What a difference a week makes. I’m on my way to Silverstone for the second weekend in a row and boy how it has changed. The HSCC Finals meeting has fared well with mild weather and sunshine, unlike the final rounds of the UKCG Monoposto Championship on 13th – 14th October which was battered by ‘Storm Callum’.
On the Friday for testing the wind was insane and most people struggled to put any semblance of an awning up at all. It was battering everybody, but at least it was mostly dry. The wind and rain continued overnight to give us a cold and damp Saturday morning. But by the time our qualifying started it had dried out and was sunny and warm. Some of us even caught the sun on Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying got underway with 41 people representing Monoposto on the grid. Overall pole was taken by Alex Fores in the F3 class driving the Bromfield Racing Dallara F301 which had just finished a complete overhaul and was out with a brand new livery. Alex qualified 4 seconds ahead of Neil Harrison, who took second in his Dallara F302. Third overall went to James Densley in his Formula Renault and he was closely followed by a quartet of Moto 1000s of all different makes.
Leading the Moto 1000 pack was Richard Gittings in his Jedi, then Mark Reade in his Leastone, Dominic Shepherd in his JKS and then Tom Rawlings in his Speads. Kevan McLurg broke the pack qualifying eighth overall and third for the F3 class and behind him was Dax Ward and Dean Warren for the Moto 1000s. With the M1000 championship still up for grabs this was shaping up to be a very exciting grid as there was a 4 way battle still ongoing. Mick Kinghorn bowed out of the championship battle early though as a blown engine saw him retire during qualifying and head for home.
Further down the grid, Peter Whitmore qualified first of the Classics ahead of Jared Wood who was second in class but five places further back on the grid and in third place was Peter Venn, who had borrowed Robin Dawe’s Vauxhall Lotus for the weekend to try to keep Peter Whitmore from denying him the Classic Championship. In the 1800 class, although the championship had already been decided, there was still looking to be a heated battle on going, with Phil Davis continuing his pace from Brands GP and out qualifying Chris Lord by 0.03 seconds.
Qualifying was brought to an abrupt halt a few minutes from the end though as Geoff Fern caught some oil on the last corner that spun him off and into the Armco before the start of the pit wall. He went in with quite some force and the red flags came out to call a stop to the session. The medical and rescue crews were with him fast and it wasn’t long before he was taken away to the Medical Centre. After several brain scans, they gave up trying to locate it and he was released back home the next day, with a limp from a hairline fracture in his hip. Everybody from Monoposto sends their best to Geoff and whilst we are keen to see him back out racing, hopefully someone will explain the terms ‘rest’ and ‘relax’ to him so that he can recuperate fully for next season.
Overnight the weather turned and the winds picked up again, joined with heavy rain which continued all night and into the next morning. Grim is the best way to describe the Sunday morning. The start of the day was delayed by almost an hour before the GT Cup cars went out for their warm up. The British F3s then headed out, but their session only lasted a couple of laps before being red flagged. More delays ensued as the Monoposto drivers sat in the assembly area amongst a sea of umbrellas and damp support crews. Eventually it was decided that our grid could head out behind the safety car for a safety car start.
The train followed the safety car round for two laps but a spin from Dave Wheal kept it out for another lap as he was cleared from the track. The safety car then pulled in for the race to begin, four of our cars followed him in rather than risking the race and 33 set off in the terrible conditions. Alex Fores was the only driver to complete a full race lap before the red flags came out. The cause of the red flag was Russ Giles who had spun on the straight by the Wing and was at ninety degrees to the pit wall over there. With the race over, the drivers all filed back in to the paddock and the results were declared based on the 3 safety car laps.
A rainy couple of hours followed with no other championships taking to the track and eventually the meeting was cancelled. It was a sad way to end what had been a fantastic championship, but there was one silver lining which was for Peter Venn. Although he had borrowed a car for the meeting to have the chance of winning the Classic Championship, he was proud to say that he had not only taken the title in the Classic Championship, but he realised that he had won it whilst sitting in the assembly area as Peter Whitmore had decided not to race in the conditions. This therefore meant that Mr Venn won based on the points he had scored earlier in the championship in the Anson, which he was proud to have done for his uncle, Dave Dudley.
Congratulations to all of our 2018 UKCG Monoposto Champions and hopefully we will see some of you at Brands or Anglesey with the Reprise IT Tiedeman Trophy, if not next season.