 points, 4 clear of Steve Millward with Jonathan Bibby third on 35.
Race scratch has seen Dave Hampton on 24 points sneak a 1 point lead now from Tony Wallen with Tony Shute third on 19.
Road scratch is very interesting with Steve Hopkins and Sarah Bosworth joint first on 25 points with Geoff Stallard third on 16.
So now nearly 4 weeks to the next meeting at Harewood. I wonder who might do well there?????????????? Let’s just hope for some dry weather and less misfires.
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Jane Millward||123||Elan S3||N/A||98.28||114.47||95.00||95.66||109.34||0.66||95.66|
|2||10||Jonathan Bibby||133||Elise S1||N/A||92.48||99.07||92.50||93.77||96.11||1.27||93.77|
|3||9||Steve Millward||723||Elan S3||N/A||92.02||89.91||95.00||96.55||96.69||1.55||96.55|
|4||8||Tony Wallen||130||69 F3||N/A||99.10||77.50||82.00||85.20||95.08||3.20||85.20|
|5||7||Steve Hopkins||121||Elise S1||N/A||85.94||84.42||89.00||95.28||92.52||3.52||92.52|
|6||6||Ian Parmenter||115||Elan S4||N/A||93.07||90.89||95.00||98.91||100.60||3.91||98.91|
|7||5||June Matty||132||69 F3||N/A||88.15||95.83||88.00||91.93||Retd||3.93||91.93|
|8||4||Chris Westwood||119||Elise 111R||N/A||93.55||90.84||95.00||99.06||99.49||4.06||99.06|
|9||3||Malcolm Thorne||128||35 F2||N/A||83.42||81.31||85.00||89.59||101.27||4.59||89.59|
|10||2||Pete Bottrill||122||Elan S3||N/A||98.18||91.45||94.50||103.45||99.42||4.92||99.42|
|12||1||Dick Swindall||124||Elan S3||N/A||95.20||91.74||95.25||101.53||101.33||6.08||101.33|
|13||1||Geoff Stallard||118||Elan S3||N/A||87.17||84.29||89.00||95.83||95.30||6.30||95.30|
|15||1||Dave Hampton||131||69 F2 Atlantic||N/A||80.29||78.35||82.00||89.19||102.43||7.19||89.19|
|16||1||John Palmer||116||Elise 111R||N/A||92.26||90.29||95.00||106.72||102.24||7.24||102.24|
|17||1||Sarah Bosworth||120||Elise S1||N/A||90.21||86.42||89.00||98.11||97.69||8.69||97.69|
|18||1||Jon Dobson||117||Elan +2||N/A||92.38||88.48||91.00||102.43||100.10||9.10||100.10|
|20||1||Paul Matty||126||35 F2||N/A||84.91||83.52||86.00||101.44||111.23||15.44||101.44|
Three Sisters 15th June
This sixth event of our season was our first visit to Three Sisters for quite a time. I had thought it was as far back as 2005 but Mr Swindell’s trusty notebook showed that we were last there in 2012. This time however the event was to be on the so called 2 lap circuit, so this was new to us all except Geoff Stallard who had driven it last year in his TVR as part of his successful HSA campaign. Some things had changed at Three Sisters since our last visit, including resurfacing by the new owners after the previous organisation had gone bust in 2017.
Although our class were luckily situated in a good part of the paddock with a new tarmac area the rest of the paddock was the usual confusion and it was very disorganised making the Chief Paddock marshal’s job very difficult.
The weather forecast was for a dryish morning with showers in the afternoon. I had decided that after my excitements on slicks at the wet Loton I would use my cut slicks for this event. These were now 5 years old and well past their best and took some getting used to again.
There was a reasonable entry for the class, better than Pembrey ended up, and I noticed that Stephen Palmer had entered describing himself as a Novice!! I don’t think we’ll let him forget this as he ended up winning an award here for the fastest Novice!
Although I wasn’t at Pembrey there was a repeat of the changed number issue for Ian Parmenter here also. Dave Hampton had initially been put in the road class and Ian in the race class. So, the numbers were swapped. This did put Ian’s normal, and well known, reticence to the test and a short rant followed while he sorted out his new numbers. Jonathan Bibby was a late entry.
Geoff Stallard had got his engine rebuilt with new QED cams and new valves and the engine was remapped on the rolling road with the result that he has a few more horsepower and quite a bit more torque with the curves being far flatter. He said after his first run that it felt different and better. Keith Wilford had his clutch mechanism rebuilt and beefed up at Bromsgrove after the failure at Pembrey. Dick was in the ‘Yellow car’.
Things didn’t start too well for Sarah Bosworth as the Elise just would not fire up. Much disassembly and attention from Mr Matty and others was to no avail and Steve Hopkins kindly offered Sarah a dual drive in his car.
Steve Millward and now Sarah B went out first and the rest of the class followed.
One thing that is very noticeable at Three Sisters is how tight many of the bends are. This caught out both Botty, with a grassy moment, and Keith, with a spin. I was quite slow getting used to the (lack of) grip from the old tyres and the other thing I found was how tricky it was to spot the position of the first lap right hander after the straight.
Longton & District Car Club had determined that there would only be one practice run and all others would be timed for the main competition. Paul agreed that we should use our normal format of two practice and then two competitive runs so we decided that we would keep ‘our’ results to ourselves and let the organisers do their own thing. In view of the fact that we had no history to go on for this layout Paul said he wanted four people to be involved in the handicapping process so that we could try for maximum fairness in what could be a bit of a lottery. Geoff Stallard and Tony Wallen were chosen.
We went out for our second practice but as the later runners in our class were lining up the rain started.
Geoff, Tony and I were ensconced in Geoff’s trailer ready to do the deed when Paul appeared saying that June’s 69 had really suffered from the water all over the electrics and ignition and he was going to have to attend to that. The handicapping team were down to three.
Marion was doing her normal sterling job getting the times but it was taking so long for the times to be made available for her that it was always a long wait for them.
With now the double whammy of little data and now the rain starting handicapping was going to be even more difficult. We agreed on a broad approach of trying to anticipate what dry times people might/should achieve and then backing that time off because of the rain. We went for a median of about 7 seconds.
As we were doing the handicaps the rain got quite heavy and soon much of the paddock had large puddles everywhere. The plan had been to get a third run in for all competitors before lunch but in view of the downpour that idea was shelved and the lunch break started with a 1:15 restart planned. During lunch the rain would stop only to start again in very short order. Basically, the rest of the afternoon was wet though Mr Shute wasn’t with us to take advantage!
Our first timed runs started. I was very cautious and although I had no issues, I was very slow. These days I would rather later reflect on the fact that there was more grip than I expected rather than less! Geoff Stallard set a 95.83 and that was eclipsed by Steve Hopkins with a 95.28 and then Jane Millward racked up an excellent 95.66 that was only 0.66 over. Not often that Jane beats Geoff Stallard. We later found out that Steve had fitted new Yokohama Advans to the Elan and they were just amazing in the wet
I think Keith had another spin as he set a 113. Tony Wallen set an 85.20 but during the afternoon I lost count of the number of red flags re-runs he got. For him it was much more like a 6 lapper. Dave Hampton who is not a rain enthusiast set an 89.19. Last man JJ however was going really well in the Elise and his 93.77 was the fastest of the road cars.
Our final run was due to come around quite soon but we were held for ages in the line-up as something had happened on track. When we got going Steve Millward was a bit slower but Sarah Bosworth improved by half a second but I know she was not comfortable to make her usual efforts in a borrowed car. Ian P was slower but both John Palmer and I were quicker as was Geoff Stallard with a 95.30. Chris Westwood was slower but Steve Hopkins was much quicker to set a 92.52. Botty was quicker this time but Jane was slower. Dick was a couple of tenths quicker but he wasn’t pleased with his times. Stephen Palmer (the Novice) went quicker by over 1/2 second to set a 96.05. Mr Matty had been suffering with misfire problems and whether this was the cause he was a lot slower.
Sarah Thorne then set what must undoubtedly be one of the slowest times of day ever. 192.30. When Marion eventually managed to wrest the times from the organisers, I saw this as I was typing the into the computer and thought it must be 92.30. In the Clubhouse later Sarah gave us the story. She had a problem off the line and only went a few feet. She was gesturing to the start line guys to push her back but no-one came to her aid. This went on for some time and, of course, Sarah knew she couldn’t just head out on the track without knowing the necessary gap was there. Finally, she got the nod to go but the clock had been running all the time, hence the 192.30. I think it is fair to say that Sarah was unimpressed with the assistance she didn’t receive. The rain was starting to get heavier at this point and Malcolm was slower. Keith went quicker however by keeping it all on the island this time. Tony Wallen was slower as was Dave Hampton. Behind them June had lost the will to live and had turned around to retire to the paddock. Last man Mr Bibby was slower than his excellent first run.
So that was it. A very weird and wet event.
So, it finished with a win for Jane, with JJ second and Steve Millward third. Those tyres were worth the money.
In race scratch it was Messrs. Wallen, Hampton and Thorne, in that order. The road class saw the win for Steve Hopkins from Jonathan Bibby and Geoff Stallard third.
In main championship it is Steve Hopkins leading on 40 points with Mr Millward coming up on the rails on 39 with Tony Wallen third with 32.
Race scratch sees Tony W on 23 from Dave Hampton on 20 and Tony Shute 19. Road scratch is Steve Hopkins on 23 from Sarah Bosworth on 20 and Geoff Stallard third with 12.
Please can we have some dry weather for Shelsley in three weeks?
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||John Palmer||72||Elise 111R||136.73||142.24||135.34||133.34||136.59||132.98||-0.36||132.98|
|2||10||Tony Wallen||75||69 F3||120.57||121.89||120.77||117.00||117.99||118.07||0.99||117.99|
|3||9||Steve Millward||762||Elan S3||137.79||147.74||137.21||135.42||137.99||136.58||1.16||136.58|
|4||8||Malcolm Thorne||66||35 F2||119.15||125.50||121.06||117.15||118.64||119.70||1.49||118.64|
|5||7||Steve Hopkins||77||Elise S1||135.62*||128.40||140.72||123.90||128.70||125.64||1.74||125.64|
|6||6||Pete Bottrill||63||Elan S3||135.86||145.41||137.29||134.50||138.04||136.40||1.90||136.40|
|8||4||Jane Millward||62||Elan S3||137.76||146.13||137.26||135.42||141.15||137.52||2.10||137.52|
|10||2||Dave Hampton||67||69 F2 Atlantic||115.39||124.44||120.45||113.00||116.41||117.93||3.41||116.41|
|11||1||Paul Matty||69||35 F2||123.74||138.10||No run||121.00||127.20||124.69||3.69||124.69|
|12||1||Ian Parmenter||73||Elan S4||135.42||144.79||143.06||133.42||139.31||140.55||5.89||139.31|
|13||1||June Matty||68||69 F3||133.29*||148.00||No run||123.00||136.72||132.58||9.58||132.58|
Caution this report contains asterisked words!
Pembrey, where the Paul Matty Championship goes international. There are two things that a visit to the Pembrey race circuit guarantees. Firstly, by the time you arrive you have learned that the Welsh for ‘slow’ is ‘araf’ and, secondly, there have been sufficient speed cameras and speed indicators to ensure that your speedo is perfectly calibrated for 30mph. If neither of these facts have registered I guess you may have to be prepared for the dreaded ‘speed awareness course’, or worse! The positive aspect of this local obsession with speed is that by the time you get to the circuit you want to put your helmet on and your foot to the floor. So bearing this in it was good that the weather forecast was for dry and warm conditions. A forecast that was truly honoured and so it became the first event of the year that did not feature any dampness of the track.
So to the roll call and apologies. Firstly, a heartfelt best wishes to Jon and Kay. They have been greatly missed and let’s hope they are fully recovered for Three Sisters. Rather than enumerate all the unfortunates that missed a great event, one or two apologies deserve a mention. Unfortunately, Sarah Bosworth, in her Elise, had work commitments to honour and so deprived the road class of an unobtainable target to aim for. Also in an Elise, JJ made the ultimate sacrifice and swapped his race suit for a DJ to accompany Bryony to a ball. The word which provokes one to raise the great benefit of the paddock at Pembrey; compared to, say Prescott and Loton. It is a very trailer friendly place and the trailer b******s is much less of a pain in the s***t*m. The final register, a somewhat depleted number of thirteen cars and fourteen drivers, represented a real hard-core bunch, and one may say quite an ‘elite’ group. The following report will endeavour to ensure they all get an honourable mention.
The day started well. Unless you owned a ‘banana’ coloured Elan. Peter Botrill and Ian Parmenter had both carefully prepared early for the event and had arrived with incorrect numbers fitted to their cars. However, they explained that they had adopted numbers as suggested by the early final regulations, but not the ‘final’, final regulations, in which their numbers had changed. Their ‘slip up’ on the numbering, referred to as ‘yellow Elan syndrome’ required new numbers to be fitted. Their plea of mitigation was accepted and their ‘error’ was recognised as an early sign of a level of lack of communication that was to rear its head a number of times during the event. To add a level of insult Ian’s car shed two of its newly acquired ‘7s’ on the first run.
The normal race day procedure meant the cars had to be pushed to the scrutineering bay for their approval and all went well. Sue, thank you for the push. I think the drivers briefing said don’t stop for a red flag and if you catch someone up you’ll get a re-run. Then practice started with the PMSCC out first, in number order.
According to the final instructions, the class had been seeded, i.e. placed in an order based on some category, which somehow led to road and race cars being intermingled. Cars were released from the pit-lane at what seemed like random intervals and, as can be imagined, things did not go well. Dave Hampton was impeded by June, and Malcolm Thorne soon caught up with Botty. Both got re-runs, and more practice. Botty would not reveal how much he had been paid to slow down. Keith Wilford had John Palmer in his sights and was looking to race him to the line. The local lad Tony Wallen was quickest of the race cars and Stephen Hopkins’s time blitzed his previous PB and clearly led the road cars. But, following the disarray, it was decided to put the seedings ‘out-to-grass’ and organise ourselves for the second practice – road cars first, race cars second.
Second practice, went smoothly, and times began to tumble. Steve Millward and Jane could not be separated, but for 5 hundreths of a second, and Botty was 3 hundreths behind Steve – things were warming up. So warm that Botty’s oil temperature had reached normal for the first time ever and he contemplated taking the blanking tape off his, up till now, redundant oil cooler. Ian Parmenter didn’t improve much but admitted that he could get to like circuits after all. Stephen Hopkins had spin and temporarily took some pressure off the other road cars. Dave Hampton was 3 tenths quicker than Tony who was just half a second ahead of Malcolm. Tony said Malcolm shouldn’t be going that fast but declined to tell him. Paul was fourth closely followed by Keith Wilford. Then Stephen Palmer, who had been experimenting with gears, improved greatly and was hot on the heels of Keith who was and just ahead of Sarah Thorne, who was just ahead of June.
At this point nomenclature played havoc. ‘Second practice’, as we called it, was called ‘first timed run’ by the BARC. Metaphorical alarm bells rang. Pembrey has history in this direction. Did this mean only three runs? A meeting was held and all agreed we would hold out for two practice and two timed runs as convention dictated. In fact we did have two practice and two timed runs but the BARC and the timing officials called this one practice and three timed runs.
First timed runs came with disappointment for Keith as his clutch decided to not work. A real shame as his practice was showing form well under his PB. For the others it was little drama but mutterings of driving as being ‘scrappy’ ‘ragged’ and even ‘cr*p’. But on scratch it was Dave, Tony, Malcolm in race class, with just 2 seconds between them and then a rather large gap to Paul and the chasing pack, led by Stephen Hopkins flying in his Elise just ahead of Sarah in the 20/22.
Then, in the considerable wait before the next run, a major engineering project was carried out on Mr Matty’s satnav holder and Ian Parmenter described how a ladybird, on his wind screen, had devoured a fly whilst he awaited his run. After this excitement nothing much happened except the wind changed direction through 90 degrees and your reporter had a nap.
Second timed runs followed the top10 ten run-off for the sprint championship. This select group may be the fastest cars of the day but they featured the slowest pit lane palaver and dual driver changes recorded, whilst the ever-prompt Matty crew stewed in their cars. Maybe the desire to get out of the cars was the reason seven of the drivers further improved their times and all set PB’s. Including June and Sarah who are showing what their new cars can do. Stephen Hopkins clearly wrung the neck of his Elise and was still shaking sometime after to prove the point. Malcolm and Stephen Palmer complained that their smooth runs had not improved their times so learning that smooth can be both fast and slow.
Once again the handicappers did a great job under considerable stress and the results on handicap are as follows:
Thus ended a day on which once again we owe praise for all our helpers during for getting times, pushing cars, making cups of tea, wiping brows, preparing pace notes and doubtless a little ego massaging as required. At the prize giving (DH, TW, MT) we learned that BARC Wales had suffered a loss of many key personnel over the winter period and there was some question as to whether the event would be run at all. So a big round of applause was given to the organisers for making it happen even if it often seemed to run as smoothly as my lumpy custard.
Now we go for our Chekhovian experience near Wigan.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Karen Buffey||28||Elan S4||71.35||77.25||89.21||74.35||84.80||73.24||-1.11||73.24|
|2||10||John Palmer||30||Elise 111R||62.51 (Practice)||56.99||59.27||55.80||69.97||57.58||1.78||57.58|
|3||9||Jonathan Bibby||31||Elise S1||53.03||55.12||55.18||54.00||63.88||56.01||2.01||56.01|
|4||8||Jane Millward||725||Elan S4||52.62||60.98||60.38||54.50||65.22||56.78||2.28||56.78|
|5||7||Tony Wallen||39||69 F3||46.02 (Practice)||47.29||47.31||46.25||56.60||49.23||2.98||49.23|
|6||6||Ian Parmenter||26||Elan S4||55.55||56.42||56.72||55.33||64.66||58.39||3.06||58.39|
|6||5||Steve Hopkins||32||Elise S1||52.79||55.53||54.14||52.79||65.93||55.85||3.06||55.85|
|8||4||Steve Millward||25||Elan S3||52.69||58.34||57.96||54.69||64.32||58.01||3.32||58.01|
|9||3||Tony Shute||40||69 F||46.04||47.01||46.30||46.10||55.13||49.65||3.55||49.65|
|11||1||Dick Swindall||27||Elan S3||53.62||57.45||57.88||55.69||68.27||59.48||3.79||59.48|
|12||1||Malcolm Thorne||37||35 F2||48.84||48.77||48.17||46.25||58.49||50.15||3.90||50.15|
|13||1||Dave Hampton||46||69 F2 Atlantic||44.68||Fail||48.39||45.95||61.99||49.90||3.95||49.90|
|14||1||Sarah Thorne||38||20/22 FJ||55.49||57.32||55.01||50.00||64.32||54.22||4.22||54.22|
|15||1||Sarah Bosworth||33||Elise S1||46.31**||48.26||47.12||46.50||56.95||51.12||4.62||51.12|
|16||1||June Matty||43||69 F3||48.57*||51.69||49.69||48.60||64.35||53.34||4.74||53.34|
|17||1||Kenny Lewis||45||61 MX||46.64||50.46||47.70||46.80||60.71||51.96||5.16||51.96|
|18||1||Paul Matty||44||35 F2||45.81||52.00||49.52||46.50||61.02||53.48||6.98||53.48|
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff||Best|
|1||11||Tony Shute||69 F||148||54.81||56.07||55.52||54.50||62.59||57.58||3.08||57.58|
|2||10||Dave Hampton||69 F2 Atlantic||149||54.41||54.80||54.62||54.44||69.63||57.65||3.21||57.65|
|3||9||Steve Hopkins||Elise S1||133||62.08||63.26||62.81||61.75||65.90||65.13||3.38||65.13|
|4||8||Sarah Bosworth||Elise S1||137||56.22*||57.54||56.69||56.00||61.42||59.82||3.82||59.82|
|5||7||Ian Parmenter||Elan S4||128||65.64||69.86||67.47||66.00||71.32||70.38||4.38||70.38|
|6||6||Chris Westwood||Elise 111R||131||65.31||67.22||66.93||64.50||69.06||Retd||4.56||69.06|
|7||5||Tony Wallen||69 F3||150||54.82*||56.28||56.42||54.50||67.54||59.07||4.57||59.07|
|8||4||Jonathan Bibby||Elise S1||132||62.19||65.47||63.87||62.25||66.83||69.20||4.58||66.83|
|9||3||Dick Swindall||Elan S4||134||62.94||69.78||69.53||65.00||73.47||69.60||4.60||69.60|
|12||1||Kenny Lewis||61 MX||147||58.10||61.07||65.76||58.20||69.82||65.61||7.41||65.61|
|13||1||Geoff Stallard||Elan S3||135||59.23||61.29||59.70||59.00||67.03||Fail||8.03||67.03|
|14||1||John Palmer||Elise 111R||129||65.22||72.87||65.87||64.75||74.21||73.27||8.52||73.27|
|15||1||June Matty||69 F3||140||58.84*||59.69||60.96||58.50||67.54||Retd||9.04||67.54|
|16||1||Steve Millward||Elan S3||830||64.98||68.29||68.48||65.00||74.58||75.22||9.58||74.58|
|17||1||Pete Bottrill||Elan S3||126||61.93||64.83||63.62||62.10||80.19||71.79||9.69||71.79|
|19||1||Jane Millward||Elan S3||130||65.08||68.72||66.95||65.00||77.71||Retd||12.71||77.71|
|20||1||Paul Matty||35 F2||141||56.07||59.12||59.55||56.50||70.87||Retd||14.37||70.87|
|21||1||Brian Meddings||35 F2||142||59.98*||62.20||60.63||57.00||76.55||Retd||19.55||76.55|
|22||1||Karen Buffey||Elan S4||127||81.99||88.14||Fail||77.00||97.51||Retd||20.51||97.51|
|23||1||Jon Dobson||Elan +2||136||58.11||63.87||60.96||59.00||83.04||Retd||24.04||83.04|
After a dry/wet/dry/wet/ weekend at Loton Park the weather turned benign for the working week. That’s Monday to Friday if I remember correctly, although I guess it may have changed with all this Brexit malarkey. However, the forecast for Sunday of ‘intermittent showers, some heavy’ was more in line with the traditional Prescott annual rain fest. This forecast provided the clerk of the course the opportunity, at the drivers briefing, to inform us that ‘if it does rain the track may get wet’. An insight that proved most welcome later in the day for the less observant of us.
On taking the register it was noted that there were some notable absentees. In the racing class, Messrs Gidden and Palmer (Stephen), of the 23 clan, were occupied elsewhere and Brian Meddings was resting the 35 after a successful ‘clutch’ of runs at Loton. Following Keith Bristow’s unfortunate engine issue at Loton it was no surprise that he wasn’t in attendance. In the more road going affairs we were notably lacking Pete Bottrill and Jon Dobson. For whom notes of absence had been lodged earlier. Geoff Stallard’s engine malady at Loton meant the Elan was out of commission but fortunately he was able to attend in the TVR and put the cat amongst the pre 1972 invitation class pigeons. Dick Swindall was in the yellow Elan as is the tradition for Prescott. On the returnee side of the register it was good to see Malcolm and Sarah Thorne back in business and a warm welcome was extended to Austin Weltman in his S1Elise – more of which later. On the topic of returnees, it was a delight to see Gordon Morrison in the paddock and hear of his recent acquisition of a S2 Elise. Is a return to the hills on the cards?
Unfortunately, the organisation at Prescott had managed to split our championship with the race cars at the top of the paddock and the road cars on the grass below. Not an ideal arrangement for us as a single championship but it does avoid the guilty feeling one gets watching the single seater drivers getting rained on. So, with no apparent dramas in scrutineering the day got underway with a dry track and an equal amount of enthusiasm.
The times from this initial set of runs looked good and the usual suspects, (two Tonys and a Malcolm) led the racing car class in the high 40second bracket. Dave Hampton had an uncharacteristic ‘Fail’. The Road going class were pretty solid in the mid-50s with one notable exception in the high 40s. No prizes for guessing Sarah Bosworth. However, it has yet to be determined if the constant reminders over the tannoy that the long circuit was in use, not the short version of the hill, was related to Sarah’s pace. And whilst on the topic of useful tannoy announcements it was good to be frequently reminded to approach the start line ‘fully dressed’. A plea that caused some concern amongst those of us that adopt the ‘commando’ style of attire!
The second practice seemed a long time coming and in doing so allowed one of the predicted rain showers to throw a spanner in the works. Consequently, the second timed runs were a bit of a mixed bag. Some showed a slight decline in performance and some an improvement. It was that sort of judgment call on how tricky one evaluated the conditions. But both Sarah Thorne and June Matty found a couple of seconds as they got to grips with their new racing cars. And Sarah Bosworth and Stephen Hopkins were most improved in the road class.
Talking of the road going class, we return to Austin Weltman’s S1 Elise. Our warm welcome had not been as warm as the treatment his engine had received during its recent MOT that produced all the symptoms of a head gasket failure. And, as chance would have it, on investigating the issue, the dratted radiator filler cap decided to fall into the depths of the under-tray. Fortunately, Stephen Hopkins, who has an encyclopedia of all things Elise, located the precisely dimensioned piece of wood to extract the cap from its hiding place. To no avail, however, as all was not well and the increasing thirst of the engine meant an early departure for Austin before the final timed run.
Jonathan Bibby’s second run time being only 6 hundredths slower than his first run convinced him that rain would be a good option so he decided to remove the hood from his Elise in the perverse view that this would encourage a downpour. And, just prior to our first timed runs it worked, giving Tony Shute a new competitor for the title of ‘rain maker’.
That takes us to lunch and, being the entertainment day that the Vie en Blue is, we were regaled with a Frank Sinatra tribute singer doing it ‘his way’. Does anyone know what happened to the Can-Can girls?
Now, fully replete from lunch, and the rain having duly wetted the track, we sat, fully dressed, in our cars waiting for the off. After some time contemplating the flashing red lights Clive Buffey brought us the unwanted news that a cavalcade of demonstration vehicles had managed to lay a slick of oil up most of the hill.
After these first tentative runs, Tony Shute, of course, led the race-car class with a 55.13 with Tony Wallen on 56.60 and Malcolm Thorne on 58.49, the rest of the class in the 60s. In the road class Sarah B had obviously taken the short course again with a time of 56.95. JJ capitalised on his plea for rain and was next in line after Sarah leading the rest of the road car class. Tony W was pleased that he’d done enough to hold off the road car phenomenon that is Sarah B by a vital 3 tenths. As you would observe from the substantial increase in our times we all took this wet and oily track rather seriously. For this scribe it was a case of the catch all drivers excuse for slow times, without substantiated mechanical problems, – cowardice.
The second set of timed runs followed a dry and windy spell with the odd glimpse of a patch of blue sky (un morceau de ciel bleu) in the distance. The track seemed to be in good order but it was a case of guessing as to its state under the trees through the Esses. Some guessed better than others and bettered their first practice times and others were just above the earlier dry runs. In the final analysis it fell to Tony W on 49.23 to just get the scratch race class from Tony S on 49.65 and Dave H on 49.90. Having chased Sarah Bosworth up the hill all day Malcolm Thorne was a close fourth on 50.15. Keith Wilford in the lone 23b got close to his first practice run and Kenny Lewis did likewise but apparently gear problems had hindered his progress. Paul and June’s times were within a tenth of each other but no better than first practice. Sarah Thorne bettered her dry practice time by 3 seconds and is getting the hang of the 20/22.
The road class was dominated – that should read destroyed – by Sarah B’s pace. Her 51.12 was slower than the dry practice but more than 4 seconds ahead of second place Stephen Hopkins on 55.85. In third place was Jonathan Bibby on a very creditable 56.01 that had left him quite breathless. Then came Jane Millward in fourth place on 56.78 – the fastest of all the Elans! Steve Millward followed as the next Elan on 58.01 and Ian Parmenter on 58.39 with Dick’s yellow Elan (slower than the blue) on 59.48. Karen Buffey had a great improvement over her first practice time that paid dividends for the handicap results to follow.
The handicappers did a great job! And this was the result of their efforts:
The cheer for Karen’s win exceeded the noise limit for Prescott.
As a consequence of the inclement weather, there was some dismay amongst the single seater contingent at the shocking state of Tony W’s 69. It appeared to have acquired some flecks of mud, which will require an almost total rebuild to return to its normal state! And to add to this woe Tony’s 49.23 was beaten to FTD by a pesky road going MGB GT V8 on 48.07.
Despite nursing an ailing drive train Geoff came third in the Invitation Class. An invitation we hope won’t be in the future when his Elan’s engine is repaired.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Geoff Stallard||Elan S3||135||59.47||65.74||61.09||59.50||59.94||59.23||-0.27||59.23|
|3||9||Steve Hopkins||Elise S1||133||63.81*||68.25||63.95||62.00||62.08||69.69||0.08||62.08|
|5||7||Steve Millward||Elan S3||830||64.98||77.86||69.61||65.00||65.65||65.26||0.26||65.26|
|6||6||Chris Westwood||Elise 111R||131||65.76||70.73||66.95||64.50||66.08||65.31||0.81||65.31|
|7||5||Tony Shute||69 F||148||54.81||59.93||56.82||54.50||56.14||55.51||1.01||55.51|
|8||4||Ian Parmenter||Elan S4||128||65.64||71.95||68.42||66.00||67.38||67.05||1.05||67.05|
|9||3||Sarah Bosworth||Elise S1||137||56.22*||61.73||57.81||56.00||57.09||57.52||1.09||57.09|
|10||2||Pete Bottrill||Elan S3||126||61.93||77.63||63.87||62.00||63.86||63.12||1.12||63.12|
|11||1||Dave Hampton||69 F2 Atlantic||149||54.41||62.22||56.59||54.44||56.16||55.63||1.19||55.63|
|13||1||Jonathan Bibby||Elise S1||132||62.19||69.73||65.16||62.25||64.21||63.54||1.29||63.54|
|14||1||John Palmer||Elise 111R||129||65.22||74.75||68.88||64.75||66.85||66.11||1.36||66.11|
|15||1||Tony Wallen||69 F3||150||54.82*||63.46||56.68||54.44||56.12||57.60||1.68||56.12|
|16||1||Jane Millward||Elan S3||130||65.08||75.81||70.35||65.00||66.83||67.72||1.83||66.83|
|18||1||Paul Matty||35 F2||141||56.07||68.03||60.61||56.50||59.10||59.43||2.60||59.10|
|19||1||June Matty||69 F3||140||58.84*||67.40||61.91||58.00||60.76||60.61||2.61||60.61|
|20||1||Dick Swindall||Elan S4||134||62.94||77.53||70.86||65.00||67.74||68.94||2.74||67.74|
|21||1||Jon Dobson||Elan +2||136||58.11||72.91||64.96||59.50||62.58||62.76||3.08||62.58|
|22||1||Kenny Lewis||61 MX||147||58.10||69.35||63.10||58.20||61.64||67.92||3.44||61.64|
|23||1||Brian Meddings||35 F2||142||59.98*||65.82||61.82||56.50||60.35||60.24||3.74||60.24|
|24||1||Karen Buffey||Elan S4||127||86.24||96.09||88.18||72.50||81.99||83.30||9.49||81.99|
Loton Park 19th May 2019
As I had said in the Saturday report the weather for the Sunday was supposed to be better. We got to the track with the BBC weather app saying it was heavy cloud cover to find a big area of blue sky above and bright sunshine! It was also possible that there could be isolated heavy showers later. Oh Joy!
