Report 19/09/20

PAUL  MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP

SHELSLEY WALSH

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.

June