MURRAY TWICE BEATS RAVEN

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - Photos: Rachel Bourne

Niall Murray made it two wins out of two in the For­mula Ford 1600 Na­tional Cham­pi­onship, both times beat­ing James Raven to the che­quered flag.

Af­ter the Ir­ish­man se­cured pole, a tenth ahead of Raven’s Ray, the two were in a class of their own in race one, cre­at­ing a sub­stan­tial gap to the rest of the pack. “That’s what it’s like here: you get a lot of tow down both straights so we were con­stantly ex­chang­ing po­si­tions, help­ing each other – an­other lap and it might have been dif­fer­ent,” said Murray. Raven did have a look on the fi­nal lap, eye­ing up a move around the out­side of Stowe but claimed “there were too many mar­bles and it wasn’t worth the risk”. He ad­mit­ted sec­ond wasn’t re­ally a bad re­sult.

Race two war­ranted the same top five, much to the dis­ap­point­ment of Texan Chase Owen. Vic­tory in the wet at Oul­ton Park seemed a dis­tant mem­ory as two fourth place fin­ishes be­hind Stu­art Gough were not what he wanted, ad­mit­ting it had been a “tough, but solid week­end”.

It was a pe­cu­liar week­end in the In­ter­mar­que Cham­pi­onship. With race one win­ner Tommy Field dis­qual­i­fied for an over­sized dif­fuser, he looked to make amends in race two, but de­spite a 30-sec­ond track lim­its penalty, he was still vic­to­ri­ous as an er­ro­neous che­quered flag waved, forc­ing the ma­jor­ity of the field into the pits a lap too soon.

Ac­cord­ing to Daniel Smith “it was shown, but quickly taken away and the cars started go­ing into the pits so ev­ery­one fol­lowed”. Daniel’s brother Lewis, who had been gifted the vic­tory in race one, was lead­ing in the sec­ond race but fol­lowed the rest of the grid into parc ferme while Field re­mained on track. With the source of the er­ror undis­cov­ered, race con­trol chose to al­low the fin­ish­ers to have taken the real flag in the pit­lane, al­beit some dis­tance be­hind the win­ner, much to the dis­dain of Lewis Smith.

Michael Gib­bins was the stand­out driver of the Sports 2000 Cham­pi­onship week­end. De­spite a drive­shaft fail­ure in qual­i­fy­ing and hav­ing to start from the back of the grid, he nav­i­gated his MCR to third. He then zipped into an early lead in race two, but ad­mit­ted he “had the worse of the back­mark­ers”, mean­ing that sec­ond place fin­isher Pa­trick Sher­ring­ton could cut down a four-sec­ond gap to just 0.1s, mak­ing for a tan­talis­ing cli­max. Sher­ring­ton was look­ing to make it back-to-back wins af­ter vic­tory in race one, but failed to deal the cru­cial blow.

Jam Sport was the big race two win­ner in the Quaife Fi­esta Cham­pi­onship. Aaron Thomp­son, a ju­nior grad­u­ate, stormed through from 13th to take vic­tory as he con­tin­ued to im­press as a se­nior. Thomp­son lost out to Simon Hor­robin in race one, re­tir­ing fol­low­ing dam­age to his drive­shaft, but it was Hor­robin who suf­fered a sim­i­lar fate in race two, fin­ish­ing in 25th. The cel­e­bra­tions con­tin­ued for Jam Sport in Class D, as Jes­sica King took her maiden vic­tory in the series, hold­ing off a late charge by Stu­art Rob­bins.

Car­l­ito Miracco gave a dis­play of de­fen­sive ma­tu­rity in race one of the Fi­esta Ju­niors, deny­ing rookie Harry Good­ing’s ad­vances. The Ital­ian couldn’t make it a full house of vic­to­ries though, as Good­ing’s in­spir­ing start to the sea­son again proved too much in race two. El­liot Wil­son was lead­ing the points go­ing into the week­end af­ter two vic­to­ries at Snet­ter­ton but was be­low his 2016 stan­dard, only manag­ing two fifth places, blow­ing the cham­pi­onship wide open.

There was a clean sweep for Ar­ron Pul­lan in the MR2 race series, a two-sec­ond vic­tory in race one was dou­bled in race two af­ter a bold move on Adam Lock­wood through the in­side of Stowe.

It was an equally suc­cess­ful week­end for Richard Hock­ley in the Nip­pon Chal­lenge. The Honda Civic driver’s two wins made it four out of four in 2016, as his clos­est com­peti­tor, James Jan­icki, was blighted with en­gine trou­ble through­out the week­end in his Nis­san Sky­line.

The Su­perkarts were the usual breath­less dis­play, some­how seem­ing to al­most defy the laws of physics. In the 250/450 series, a late call up to the bill, Gavin Ben­nett and Gareth James both cel­e­brated vic­to­ries. Kirk Cat­ter­mole proved why he is the English cham­pion, win­ning all three races of the F125 Open, mak­ing a huge statement on the 2016 cham­pi­onship.

Both Tri­col­ore Trophy vic­to­ries looked to be head­ing to John Whe­lan’s hor­net­coloured 306, but a loss of con­trol around the Farm Com­plex in race two forced him to re­tire, leav­ing him with to watch as Tony Hunter sailed to a con­vinc­ing sev­ensec­ond vic­tory. Whe­lan will look to make amends next month when the series takes to Pem­brey.

While Philip Walker’s Lo­tus 16 dom­i­nated the Pre-1961 Racing Cars race within the VSCC Sil­ver­stone Spring Start, it was the Lo­tus 12 of An­drew Smith that took an un­ex­pected vic­tory.

