Lydden Hill 9th
September. Part 1 - Dunlop Track and Race Car Saloons
Round 8 of the DT&R
championship saw a return to Lydden Hill for the annual “Festival of
Motorsport” meeting. This is a really popular day, with action all
the way. 36 races would be run before 6pm (just), including the
return of the trucks. These 6.5 tonne monsters certainly kept the
large crowd entertained and hopefully they will return again. They
arranged for the lovely Gemma to help present our awards, in the
absence of Andy Ratcliffe. I think the majority decision is for Andy
to stay away!! (only joking Andy).
Practice for the class
B, D and E race saw an unfortunate accident, which eliminated both
Chris Farr and Neil Clark. Chris was having his first go in his re-engined
(now) class E Fiesta, whilst Neil was debuting in the championship
with the ex-Kris Waite (white) Sapphire Cosworth. Opinions obviously
differed about the accident, but suffice to say it was a great
shame. Hopefully the cars will be fixed soon. Andy Pipe suffered a
half shaft failure, which meant his team would have to miss
The A, C and I practice
was fairly uneventful although Andy Woods-Dean nearly stopped right
in front of Rod.
The first race saw
Nigel Craig, obviously inspired by being on all the posters and the
programme cover, shoot off into an immediate lead. Richard Brent was
comparatively slow away and then had a brush with Steve Weatherley.
Richard did receive a driver warning flag, but no penalty was
issued. Meanwhile Andy Mitchell had secured the class E lead and
looked to have done enough to secure the win. However, Richard
relentlessly reeled him, eventually making a neat outside pass at
the Devils Elbow. This meant he won the class and finished second
overall behind Nigel, whilst Andy had to settle for third overall
although he did get the driver of the race award. Steve maintained
fourth overall and second in class B from Rick May.
Lee McNair had a
welcome return, managing sixth overall and third in class E, whilst
Alex Ribbens returned to form and took class D honours from Greg Pye,
the pair never more than a length or two apart. Alex seemed more
pleased to see Gemma, although I am sure it was just the elation of
receiving his trophy. West countryman Mike Edgell had an interesting
race with Ray Adams, the VW finishing five seconds in front of
returnee Malc Best. Malcolm has had to battle against illness so it
was especially good to see him back, and he brought his other car
for Chris Marsh to drive.
The second race was for
the class A, C and I cars, although one of the class I competitors
(namely Steve Luscombe) suffered a major clutch failure on the
rolling lap. The start was aborted whilst his car was moved. From
the off Rod shot into an early lead, only to see it negated on lap 8
when he had to wait behind Tim Dodwell due to a yellow flag showing
that Steve Govett had stopped. John Cross sniffed an opportunity and
roared up behind Rod and then tapped him into a half spin. Rod
quickly recovered, despite dropping to third behind David Oates.
With time and laps running out, the black Escort suddenly spat
larger flames as Rod stoked up the boost and regained the lead just
before the chequered flag.
John did apologise for
the incident and no action was taken. In fact John got the Quaife
driver of the race award. David came home third with Bill Richards
hard on his tail in fourth. Bill had just jumped into his Metro,
having retired his Mini in the previous race. Peter Wilkinson had
managed to repair his immaculate Mitsubishi, which he brought home
fifth just 0.8 seconds behind Bill. Only 4 seconds covered the first
five. Kerr Robertson finally broke his duck in class C, taking a
good win over Chris Adams in his Honda Integra. Peter Taylor did
originally split them, but an unfortunate incident with Ashley
Hargreaves, resulted in Peter receiving a ten second penalty and
points on his licence. Ashley did limp home third in class C, whilst
Alan Cherry suffered a ventilated block in his Astra.
The longer B, D and E
race again saw Nigel Craig make the best start, with Steve
Weatherley snatching second place. There then followed an intriguing
battle as Steve defended his position against Richard Brent. The
Sapphire was quicker down the straights whilst the Peugeot closed up
around the corners. Their battle also kept them close to Nigel, with
just 1.5 seconds covering the trio at the chequered flag. Andy
Mitchell was somewhat subdued in fourth, with Lee McNair similarly
isolated in fifth. Rick May had a good run to sixth although he was
somewhat shy about meeting Gemma at the prize giving. Andy Wickens
stepped forward with no hesitation!!
