Silverstone - 29 July 2001
|10||39||C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||1:09.607||4.926||136.42||84.77|
Silverstone - 29 July 2001
|10||71||D||Kelvin Laidlaw||+8||11:24.636||9||1 lap||77.56||1:14.087||79.64|
|11||7||D||Mary Lindsay||+8||11:25.300||9||1 lap||77.49||1:13.901||79.84|
|12||18||E||John Clarke||+4SS||11:42.790||9||1 lap||75.56||1:15.940||77.70|
|13||11||E||David James||+4||11:45.030||9||1 lap||75.32||1:16.406||77.22|
|14||24||B||Phil Brown||+8||11:46.051||9||1 lap||75.21||1:16.373||77.26|
|15||44||E||Stephen Wheatley||4/4||11:49.930||9||1 lap||74.80||1:16.568||77.06|
|16||1||E||Alan Wickenden||4/4||11:51.792||9||1 lap||74.61||1:14.582||79.11|
|17||48||D||Philip Goddard||+8||12:15.879||9||1 lap||72.16||1:19.353||74.36|
|18||28||A||Chris Williams||+8||11:09.270||8||1 lap||70.53||1:08.093||86.65|
|39||C||Simon Orebi Gann||+8||0|
Silverstone - 29 July 2001
|Lap record||B||Peter Horsman||+8||1:07.605||8||140.46||87.28|
Keith puts on the power at Silverstone
Silverstone National - 29 July 2001
The latest round of the MMCC took place at Silverstone on the 29 July and was hosted by the 750 Motor Club. To the amazement of all, the sun shone for the entire weekend so quite a few drivers returned to work on Monday morning with red noses as well as the usual racing blues.
Scrutineering was interesting for Rick and Keith who, together with Chrises Williams and Acklam, Simon M and Phil H, had entered the 750 Roadsports Championship Race the preceding day. Rick and Keith had driven an epic race, battling for the lead all the way when one of the back markers spun at Copse just as the two hammered around the corner with Rick in the lead. As the spectators in the stands held their combined breath the drivers somehow avoided the spinning car but rearranged each other’s back wings. Keith gained the advantage but let Rick past to enable the battle to recommence. Rick duly went on to win the race with Keith second. The two had therefore spent some time knocking out their respective dents and neatly duck-taping up the damage which happily met with the Sunday scrutineers’ approval.
For the rest of the competitors, scrutineering was a ball so that just left a four hour wait until practice to be filled with chit chat, ice creams race watching etc, etc.
Twenty one cars drove out onto the National Circuit behind Keith, who had got his act together better this time, for a sweltering practice. Most felt that the track was slower than testing although Stephen W was 13 seconds faster than on his last outing, but this had been in torrential rain last year. A number of people had excursions into the gravel at Copse, Andy had two while trying to cure massive understeer but none proved terminal; just dusty and embarrassing. Chris W went for a little spin in front of Mary who alone amongst the others drivers remained cool. David was obviously very content with his new brakes which he reported to be most effective in stopping the car and evidently also in drawing a close to his spinning habits lately displayed. After driving big boys cars, oh and the wrong brake balance, Matthew found the Morgan handled rather differently but only reported slides rather than fully blown spins.
Philip McK had a misfire and engine cut out over 5000 revs while Phil B’s misfire began at 4000 revs, both were later fixed by Brands Hatch and Techniques before the race. All was not quite so well and easily mended or taped up for Simon McD who found some fluid exiting out of Woodcote at c100 mph and lost his back end, spinning twice and hitting the concrete wall each time, severely messing up his newly balanced and working car. Once again, the inherent strength of the Morgan enabled Simon to walk away totally unscathed but the car is off to Chas with some repairs to be done to body work and chassis. Simon meanwhile is off to do lots of overtime or to find some new clients to finance the bill. Or to send Mandy out.
After a tense wait for the times, Keith was adjudicated to be on pole with Rick (on different tyres from Saturday) second and just under a second slower. Matthew was third, Peter fourth, Simon academically fifth, Chris W sixth and Chris A seventh. James led class C, Kelvin class D and Alan class E. This time we just had a three hour wait until the next bout of extreme activity allowing ample time for those essential repairs, tweaking, dusting of brakes and some sunbathing.
At last the race was called, with the Morgans just about visible in the heat haze as they began their green flag lap. As the lights went green or thereabouts, Rick roared off, leading at Copse with Keith and Matthew in hot pursuit. Peter was briefly in third and squeezing through between the front row before the class A cars managed to translate their power into grip, spoiling once again Peter’s delusions of big time grandeur.