Racing his Lo­tus 16 for the first time since a bare-chas­sis re­build, Walker quickly took con­trol of the race and did ev­ery­thing right as the pack bat­tled in his wake. Smith, racing the Lo­tus 12 of Nick Rossi on its re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion af­ter a nasty ac­ci­dent at Pem­brey, slot­ted into sec­ond from Geraint Owen’s mighty Kur­tis Indy Road­ster.

While Smith three-wheeled the Lo­tus around in style, Owen’s highly promis­ing run ended in the pits with a wors­en­ing mis­fire. Then, with a lap to go, Walker was caught out by a lib­eral oil slick on the exit of Luffield. By the time he got the car restarted, Smith had nipped through to give the 12 a very rare racing vic­tory. Walker re­cov­ered to take sec­ond just be­fore Fred Harper ar­rived in the other Kur­tis Indy­car.

“I’m so hon­oured to drive for Nick and I can’t be­lieve the re­sult,” said a stunned Smith af­ter an un­ex­pected win for Colin Chap­man’s first sin­gle-seater de­sign.

“I was just con­trol­ling the lead and the next thing I knew I was fac­ing the other way,” said Walker.

On a day of full grids and thor­oughly en­ter­tain­ing racing, the Vin­tage Racing Cars de­liv­ered as al­ways, even though Tom Walker edged away in his aero­engined Amil­car. Robin Tu­luie gave it his best shot in the Ri­ley Me­nasco Pi­rate and led as far as Beck­etts be­fore un­der­steer­ing wide and al­low­ing Walker ahead.

While Walker edged away, the Pi­rate ex­pired and so sec­ond place be­came the sub­ject of a mighty over­steer­ing bat­tle be­tween Tony Lees (AC/GN Co­gnac) and Pa­trick Blak­eney-ed­wards (Frazer Nash Su­per Sports), which was only re­solved in the clos­ing laps when the Frazer Nash stole ahead.

It was a big day for the Frazer Nash mar­que as a spe­cial race cel­e­brated pre- and post-war cars from the com­pany with a ca­pac­ity grid. Ed­die Gibbs led through­out in his sin­gle-seater Nash but Martin Hunt was a con­stant threat in his Le Mans Replica and was shap­ing up for a big chal­lenge when the race was halted on the ninth lap. Up to five cars were bat­tling for third and it was Tony Lees in the fi­nal podium place when the red flags flew.

A tardy start and an in­creas­ingly oily track gave Peter Hors­man plenty to think about in the HGPCA Pre-1966 Grand Prix car race but he deftly steered his Lo­tus 18/21 to the front of the pack and away for vic­tory.

Barry Can­nell gave chase in his Cooper T51 and fin­ished well clear of a spir­ited four-way con­test for third, in which Ruedi­ger Friedrichs fi­nally as­serted his Cooper T53 over Eddy Perk’s Heron.

It was a pretty good day for Friedrichs, who opened the racing by tak­ing his Alvis Fire­fly to vic­tory in the Pre-war Sports race af­ter deal­ing with a chal­lenge from the Alta of Sam Stret­ton. “That was my first VSCC race and it was very ex­cit­ing,” said Friedrichs.

“Once he made the break in the traf­fic I just couldn’t get back to him,” said Stret­ton.

The FISCAR sea­son started in style with a bumper grid for the Tom Cole Trophy, although no one had any an­swer to the pace of Dar­ren Mcwhirter’s Lagonda V12. Steve Boult­bee Brooks guided his As­ton Martin DB3S to sec­ond place in the halfhour thrash but was re­lieved to see the flag as Chris Keen’s Kur­tis was loom­ing large af­ter start­ing from the pit­lane when a vi­bra­tion de­vel­oped on the warm­ing-up lap. “I took the long way round to get back to where I should have started,” said Keen.

Mark Lewis led a thun­der­ous podium party in the 1950s Sports Cars race as US V8 pow­ered the top three cars. Lewis and third-placed Roberto Gior­danelli ran their Chevro­let-pow­ered Lis­ter Knob­blies while Tony Bianchi split them in the Cadil­lacpow­ered Far­rel­lac. The re­sult might well have been dif­fer­ent had first lap leader Gior­danelli not suf­fered a lurid spin at Brook­lands af­ter find­ing some oil.

No Spring Start would be com­plete with­out the bark of ERAS and the clos­ing Pre-war race did the trick as Dun­can Rick­etts took his stun­ning 1938 E-type clear of Nick To­pliss (R4D) and early leader Terry Crabb (R12C).

Main­tain­ing the day’s Frazer Nash flavour was the en­try for the Pre-war Sports Car race which re­sulted in a Nash one-two as the Su­per Sports of Jo Blak­eney-ed­wards and Philip Cham­pion saw off the op­po­si­tion.

An un­usual guest race brought a touch of the mod­ern era to the day as a full grid of Morgans con­tested the sec­ond round of the Mor­gan Chal­lenge. There was lit­tle sur­prise when Keith Ah­lers took his Plus 8 to yet an­other Sil­ver­stone win from Philip God­dard, while Tony Lees for­sook his AC/ GN to hop into his Plus 8 and fin­ish fourth be­hind young El­liot Pater­son.

Thomp­son (cen­tre) fights with Priest (r) and Go­ing (l) in Fi­es­tas

Murray emerged vic­to­ri­ous in both Na­tional FF1600 con­tests

An­drew Smith took Pre-1961 Racing Cars win in the re­built Lo­tus 12

Ed­die Gibbs took the win in su­perb Frazer Nash cel­e­bra­tion out­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.