The battle for class D
honours continued. This time Alex Ribbens had to fend off the
advances of Andy Pipe, the final gap being just 0.1 of a second.
Andy’s team gratefully accepted the driver of the race award, whilst
Alex took the winners trophy. Greg Pye had to settle for third in
class but only 1.5 seconds behind, with Mike Edgell close on his
exhaust pipe. Ray Adams completed the full distance again with his
well-turned out VW Vento.
Malc Best was the first
lapped runner in 12th position, and he said he enjoyed
his return immensely even managing to dice with Andrew Gatfield and
Andy Wickens. Russell Harding, Jamie Goldthorpe and Chris Marsh
completed the finishers after Bill Richards retired his recalcitrant
The A, C and I boys
were told to cool it for their second race. Rod scampered off into
the lead, quickly building up a four second margin. John Cross
started experiencing worsening understeer as a result of a
de-laminating tyre. By lap five David Oates had slipped by into
second position, with Peter Wilkinson moving up to third on the
following lap. Bill Richards then overtook the Mercedes with his
Metro, before John called it a day on lap 8. With Rod cruising to
his 17th win of the year (16 in DT&R), David came home an
equally reliable second. The battle for third was another of these
“little and large” tussles. The red Mitsubishi just had sufficient
margin over the blue Metro Cosworth.
Peter Taylor had a less
dramatic run to fifth overall, although unable to match the pace of
the leading quartet. Kerr Robertson was delighted to see the
chequered flag twice in one day, and doubly pleased that it was
another class win. Chris Adams chased him hard to secure the runner
up spot, and receive the Quaife best prepared car award. Anthony
Ahmed was the first lapped runner in eighth, Anthony trying slick
tyres and improving his lap times during the day.
Steve Govett “fixed”
his Eurocar Toyota, although he is still not sure why it stopped in
the first race. A good run gave Steve a bit more confidence so
hopefully he will come back next month.
The trio of Russell Bradley, Phil Usher and Barry Barnes enjoyed a
race long tussle. Barry had at least one “gravel trap” moment with
his Carina. Later he explained that the gearbox was not quite right,
so he was compromised in some of the corners. Never the less it was
good to see a smile on Barry’s face. Tim Dodwell found an unusual
playmate in the shape of the MG Midget driven by Paul Bernal-Ryan.
They both had a good clean scrap with Tim just emerging victorious.
Andy Wood-Dean and Peter Reeves completed the finishers, Andy having
a few gremlins with his Renault Megane.
This completed the DT&R
races, although Bill Richards also competed in the two “tin top”
races for road tyred saloons. He won his class twice with his “renta
Mini”, whilst Andrew Busby took two overall wins in his neat BMW M3.
Alan Cherry was loaned his brother’s Rover Tomcat for the second
race following his Astra’s engine problem. Jamie Goldthorpe also
took in both these races, finishing fourth and third in his very
reliable Honda CRX.
Lydden Hill 9th September. Part 2 – The
During the afternoon
both Rod and John Cross tackled the CAMSO V8 races on the oval. John
pressed his Mercedes into use, whilst Rod borrowed one of the oval
cars (a Pontiac). John suffered a cracked brake disc in the first
race, so subsequently withdrew. Rod nearly spun on some loose gravel
in the first encounter, but took a good third place in the next
heat. For some reason he had to start the final from the rear of the
grid. A first corner melee saw Rod emerge in the lead much to the
delight of his many supporters, but it was short lived as the red
flags soon appeared. A complete re-start saw the grid reform in its
original order. Unfortunately there was little place changing as the
cars were very evenly matched.
The stock hatch
“rallycross” vs. Group A hot rod challenge, saw Richard Kemp drafted
into the stock hatch team. Although he was a little apprehensive he
soon adapted to the oval style of racing, netting two second place
finishes and helping the team to retain their title. Richard in fact
was the top scoring “hatch” driver, and he was really pleased to
receive a trolley jack for his efforts.
Finally, the truck
racing was simply awesome. The 6.5 tonne leviathans really put on a
good show and even managed to overtake quite cleanly. One driver,
Rick Collett, spent most of the lap completely sideways, much to the
delight of the appreciative crowd. All in all a great day’s
entertainment, well done to everyone involved. The image gallery has
plenty of photos, which capture the flavour.