Silverstone (BDC) - 22 September 2001
|6||39||C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||1:08.05||3.70||139.54||86.71|
|7||41||B||Adrian van der Kroft||+8||1:08.29||3.94||139.05||86.40|
Silverstone BDC - 22 September 2001
|6||41||B||Adrian van der Kroft||+8||11:39.54||10||36.96||84.35||1:08.21||2||86.50|
|7||39||C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||11:45.15||10||42.57||83.68||1:08.94||5||85.59|
|15||73||C||Steve Lockett||+8||11:05.50||9||1 lap||79.80||1:11.74||6||82.25|
|16||31||C||Leigh Sebba||+8||11:13.36||9||1 lap||78.86||1:12.34||7||81.56|
|17||78||D||Jack Bellinger||+8||11:17.73||9||1 lap||78.36||1:13.16||3||80.65|
|18||71||D||Kelvin Laidlaw||+8||11:18.45||9||1 lap||78.27||1:12.07||9||81.87|
|19||20||C||Robin Pearce||+8||11:25.50||9||1 lap||77.47||1:13.97||3||79.77|
|20||7||D||Mary Lindsay||+8||11:25.86||9||1 lap||77.43||1:13.76||3||79.99|
|21||1||E||Alan Wickenden||4/4||11:27.20||9||1 lap||77.28||1:13.70||9||80.06|
|22||24||B||Phil Brown||+8||11:30.71||9||1 lap||76.88||1:14.15||3||79.57|
|23||18||E||John Clarke||+8||11:31.07||9||1 lap||76.84||1:14.45||5||79.25|
|24||57||B||James Bellinger||+8||11:35.87||9||1 lap||76.31||1:13.60||4||80.17|
|25||11||E||David James||+4||11:37.17||9||1 lap||76.17||1:15.02||8||78.65|
|26||82||E||Matt Taylerson||+4||11:40.54||9||1 lap||75.80||1:13.45||7||80.33|
|27||44||E||Stephen Wheatley||4/4||11:04.13||8||2 laps||71.08||1:16.46||2||77.17|
Silverstone (BDC) - 22 September 2001
|Lap record||B||Peter Horsman||+8||1:06.16||8||143.53||89.18|
|C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||1:08.94||8||137.74||85.59|
|Lap record||D||Kelvin Laidlaw||+8||1:12.07||8||131.76||81.87|
Bentley Drivers’ Festival
Silverstone BDC - 22 September 2001
The Bentley Drivers Club meeting on Saturday 22 of September was held in a true spirit of political incorrectness on a day designated as European Car Free Day when people were encouraged to walk or use pedal power. The Morgans dutifully rose to the challenge and showed those gas guzzling old Bentleys a thing or two by doing an economical 5 mpg, and in so doing contributed selflessly to the cause of anti-global warming by assisting in the using up stocks of high octane petrol.
As always the event proved popular with competitors and spectators alike so the Morgan grid was the largest this season. With the exception of class D, the class championships had all been decided, so the mood was slightly relaxed. Simon OG was hoping for his first ever class C win with James deciding to give his Moss Box, Noddy, an outing in class B. Sarge turned up with two cars, one for each of the races in which he had entered. So any remaining pressure was obviously upon Kelvin and Jack, who strove to outdo one another in the nonchalance stakes.
