1800, 1600, Moto 1400 and Moto 1000 Grid
Saturday started off with glorious sunshine and the weather held out nicely for qualifying for the 1800, 1600, Moto 1000 and Moto 1400 grid. This didn’t stop a number of incidents causing some stoppages though. A spin by Matt Walters on the second lap of qualifying brought out a red flag due to him being beached on the edge of Paddock Hill Bend, but that didn’t stop him getting pole for the first race in the 1800 class on the lap before his off. Qualifying got underway again but only for a few laps before the safety car came out. Overall pole in qualifying was taken by Bradley Hobday in the Moto 1000 class on the last lap, almost 2 seconds quicker than Jeremy Timms’ P2 time.
The first race got off to a good start with Bradley Hobday making a good getaway before Jeremy Timms took the lead of the race on lap 2. Bradley held 2nd for the entire race and also set a new lap record for the Moto 1000 class, taking almost a second out of the previous record. Mark Reade pulled into the pits on lap 2 of the race, but later rejoined and managed to catch the pack and climb up the grid to get 14th place overall. Jason Timms unfortunately had his engine let go on lap 3 which put him out for the weekend and promoted Richard Gittings up to third overall and 2nd in the Moto 1000 class. He was being pressured for most of the race by Andre Gordon-Colebrook, but managed to keep him behind. Meanwhile in the 1800 class, Matthew Walters led the class start to finish and had some close battles with cars from other classes whilst climbing the order, Julian Hoskins and Chris Lord were fighting for 2nd in class for the whole race, with Julian eventually coming out on top. In the 1600 class, Geoff Fern ran away in the lead as usual, with Nigel Davers in 2nd and Eddie Guest and Kevin Bottomley fighting for 3rd, Kevin eventually came out on top to round off the 1600 class podium.
Sunday saw two races for each grid with the start positions for the first determined by the second fastest qualifying times from the day before. Race two of the weekend for grid 1 saw Jeremy Timms have a poor start and drop back a few places. He soon gained the places back and then took the lead after Bradley Hobday unfortunately had his engine give up which put him out for the rest of the day. Jeremy then promptly disappeared into the distance to win the race. Early in the race there was a good battle between 3rd and 5th place on the grid which saw Mark Reade, Richard Gittings and Richard Moorcroft swapping and changing positions at the top of the Moto 1000 class. Mark retired from the race on lap 5 and Richard Gittings went on to win the class and finish 2nd overall after starting 13th on the grid, with Richard Moorcroft 2nd in class and Mick Kinghorn having an impressive drive from 16th to 5th on the grid to take 3rd in class. A close fought battle in the 1800 class saw Matt Walters win again with Chris Lord bettering Julian Hoskins this time out to take 2nd in class.
The final race for this grid started off well with a clean start, but didn’t stay that way for long. Kevin Bottomley and Nigel Davers had a coming together on lap 1 which put Nigel out, however Kevin managed to recover from the gravel and carry on to eventually get 2nd in class. Mark Reade concluded a disastrous weekend by pulling off on lap 2, his team mate Morgan McCourt also had issues and finished last in the race. On lap 4 George Fowler and Geoff Fern had a coming together at turn 1 which put them both out of the race and brought the safety car out. Jeremy Timms led the race start to finish, Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke gained a place to finish 2nd overall and Richard Gittings came 3rd overall and won his class. Dan Levy had a change in fortune, after failing to finish race 1 and 2, by coming 4th overall and 2nd in class. Matt Walters again won the 1800 class for a clean sweep of poles, wins and fastest laps. Chris Lord came 2nd and Julian Hoskins was 3rd with Phil Davis and David Jones competing for 4th further down the grid; Phil eventually came out on top. With the retirement of Geoff Fern and Nigel Davers from the 1600 class, Eddie Guest was promoted to leading the class and managed to hold position against Kevin Bottomley who ended up with 2nd in class and Simon Pruce came in 3rd. Jeremy Timms, as well as taking 3 wins over the weekend, broke the Moto 1400 lap record – three times! He took 0.3 seconds out of the record in each race.