This was a slightly smaller entry for this meeting and, with the customary stoppage for the church service over the road, between 10:00 and 10:30, we were a little uncertain whether our batch would be called before the curfew started. Luckily were spared that so our first practice was just after 10:30.
The running order was just the same as the previous day but, of course, without Keith Bristow. The PB improvements from the Saturday were noted.
The first runs passed with little excitement I suppose except for Keith Wilford getting another new PB on 60.42. The other talking point was that Dave Hampton’s 54.80 was only 0.39 outside his own long standing class record from 2012.
It wasn’t long before we were off again although by this time we were seeing some heavy clouds about and even lightning to the South East. The first problem this run was that Karen had an off on the left hander at Keepers and struck the tyre wall (I assume) with the rear offside. The car wasn’t badly damaged at all and, of course, the most important thing was that Karen was fine.
John Palmer set his best time of the weekend so far with a 65.87. Geoff Stallard was in the 59’s again and I was relieved to get into the 60’s. With brakes now more reliable I was confident of giving Geoff a run for his money later. Sarah Bosworth however was in a different league and she was pleased with a 56.69.
Stephen Palmer set a 61.08 that was just 0.05 outside his PB. Keith Wilford improved yet again with a new PB on 60.01. As with any of us that have been in that situation he was rueing that little gap of 0.02 that would have seen a 59!
The best of the ‘Fast three’ was again Dave Hampton with a 54.62 that was now just 0.21 off his class record. We could see that record being seriously threatened later.
Paul and I set the handicaps, many the same or similar to Saturday’s but with a few amendments.
After lunch as it was getting towards our runs a very light drizzle started . Whether this was helped to fruition by our Rainmeister Mr Shute earlier waving his umbrella around when it still wasn’t raining!
As we were lining up we could see some much better weather to the North West but it too late to try moving the hill up there. The drizzle started to get a bit heavier. Steve Millward, in the previous batch must have suffered as he went up the hill. Botty was first off in the main batch but clearly found (as we all did but it was a new discovery for each driver) that the rain got heavier the further up the hill we went until it was much more than drizzle. Ian Parmenter went well in the circumstances with a 71.32 but there is always a slight advantage for the car that is driven regularly of the public roads in wet conditions. Messrs. Bibby, Hopkins and Swindall went quite well also and the previous comments probably apply there.
Geoff Stallard told me later that he tried to convince himself that it wasn’t really that damp but getting a bit further up the hill soon disabused him of that notion.
I was pretty instantly aware of the lack of grip as I got the back of the car way out on line and that was just tyre warming. I tried to give it a go but wide slicks are not ideal in these circumstances and I had my second moment of the week at Hall as I just scrabbled round again but this time via the grass. I soon realised that this was a lost cause and from then on the most major effort I made was just reaching for the wiper switch whilst trying not to come off. Obviously I need to change the slicks to the water repellent ones that Sarah had on behind me and her astonishing 61.42 was the fastest time that run and over a second faster than Mr Shute managed.
So we all returned to the paddock somewhat damp and deflated. Nine drivers, me included, in the end decided that the risk and reward equation was biased too much toward risk so decided not to take a second run. Of course, having started the pack up process the rain stopped and a few were having second thoughts. Just as the remainder of the class started to line up it started to rain again so the wimps felt a little better.
Steve Millward was a bit slower than his first run but Botty was a lot quicker. Ian P was a second quicker much the same as John Palmer. Jonathan Bibby was slower but Steve Hopkins was a bit quicker and Dick was a lot quicker.
Geoff Stallard would also have been quicker I’m sure but as he was tyre warming the engine made a popping sound and lost all power. This he later found when at home was the breakage of the exhaust camshaft in front of the first bearing. So there is some stripping down required to determine what damage has been caused and, maybe, the cause itself. He is taking his TVR to Prescott but has scratched from Pembrey. Sarah got into the 59’s.
David Gidden took four seconds off his first run time as did Kenny. Tony Shute set a 57.58 just ahead of Dave Hampton’s brave 57.65 (Dave hates the rain). Tony Wallen set a 59.07 and he will have to face days of cleaning of the 69 to recover it’s previous condition.
So the second run did change a few things with fortune favouring the brave with Mr Shute first apparently justifying his rain dance, from DH and then Steve Hopkins.
Race scratch was Shute, Hampton, Wallen and Road scratch was Sarah (with a minuscule 5 second margin!) from Steve Hopkins and Jonathan Bibby.
So looking at the Championship positions it is quite tight at the top with Tony Shute leading on 22 with Sarah Bosworth and Steve Hopkins joint second on 21.
The Race scratch championship also has Tony Shute out front on 15 with a bigger margin to second and third. Tony Wallen on 9 and Dave Hampton on 8.
Road scratch not surprisingly also has a big margin with Sarah on 15 from the joint second place drivers on 9 points. Geoff Stallard and Steve Hopkins
Loton Park 18th May 2019
This was the first of the two one day events at Loton, back to back as in recent years.
The weather was looking at bit iffy for this Saturday event but was forecast to be better on Sunday.
Both Messrs. Shute and Hampton had suffered car problems at Shelsley. Dave Hampton’s car had been well and quickly repaired by the Matty emporium after the ‘nose job’ suffered at Top Ess. Tony Shute’s engine issue was found to be a cracked head adjacent to an exhaust port. Too difficult to fix quickly so Tony bought a new head and fitted it in time. Maybe not quite up to the spec of the old head but he was going again. The third Shelsley casualty had been another Ess victim and although the 61 could probably have been fixed prior to Loton, Clive Buffey could not be sorted quite so quickly. The pain he was experiencing in his right hand at Shelsley turned out to be a broken bone and he can’t drive (at all) for 6- 8 weeks. He was at Loton to support Karen.
Peter Bottrill had been on holiday for that first meeting but was now back with us. It was also the first meeting for John Palmer still in the Elise 111R as the 61 was not yet finished. It was June’s first visit with the 69 and Brian Meddings hadn’t yet been here with the 35.
As the meeting started, though we were a late batch, a heavy drizzle started to fall. It had stopped by the time of our first run but the track was pretty damp. I wasn’t going to try too hard as I was bedding in new front brakes and on slicks as usual. Maybe unsurprisingly Tony Shute was fastest but only just behind was Sarah Bosworth on her slicks!
By the time our second batch came round, a bit delayed after some on track stoppages, the track was quite a bit drier and everyone improved. This run Dave Hampton and Tony Wallen just pipped Mr Shute. I was still slow after a big brake grabbing experience coming down to Triangle. Keith Wilford was just 0.02 off his PB and Steve Hopkins 0.14 off.
Paul and I sat down to do the handicaps at lunch and based them generally on favourable conditions.
The entry wasn’t all that big so our first time runs came quite soon. Steve Millward had a good 65.65 run to be 0.65 over. Karen Buffey easily set a new PB on 81.99.
Steve Hopkins also set a new PB with a 62.08 that was just 0.08 over. Geoff Stallard set a 59.94 that was 0.44 over. Sarah Bosworth recorded a 57.09 that was 1.09 over.
Keith Bristow in the lovely 19 was going faster and recorded a 62.56. Keith Wilford then set a new PB by 0.40 seconds and the 60.60 was 0.30 under and that, unusually, just beat David Gidden on 60.69. Although not very close to their handicaps the usual fast three were virtually inseparable. Fastest was Tony Wallen on 56.12, with Tony Shute 2/100ths behind and DH a further 2/100ths!
So after that first run at was Keith Wilford first from Steve Hopkins and then Geoff Stallard.
The weather though occasionally looking as we could have some rain held out for our final run of the day.
It was again dual driving Steve Millward that started in the previous batch and improved to 65.29, leaving him 0.26 over. Botty also improved to 63.12 and that was 1.12 over. Karen was a bit slower this run but Ian Parmenter took about 3/10ths off and the 67.05 was 1.05 over. John Palmer improved to 66.11 that was 1.36 over. Jane was a bit slower this time but Chris Westwood was quicker and his 65.31 was a new class PB (though he has been in the 64’s at Loton) and was 0.81 over. Jonathan Bibby also improved to 63.54 that was still 1.29 over. Steve Hopkins obviously had a big moment somewhere (was it Fallow?) and was much slower. Dick Swindall was also a bit slower and was not a happy bunny – we were considering giving him the number for the Samaritans!
Geoff Stallard was in his usual ‘always try’ mode and set a new 59.23 PB that was 0.27 over. I still hadn’t got confidence in the brakes but also I bogged on the start and then in a certain raised level of dudgeon hurtled into the first left-hander at Hall, forgetting the brakes weren’t quite en point and just avoided a straight on moment, scrabbled round, and the final time was only a tiny bit slower than first run but an opportunity certainly lost for an improvement. Sarah Bosworth was about 1/2 second slower than her first run.
First of the race class cars was Keith Bristow but as he headed up to Hall corner the car erupted in a cloud of steam. I hope it is something not too serious for the lovely V8 Climax.
June was 0.15 faster for a 60.61 but Paul was a little slower. Brian Meddings improved to 60.24. Stephen Palmer improved to 61.27 that was 0.17 over. Dr Wilford was slower this run. David Gidden improved to 59.38 that was 1.23 over. Kenny Lewis had a very grassy moment coming out of Museum towards the finish and whilst taking some cones with him for the ride and was consequently much slower.
Tony Shute improved to a 55.51 that was 1.01 over. Dave Hampton just behind on 55.63, 1.19 over. Tony Wallen was slower than both these guys and some way back on handicap.
So the day ended with a win for Keith Wilford with Geoff Stallard second and Steve Hopkins third.
In race scratch it was Messrs. Shute, Hampton and Wallen in the order.
In Road scratch it was Sarah Bosworth from Geoff Stallard and the Steve Hopkins.
I’m not going to go through the Championship positions as that can wait for the Sunday report.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Karen Buffey||44||Elan S4||46.35||48.27||46.85||44.00||43.07||43.99||-0.93||43.07|
|2||10||Sarah Bosworth||51||Elise S1||32.27*||36.65||34.58||32.90||32.98||32.55||-0.35||32.55|
|3||9||Steve Millward||749||Elan S3||37.14||42.51||39.75||38.00||38.98||37.66||-0.34||37.66|
|4||8||Dick Swindall||47||Elan S4||35.75||42.48||40.15||38.00||38.96||37.79||-0.21||37.79|
|5||7||Malcolm Thorne||62||35 F2||31.25||35.37||33.74||32.00||32.13||31.83||-0.17||31.83|
|9||3||Steve Hopkins||48||Elise S1||35.71||41.34||37.40||36.00||36.68||36.10||0.10||36.10|
|10||2||Jon Dobson||46||Elan +2||32.89||43.63||36.81||34.00||34.65||34.13||0.13||34.13|
|10||2||Paul Matty||67||35 F2||31.05||39.29||34.51||32.25||32.98||32.38||0.13||32.38|
|12||1||Jonathan Bibby||52||Elise S1||36.44||40.28||39.32||37.25||37.68||37.45||0.20||37.45|
|13||1||Geoff Stallard||45||Elan S3||33.84||39.34||36.74||34.00||34.98||34.56||0.56||34.56|
|15||1||Jane Millward||49||Elan S3||36.90||43.71||41.73||37.75||39.22||38.44||0.69||38.44|
|16||1||Tony Wallen||57||69 F3||31.03||36.71||33.80||31.60||32.98||32.34||0.74||32.34|
|17||1||Chris Westwood||50||Elise S2||38.24||44.66||40.80||39.00||40.23||39.75||0.75||39.75|
|19||1||Sarah Thorne||61||20/22||N/A (34.12*)||40.55||35.97||33.10||34.36||34.56||1.26||34.36|
|20||1||Keith Bristow||59||19 Monte Carlo||N/A (32.68*)||39.56||37.61||34.25||35.66||36.18||1.41||35.66|
|21||1||Ian Parmenter||43||Elan S4||37.18||41.17||41.33||37.75||39.75||39.72||1.97||39.72|
|22||1||Brian Meddings||64||35 F2||33.31*||40.47||36.81||32.50||35.21||34.55||2.05||34.55|
|23||1||June Matty||66||69 F3||N/A (32.43*)||40.07||37.99||32.90||35.39||35.04||2.14||35.04|
|1||Dave Hampton||54||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||Fail||Retd|
Shelsley Walsh – 4th May 2019
This was the start of the 28th Season for Paul’s Championship. If only it seemed just like yesterday!
This season there have been some car changes, and at the moment, just one new driver. The new driver is Sarah Bosworth in her Elise and the combination has produced some scarily good times at so many venues over recent years. Certainly not a new driver, as he started out those 28 years ago, was Ian Parmenter and we were all so glad to see him back and looking very well after his health excitements that started last year.
On the car change front, Sarah Thorne is now in June’s previous car, the 20/22 and June herself now running the ex-John Crook 69. Steve Hopkins is back after a torrid 2018 with many things sorted on the Elise and a much-improved engine that is now producing close to 190bhp. Keith Bristow is also now giving his lovely Lotus 19 some exercise on the hills. Tony Wallen’s 69 is now sporting a BDA in place of the twin cam and, as usual with Tony’s cars, it is beautifully prepared. Immaculate rather undersells it! Last year’s champion Geoff Stallard has now had the cylinder head inlet pin hole sorted and is no longer producing clouds of smoke. Dick Swindall is now back in the ‘Blue car’ after an engine issue last year that took longer than expected to sort. Brian Meddings 35 seems now fully sorted and changing gear effectively back on the cards.
There had been overnight rain that had only stopped around 6 am and also it was bloody cold, so the prospect of early fast running was definitely not on the cards and we were batch 2.
This first run was certainly interesting. Like others I found the grip was virtually non-existent even on the lower part of the course, particularly with slicks, and certainly by the time I got to the Esses discretion was certainly very much the better part……….
Unfortunately, two drivers had not been put off sufficiently by the lack of grip as both Dave Hampton and Clive Buffey crashed in the Esses with the nose of both cars very modified and a trip back down the hill on the truck of shame. An experience I well recall! Clive did make it to the top of the hill but the marshals weren’t too impressed as he was dropping fluid. Kenny Lewis was quick to point out that this time it wasn’t him dropping fluid.
Everyone else was fairly slow but some were quite quick like the usual suspects of Messrs. Shute and Thorne.
We were just competing on the one day but there was also a two-day meeting going on and so were off again an hour or so later after those drivers had had their first practice.
Conditions were quite a lot better for our second run but the Esses still held some dampness, always difficult to pick out the track condition there in the shade of the trees, and it was still cold. Again, most did treat this still as just practice but times were coming. Sarah Bosworth did a 34.58. Tony Wallen and Malcolm were quite similar with a 33.80 and 33.74 respectively. Mr Shute was fastest with a 32.71.
Paul and I sat down to set the handicaps. As it was so cold, we had a general baseline of about a second shy of PB’s with the usual adjustments where there were unknowns of new cars, changes etc. The only driver we asked to go quicker that her PB was Karen.
The meeting seemed to be very strangely scheduled as it was going to the first competitive runs for batch 1 and 2 after lunch followed immediately by the final competitive run for those batches again. In fact, we were done and dusted by about 2:45 pm only to find that the other classes were then offered a 3rd and then 4th practice!
Anyway, Steve Millward was first off for us in batch 1 as the dual drive and set a 38.98, 0.98 over. Ian Parmenter set a 39.75, 2 seconds over handicap but then Karen Buffey pushed through her 44 second handicap with an excellent 43.07. Geoff Stallard made a 34.98 run, just 0.98 over. I was on the same 34 second handicap as Geoff and just pipped him with a 0.65 over. Dick was going well and the 38.96 was just 0.96 over and then Steve Hopkins 36.68 was 0.68 over. For some reason Jane wasn’t quite as comfortable in the car as Steve and her 39.22 was 1.47 over. Chris Westwood ‘s 40.23 was 1.23 over. Sarah Bosworth was, as expected, very committed and her 32.98 was just 0.08 over. JJ (Jonathan Bibby) was going well and the 37.68 was just 0.43 over.
With the earlier demise of Mr Hampton, it was Kenny Lewis off first for the race class and he was 1.88 over with a 34.78. Stephen Palmer went well with 35.58 that was 0.63 over. Tony W set a 32.98, 1.38 over and then Keith Bristow in the 19 set a 35.66, 1.41 over. Dr Wilford was just a tad slower than Stephen Palmer on the same handicap and was 0.77 over. Sarah Thorne with a 34.36 was quite close to her best in the 61/69 but that was still 1.26 over. Malcolm, as usual, was fully committed and the 32.13 was the fastest so far and just 0.13 over. David Gidden set a 33.59 that was just 0.01 under and then Brian Meddings a 35.21. Tony Shute was on it and his 31.66 was 0.09 under and the fastest scratch time so far. June set a 35.39, the engine not seeming to be running that well. Last man, the Boss, saw a 32.98 that was 0.73 over.
Normally at this point I trot off to the trailer park to enter the times and come back with an interim results table. This time, of course, we were on virtually back-to-back runs so there was no time for that. However, it was pretty obvious that Karen was in the pound seats.
Steve Millward set a very good time and his 37.66 put him 0.34 under. Ian P was just 0.03 faster than first run but still a good effort considering his rustiness. Karen was slower this time but still managed to get under her handicap. Geoff Stallard set a 34.56 but when I talked to him at the top of the hill, he thought it was a 34.06. So, when I came up with a 34.13 I thought b*gg*r. When we reviewed the splits, it did appear that the 34.56 was correct and I was just a gnat’s quicker up the hill. Mind you I might not have been as I had been having braking issues with the front pulling quite significantly to the right all day and that run I really had to get off the brakes going into bottom Ess and the sleepers on the right seemed suddenly even more uninviting than usual. I’ve got the Wilwood calipers stripped down now for a rebuild as that braking issue could be even less fun at Loton.
Dick Swindall then took off a big chunk of time and his 37.79 was 0.21 under. Steve Hopkins improved to 36.10 that was just 0.10 over. Jane improved to a 38.44 but on this day just couldn’t keep with Steve and was 0.69 over. Chris Westwood’s 39.75 was also an improvement and was 0.75 over. Sarah Bosworth improved to an excellent 32.55 and that was 0.35 under. JJ took a couple of tenths off to finish on 0.20 over.
Kenny saw his best of the day with a 33.87 that was 0.97 over. Stephen Palmer was a bit slower this run, but Tony Wallen saw a 32.34 that was 0.74 over. Keith Bristow was a bit slower this time. Keith Wilford saw a big time reduction and his 34.89 was 0.06 under. Sarah Thorne was a couple of tenths slower this run, but Malcolm went quicker again and the 31.83 was 0.17 under. David Gidden was a bit slower this time, but Brian Meddings was quicker and the 34.55 left him 2.05 over.
Next man was Tony Shute but as they were lining up Mr Matty behind him saw what he thought was smoke coming from the exhaust and advised Tony not to run to avoid any, or further, damage. The thought was that this could be a head gasket issue. Tony has stripped to the top off the engine and has found no obvious sign of a head gasket failure. There was some coolant on the top of number 4 piston and water was dripping from the No 4 exhaust pipe. No sign of any oil in the water either so he is getting the head checked out to see if there is any internal crack or other issue.
June’s run was quite a bit better but she was annoyed not to get into the 34’s and the 35.04 left her an uncharacteristic 2.14 over. Paul’s final run was 0.60 quicker and the 32.38 was just 0.13 over. At the results announcement I hadn’t picked up that this was just the same difference as me so that we both pick up the two points just scraping into the top ten.
So, in the main competition it was a clear and well-deserved win for Karen with Sarah Bosworth second and then Steve Millward and Dick Swindall 3rd and 4th respectively. If these last two could just get a bit more experience, then they could be quite quick!
In race scratch with a non-score for DH it was 5 points for Tony Shute from his single run from Malcolm with a 4 and the Tony Wallen on 3.
In road scratch it was a win for Sarah Bosworth with me second and Geoff third.
On to Loton.
|How to get there||Map / Directions|
|Drivers Profile||Click here|
M.I.R.A. is held at the Motor Industry Research Association headquarters near Nuneaton. The sprints are held on the handling and stability circuit. It is a very fast sprint and tough technically. Drivers tend to love it or hate it. It is approximately 1.8 miles long.
M.I.R.A. are very hot on security so no spectators or photographic equipment are allowed, neither are late arrivals!
|How to get there||Map / Directions|
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Three Sister Circuit – 1.5km of outdoor racing being the North West’s most challenging outdoor race track and go kart circuit. This well-established Motorsport facility offers a wide range of activities covering many types of Motorsport, for both novice and experienced drivers and bikers alike.
Its name was created from three huge spoil heaps, referred to as the Three Sisters,which were a legacy of extensive coal mining at Garswood Hall Colliery. Begun in 1867, this was a ceaseless enterprise until 1958, nearly a century later.
Notable motorsport celebrities associated with the circuit includes Neil Hodgson, who won the 2000 British Superbike Championship – his first win came in 1990 at the Three Sisters Circuit. The circuit was also one of five to be chosen to host the 2006 season for McLaren Mercedes’ Champions of the Future, a series aimed at creating an environment in which young, aspiring drivers from all backgrounds could excel. The class champions that year were Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton (Cadet), Andrew Delahunty (Yamaha), and German Touring Car champion Gary Paffett (Intercontinental).
Forty years on, the circuit still welcomes drivers of all ages and entry-levels for a range of Motorsport activities including drifting, Supermoto, Minimoto, ACU motorbike racing, car rallies and sprints, and karting for all ages.
|About The Driver
2009 Gurston Down Hill Climb Champion
2012 Harewood Hill Climb Champion
2016 Harewood Hill Climb Champion
2017 Harewood Hill Climb Champion
|Hillclimb / Racing Experience|
About The Car:
Purchased in 2008. Competed in Road Going Spec 2005 – 2014. Competed as a Modified Production Car from 2015
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|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Pete Bottrill||121||Elan S3||34.77||38.13||37.87||37.10||36.85||36.91||-0.25||36.85|
|2||10||Sarah Thorne||142||61/69 spl||34.40||36.35||34.90||34.30||34.12||34.26||-0.18||34.12|
|3||9||John Palmer||126||Elise 111R||38.01||39.77||39.31||38.00||37.87||38.19||-0.13||37.87|
|4||*||Kenny Lewis||133||61 MX||32.16||36.02||32.28||32.10||32.05||32.09||-0.05||32.05|
|5||8||Steve Millward||824||Elan S3||37.23||39.06||38.62||37.10||37.52||37.14||0.04||37.14|
|7||6||Jonathan Bibby||123||Elise S1||36.44||37.87||37.61||36.45||36.78||36.50||0.05||36.50|
|9||4||Malcolm Thorne||143||35 F2||31.27||32.36||31.71||31.05||31.25||31.71||0.20||31.25|
|10||3||June Matty||136||20/22 FJ||32.43||35.22||33.81||33.00||33.30||33.58||0.30||33.30|
|11||2||Paul Matty||137||35 F2||31.05||33.50||31.66||31.25||31.56||31.75||0.31||31.56|
|12||1||Tony Wallen||139||69 F3||31.03||32.15||32.51||31.05||31.48||31.38||0.33||31.38|
|13||1||Chris Westwood||125||Elise 111R||38.24||39.89||39.45||38.00||38.49||38.35||0.35||38.35|
|14||1||Jane Millward||124||Elan S3||36.90||41.63||38.43||36.95||37.41||37.32||0.37||37.32|
|15||1||Geoff Stallard||120||Elan S3||33.84||35.52||34.58||33.80||34.22||34.23||0.42||34.22|
|16||1||Dick Swindall||119||Elan S3||37.12||38.83||37.86||37.15||37.58||37.75||0.43||37.58|
|16||1||Keith Bristow||128||Exige V6||32.73||33.69||32.33||32.25||32.89||32.68||0.43||32.68|
|18||1||Dave Hampton||141||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||31.51||30.70||30.10||30.63||30.65||0.53||30.63|
|19||1||Brian Meddings||140||51 C||33.31*||36.06||34.13||33.00||33.99||33.68||0.68||33.68|
|21||1||Tim Grasby||828||Exige V6||36.67||39.10||37.04||35.00||36.05||36.73||1.05||36.05|
|24||1||Karen Buffey||118||Elan S4||46.35||50.16||47.95||43.00||46.79||46.51||3.51||46.51|
|1||Jon Dobson||127||Elan +2||32.89||36.19||34.51||33.75||Fail||Retd||999.00||0.00|
Shelsley Walsh 15th September
This was the third visit to Shelsley this year and it was already the final round of our 2018 championship. In the main championship things were already looking settled for the result with Geoff Stallard having a ten-point lead over Dave Hampton. Dave would have to win at this event and take the 11 points with Geoff not scoring and then they would both be equal on 61 with score count back being necessary to decide the winner. In the road scratch Geoff also had a 3-point advantage over me and only if he had failed to score good points and I had could the result have been in doubt. No such doubts in the race scratch as Dave Hampton had a seven-point lead coming into the meeting so that position was safe.
We had two non-starters in our group with Ian Parmenter being unwell and Steve Hopkins fuel pump electrical problems with the Elise becoming so severe that he thought it pointless to come. Kenny Lewis was making only his second appearance this year.
The Millward’s were back in the Elan which had all been sorted save for some final painting work. The suspension work necessitated by the Harewood visit to the tyres had also had the benefit of a full alignment check at Bromsgrove with anticipated benefits. The other dual drive was Tim Grasby in Keith Bristow’s Exige V6.
Brian Meddings was still having issues with the clutch hydraulics on the 35 so brought his trusty 51 instead.
The weather looked as if it was going to be good for the day and, indeed, that was what materialised. The class was towards the end of the running order so there was no fear about being an early victim of any dampness in the Esses from the previous evening’s rain. When we went up for our first practice the track seemed in great condition. Everyone took a fairly sensible approach to that first run however although Mr Shute’s 31.62 was only 0.64 away from his PB.
Everyone improved second time up with Keith Bristow setting a new PB of 32.33. Mr Matty got to within about 1/2 second of his own PB as were Malcolm and Sarah to theirs. Paul hardly liked to mention that he was faster than Malcolm! Tony Shute saw a 31.14 that was just 0.16 shy of his PB.
Paul and I then set the handicaps following our usual guidelines.
Despite an MX7 rolling at Top Ess earlier the meeting was proceeding well and the lunch break finished about 1:20. It was then about an hour to our first run.
Steve Millward first off and his 37.52 was about a quarter of a second away from his PB. Tim Grasby next set a new PB on 36.05. Karen, first off in our main batch was close to her PB. Dick was next and he set a 37.58, 0.43 over, but, he reckoned it was the best time for the ‘yellow car’ with the high ratio diff. Geoff Stallard, set a 34.22, 0.42 over though he was not happy with the handling of the car despite making some suspension adjustments Botty was in determined mood and his 36.85 was the first driver to get under handicap, in this case by 0.25. Jonathan Bibby couldn’t quite equal his best practice time and the 36.78 was 0.33 over. Jane then set a 37.41 that was 0.46 over. Chris Westwood’s 38.49 was 0.49 over. John Palmer in the similar Elise 111R recorded a 37.87, 0.13 under. I was next, feeling quite confident after second practice when I had just eclipsed Mr Stallard, and I was prepared to have a go to see if I could maintain the upper hand. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out as leaving the line with a lot of revs there was a pronounced clunk from the rear of the car and I immediately stopped it. The fact that all wheels were over the line as a fail was irrelevant as I knew something fairly serious had happened. My first thought was a broken driveshaft but I found I could still get drive so, with permission, set off slowly towards the courthouse and back down the lower return road. And later I was able to drive the car to the trailer park at slow speed quite normally with no nasty noises. Checking things on The Sunday at home quickly revealed the culprit as a broken key on the offside rear hub/drive shaft that had allowed the outboard drive shaft to turn within the hub. In Matty circles this could be known as ‘Glazzarditis’. Fortunately, the driveshaft and hub were only slightly marked so some careful lapping in and a new key should allow a full repair. The torque biasing of the Quaife LSD does put more torque through the more heavily loaded wheel when the lighter loaded nearside wheel spins.
Fortunately, I didn’t hold things up for long, so Keith Bristow was next but couldn’t equal his best practice time and the 32.89 was 0.64 over.
In the race class it was David Gidden first off but his 34.05 was some way off his target time. Stephen Palmer was only just slower than David with a 34.14 that was just 0.04 over the goal we had set him. Kenny Lewis had been very quick in practice and continued this performance when he saw a new PB with a 32.05 that was 0.05 under. Keith Wilford wasn’t very happy with his 35.38. Clive’s 33.20 was his best so far but we had set him a 32.10 handicap after his great run in August. June was just a tenth behind Clive and that was just 0.30 over. Paul took another tenth off his best practice time and his 31.56 was his best time at Shelsley in the championship this year and just 0.31 over. Tony Shute was on it as always and the 31.08 was only a tenth shy of his PB and was 0.13 over. Tony Wallen had a good improvement over his practice times and the 31.48 was 0.43 over. Brian Meddings set a 33.99 that was 0.99 over. Dave Hampton saw a 30.63 come up on the clock at the top of the hill and that was 0.53 over. Sarah, despite the ‘Granny’ on the side of the car was driving better and better and the 34.12 was 0.18 under and a new PB. Last man Mr Thorne also set a new PB by 2/100ths and the 31.25 was just 0.20 over.
