With a three hour gap to our second race, we chose to investigate why our new brake discs were so noisy. Nothing conclusive was found so we told Rod to just get on with it. This rolling start didn’t go quite to plan as Rod followed the safety car into the pit lane! A “technical problem” was quickly diagnosed and Rod returned at the tail of the field. This made for a far more interesting race. By the end of lap one he had already passed ten cars and was 19th. Lap two and he was 15th with six more being overtaken on lap three. Up to sixth on lap four, but the first five had sped away opening up a reasonable gap. The pursuit was now on and it took three more laps to reel them in. Two were passed on lap seven and the final three succumbed on lap 8 whilst in amongst some back markers. The winning margin was 6.66 seconds at the chequered flag at the conclusion of 14 laps.
The rest of the race was also very entertaining. Yet again second place was closely fought but this time Derek Parker brought his slick shod Caterham through to the runner up spot. Mark Steward (the erstwhile leader for seven laps) fell back to fourth so the leading Tiger became Paul Dudley. All three were covered by just one second at the end. Mick Grant brought his Tiger home fifth from Stewart Fenton’s E1 version in sixth. Steve Weatherley was without the company of Trevor Nicosia this time, but he was nearly caught by Dave Fuller’s Midget. Dave won the best prepared car award. The bright Toyota of Gareth Smith completed the unlapped runners with a steady drive in ninth, having been up to sixth at one point.
Steve Quenby and Mark Steadman rounded out the top eleven in their Tigers, closely pursued by the tenacious Bill Richards who just managed to beat the bigger engined tin top boys. A glitch with MST showed Bill a lap further down initially but this was corrected later. John Strickland and Steve Dann renewed their battle for T2 honours. Steve held the initiative for four laps then John got by. However, on lap 12 the positions were reversed again only for John to snatch it back on the final tour. Steve was unanimously voted the driver of the race and received the Quaife Engineering bottle of bubbly plus Dunlop hat.
Three more Tigers filled the next positions, although Adam Wilkins was being caught by Steve Griffiths and Paul Swonnell. Paul had made good progress from 23rd to 16th. Dean Spurr was pipped by Andrew Partridge to be the leading BMW runner, Andrew taking third place in the T2 class. The BMWs had an interesting time with the Tigers and it was good to see all the drivers enjoying themselves. Likewise Gary Chappell found his Toyota to be the meat in a thick BMW sandwich. Simon Fox, Alan Stuart and Jamie Smith were in front of the Japanese car, with Andrew Cotterill, Tony Smith and Richard Cormode just behind. Brian Daly (BMW 318i) and Christopher Brooks (Tiger R6) completed the runners. Only Paul Bickers failed to finish.
An enjoyable, if very cold day, watched by a reasonable size Saturday crowd. No doubt enticed by the Lotus owners club.
Next stop is Lydden Hill on April 7th for the first championship round.