Saturday – F3, 2000, Classic and FR2000 Grid
The Monoposto season kicked off on 22nd and 23rd April with a trip to Cadwell Park in the Lincolnshire Wolds. The weather was unusually sunny and reflected the happy atmosphere of the paddock, most of whom were glad to be back racing after the winter break.
An early start for the Mono F3, 2000, Classic 2000 and FR2000 grid saw a tense 15 minute qualifying where the fastest lap continually switched between Chris Hodgen and Ashley Dibden, with Chris eventually getting pole. Bryn Tootell led the 2000 class field, with a time 2 seconds faster than Terry Clark and Kevin Otway who qualified 2nd and 3rd respectively. Heading into the race Bryn looked like he would manage to better Terry and Kevin after reportedly doing “nothing to the car all winter… except change the engine”, he led them well until unfortunately a slipping clutch meant he ended up third overall and finished his weekend earlier than hoped. Kevin Otway went on to win the 2000 class battle with Terry Clark second. Kevin bettered his lap record for the class from last year, taking 1.7 seconds off the time.
After the throes of qualifying, a great start from Ashley Dibden saw him ahead of Chris Hodgen by the first corner, he quickly gained a sizeable lead over Hodgen, but in the closing stages of the race Chris started clawing back the gap, but didn’t have enough time to challenge for the lead. Simon Tate gained third place from Neil Harrison early on in the race and an impressive battle between Robin Dawe and Neil Harrison saw Robin take fourth place, on his first race out with Monoposto in his Tom’s Toyota. Robin very nearly didn’t make it out on track in the race after it became apparent that he had no clutch whilst sat in the assembly area. Luckily, as is typical of the Monoposto spirit, members of rival teams joined forces to make sure that he got out on track.
Hayden Edmonds was the sole representative for the FR2000 class over the weekend after an unfortunate moment during Friday testing put James Densley out for the weekend. Hayden enjoyed his racing though and set a lap record for the class, which he went on to break the following day.
Saturday – 1800, 1600, Moto 1400 and Moto 1000 Grid
A hectic turnaround with back-to-back Monoposto races saw teams running up and down the hill between the assembly area and the pit wall, but fortunately the race was able to start on time. Jason Timms bogged down off the start which meant that Mark Reade, over from Ireland with his Leastone 1000, got past for second place in the race. Mark almost didn’t make it out in time for the race, but together with Team Boss, Paul, he managed to get the car fixed in time for the race. Jeremy Timms quickly disappeared into the distance and Mark Reade held P2 for a few laps until being caught and passed by Jason Timms. Jason later lost a few places after “a moment on the grass” – as the post marshal put it – and finished the race 7th overall and third in class. Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke came second in the 1400 class and second overall after climbing up from fourth.
Dan Levy also gained two places in the race, coming third overall and winning the Moto 1000 class after getting past Mark Reade towards the end of the race. Peter Lague was going well in his Speads after a run of bad luck last year. It looked like his luck was finally turning until he pulled in on lap 7 with a poorly engine. Peter has subsequently decided to retire the Speads, but will be back with us at Brands in his Van Diemen. Mick Kinghorn came third for the Moto 1000 class, with Kyle Cutts in fourth.
The 1800 class battle saw Chris Lord out-qualify Matt Walters by 0.032 seconds, however Matt got the better of him on lap 2 of the race. Chris stuck with him for most of the race, but was unable to get past. Phil Davis retired from the race on lap 3 with a broken push rod which meant David Jones came third in the end, with Doug McLay in fourth. Geoff Fern dominated the 1600 class ahead of Eddie Guest, but both drivers managed to better a couple of the 1800 class drivers, gaining them 9th and 11th place respectively overall in the race.
Sunday – F3, 2000, Classic and FR2000 Grid
Ashley Dibden qualified on pole for Sunday’s race and had another great start, but an accident further back in the field, which saw Taylor Macvean and Kevin Otway retire from the race, meant that the race was red flagged and the drivers lined up again for the restart. Ashley managed to replicate the start though and led the race from start to finish. Chris Hodgen was again closing in on Ashley in the closing stages of the race, but again did not have enough time to challenge for the lead; he came second and recorded the fastest lap, which was only 0.015 seconds off the lap record held by Robbie Watts from last year. Simon Tate had an issue in qualifying which say him start 12th on the gird, he clawed back the places during the race, finishing 4th overall and battling with Neil Harrison for third place. This saw Simon earn the ‘Driver of the Day’ accolade in the prize-giving.
With Kevin Otway out of the race, Terry Clark led the 2000 class field and won it overall which sees him take the lead in the 2000 class championship. Mat Jordan finished the race second in class and Robert Smith came third in class in his first ever race. He was sharing the car with his father, Mark Smith, over the weekend and now leads him in the championship standings. Marcus Sheard was the sole Classic class representative in the race, after Ian Hughes had withdrawn due to a cracked brake disc.
Sunday – 1800, 1600, Moto 1400 and Moto 1000 Grid
The final Monoposto race of the weekend saw Jeremy and Jason Timms again qualify 1st and 2nd respectively with Dan Levy behind in 3rd overall and 1st in class for the Moto 1000 class. However, Dan was unable to get first gear on the green flag lap and due to a delayed departure from the grid he had to start the race from the back. He had a brilliant race though which saw him gain 3 places by the first corner and was up to 4th place by lap 4. Jeremy Timms again disappeared into the distance with Jason Timms behind in second and Mark Reade in 3rd after Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke had an issue on the start and ended up last. Mark was then promoted to 2nd overall and Dan Levy to 3rd after Jason Timms retired with a broken throttle. Mark and Dan had a good battle for 2nd place, with Dan taking 2nd on the first corner of the last lap, but lost the place to Mark again whilst negotiating a backmarker. Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke fought his way up to 4th overall and 2nd in class. Jeremy Timms not only won the race overall, but he also broke Jason’s lap record and came within 0.8 seconds of the overall lap record.
Further down the field, the results were much the same as the race the previous day, with Matt Walters winning the 1800 race ahead of Chris Lord and Geoff Fern winning the 1600 race from Eddie Guest. Phil Davis had better luck for this race though and came third in class ahead of David Jones and Doug McLay. Kyle Cutts cam 4th again the Moto 1000 race but improved on his best lap time by over 3 seconds from the previous day and cam 8th overall on the grid, ahead of Geoff Fern who had bested him the day before.
Feedback from the Weekend
“Please pass on my appreciation to the Mono competitors for their co-operation and understanding of the situation especially with the timetable adjustments / delays on Saturday due to the barrier repairs prior to commencing their sessions and for their excellent driving standards once again.” – Terry Scannell, Clerk of the Course
“Myself and Paul would just like to thank you and the club for a great weekend. Great bunch of people everyone helping us out on Saturday was a nice touch after I crashed. Looking forward to the rest of the season. Thanks again.” – Mark Reade #45, Moto 1000
“Just want to say a huge well done one the weekend, it all ran like clockwork… Already looking forward to the next one” – Matt Walters #76, Mono 1800
“I thought the atmosphere in the paddock was typical Monoposto, relaxed, helpful and friendly just as it should be” – Eddie Guest #57, Mono 1600