Simon OG attempted to get as close to Phil H and James as he could at the start but all his best laid plans were swept aside as he braked for Copse, lost the back end and spun off into the gravel. The next day, Simon located the perfect excuse for his trip, leaking fluid on one of his brake drums. Philip McK locked up as he successfully attempted to avoid Simon and added rubber smoke to the sand storm. Phil had already been abandoned in the collecting area with a non-starting car which he had managed to start just in time for the race, but happily he managed to avoid Simon and the gravel. Simon leapt out of his car and through a “door” in the wire to join some of the supporters club, while his car was unceremoniously pulled off the track and out of the gravel by a tractor kept especially for the purpose. (That purpose being to drag cars off the track, not to drag Simon’s car off the track, which tractor is kept at Castle Combe). (And Mallory Park).
The race continued apace with much excitement from the class A boys (as they like to see themselves) who had decided to make Keith work hard for his lead in their newly tuned cars. Matthew, who had overtaken Rick, led at the end of the first lap, but Keith overtook him on the second, which left Rick pushing Matthew at every opportunity. Matthew was so close behind Keith at Luffield and trying to get up his inside that he left some paint on Keith’s already scarred car. Gradually Keith pulled away from the other two as they spent their time sparring, with Matthew just holding Rick back. On the seventh lap Rick attempted to get up Matthew’s inside at Copse but locked up, disappearing in a cloud of dust into the gravel. He thought he was going to get bedded down but drove at the Armco anyway as he knew from previous experience that this might prove a way out; indeed it did, allowing Rick to rejoin both the track and race. Matthew continued unharrassed after Keith during this interval, drawing ever closer until Alan W, unaware of his presence, took Matthew’s line causing him to slow, Keith to escape and Rick to begin to catch up. A further disaster struck for Matthew soon after, as his oil pressure fell dramatically to 25 pounds per cubic litre (or something), so he prudently withdrew from the race two laps from the end.
Next up, Peter was outpowered by the remaining class A car of Chris W on lap 2 but Chris then waved Peter back past on the third lap and began going slower and slower to eventually finish last. Fortunately there was absolutely nothing wrong with his car that a bonnet clip wouldn’t remedy! Peter led his class throughout the race with Chris A some way behind. Once Philip McK had recovered from the Simon OG incident he slowly powered up the field, catching up with Phil H on lap 7. The two then enjoyed a three lap spar to the flag with Phil H just ahead.
James stayed ahead of his class, behind Chris A, his usual target (who had escaped on the long staights), but ahead of the other class Bs. Dan pushed Andy all around the track until he lost his car in the gravel at Copse on the 8th lap spinning from the left onto the right side and then somehow regaining the track but finishing a full 17 seconds behind Andy.
Kelvin and Mary had another battle for class D with Mary ahead for the first lap. They diced their way around for the whole race but Kelvin held the lead from the second lap.Mary put in the fastest lap for the class and was awarded driver of the day as a consolation prize.
Alan began well, ahead of both classes D and E, but suddenly started to slow until by lap 5 members of his own class, who had only ever recollected seeing him in the holding area before, suddenly came upon him. John C was the first to dare to overtake. Eventually Alan finished 16th out of 18 as his gear box had gone with a bang on lap 4 leaving him with only 4th to complete the race. His Championship hopes might have gone bang with his box. He was perhaps consoled with fastest lap achieved on lap 4.
John tried in vain to catch Mary and Kelvin but the long straights allowed them to escape, unlike the preceding week at Rockingham where John had made Kelvin work hard for his place. John did win his class with David defiantly confident with his new brakes second, and comfortably ahead of five other drivers. John’s rare track appearance had obviously paid off.
Stephen Wheatley once again showed his improving skills and finishing position in his 4/4, beating two +8s and also taking Alan’s 4/4 on the last lap. Up at the front following Rick’s gravel trap excursion and Matthew’s withdrawal, Keith powered to an unassailable lead taking the chequered flag 9 seconds ahead of Rick. Peter’s delusions of grandeur were fulfilled after all as he did come third (but 25 seconds behind Keith). Chris A came fourth, James fifth and Phil H sixth.
Everybody except the two Simons and Alan reported thoroughly enjoying themselves despite the isosceles nature of the track and the extreme heat. It was also a great race for us spectators with plenty of action all over the field. And some on the track. Keith Ahlers usually gets pole position for the races but it looks at the moment that it’s James Paterson in pole position for the Championship. But it’s not all over until the fat man waves the chequered flag (as they might say) and there’s a queue if the fettler farmer fails.
Your hack is concerned that writer’s block may be rearing its ugly head and so is seeking alternative entertainment in the Indian Ocean when you lot are at Cadwell, so enjoy yourselves and think up some good excuses for Kate, to whom we will all be indebted (except perhaps Simon).