Round 7 - Silverstone International - Sunday August 26th
This was to be the DMN championshipís first visit to the international circuit at Silverstone and as is usual we had no problems filling the 44 spaces available on the grid. With this being the fourth meeting in five weeks a lot of pressure was on the front runners to keep scoring well.
Greg Rose was entered in the Sierra RS500 but turned up with the Ford falcon. From the start of practice it was obvious that this was the right choice and Greg secured pole by 1.7 seconds from Rod. Our team looked a little perplexed at the gap but Rod knew that this was very much a power circuit. The Falcon has about 80 bhp more than us, plus a truck load of instant torque.
Lining up third was Andy Thompson, his previous circuit knowledge stood him in good stead, but he still pedalled the Seat well to set the time. Andy was keen to make up some ground in the points chase. Next was John Cross, using the engine out of the Focus in the Mercedes. Tim Maddocks headed row three with fellow class C runner Andrew Williams alongside. Andy benifitted from racing the previous day in the WRDA race. Stephen Craig was seventh with Darren Bly next. Darren had his new toy, which is a 650 bhp Nissan Skyline, and it sounded awesome. Rounding out the top ten would be Peter Taylor and Ray Barrow. The rest of the line up is on the results page.
The rolling start made a terrific sight and when the lights went out the sound was fantastic. Rod snatched a very brief lead as Greg powered past before Becketts. Rod hung on gamely, but despite closing in the twisty bits he had no answer to the awesome straight-line speed. A concerted attack on lap 8 was thwarted by Peter Crewes who had the misfortune to blow his differential right through his sump immediately in front of Rod. Peter limped on around and for some reason John Cross was shown the chequered flag, a lap earlier than it should have been! Despite all this Greg took a deserved win, finally ending our run of 32 consecutive victories in this championship. As Rod said on the Podium ď I was glad that it was Greg who took the win, as he has being trying very hard for 18 months. It may have also taking three cars, but he finally got the right oneĒ.
John Cross was third, over 54 seconds adrift of the two leaders, such was their blistering pace. Andrew Williams took a remarkable fourth overall, and winning class C. Peter Taylor was a very good fifth in his lovely looking Sierra, although he did have the quick Nissan for company until Darren had a pirouette at Copse. Andy Thompson fell back slightly to finish seventh, but he still won class B. Stephen Craig and Ray Barrow had a good battle over 8th, this time it went in Stephenís favour. Rick May brought his Sierra home 10th overall and second in class B. Craig senior (Nigel) pursued Rick with Tim Maddocks slipstreaming them both just over a second back.
David Fuller won the invitation class, although his mirrors were full of battling class D Peugeots and the rapid Integra of Chris Adams.. Phil Brent and Andy Mitchell had a race long tussle, which just went to the Bristolian. Phil also won the driver of the race award, whilst Mr. Mitchell rued finishing second to yet another member of the Brent family. Nick Hayes was the first lapped runner in 17th, from the previously mentioned class E winner, namely Peter Crewes. Steve Weatherley received some unwanted damage in his door from Rhys Lloyd who was running in the invitation class. However, Andy Woods-Dean received a far bigger hit from the same car, which sadly knocked Andy out of the race.
As usual there were battles galore throughout the field. The tin tops lost a couple of runners in practice (Alan Cherry and Steve Dann) and then their pace setter (Darren Ferguson) pulled his very quick Peugeot into retirement. All this left the immaculate Ford Capri of Henry Mann to take the honours (Henry is the son of touring car legend Alan Mann). Gary Chappell took the T2 win from Tom Ibrahim (Vauxhall Astra).
Strangely our second race was moved to the end of the day, the official reason being that it took a long time to clear up the oil spillage. Much to DMN drivers dismay it soon became obvious that our race might be sacrificed as the 6pm curfew was fast approaching. Two red flags in the preceding Monoposto race, meant that we were told to go straight out without stopping and be prepared for a very quick rolling start. In fact the pace car very nearly spun at the Abbey hairpin, such was the enthusiasm of its driver. Nevertheless the race was underway and again Rod took the early advantage. This time he held the lead as far as Bridge corner, which both he and Greg took side by side, awesome stuff. Greg got the lead but Rod was really charging and looked to be closing in the braking areas. On lap four he got a good run on Greg through Becketts and stayed tucked in his slipstream down the Southern Straight. Into the braking area for Abbey hairpin Rod popped out and went for the inside. Greg started to turn in and Rod tried to brake harder to no effect. Contact was made and Greg spun as Rod tried to take avoiding action. It later transpired an empty drinks bottle had found itís way under the pedal box. Even more bizarre as Sue said she took two bottles to the winners podium in race one (one each for Rod and Greg). Rod was distraught at the incident and slowed for Greg to catch up, but unbeknown to him Greg went and spun again.
The chequered flag appeared as five laps were completed, the time being just over 7.1/2 minutes which was the minimum for full points to be allocated. Rod gave Greg the winners laurels and apologised profusely for the incident. Although disappointed, it was good to see Greg shake Rodís hand. In all the excitement John Cross just managed to hold onto third from a fast closing Bly. Stephen Craig again pipped Ray Barrow, although this time their fight was for fifth. The next group contained five cars and was headed by Andrew Williams, from Andy Thompson (both class winners again), then came Rick May, Tim Maddocks and Nigel Craig. Chris Adams tried to stay in touch but then he had Nick Hayes for company. Nick was having a really good run in his VW Golf and was disappointed the race was cut short.
David Fuller again won class I, whilst Andy Mitchell had a lonely run to class D honours after Phil Brent non-started. Bill Richards chased Andy to take the class E victory, but Bill was pursued by Mike Edgell who was recovering from a practice incident when a cam follower broke. Mike deservedly won the Quaife driver of the race award. In the absence of Henry Mann, Gary Chappell took outright tin top honours from Tom and Richard Ibrahim. Best prepared car award went to Tim Maddocks with his immaculate Honda Civic.