MORAN AND MENZIES STRIKE OPENING BLOWS
Organiser: Bugatti Owners Club When: April 23/24 Starters: 195
The season started at Prescott with a run-off victory for Wallace Menzies, so that after his double last September he had won three consecutive rounds at Prescott.
But it was not to be four as five-time champion Scott Moran came through in the final encounter for the win.
Following the round one victory, Menzies said: “This is now just about my favourite hill.”
Moran said he was looking forward to an intense fight: “This really could be a season where any one of five can win the title and it will be a tough campaign for all.”
Moran leads the series by just a point from his 2015 co-driver Alex Summers and Menzies.
Despite the efforts of Summers in an unfamiliar and borrowed car, the driver of the day had to be Richard Spedding with only 1.6-litres of Hayabusa power.
Two fifth places were just reward for his maximum efforts and he was fighting a launch control set-up that needs more fine tuning.
Surprise of the day was last year’s number one Alex Summers, who had a guest drive in Alastair Crawford’s lovely Gould GR55 with a high-revving smaller capacity 2.8-litre NME V8.
The higher-revving unit is renowned for driveability and will pull several thousand more rpm than the more usual 3.5 Nicholson Mclaren unit.
Joint Best Time of the Day with Scott Moran proved just how adaptable Summers is, but he confirmed he is unlikely to be seen again in a top-flight car until mid-season when his father’s Dj-cosworth V6 is ready for action.
Unfortunately, Crawford could only score a solitary point.
The 2012 champion Trevor Willis was always on the pace and is fourth, with Spedding four points back and last year’s number six Dave Uren continued where he left off in 2015.
More success in 1600cc cars came from Sean Gould and ex- Motoring News rally championship driver Eynon Price in the factory Gould.
The front half of the car will bear a resemblance to Wallace Menzies’ new car, which is due in a couple of months, but the rear will have Menzies’ previous Cosworth XD as a stressed member, as in the all-conquering Gould GR61X and Gould GR55S.
Devonian Ed Hollier took valuable points in his Empire and saw off Sean Gould and Price in the final stanza.
Unluckiest driver of the day was, without question, Will Hall. His engine stopped twice, once in the first run-off then again in the afternoon despite the car being fine in mid-week testing.
Round one: 1 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-nme GR55) 36.84s; 2 Alex Summers (2.8 Gould-nme GR55) 37.00s; 3 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-nme GR61X) 37.03s; 4 Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) 37.18s; 5 Richard Spedding (1.6 Gwr-suzuki Raptor) 37.82s; 6 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-suzuki PC) 38.18s; 7 Sean Gould (1.6 Gould-suzuki GR59) 38.63s; 8 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire-suzuki 00 Evo) 39.09s; 9 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-suzuki GR59) 39.19s; 10= Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-nme GR55) and Oli Tomlin (4.0 Pilbeam-judd MP97) 39.82s; DNF Will Hall (2.0t Force-aer/ Xtec WH). Round two: 1 Moran 36.61s; 2 Willis 36.71s; 3 Summers 36.98s; 4 Menzies 37.15s; 5 Spedding 38.42s; 6 Uren 38.47s; 7 Hollier 38.80s; 8 Gould 38.85s; 9 Price 39.20s, 10 Tomlin 39.68s; 11 Crawford 39.70s; 12 Lee Griffiths (1.3s Oms-suzuki 25) 41.98s. Class winners Richard Brant (2.0 Renault Clio 172) 51.82s; Roy Standley (2.0t Mitsubishi Evo 5) 46.99s; Allan Warburton (2.5 Caterham-duratec) 45.29s; Andrew Russell (1.1 Ginetta G15) 50.29s; Colin Satchell (2.0 Peugeot 205GTI) 44.81s; Mike Turpin (2.2s Vauxhall VX220) 45.38s; Ash Mason (1.3s Westfield-suzuki) 43.68s; Martin Watts (1.0 Sylva Riot) 46.86s; Graham Loakes (3.2 Lola-porsche T492) 47.19s; Les Buck (0.6 Oms-yamaha Hornet) 46.80s; Chris Aspinall (1.0 Empire-suzuki Wraith) 40.06s; Nev Rollason (1.6 Jamun Formula Ford M90) 49.17s; Spedding 38.51s; Tim Davies (2.0 Pilbeam-millington MP88) 40.07s; Uren 38.65s; Summers 36.61s. Points (after 2/34 rounds): 1 Moran 18; =2 Menzies and Summers 17; 4 Willis 16; 5 Spedding 12; 6 Uren 10; =7 Gould and Hollier 7; 9 Price 4; =10 Crawford and Tomlin 1.
Multiple champion Scott Moran prevailed Menzies took a win in the opener then fourth spot
Photos: Eddie Walder, Colin Casserley and mkpics.net