Rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the UKCG Monoposto Championship at Snetterton on 12th and 13th May saw the club celebrate its 60th anniversary. It was hot and sunny on Friday whilst everybody was setting up and testing and this continued into Saturday morning for qualifying. This soon turned though and the rain started to fall just as the first race got underway which caused a fair amount of havoc and eventually ended up with the race being red flagged. The rain continued for much of the day, meaning the race for the second grid was wet, but thankfully the rain disappeared by the time of the barbeque in the evening. Sunday stayed dry all day, but was noticeably colder than the rest of the weekend had been.
The hub was upgraded for the weekend and was inside the awning of James Drew-Williams’ artic, where hundreds of photos from the last 60 years were displayed. The photos had kindly been supplied by ex-members and competitors over the previous weeks and made a fantastic display. These photos were complimented by The Viking, Alan Baillie’s homebuild car which he took to championship victory three times in the 70s, which was on display in the hub. The car has just finished an extensive rebuild and it was very kind of Bob Boughton and Alan to bring it to the event. Alan took part in a lunchtime parade in the car on the Saturday; he was joined on track by a number of ex-Monoposto champions.
The photos and cars were not the only things happening in the hub over the weekend as the club did full DIY hospitality as food and drinks appeared sporadically all weekend for competitors, teams and guests to enjoy. The annual barbeque and Baking Grand Prix took place on Saturday evening, which over 100 people came to, this was a great success and very much enjoyed by everybody, especially since drinks had been provided by the club. Congratulations to Kevin Otway who won the Baking Grand Prix for the second year in a row!
The club was honoured to welcome a number of ex-champions and members to the event over the weekend, with lots of people making the effort to come and show their support for the club. The oldest champion (in terms of championship year) to come to the meeting was Tony Goodwin, who won the 1960 championship. We had lots of visitors from every decade of the club’s history join us and it was fantastic to hear all of their tales of their time racing with Monoposto. All the competitors and guests who came to the event received a metal sign as a memento which lists all of the past champions. Many of the guests have said it will be put up on the wall in the garage, or kept safe alongside their 50th Anniversary mug.
On track, we had our usual two grids, but the Classic class had an extra boost at the meeting as competitors made the effort to bring their older cars out to celebrate the anniversary. Notably, Jeremy Goodman joined us again in his Ralt RT3 after a few years away from racing and Ewen Sergison brought Jim Blockley’s Ralt RT3 out to play. Jim won 6 Monoposto Championships in his Ralt between 1989 and 2013 which is the most championships anyone has won using the same car, although over the years it has moved from being a ‘Mono A Class’ car to a ‘Mono Classic’. It clearly still has its magic though as Ewen took the car to a class win in the first race on Sunday. Every race for the Classic class was exciting to watch with very close racing and it was lovely to see three different competitors take each of the class wins over the weekend. Ian Hughes with his Van Diemen RF88 in the first race, Ewen Sergison in the second and Peter Venn in his Anson SA4 in the third race.
The F3 class saw some close racing with Ben Cater taking two of the class wins and Tony Bishop the other. James Drew-Williams had a successful meeting, his first of the year, with two third places and a fourth. Neil Harrison also had better luck at this meeting, taking two second places. The 2000 class saw Terry Clark take the win in the first race and Kevin Otway the other two, plus all three fastest laps, which has now placed him at the top of the championship standings. Michael Jowett took part in his first ever race on the Saturday after being forced to take up racing by his daughter, Amelia. He enjoyed his first race weekend and came away with the 130R Driver of the Day award on the Sunday for his performance in the 2000 class.
The Moto 1000 class was extremely busy again and is by far the biggest class this season at the moment. We had a contingent of Jedis joining us for the weekend in the form of Dax Ward, Frazer Corbyn, Ross Boorman and Peter Lague. Frazer unfortunately had his engine let go in testing on the Friday so wasn’t able to compete over the weekend, but Dax Ward made up for that by putting in a dominant performance and taking all three class wins. It was great to have the lovely Peter Lague out with us again and he enjoyed himself behind the wheel of ‘The Rocket’ over the weekend, he had his share of problems but he came away with a well deserved third place in the final race.
The 1800 class had another good entry for this meeting and Chris Lord had a fantastic weekend in this class, taking pole in qualifying, all three class wins in the races and all three fastest laps. Jeff Williams joined the class for the first time in his orange Van Diemen RF82 and took three fourth places over the weekend – I’m sure he will be back again this season to claim one of our trophies!
Jock Sergison came out in the 1800 class in his son Ewen’s car. Jock retired from racing in 2015 and a trophy was donated to the club to commemorate his years of racing. The Jock Sergison Life Time Achievement Award recognises those who have made a big impact on the club during their time being involved. Jock raced with the club for well over 40 years and at the time of his retirement from racing he was the longest standing member of the club. He was well known for building his own cars, from the fantastic B.R.E.W which he raced in the 70s, to the somewhat questionable Highlander Mk 3 which was his final car. He only ever won one race and it’s still a mystery how that happened. Ewen convinced Jock to renew his licence this year to take part in the anniversary and he was thrilled to be there with his long suffering mechanic, Big Phil. Jock absolutely loved the weekend and even took third place in the second race of the weekend.
A man who definitely needs a mention in this anniversary report is Geoff Fern. What a legend. Geoff is the most successful man in Monoposto, with a massive 11 championships to his name. He brings a fleet of cars with him every meeting and supports the club with all its endeavours. He’s won pretty much every trophy going in the club and this year he is contesting two championships simultaneously – 1600 and Moto 1400. He had a great weekend at Snetterton and took 6 first place trophies home with him.
Each year we nominate a weekend to hold the Ray Dackombe Memorial Trophy. The trophy scores points across qualifying and all three races. It was hotly contested over the weekend and this year there was a tie on points as Chris Lord and Geoff Fern (twice) got a perfect score, it then went down to the competitor with the biggest class which made Chris the winner. As well as winning the trophy, Chris also took home a copy of ‘Monoposto Formula’, the sell out book about the history of Monoposto from 1958 – 1976. The book had kindly been donated as a prize by Ewen Sergison and it was presented by Duncan Rabagliati who is one of the three authors.
Thank you to everybody who came to support the event over the weekend, it was fantastic to meet so many people and hear the stories of their days with the club, it was also great to see ex-members catching up and reminiscing together.
Finally, a big thank you needs to go to John Fox who was instrumental in the organisation of the event, from providing contact details for ex-champions and members, to providing the most fantastic photos from the early days of Monoposto. John gave his time for free out of passion for the club and was chatting away to everybody in the hub all weekend. The event would definitely not have been such a success without his input, for which I am extremely grateful.