Pither takes a double in 750 Formula series, but three-car fights enliven the contest
Ed Pither took a dominant double victory in the opening 750 Formula races of the season at Donington, ahead of Robin Gearing in what was a thrilling duel throughout the first race.
While Gearing was able to take the lead in the opening stages, Pither challenged for the top spot later and took it into the final chicane.
He then stretched the gap to the tune of 13.9 seconds at the chequered flag.
Bill Cowley was also onto the back of Gearing at this stage, sizing him up into Redgate and through Hollywood.
His power disadvantage on the straights was hurting his ability to catch up, which sealed his fate.
In the second race, Gearing and Pither managed to get ahead of Cowley in the opening stages, but their battling cost them time and brought Cowley back into play. After a rather NASCARstyle moment from Cowley, who bump-drafted Gearing down the Wheatcroft Straight, he made his move for second on the next lap, where he was able to slingshot into the chicane and overtake a more cautious Gearing.
Cowley then defended with all his might, making his rather narrow Cowley MKIV as wide as he could. Gearing was close coming through the Old Hairpin on the final lap, and tried a move on the inside of Mcleans but it wasn’t enough, which allowed Cowley to hold on to second.
Post-race scrutineering found that Gearing’s rear wing was too high, which meant he was disqualified and promoted Peter Bove to third place.
Martin Depper won the 750 Trophy race ahead of Trefor Slatter and Tim Grigsby. Grigsby and Chris Hopkins traded third throughout the final five laps with the former getting the nod.
1 George Sutton 16m38.520s (72.22mph); 2 Oliver Willmott +2.809s; 3 Matteo Zanetti; 4 Edward Moore; 5 Adam Batty; 6 Ethan Hammerton. Fastest lap Zanetti 1m49.014s (73.50mph). Pole Moore. Starters 23.
1 Zanetti 16m33.113s (72.62mph); 2 Moore +2.376s; 3 Sutton; 4 Batty; 5 Charlie Kennedy; 6 Willmott. FL Zanetti 1m48.861s (73.61mph). P Moore. S 22.
Michelin Clio Cup (12 laps) 1 James Dorlin 19m29.675s (82.21mph); 2 Brett Lidsey +10.765s; 3 Samuel Randon; 4 Tom Barley; 5 Luke Pinder; 6 Daniel Kirby. Class winner Sarah Franklin. FL Dorlin 1m35.891s (83.56mph). P Dorlin. S 12.
SNETTERTON: MSVR BY LEWIS BEALES
The combined Lotus Cup and Elise categories provided their usual high quality entertainment with newcomer to the series Adam Mackay taking a pair of dominate debut victories.
“I knew I had to beat Jason Baker to the first corner as he was faster through the Bomb Hole and Coram,” said Mackay who just managed to get his nose in front at the opening turn.
The Scottish newcomer then controlled the race to run out a delighted victor. He was helped when Baker was given a drivethrough penalty for a non-working transponder. This dropped him down the field and into a tight battle for sixth place with Andrew Wright, who managed to hold his place with some spirited defensive driving.
On the final corner, Freddie Hetherington was unseated from the lead in the Elise Trophy when Stuart Ratcliff ’s chase paid dividends. “I’m annoyed with myself for leaving a gap,” admitted Hetherington.
A reverse grid plus 45kg of success ballast didn’t hinder Mackay in the least as the race one winner easily made it a double. His only real problem came at the opening corner. “It was mayhem,” said the winner on the podium. “I went onto the grass to avoid the melee and somehow ended up in fourth.”
This left David Mcinulty at the head of the field but he was soon squeezed down the order, with Adam Knight holding off Ryan Savage with Mackay looking rampant on their tails. On the fifth lap Savage was demoted to second, with Mackay taking the lead four laps later and Savage also sneaking by Knight.
As Mackay serenely motored to victory Knight reasserted himself over Savage but, in the closing stages, handed the position back. “Stupidly I outbraked myself into Montreal,” explained Knight. Meanwhile, Adam Balon was working hard to haul in the second place battle and with a demon last lap managed to affect a late challenge,
1 Dorlin 19m28.188s (82.31mph); 2 Lidsey +9.232s; 3 Pinder; 4 Kirby; 5 Barley; 6 Ben Palmer. CW Franklin. FL Dorlin 1m35.778s (83.66mph). P Dorlin. S 11.
1 Nick Dunn 20m58.290s (76.42mph); 2 Richard Breland +5.948s; 3 Chris Webster; 4 Russell Tamplin; 5 Steve Dolman; 6 Geoff Gouriet. CW Ben Hancy. FL Breland 1m42.856s (77.91mph). P Dunn. S 27. 1 Breland 20m48.987s (76.99mph); 2 Dunn +0.993s; 3 Webster; 4 Tamplin; 5 Dolman; 6 Gouriet. CW Guy Carter. FL Dunn 1m42.734s (78.00mph). P Dunn. S 26.