So after the first run it was Botty first from Sarah and then John Palmer.
The final runs came around quite quickly although the meeting did come to a halt for a while as a Mini came to grief at Kennel and rolled a couple of times. The car was pretty comprehensively wrecked but fortunately the 82-year-old driver escaped without any serious injury.
Steve Millward improved again and the 37.14 was a new PB and just 0.04 over. Tim Grasby was a little slower this run. Karen’s 46.51 was her best of the day but a tenth shy of her PB. Dick was a little slower this run and Geoff Stallard also slower, but only by 1/100th, still not happy with the handling. However, aside from our Championship, it now seems that Geoff, with this Shelsley performance, has secured the 2018 HSA championship where he has been running the Elan and his TVR Vixen. A great performance but one, he was telling me, has meant he has racked up some 15,000 miles travelling to and from events from his home in deepest darkest Surrey!
Botty was a bit slower this run but Mr Bibby’s 36.50 was an improvement to just 0.05 over. Jane was quicker with a 37.32 but just behind Steve! Chris Westwood was also quicker and his 38.35 was just 0.35 over and 0.09 away from his PB. John Palmer was a bit slower but Keith Bristow was faster this run but had done what we all have done at some time – been quickest in practice. David Gidden and Stephen Palmer were both slower as was Kenny. In Kenny’s case only by 0.04 which was still quicker than his old PB at the start of the day. Dr Wilford did get into the 34’s with a 34.94 but that was not where he was aiming. Clive had some engine issue on his run, right from the start and it sounded pretty horrible. He was much slower as a result. June, Paul and Tony Shute were all a bit slower than the first attempts. Tony Wallen, in the always lovely 69 was a tenth quicker and he finished 0.33 over. Brian also took some time off and the 33.68 was 0.68 over. Dave Hampton was 2/100ths slower and then both Sarah and Malcolm couldn’t better their first runs.
So, after this last run the order was still Pete Bottrill, Sarah and John Palmer. In fourth place, very much on merit was Kenny Lewis, but, of course, as we had told him by only entering two events this year we couldn’t allow him to take points from others who had made the most attendance effort. The rule generally is that 4 events is the minimum to allow championship points. Mr Matty does allow extenuating circumstances occasionally. Kenny is still eligible for awards from the MAC but with our championship this meant that Steve Millward and Stephen Palmer, both on 0.04 over each had the 8 points for fourth place. Race scratch saw the usual 1,2,3 in Dave Hampton from Tony Shute and Malcolm. Road scratch had Keith Bristow with the win from Geoff and Tim Grasby taking third.
So, that’s it. With neither Geoff nor Dave H scoring more than the attendance loyalty point the status quo was maintained and the championship winner was confirmed as Geoff Stallard. Dave Hampton was second but Sarah had come up on the rails to pinch third place on 49 points from Tony Shute now with 46.
Geoff also took the road scratch from me in second and Keith B in third. With these two wins plus his HSA title I dread to think what his bar bill is going to be like at the Chateau dinner in October!
Just confirming that Dave Hampton took first in the race scratch from Tony Shute with Malcolm in third.
So, at the end of the 27th year of the championship we can look forward to what next year can bring. This year has been pretty good!
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time on Eastern Circuit||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Jon Dobson||20||Elan +2||82.70||85.85||83.05||82.00||80.84||78.88||-3.12||78.88|
|2||10||Chris Westwood||22||Elise 111R||88.50 (P)||93.24||89.24||87.00||87.38||84.95||-2.05||84.95|
|3||9||Dave Hampton||38||69 F2 Atlantic||72.18||88.76||75.58||72.25||72.59||71.76||-0.49||71.76|
|4||8||Malcolm Thorne||39||35 F2||80.86*||78.54||75.30||72.75||73.90||72.38||-0.37||72.38|
|5||7||Geoff Stallard||24||Elan S3||79.22||84.94||81.83||79.25||80.54||78.96||-0.29||78.96|
|6||6||Steve Millward||21||Elise 111R||87.05*||92.09||89.21||87.00||88.89||86.85||-0.15||86.85|
|7||5||Steve Hopkins||18||Elise S1||N/A||84.12||81.39||80.75||80.85||80.61||-0.14||80.61|
|8||4||John Palmer||23||Elise 111R||76.59*||92.62||89.28||87.00||87.76||86.95||-0.05||86.95|
|9||3||Pete Bottrill||17||Elan S3||92.19 (P)||98.27||93.17||86.50||91.52||86.70||0.20||86.70|
|10||2||David Gidden||30||23B||80.77 (P)||113.25||83.88||78.50||Fail||78.99||0.49||78.99|
|10||2||Sarah Thorne||34||61/69 spl||85.68*||89.00||84.54||78.75||82.58||79.24||0.49||79.24|
|13||1||Ian Parmenter||14||Elan S4||88.51||93.29||92.68||88.50||90.26||89.17||0.67||89.17|
|14||1||Jonathan Bibby||19||Elise S1||95.49 (P)||93.57||76.14??||83.00||87.63||85.00||2.00||85.00|
|15||1||Keith Wilford||31||23B||82.13 (P)||85.78||82.64||78.75||81.07||82.51||2.32||81.07|
|16||1||Jane Millward||721||Elise 111R||89.04*||96.62||93.32||87.00||90.34||90.06||3.06||90.06|
|17||Dick Swindall||16||Elan S3||88.49*||95.71||91.63||88.50||93.03||92.95||4.45||92.95|
|19||1||Brian Meddings||35||35 F2||83.94*||88.35||83.22||74.00||81.42||85.76||7.42||81.42|
|20||1||Clive Buffey||15||Elan S4||91.77*||99.62||126.20||90.00||109.56||100.49||10.49||100.49|
|21||1||Karen Buffey||715||Elan S4||N/A||125.15||120.69||95.00||124.00||122.51||27.51||122.51|
Blyton Park 18th August
This was our penultimate round of the PMS Championship for 2018 and, unlike last year at Blyton, the weather seemed to be set fair. With Geoff Stallard leading the main championship by 12 points from Dave Hampton, and others coming up on the rails it was going to be very interesting to see if the advantage would shift before the last Shelsley. It was to be the Eastern Circuit again and despite some nadgery bits with bales and cones it was pretty fast.
Paul and June were not able to make this meeting due to unavoidable garage pressures, so I was going to deputise. With the very small entry, not much over 40 cars, despite the planned late start, I was concerned that handicapping would potentially need to be done quickly as there would probably be very little time between runs and agreed various scenarios with our drivers accordingly. The main thing we agreed is that we would keep our championship on handicap to ourselves with the usual two-timed runs to count, and let the MAC handle the practice and competition runs as they wished.
In the event we need not have worried as the first practice proceeded at a rather relaxed, some might say glacial, pace. During the first runs there was only one car on the track at a time, so we were lining up for ages. The subsequent runs were better but still we only had the two practice runs before lunch so that this did give time for some more relaxed handicap setting. I had asked John Palmer to assist me in setting the times.There were a lot of car changes compared with last year. The Millwards and John Palmer were in their Elise 111R’s joining Chris Westwood. Malcolm and Sarah were in the 35 and 61/69 respectively. Brian Meddings was in his new 35. Clive was dual driving Karen’s Elan and it was Karen’s first visit. Dick was in the S3 (now cured of misfire!) and it was Steve Hopkins first try on the Eastern circuit. So there were only 9 car/driver combinations that had ‘history’.
First practice saw a great run by Steve Hopkins with a 84.12. Faster than both me and Geoff. Jonathan Bibby set a new PB, not surprising since his runs last year were very compromised by a clutch failure. Dave Gidden had a spin and Stephen Palmer also I think. It was no surprise that Malcolm Thorne’s 78.54 was an improvement on his best Buick time.
On the second practice run most people improved but Clive had a spin at Bishops. The Elan not quite as nimble as his normal steed, the 61. Dick Swindall had quite a bit of track time as he was red flagged due to Clive’s spin and then on his re-run he was not given a time at all and so he had yet another run finally recording a 91.63!
Steve Hopkins improved to a 81.39, still faster than Geoff and I! A tremendous time was recorded for Jonathan Bibby who received a 76.14. I think everyone, including JJ himself, thought this a bit unlikely! For handicapping purposes, we ignored that time.
John Palmer and I spent a lot of time setting the handicaps during the lunch break since, as mentioned previously, there were so many unknowns. We used the times that Paul and I had set last year as a guide where we could, tightened some and relaxed some others.
Our first competitive run was after lunch. Clive spun the Elan again, this time at Bunga-Bunga. Dick was a bit slower than his best practice. Botty set a new PB with 91.52 but that was compared to the damp meeting last year. Mr Hopkins went faster again with an 80.85 that was just 0.10 over the tight handicap we had been forced to give him based on those super practice times. Jonathan Bibby set an 87.63. I was pleased with my run. The 80.84 being a new PB by 1.86 seconds, and 1.16 under handicap (and quicker than Steve Hopkins, thank God, even if only by 1/100th). Steve Millward improved to 88.39, 1.89 over. We had given all the Elise 111R runners the same 87.00 handicap and Chris Westwood set a new 87.38 PB, therefore just 0.38 over. John Palmer was a little slower and his 87.76 was 0.76 over. Geoff Stallard improved to 80.54 but that was some way off his 79.22 PB from 2016 – the fully dry meeting. Karen was a bit slower than her best practice time but Jane was 3 seconds faster than her best of the morning but that was still some way off her target time.
First in the race class was David Gidden but although completing his run he fell foul of the ‘all four wheels off’ rule by running wide coming out of Bunga-Bunga and this went down as a fail. Keith Wilford set a new PB on 81.07 and then Stephen Palmer ran wide on the final bend at the finish after the very fast straight. He collected a cone and was adjudged not to have been four wheels off (probably only about 3.5 wheels!) and got a time but just not a very quick one. During the meeting quite a few people did have moments at that final bend but just got away with it. Tony Shute set a new PB and the 73.59 was just 0.59 over. Sarah set an 82.58 complaining that she was never going to get anywhere near the 78.75 handicap we had set. As is often the case the later run proved we hadn’t been too far away when setting that time. Brian Meddings had not been having a great day in the 35 as the ‘air in the clutch slave cylinder’ problem had returned and it compromised effective gear changing and although his 81.42 was his best so far it wasn’t where it needed to be. Dave Hampton, the 69 having been effectively repaired after the Shelsley driveshaft failure was going well and the 72.59 was just 0.34 over and 0.41 away from his 2016 PB. Last man Malcolm Thorne kept on setting new PB’s and the 73.90 was just 1.15 over.
In comparison with the pace of the morning our second time run came around very quickly. Ian Parmenter set a 89.17 that was 0.67 over and a similar amount away from his PB. Clive Buffey made it round OK this time but the 100.49 was still some way off the handicap we had guesstimated for him. Dick improved but couldn’t equal his multi-run time from the morning. Botty had decided that he had not been using his normal style of chucking the Elan about and, adopting this more aggressive approach, improved by nearly 5 seconds and his 86.70 was just 0.20 over. Steve Hopkins improved yet again and the 80.61 was 0.14 under. Jonathan Bibby also improved and his 85.00 was just 2.00 over. Again still a very good time for an S1 Elise.
I was next and I thought that I had overdriven a bit and therefore I did not believe Clive when he told me that the time was in the 78’s. I went and checked and it was 78.88 with a speed trap figure just before the finish of 108 mph. Oh, a bit embarrassing for one of the handicappers but it was a nearly 4 second improvement on my 2016 PB so I felt the 3.12 under was reasonably earned. Kay had been watching by the finish and had been scared stiff by my 108-mph approach so told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t going for a third run! Steve Millward gained another couple of seconds this run and the 86.85 was 0.15 under. Chris Westwood has been driving much faster this season and his 84.95 was easily a new PB and was also 2.05 under. John Palmer was 2 seconds slower than Chris but the 86.95 left him 0.05 under. Geoff Stallard was, of course, going to go for it and had a really good run and the 78.96 was a new PB for him and 0.29 under. So, I had just pipped him at Blyton at the fourth attempt but we both enjoyed the competition and, after all, the difference was only 0.08! Karen set her best competition time with a 122.51 but that was not quite equal to her best of the day in practice. Jane improved by about 1/4 second and finished 3.06 over.
David Gidden kept it on the black stuff this time and the 78.99 was a new PB and 0.49 over. Keith was slower this run but Stephen Palmer did put a more sensible time on the board but whilst the 84.65 was a new PB it was still 5.90 over. Tony Shute was just a tad slower to just finish out of the points but Sarah despite her earlier protestations took nearly 3 seconds off to record a 79.24 that left her sharing 0.49 under with Mr Gidden. Brian had a worse run with the clutch issues making things very difficult. Dave Hampton had a very tardy start with his first 64ft time being over 13 seconds! He had told the start line marshals than he was slowly rolling forward but then the green light came on and he left the line. The result was a 84.24. He didn’t have much trouble persuading the officials about what had happened and he got a re-run. Before that Malcolm set his best time of the day and his 72.38 was not only quicker than Mr Shute but was 0.37 under. Dave then had his run in the midst of a later class and this time things were a little better with a new Eastern circuit class record of 71.76 that was 0.49 under!
So, at the conclusion of the championship runs I took the 11 points from Chris Westwood in second – his best result so far in the Championship. At the event I made a mistake and announced that Steve Hopkins was third. That was a keyboard typo and, in fact, he was fifth. So Dave Hampton took 9 points in third, Malcolm 8, Geoff 7 and Steve Millward 6.
In race scratch DH took the 5 points with Malcolm edging out Tony Shute for second.
In road scratch I was first from Geoff and then a well-deserved Steve Hopkins.
So with just the one round to go Geoff Stallard with 60 points has a 10 point lead over Dave Hampton with still Messrs Shute and Buffey joint third on 41. I would say that Geoff only has to turn up to Shelsley (with the Elan!) to win the Championship. Dave H would have to win the event with Geoff not scoring in the top ten. Even then count back would be needed to settle the equal scores. Let’s wait and see.
In race scratch Dave Hampton has already secured the 2018 win from Tony Shute in second and Malcolm third. In road scratch something very unusual would have to happen at the last event for Geoff’s 3 point lead over me to be overturned. Jonathan Bibby is secure in third.
So four weeks now to that last event at Shelsley. Let’s hope it’s dry (sorry Tony) to keep the playing field as level as possible.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Run 3||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Sarah Thorne||254||61/69 spl||35.52||36.52||35.00||34.40||34.62||43.40||-0.60||34.40|
|3||9||Geoff Stallard||241||Elan S3||34.07||35.71||34.00||33.84||34.19||-0.16||33.84|
|5||7||Paul Matty||259||35 F2||31.05||33.68||32.00||31.93||32.19||-0.07||31.93|
|7||5||Malcolm Thorne||260||35 F2||31.35||32.00||31.05||31.27||31.73||48.52||0.22||31.27|
|8||4||Keith Bristow||234||Exige V6||33.46||34.77||32.50||32.73||32.95||0.23||32.73|
|9||3||John Palmer||234||Elise 111R||38.12||38.70||37.75||38.01||38.49||48.40||0.26||38.01|
|10||2||Dave Hampton||261||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||31.74||30.00||30.34||NTR||0.34||30.34|
|11||1||June Matty||251||20/22 FJ||32.43||33.97||33.25||33.96||33.63||0.38||33.63|
|12||1||Chris Westwood||244||Elise 111R||38.57||39.10||37.75||38.24||39.14||50.48||0.49||38.24|
|13||1||Tony Wallen||258||69 F3||31.03||32.56||31.05||31.92||31.67||0.62||31.67|
|14||1||Jonathan Bibby||240||Elise S1||36.44||37.04||36.00||36.65||37.23||0.65||36.65|
|15||1||Tim Grasby||934||Exige V6||42.77||39.81||36.00||37.57||36.67||0.67||36.67|
|16||1||Steve Hopkins||239||Elise S1||35.71||38.24||36.00||37.09||36.89||0.89||36.89|
|18||1||Steve Millward||945||Elise 111R||38.30||39.26||37.75||38.84||39.39||1.09||38.84|
|19||1||Pete Bottrill||238||Elan S3||34.77||38.12||36.75||37.93||37.91||1.16||37.91|
|20||1||Ian Parmenter||235||Elan S4||37.18||40.83||37.50||38.71||39.70||1.21||38.71|
|22||1||Brian Meddings||255||35 F2||33.31*||37.31||33.50||36.35||35.79||2.29||35.79|
|23||1||Jane Millward||245||Elise 111R||39.19||41.57||37.75||40.60||40.99||2.85||40.60|
|24||1||Dick Swindall||237||Elan S3||37.12||39.85||37.10||40.51||40.81||3.41||40.51|
|25||1||Karen Buffey||236||Elan S4||49.93||48.16||42.75||46.35||46.78||3.60||46.35|
Shelsley Walsh 11th August
This was the second Shelsley event for us this year and we were doing one day, the Saturday, whilst over the two days there was a British Hillclimb Championship meeting. There was a seemingly enormous entry including bikes and our road class was situated in the Orchard. With a very iffy forecast I decided to withdraw my entry as last time I was in the Orchard, and it was wet, I couldn’t get the Plus 2 out up the slope.
Anyway, the Saturday was largely dry until towards the end of the meeting but in view of the number of cars that had to run Paul had taken the very prescient decision for our class to only take the first run as practice and then the second official practice run to be, for us, as our first competitive run. Luckily all the class did get a second competitive dry run and that was it for our competition. In the event we could have had our fourth run, and some did, but by then it was raining. So it all worked out quite well though despite there only being a half hour lunch break, but had there been any sort of major incident on the hill things could have been very different.
It was the first event for Brian Meddings lovely new 35 F2 though I must say that they are becoming a bit common now! Jane and Steve were in their Elise 111R though Jane was still suffering just a bit of neck pain. The Elan was now at Mr Matty’s. Steve Hopkins had finally got his problems sorted via a new alternator. Keith Bristow had entered the 19 but sadly the engine was still not finished so he resorted to the Exige.
The day had started badly for Keith Wilford who had discovered a nail in one of his rear tyres when he unloaded. Race tyres don’t get puncture repaired and despite BMTR being on site they did not have any tyres on board to suit the 23B. Mr Matty kindly went home, fortunately not too far of course, and fetched two wobbly web wheels with suitable tyres fitted so Keith could live another day. Dick Swindall had experienced misfire problems on the road coming down and had bought and fitted new the usual suspects for a standard ignition set up.
The first practice saw Tim Grasby set a new 39.81 PB in Mr Bristow’s Exige. Karen also set a new PB with a 48.16. Dick found that the misfire had not improved and was scratching his head back in the paddock. June’s engine seemed fine and her 33.97 was a very good first effort. Stephen Palmer set a new PB on 34.89. Brian Meddings set a 37.31 on his first run in the 35 but was finding the gear lever gate taking a bit of getting used to. Clive Buffey had some gear issues as well. Last point of note is that Tony Shute’s 69 was wheeled back to paddock as the starter wouldn’t operate. A fuse in the solenoid circuit had blown. He fitted a larger fuse and all was working and he took his run later. Also taking the later run Keith Wilford had heard noise from the back of the car on his run and had backed off. This was revealed to be that the loaned rear wheels were just fouling the caliper (I think). This issue was solved by the insertion of washers to space the wheel out a bit further.
Paul and I set the handicaps based on dry conditions.
So on our first competitive run Tim Grasby set another new PB on 37.57 and Keith Bristow also with a class PB of 32.73. He had gone a bit quicker than this at other events hence the handicap we set him. Ian Parmenter improved to 38.71 and then Karen set another new PB with a 46.35. Dick’s car was not going well at all and anything much over 4500 rpm under load resulted in a misfire.
Geoff Stallard had an excellent run with a 33.84 that was a new PB for the car in this spec and 0.18 under. He had done a 33.64 at the August 2014 meeting but with a lower axle ratio so we had being using 34.07 as his previous PB. John Palmer set a new Elise PB with a 38.01 and Chris Westwood was only just behind with his new PB on 38.24
David Gidden set a 33.80 that was 1.05 over and June’s 33.96 was a smidgen quicker than practice and 0.38 over. Keith Wilford improved to a 35.83 which was quite good since I expect the loaned tyres were not quite in factory fresh condition! Stephen Palmer had the bit between his teeth and his 34.11 was not far behind David Gidden and was a new PB and 0.14 under. Sarah was also going very well and the 34.40 was an emphatic new PB and 0.60 under. Mr Meddings improved to a 36.35 and then Clive Buffey blew us all away with super 32.63 that was 0.87 under. Tony Shute, still ruing the fact that it still wasn’t raining, set a 31.05 that was only 0.07 off his PB but just 0.05 over. Tony Wallen was not far behind with a 31.92 just edging Mr Matty’s 31.93 but Paul’s run was 0.07 under and one of his best for some time.
Malcolm was taking the fight to Tony Shute and his new PB of 31.27 was just 0.22 over. Last man Dave Hampton also had a good run and his 30.34 was just 4/10ths off his class record from 2013 and 0.34 over. He told me that he record had been set when the engine was 1600cc compared with the larger and torquier 2 litre he has now.
So after this first run it was Clive leading from Sarah and then Geoff.
It wasn’t until close to 4:30pm that the the class got their first official timed run (our second) and there were just a few spits and spots starting to appear. I don’t think it would have compromised the run too much but, in the event not many people improved. Tim Grasby did and his 36.67 PB left him 0.67 over. Botty improved by just 2/100ths and the 37.91 saw him finish on 1.16 over. Steve Hopkins also improved to 36.89 but that was over a second shy of his PB and 0.89 over.
Next driver to set a better time was June with a 33.63 that was 0.38 over and then Brian getting things sorted with a 35.79. Tony Wallen was quicker with a 31.67 that left him 0.62 over. Dave Hampton was determined to get a quicker run this time but, as he dropped the clutch, the U/J on the near side drive shaft cried enough, fortunately without much peripheral damage. The large inboard doughnut had restrained any flailing about and the failure had happened before there were two many revs on the wheels. Dave was wheeled back and the marshals then spent some time collecting up the needle rollers released from the bearing cups as the joint broke. He should be back in action for Blyton.
Dick had been still suffering with the misfire despite ministrations from Mr Matty. To compound his problems his headlights had failed so it looked increasingly like his few days break in the south before Blyton was going to compromised. The plan was for him to go to Bromsgrove on the Monday. Hopefully things are getting sorted.
So, after our second run it remained a clear win for Clive with Sarah in second and Geoff Stallard taking a good haul of points in third. Race scratch saw the order being Hampton, Shute and Malcolm. Road scratch was Keith Bristow, Stallard and then Jonathan Bibby.
As I said few hardy souls did take a final official run, in the rain, whilst the more sensible headed for the bar. The rain came just that bit too late for Mr Shute!
So in the main championship Geoff now has 53 points, 12 ahead of Dave Hampton. Clive Buffey has rocketed up the order to assume joint third with Tony Shute on 40 points.
In race scratch Dave Hampton on 33 has a five point lead over Tony Shute. Malcolm is third on 16. Geoff Stallard leads the road scratch on 26 points from me on 22 and Jonathan Bibby on 19.
On to Blyton
Harewood 4th August
It had seemed like an age since our last event at Pembrey on the 2nd June. Nine weeks in fact. So this definitely seemed like the second half of the season. Though there was some rain about on the Friday in the area our Saturday meeting was held in good weather with some cloud cover on and off and the usual Harewood breeze making things not too hot.
Geoff Stallard was on the final entry list even though he had already told me he was going to be on holiday in Greece and he had told the BARC that he wouldn’t be there. Also, Tony Wallen was entered but did not appear. Steve Hopkins was finally making a belated appearance as the rear sub-frame replacement on the Elise and other issues had taken time to sort. He had prepared well for this event however having just done the driving school where, apparently, he had come top. However, on his way up to Harewood from South Wales he had suffered from intermittent cutting out of the engine and had experienced the delights of the (lack of) prompt service from the AA. The car was OK during the event but failed again on the M1 going back home. Now it appears to be an alternator problem letting the ‘new’ battery go flat.
Keith Bristow and Tim Grasby were here dual driving Keith’s Exige V6. It was the first time in their current cars for Sarah and Malcolm Thorne at Harewood
The track had been resurfaced about a month previously and looked to be very grippy. That proved to be the case. My only minor concern was that now there were more sausage kerbs about. These were clearly marked and, apparently only where grass had been before, so the track ‘limits’ had actually not changed. The effect being more psychological than actual.
We were the first class off as usual. We all took it fairly steadily for this first practice except for Clive Buffey who lowered his PB by nearly 3 seconds for a 68.19. Chris Westwood, despite suffering with tooth problems was within a second of his PB. Malcolm lowered his Buick time to 65.09 in the 35. Our dual drivers in the road class actually went out after our cars in the race class and that’s how I’m reporting their runs.
Our second runs came around quite quickly. Keith Bristow set a new 68.13 PB as did Steve Hopkins with a 69.58. Chris Westwood also with a 74.81 and then Jonathan Bibby with a 71.90. Clive improved again with a 67.36. Not surprisingly Sarah eclipsed her 340R time with a 69.35 in the 61/69 and equally unsurprisingly Malcolm set another new PB with a 63.39. Brian Meddings got to within a second of his PB. David Gidden had a scary moment when he ran wide on the long left hander of Farmhouse bend and collected quite a bit of grass in all the nooks and crannies of the 23. Then June had an issue on her run as she could hear the engine wasn’t mechanically happy and pottered up to the top. She retired the car but latest news is that it was a mercifully minor failure associated with the roller rocker system and Paul had it sorted on the Sunday. Everyone else improved their times even those that did not set PB’s Jane got within 3/10ths of her PB with a 70.88.
Paul and I sat down to do the handicaps quite quickly after this second run as we knew that our first competitive run would be before lunch.
Keith Bristow was red flagged and on his second go set a new 68.04 PB but that was some way off the 55.50 we had set him. Steven Hopkins also had a new PB with 69.02 that was just 0.52 over. Chris Westwood also set a new PB recording a 74.10. Ian Parmenter saw a 72.84 that was 1.44 over. Jonathan Bibby was also going well and his 70.06 was another new PB and 1.06 over. Dick was finding that the 3.55 diff in the S3 Elan was just too high – he had been expecting to be using the S4 and he could not get anywhere near his PB in the S3 when it had the lower ratio diff and his run was slower than his best practice time.
Botty was a bit quicker this run but, like most of the old hands, couldn’t get close to his old PB but nevertheless the 71.10 was quite respectable though 1.35 over. Steve Millward set his best so far but the 72.11 was 1.36 over. I also set my best time of 67.32 but, as I just may have mentioned to everybody several times! this was 5 seconds adrift of my PB from 2008.
Clive Buffey was first off for the race class and immediately broke through his handicap time as the 64.55 was 0.45 under. Stephen Palmer was also going better and the 68.89 was 1.39 over. Keith Wilford, who had suffered a bit of a disappointing season so far, was making amends and the 67.04 was just 0.14 over. Sarah took another 3 seconds off her best time in practice and the 66.43 was just 0.18 over. Malcolm was really winding up the 35 and the 61.27 was only 0.77 over. Brian Meddings 67.10 was a second slower that his best in practice so didn’t help his cause. David Gidden had recovered well from his Farmyard bend excursion earlier and the 65.99 was just 0.24 over. As June had retired the car it was Paul next and his 63.06 was a good improvement and nudging him closer to his long standing PB (2008 the same year I set my PB). The 63.06 was 1.56 over. It was Mr Shute next and his 61.72 was just 0.12 away from his PB set last year in the 69F and 0.47 short of his target time. Dave Hampton was quicker but his 61.08 was 0.98 shy of his handicap.
Tim Grasby was improving in the fearsome Exige V6 but Harewood on a first visit is quite hard to learn. He got into the 76’s. Jane didn’t have a good run and was slower, maybe, in hindsight, a result of an issue starting to rear its head.
So, after the first round it was Clive Buffey leading.
Our second and final run counting for the championship was after lunch.
Keith Bristow did not improve and neither did Steve Hopkins. This trend continued with Chris Westwood and Ian Parmenter. Jonathan Bibby was giving it a real go but unfortunately fell foul of the most tricky Quarry Bend and ran wide into the gravel trap for a fail. Later looking at some of the locals driving that bend it was very illuminating, particularly watching the front wheel drive cars. The ‘Oh that’s how it’s done’ might not necessarily translate into our own performance there. Dick set a 77.51 and he wasn’t a happy Scottish bunny. Botty was slower. Steve Millward was a lot slower than first time and thought there was some issue with the tyre pressures as he couldn’t get past what appeared to be a lot of understeer. I was quicker despite a crap start (the concrete start surface I think is more tricky to get right particularly for the front engined cars) and the 66.60 was 1.10 over.
Clive was slower this run but Stephen Palmer improved to leave his new PB on 68.35, 0.85 over. Dr Wilford also improved and the 66.49 put him 0.41 under, close behind Clive. Sarah was slower but Malcolm improved with an excellent 60.98 that was just 0.48 over. Brian Meddings also went a lot better and his 65.43, while being just shy of his PB was just 0.43 over. David Gidden took another tenth off and the 65.88 was just 0.13 over. Paul and I had been discussing why the older contingent couldn’t get close to their PB’s and Paul did give this a real go and whilst the 62.35 was a couple of seconds off what he had done in 2008 is was a big improvement and just 0.85 over. Tony Shute was slower that run but Dave Hampton set a new PB with a 59.94 that put him 0.18 under.
Tim Grasby improved a bit more for a 76.25. Then it was Jane Millward but unfortunately the Elan didn’t make it round the first right hander off the start and understeered into the tyres. Obviously, we were all concerned for her safety as two ambulances attended. Jane was basically OK thank goodness with just some bruises but she was taken, with Steve, to A & E at Wetherby hospital for a check over. She was released quite soon. Apparently, some of the other patients thought the race suits they were wearing were fancy dress!
