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Castle Combe - 28 May 2001


Pos No Class Driver Car Time
Laps Behind
kph mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 1:16.753 12   139.65 86.77
2 54 B Peter Horsman +8 1:18.334 10 1.581 136.83 85.02
3 2 A Rick Lloyd +8 1:19.778 8 3.025 134.35 83.48
4 13 B Chris Acklam +8 1:20.235 11 3.482 133.59 83.01
5 21 C James Paterson +8 1:20.529 11 3.776 133.10 82.70
6 50 C Paul Burry +8 1:20.722 11 3.969 132.78 82.51
7 28 A Chris Williams +8 1:20.726 10 3.973 132.77 82.50
8 69 B Phil Hollins +8 1:22.786 11 6.033 129.47 80.45
9 25 C Dan Ward +8 1:22.988 11 6.235 129.15 80.25
10 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:23.027 11 6.274 129.09 80.21
11 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 1:23.961 11 7.208 127.66 79.32
12 1 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:24.263 10 7.510 127.20 79.04
13 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 1:24.380 10 7.627 127.02 78.93
14 34 B Peter Sargeant +8 1:24.575 10 7.822 126.73 78.75
15 20 C Robin Pearce +8 1:25.737 10 8.984 125.01 77.68
16 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 1:26.369 10 9.616 124.10 77.11
17 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 1:27.121 10 10.368 123.03 76.45
18 48 D Philip Goddard +8 1:32.832 9 16.079 115.46 71.74
19 11 E David James +4 1:38.229 9 21.476 109.11 67.80

Castle Combe - 28 May 2001


Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph Best
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 13:13.135 10   83.97 1:17.698 85.72
2 54 B Peter Horsman +8 13:14.070 10 0.93 83.87 1:18.244 85.12
3 13 B Chris Acklam +8 13:28.805 10 15.670 82.34 1:19.046 84.25
4 21 C James Paterson +8 13:30.110 10 16.975 82.21 1:19.054 84.25
5 50 C Paul Burry +8 13:31.418 10 18.283 82.08 1:19.403 83.88
6 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 13:54.433 10 41.298 79.81 1:21.575 81.64
7 28 A Chris Williams +8 13:58.867 10 45.732 79.39 1:19.313 83.97
8 34 B Peter Sargeant +8 14:00.104 10 46.969 79.28 1:21.724 81.49
9 25 C Dan Ward +8 14:04.239 10 51.104 78.89 1:22.552 80.68
10 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 14:07.387 10 54.252 78.59 1:22.978 80.26
11 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 14:19.496 10 1.06.361 77.49 1:24.312 78.99
12 1 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 14:21.089 10 1:07.954 77.34 1:23.934 79.35
13 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 14:27.885 10 1:14.750 76.74 1:24.450 78.86
14 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 14:29.135 10 1:16.000 76.63 1:24.935 78.41
15 69 B Phil Hollins +8 14:29.643 10 1:16.508 76.58 1:22.711 80.52
16 20 C Robin Pearce +8 14:33.570 10 1.20.435 76.24 1:25.006 78.35
17 48 D Philip Goddard +8 14:09.384 9 1 lap 70.57 1:32.304 72.15
18 11 E David James +4 14:19.179 9 1 lap 69.76 1:33.179 71.48

Castle Combe - 28 May 2001

Fastest laps

mins:secs on kph mph
  A Keith Ahlers +8 1:17.698 6 137.95 85.72
  B Peter Horsman +8 1:18.244 3 136.98 85.12
 Lap record C James Paterson +8 1:19.054 4 135.58 84.25
  D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 1:24.450 2 126.92 78.86
 Lap record E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:23.934 4 127.70 79.35

Lap Records

mins:secs   kph mph
1-Jul-00 A Keith Ahlers +8 1:15.81   141.38
5-Apr-99 B Rick Lloyd +8 1:16.85   139.47 86.66
1-Jul-00 C James Paterson +8 1:19.66   134.55 83.61
5-Apr-99 D Peter Horsman +8 1:22.12   130.52 81.10
1-Jul-00 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:24.82   126.36 78.52

Keith’s Castle Combe cruise

Castle Combe - 28 May 2001

Bank Holiday Monday was an appropriate day for the fourth (fifth?) round of the MMCC as, after early morning mist with a hint of a shower, the day turned out warm and sunny bringing a carnival atmosphere and hoards of spectators to the Castle Combe circuit.

