‘The past MX-5 master pre­vailed’

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Fac­tory Spire twins John Cut­more and Billy Al­bone won an RGB thriller apiece as scream­ing mo­tor­cy­cle - en­gined sports-pro­to­types topped a fre­netic 24-race Indy Cir­cuit marathon in­evitably pep­pered with red flags, most trig­gered by cars in the Pad­dock Hill Bend gravel bed.

Start­ing from the cam­bered pole, de­fend­ing cham­pion Scott Mittell (Mittell MC-53) lost out in Satur­day’s drag race to Pad­dock, where Al­bone and Al Boul­ton (Spire) drifted wide, en­abling Cut­more to forge ahead. Al­bone and Mittell usurped the points leader at Druids on lap four then bat­tled on.

Mittell lunged ahead at Pad­dock, but his car’s tail snapped left at the hair­pin a lap later, tak­ing Al­bone’s nosecone as Billy dived for the apex. They ex­ited abreast, where­upon Al­bone squeezed Mittell over the kerbs, earn­ing ex­clu­sion. Af­ter trail­ing his ri­val’s nose for sev­eral laps, Mittell was black-flagged, a stun­ning 47.98s lap record his only re­ward. Cut­more, Boul­ton and Oliver He­witt (MC-53) sped on to the podium.

Back on pole for Sun­day, hav­ing bought a rear tyre from Spire, Mittell pit­ted with a frac­tured ex­haust hanger but a red brought re­prieve. Scott restarted from the pits, charg­ing to 11th as 2014 750 For­mula cham­pion Al­bone landed his first RGB win from Boul­ton, Cut­more and the fiercely du­elling Mit­tells of He­witt and Dan Larner. Sec­ond into Pad­dock in his front-en­gined AB Arion, dou­ble champ Matt Hig­gin­son faded to sev­enth.

Four winged BMW E46s wail­ing round in uni­son char­ac­terised the new Tegiwa M3 Cup’s lead bat­tle. Mazda MX-5 past master Brian Chan­dler pre­vailed, re­pelling Adam Shep­herd and spon­sor’s rep Luke Sedzikowski re­spec­tively, with Kevin Den­gate mix­ing it boldly. Shep­herd was pe­nalised for re­peat­edly ex­ceed­ing track lim­its as his tyres wilted sec­ond time out. With a new LSD trans­form­ing his Su­per Cooper, Eliot Dun­more was un­catch­able among the M3s’ cousins.

Sport Spe­cials points leader Rob John­ston (Cyana) split the Atoms both days, but was nudged out by Martin James’ at Clear­ways on lap one of the restarted opener, won by Nick White­head. Clive Hud­son’s Eclipse sus­tained sus­pen­sion and body dam­age in a mass ex­o­dus at Pad­dock be­fore the red, in­spir­ing a “very sur­prised” Paul Collingwood to shoot his limeade-hued ex­am­ple from 14th to third. James evened the Ariel score later, with John­ston a strong third.

With cham­pion Shaun Traynor docked 10 sec­onds for jump­ing the start, Nigel Ralph­son landed his first Toy­ota MR2 win un­der con­stant threat from Paul Cook, chased by podium debu­tant Lewis Ward. Jim Davies won the 45-car ‘round robin’ con­test’s sub­se­quent legs, round­ing Gra­ham Mal­ings at Pad­dock on lap two of the fi­nale then drop­ping the pack, led by birth­day boy Stu­art Ni­cholls and Cook at the che­quer.

Lo­cost rac­ers also ran twice each within a triple-whammy. Ian Allee out­foxed table-top­per Danny An­drew – who car­ried big cor­ner speeds but was “short of waft” on the straights – with a com­bined mar­gin of 0.11s! First heat win­ner Jack Coveney shad­owed them in the fi­nale.

Will Black­well-cham­bers and Jack Sy­camore led the 5Club Racing Mazda MX-5 opener be­fore ini­tial pace­maker James Rogers re­turned to the front of a four-car train in which Stu­art Sy­monds’ smart Club 100 car was the guard’s van. WB-C had Rogers gun­ning for him through­out the se­quel as Sy­camore jos­tled back past Sy­monds, cham­pion Ben Short (in a new car since Oul­ton) and erst­while points leader Adam Bes­sell to re­cap­ture third af­ter an early slip.

An­drew Thorpe (Citroen AX) and Derek Rozier (Peu­geot 205) each pipped the other in Clas­sic Stock Hatch, the French ma­chines well clear on Sun­day de­spite Rozier car­ry­ing 70kg of suc­cess bal­last. Their task was eased by mul­ti­cham­pion Lee Scott clonk­ing fel­low XR2I driver Martin Cayzer off at Pad­dock on lap one. Stewart Place and rookie Daniel Filling­ham glee­fully snared third and fourth as a re­sult.

Robin Gear­ing de­scribed his 750 For­mula dou­ble as “pretty punchy”, hav­ing usurped Bill Cow­ley’s epony­mous steed, un­be­liev­ably in its sixth decade, with his im­mac­u­late Darvi. Third on Satur­day, de­fend­ing champ David Bartholomew’s PRS threw a wheel at Gra­ham Hill Bend when a half-shaft snapped on Sun­day. Peter Bove – quadru­ple cham­pion in the car Gear­ing now owns – wrig­gled from 16th to fourth in an­other of the late Dick Har­vey’s cre­ations, be­hind Mark Glover’s Racek­its Fal­con.

On cur­rent win­ning form, Paul Smith looks favourite to land a fourth For­mula Vee crown in his AHS Dom­i­na­tor. Ians Buxton (whose GAC’S throt­tle cable broke on Satur­day) and Jor­dan made Smith sweat on Sun­day, lo­cal man Jor­dan snatch­ing sil­ver op­por­tunis­ti­cally at Druids on the last lap as Buxton, with a whiff of vic­tory, left the door open.

Carl Swift blitzed the first Civic Cup round, pur­sued by Mark Hig­gin­son, im­pres­sive novice Daniel Rea­son and teenager Joe Lock. The top 10 were re­versed for race two, nonethe­less Swift led by lap six, where­upon front row starter James Grif­fith worked him hard. Series leader Dave Buky topped the (de­pleted since Oul­ton) 1600cc class, re­duced to three when Zack Bond rolled in the Pad­dock gravel.

Mittell lost out af­ter trail­ing body­work

Chan­dler claimed both wins in new M3 Cup

Allee won two Lo­cost races, which were packed

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