The marshals towed the Elan up to the paddock. Steve had first thought that it could have been a failure of the U/J between the column and the rack because obviously there had been some kind of steering failure. But as we all inspected the car I could see that the steering column was not moving as much as the steering wheel angle. Paul immediately thought what it could be and checked the steering column adjuster/collapse mechanism. It had come loose and so steering wheel movement was only partially and vaguely being translated to the column. I have never liked that arrangement much and, indeed, I fitted, a long time ago, one of the solid columns from the earlier cars and things like Triumph Heralds, to the +2.
So with that dampener on the proceedings much relieved by finding out that Jane was basically OK Paul made the presentations. So it was a win for Clive, just edging Keith Wilford and with Dave Hampton in third. Just as a note, further down we announced that it was Stephen Palmer in 10th. That was correct but looking later Mr Matty was sharing the 0.85 time difference and so he is also joint 10th with 2 points.
In race scratch it was Dave Hampton first from Malcolm and then Tony Shute. In road scratch it was me from Keith Bristow with Steve Hopkins.
So despite missing this meeting Geoff Stallard retains a healthy 5 point lead in the main Championship over Dave Hampton who is 5 points ahead of Tony Shute.
In the Race scratch Championship DH has a 4 point lead over Tony Shute. Those two well clear of the rest.
In Road scratch I have drawn level with Geoff on 22 points with Jonathan Bibby on 16 in third.
As is usual at Harewood there were third runs on offer though we were not sure this was going to happen due to the delays surrounding Jane’s accident. Eight drivers had another go. I’ve shown the times in italics on the spreadsheet for just information though they have not influenced the result. In the event only two drivers improved their times. I set a 55.51, my best time at Harewood since 2009 and so now I can witter on about only being 3 seconds off my PB. But it was Mr Hampton that set a blistering new PB with a 59.19. This would, of course, have been a new class record eclipsing that of John Crook in 2004, but as it was not set during the Championship runs, Mr Crook retains that honour.
On to Shelsley.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|3||9||Dave Hampton||35||69 F2 Atlantic||60.07||63.89||61.88||60.10||61.08||59.94||-0.16||59.94|
|5||7||Sarah Thorne||27||61/69 spl||69.61 (340R)||71.28||69.35||66.25||66.43||67.21||0.18||66.43|
|8||4||Malcolm Thorne||28||35 F2||65.94 (Buick)||65.09||63.39||60.50||61.27||60.98||0.48||60.98|
|9||3||Stephen Hopkins||15||Elise S1||70.08||72.92||69.58||68.50||69.02||69.45||0.52||69.02|
|10||2||Paul Matty||32||35 F2||60.34||68.10||65.08||61.50||63.06||62.35||0.85||62.35|
|12||1||Jonathan Bibby||18||Elise S1||72.79||75.85||71.90||69.00||70.06||Fail||1.06||70.06|
|13||1||Jon Dobson||23||Elan +2||62.27||71.02||67.99||65.50||67.32||66.60||1.10||66.60|
|14||1||Pete Bottrill||20||Elan S3||68.78||79.84||72.73||69.75||71.10||72.21||1.35||71.10|
|15||1||Steve Millward||721||Elan S3||70.92||74.91||72.69||70.75||72.11||82.66||1.36||72.11|
|16||1||Ian Parmenter||17||Elan S4||71.56||76.83||73.74||71.40||72.84||73.54||1.44||72.84|
|17||1||Keith Bristow||14||Exige V6||68.54||73.25||68.13||65.50||68.04||69.64||2.54||68.04|
|18||1||Jane Millward||21||Elan S3||70.52||77.71||70.88||70.10||72.79||Fail||2.69||72.79|
|19||1||Chris Westwood||16||Elise 111R||76.38||77.57||74.81||70.00||74.10||74.54||4.10||74.10|
|20||1||Dick Swindall||19||Elan S3||71.05||79.89||76.38||72.25||78.24||77.51||5.26||77.51|
|21||1||Tim Grasby||714||Exige V6||N/A||83.98||79.90||68.50||76.60||76.25||7.75||76.25|
|1||June Matty||31||20/22 FJ||64.09||71.03||91.80||Retd|
Pembrey 2nd June
This was just our second visit to Pembrey in South West Wales. Last year this
BARC organised sprint, part of the British Sprint Championship, was marred for us both by weather problems for our practice runs but then only getting one competitive run as the meeting was running late and some of the medical staff had to leave to attend an international football match at Cardiff.
This year, fortunately, although the day dawned quite damp, from mist rather than rain, it soon cleared up and most of the day we enjoyed sunshine and, most importantly, we got all our runs.
It was however, a first visit to the track for Dick Swindall, Jonathan Bibby and John Palmer. Pembrey is pretty quick and despite some sections being relatively straightforward to learn the wide and sweeping left hand bend following the section from Hatchett’s hairpin was very tricky and quite deceptive. The course comprised one and half laps of the track.
The Millward’s were back in their Elan and enjoying the light and nimble feel of this compared with the Elise 111R. Peter Bottrill was back with us after missing Loton and Prescott and his fears about the engine expressed at Shelsley appeared unfounded and the car was going well. Karen Buffey accompanied Clive but was not driving as she didn’t fancy the long drive down to Pembrey in the Elan. Ian Parmenter had driven down but was suffering from Cellulitis in his left leg and was on antibiotics but that certainly didn’t cramp his driving!
There was quite a bit of confusion about the running order. This was eventually resolved with confirmation that we were last, not as Mr Matty had been promised! The race and road cars unusually were mixed up in number order in our class which did have some consequences later. Actually, in practice, the lining up order was fairly random anyway but for this report, after the first practice I’ll stick with road cars then race.
Last year, Steve Millward had got the tricky left hander wrong at the point where it tightened and he went up the alternative part of the track that was coned off!. At least he wouldn’t do that again this year. Oh dear, he did. A dead ringer! To be fair it isn’t easy and on every one of my runs coming round and seeing those cones it was a clear reminder that I had to get in tighter to follow the main track. After Steve it was Tony Shute who set a high 121 about three seconds away from his class record of last year although only after being given a re-run owing to catching Steve recovering from his misdemeanour.. Botty’s 141 was only about a second off his PB from last year. Geoff Stallard however was given a low 138 which was strange as he did a 132 last year and he is not known for hanging around. I’m sure this was a timing error, anyway, it’s practice. I set a 133.17, exactly a second away from my PB of last year so as Geoff and I are normally so close it seemed to confirm that his time was wrong. Sarah Thorne set a 134 which again was about a second off her best. Malcolm was now in the 35. He had brought the BRM engined 24 last year and now, at least, we did not have to bear the ear splitting protracted warm up procedure that the 24 required! He was immediately into the 123’s. Jane Millward was 2 seconds under her PB. Dave Hampton was next and his mid 120 was a new PB. June, not a fan of high speed circuits, set a cautious 143. Paul’s 132 was exactly a second off his PB. Keith Wilford was about 3 seconds off his best. Messrs. Swindall, Bibby and Palmer (J) all set exploratory times.
Clive Buffey set a new PB by nearly 3 seconds as his driving and confidence improves, event by event. Ian Parmenter was given a re-run after some issue that I can’t recall and the 136.66 was not only a damn good time but was close on 6 seconds under his PB. He put it down to warmer tyres, not the antibiotics! Stephen Palmer set a 141, maybe a gear change problem and then Tony Wallen, the 69 now with it’s wings back, set a mid 126.
The long lining up queue in the hot weather was causing us all some problems with engine temperatures so that Paul arranged that the single seaters would be held back until just before they were due to go out. So now I’ll talk more road car/race car order.
Steve made it round this time OK for a 148. Botty improved to a 138.42 PB. Geoff Stallard also set a new PB with a much more believable 131.21. I was just slower, but again with a new PB on a 131.55. Dick was a tad slower this run, still learning the track. Ian Parmenter showed that his first run time was not a fluke and an excellent 135.70 was, of course, another new PB. Jane also set a new PB this run with a 139 second run. Jonathan Bibby saw a 144 this time and John Palmer a 141.
Now our ‘race’ class. Tony Shute’s 118.88 was just 2/100ths away from his class record. Sarah was bit slower this run, again probably a gear change issue but Malcolm improved to a low 120. Dave Hampton set a new unofficial class record with a 118.64. June was still not happy and was a bit slower. Paul improved to a 127 and then Keith Wilford a 134. Clive Buffey was storming on with a 130.05 and then Stephen Palmer took a tenth off his PB with a 136.56. Last man, Tony Wallen set a new PB by some 2 seconds with a 121.38.
So that was it for practice and with nearly everybody making big improvements after only the fifth run at the track for most. Geoff Stallard had driven Pembrey before and his best in his TVR was a 128. He was puzzled that he wasn’t quicker in the lighter and more powerful Elan.
Paul and I sat down to debate the handicaps. With so little running last year and first time drivers and cars this year it was quite tricky. One major issue was the silly time registered by Mr Parmenter. This put all the Elans under some scrutiny and we were forced to give some people with more powerful cars a tighter target time than if Ian had driven in a more sedate fashion. We generally reasoned that with the lovely weather that there was no reason not to suppose that everyone would go quicker. As is frequently the case these days we gave me and Geoff Stallard the same handicap and I had said to Paul that I would be very pleased to get under 30 seconds. We agreed a 129.95 for us both. Everyone was being asked to go quite a bit quicker than their PB’s
Time was ticking on before we got our first competitive run and some fears were starting to surface as to whether we would get the last run, fortunately groundless in the event as the afternoon went quite smoothly with few interruptions.
Steve Millward led us off and set a 141.95, just outside his PB but nearly 4 seconds away from target. Botty set a new 137.26 PB, 2.26 over. Geoff Stallard was pleased with a 128.51 that not only helped a little to rationalise his Lotus vs TVR question but was also 1.44 under. I was annoyed that I made a bit of a mess of Hatchett’s hairpin twice and was mildly cursing when I came back to the paddock and told Geoff I wasn’t happy. He went to get his time, saw his 128 but then saw I had done a 127.21 that was 2.74 under! Dick Swindall set a 142.66, a new PB but 4.66 over (Sorry Dick, it was that Ian Parmenter!). John Palmer was 3.38 over with a 140.38. Jane saw a 140.78 that was 5.78 over (Ian again). As usual we had had trouble setting Mr Bibby’s handicap as he is an embarrassingly quick driver and always sorts us out though it is drivers championship and we surely can’t penalise good driving. Sure enough the 135.71 was 1.29 under. For the same reason we couldn’t give Ian a time much less than his 135.70 from the morning. We set him a 135 and he nearly did it being just a fantastic 0.42 over.
For our race class Tony Shute set a new 118.25 class record, 1.25 over. Sarah also went quicker and the 132.16 was just 1.16 over. Malcolm was really trying – not unusual, and set a 121.15. His telltale on the tacho was 9750 rpm. This was still 3.15 seconds over as we were expecting more. Dave Hampton lowered the class record again with a 118.12 but had a bit of an exciting wobble through the big left hander. June’s run was much better this time with a 133.29 that was 2.29 over. Paul was also going quickly and his 123.74 left him shy of his target by 3.74. Keith Wilford did not have a good run and was over 5 seconds away from his goal time. Clive Buffey was taking big chunks of time off each run and saw a 126.16, only just over two seconds shy of his handicap. Stephen Palmer was also improving run on run and the 134.94 was 3.94 over. Last man Tony Wallen was 4.71 away from target with a 122.71 that was slower than his best practice.
So, after the 1st runs I was leading on handicap, from Geoff Stallard with Jonathan Bibby 3rd.
Our final run came round quite quickly with Mr Millward taking 4 seconds off his first run. The 137.79 getting him 0.21 under. Botty also set his best time and the 135.86 was 0.86 over. Mr Stallard was somewhat on the horns of a dilemma since he was entered on the Sunday also and his runs both days would count towards his HSA championship score. So if he went quicker today he would potentially compromise the score he could make on Sunday. I doubt if that really held him back when out on track as I think beating me might have figured more strongly! Anyway, his run in the end was a tenth and a half slower. After my first run with the problems at the hairpin I had very jokingly said, “Oh there’s a couple of seconds more to come”. This time I still wasn’t happy with the hairpin first time off the start but gave it death. I was fully on the 8500 rev limit on the straight and the result was a very pleasing 125.11, a 2 second improvement(!) and 4.84 under. Dick Swindall also knocked a couple of seconds off his time and the 140.62 left him 2.62 over. John Palmer was even more ambitious and his 136.73 was 0.27 under. Jane was quicker with a 137.76 that saw her finish the day 2.76 over but importantly 3/100ths quicker than Steve. Of course, Mr Bibby went quicker; now with a 132.74 that put him very solidly in profit to the tune of 4.26 under. The bubble had to burst some time and and Ian Parmenter’s enthusiasm this time resulted in an interesting but fortunately harmless (particularly as he had to drive home) grassy excursion and a fail.
The last run for the race class was going to see the usual Shute vs Hampton battle with Messrs. Thorne and Wallen adding to the spice. Tony Shute was first off and yet again lowered the class record with a super 117.11. Sarah was a little slower than her first run but Malcolm was pleased with a dip into a sub 120’s with a 119.15 that was 1.15 over. Mr Hampton was also in a determined mood and this run got it all together with yet another lowering of the class record with a stunning 115.39 and that was 1.61 under. Both Mr and Mrs Matty were a bit slower than first time . Keith Wilford set his best of the weekend but the 133.99 was still not what he was hoping for and not a new PB. Earlier Clive Buffey was just a little put out to find he had been given a 124 handicap. More that he had found out his target rather than the actual time but Paul Matty had assured him that it was within reach and sure enough his 123.27 was a great time and 0.73 under. Stephen Palmer took 2 seconds off this run and the 132.90 was 1.90 over for the day. Our last runner Tony Wallen improved to a 120.57 but that was still 2.57 over.
So, with the meeting concluded I had held on to the handicap lead but now Jonathan Bibby had moved into second place and Dave Hampton took a well deserved third.
In race scratch it was Hampton, Shute and Thorne and in road scratch it was me, from Geoff Stallard and then Jonathan Bibby.
In the championship Geoff Stallard’s 8 points has meant he has kept a commanding lead of 12 points with 44 over Jonathan Bibby although trimmed by 2 points. Dave Hampton with 30 points is close behind just one point ahead of Tony Shute.
In race scratch DH with 23 points has a 2 point lead over Tony Shute, both well clear of Tony Wallen in third on 13.
Road scratch sees Geoff Stallard with 22 from me with 17 and then Jonathan with 14.
It was a very enjoyable meeting though sometimes the organisation was a little rustic but most were very pleased with their times. It did put speeds somewhat into perspective when we know that Heather and Colin Calder in their 650 bhp Gould GR55 were going around in about 90 seconds. Wow!
If we come back to Pembrey I think new PB’s and class records may be just a tad harder to find.
Quite a long gap now we’re in the second half of the season with the next event at Harewood not until August 4th.
|Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Jon Dobson||60||Elan +2||132.17||133.17||131.55||129.95||127.21||125.11||-4.84||125.11|
|2||10||Jonathan Bibby||63||Elise S1||N/A||157.17||144.42||137.00||135.71||132.74||-4.26||132.74|
|3||9||Dave Hampton||56||69 F2 Atlantic||121.51||120.61||118.64||117.00||118.12||115.39||-1.61||115.39|
|4||8||Geoff Stallard||53||Elan S3||132.89||138.26||131.21||129.95||128.51||128.64||-1.44||128.51|
|6||6||John Palmer||62||Elise 111R||N/A||142.94||141.22||137.00||140.38||136.73||-0.27||136.73|
|7||5||Steve Millward||750||Elan S3||141.37||157.37||148.25||138.00||141.95||137.79||-0.21||137.79|
|9||3||Ian Parmenter||65||Elan S4||142.39||136.66||135.70||135.00||135.42||Fail||0.42||135.42|
|10||2||Pete Bottrill||52||Elan S3||140.60||141.82||138.42||135.00||137.26||135.86||0.86||135.86|
|11||1||Malcolm Thorne||55||35 F2||129.61* (24)||123.12||120.14||118.00||121.15||119.15||1.15||119.15|
|12||1||Sarah Thorne||54||61/69 spl||133.42||134.69||137.90||131.00||132.16||132.61||1.16||132.16|
|14||1||June Matty||57||20/22 FJ||141.72||143.47||145.36||131.00||133.29||135.23||2.29||133.29|
|15||1||Tony Wallen||67||69 F3||123.99||126.66||121.38||118.00||122.71||120.57||2.57||120.57|
|16||1||Dick Swindall||61||Elan S3||N/A||147.89||148.97||138.00||142.66||140.62||2.62||140.62|
|17||1||Jane Millward||50||Elan S3||147.91||145.18||139.78||135.00||140.78||137.76||2.76||137.76|
|19||1||Paul Matty||58||35 F2||131.41||132.41||127.41||120.00||123.74||125.35||3.74||123.74|
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Geoff Stallard||80||Elan S3||49.14||57.73||59.09||53.00||57.13||50.39||2.61||50.39|
|2||10||Steve Millward||79||Elise 111R||52.69(Elan)||58.31||60.79||56.75||60.14||54.63||2.12||54.63|
|3||9||Dick Swindall||81||Elan S3||53.62||59.65||62.91||57.00||58.64||55.16||1.84||55.16|
|4||8||Jonathan Bibby||84||Elise S1||53.03||58.88||60.34||56.00||59.38||54.20||1.80||54.20|
|5||7||Dave Hampton||99||69 F2 Atlantic||44.68||51.91||54.94||48.50||54.30||47.10||1.40||47.10|
|6||6||Tony Wallen||100||69 F3||46.02||51.66||56.55||48.50||53.82||47.41||1.09||47.41|
|9||3||Jane Millward||779||Elise 111R||52.62*(Elan)||61.14||62.46||56.75||60.09||55.99||0.76||55.99|
|11||1||Malcolm Thorne||96||35 F2||50.97(340R)||55.03||55.84||49.00||55.66||48.84||0.16||48.84|
|12||1||Tony Shute||101||69 F||46.04||47.31||52.76||46.50||51.76||46.64||0.14||46.64|
|13||1||Ian Parmenter||82||Elan S4||55.55||58.53||61.78||56.50||60.27||57.38||0.88||57.38|
|14||1||Kenny Lewis||93||22||46.64* (61)||51.29||51.30||49.00||53.81||49.89||0.89||49.89|
|15||1||Paul Matty||97||35 F2||45.81||55.83||56.42||49.00||58.23||49.92||0.92||49.92|
|17||1||Chris Westwood||86||Elise 111R||N/A||61.65||63.84||56.25||62.38||58.25||2.00||58.25|
|18||1||Karen Buffey||83||Elan S4||N/A||77.84||81.20||65.00||77.72||71.35||6.35||71.35|
|19||1||John Palmer||87||Elise 111R||47.42* (61)||62.51||67.38||56.50||63.52||66.84||7.02||63.52|
|20||1||June Matty||90||20/22 FJ||48.57||57.40||58.19||52.50||61.37||59.96||7.46||59.96|
The forecast for Prescott’s La Vie en Bleu event was dire, violent storms and earth rending thunder were predicted. Likewise the weather outlook was dismal and such was the downpour that many of the happy campers had their sleep broken by the sound of rain and the accompanying thunder and lightning. The result of which was a rather muddy paddock and dire warnings from marshals of ‘it’s very slippery in the esses!’ However, dawn broke and the day started with a glimmer of blue sky promising a rather better prospect than the previous day when the proceedings had been delayed by fog until 11:00am.
There were some notable absences and apologies. Firstly, from Jon Dobson who was sorely missed from handicapping and reporting but had preferable alternatives to the rigours of Prescott. The Meddings had chosen to go sailing somewhere off the south coast (the Isle of Wight was mentioned) and a collective prayer for less stormy weather for them was made. Sarah (Grannie) Thorne had elected to go to a wedding reception but did make an appearance in the morning to encourage us, and doubtless Malcolm in particular, with his repaired gearbox. A broken first gear had been the problem and Paul Matty said it may be worthwhile ‘lifing’ this component given the torque they are getting from the more powerful single seaters and in particular with the very grippy surface at Loton. Dave Giddens gearbox was also fixed from its Loton problem, although this was not a case of breakage. The Keith Bristow/Tim Grasby Exige was not in attendance and Stephen Hopkins and Keith Wilford were also listed but missing. To counter these absences there was a warm welcome for Andrew Lewis in the un-branded 22, and a rather more heated welcome from the scrutineers for Kenny’s JPS branded 61. This, very questionable, issue continues to be a real pain in the backside for Kenny. Which, naturally, prompted him to report that he had, for routine purposes, recently had to undergo a colonoscopy. When asked if all was well he replied that all was well with the examination other than the rather startling discovery they had found, untouched by sunshine, an illegal JPS sticker. Which of course required immediate removal! This anecdote had Dave Hampton crying tears of laughter into his £3 cup of coffee.
All drivers had to attend the drivers briefing and a rather quaint affair it was but with a reminder that practice is, well just practice. With that in mind we made haste to get a run on a drying track. Some were rather more circumspect than others and the times ranged far and wide. In the racing cars, Tony Shute, who obviously missed the memo about the slippery esses, put in a startling 47.31, some 4 seconds quicker than the next time of an obviously fired up Kenny on 51.29. Dave Hampton and Tony Wallen were in close pursuit with the remainder of the class grouped in the mid 50s. In the road class, Geoff Stallard led with 57.73 but followed closely by Steve Millward’s 58.31. Steve explained that he has chosen a new tactic for practice. Basically it’s flat out from the off. Rather flying in the face of the Clerk of the Course’s briefing but highly effective. Ian Parmenter, Jonathan Bibby and Dick Swindall followed closely in the high 50s with the rest in the low 60s. Jane and John Palmer were pleased to find that 2nd gear in the Elise would do the hill and so eliminate the need to select 5th, swear a little, and then try to get 3rd. Karen Buffey had good clean first-ever run up the hill and put in a creditable run in the 70s.
Prior to second practice it had contrived to rain a little and throwing this die into the mix caused all second practice times to be slower than first practice. Not all to the same degree and this is mostly probably a case of some being more cautious than others; or is that some more brave than others? Dave Gidden had acquired a misfire and replaced his plugs and Kenny was doing likewise.
The result however, was headache for the handicappers (Paul and Dave Hampton, with Marion on data gathering). Made more difficult as they also had to take account Andy Lewis equalling his PB and Stephen Palmer, Clive Buffey and Malcolm Thorne bettering their PBs all be it in different specification cars. A task not to be envied particularly when accompanied by a Frank Sinatra tribute singing inappropriately about ‘weather-wise it’s such a lovely day’. Followed rapidly by a flash of lightning, a crash of thunder, and a torrential downpour that had us all running for cover.
The sun poked its head out after this and the first runs were on a drying track but with a damp start-line. The times were getting back to the first practice runs and in the road going Geoff’s 57.13 put him first on scratch but Dick’s superb 58.64 put him first on handicap. In the race class it was Tony Shute on scratch with 51.76 and Kenny on handicap with 53.81. Dave Gidden’s new plugs worked so well he had an off.
The call for the second runs came round quite quickly but giving just enough time for the Elise contingent to remove their tops. This is not change in dress code but an attempt to save weight and keep cooler whilst waiting to approach the start in the bright sunshine. In this case made more worthwhile because the two cars immediately before our class had offs that resulted in considerable delays. All of which led to a dry start-line and track ahead. Consequently, times tumbled, handicaps were beaten, and the following set PBs: Stephen Palmer 51.76, Malcolm Thorne 48.84 (35), Clive Buffey 51.13; Steve Millward 54.63, Jane Millward 55.99 (both in Elise 111r), Karen Buffey 71.35.
John Palmer was by far the slowest of the road class with a 66.84. However, he did add to the never-ending lexicon of driver’s excuses. Apparently he made such a blistering start, obviously on the way to a sub 50 second run, that his radio jumped out of the dash and, hanging by its aerial cable, swung in sympathy with the corners. Please note that this excuse is deemed un-acceptable in the race-car class!
So in the final reckoning of the Paul Matty Classes the top ten in reverse order were:
10 June Matty
9 Jane Millward
8 Clive Buffey
7 Dave Gidden
6 Tony Wallen
5 Dave Hampton
4 Jonathon Bibby
3 Dick Swindall
2 Steve Millward
1 Geoff Stallard
But that was not all. Tony Shute got FTD for the event, made the appropriate closing speech for the event, and is now to be known by his new soubriquet ‘big balls’.
 a procedure in which a flexible fibre-optic instrument is inserted through the anus in order to examine the colon: colloquially, camera up bum
|Handcap Result||Champ Points||
||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Jonathan Bibby||60||Elise S1||36.55||NTR||37.22||36.55||36.97||36.44||-0.11||36.44|
|3||9||Geoff Stallard||61||Elan S3||33.64* 34.13||37.27||35.17||34.13||34.55||34.07||-0.06||34.07|
|4||8||June Matty||71||20/22 FJ||32.43||35.80||34.81||33.50||34.03||33.58||0.08||33.58|
|6||6||Keith Bristow||758||Exige V6||33.46||35.70||34.50||33.25||33.75||33.58||0.33||33.58|
|7||5||Paul Matty||68||35 F2||31.05||36.62||33.67||32.25||32.60||33.34||0.35||32.60|
|8||4||Jon Dobson||57||Elan +2||32.89||38.50||36.20||34.50||35.00||34.91||0.41||34.91|
|9||3||Sarah Thorne||65||61/69 spl||36.25||38.77||37.12||35.00||35.62||36.16||0.62||35.62|
|10||2||Paul Hemmings||49||Exige 240 cup||N/A||NTR||37.08||35.00||35.80||35.69||0.69||35.69|
|12||1||Ian Parmenter||54||Elan S4 FHC||37.18||39.43||39.21||37.25||38.66||38.07||0.82||38.07|
|13||1||Pete Bottrill||53||Elan S3||34.77||NTR||37.72||36.25||37.16||37.25||0.91||37.16|
|14||1||Tony Wallen||64||69 F3||31.03||34.20||32.53||31.10||32.05||Fail||0.95||32.05|
|15||1||Dave Hampton||74||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||32.33||31.54||30.12||31.27||31.12||1.00||31.12|
|16||1||Dick Swindall||56||Elan S3||37.12||39.89||37.92||37.10||38.19||38.29||1.09||38.19|
|17||1||John Palmer||55||Elise 111R||31.13**||41.05||42.31||37.00||38.12||38.81||1.12||38.12|
|20||1||Steve Millward||759||Elise 111R||37.23**||40.35||38.45||37.00||38.63||38.30||1.30||38.30|
|22||1||Chris Westwood||52||Elise 111R||38.99||NTR||39.26||37.00||38.57||39.14||1.57||38.57|
|23||1||Jane Millward||59||Elise 111R||36.90**||38.56||41.42||37.00||40.11||39.19||2.19||39.19|
|24||1||Tim Grasby||58||Exige V6||N/A||52.85||47.88||36.00||47.92||42.77||6.77||42.77|
|25||1||Karen Buffey||51||Elan S4 DHC||N/A||NTR||54.11||41.00||49.93||NT||8.93||49.93|
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||
||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff||Best|
|1||11||Dave Hampton||69 F2 Atlantic||36||54.41||57.20||55.58||55.00||54.56||55.22||-0.44||54.56|
|2||10||Geoff Stallard||Elan S3||17||59.96||63.89||61.47||59.90||59.47||59.83||-0.43||59.47|
|4||8||Ian Parmenter||Elan S4||19||65.84||68.25||66.96||65.75||67.12||65.64||-0.11||65.64|
|5||7||Sarah Thorne||61/69 spl||31||60.15||60.50||60.09||59.50||59.46||59.55||-0.04||59.46|
|6||6||Jon Dobson||Elan +2||23||58.11||63.67||61.83||59.90||59.90||60.48||0.00||59.90|
|7||5||John Palmer||Elise 111R||16||67.74||69.40||67.31||65.00||65.22||65.94||0.22||65.22|
|9||3||Jonathan Bibby||Elise S1||22||62.19||65.05||64.68||62.15||63.22||62.65||0.50||62.65|
|11||1||Chris Westwood||Elise 111R||20||66.91||67.32||66.11||65.00||66.14||65.76||0.76||65.76|
|13||1||Dick Swindall||Elan S3||21||65.17||72.01||68.92||66.50||67.73||67.83||1.23||67.73|
|15||1||Steve Millward||Elise 111R||718||67.01||68.21||66.83||65.00||66.58||66.67||1.58||66.58|
|16||1||Tony Wallen||69 F3||35||54.82||56.84||56.14||55.20||56.88||57.78||1.68||56.88|
|17||1||Jane Millward||Elise 111R||18||68.94||70.02||68.28||65.00||68.85||68.08||3.08||68.08|
|18||1||Karen Buffey||Elan S4||15||90.23||89.30||88.67||75.00||90.84||86.24||11.24||86.24|
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||
||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||Practice 3||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Run 3||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Ian Parmenter||Elan S4||19||65.86||68.04||67.35||66.00||66.57||65.84||-0.16||65.84|
|3||9||Sarah Thorne||61/69 spl||31||62.67||62.82||62.29||60.25||60.15||60.33||-0.10||60.15|
|5||7||Jon Dobson||Elan +2||23||58.11||65.19||62.07||59.90||60.30||60.90||0.40||60.30|
|6||6||Geoff Stallard||Elan S3||17||59.96||64.18||Fail||59.90||60.53||60.46||0.56||60.46|
|9||3||Tony Wallen||69 F3||35||54.82||61.11||58.60||55.50||57.49||56.70||1.20||56.70|
|10||2||Dave Hampton||69 F2 Atlantic||36||54.41||58.95||57.58||55.25||56.48||56.87||1.23||56.48|
|11||1||Dick Swindall||Elan S3||21||65.17||72.16||68.65||66.00||67.49||68.06||1.49||67.49|
|12||1||Jonathan Bibby||Elise S1||22||62.19||63.65||Fail||62.15||65.29||63.90||1.75||63.90|
|14||1||Chris Westwood||Elise 111R||20||69.27||68.25||67.51||65.00||67.81||66.91||1.91||66.91|
|15||1||Steve Millward||Elise 111R||718||64.98**||69.94||69.11||65.00||67.40||67.01||2.01||67.01|
|17||1||John Palmer||Elise 111R||16||57.75**||69.24||67.92||65.00||68.04||67.74||2.74||67.74|
|18||1||Jane Millward||Elise 111R||18||65.08**||74.42||71.91||65.00||70.14||68.94||3.94||68.94|
|19||1||Karen Buffey||Elan S4||15||N/A||99.14||96.20||75.00||93.18||90.23||15.23||90.23|
|20||1||Malcolm Thorne||35 F2||33||63.63**||60.09||57.91||55.75||86.42||Retd||30.67||86.42|
Loton Park 20th May
The second day of this double header at Loton was subject to equally lovely weather as the Saturday, probably slightly hotter – too hot if stuck for any length of time in the car. But, it sure beats rain (unless you’re Tony Shute!).