2CV Parts.com Classic (10 laps) 1 Peter Sparrow 21m38.951s (61.69mph); 2 Matthew Hollis +0.173s; 3 Thomas Perry; 4 Nick Crispin; 5 Peter Rundle; 6 Sandro Proietti. FL Proietti 2m06.823s (63.18mph). P Sparrow. S 17. 1 Kris Tovey 17m56.481s (59.55mph); 2 Lien Davies +0.709s; 3 Mick Storey; 4 Paul Taylor; 5 Simon Crook; 6 Jim Henshaw. FL Davies 2m07.396s (62.90mph). P Davies. S 17.
MG Owners Club (12 laps) 1 Adrian Wray (ZR) 20m46.748s (77.13mph); 2 Andrew Rogerson (ZR) +7.350s; 3 Adam Jackson (ZR); 4 David Mellor (ZR); 5 Simon Kendrick (F); 6 Mark Baker (F). CW Kendrick; Jim Baynam (B). FL Wray 1m42.688s (78.03mph). P Wray. S 23.
which was repulsed by Knight. In the Elise, Trophy Ratcliff was able to make an early break to secure an easy second victory.
Despite a flat sounding engine, Alan Hogg romped to a comfortable opening Allcomers victory, while 17-year-old Jack Manchester gave valiant chase. Mike Roberts carved through the field to lock out the podium for the sportscars while the leading saloon runner, Luke Armiger, was knocked out of fourth by an errant backmarker allowing Kevin Williams to take the position after an earlier mishap.
Hogg ran off into the distance once more in race two but, mid-race, was pulled into the pits for his car making excessive noise. This allowed the recovering Manchester, after rotating at Montreal, to weave by the late-starting Lotus of David Mcinulty and the two Caterhams of Anthony Bennett and Williams, to take the win.
The opening Monoposto 200
1 Wray 12m32.105s (74.58mph); 2 Jackson +0.158s; 3 Martin Wills (F); 4 Kendrick; 5 Baker; 6 Mellor. CW Wills; Baynam. FL Wills 1m44.574s (76.63mph). P Wray. S 21.
Challenge race fell to Ben Cater, who led from lights to flag, while David Gillett closed in towards the end when the leader backed off to save his tyres. James Williams looked comfortable in third until he rolled to a halt, allowing Chris Levy to take the position after recovering from a mid-race spin.
Race two produced the same result with winner Cater again slowing mid-race to bring his tyres back in before another late push, while Henry Chart’s excursion at the opening corner stopped him from challenging Kevin Couling for fourth place.
1 Adam Mackay (Exige V6 Cup) 30m39.806s (89.29mph); 2 Ryan Savage (2-Eleven) +9.966s; 3 Adam Gore (Exige V6 Cup); 4 Adam Knight (Exige V6 Cup); 5 Adam Balon (Exige V6 Cup); 6 Andrew Wright (Exige S1 Honda). Class winners Savage; Stuart Ratcliff (Elise Cup R). FL Mackay 1m16.541s (93.31mph). P Jason Baker (Elise S2 Honda). S 28. 1 Mackay 31m14.694s (91.43mph); 2 Savage +9.585s; 3 Knight; 4 Balon; 5 Wright; 6 Steven Train (2-Eleven). CW Savage; Ratcliff. P Rob Myers (Exige). S 27. (Caterham CRS). FL Hogg 1m12.877s (98.00mph). P Hogg. S 17. 1 Manchester 20m18.235s (87.94mph); 2 Williams +13.641s; 3 Anthony Bennett (Caterham R300); 4 Mcinulty; 5 Jamie Goddard (Mazda MX-5 Mk3); 6 Colin Halls (Toyota MR2). FL Hogg 1m13.414s (97.29mph). P Hogg. S 13.
41m17s +0s +7s +45s +1m47s +2m03s +2m09s +2m35s +2m37s +2m46s
ROAD RALLY ROUND-UP
Carwyn Evans/dylan John Williams took a clear win on the Rali Llyn as they finished 30 seconds ahead of a highly competitive field. This was the driver’s first win on the event in 12 years.
Arwel Jones/iwan Jones had built up a lead of 27 seconds but they were then forced out with engine maladies. Gareth Rhys Jones/aron Jones just held off a second-half charge from last year’s winners Kevin Kerr/ Huw Rhys Manion to secure the runner-up spot.
At Petrol, Shon Roberts/dion Morley held a huge lead in the Semi-expert class but their Ford Escort broke a driveshaft in the second half and they were out.
Martin Lloyd/rob Lloyd won the John Robson Navigational and Andy Lane/ Richard Crozier the Hexham Historic event.