As the Morgans poured out onto the track behind Keith for qualifying, the marshals knew they were in for lots of excitement when Rob Wells, who clearly hadn’t been racing at Silverstone for many years and was not sure whether to circulate in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, decided to hedge his bets and do both, with rather more circulating than direction as he made a splendid 180 degree turn out of the pit lane on to the circuit. More unkind competitors were of the opinion that this might have been a spin but your scribe was assured by the seasoned campaigner that this was far from being the case and that, if it was a spin (which it wasn’t) he was merely trying out a new marketing ploy designed to draw attention to ROB 8R which is for sale at a very reasonable £30k. It seemed that Rob was inspired by the factory in this type of focused marketing strategy as they endeavour to market the Aero 8. He continued on his way and spent practice having duels with Peter H. He went rather wide at the bottom hairpin having been put off by a bit of Horsman late braking, but was encouraged into an immediate response by Peter gaily waving a finger or two as he sped past. Using the Class A car’s power to shoot past Peter at the end of the Club straight, Rob then discovered that he had been well and truly Bellingered as he ran out of braking room and Peter gaily swept past him raising a cheery wave of sympathy again. Simon OG however, was treated to a hailstorm of gravel as Rob returned to the track, but as he clocked a fine time well ahead of his fellow class competitors, and sixth on the grid, it only served to spur Simon on to ever faster times, 2/10ths of a second faster than James’ lap record. Keith stormed around the track clocking a faster time than Peter Garland’s lap record despite finding a slippery trace of oil at Woodcote leading to a spot of rather speedy lawnmowing. Simon McD managed 10 laps to qualify second on the grid but felt uneasy about his brakes after practice. Then came Peter H followed by Rob and Grahame Bryant. Chris W was unseen, while Matthew’s car although visible and apparently well, was lurking in one of the pit garages, rather than roaring around the track. Appearances are deceptive. It had blown up testing the previous day and despite John Eales rebuilding the oil pump overnight was still unwell, probably with bent push rods. It seems that the rematch between Keith and Matthew will have to wait until next season to the abject disappointment of all.
Kelvin had an excellent practice outqualifying Jack by a full two seconds and starting five places ahead so the class championship stakes were raised in Kelvin’s favour. Bellinger senior was determined to cause some problems though, so he managed to qualify in exactly the same time as Mary and was placed in front of her on the grid because he had achieved his fastest qualifying lap one lap earlier than Mary. Stephen W (class E), newly mended, stalled in the collecting area where the combined efforts of Chris, John and Julian managed to restart him whereupon he made for the circuit after checking carefully for stray Astons of the expensive variety. Once out he managed to go round speedily enough to outqualify John and David. Brian Jenkins sadly only managed two laps before his car died, while Alan was experiencing problems with his brakes. This left Matt Taylerson, a “when funds allow” competitor, to outqualify the rest of the class as well as four members of other faster classes to head class E on the grid.
Morgans were also represented in Vintage, Scratch, Allcomers’ Handicap and Allcomers’ Scratch races, so together with much vintage machinery and the Le Mans Bentley there was lots to see and do during the day especially as the BRDC stand was opened to the public without them having to pay a further sub following pressure put upon them so to do and some refunding of monies already paid.
Eventually 29 Morgans poured out of the pits for the Morgan-Tipp Memorial Scratch Race. As the lights changed for the start Keith, Simon, Peter H and Rob headed for Copse four abreast with Peter momentarily in the lead as the Class A cars struggled initially to get their superior power down. Simon braked first and the others squeezed through, then Keith started to pull away with Peter in second place. Adrian VdK, despite being more at home in XOV and having a dreadful start having been unable to find second gear, overtook Chris at Maggotts. Andy G who qualified eleventh on the grid had a great start overtaking Noddy to come up behind Simon OG, but then his “torpedo run” came to an end as he went onto the grass and then straight across the field in front of everyone else turning in, fortunately without incident.
Stephen Lockett put an end to Kelvin’s class championship hopes at the start when they had a coming together and Kelvin was punted unceremoniously off the track. By the time a dismayed Kelvin managed to recover himself he was last in the field. John had an excellent start blasting past Matt and Alan but alas came to grief at Brooklands on lap 3, going sideways on the grass thus allowing Alan to catch up and overtake down the straight and then to pull away, Alan was perhaps aided in this manoeuvre by his lack of brakes. Billy, John and Matt then played “swap the place” for a few laps until Billy pulled away on the 7th lap overtaking firstly Alan and then Phil B. Alan reasserted himself to overtake both of them on lap 8 to finish 21st and first in class E.