We had lost Malcolm Thorne and David Gidden from this event for reasons mentioned in the Saturday report, so we were just down to 18 drivers. It had been decided to avoid delays that runs were going to take place whilst the church service was on. Often the noisiest things were the agricultural vehicles going by on the road.
Anyway, in a reverse of the Saturday format we were going to do back to back practice runs on the Sunday to start the meeting We were told not to tyre warm on these runs.
I’ll just mention those runs that improved on the best from Saturday. That included Steve Millward, Karen, John Palmer, Jane, Chris Westwood (66.11), Sarah (60.09) and Tony Shute (55.55). Those last three being new PB’s
Dave Hampton and I sat down again to consider things based on the new data from Saturday. In the event, but again after lots of discussion, we only changed 7 target times. Some up, some down.
After our practice all runs in all classes were competitive and we were last in the morning before the first Midland top ten run-off. We were also going to be last in the afternoon before the final run-off. Because the single seater classes were immediately before us each time and with the normal single seater faffing about making sure everything was just perfect to be seeded for the top ten, we waited quite a long time in our cars. Having said that I can see why the organisers did it that way and I think the sacrifice is worth it to get eight runs over the weekend.
On our first run Steve Millward led off with a 66.58, 1.58 over. Karen was a bit slower than her best practice run but John Palmer was a lot quicker and the 65.22 was just 0.22 over. I knew Mr Stallard would go for it after being pipped by me on the Saturday and, sure enough he set a new PB in 59.47, 0.43 under. Jane was a bit slower than second practice as was Ian Parmenter and Chris Westwood. Dick was not quite as quick as the Saturday and felt the car was about at its limit. Jonathan Bibby was getting his mojo back and set a 63.22. I was quite pleased with my run but lost some time coming out of Triangle with two wheels on the grass but whilst I couldn’t equal Geoff’s time I did exactly match my 59.90 target time. It was quite tricky monitoring the clock as I went up – a bit quicker, no a bit slower now, and then a bit quicker – perfect. Clive exactly equalled his PB from the day before but we had tightened his handicap so that was now 0.74 over. Stephen Palmer set a new PB on 61.31 which Keith just beat with a 61.22. Brian Meddings was not quite as quick as Saturday’s best with a 60.96.
Sarah continued her inexorable improvements and the new 59.46 PB was 0.04 under.
We had reset Tony Shute’s target to 55.20 but the 55.00 he recorded saw to that! Tony Wallen couldn’t match that – with the same handicap. Finally, it was Dave Hampton, who it must be said had been a little off the pace so far put in a stormer and the 54.56 was just 0.15 away from his 2012 class record and also 0.44 under.
So, after the first run it was Dave H from Geoff with Tony Shute third.
Although there were no serious delays there were a lot of red flags for the class in front of us for the last run and we were certainly cooking well by the time we got to go. Waiting in the queue watching the red flags was more reminiscent of Basil Fawlty’s Moose Head. It’s up, it’s down, it’s up again!
Steve Millward was a tad slower, but Karen set her best time of the weekend with a low 86. Neither John Palmer nor Geoff Stallard could improve but Jane did her best time of 68.08. I think she wants the Elan back! Ian Parmenter was really on a charge this weekend and improved his PB by 2/10ths to 65.64 and that was 0.11 under.
I said to Chris Westwood, when he had a friendly moan about his 65 handicap, that he would get into the 65’s. “Oh no I won’t, I can’t go any quicker”. He then recorded a 65.76! Dick was a little slower this run and, following another start line bog down, and a messy Fallow so was I. Jonathan Bibby was back on form though and his 65.65 was a great time for that car and only 0.50 off target.
Clive set his best time of the weekend with a 60.12 – 9 seconds quicker than last year and that left him 0.62 over. Stephen Palmer took a couple of tenths off to finish with 61.13, 1.18 over and just pipping Keith who was a bit slower that run. Brian Meddings however was very pleased with a new sub 60 second PB and the 59.98 was just 0.23 over. Sarah was a tenth slower than first time up but had enjoyed a pretty stellar weekend. Tony Shute got into the 54’s and the 54.81 was not only 1/100th quicker that Tony Wallen’s PB but also 0.39 under. Both Tony W and Dave Hampton were a bit slower that time.
So, Dave Hampton retained his 1/100th advantage over Geoff Stallard to take the top spot. Despite Tony Shute’s improvement to within 0.05 of Dave on handicap he stayed in third spot.
In race scratch now, it was Mr Hampton from Mr Shute with Tony Wallen third.
In the same way the road scratch situation was reversed with now Geoff winning from me with JJ in third again.
In the championship it is tight at the top with Geoff Stallard leading on 25, Tony Shute on 24 and joint third are Sarah and Ian P on 19.
The race scratch championship positions show Mr Hampton on 14 from Tony S on 12 from Tony W with 8. Road scratch has Geoff Stallard on 13 from me on 12 and then Jonathan Bibby on 7. Things will change in the road scratch this coming weekend at Prescott as I won’t be there, but Keith Bristow will return.
Loton Park 19th May
This was the first of the now very popular double header at Loton Park and the weather was glorious. We were without Paul and June as he was just too busy running the business after a few days away and that, understandably, had to take priority. The rest of the class were just managing to cope with the disappointment of missing both the Royal wedding and the FA Cup final!
I was not alone in looking forward to seeing what the new track surface was going to be like.
It was another first for Karen Buffey and we all know Loton takes a bit of time to learn. It was also the first time also for Team Millward at Loton with the Elise 111R as indeed it was for John Palmer with his 111R. Dick Swindall was in the yellow car but having had no time to change the 3.55 diff for the 3.9 that had been rebuilt at Bromsgrove he was not finding the gearing very helpful. Another driver that was suffering a little from inappropriate gearing was Clive Buffey in his 61. That didn’t stop him making a big improvement over last year. It was Malcolm Thorne’s first visit to Loton in the 35.
Although this was a double header for us over the weekend for most of the rest of the entry it was a two-day event so we were sort of fitting in. We were first up the hill in practice after Mr Millward’s first climb. I was certainly surprised at the grip from the tyre warming area as my normal approach resulted in an unexpectedly very quick arrival at the line. The grip was equally good off the start and it was a finer line between wheel spin and bogging down which caught me out a couple of times over the weekend.
Of the first runs Tony Shute was right on it as usual with a 57.45. Sarah Thorne was going well and was only a couple of tenths off her best. Clive Buffey, though having some carburettor frustrations immediately took over 5 seconds off his best from last year. Stephen Palmer also improved his PB though by a rather more modest 0.4 but he was pleased to be seeing the effects of the horsepower increase that had eluded him at Shelsley. Malcolm set a low 60 that was quicker than Tony Wallen. Chris Westwood also set a new 68.25 class PB but he told me he had been in the 67’s at other meetings.
The rest of the entry then had their first practice but that suffered a long delay when a single seater had a big accident on Cedar Straight and the driver was taken to hospital. Information from the Clerk later indicated that it was fortunately ‘only’ concussion.
Our second practice runs featured a little more incident. Steve Millward set a low 69 and Karen improved her time by a few seconds as did John Palmer with a 67.92. Geoff Stallard however had an off at Loggerheads resulting in a fail but no damage at all to the car. Jane Millward made a good improvement but was telling me how heavy the handling of the Elise felt compared with the Elan. Not something I was expecting to hear about an Elise. Chris Westwood improved again to 67.51 PB. There was then another stoppage when Jonathan Bibby also had an off on the inside at Loggerheads and this resulted in a launch over the ‘cliff edge’ (where an old building foundation had been) and a resulting heavy landing. This was a carbon copy of my antics in 1993 that featured in the Hillclimb incidents of 1993 video like a sort of Dukes of Hazard stunt. I broke the front spoiler on landing. Luckily JJ got away without any damage – he checked it out fully that evening.
I was on the line behind JJ and after the red flag came in I set a low 62 and then Clive Buffey saw another big improvement to a high 61. Stephen Palmer improved to a 63.47 PB. Keith Wilford was having a bit more of a struggle with a mid-64. Brian Meddings took over 5 seconds off his first run time for a mid-61 and then Sarah set a new 62.29 PB. Malcolm set an excellent 57.91 that was obviously a PB since his best in the Buick had been a 61.18 and Tony Shute improved to 56.60. Tony Wallen set a 58.60 and Dave Hampton a 57.58.
With Paul’s absence I had asked Dave Hampton to assist me with the handicapping. It was in no way a consequence of this, but I must say that I found this one of the most difficult meetings to handicap that I can recall, and Dave and I were struggling to reconcile the usual conflicting considerations. Anyway, it was done and given to the Hagley Club.
We had quite a wait then as our two competitive runs were going to be back to back right at the end.
It wasn’t late however when we went off as time had been largely recovered after the morning accident.
Steve Millward set a 67.40. Karen was also improving. John Palmer was a bit slower than Steve with a 68.04. Geoff Stallard set a 60.53, 0.63 over his 59.90 handicap that he and I shared. Jane was also improving to a 70.14 and then Ian Parmenter set a new PB with a 66.57, 0.57 over. Chris Westwood was a tad slower than his best practice, but Dick improved to a 67.49. Jonathan Bibby was, not surprisingly a little cautious after his earlier Loggerheads excursion and this was reflected in a 65.29. I was fairly pleased with a 60.30.
Clive was still taking chunks of time out every run and his 60.24 was just 0.99 over. Stephen Palmer was a little slower than his best of the morning but then Sarah was the first to get under target time with a new PB of 60.15 that was 0.10 under. That was just a hundredth faster than David Gidden. Mr Thorne was not quite so fortunate as Sarah as he experienced a significant gearbox issue on this run. He got to the top but the 86.42 was not quite what he had planned and the 35 would not compete again. Having confirmed that fitting into Sarah’s car was a diet too far, basically that was it for Malcolm for this, and indeed Sunday’s event. It transpired that on strip down at Bromsgrove on the Monday the 1st gear had broken into 3 pieces.
Tony Shute set a 56.49 and then Mr Wallen a 57.49. Dave Hampton just edged it with a 56.48.
With the runs being back to back there was no time to dwell on this as we were off again as soon as we came back down the hill, most of the cars (and drivers) being rather hotter that was desirable.
Steve Millward got down to 67.01 that was 2.01 over. We had given all the 111R drivers the same 65 second target. Karen kept improving but there would be more to come. John Palmer couldn’t match Steve’s time and he was 2.74 over. Geoff Stallard improved a tenth to 60.46, 0.56 over. Jane also was getting quicker but was 3.94 over. Ian Parmenter was really on form and the 65.84 was a new PB (by 2/100ths) and 0.16 under. Mr Westwood went quicker and his 66.91 was the best 111R time and 1.91 over. Dick was a bit slower this run. Jonathan was quicker, confidence returning, but still mindful that the car could have some damage, with a 63.90 but that was still 1.75 over. I bogged down off the line and was slower. Clive had a gearchange fumble, coming into Fallow I think, and was much slower. Stephen Palmer was much quicker this run with a 61.77 and this was 1/2 second quicker than Keith. Brian Meddings was just a couple of tenths shy of his PB and the 60.65 was 0.90 over.
As well as Malcolm it transpired that David Gidden was having gearbox issues and couldn’t select 1st gear. On this run then he had to set off in second and promptly annihilated his PB by 0.80 and the 58.12 was 0.83 under. He was concerned that 2nd gear couldn’t take this strain for too long and, indeed, what other damage could be caused to the box, so he reluctantly rested on his laurels and withdrew from the Sunday event. Quite a few of us were a bit concerned about the extra stress on the transmission from that super grippy start line, so it was probably a sensible decision from David.
Mr Shute went quicker again and the 55.59 was just 0.03 shy of his PB but also 0.39 over. Tony Wallen was setting better times but the 56.70 was 1.20 over but also well shy off his historic 54.82 PB. Last runner Dave Hampton was uncharacteristically slow (relatively of course) with a 56.87.
So, this left the Saturday result as a convincing win for Mr Gidden with Ian P second and Sarah an Excellent third. In race scratch it was Shute, Hampton and Wallen. In road scratch it was me, Geoff Stallard and then JJ.
The championship positions can wait until after Sunday and that report.
Shelsley 5th May
This originally was going to be the second event in the 27th year of the Paul Matty Championship but with the cancellation of the drastically undersubscribed (not by us!) Croft sprint it was now the launch event for the season. Unusually for a; a bank holiday, and b; the first Shelsley, the weather was looking good with the forecast for Saturday being dry but largely cloudy. In the event the day dawned with beautiful blue sky which lasted all day once the mist had quickly burned off from the Teme Valley. The conditions could not have been nicer and the usual concerns about the condition of the track in the Esses were completely absent. The track was in great condition.
There were quite a few changes to our normal entry, both on the driver front and the cars themselves. New drivers included our own Karen Buffey, having now been tempted to join Clive on the hills, but in her own Elan S4, and Paul Hemmings in a very nice, and fast Exige 240 Cup. Tim Grasby was dual driving with Keith Bristow in the Exige V6. Keith Wilford was absent as he was at home looking after Sue who had suffered a dog induced fall and with back pain was not able to make it.
The other driver not to be there was Stephen Hopkins who had failed to get an entry. Now, stop press just in, he has discovered a major crack in the rear sub-frame of the Elise that will not be a quick or easy job to fix.
We weren’t expecting Tony Wallen but he was there having suffered from an MAC admin error in not initially recognising his entry. He was in his lovely 69 F3 but this time it was in ‘low drag configuration’ as the front and rear wings were nowhere to be seen.
Lots of people had had engine rebuild work done over the winter, me included. The only car, as far as I am aware, with a very different engine spec was that of Stephen Palmer who had succumbed to the obvious temptation of a lot more power. It had to happen! Dick Swindall was in his ‘yellow car’ as the ‘blue one’ had just succumbed to head gasket problems – an inconvenient time. The ‘yellow one’ then failed him as he was leaving home and needed wholesale replacement of ignition components before he could set off again.
There were also two new Elise 111R’s in the class to join Chris Westwood’s. John Palmer was starting the process of rebuilding his 61 so is running an Elise for this year. The Millward’s have also acquired an Elise that they will use at some events whilst the Elan will be at others.
The only other thing of interesting note, I think, was that Geoff Stallard was there in his Elan for the Saturday meeting. He had also entered his TVR in the Sunday meeting so as soon as his last run was finished on the Saturday he was loaded up on his way back to Godalming to then load the TVR to come back! Some 14 hours of driving over the weekend if everything went well!!!
As ours was a one-day event in the midst of the hybrid one day/two day meeting (that has really confused Resultsman) we had to keep a close eye on our batch timing. Our first batch came quite soon in the morning. Some initial cars were not being given times but, as usual, nothing astonishing happened in first practice. We didn’t have the finish line clock working at all, all day. Jane Millward really enjoyed her first run in the Elise and, in fact, that was her best time of the day. Later she (and Steve I think) was suffering from too many gears and going into 6th when 4th was required. A common issue on the Elise I am told.
Tony Shute was finding his rear diffuser was proving a little too effective for the methods he had used to secure it and further fixings were needed to prevent it bending under the negative pressure.
Karen was very pleased with her first run at Shelsley.
Our second runs came around quite quickly, the meeting was going smoothly. Everyone improved, our new drivers by quite a lot as expected. Only Jane was slower with the aforementioned gear selection issues. Clive Buffey set a new PB. Stephen Palmer had a misfire but that was a wayward plug lead,
Paul and I sat down to try and put some sensible targets together. Very difficult with new drivers and car changes. As usual we try to be a little tougher when there are unknowns involved but again, as usual, we try not to be overly hard. For example, we did not give Tim Grasby the same target as Keith Bristow but had again to recognise that it was a very powerful car and so had to make a judgment that didn’t look too out of line with the other targets set. We also recognised that conditions were not going to get much better than this even though engines might not be quite so happy with the high-ish air temperature.
We were about the fourth batch after lunch after some more practice for the two dayers and by this time the day was getting very warm.
Keith Bristow as first off and he set a 33.75, just 0.50 over. Steve Millward was next and the 38.63 was a bit slower than second practice and about 1.5 seconds over.
Paul Hemmings was first off for us in our main batch and set a very good 35.80, uncomfortably close (for the handicappers!) to the new driver 35.00 target. He was obviously driving very well. Karen was next and was pleased to get under 50 seconds. Chris Westwood followed and immediately set a new PB on 38.57, 1.57 over. Botty was finding his Elan was going much better with some much more appropriate plugs fitted. The old ones were ‘hard’ race plugs. He set a 37.16, 0.91 over. John Palmer recorded a 38.12, 1.12 over and then Dick Swindall a 38.19. A bit slower than his best practice but not bad considering the diff ratio was a very unsuitable road oriented 3.55 since he had been expecting to be in the other car. I was next and was reasonably pleased with a 35 dead, that was 0.50 over as I was still trying to have a ‘running the engine in’ mentality. Something that becomes more difficult when the green light goes on at the start! Tim Grasby set a 47.92, a bit slower than his best practice and then Jane Millward set a 40.11 (gears?). Jonathan Bibby was again doing a very good job and the 36.97 was just 0.42 off his PB and target. Geoff Stallard in the rather smoky Elan (he has a solution but that needs the head off so may need to wait until the end of the season) was very quick as always and the 34.55 was just the same 0.42 margin away from his target as Jonathan.
Tony Wallen was first off for the race cars and his 32.05 was 0.95 over. Sarah was next and set a new 35.62 PB, 0.62 over. Clive was quicker again and the 34.84 was another new PB and 1.34 over. Mr Matty was also going very well despite some earlier clutch issues and his 32.60 was just 0.35 over. Stephen Palmer just missed a new PB by 0.07 and the 35.09 was 1.34 over. Brian Meddings set a 34.77 that was 1.27 over. June was also quick and the 34.03 was just 0.53 over. David Gidden set a 34.25 that was 1.50 over. Malcolm Thorne did not appear at the top of the hill. He had run out of fuel when coming to the line obviously making an early, and convincing, bid for the end of year Dipstick award. He was allowed to run out of order and set a 34.45.
The Hampton/Shute battle was joined again with Dave setting a 31.27 just bettering Tony’s 31.40. Tony was closer to handicap however being only 0.30 over.
I just had time to get back to the trailer park to key in those first results before zooming back (OK, I know, I don’t zoom!) for our final run. After the first round it was Mr Shute leading from Paul Matty second and Messrs Stallard and Wallen joint third.
On the final run Keith Bristow improved to a 33.58, 0.33 over. Steve Millward also improved but the 38.30 was still 1.30 over.
Paul Hemmings was continuing to try to embarrass the handicappers with another improvement to 35.69, 0.69 over. A good first time at Shelsley.
As I said it was a very hot day and Karen’s Elan just got too hot coming to the line and wouldn’t restart after a stall. Her car was pushed away. Chris Westwood was a bit slower as was Botty who reported that whilst the engine had been generally running better he had now detected a knock at lower revs…………. Oh dear, more work. Ian Parmenter improved to a 38.07, 0.82 over. John Palmer was bit slower as was Dick Swindall. Dick reported a misfire on the finish straight which he later put down to low fuel level causing starvation coming through the Esses. I was a bit quicker on 34.91 that could have been much better had I not braked miles to early in Bottom Ess but I had now pretty much dispensed with running in the engine if the 8500 rpm tell-tale is to be believed! My time was 0.41 over.
Tim Grasby kept the learning curve very steep with another 5 seconds off to finish on 42.77. Jane Millward improved to 39.19 to end on 2.19 over. Jonathan Bibby was on a mission again and his new 36.44 was not only a pretty stellar time for a reasonably standard S1 Elise but also a new PB and 0.11 under.
Geoff Stallard went for it again and set a new 34.07 PB (for the car in that spec – he has done a 33.64 some time ago) that was 0.06 under.
Tony Wallen then tried to give Malcolm some competition, not on the track as such, but more in a bid for the Dipstick award himself when he also ran out of fuel but this time halfway up the hill. He couldn’t understand it as he had put 10 litres in the car. I use about 4-5 litres for a four run Shelsley so it does seem a bit much. He was gracious enough to wave at us from the Bottom Ess holding area as we were coming back down the hill.
Sarah was a bit slower this time, but Clive took off another couple of tenths and the 34.64 was 1.14 over. Mr Matty was slower as was Stephen Palmer. I’m not sure if Stephen had a problem on that last run as the new much more powerful engine did not elicit the expected new PB. Brian was slower, but June went quicker again for a 33.58 that was just 0.08 over. David Gidden also improved to a 33.56 and that was 0.81 over. Malcolm Thorne then went 3 seconds quicker – what was he doing earlier I hear you ask? – for a 31.35 that was 0.65 under and indeed a very good time. Dave Hampton improved to 31.12 that was just 1.00 over and then last man Tony Shute couldn’t better his time from the first run.
So, the event ended with a clear win for Malcolm from Jonathan Bibby in second and Geoff Stallard third.
In race scratch it was Mr Hampton keeping a hold on top spot but with Malcolm next edging Tony Shute into third by 0.03 seconds.
Road scratch saw Keith Bristow on top from Geoff Stallard and then me.
So now on to the double header at Loton.
We went on a journey over the sea
To go hill climbing in Jersey.
We meet at Portsmouth the night before
At the hotel it’s warmer when we open the door!
It was so cold we almost froze
And we all had need of extra clothes!
Down to the ship we made our way
To be on board for a very long stay.
Across the sea, thank goodness calm
Then for trailer wotsits at the farm!
Then over to the Ommeroo,
For some a wonderful car park view!
Our rooms are bright, but some quite small
With arms outstretched some can touch both walls!
Our bijou bathroom is quite neat
But when I bend down to wash my feet
The towel rail is close and very hot
It makes me jump when I burn my bot!
Along the corridors with carpets frayed
Down to the bar we quickly made.
The barman’ s not the best we think
It’s such a big deal to serve our drinks.
Wine with a cork is an ask too far
So Brian opens it, his side of the bar.
Next day we’re off to the farm again.
More trailer wotsits. What a pain!
We make our way to La Pulente
To make our debut at the event.
Along the lanes, down to the coast
To a paddock of sand, where we all roast.
It’s a blast along the road – a sprint.
You might well miss it if you blink!
Us pit crew, we clomp back and forth
Our legs are tired, our feet are sore!
They may be hot while in a car
But they haven’t travelled half so far!
I’m hot, I’m tired I want to go
But the miserable Clerk just says “No”.
Then back to the farm. Oh what a pain!
It’s trailer wotsits all over again!
Next morning at the crack of dawn
We’re up early with lots of yawns.
Guess what we’re doing yet again.
It’s trailer wotsits -another pain!
Down to the roadside to unload.
Then to a spud farm along the road.
To park the trailer, yes you’ve guessed.
It’s trailer wotsits. What a pest!
The hill was challenging, really hairy,
Stone walls and trees to make it scary.
The times came down throughout the day
So happy drivers came away.
More fun with trailers for the night.
Lots of shouting to get it right.
Next day we’re up to get the car.
Then park the trailer, it’s not far.
Paul sets off to park the lorry
But then we all begin to worry.
We turned left, but he went right
And gave himself an awful fright!
The lane he’s in is not that wide
The walls, they nearly touch his sides.
He’s lost. No phone. We cannot speak.
His phone, it rings on our car seat!
At last he turns, a bit of luck.
As he arrives having parked the truck!
The cars fire up, some locals moan
While we are filmed by an overhead drone.
The cars they whizz up Greve de Lac
And motor down along the track.
A squirrel meets a sticky end
As killer June drives round the bend.
Keith’s car is with an acorn bombed
“It wasn’t me you’ve got it wrong!
The car that did it, it was blue
Leave me alone ’cause it was June!”
When Keith inspects his racing car
It’s very clear he can’t go far.
His half shaft’s twisted like barley sugar
No racing for him. Oh dear! Oh …… !
Then it’s trailer wotsits yet again
As we collect them up the lane.
Again we push and strap cars down
This trailer lark comes round and round.
Our last day comes, a time of leisure.
To enjoy the island at our pleasure.
Then a final hitch up to the car
The trailer’s on “Hurrah, hurrah!”
And when we thought that all was done
Came a trailer episode that was not fun.
To negotiate a ferry in reverse
Was enough to make us swear and curse.
Diagonally first, up on a slope
While negotiating planks, t’was hard to cope.
Along the deck, around a bend
Will this reversing ever end!
Right down the ship between the lorries
It’s nerve wracking stuff with lots of worries.
We park at last, what a load of trouble
We need a drink, at least a double!
As if that wasn’t just enough
Of this trailer wotsits stuff.
You would have trouble to believe
What befell poor Jane and Steve.
They drove onto the Seacat fine.
Up the ramp in a good straight line.
The journey’s quick, the sea was flat
But fate approached just after that.
They’re in the car, at the ready.
To leave the Seacat nice and steady.
The loader waved them with his hand.
So Steve drove off with a mighty BANG!
The man next to them gave a roar
“You’ve just gone off with my car door!”
The car is draughty. The kids are crying!
His wife shouts out. She thinks they’re dying.
When Steve and Jane take a look around
T’was not a pretty sight they found.
Their trailer’s got a little more.
In fact, it’s got an extra door!
A forklift comes to sort it out.
But it just makes Jane squeal and shout.
“My pretty car, please take care.
I don’t want it lifting in the air!
Please be careful,” she just begs
“Treat it like a box of eggs.”
At last they leave but at the gate
They find it locked ’cause they’re so late.
Eventually they’re on the road
After yet another trailer episode!
So Dick’s advice, it is the best.
This trailer business really is a pest!
So next time that we go afar
We’ll all invest in road going cars!
Barbara Meddings – 17.9.17
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Jonathan Bibby||35||Elise S1||37.05||39.31||38.12||37.05||36.81||36.55||-0.50||36.55|
|3||9||Dick Swindall||30||Elan S4||35.75||45.97||38.59||36.95||37.47||36.74||-0.21||36.74|
|3||9||June Matty||49||20/22 Fj||32.43||36.97||34.49||33.30||33.93||33.09||-0.21||33.09|
|5||7||Malcolm Thorne||44||35 F2||32.75||38.50||34.63||32.00||34.08||31.97||-0.03||31.97|
|7||5||Sarah Thorne||41||61/69 spl||38.41||41.06||37.92||36.00||38.47||36.25||0.25||36.25|
|8||4||Pete Bottrill||32||Elan S3||34.77||43.87||37.68||36.50||36.78||36.80||0.28||36.78|
|10||2||Geoff Stallard||34||Elan S3||33.64** 34.13||38.69||36.98||34.13||34.49||34.66||0.36||34.49|
|11||1||Jane Millward||731||Elan S3||36.90||41.43||38.93||37.25||38.16||37.64||0.39||37.64|
|12||1||Paul Matty||45||35 F2||31.05||37.60||34.02||32.00||32.42||32.41||0.41||32.41|
|13||1||Dave Hampton||47||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||36.89||31.57||30.02||31.19||30.52||0.50||30.52|
|14||1||Ian Parmenter||33||Elan S4||37.18||42.68||39.05||37.35||37.87||38.08||0.52||37.87|
|15||1||Kenny Lewis||50||61 MX||32.16||42.18||34.67||32.50||33.95||33.08||0.58||33.08|
|16||1||Tony Wallen||42||69 F3||31.03||36.26||33.35||31.10||31.91||31.95||0.81||31.91|
|17||1||Steve Millward||31||Elan S3||37.23||40.76||40.40||37.25||38.86||38.15||0.90||38.15|
|18||1||Andrew Lewis||43||22||37.38 (P)||41.28||38.19||36.00||37.99||36.98||0.98||36.98|
|20||1||Chris Westwood||37||Elise 111R||38.99||44.32||41.17||37.00||39.54||39.68||2.54||39.54|
The last meeting of the year had come round very fast as usual. What was not so usual was that we were going to have a really nail biting finish with three drivers that could take the title and they were only separated by one point. Dave Hampton was leading with 55 points from current champion Tony Shute sharing second place with Geoff Stallard on 54. Also still to play for was the race scratch with Tony Shute and Dave Hampton dead level on 34 points apiece. Geoff Stallard had already sewn up the road scratch.
Whilst we were without some of the usual competitors – John Palmer was not entered and I think Grayham P was on holiday. Keith Wilford had withdrawn following major driveshaft issues on the non-championship Jersey events. I had also cancelled my entry due to engine smoke issues at the last meeting (now determined to be a loose inlet valve guide!). Steve Hopkins was entered but did not show up.
On the plus side Sarah Thorne was back now recovered from her shoulder op. Dick Swindall had entered his S3 Elan but had suffered a small misfire when setting off from Glasgow and returned home to fetch out the S4. Tony Wallen had forsaken the somewhat unsuitable 59 he ran at the last meeting and was out in his equally lovely but more sensibly geared and powered F3 69.
The weather forecast was a bit iffy with a good possibility of showers in the afternoon. I was certainly hoping that weather would not intervene in the result and in the end, apart from a few tiny sprinkles, it did stay dry.
There had however been overnight rain and the Esses were typically uninviting and, literally, very green according to first reports. Since our class was spread across the first and second batches no-one tried any heroics on the first practice since Shelsley rarely fails to punish an indiscretion. As an aside, I had watched a recording of the BTCC event from Silverstone on the Sunday and there had been major issues with time penalties for exceeding track limits. It is usually a much more painful and expensive penalty if track limits are exceeded at Shelsley. In most places it is impossible to exceed them!