Prior to this, scrutineering, practice and weighing were prominent on the drivers’ agenda although happily (for some) the weighing was of the car, not the driver. Our race was again scheduled first, so we were all about early but not necessarily brightly. As Keith led the pack out for practice conditions were slightly misty. The small band of early supporters standing at Bobbies were treated to some entertaining manoeuvres as some drivers attempted the chicane with plenty of speed but not enough twirling of the steering wheel, presumably as a result of putting on too much power after the relief of getting around Tower corner or maybe it just loomed up in the mist unexpectedly. The entry is a bit blind, or so your scribe was told. She is firmly of the opinion that most corners might be more successfully negotiated with one’s eyes fully open but does accept that she is not aware of the finer intricacies of motor racing. Certain drivers gained marks for lawnmowing as they went on the grass to avoid disaster and one drew huge attention to himself by ending up in the runoff and driving around the tyre barrier. It has to be pointed out that those ‘supporters` laughing the loudest were either too young to hold a licence or too nervous to attempt driving a race car even on the public road and so really should just have been displaying sympathy to those on (or more particularly, off) the track. Most drivers found the circuit bumpy so Keith was especially pleased to find that the new springs fitted to his front suspension after Thursday’s testing gave him an easier ride, really enabling him to go for a speedy qualification time.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Rick Lloyd who had survived the testing, clocking some excellent times and hopeful of a race. As he passed the critical knot of supporters at Bobbies with a strangely quiet car and his hand in the air, we realised that yet again all was over for Rick. He decided to withdraw to the haven of his motorhome for breakfast leaving the car with a suspect fuel injection problem outside. The sympathies of the whole MMCC band are with him and Nicky.

This only left Chris Williams in class A with Keith, with the other absent racers either suffering engine, fettling or childcare problems. While Chris was busy reminding himself of the circuit Mr Noise Tester was watching and pounced on the car as it tried to return to the paddock. Once in the naughty bay his brand spanking new exhaust was about to be admonished for not working hard enough when the car decided to take its own revenge on being made to display its inners to the assembled masses and, Herbie-like, humorously burst a radiator pipe spraying the officials with hot water. At this point they let him through, but as you will read later (maybe after a short nap) this was not the final penalty to be placed upon the car.

Class B was well represented by drivers who enjoyed the circuit. Peter H enjoyed himself so much that he qualified second on the grid and spent the intervening hours between practice and the race worrying about the start. (Chris A spent them worrying about Peter’s times).

Class C was also well represented with lots of drivers raring to go. Robin and Paul C were busy learning the circuit, Dan was trailing a new fuel pump following problems at Donington, Simon OG was concentrating on keeping his car on the circuit (which could be fairly described as not his most favouritist) while Paul B was intent on making James P work for his place as class leader. Consequently they qualified within two tenths of a second of each another, James fifth behind Chris A and Paul B sixth on the grid.

Class D was only three strong but tensions here too were high, with Kelvin ready to do battle with 123 WAR driven by Jack. Philip Goddard wisely decided to keep out of this long-running battle instead enjoying his newly purchased championship winning engine (which your scribe understands was quite excellent value for money) and learning the track. Jack qualified over a second faster than Dr Kelvin who returned to the paddock to consult with the racing manual rather than the BMJ on this occasion. On his outlap Jack had been rather rudely awoken from slumber by Keith lapping him at full throttle, describing the experience as far better than any alarm clock. It was perhaps this which encouraged Jack to find the extra second as he momentarily followed Keith around the track.

