View Report 20/5/18

Paul Matty Sportscars Lotus Championship 2018

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.