F3, 2000, Classic and FR2000 Grid
After a lovely start to Saturday morning, there was a downpour just before the start of the F3, 2000, Classic and FR2000 qualifying which led to a frenzied panic of wheel changes just before the drivers left for the assembly area. Most opted for wet tyres with only Lee Cunningham, Bryn Tootell and Terry Clark staying on slicks, this proved to be the wrong choice for them. Robert Smith spun on lap 3 and retired from qualifying and Chris Hodgen stopped on track on lap 3 which meant that he was much further down the order for Races 1 and 2 than would usually be expected. A coming together of James Drew-Williams and Nick Catanzaro put the safety car out and meant that James was unable to take part in races 1 or 2 of the weekend. Chris Davison got pole in the end, with Kevan McLurg P2 and Ben Cater P3.
Peter Venn and Andrew Barron pulled into the pits on the green flag lap and unfortunately did not get out at all in Race 1. Kevan McLurg, after starting from 2nd, stopped on track during the first lap but luckily didn’t cause a safety car. Ben Cater took the lead of the race on the first lap and Ashley Dibden stayed close behind in 2nd, putting pressure on all race but not managing to get past Ben. Simon Tate and Neil Harrison had a great fight for 3rd place which lasted for most of the race before Simon spun on the last lap and dropped back to 7th. Lee Cunningham and Chris Hodgen finished 4th and 5th respectively after starting from 9th and 8th. Bryn Tootell managed to defend well from Kevin Otway to win the 2000 class, with Kevin 2nd and Terry Clark in 3rd. Hayden Edmonds and James Densley enjoyed an intense battle for the duration of the race, with James just pipping Hayden over the line and taking the win by 0.007 seconds. The classic class saw Jared Wood take the win ahead of Ian Hughes in 2nd and Nick Catanzaro in 3rd, with Marcus Sheard close behind in 4th place.
Race 2 started with the cars in their second fastest positions from qualifying the day before, which again put Chris Hodgen well down the order, this time in 10th. Ashley Dibden took the lead of the race during lap 1 after starting in 4th place, he and Ben Cater then pulled away from the rest of the pack, before Ben had a spin on lap 3 which demoted him from 2nd to 6th. He then caught up to a very close battle between 2nd to 5th places which consisted of Simon Tate, Lee Cunningham, Neil Harrison and Chris Hodgen who all swapped and changed for most of the race. In the end Chris Hodgen came 2nd with Neil Harrison 3rd after starting 10th and 8th respectively. Peter Venn ran away with the lead of the Classic class but was in his own battle against the clock to break the lap record for the class, which he succeeded in doing. Further down the field, Ian Hughes took 2nd in the class and Jared Wood came 3rd, with Marcus Sheard beating Nick Catanzaro this time for 4th place. In the 2000 class, Bryn Tootell for most of the race but lost the lead to Kevin Otway on the last lap. However a red flag on the last lap, when Mat Jordan spun and stopped on track, meant that the results went back a lap and Bryn ended up winning the class. A similar scenario occurred in the FR2000 class as Hayden Edmonds and James Densley battled hard again but James lost the win to Hayden after the results went back a lap to when Hayden was still leading. Richard Crisp came in 3rd in the FR2000 class and set a new lap record for the class, bettering the one set by James the day before.
Race 3 had a clean start, but a poor getaway from Chris Hodgen meant that Neil Harrison got ahead of him for 2nd place. Ben Cater, who had started 4th, had a spin during the first lap which put him out for the rest of the race. Ashley Dibden again pulled a good gap to lead the race from start to finish. Chris Hodgen got past Neil Harrison on the inside of Paddock Hill Bend on lap 5 to take back 2nd place and Neil again finished 3rd. Lee Cunningham and Simon Tate had a good battle to eventually finish 4th and 5th respectively. In the 2000 class, Bryn Tootell and Kevin Otway fought for class honours, and again Bryn took them. Further down the field Paul Britten and Terry Clark had a close battle to end up 3rd and 4th respectively. Ian Hughes and Jared Wood both retired from the classic class during lap 5 of the race and Peter Venn disappeared into the distance again to take the win, with Nick Catanzaro 2nd and Marcus Sheard 3rd. In the FR2000 class, Hayden Edmonds and James Densley again swapped and changed positions during the race with Hayden eventually winning the class, James came 2nd and Richard Crisp 3rd. Chris Vosper came 4th in the class after a very well driven first race weekend. He, Richard and James were all also fighting for points in the SUNBAC Nova award, along with Robert Smith in the 2000 class, as they are all in their first season of car racing. James Densley is leading the Nova award going into round 6 of the Championship at Silverstone.