Unfortunately Class E was only two strong, thus scuppering Alan’s chance to gain full championship points in this round. He drove around very quickly, outqualifying six drivers in faster classes and David J whose problems from Spa were behind him. As if the tensions of practice were not enough, the cars were then subjected to Alan’s bathroom scales and endless jokes were cracked about the value of weighing with the driver sitting in the cars but I shall leave these to your imagination. But the good news was that endless fodder for my excuse book was provided. Simon OG was found to be 40kg heavier than James (a point which was vigorously disputed by Simon but accepted stoically by Kate) while David J was 40kg over the class minimum. It is here that a cloud descended on the paddock as Phil H and Chris W found themselves up before the clerk of the course with underweight cars and subsequently started from the back of the grid with a 10 second time penalty.

Just after one o’clock, the Morgans began the afternoon’s entertainment for the huge crowd of spectators, so come on all you absent drivers, you missed enormous support and great enthusiasm, where were you? As the drivers were positioned for the green flag lap the commentators began a discussion on roll cages and the by now infamous Brands Hatch non-race so it was probably just as well that everyone was well cocooned inside their helmets. But the commentators seemed to be favourably disposed towards the position of the Morgans racing as road going cars without cages. As the lights changed to green, Keith got bogged down allowing Peter to roar into the lead with James all over the back and side of him. Peter held first place until he “waved Keith by” (does your gullible hack really believe this enough to write it?) into Tower. Behind them Chris A got away safely but Dan, Simon OG and Paul B, who were all hindered by Keith’s start, made for the same piece of track. Unfortunately Paul and Simon bounced off one another as Paul regained the track after putting a couple of wheels on the grass, watched by Dan who then managed to get in between the two for the next couple of laps.

James managed to hold onto third place for three laps with Chris drawing closer until he finally succumbed. This left Paul pushing James hard but he just couldn’t find the power to take him.

Alan W and Jack had their customary spat for the first half of the race but then Jack fell back and Alan turned his attention to Paul C but Paul managed to keep Alan in his rear view mirrors. Kelvin spotted a moment’s weakness from Jack, sneaking up on him at Camp and overtaking him down the straight. Despite Jack’s hassling, Kelvin stayed ahead for the second half of the race even denying Jack the point for fastest lap. Kelvin’s moment of glory had come.

Sarge and Philip McK had some tussles early in the race but Philip, under strict instructions to return home in one piece as paternity duties beckoned, let Sarge through giving him a few laps to plot his onslaught on Dan. Dan’s fuel problem again reared its head and he fell from sixth to ninth place by the flag.

Further back, Chris W used his extra power to work his way up to sixth place but eventually slowed as either he or his car overheated towards the end of the race when he was overtaken by Simon OG on the last lap finishing seventh. Phil Hollins seemed to enjoy the open track at the back in front of David and Phil Goddard, who were themselves enjoying having a little spar, staying there until the eighth lap when he found the energy to overtake Robin to finish fifteenth.

What of the race leaders you will no doubt be wondering? Well, by the third lap Keith and Peter were well out in front and knowing that, bar spins, Peter was unlikely to mount a serious challenge, Keith eased off the power allowing Peter to snap at his bumper on the corners to the delight of the crowds and the amusement of the commentators who used their crib sheets to make lots of jokes about retired company directors living in Jersey being pursued by their tax advisors. These two crossed the line fourteen seconds ahead of the Chris A, James P, Paul B terrier trio. James was first in class C, Alan, first in class E, finished twelfth and Kelvin, delighted winner of class D, finished thirteenth.

Then in keeping with the carnival atmosphere of the day, the race and class A winner Keith accompanied by Peter, second and first in class B, were whisked off for a lap of honour on the back of a lorry. Your devoted hack of course stayed in position to wave over-enthusiastically on your behalf as they passed by.

Once more the overall championship ranking has changed as lack of starters and mechanical problems in some classes means that Keith and Alan were unable to pick up full points for their wins, leaving James as the current leader. And so one’s mind turns to Snetterton. Here’s hoping that class A will reverberate to the sounds of Rick Lloyd and Simon McDermott’s cars giving Mr Retired from Jersey a proper run for his points.

Ruth Horsman