Kenny Lewis, not untypically, had some fluid leaking from the 61 and caused the marshals to red flag Stephen Palmer. The fluid turned out to just be coolant. Apparently the water pump is very much life expired and leaks a lot.
Only a short time after the second run Steve Millward caused something of a stir to those partaking of breakfast in the restaurant by saying that we had just been called for the second run. A brief panic ensued before it was realised that it was a false alarm!
By the time the second practice was actually called track conditions had improved quite a bit but still few drivers were willing to push too much. The exceptions were Clive Buffey and Sarah with new PB’s of 37.55 and 37.92 (for the 61/69) respectively. The other good showing was, not surprisingly, Tony Shute, and the 31.84 was only about 1/2 second shy of his PB, though that was a bit slower than Mr Hampton’s time that run. Dave was limping a bit in the paddock and was suffering with some sort of sciatic issue. I expect adrenaline was a good painkiller when in the car!
Paul and then sat down as usual to consider the handicaps. Of course it was very important to get the targets for the top three guys right but, equally, any mistakes setting the times for the rest of the class could have an adverse, or at least distorting, effect on those top three. During the previous evening’s dinner Paul had told the assembled company that he was minded to base the handicaps more on best times achieved this year rather than outright PB’s.
He and I talked about this and I agreed that it was not a bad basis for setting the target times and accordingly we did that with some exceptions as per usual.
The lunch break was mercifully quite short although during that time Barbara Meddings kept many of us entertained with her poem based around some of the travails of the Jersey visit with particular emphasis on the part that ‘trailer b*ll*cks played for all those without road legal cars.
The class was lining up again at 1 pm and Dick led us off. He set a 37.47, about 0.5 off his target but quicker than Steve’s 38.16. Botty was going much better than in Jersey – Jane accidentally (???) letting slip that she had beaten him him there – and his 36.78 was just 0.28 over handicap. Ian Parmenter’s 37.87 was 0.52 over. Geoff Stallard was trying, as a championship contender would, and the 34.49 was just 0.36 over. Jonathan Bibby was next and pedalling the pretty standard Elise S1 to an excellent new PB of 36.81 that was 0.24 under. The first of only two drivers to get under handicap that first run. With the relatively small road car class it was Chris Westwood last in our first batch (though Jane was in the second) with a 39.54.
Jane Millward then took her run and set a 38.16.
Clive Buffey was first off in the race class and improved again for another PB with 37.44. Sarah was a bit slower than second practice but Tony Wallen was going well with a 31.91, some 0.81 over. Andrew Lewis set a 37.99 and then Malcolm in the lovely 35 saw 34.08 as he came over the finish. There is a lot of friendly(?) needle between Malcolm and Paul now both in 35’s and Paul was well chuffed to beat Malcolm with a 32.42, 0.42 over.
Brain Meddings was going well today and the 33.52 was just 0.22 over and 0.21 away from his PB. Dave Hampton was going quicker, well aware of the spectre of Mr Shute behind. Dave set a 31.19 that was some way off his goal time. David Gidden set a 33.14, 0.99 over and then June, with some really quick first 64 ft. times off the line recorded a 33.93, 0.63 over. Kenny was just 2/100ths behind June though that was 1.45 over. Stephen Palmer recorded a 35.52 was just 0.52 over. Last man Mr Shute, though not getting his preferred wet conditions, nonetheless rocketed up the hill to set a new 30.98 PB for the 69 and also, in the process, going 0.27 under. Interestingly Tony’s outright PB was a 30.92 in the Exposé in 2014. Another interesting comparison that Roy Bury and I discussed was that of the best time recorded by Nick Glazzard in his 51. That was 30.28 in 2007 on a recently resurfaced Shelsley (I did my best 32.89 that meeting). Nick was using very sticky slicks to achieve that and many of us will recall his very lucky escape from serious injury when he spectacularly and aerobatically crashed coming out of Crossing whilst trying to beat the 30 second barrier on his second run.
So after that first run it was Tony Shute leading from Jonathan Bibby with Brian Meddings third.
With the threat of showers still about, and some delays during the meeting due to various attempts to exceed track limits, it was by no means certain that the first run times would not be the ones to count. Had that been the case Tony Shute would have won both the main championship but also the race scratch competition and I know he would dearly love to get his hands on the ‘red steering wheel’ award.
Luckily (for some) it did stay dry and Dick Swindall led the class off with an excellent 36.74, 0.21 under. Just a few more years experience and I’m sure he will be quite quick!
Steve Millward improved to a 38.15 but that was 0.90 over. Botty was a couple of hundredths slower this run and Ian Parmenter was also slower. With championship rival Tony Shute already 0.27 under handicap Geoff Stallard knew he would have to pull out something special and at least beat a 33.86 to keep the fight going. He was determined to leave nothing on the table and gave it what he thought was the on the limit maximum through Kennel and Crossing and through the Esses and he felt the time was going to be on. But he was very deflated to find that it wasn’t. The 34.66 was 0.17 slower than his first run. He just couldn’t understand it. The first 64 ft time was identical but he was actually 0.05 down at Kennel and 0.16 at Crossing. At the Ess split it was 0.19 down. The finish speeds were an identical 94 mph. Like many others I know that feeling of coming over the finish just knowing that this will be a really good run only to find out that that the time clock is telling a different story. Geoff actually has a 33.64 PB but that was set with a lower axle ratio a couple of years ago.
Jonathan Bibby however did produce another big improvement with a stonking 36.55 PB which meant he was 0.50 under. Chris Westwood was a bit slower than first time up but then Jane improved to 37.64 but that was still 0.39 over.
Clive Buffey was a bit slower that run but Sarah shaking off some of the rust set a new and emphatic PB with a 36.25 that was just 0.25. Tony Wallen was slower by 4/100ths this run but Andrew Lewis made a big improvement for a new 36.98 PB that was 0.98 over. Malcolm Thorne also produced a big improvement with a 31.97 PB. This was 0.03 under. This time Mr Matty couldn’t quite compete with that and although taking 1/100th off his first run time the 32.41 left him 0.41 over. To be fair to Paul, Malcolm has a newer and bigger engine!
Brain Meddings was just 4/100ths slower this run but Dave Hampton did put in an improved time and though the 30.52 was 0.50 over it was faster than Tony Shute, so far. David G also improved to a 32.54 that was 0.39 over. June was going really well and took a big chunk of time off and the 33.09 was 0.21 under, sharing that margin with Dick. Kenny Lewis usually leaves the best until the last run and improved to a 33.08 that was 0.58 over. Stephen Palmer also went faster with a 35.31, 0.31 over. So now Tony Shute was secure in the knowledge that his two key rivals could not eclipse him but, being Tony, still gave it everything and though his run was slower it was only by 8/100ths.
So the first run positions were somewhat modified in the end and the 11 points went deservedly to Jonathan Bibby. I did tell him that I was going to petition Paul to change the championship rules to prohibit any drivers under a certain age to participate. I was suggesting 60 but could be persuaded to consider 50!
Tony Shute was second and the 10 points secured him the championship for the second consecutive year. June and Dick shared 3rd place.
In the race scratch Dave Hampton’s second run improvement just enable him to pip Tony for the win by just one point. Having to miss one of the Loton’s could have been costly but he just got it back.
In many ways it was rather a symmetrical result since all three top men at the start of the day ended with a championship result each with Geoff taking the road scratch.
Tony secured the main championship finishing on 64 points
Also, rather interestingly both Dave Hampton and Geoff Stallard shared second place on 56 points in the final result. I will let Paul decide how he wants to deal with that as both had two wins and taking a count back further starts to get tricky. Jonathan Bibby came up on the rails to finish with 54 points.
Also, another tie situation further back as Dick Swindall and I both share 8th place on 34 points. Again both of us had two 9 point scores. We’ll let the Gaffer be the judge on that as well.
So there we are.
On to the ‘do’ on the 4th November at the Chateau.
See most of you there.
|H’Cap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Geoff Stallard||39||Elan S3||33.64||35.81||35.53||34.50||34.27||34.13||-0.37||34.13|
|3||9||Dave Hampton||56||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||31.54||30.75||30.00||30.02||31.18||0.02||30.02|
|5||7||Jon Dobson||37||Elan +2||32.89||37.95||35.88||34.50||34.82||35.11||0.32||34.82|
|7||5||Chris Westwood||31||Elise 111R||40.16||40.33||39.77||38.50||38.99||39.86||0.49||38.99|
|8||4||Kenny Lewis||54||61 MX||32.16||36.86||34.28||32.75||33.26||33.52||0.51||33.26|
|9||3||Pete Bottrill||29||Elan S3||34.77||40.29||38.72||36.25||36.77||36.86||0.52||36.77|
|9||3||Ian Parmenter||32||Elan S4||37.18||40.16||38.93||37.25||37.77||38.26||0.52||37.77|
|11||1||Dick Swindall||35||Elan S4||35.75||39.15||37.47||36.90||37.47||37.59||0.57||37.47|
|12||1||Paul Matty||46||35 F2||31.05||34.45||32.56||32.00||32.60||33.08||0.60||32.60|
|13||1||Steve Millward||736||Elan S3||37.23||37.92||38.57||36.90||38.37||37.60||0.70||37.60|
|14||1||Malcolm Thorne||53||35 F2||33.09*||34.85||32.98||32.00||32.80||32.75||0.75||32.75|
|17||1||Jonathan Bibby||38||Elise S1||37.13||39.10||37.85||36.25||38.04||37.05||0.80||37.05|
|21||1||Steve Hopkins||33||Elise S1||35.71||39.24||38.23||36.00||37.83||37.39||1.39||37.39|
|22||1||Jane Millward||36||Elan S3||36.90||Fail||38.09||36.90||38.42||38.65||1.52||38.42|
|24||1||Grayham Parker||34||Elise M/sport||36.28||39.48||37.21||34.00||36.56||Retd||2.56||36.56|
|25||1||Graham Pattinson||734||Elise M/sport||40.69||38.89||37.54||34.00||36.92||37.28||2.92||36.92|
|26||1||John Rosevear||30||Elan S3||N/A||45.14||41.81||36.90||42.82||43.04||5.92||42.82|
|27||1||Flora Rosevear||730||Elan S3||N/A||57.91||52.99||36.90||51.82||50.71||13.81||50.71|
It was a typically big entry for the class at our second visit to Shelsley and unlike May we were all sited together in the row of pit garages between the two exits from the return road. It was an impressive line-up of our cars. Botty had entered but somehow had been missed off the entry list but was correctly reinstated. We also had the surprise attendance from John and Flora Rosevear that had been entered several times over recent years but had not actually made an appearance until this meeting in their very nice red (ish) S3 Elan FHC.
This meeting was again part of a two one-day weekend with the key theme being the celebration of the 70 years of the British Hillclimb championship. These cars were going to run on both days and, uniquely I think, have four run-offs over the weekend.
We had two very interesting cars in the class for the first time. Tony Wallen had brought his simply beautiful one litre 59 from 1970. At first, I thought it was another 69 as the nose was like the 69 and not the twin ‘nostril’ layout of the first cars built in 1969 and I believe in this later configuration it was known as a 59A. The car was driven very successfully in period by Carlos Pace and the car carried his name on the cockpit. Tony’s 69 was put together fastidiously but this car takes preparation standards to another level. It was simply immaculate. I said to Tony that it was good fortune it wasn’t raining. He said, “It has to get wet sometimes”. Not if it was mine it wouldn’t!! The engine was a Ford 109E block canted over in the chassis to facilitate a more direct mixture entry for the very tall downdraught single choke Weber. I remember these ‘screamer’ Cosworth engines well from my trips to Brands in my Elan S3 S/E in the late 60’s (50 years of Lotus now for me) and leaving the circuit to drive home with my ears ringing. Of course, at that time they had no silencing which was, of course, now not an option for Tony. It was not an ideal engine now for Hillclimbing being all revs (10,000) and not much torque but Tony got it going very well. Also, now making its first appearance in finished condition was Malcolm Thorne’s beautiful red 35 F2 Twin Cam basically the same as Mr Matty’s. It was a long wait after first seeing the car this meeting last year somewhat less immaculate! You might imagine that Malcolm would take things fairly steadily first time out, but then only if you didn’t know Malcolm! He did however have some battery issues which were sorted.
Grayham Parker was back with his sequential shifting Elise being shared with Mr Pattinson as usual this year. The brake issue from Blyton sorted. Steve Hopkins was making another regrettably rare appearance with business and family commitments taking preference most of the time.
Being a one-day meeting there were two practice and two competitive runs scheduled. We were in the first batch but there was plenty of time as most had signed on and had the car scrutineered on the Friday afternoon.
This time the dual drives were in batch two. As per usual I’ll only refer to the highlights(??) of the first run. Chris Westwood got within a couple of tenths of his PB. Graham Pattinson recorded a 38.99 PB. Jane Millward was going OK until a pin dropped out of the throttle linkage and left the engine revving. She switched it off very quickly but following I was then red-flagged coming out of Kennel and after marshal’s instructions turned around there to return down the hill for another run. The engine was very hot after that so I didn’t push it.
Clive Buffey set a new PB with a 40.19. Steve Millward managed to cobble a new pin from a suitable bolt and went up a bit later to set a 37.92 that was about 0.70 slower than his PB. A little later, marshals noticed another car flick something in the air going through Crossing and handed the missing pin to this other guy on the way down. Amazing that it should be found.
There were some issues with the timing, at least with the clock we see as we come into the top paddock. Like many I saw my first run was a 2.67. Definitely a new PB and hill record! On our second runs Pete Bottrill set a 38.72 and that was then the time most of us saw as we came over the line. Not then knowing any different I was feeling a little suicidal. I had gone faster than that on my first visit to Shelsley in 1993! In the end my actual time was a little more respectable 35.88. Chris Westwood set a new 39.77 PB as did Graham Pattinson on 37.54. I had noticed that my car was producing quite a bit of oil smoke in the paddock lining up and during the burn outs. I know some F1 teams have been told of suspicions by the FIA of illegal controlled oil burning in the combustion chamber to enhance the power but had this been my strategy it would have been a failure! Geoff Stallard was behind me and he is a man that knows oil smoke when he sees it! Tony Wallen improved his time in the 59 to 35.27. Clive Buffey set another PB with 39.11 and Stephen Palmer similarly with a 35.46. Malcolm Thorne just eclipsed his 15 Buick best time with a 32.98. Tony Shute was only just a tenth shy of his previous best with a 31.41.
Paul and I sat down as usual to carefully consider the target times.
We were first off after lunch for our competitive runs. John Rosevear was a bit slower than his best practice effort but Botty went quicker for a 36.77 that was 0.52 over. Chris Westwood having only that morning broken the 40 second barrier for the first time was pleased with his best of 38.99 that was 0.49 over. Ian Parmenter improved to 37.77 that was 0.52 over, the same margin as Botty. Steve Hopkins 37.83 was 1.83 over. Grayham saw a 36.56 but that was 2.56 over and a long way from his best in the ‘green’ Elise when he was well in the 31’s. Dick exactly equalled his practice best with a 37.47 that was 0.57 over. Jane was surprisingly slow for her and the 38.42 was 1.52 over. Despite another attempt at a smoke screen, I put a little bit of respectability into my efforts with a 34.82 that was 0.32 over but couldn’t keep with Geoff behind who set a 34.27 and with the same handicap as me that put him 0.23 under. It was when I got to the top of the hill I made a decision not to risk the engine further and although I would do the second run I would not compete again this year. Looking at the behaviour I am pretty certain that the cause of the problem is worn inlet valve guides – the head was built 10 years ago, but not being certain I think it safer to leave things for the engine rebuild I had planned for the winter anyway. Between Geoff and me was Jonathan Bibby who was a bit slower than his best practice with a 38.04. Graham Pattinson was 3/10ths slower than his co-driver and Steve Millward just 0.05 faster than Jane but still slower than first practice.
Tony W was also 0.05 slower than before lunch and that was 2.33 slower than the ‘finger in the air’ handicap we had set him. Mr Matty was very conscious of the attentions of Malcolm now in the similar car and recorded a 32.60, just 0.04 slower than before lunch. Clive Buffey was getting into his stride after having effected a cure for the sticking offside rear brake caliper and he took over a second off his practice best for 37.78, 1.03 over. Brian Meddings improved to 34.29 that was 0.79 over. Keith Wilford 35.04 was a very similar time to both his practice runs and was 2.04 over and about a second away from his May PB. June improved to 33.69 that was 0.44 over and John Palmer saw a 32.17 that was 0.08 under. The other Palmer continued to set better times and his 35.14 was just 1.14 over. Malcolm’s 32.80 was 0.80 over with Paul keeping his nose in front that run by 0.20. Kenny Lewis set a good time with a 33.26 that was 0.51 over. David Gidden’s 32.63 was 0.38 over. Our class record holder Dave Hampton, so glad it wasn’t wet, had had a big moment at Crossing on the second practice run (I think) but was really up for the continuing battle with Mr Shute and the 30.02 was just 0.08 off his 2013 record and only 0.02 over. The aforementioned Mr Shute took a tenth off from his morning best and the 31.32 was 0.82 over.
So, after the first run it was Geoff Stallard from John Palmer and DH third.
There had been quite a few delays with, mainly, some mishaps for the single seaters in the Hillclimb Championship and we had to wait quite a while for our last run. Anticipating it (wrongly) I got in the car to see that it wasn’t us next but a top twelve run-off. That won’t be long I thought so didn’t unstrap everything and waited,.and waited as there were more delays. Grayham Parker with an evening engagement beckoning couldn’t wait any longer and left the car for Mr Pattinson to use for the last run. We were then called and started to line up for more delays to ensue. By the time we went I reckoned I had been sat in the car for 45 minutes (some of it my fault) but it was just too long for me, and most people. Some did improve however. Steve Hopkins 37.39 left him 1.39 over. I was 3/10ths slower but Jonathan Bibby was a second to the good compared with run 1 but finished 0.80 over. Geoff Stallard did improve by over a tenth to finish with 34.13 that was under handicap by 0.37. This was still over half a second off his PB but he explained that that was achieved with a 4.4 diff ratio rather than the 4.1 he is currently running. It’s the usual swings and roundabouts at different tracks.
Flora improved to 50.71 but Graham Pattinson was slower that first time up. Steve Millward got closer to his first practice time with a 37.80 that was 0.70 over.
The first driver to improve their times was Keith Wilford who set a 34.27, 1.27 over. June also went faster and the 33.41 was 0.16 over. Stephen Palmer set his third new PB of the day with a 35.02 that was 1.02 over Malcolm took 0.05 off and the 32.75 was 0.75 over. After that only Tony Shute improved to a 31.25 that also left him 0.75 over.
So, at the eventual end of the meeting (some classes were still running at 7 o’clock) it was a clear win for Geoff Stallard, with John Palmer second and Dave Hampton third.
Paul and I were quite pleased with the handicapping in that the first 22 cars were split by only 1.89 seconds
In race scratch is was DH from Tony Shute and then John Palmer. In road scratch it was Geoff from me and then Grayham.
As usual there was a discussion about why some of us with very long standing PB’s aren’t getting close to them Mine was 32.89 in 2007 and the track had just been resurfaced and I had new tyres. Whether the fact I was just a callow youth might come into it. However, one reason that I think makes me slower is now the constriction at the kink after Crossing. I take a completely different line now with a tyre wall on the left. I used to run across the rumble strips but it’s impossible now.
After all, the Martin Groves hill record of 22.58 was set way back in 2008. Will Hall set the best this weekend with a 23.21 and all the main contenders looked super fast but still no-one can beat, or get near, the 22.58.
So, this event has certainly made things very tight at the top of the championship with three drivers capable of winning. Dave Hampton leading with 55 points now from Messrs Stallard and Shute jointly on 54!!
In the race scratch competition Dave Hampton and Tony Shute share the lead on 34 points each. The fastest in September will be the man. Mr Matty is third with 13.
The Road scratch result has already been decided in favour of Geoff on 36 from me on 29 and Keith Bristow hanging on in there with 14.
So just one meeting to go, the final Shelsley on the 15th September. Though I won’t be competing I will be there to help Paul with the handicapping as it is all going to get rather tense. Just to mention that this will be the last opportunity for brown envelopes. Just one rather sad result of this is that I will have to make Marion redundant. I was going to award redundancy pay commensurate with her normal wages but since she lost my treasured 50p ballpoint at the meeting I’m afraid that award will be forfeited. Replacing it with a pencil was no consolation. I have told her however that providing I receive a convincing CV from her before the start of next season employment can continue at just the same salary she receives now. I like to give an incentive.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Run 3||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Jonathan Bibby||16||Elise S1||N/A||78.88||76.29||73.00||74.33||72.79||-0.21||72.79|
|3||10||Jane Millward||21||Elan S3||70.70||75.84||72.25||70.50||70.52||71.78||0.02||70.52|
|5||8||Dave Hampton||38||69 F2 Atlantic||60.07||63.76||62.29||60.10||60.66||60.71||60.27||0.17||60.27|
|6||7||Steve Millward||721||Elan S3||70.92||74.80||71.90||70.50||71.54||71.17||0.67||71.17|
|7||6||Geoff Stallard||722||Elan S3||65.36||70.06||67.37||65.30||66.11||66.44||0.81||66.11|
|10||3||Tony Wallen||27||69 F3||61.54||69.84||64.82||61.25||62.80||63.82||1.55||62.80|
|11||2||Kenny Lewis||32||61 MX||63.96||75.50||68.77||63.50||65.33||65.16||1.66||65.16|
|12||1||Pete Bottrill||20||Elan S3||68.78||74.93||73.00||69.50||71.35||71.18||1.68||71.18|
|12||1||Dick Swindall||19||Elan S4||70.33||76.62||73.92||70.35||72.04||72.55||1.69||72.04|
|12||1||June Matty||33||20/22 FJ||64.09||71.21||68.22||64.10||65.79||65.87||1.69||65.79|
|14||1||Ian Parmenter||18||Elan S4||71.56||75.13||71.25||71.25||73.85||73.08||1.83||73.08|
|15||1||Jon Dobson||23||Elan +2||62.27||70.17||68.63||65.00||67.19||66.90||66.44||1.44||66.44|
|18||1||Paul Matty||37||35 F2 T/C||60.34||68.58||64.94||60.90||64.26||63.44||2.54||63.44|
|19||1||Chris Westwood||17||Elise 111R||77.97||78.74||76.38||72.00||77.25||76.38||4.38||76.38|
|Iain Stallard||22||Elan S3||N/A||72.27||66.12||64.30||64.12||64.25||-0.18||64.12|
For me anyway it was great to get back to a proper track where you could see where you were going. At least most of the time! Harewood is one of my favourite hills and with the weather forecast looking pretty promising it was good to be back and enjoy the great view from the top paddock.
It was the first time at Harewood for Jonathan Bibby and Clive Buffey. We also had Iain Stallard guesting again in Geoff’s Elan. He had driven (and crashed!) at Harewood before. David Gidden was back as was Tony Wallen.
What we thought was a hydraulic problem for JJ’s Elise at Blyton turned out to be clutch failure and it was replaced at Paul’s garage during the week.
It was Keith Wilford’s first Harewood event in the 23B
The top protagonists in the main championship and the race scratch contest were Tony Shute and Dave Hampton. Tony was 6 points and 2 points ahead respectively so things were hotting up with just the three rounds remaining.
Malcolm Thorne was entered in the 35 but I assume that it was still not quite ready and he brought the 15 Buick. I the event that was to no avail as a family emergency cropped up early that Saturday morning and he and Sarah had to hot foot it back down south without even taking the car out of the trailer. Malcolm did, at least, get one point for the car being at the meeting!
We were the first class in the programme and Steve Millward and Geoff Stallard led off for us to come back to the top to swap for Iain and Jane.
These first runs were fairly pedestrian though Chris Westwood was within a second of his PB and Tony Shute in the 69 was very close to his best Exposé time. Keith Wilford also beat his 7 S4 time though was not near the best he had done in his Europa.
After that first run it was clear that the organisers were confusing the Stallard’s times and whilst we were clear ourselves that seemed to last through the meeting. I see that the official results, now out, credit Geoff with first place on scratch whereas Iain was actually fastest.
The event was going very smoothly and our second run came round very quickly. People were going a bit quicker now. Steve Millward was just a second off his PB and Geoff two seconds. Chris Westwood set a new PB with 76.38 as then did Ian Parmenter with a 71.25. Iain improved to 66 .12.
Keith Wilford now set a more representative time with a 67.20. Stephen Palmer also set a new PB with 70.53. Tony Shute now eclipsed his Exposé time with a 62.92 with DH just keeping him at bay with a 62.29.
We had found out that it was likely that our first timed run would be before lunch so Paul and I quickly got down to sorting out the handicaps as usual applying ourselves with our normal diligence and skill!!! After that Paul had to provide warranty assistance to Mr Bibby as the newly fitted clutch did not want to cleanly release. Fortunately a quick clutch system bleed fixed the problem.
As predicted we were called for our first run before lunch but we were held for quite a time following some on track issues.
Steve Millward set a 71.54 that was 1.04 over. Geoff’s 66.11 was 0.81 over. Jonathan Bibby’s 74.33 was another improving run and that was 1.33 over. Chris was a bit slower than his best practice as was Ian Parmenter. Dick did improve to a 72.04 that was 1.69 over. Botty was picking up speed in the Elan and the 71.35 was 1.85 over. Jane had a very good run and her 70.52 was not only a new PB by 0.18 but also just 0.02 away from the target we had set her. Stallard the younger then went quicker, of course. The 64.12, whilst not counting, as such, was still 0.18 under the notional handicap we had allotted. I improved a bit to 67.19 that whilst still way off my 2008 PB was at least quicker than last year.
In the race class Keith Wilford was going well until a gear change hiatus coming into Orchard left him coming in over 70 seconds. Tony Wallen improved and the 62.80 was 1.55 over. Clive, learning this technical hill, was three seconds to the good over his practice best with a 71.76. I think Stephen Palmer was also going quite well until he couldn’t get inside the finish marker posts after Quarry and went round them instead for a fail. David Gidden was chipping away and his 66.25 was 1.25 over whilst Kenny Lewis’s 65.33 was 1.87 over. June also improved to 65.79 that was 1.69 over as did Brian with a 66.58 that was 2.48 over. We had given Tony Shute a 61.25 target and his run was just 0.35 shy of that and, of course, a new PB. John Palmer was getting faster in his accustomed steady way and the 66.58 was 2.8 over. Mr Matty was trying hard and the 64.26 was his best so far though 3.26 over. Last man Mr Hampton kept his distance from Tony Shute with a 60.66 that was 0.56 over.
So, after the first run it was Jane leading from Tony Shute and then Dave Hampton.
It was a little time after the lunch break that we assembled to go for our second runs. It seemed likely, the way the meeting was going that a third climb would be offered but as per normal practice only two runs would count for the championship.
Steve Millward set a 71.17 and whilst this was a couple of tenths away from his PB it was also 0.67 over. Geoff Stallard was a bit slower but JJ was a lot faster and his 72.79 was 0.21 under handicap. Chris Westwood exactly equalled his best practice time of 76.38 and confirmed that as his new PB. Ian Parmenter improved a bit but it was still nearly 2 seconds slower than his second practice. Dick was a bit slower but Botty was a bit quicker and his 71.18 was 1.68 over. Botty may have been quicker after Dick lightened his wallet during lunch.
In their normal fashion there was, initially, Ice Cream involved and Dick bought a big one for Pete. A little later they had a look at the food tent and one of them expressed enthusiasm for the Lasagne. The other agreed and then Dick reminded Pete that it was his round so Botty emerged from the tent with some Lasagne but also £17 the poorer!
Jane had a slower second run and Iain was also a tenth slower than first time up, probably under Dad’s influence to not bend it. I was a bit quicker for a 66.90 and I was quite pleased with the way I was going, just that the times did not confirm it.
Keith Wilford then put in his best time for the day with a 66.91, 1.91 over. Tony Wallen was a bit slower as was Clive. Stephen Palmer however did put a time on the board this run with an identical 71.89 to Clive’s. I had to question Marion if there was any sort of mistake as two identical times next to one another could be a error. Of course it wasn’t a mistake from Marion, perish the thought!! She knows she has to get it right to keep such a well rewarded job!
David Gidden now got into the 65’s and the 65.97 was 0.97 over and just 0.30 slower than his PB. Kenny Lewis sneaked a couple of tenths more off this run and the 65.16 was 1.66 over. June was a tenth slower as was Brian. Tony Shute had been red flagged twice on this run. The first when he appeared at the finish only yards behind an MG Midget. I’m not sure what the second reason was but despite warm tyres and more track time he was just 1/100th slower than his first time up. Paul had a much better run and the 63.44 was 2.54 over. DH was half a tenth slower than his first run and was annoyed that he couldn’t get closer to his PB (Tell me about it).
So after that last run it was Jonathan Bibby that was the only driver under handicap and took the win. Jane Millward was second with the intense battle between Messrs Shute and Hampton ending with Tony in third and Dave fourth. In race scratch it was Dave ahead of Tony Shute with Mr Wallen taking third. In road scratch it was Geoff from me and then Jane a commendable third.
So now Tony Shute has a 7 point lead in the main championship on 53 from DH on 46 with Geoff Stallard third on 43 from a resurgent Jonathan Bibby on 42. In race it is Dave Hampton on 29 now just one point behind Tony Shute on 30. Mr Matty third on 11. In road Geoff Stallard has a convincing 6 point lead over me, 31 to 25, with Keith Bristow still holding on in third with 14.
As I thought, a third run was offered. Most decided not to run, particularly those that had a long way to drive home and having already suffered at the hands of the Friday afternoon traffic – it took Geoff Stallard 7 hours to get up there from Surrey!
I was staying locally so decided to have another run, as did Dave Hampton, Keith Wilford and Stephen Palmer. I record the times in italics on the sheets. Dave Hampton’s 60.27 was just 0.20 away from his PB. I went better on 66.44. Keith was a bit slower but Stephen was faster but still a bit down on his best practice.
