Modsports star in anniversary celebration
MALLORY PARK CSCC OCTOBER 6-7 Special Saloons and Modsports appropriately provided the most frenetic action at Mallory Park as the Classic Sports Car Club celebrated the 40th anniversary of Wendy Wools taking over title sponsorship of the famed tin-top championship.
Wayne Crabtree’s Ford Escort BDT won the first race on Saturday in slippery, changing conditions, Crabtree claiming that the track surface felt different on every lap.
Crabtree and Ian Wilson (TVR Tasmin) relegated this season’s regular winner
Andy Southcott (MG Modsport) to the bottom step of the podium. Southcott pushed hard after making a slow start, while polesitter Tony Paxman spun his Escort on the opening lap.
Southcott returned to business as usual for the first of two races on Sunday, winning by a large margin. Crabtree’s earlier win meant he was placed 11th on the grid, but retired on the first lap with lack of grip. Wilson’s TVR could only manage eighth.
The warmer weather favoured the lighter, lower sports-derived models. Ian Hall (Darrian Wildcat) took advantage of a safety car period at about half-distance to catch up with the leading group from sixth place and sprint his way to second, followed by Paul Sibley’s Lotus Elan.
The race also featured the long-awaited debut of the Vauxhall V8 ‘Mega Bertha’, driven by Ric Wood. He finished 14th after taking it steady.
Hall was the winner of race three, which was curtailed by a lengthy safetycar period, then stopped early when the stranded MG Midget of Ian Staines/rob Griffith had to be hoisted off the Hairpin. Southcott was second, right on the tail of Hall, with Sibley third.
Saturday’s opening Modern Classics/ New Millennium race was won by
Karl Cattliff in a BMW M3 from
Tom Brenton’s Ford Sierra XR8.
The New Millennium class was won by Nigel Ainge and Danny Cassar in a Honda Integra. The pair started from the back due to a car change, but worked their way through the pack and won on the road by a comfortable margin. But a one-minute penalty for not switching the engine off during their pitstop dropped them to fourth overall.
Red flags were a familiar sight on Saturday. The opener was halted twice, and the Tin Tops race did not even get a lap in before the Integra of Angela Jones and William Jarman spun and triggered a restart. The red flags appeared again after one lap and the race was shortened to 20 minutes. Tom Mensley was the eventual winner in his Renault Clio, after a long and tense scrap with Martin Addison’s Peugeot 106, which finished second. Shaun Ely was third in a Peugeot 205.
Paul Dingle (Porsche 944) won the Future Classics race on the line from
Tony and Aston Blake’s 911.
Sunday had more of a historic flavour, featuring the two Swinging Sixties races. Ian Staines was the winner of the Group 1 race. His MG Midget was locked in a close battle with Tim Cairns’s Austin-healey
Frogeye Sprite in the later stages. Cairns briefly led a couple of laps from the end, but Staines retook the place at the Hairpin and Cairns was unable to get back past at the Esses, despite his best attempts. The Sunbeam Alpine of Timothy Kemp/sam Loughnan was third. Chris Watkinson’s Mini looked very strong at the beginning and even led, but a mechanical problem ended its challenge on lap five.
The fastest of the bigger Group 2 cars was Malcolm Johnson’s yellow Lotus Europa, which won comfortably. The real battle was for third, with Dean Halsey in a Datsun 240Z and Jon Ellison (Triumph TR4) both in contention until Halsey pushed a bit too hard at Gerards and went across the grass twice. He finished fourth. Jon Wolfe was a solid second, having run his own race in his TVR Tuscan.
Polesitter Nigel Reuben had been on course for a podium despite stalling on the startline, but his TVR Griffith developed problems and he retired.
James Ramm and Colin Philpott won a race apiece in the Jaguar Saloon and GT Championship after tussling throughout the weekend.
Hall (left) and Sibley duel in Special Saloons and Modsports
Ramm (99) and Philpott (67) enjoyed close battles