Matt too, tried to work his way up the field, but spun at Luffield on the final lap to finish second to last. Stephen W who had also joined in these games from time to time did finish last as he decided to spin twice, secondly on the fourth lap, and couldn’t quite get his momentum going again in the right direction.
Kelvin drove a demon race after his off, working his way steadily back up the field to finish less than a second behind Jack (now the class D winner) and with fastest lap and a new lap record. Kelvin was later awarded the Driver of the Day award. It seems that the class D championship will once again be hotly contested next year. At the front, Keith held onto the lead and although the other class A contenders were unable to get anywhere near him he was indeed racing, but with Peter Garland and his lap record. Despite breaking it in morning practice, during the race Keith remained 44/100ths of a second outside the elusive record. Again it looks like next season, so maybe the man himself might come out to defend it.
Behind Keith, Peter H easily kept in 2nd place relishing driving with a new clutch bit after his Mallory disaster. Unfortunately Simon McD had to retire on the first lap with an “engine management” problem (well I was blinded with science so maybe you will be too). Peter H was delighted to come second in the race and to win his class comfortably beating his own lap record. The more powerful engines of Rob and Grahame B were in third and fourth places with Grahame in the lead for the first six laps. Apparently they were driving a return race from about 1989 when they bashed into one another. Fortunately there was no bashing but Rob overtook on the seventh lap retaining 3rd place and attaining second in the winner’s class. Chris A followed Adrian until Adrian misfired at Copse on lap five and he took the opportunity to whiz past under braking and then put seven seconds between them, Chris finishing 5th and Adrian a creditable 6th place.
Grahame W stayed behind Chris and in front of Simon OG (except that he didn’t overtake Adrian) until lap nine when a very small wire came off his petrol switch, causing a very big problem, and he retired. Simon just concentrated on staying on the track, despite a certain amount of hassle from Sarge who had in turn been delighted to overtake Burry, Green and Paterson at the start. Phil H (from the usual trio) overtook Paul B on lap eight and set about trying to get himself on Sarge’s video but had to settle for a view of his wing mirrors. Simon OG stayed in seventh place, the clear winner of his class for the very first time.
James in Noddy broke up the usual class B trio finishing ahead of Paul B(not a member), Phil McK and Andy Green, who recovered from his off. Dan finished 14th behind Andy despite dicing with Phil McK and being ahead of Andy until lap nine when his old fuel starvation problem came back to haunt him allowing Andy to sneak past. Phil McK having overtaken Dan on the second lap managed to stay ahead of both but was unable to pass Noddy or Paul B when he too was overtaken by Noddy. Jack wisely kept his cool as Stephen L came past on the third lap dicing with Leigh instead for the next two laps until Leigh passed on lap five and widened the gap between them to four seconds. Jack was more concerned as Kelvin became visible from lap seven onwards, with due cause as only 3/4 of a second separated them at the chequered flag. Mary and Robin diced around the circuit but this time it was Robin who triumphed.
So once again it was Keith who took the chequered flag, but not the championship even though he won outright eight of the nine races. But that didn’t matter as all the drivers and spectators had a marvellous day of racing not only appreciating the Morgan race but also all of the others.
So the season closes with the drivers’ awards won and lost. Cars in their garages look triumphantly and apologetically at their drivers in anticipation of the forthcoming winter’s attention (surely extravagance?). What will emerge chrysalis-like next season from those garages? The suspense will have to continue until the usual pre-season testing at Snett (why always Snett?) or perhaps some disclosures may be dropped by slightly tipsy drivers and the cost by their slightly tipsy spouses at the Drivers’ dinner.
As for your scribe, her pen is getting weary and her brain exhausted of metaphors and adjectives. New inspiration is required or at least a more comprehensive Thesaurus. She has been especially gentle and forgiving to drivers this year and anticipates that their gratitude will be generous and overwhelming and will be in conspicuous evidence as she approaches the bar at the Drivers’ dinner.