The weather held well for us despite a few shower clouds on the horizon.. Tony Shute keeps complaining about the dry events but I don’t think he is suffering too much…………………….
So now just two Shelsley’s to go and things are getting tense.
|H’cap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Malcolm Thorne||118||15 Buick||81.91||92.04||82.93||81.90||80.86||81.19||-1.04||80.86|
|2||10||Ian Parmenter||100||Elan S4||88.71||90.73||89.23||88.75||92.26||88.51||-0.24||88.51|
|3||9||Tony Shute||115||69 F||74.78||76.26||174.29||74.00||77.29||74.15||0.15||74.15|
|4||8||Dave Hampton||117||69 F2 Atlantic||72.18||79.85||74.64||72.18||76.35||72.47||0.29||72.47|
|6||6||Steve Millward||801||Elan S3||86.39||92.36||89.50||86.40||93.13||87.05||0.65||87.05|
|7||5||Paul Matty||113||35 F2||78.55||83.65||81.82||78.55||80.77||83.61||2.22||80.77|
|9||3||Jane Millward||101||Elan S3||88.07||93.84||91.70||86.60||95.84||89.04||2.44||89.04|
|12||1||Geoff Stallard||105||Elan S3||79.22||85.40||82.30||79.25||83.59||ntr||4.34||83.59|
|13||1||Jon Dobson||107||Elan +2||82.70||87.67||86.13||82.75||87.55||100.03||4.80||87.55|
|15||1||Chris Westwood||104||Elise 111R||97.88||92.67||88.50||85.25||91.05||90.57||5.32||90.57|
|16||1||June Matty||110||20/22 FJ||82.56||93.16||86.70||82.60||88.31||98.06||5.71||88.31|
|17||1||Pete Bottrill||102||Elan S3||N/A||98.56||92.19||86.00||100.22||93.42||7.42||93.42|
|19||1||Jonathan Bibby||103||Elise S1||N/A||95.49||106.51||88.25||101.59||Retd||13.34||101.59|
|Iain Stallard||805||Elan S3||76.28||83.74||81.30||76.25||80.37||78.00||1.75||78.00|
|Note: this event on ‘Eastern Circuit’ again|
After quite a long five week break following Prescott, Blyton was the first of three events for us taking place on consecutive weekends. The event was to use the ‘Eastern Circuit’ again that we first used last year. Personally I much prefer the ‘Outer Circuit’ layout we had used previously that was, for the most part, far better defined that the Eastern with it’s proliferation of cones and bales and the guess where to go next nature not to mention the very tricky ‘Curva Grande’.
We had Iain Stallard guesting again with strict instructions from Dad not to go too fast and break the car prior to Harewood. This particularly after his stellar times last year. Of the regulars David Gidden and Dick Swindall couldn’t make it. It was the first time here for Jonathan Bibby, Graham Pattinson, Clive Buffey and Stephen Palmer. Pete Bottrill and Grayham Parker had not run this layout before. Keith Bristow was at the meeting but in his Ralt.
It was a 10:30 start which worked fine I thought, allowing me to drive up in the morning at a reasonable time and there were no time pressures resulting.
The weather was mostly good but the showers that later manifested themselves had a bigger than normal influence on the times and results. There was quite a breeze and the track dried tremendously quickly after a shower but, conversely, got slippery equally quickly with even a light shower.
It was fully dry for the first practice. There were three dual drives in the class and leading off was Steve Millward, followed by Graham Pattinson and then Iain Stallard.
Few improved or got close to their PB’s from last year. The exceptions were Chris Westwood who took five seconds off. He said he was feeling far more confident with the handling of the car. Keith Wilford also set a new mark by a couple of seconds with much more power than last year. Tony Shute and Ian Parmenter got quite close to their best times. John Palmer had a spin.
The second runs came round quite quickly and despite the odd shower being seen in the distance it was another dry run. Everyone improved. Chris Westwood took another four seconds off for a 88.50 to be over nine seconds to the good from his PB at the start of the day. Malcolm Thorne was only a second away from his PB and John Palmer also quite close. Those not improving were Jonathan Bibby who had a spin and likewise Tony Shute who recorded a slightly slower time on 174.29. He was rather hampered by ending up in an awkward position on the track that required the use of reverse, but that was locked out.
Grayham Parker came back in from his run saying that the brakes had virtually completely failed. He had quite a good 85 second time despite that but further inspection of the car by Mr Matty showed that there was a major issue with the master cylinder and a lot of fluid had leaked away. In consequence there was nothing for it but to retire the car so we had lost two of our number before competitive runs commenced. I suspect a trip to a certain Bromsgrove garage may follow.
Paul and I sat down to do the handicaps and basically used last years PB’s as a guide for most with usual exceptions and making comparisons and estimates for the first timers.
As it was getting close to our first timed run there was a heavy shower. Oh Joy!
In fact it was starting to dry fairly quickly but we couldn’t really know that. The early runners were generally slower than their practice times but it was the further round the track you went it became more obvious that there was quite a bit of grip available.
Of course, Iain Stallard set his best time so far. Jonathan Bibby had a fairly fraught run as Elise hydraulic gremlins now afflicted his car as the clutch did not want to release properly. He retired his car after this run. I found a lot of wheelspin off the line and was cautious into the first couple of corners but it soon became obvious that most of the track was completely dry but I was always wondering what would be around the next bend but the time was rubbish. Still there always the last run.
Stephen Palmer set a new PB with an 86.80. Paul Matty set a good 80.77. Clive Buffey set a 92.42. Tony Shute recorded a 77.29. Brian Meddings improved his time compared with practice to 86.76. Mr Hampton was just keeping his nose in front of Tony Shute with a 76.35. Our last two runners had been red flagged so they came back to make a second run with the clear knowledge that the track was fully dry.
Malcolm’s time, despite that ‘advantage’ was a very impressive 80.86 that was clearly a new PB and also 1.04 under. John Palmer was just 0.30 slower than his PB from last year and the 76.59 was 0.29 over.
So after that run it was Malcolm first from John Palmer with Mr Matty in third.
We nervously awaited our final run as we could see showers all round us with the worst straight in front of us as we lined up to start although it looked as it would pass us by. Steve Millward was first off and improved to 87.05 and though not a new PB it was just 0.65 over. Iain Stallard set his best of the day with a 78.00 which was a great time though not counting for the Championship (thank God!). Ian Parmenter set a new PB with an 88.51 that put him 0.24 under. Botty improved to 93.42 but that was a good way from the handicap we had set him. By the time Chris Westwood set off there were spits of rain on the screen from the edge of the shower passing ahead. He improved to a 90.57 but that a couple of seconds off his best from the morning. Geoff Stallard in front of me left the line but with the rain a bit heavier now I was still convinced that it wouldn’t be too bad and that I would give it a good go. Meanwhile Geoff was finding that it was affecting the track quite a bit. In fact he said after his run that it was so iffy that he thought he had a puncture. This culminated in him losing control under braking for Bishop’s (the left hander in the far corner) and resulted in a four wheels off. He made it back in 108.30 though even that was, of course, disallowed.
As I said, having misjudged the track conditions for the first run I was determined not to do the same this time. In fact that was just what happened as when I set off at full bore I nearly went of the track heading up to the first left hander. I had to put the wipers on as the rain was pretty heavy but after probably only about 10 seconds the rain stopped but the damage was done and that run was wasted. The extreme transient nature of that shower meant that by the time I had got to Bishop’s where Geoff had come to grief there seemed plenty of grip but with not much point in exploiting it.
June was behind me and was similarly afflicted by that brief shower though I don’t think she put the wipers on!
The track was drying at that incredible rate and so by the time several more cars had gone through it was Clive Buffey who the first to improve to a 91.77 that was his BTD.
Tony Shute, who as we know loves the rain, nevertheless had a virtually dry run to set a new 74.15 PB that was just 0.15 over. Brian Meddings also improved to a 84.89 that was about a second slower than his PB. Whilst Tony loves rain Dave Hampton hates it but, again, the track was dry by the time of his run and he recorded an excellent 72.47, just 0.29 away from his PB and handicap.
Both Malcolm and John Palmer were slower than their first runs.
So with that somewhat topsy turvy couple of runs it was a Malcolm that took the 11 points with Ian Parmenter coming up on the rails for second place and then Tony Shute in third from DH in fourth.
In race scratch it was another win for Mr Hampton from Tony and then John Palmer in third. Road scratch saw Geoff Stallard take the win (ignoring Iain’s time of course) despite the last run shenanigans from Steve Millward second with me coming third.
Before this meeting Geoff Stallard was in the lead of the championship by one point from our current champion Tony Shute with Jonathan Bibby in third.
Now with the problems for both Geoff and Jonathan only taking the 1 point for attendance the tables are turned with once again Tony Shute in the lead with 45 points from Geoff and now Dave Hampton tied second on 38 and Jonathan with 32.
The race scratch championship sees Tony Shute with 26 with Dave Hampton steadily making up for his missed meeting now with 24 points. Mr Matty is third with 9.
In road scratch Mr Stallard has a five point advantage over me with 26 points to 21 with Keith Bristow still in third on 14.
Just a few days to Harewood now. Let’s hope for a completely dry meeting.
|H’Cap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Dave Hampton||41||69 F2||45.45||45.59||45.36||45.25||44.91||44.68||-0.57||44.68|
|4||8||Dick Swindall||27||Elan S3||53.62||56.12||55.08||53.85||54.06||53.80||-0.05||53.80|
|6||6||Geoff Stallard||28||Elan S3||51.28||51.38||50.46||49.00||49.14||49.62||0.14||49.14|
|7||5||Jonathan Bibby||29||Elise S1||N/A||56.43||53.54||52.85||53.03||53.31||0.18||53.03|
|8||4||Steve Millward||20||Elan S3||52.69||56.68||57.52||52.75||53.37||53.50||0.62||53.37|
|9||3||Jane Millward||720||Elan S3||52.62||57.17||57.00||52.75||53.52||56.01||0.77||53.52|
|10||2||Tony Shute||42||69 F||46.48||47.15||46.45||45.25||46.04||46.11||0.79||46.04|
|11||1||Tony Wallen||34||69 F3 TC||46.02 (P)||51.49||47.53||45.75||48.08||47.03||1.28||47.03|
|12||1||Paul Matty||36||35 F2||45.81||50.70||49.63||46.50||48.09||47.81||1.31||47.81|
|15||1||Jon Dobson||26||Elan +2||47.63||54.66||51.31||48.50||50.63||50.32||1.82||50.32|
|17||1||Pete Bottrill||23||Elan S3||49.63||56.82||55.20||51.00||53.89||53.21||2.21||53.21|
|18||1||Austin Weltman||21||Elise S1||N/A||55.98||56.18||52.85||55.40||55.33||2.48||55.33|
|19||1||Steve Hopkins||22||Elise S1||52.79||61.02||55.88||52.85||56.12||55.43||2.58||55.43|
|20||1||Ian Parmenter||24||Elan S4||55.55||56.98||55.74||53.00||56.19||56.27||3.19||56.19|
This was a later visit to Prescott this year as we had moved from the traditional but very frustrating ‘La Vie en Bleu’ meeting to one that at least seemed to major on motorsport.
Having said that not everything went smoothly!
Quite a few of the regular competitors were absent for a variety of reasons. I think Grayham P was on holiday (and therefore no Graham P!) and Chris Westwood was not quite ready, understandably, to tackle Pardon Hairpin again. Brian Meddings, Keith Bristow and John Palmer were also absent. Sarah Thorne was at the meeting but not driving whilst recovering from a shoulder op. June was also entered but had to withdraw due to some pressing family issues. She did come in the afternoon and we were all very pleased to see her.
Dick Swindall and Jonathan Bibby were back with us after missing Pembrey. It was Clive Buffey’s first visit to Prescott.
Malcolm was down on the entry to drive his 35 but that was still not quite ready. He had left the braking a bit late into Bottom Ess at the recent Shelsley meeting with the 15 Buick and that had left the front looking a little second hand so he was out in Sarah’s 340R again. David Gidden had entered his Mk1 Cortina but issues there necessitated a run out again for the 23B. Dick was in the ‘yellow car’
It was a bit annoying for our classes again to be split well apart (as at the first Shelsley) with our race cars in the Bugatti paddock and the road class up in the Styx at the very top paddock. So I must apologise if any nuggets of information or interest escape this report.
The weather forecast for the day had looked nothing more than OK but in the end we had quite a bit of sunshine. This meeting also featured motorbikes under the auspices of the ACU and that did cause some issues later.
We knew that we would be the first class off the line scheduled for 08:30. At about 08:10 the scrutineers arrived simultaneously with the announcement of a drivers briefing at 08:10. The scrutineers did their job as quickly as possible but it was still 08:15 before I was down at the drivers briefing which finished about 08:20 (having yielded nothing of any use!) and that left the climb back up to the top paddock to be ready in the car for 08:20. This just didn’t work and I was certainly late leaving my spot whilst trying to get everything sorted. I’ll spare you the details but after I left the Paddock Marshal suggested to Kay that she should get me more organised. Be that as it may, and I think I’m well under her control already, I had been there since 7 am and I hate not being ready. Even our race class was pushed to be ready in time.
It certainly is a very good feature of Prescott that there is a separate return road and so the dual drive issues do not involve little batches. Steve Millward led us off.
These first runs did not produce much in the way of quick times. There were exception however as Geoff Stallard’s 51.38 was only just off his Class PB though he did tell me he had been in the 50’s in another event here with the car. Ian Parmenter was only just over a second outside his PB. Stephen Palmer took over 4 seconds out of his PB from last year with a 53.59 that beat Keith Wilford’s time. Mind you Keith had had a bit of an overshoot into Pardon and had to come to a virtual stop to get round the corner so that explained that discrepancy. The other outstanding drive from that first round was from Dave Hampton. His 45 .59 was only 0.14 outside his PB dating back to 2013.
Just as a complete aside, after 25 years of doing Prescott I encountered a horse and rider on the return road for the first time and duly went very slowly eliciting an appreciative wave from the rider.
There was a big delay in the motorbikes going up as, I believe, the ACU scrutineer had not turned up, at least on time. Anyway, from our distant position in the paddock it was very difficult to know what the hell was going on as the tannoy was quiet for so much of the time.
Anyway, we did get a second run and then most did improve their times. Ian Parmenter’s 55.74 was just a couple of tenths off his PB. Geoff Stallard also set a new Class PB with a 50.46 and Jonathan Bibby was going well in the very standard Elise S1 with a 53.54. Keith Wilford set a much more representative time with a 51.85 that certainly did beat his best in the S4 seven but not his Europa. Stephen Palmer set another new PB with a 52.21, only just behind Keith.
Dave Hampton did now set a new PB by 0.09 with a 45.36 and then Tony Shute reset his mark by an even smaller 0.03 margin for a new 46.45 PB. David Gidden easily beat his 2015 PB with a 49.39.
Paul and I had sat down to do the handicaps and with the weather being very good decided on some fair weather targets.
We were due to be first class off the line after lunch. So, all the drivers were in the road cars in plenty of time, well nearly all the drivers. The first we heard of any problem was when the tannoy was calling for Mr Bottrill to go to his car. We waited and we waited, until he eventually appeared so it was getting pretty hot in the car with the sun well out.
Steve Millward set a 53.37, 0.62 over. Steve Hopkins seemed a little below par and his 56.12 was over three seconds from his target and PB. Botty had gone a bit quicker but again the 53.89 was over three seconds over his target and then so was Ian P who whilst being some way off goal time was closer to his PB but still not as quick as his second practice. I was over two seconds off the 48.50 target and worse, exactly three seconds slower than my 47.63 PB from way back in 2006.
Dick was going very well in the S3 and was just 0.21 over his target with a 54.06 and within 1/2 second of his PB in that car. Geoff Stallard emphatically set his new mark with a 49.14 that was 0.14 under. He was very pleased as it was the first time he had been able to pedal the Elan quicker at Prescott than his best in his TVR.
Jonathan Bibby got very close to his handicap and his 53.03 was just 0.18 over. Jane was just a tad slower than Steve with a 53.52 and then Malcolm just edged under the handicap by 0.03 with a 51.22.
Andrew Lewis, definitely still suffering from the 31 mile (how far???) charity walk he had done on the Friday was a bit slower than his best practice as was Tony Wallen. Clive Buffey was however well along the learning curve and improved to 54.67. Mr Matty was also going quite well and set a 48.09, about 1 1/2 seconds off the handicap I had given him. Keith Wilford improved to a 50.96 PB and Stephen Palmer with another new PB on 52.18.
Dave Hampton was clearly in determined mood and he set a new PB again, by a good margin, with the more important point being that the 44.91 exactly equalled the Class record of John Crook going way back to 2002. That also put Dave 0.34 under handicap. Tony Shute was giving chase, as it were, and he set another new PB with a 46.04. Kenny Lewis also improved, he always goes well at Prescott, and his 47.38 was just 0.13 over. David Gidden set another new PB on 49.01.
So, after that first run it was Dave Hampton first from Malcolm and then Kenny.
We were all in the cars in good time for the final run though there were a lot of red flags and so we were again sat in the cars for quite a long time.
Steve Millward was a bit slower than his first run but Steve Hopkins improved to 55.43. Botty also improved by 1/2 second to 53.21. Ian P was a tad slower this run.
I improved to 50.32, partly due to a less wimpy run through Orchard, getting a bit closer to the speed of my rivals, but still couldn’t get the Esses right. I wanted to give Geoff a bit more of challenge but not today. Dick improved again with a very good 53.80 that was just 0.18 slower than his PB in that car. Geoff was slower this run as was Jonathan Bibby. Jane was a lot slower, must have had a moment somewhere, though I didn’t pick up on the reason. Malcolm was also slower.
Andrew Lewis improved by just 0.03 for his best time, but still not as quick as his second practice. Tony Wallen went quicker for a 47.03, but that was still a second away from his PB. Clive continued to improve and the 53.47 was very respectable for his first visit to Prescott. Paul took about 3/10ths off to finish on 47.81 and Keith Wilford slipped into the 49’s with a 49.93, clearly a PB for that car but still some way off the 48.65 that achieved some years ago in his Europa.
Stephen Palmer was a bit slower but DH was definitely out to prove a point and hustled the 69 to a tremendous new Class record of 44.68, at last managing to eclipse John Crook’s 15 year old reign with that honour. Tony Shute was a tenth slower than his first run but Kenny improved to a 46.91, just 0.27 away from his PB and also 0.34 under handicap. Last man David Gidden secured his third new PB of the day with a 48.19 that put him 0.06 under. Maybe he was now pleased he didn’t bring the Cortina!
So the day ended with not only a new Class record for Dave Hampton that, not surprisingly earned him first on handicap. Second was Kenny Lewis and third David Gidden. In race scratch it was obviously DH from our always hard charging Tony Shute and Kenny Lewis third. In road scratch Geoff Stallard had a well deserved win with me in second and Malcolm third in the 340R.
So now in the main championship it is Geoff Stallard leading on 36, just a point in front of current champion Tony Shute, with Jonathan Bibby on 30, joint third with Mr Hampton.
In the scratch championships in race it is still Tony Shute leading on 22 with Dave Hampton trying to claw back points from his missed event at Loton on 19. It’s the Gaffer in third with 7 points. The road competition has Geoff on 21 points from me on 18 and Keith Bristow third with 14.
In many ways it was a very good day with not only the new class record but 6 new PB’s, not counting the first timers. There were quite a lot of things that for me made a very stressful day, particularly our class split apart and the ghastly trailer park and I have emailed the Competition Secretary at the BOC with my thoughts and, I must say, have had a amicable and constructive response.
Anyway, now a five week break until we get to the Blyton, Harewood and Shelsley events spread over just the three weeks.
After the Anglesey double booking problem Paul was forced to look elsewhere and he did very well to secure an entry for the Class for this British Sprint Championship weekend at BARC Pembrey. Again this was a mixture of a two day and one day meetings and we were just doing the Saturday.
As we have grown accustomed to at Anglesey there was a track day running at Pembrey on the Friday but what took us all by surprise as we rolled up to the circuit during the afternoon, after braving the Friday afternoon traffic on the M4, was that, unlike Anglesey, we couldn’t actually get into the paddock until the track day finished. Botty, making a welcome return to the Championship, arrived first just after midday and as we all gradually arrived during the afternoon we had to wait until after 5 o’clock until we were let through to take up positions in the Paddock. At Pembrey the paddock is in the middle of the circuit and with no tunnel or bridge that was inevitable. We did agree that it might have been useful to know that prior to our arrival though the later you arrived the worse the M4 traffic became.
With the track then closed it was the opportunity to walk the course. The event for the Saturday was to use the original track layout and would consist of just over one and a half laps. I think everybody appreciated that it was a very fast circuit and a lot were worried about gearing, particularly when running along Park Straight on the way to start the ‘second’ lap. In the event it wasn’t as bad as I was fearing, though with more time at the track getting faster though Honda Curve on to the straight it might have. I was peaking at 8300 before braking for Hatchett’s Hairpin. However, I know June did have big problems which really compromised her performance.
Unusually these days we were just one class, rather than the road and race splits. Though, of course, that’s fine and the norm for our handicapping.
As well as Botty we had Tony Wallen back with us but we were missing quite a few of the regulars. Malcolm Thorne’s 15 Buick engine was still not ready so he brought his lovely (but bloody noisy!) 24 BRM. Malcolm and Sarah had been to Pembrey before as had Geoff Stallard (a long time ago) in his TVR. To the rest of us it was all new.
The forecast for Saturday had been for a dry day but that forecast seemed to change every hour and now featured some rain. Indeed as we lined up in the holding area for a our first practice there were some ominous clouds on the horizon but the track was dry and grippy.
Dual drivers Steve Millward and Graham Pattinson went off first. Steve Millward decided to try the new Sunday course on that first run and didn’t make the second left hander heading up to the Esses but still recorded a time. Graham Pattinson set a 149.98.
It was then Tony Shute and, not surprisingly, he went very quickly for a 124.00. June was next and you could hear the engine fluffing on the rev limiter at several places for a mid 146. Paul then set a low 136 and Dave Hampton a mid 130. Sarah set a high 137 and then Malcolm a low 133. Clive Buffey is starting to get to grips with the 61 and set a mid 143. Local boy, Tony Wallen (actually he lives over 2 hours away and had never driven at Pembrey) set a mid 137. Keith Wilford recorded a really good first time of 135.30 and then Stephen Palmer, with a lot less power saw a low 147 in his 23B.
Jane Millward set a low 152 and then Botty, inevitably a bit rusty, a mid 156. Ian Parmenter had a big spin (the biggest of his career he later declared) but with space to recover carried on for a mid 159. Geoff Stallard set a mid 141. Grayham Parker saw a mid 145 but it had started to rain about half way through his run. I was waiting on the start line as I saw spots of rain on my screen. Oh super! It wasn’t too bad however until I rounded that first (Hatchett’s) hairpin and then the rain was straight at me and I was scrabbling for the wipers. Not being able to see a great deal on my ‘second’ lap I was much too late braking into Hatchett’s but just got round on the wet black stuff and finished the run with a 146.03. Keith Bristow behind me had an obviously equally wet run for a mid 147 and last man, Steve Hopkins, splashed round in a low 157.
As we got back to the Paddock the rain started to get worse and soon it was tipping it down. Steve Hopkins had felt and heard a problem from his nearside front under braking and in the monsoon, with waterproofs lent to him by Geoff Stallard, investigated and found that the backplate of the brake pad was fouling the heads of screws holding the disc to the bell. It was only as the pads had worn down that contact became possible. Some tedious filing to relieve the foul was made much easier when some kind soul from another class appeared with a portable battery powered angle grinder. By the time Steve had sorted both sides of the car he missed our second practice run.
Though the rain had stopped for some time the track had plenty of wet or damp patches and all those who had enjoyed a dry run first time round were slower except Ian Parmenter who without a spin this time set a low 152. I recorded another 146 but Keith Bristow was quicker with a high 144.
So Paul and I sat down to try and make some (any) sense of the handicaps. With obviously no history, some dry first runs and then the damp second runs it was not going to be easy. Paul had enquired as to representative times from a variety of cars and with this in our mind we set to it. It looked like it was now going to be dry and so that was our assumption. We assumed that if it was dry that with a couple more runs to get more used to the track layout that we would be between 10-20 seconds faster.
Despite the (late) lunch break being quite short it was getting quite close to 4 o’clock as we lined up for our first competitive run. Thoughts of a late trip home, for those that were going back on the night, were certainly building and with a European Football match at the Cardiff Stadium we were worried about the M4.
Steve Millward set a 141.37 (8.37 over) and then Graham Pattinson a very impressive 134.84 (6.84 over). Mr Shute was his normal fast self and the 118.86 was just 3.86 over. June was still struggling with lack of available revs in too many places but could go through the corners quicker but the 141.72 was nearly 20 seconds over handicap. Paul set a 131.41 that was 15 seconds over and then Dave Hampton with a 121.51 that was 6.51 over. Sarah was going well in the 61/69 and despite this the 133.42 was 11.42 over. Malcolm wound up the 24 to a 129.61 that was 14.61 over. Clive Buffey set a 137.92 that was 15.92 over and then Tony Wallen a 123.99 that was 8.99 over. Surprisingly Keith Wilford’s 133.68 was only a little faster than his first practice and that was 15.68 over. Stephen Palmer was only 3 seconds behind Keith and with a 3 second easier handicap was also 15.68 over.
Jane Millward wasn’t a happy bunny with a 147.91 leaving her 14.91 over. Botty set a 140.60 that was 8.60 over and then Ian P, a 142.39 that was 8.39 over. Geoff Stallard and I had the same 127 handicaps and he set a 132.89, followed by Grayham Parker with an excellent 132.19 that was just 4.19 over – the circuit and the sequential gearbox obviously suiting the Elise. I followed and now with a first dry run and getting some idea of where the circuit went set a 132.17, 4.17 over.
Keith Bristow’s 133.79 was 11.29 over. We had set Keith a 122.50 target based on a fast 2 litre Elise doing 125-126’s. Steve Hopkins only second run was an impressive 135.62 that was 6.62 over.
It was about 5:30 when were lining up again, well back in the queue, and there was an incident which resulted in oil being dropped and quite a delay in clearing up. It wasn’t Jane this time(!) but as the time ticked towards 6 o’clock we were told there was only a few more cars that could run before the attending medics would have to go to Cardiff to support the (bloody) Football match. The frustration was that it wasn’t a circuit curfew but that key people had to leave.
So we returned to the paddock and started loading up. We were all a bit annoyed with the circumstances. Like most I felt that I could have gone quicker and got much closer to my handicap. Both Keith Bristow, Geoff Stallard and Grayham were denied a go at me for our normal scratch battle. Similarly Dave Hampton couldn’t have a go at Mr Shute.
The BARC were going to use our handicap results to award 5 trophies.
So after just that one run it was Tony Shute first, from Grayham and then me. Geoff Stallard and Dave Hampton picked up the 4th and 5th trophies awarded later.
In race scratch it was Mr Shute from DH and then Tony Wallen. In road scratch I was first (by 2/100ths) from Grayham and then Geoff Stallard third.
A few of us managed to get to the bar first before the presentation of our trophies, much to the annoyance of those who were looking very thirsty because they hadn’t made it in time.
Paul has asked the organisers if we can come back to which they have agreed but Paul has also asked if we can be earlier in the running order to try and give us a better chance of two timed runs.
So in the Championship after 4 rounds it is current Champion Tony Shute leading on 33, from Geoff Stallard on 30 and Jonathan Bibby on 25.
In race scratch it’s Mr Shute again on 18 from Dave Hampton on 14 with Paul on 6.
In road scratch it’s Geoff Stallard on 16 with Keith Bristow and I joint 2nd on 14..
So it’s Prescott next on the 24th.
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Diff.||Best|
|2||10||Grayham Parker||59||Elise M/sport||145.48||147.09||128.00||132.19||4.19||132.19|
|3||9||Jon Dobson||60||Elan +2||146.03||146.57||127.00||132.17||5.17||132.17|
|4||8||Geoff Stallard||58||Elan S3||141.55||150.77||127.00||132.89||5.89||132.89|
|5||7||Dave Hampton||48||69 Atlantic||130.41||147.60||115.00||121.51||6.51||121.51|
|6||6||Steve Hopkins||62||Elise S1||157.05||NR||129.00||135.62||6.62||135.62|
|7||5||Graham Pattinson||759||Elise M/sport||149.98||151.88||128.00||134.84||6.84||134.84|
|8||4||Steve Millward||755||Elan S3||153.19*||157.75||133.00||141.37||8.37||141.37|
|9||3||Ian Parmenter||57||Elan S4||159.66||152.08||134.00||142.39||8.39||142.39|
|10||2||Pete Bottrill||56||Elan S3||156.61||160.91||132.00||140.60||8.60||140.60|
|11||1||Tony Wallen||52||69 F3||137.56||137.72||115.00||123.99||8.99||123.99|
|12||1||Keith Bristow||61||Exige V6||147.60||144.79||122.50||133.79||11.29||133.79|
|13||1||Sarah Thorne||49||61/69 spl||137.79||146.24||122.00||133.42||11.42||133.42|
|14||1||Malcolm Thorne||50||24 BRM P2||133.16||147.71||115.00||129.61||14.61||129.61|
|15||1||Jane Millward||55||Elan S3||152.24||157.34||133.00||147.91||14.91||147.91|
|18||1||Clive Buffey||51||61/69 spl||143.57||159.89||122.00||137.92||15.92||137.92|
|19||1||Paul Matty||47||35 F2||136.21||155.12||115.00||131.41||16.41||131.41|
This was the second day of our double header at Loton and there were a few less entered for the second day. In fact the only planned absentee was Grayham as he usually only does the one day. However also absent were June and Paul as some urgent family business had come up. Finally Dave Hampton had to withdraw as, despite being semi-retired, an urgent trip to the Far East had required him to fly on the Sunday. He was not happy to concede unnecessary points to Mr Shute. We would find there was to be a little more attrition in our class during the day.
In the absence of Mr Matty on the Sunday he had invited John Palmer the previous afternoon to deputise for him for the handicap process
The weather forecast looked much more promising for the day. This time we had another back-to-back run situation but now it was our practice climbs that were effected and these had to be squeezed in between 8:30 and the start of a church service at 9:30. After the church service had ended the main competitive runs for the two day competitors would start, Our competitive runs would be just before lunch, prior to the top 12 run-off and again last runs in the afternoon before the final run-off.
Steve Millward was the only dual drive now in the absence of the Parker Elise and went up in 67 seconds. Geoff Stallard set a mid 63 and Chris Westwood a mid 70.
Ian Parmenter was next and had an electrical failure on the course and a red flag was shown to, who else, but Jane. Now on her fourth red flag of the weekend. Keith Bristow set a mid 65 and Jonathan Bibby a high 63. Dick was still a bit subdued after yesterday’s brush with the tyres and set a mid 70.
Jane filtered back into the queue just ahead of me and I followed onto the start line,
I was held for longer than I expected and then the red flags came out again! This time it was Jane (what’s the reverse of poetic justice?) who suffered what at first seemed to be a catastrophic engine failure coming out of Fletcher’s Dellow and depositing copious amounts of oil all the way down the straight to Triangle. It transpired that, in fact, the oil filter seal had somehow been blown out (Steve later found) together with lots of oil straight out of the pump. Because it actually hadn’t been an engine failure Jane’s first indication of a problem came because the back tyres were slipping on her own oil. She quickly pulled off at Triangle and dripped(?) her way back to her paddock space.
I could see from the startline marshals starting to lay the modern equivalent of cement dust on the run down to Triangle. Then more marshals from other posts came down to join in the dust laying fun. I had plenty of time to renew my discussions with the startline marshals again and one thing I didn’t know was that Loton is to be resurfaced in the not too distant future(not before my run unfortunately!). They told me that there had been an engine blow up and that there was a lot of oil on the track after post 2. How far after Post 2 I thought. Anyway, after some time I was pushed back into the paddock to allow the course car to get past and make a couple of runs through the ‘Millward mess’.
Prior to this excitement, and my third red flag of the weekend, I had been determined to go into max attack mode early in the day and build on it. Somehow this plan didn’t seem to be coming together and I went on this run with slightly less determination. I saw (couldn’t miss) the dust when I came through Fletcher’s Dellow and it was covering half the track. Not surprisingly Jane had been on the normal left line approaching Triangle and this looked a no-go area now and the only clean tarmac was now on the right with the Triangle turn now being very sharp. Everyone now was very cautious there and the times showed in. Only Tony Shute got under 60 seconds.
Of course, with the back to back runs there was no opportunity for lots of other cars to settle the track down and it was for us to go over it again straight away. With the demise of the S3 Elan there were now no dual drives at all. Geoff Stallard set a mid 63 again. Chris Westwood a high 71. Ian Parmenter had not had any time to fix his problems, despite Roy Bury being there on his normal ‘Busman’s holiday’ visit, so did not take a run. It was Keith Bristow next with a high 62 and the JJ with another mid 63. Dick was not surprisingly unsettled on his first run though the dust and set a low 71. I was a mid 64 and Steve Hopkins a high 67. Andrew Lewis set what was his best time of the weekend with a 64.8. Everyone else was quicker than first time up but it was only David Gidden that got close to his previous days PB with a 60.71. Tony Shute was just 1/2 second his best from Saturday.
We just got back to the paddock before the church service started but were told to be very quite coming down the hill!
John Palmer and I now had quite a bit of time to sort the handicaps out though there was quite a bit a effort going in to Ian’s car to try and sort out some peculiar chassis earth problems.
John and I spent a lot of time over the process of trying to give people fair targets and some decisions were not easy.
It must have been about midday when we set off and the track down to Triangle could be fully used. Geoff Stallard was now first off and immediately set a new 59.96 PB which was 1.04 under. Chris Westwood set a 70.47 and then Keith Bristow a 61.43. Car 19 was missing since Ian Parmenter’s problems could not be fully resolved and he elected to retire and set off carefully for home. Jonathan Bibby set yet another new PB and the 62.45 was just 0.20 over the very tight target we had felt we needed to set – new drivers and all that!
Dick Swindall was getting back into gear and set a 67.73, 1.23 over. I was starting to get there with a 61.63 that was 0.63 over. Steve Hopkins was determined to have a go this time but unfortunately a big grassy moment at Fallow was the result, losing his number plate (subsequently found) on his way an 85 second run though with all four wheels off that would not have counted. Andrew Lewis set a high 65 as did Stephen Palmer. Clive Buffey was chipping away to a low 70 and Kenny a 59.48, just 0.48 over.
Malcolm Thorne was next but overcooked it rounding the tightening part of Loggerheads and went off on the grass on the inside, picking up some mud and grass and just stopping before hitting a tree. He also knocked off and broke the front number plate. I remember going off there in my first Loton event in 1993 and knocking off the front spoiler.
Sarah managed to keep it all on the island and set a new PB of 62.68. Keith under 62 but not as fast as the day before. Brian Meddings set a mid 62 again not as fast as his Saturday best. David Gidden however was really making the 23B fly and the 58.95 was not only a new PB by 1.35 seconds but also 0.55 under. John Palmer was suffering some discomfort in his feet and was not able to brake with confidence nevertheless set a 59.48. Last man Mr Shute set an excellent 56.21, just 0.21 over.
So, after that first competitive run it was Geoff Stallard leading from David Gidden and JJ third.
Luckily there were few hold ups after lunch and final runs came round about 3:30 I suppose. Steve Hopkins decided that he couldn’t wait and called it a day before the final run so there were just 17 of us now.
Geoff was first off and was going even faster, looking at the splits, but had a spin at Museum which put paid to that. Chris Westwood was slower with a high 71. Keith Bristow improved to 61.20, just 0.16 slower than the Saturday and 1.45 over the tougher handicap we had given him. Mr Bibby improved yet again! The 62.19 was not only a new PB of course but 0.06 under handicap. Best laid plans etc………..
Dick had easily the best run of the weekend and his 66.94 was just 0.44 over.
I had a better run with a 60.62 that was 0.38 under. Andrew Lewis set 64.97 that was still shy of his best of the morning. Stephen Palmer was going very well and the 64.60 was a new PB by some margin. Clive Buffey was in the 69’s but just a tenth slower than Saturday. Kenny had a moment somewhere and was much slower. Malcolm wheeled up the mud spattered and grass covered 340R to the line much to the amusement of the startline marshals and set a 64.13, 1/2 second slower than Saturday. Sarah went quicker again, even if it was just 1/100th with a 62.67 PB. Keith Wilford also set a new PB with a 61.00 that was just 1 second over. A frustration for Keith is that until this weekend that was faster than DG’s PB. John Palmer must have forgotten his feet with the adrenaline and the 58.66 was a big improvement and just 0.16 over. Mr Shute also improved to a 56.08, just 0.08 over and 0.20 outside his PB. The absent Mr Hampton will be relieved that his Saturday best was 56.07.
So, after a good day for those that could stay the course it finished with a well deserved win for Geoff Stallard with David Gidden second and me third.
Race scratch was Tony Shute from John Palmer and then David Gidden. Road scratch was Geoff from me and then Keith Bristow.
So now we can refer to the overall championship positions after the first three rounds it shows that Jonathan Bibby is leading with 25 points from Tony Shute and Geoff Stallard joint second with 22. The race scratch position are Tony Shute on 13 from DH on 10 and the joint third on 5 points Messrs Matty, Gidden and Palmer (P).
Road scratch has Geoff Stallard on 13 from Keith B with 12 and me third with 9.
After the usual visit to the bar and our and then the Hagley presentation we were able to leave at around 5 o’clock. Let’s hope that sort of timing prevails for our first event at Pembrey in the depths of Wales.
This was the first day of what has now become our traditional double header at Loton and featured a big entry for the class. I make no secret that Loton is one of my favourite hills. It always seems possible to really lean on the car in a way that I never have the confidence to do at, say, Shelsley and I was hoping to use the two days and the total of eight runs to build up to some respectable times. I’ve had some great runs in the past here. What is it they say? ‘The older I get the faster I was!’
As I said the class was pretty big with 27 drivers. Graham Pattinson was again dual driving with Grayham Parker. The Shelsley electrical problems taking some time to sort out but the Elise was now fully fit. Dick Swindall was in the ‘Yellow car’ (the S3) as he was going on for a holiday in Somerset and this car was a bit more civilised for Diane than the S4. Malcolm Thorne was again in Sarah’s 340R as the entered Buick had suffered a dropped valve seat insert at Goodwood and there was a bit of collateral damage to the engine to sort out at John Eales. He is hoping to have the car fit for Pembrey. Jonathan Bibby was again with us and this time with quite a bit of knowledge of Loton we were expecting a good performance. It was the first time at Loton for Clive Buffey and the first time there for Sarah Thorne in the 61/69. Keith Bristow was hoping for a little calmer start than he experienced last year with his intimate acquaintance with the Museum tyres. He has even got a little more power now.
Most of the drivers at the meeting were there for just the one two day meet. The main event being the Midland Hillclimb championship. So for us it was an atypical sort of day with us first off in practice and then our second practice prior to lunch. We were then to do our two timed runs back to back after lunch before the second practice runs for the rest of the entry.
All drivers were summoned to a briefing from the Clerk before things got under way was strict instructions to behave on the track to avoid the problems that befell the Easter meeting causing a late finish. One particular comment concerned the corner markers that had been frequently knocked down so we were asked not to aim at them!
The weather was not great for our morning runs with intermittent light rain making things a little difficult. Graham Pattinson and Steve Millward were first off as the dual drives. Everyone took it fairly steady that run though there were some exceptions. Malcolm doesn’t do fairly steady and the other good times were from all the 23B’s. Stephen Palmer even setting a new PB. David Gidden was quite fast, courtesy of new stiffer springing and, of course, it was Keith Wilford’s first visit with his new engine.
When it came round for our second practice the rain had stopped and the track was nearly dry. Graham Pattinson was going well in the 68’s, slightly quicker than Grayham himself but he had been a little put off when he disobeyed the Clerk’s earlier instructions and clipped a corner marker with his nearside door mirror (at Hall corner I think) and knock the internals of the mirror out. At some point, and this included Jane being red flagged, Dick apparently runs over the mirror which results in another red flag as the marshals clear the bits and the glass. Jane had come round again and filtered back in just before me and was on the line when that red flag came out. That was annoying of course, but worse was to come for while we were waiting for the flag to come in there was a spell of quite heavy rain so the rest, the majority, of the class tiptoed up the hill. In these conditions it was not surprising that the rain loving Mr Shute was easily fastest. He was later complaining that there weren’t enough wet events last year – you know, the year that he won the Championship!
So with the unpredictable weather conditions Paul and I found it hard to really put sensible handicap targets together as well as the new drivers, cars, etc.
Luckily our fears that we might have more rain were unfounded and as we lined up for the first of our timed runs the track was dry though there were still some threatening clouds about.
Graham Pattinson recorded a 65.01 against a handicap of 64.00, very respectable. Steve Millward set a 66.61 against his 66.50 target. Grayham was the first to go under handicap with a 63.98 with the same handicap as his partner. Geoff Stallard was the first to bust our handicaps with a 62.32, 1.18 under. Chris Westwood set a 70.96, Ian Parmenter a 69.13 and then Jane Millward a 69.49, all some way off their targets. Keith Bristow however was in the process of setting a new PB and his 62.89 was 0.11 under. Mr Bibby was proving not only a good driver but one that was determined to upset our new driver policy. His 63.66 was 0.84 under. Everything had been going so well when Dick went off the line. I followed to the line and then the red flags came out. Dick had overcooked it accelerating out of Fallow and going off on the right had, as is often the case re-crossed the track to the left and hit the tyre wall round the big Scots Pine to the left of the entry to Museum. The rear offside wing took the hit. I can only speculate that his thoughts were 1, Bugger, 2, What do I tell Diane, and 3, probably the worst to contemplate – What if I need to go on a trailer? Fortunately the damage was largely cosmetic and polished out with T Cut and there were just a couple of very minor crack lines (that Diane probably won’t notice Dick hopes).
However, I was stuck on the line, and whilst the tyre warming was a bit of a waste of time, I was beginning a friendly acquaintance with the start line marshals that I would continue during the weekend.. When I finally got off the 63.37 was under handicap by a bit but this was certainly not the steady build up that I had been hoping for. Steve Hopkins was the last of the road class (apart from Malcolm in the 340R, keeping the same number as the Buick entry) and was strangely off the pace for him. Most of the race class were a little off their handicaps though both Stephen Palmer and Keith Wilford reset their PB’s convincingly. Both Tony Shute and Dave Hampton did get under handicap and the dryer weather was proving a problem for the handicaps we had set. Dave had the scratch advantage.
So we came down from the top of the hill to straight away have another go, not helped by the marshals up there not letting us go down in number order so there was a lot of faffing about in the bottom paddock.
So, Graham lead us off again and I must say he is going very well in the car, just keeping a respectful time distance behind Grayham, and his 64.08 was just 0.08 away from his target. Steve Millward got well under his handicap with a 65.75 that was 0.75 under and about the same away from his PB. Grayham kept pride intact and his 63.68 was 3/10ths quicker than his first run, this leaving him on 0.32 under. Geoff Stallard improved a lot to 60.97 and despite being 3/10ths slower than his PB was nevertheless 2.53 under. Chris Westwood got into the 69’s and then Ian Parmenter’s 66.67 was just 0.17 off target. Jane was, unusually, not keeping pace with Steve and was a second or so outside her handicap. I think last year’ s engine will have to go back in Steve! Keith Bristow improved a lot and the 61.04 was a convincing new PB and also 1.96 under. Jonathan Bibby continued to annoy the handicappers (not really, honest!) with a new PB on 62.83, 1.67 under. Dick was not on it at all after the previous run’s shenanigans and was not best pleased with a 69.88. I improved to a 62.46 but whilst under handicap by 1.04 was not pleased to be behind my current arch nemesis, Mr Stallard, and even less pleased to be over 4 seconds off my twice set PB of 58.11!
Steve Hopkins improved but the 66.43 was not where we expected him to be and this was not far off 3 seconds away from his PB. He did confess his new fairly stressful London job is taking it’s toll.
In the race class Andrew Lewis improved 1/2 second but was some way off his target. Stephen Palmer recorded yet another new PB with a 65.28 (about a 6 second improvement on the day) but was still about 3 seconds behind the goal we had set.
Clive Buffey had been making steady progress – Loton takes a lot of learning, and got into the 69’s. Kenny Lewis made a big improvement to 60.55 but that was still 0.55 over. June pulled a really super run out of the bag and her 59.74 was not only within a second of her long standing PB but also 1.26 under. The other thing was that it was 2/10ths quicker than Paul who however did get under handicap by 0.01! Malcolm (in the road class) set a 63.63 in the 340R. Whilst this was 0.63 over handicap it was about a 1/10th quicker than Sarah had managed in the same car so she was somewhat peeved. Why does he always do that??? However, Sarah did go quicker than Malcolm with the 61/69 and set a new 62.74 PB. Keith Wilford was really getting to grips with the 23B and the 61.19 was a big PB improvement and just 0.19 over handicap. Brian Meddings also went quicker with a 61.89 against the 61 second target we had set. John Palmer’s 60.05 was just 0.05 over. This left the normal two scratch protagonists to run. Tony Shute’s 57.26 was a good improvement and 1.74 under. Mr Hampton though did even better and his 56.07 was 2.93 under, about 1.6 away from his 5 year old PB.
So the final result gave a win to DH from Geoff Stallard with Keith Bristow 3rd. In race scratch it was Dave Hampton from Tony Shute and then June and excellent 3rd. In road scratch it was Geoff Stallard from Keith Bristow and me third .
We had our own trophy presentations for this Saturday event as the main trophies were to be given out the next day and some of our number wouldn’t be there on the Sunday. I suppose the highlight of our get together, as usual, at the bar was a performance by the Matty Ladies Choir of a song brilliantly written and conceived by Barbara Meddings in tribute to Mr Matty and all things Lotus. The precise reasons behind the writing of the song are beyond the scope of this report!
So, with the next meeting on the Sunday I won’t bother going through the championship positions. That can wait for the second Loton report.
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff||Best|
|1||11||Geoff Stallard||Elan S3||16||60.62||63.61||63.37||61.00||59.96||78.10||-1.04||59.96|
|3||9||Jon Dobson||Elan +2||24||58.11||68.08||64.59||61.00||61.63||60.62||-0.38||60.62|
|4||8||Jonathan Bibby||Elise S1||22||62.83||63.79||63.42||62.25||62.45||62.19||-0.06||62.19|
|7||5||Dick Swindall||Elan S3||23||65.17||70.52||71.10||66.50||67.73||66.94||0.44||66.94|
|8||4||Kenny Lewis||61 MX||29||58.10||62.97||60.18||59.00||59.48||66.45||0.48||59.48|
|11||1||Keith Bristow||Exige V6||21||61.04||65.60||62.96||59.75||61.43||61.20||1.45||61.20|
|16||1||Chris Westwood||Elise 111R||18||69.27||72.17||71.83||65.00||70.47||71.98||5.47||70.47|
|18||1||Steve Hopkins||Elise S1||25||63.81||74.31||67.82||63.00||85.36||retd||22.36||85.36|
|1||Steve Millward||Elan S3||720||64.98||67.09||Retd||Retd||999.00||999.00||999.00||999.00|
|1||Ian Parmenter||Elan S4||19||65.86||Fail||NR||66.00||999.00||999.00||999.00||999.00|
|1||Jane Millward||Elan S3||20||65.08||Fail||Retd||Retd||999.00||999.00||999.00||999.00|
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Car||Comp no||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Dave Hampton||69 F2 Atlantic||39||54.41||61.36||80.74||59.00||57.32||56.07||-2.93||56.07|
|2||10||Geoff Stallard||Elan S3||16||60.62||65.64||65.91||63.50||62.32||60.97||-2.53||60.97|
|3||9||Keith Bristow||Exige V6||21||64.43||65.68||65.28||63.00||62.89||61.04||-1.96||61.04|
|5||7||Jonathan Bibby||Elise S1||22||63.61**||65.05||67.03||64.50||63.66||62.83||-1.67||62.83|
|7||5||Jon Dobson||Elan +2||24||58.11||68.69||85.33||63.50||63.37||62.46||-1.04||62.46|
|8||4||Steve Millward||Elan S3||720||64.98||71.61||71.02||66.50||66.61||65.75||-0.75||65.75|
|10||2||Grayham Parker||M/Sport Elise||15||59.73*||68.16||68.95||64.00||63.98||63.68||-0.32||63.68|
|11||1||Paul Matty||35 F2||31||56.07||65.34||75.66||60.00||61.26||59.99||-0.01||59.99|
|13||1||Graham Pattinson||M/Sport Elise||715||N/A||72.41||68.25||64.00||65.01||64.08||0.08||64.08|
|14||1||Ian Parmenter||Elan S4||19||65.86||70.38||70.82||66.50||69.13||66.67||0.17||66.67|
|16||1||Kenny Lewis||61 MX||29||58.10||72.02||73.91||60.00||62.98||60.55||0.55||60.55|
|18||1||Jane Millward||Elan S3||20||65.08||76.42||84.78||66.50||69.49||67.63||1.13||67.63|
|19||1||Steve Hopkins||Elise S1||25||63.81||72.85||85.63||65.00||68.53||66.43||1.43||66.43|
|23||1||Dick Swindall||Elan S3||23||65.17||76.97||69.78||66.50||107.34||69.88||3.38||69.88|
|24||1||Chris Westwood||Elise 111R||18||66.06*||71.96||73.27||65.00||70.96||69.27||4.27||69.27|
This first event of the 26th season of Paul’s Championship was, as usual, at Shelsley, on a very cold but nearly dry day, but this time the format of the event was very different to previous years. Gone was the two day event with the extra practice for the first thirty sign on and elective practice order and now our competition was just the one day with practice and competition in number order. In fact for the majority there were in the two one day meetings over the weekend and just the Midland Hillclimb championship spanned both days. In principle this was a very good idea but whilst certainly not wanting a return to the old system there were some teething problems that gave Paul and I some headaches when trying to sort the handicaps when the ‘road’ cars practised before lunch and the ‘race’ cars after lunch and with our first timed runs being very soon after I only just made it back in time to my car after keying in and printing the handicap sheets. The situation was made worse by a lengthy delay after a shunt at Top Ess. I hope future events will not be so time constrained though with the very large entry that is always on the cards, aprticularly if wet.
We had three new drivers in the class – Clive Buffey in a lovely 61 and Jonathan Bibby (JJ) in an S1 Elise. Grayham Parker was now sharing his car with Graham Pattinson that we all knew well already as he frequently helped Grayham out at meetings in the past. Tony Wallen was entered but had suffered a rather bizarre accident at Castle Combe, not on track but I think in the paddock and ended up with a broken foot! We all hope this fixes quickly but there a hell of a lot of bones in the foot. So whilst Tony was not there Stephen Palmer was, as his entry had been received but not processed properly, so he was not on the provisional entry list. Andrew Lewis was back with us in the 22. We were without Mr Bottrill for this event as he was on holiday.
A minor downside to this event was that our two classes were nowhere near each other in the Paddock. This made keeping up with things for my part rather difficult but hopefully the main points were captured for this report.
And now on to the machinery. Grayham had his lovely (new) yellow Elise, not too dissimilar to his first green one, maybe not as powerful but with a sequential box. Keith Wilford had his engine rebuilt over the winter by Paul Exon and, apparently now had much more (Gidden rivalling) power and a lot more torque. Steve had replaced the engine in the Team Millward Elan for the one he took out a year ago. Instructions from the No 1 driver I believe. Malcolm Thorne’s 35 was not quite ready so he was in Sarah’s 340R for this meeting. Sarah was now again in the ex Morrison 61/69 but hopefully now in a much more sorted state. Stephen Palmer had seen big changes made to the gearing of the 23B but the engine was not yet in the same league as Messrs Gidden and Wilford. Dave Hampton had the 69 fitted with lower rate road springs and was getting used to that. Chris Westwood had the ECU re-flashed at Lotus to change the valve timing and also had the car lowered a bit.
Our first practice was just before 10 and Steve Millward as a dual drive had reported the track as very slippery. Nevertheless a few people got quite close to their PB’s and Stephen Palmer eclipsed his. I was nowhere near as I could see the track was very green (or rather brown) and I had no wish to repeat my first practice faux pas of a few years ago. I now adopt the approach of rather thinking I could have gone faster rather than wishing after that I hadn’t gone too fast!
We had a big delay before our second runs and many of were strapped in the car for ages. It wasn’t all bad as it was bloody cold outside.
Most improved on that run, Keith Wilford with new 35.04 PB for the 23B and Stephen Palmer another PB in the similar car though Steve Hopkins’ chances of improving were not helped when the throttle linkage at the pedal disintegrated. He did have quite a slow speed over the finish – 7 mph if I recall.
As I mentioned earlier the our road class and race class 2nd practice runs were split by lunch. And lunch was only going to be very short to try and catch up after the delays. So Paul and I took the unusual step of just doing the handicaps for the road class during lunch. I keyed those in and as soon as the race class were back down we did the rest and I went off to the trailer park again to finish off just getting back to the +2 as we were being called for the first timed run.
In view of the green track and the cold we set the target times generally easier than PB’s. But with this, the car changes and new drivers it was going to be quite a bit more guesswork than usual.
We had given Steve Millward a 38.25 handicap and, obligingly, he recorded 38.25. Graham Pattinson was making sensible steady progress under Grayham’s tutelage. Jonathan Bibby was also going well in the fairly standard S1 Elise though not a Hillclimbing virgin by any means had not been to Shelsley before. Geoff Stallard was not happy with his performances and said he didn’t feel safe in the car on the lower part of the hill. An unrelated issue is that his engine is still suffering from blowing a lot of oil smoke until under way. I hadn’t realised that this was due to some overenthusiastic porting of the nearly new (and expensive) cylinder head by his engine man resulting in a pinhole in the inlet port of No 4 cylinder. Under closed throttle the inlet manifold depression sucked in oil through the pinhole which promptly burnt off as power was applied. Very similar effect to having very worn inlet valve guides. He’s not quite sure what the hell can be done about it and I can’t think of any miracle cures. Suggestions on a postcard.
Keith Bristow was within a 1/10th of his handicap with a 33.85. Stephen Palmer improved yet again, and like Mr Millward obliged with a 36.50 that was his handicap. Obviously the gearing changes were doing the trick. He swears blind that the engine still only has 127bhp! Clive Buffey was going well now with a 41.61. Kenny Lewis was only 0.15 outside his 33.00 handicap. Sarah was making steady progress building up confidence in the new car. Keith set another new PB with a 34.19 and Paul was quite pleased wit a 32..53. In fact the commentator thought this put Paul in the lead on handicap because in my haste I had typed 33.25 as his handicap rather than 32.25. Paul went to the timekeepers to tell them of the error and, I’m afraid, rather had the p*ss taken out of him. Sorry Paul!
Of course the rivalry between Messrs Shute and Hampton was in full swing as usual. However on this run Dave didn’t have too much trouble gaining the upper hand as the gear linkage on Tony’s 69F came adrift and left him in 2nd gear. Quite how you can still do a mid 33 second run with only second gear available does seem to indicate that it is geared more for circuits. but is nonetheless remarkable. DH set a 31.13.
So, after the first runs it was Steve Millward and Stephen Palmer jointly in first place with even par to their handicaps. Jonathan Bibby was third and Keith Bristow fourth.
On the final run Steve Millward took a chunk of time out and the 37.30 was 0.95 under and only 0.07 away from his PB. It would have been Graham Pattinson next in the Parker Elise but the was some electrical problem with the isolator switches or something like that and finally smelling smoke the battery was disconnected PDQ and the car withdrawn.
Malcolm Thorne set a new 340R PB with a 34.91, 0.19 under handicap. Geoff improved to a 35.05. Jane also improved but the 37.48 was just a smidgen behind Steve but still 0.42 under. Ian Parmenter had been struggling with the starts all day and while this one was better and was his BTD the 38.18 was exactly one second away from his PB. Mr Swindall however was in very good form and the 36.91 was 0.84 under. I was pleased with the way the car was going with 86 mph into the Esses. The only problem was the clock wasn’t quite so pleased. Worse the 35.09 was 0.04 slower than Geoff. As usual we are all a bit suspicious of some of the speeds. Ian P was credited with 85 mph that even he thought unlikely. JJ improved again (we’ll have to watch him) to an excellent 37.13 which put him 0.87 under. Steve Hopkins, I think, was still cautious about his throttle lash up repairs and the 37.53 was his best on the day but slower than we have come to expect. Chris W was still trying to beat the 40 seconds barrier and after the first run of 40.16 was confident. Unfortunately the last run was a 1/10th slower. Keith Bristow as a tad slower than his first run time as was Stephen Palmer as our first runner in the race class. followed by John Palmer also being slower. Clive Buffey did improve however to finish on 41.38. Kenny was a little slower this time and Sarah was also a lot slower. Not sure what happened to her – missed gear perhaps. Both Andrew Lewis and June were a tad slower but David Gidden, going for the consistency trophy, exactly equalled his first run time on 32.72. Keith, Paul and Brian were all a little slower but our current Champion – Tony Shute improved to 31.35 (more gears I suspect) which was 0.40 under. It’s tight at the top and despite Dave Hampton’s final run being slower than Tony his first run 31.13 was the best on scratch.
So the first event of the year resulted in a well deserved win for Steve Millward, with Jonathan Bibby second and Dick Swindall third. In race scratch as already mentioned it was DH from Tony Shute with Mr Matty third. In road scratch it was Keith Bristow from Malcolm and then Geoff.
So off to the double header at Loton on the 20th/21st May.
|Handicap Result||Champ Points||Driver||Comp no||Car||Previous Best Time||Practice 1||Practice 2||H’Cap||Run 1||Run 2||Diff.||Best|
|1||11||Steve Millward||802||Elan S3||37.23||40.07||39.47||38.25||38.25||37.30||-0.95||37.30|
|2||10||Jonathan Bibby||108||Elise S1||N/A||42.29||40.09||38.00||38.02||37.13||-0.87||37.13|
|3||9||Dick Swindall||105||Elan S4||35.75||40.02||38.49||37.75||38.02||36.91||-0.84||36.91|
|4||8||Jane Millward||102||Elan S3||36.90||43.42||40.52||37.90||38.30||37.48||-0.42||37.48|
|8||4||Keith Bristow||111||Exige V6||33.46||35.92||34.27||33.75||33.85||34.07||0.10||33.85|
|9||3||Kenny Lewis||116||61 MX||32.16||37.95||34.90||33.00||33.15||34.31||0.15||33.15|
|10||2||Ian Parmenter||104||Elan S4||37.18||40.64||38.66||38.00||38.53||38.18||0.18||38.18|
|11||1||June Matty||118||20/22 FJ||32.43||35.12||34.51||33.50||33.76||33.84||0.26||33.76|
|12||1||Paul Matty||122||35 F2||31.05||35.24||33.57||32.25||32.53||32.58||0.28||32.53|
|13||1||Geoff Stallard||101||Elan S3||33.64||36.45||36.41||34.75||35.49||35.05||0.30||35.05|
|15||1||Dave Hampton||126||69 F2 Atlantic||29.94||32.38||32.10||30.75||31.13||31.58||0.38||31.13|
|17||1||Steve Hopkins||109||Elise S1||35.71||39.51||61.67||37.00||37.93||37.53||0.53||37.53|
|18||1||Jon Dobson||106||Elan +2||32.89||39.89||36.11||34.50||35.36||35.09||0.59||35.09|
|21||1||Grayham Parker||107||M’sport Elise||31.79*||37.51||36.91||35.10||36.28||NR||1.18||36.28|
|24||1||Sarah Thorne||117||61/69 Spl||34.99*||39.39||38.65||36.50||38.41||44.32||1.91||38.41|
|25||1||Chris Westwood||110||Elise 111R||40.29||41.15||42.10||37.00||40.16||40.26||3.16||40.16|
|26||1||Graham Pattinson||807||M’sport Elise||N/A||45.68||40.99||37.10||40.69||NR||3.59||40.69|