BARK FLOATS TO WIN

Wet weather spe­cial­ist James Bark took a com­fort­able vic­tory in a trun­cated third round of the Clio 182 Cham­pi­onship.

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - Photos: Ol­lie Read, Jim Moir

Bark shot through be­tween front row starters Don de Graaff and Pa­trick Fletcher, and eased away in test­ing con­di­tions. Ge­orge Wil­liams took sec­ond from Fletcher at Folly on lap two, but pole man de Graaff had just re­trieved fourth from Nick Garner at Quarry when he skated into the bar­ri­ers at Tower with a punc­ture, bring­ing out the reds.

Bark made a slug­gish start to race two, al­low­ing Fletcher and Philip Wright to make the early run­ning. Bark reeled them in, then his push-to-pass move at Tower earned him P2 on the road as Wright nar­rowly avoided the bar­rier, al­though of­fi­cials re­versed the po­si­tions.

Michael Moy­ers led the Combe FF1600 race from the Esses on lap one, and the man he passed, Nathan Ward, spun out of con­tention at Ham­mer­down two laps later. The safety car in­ter­vened when Luke Cooper went off at Quarry, and in the three laps af­ter the restart reign­ing cham­pion Roger Orgee pushed Moy­ers hard. Adam Hig­gins held off Josh Fisher for third.

James Keepin took a stun­ning maiden Combe Saloon win from row six af­ter heavy rain up­set the reg­u­lar or­der. With three lead­ing con­tenders ab­sent af­ter last month’s ac­ci­dent, and James Win­ter break­ing a gear­box in qual­i­fy­ing, Ge­off Ryall’s 106 led into Folly, but he was reeled in by the MG ZR and lost the lead at Quarry on lap six. Ear­lier, Si­mon Nor­ris de­moted Dave Scara­manga’s VW Scirocco at Bob­bies to claim third.

In con­sid­er­ably drier con­di­tions later on, Keepin fin­ished down in 17th while Nor­ris gave the Mit­subishi Colt its first vic­tory from Mark Wy­att and Scara­manga, who stormed from row six.

Keith Ah­lers romped to the open­ing Mor­gan Chal­lenge win in his +8, while An­drew Thomp­son re­lieved cham­pi­onship leader El­liot Pater­son of sec­ond at Quarry on lap two. Strug­gling with an elec­tri­cal is­sue, Pater­son dropped back to fourth be­hind Tony Hirst. On a dry­ing track in race two, An­drew Bent­ley’s +4 briefly led, but Ah­lers pre­vailed.

Barry Squibb was fifth at the end of the first lap of the Combe GT race af­ter con­tact, but charged back through the field, pass­ing David Krayem’s Ginetta G50 over Avon Rise on lap eight. Krayem re­tired with a faulty oil pres­sure light, pro­mot­ing pole­man Matt Hig­gin­son (AB Arion) to sec­ond. Oliver Bull’s sil­hou­ette Ti­gra was third af­ter Steve Hall’s Audi TT clone clashed with a back­marker.

Squibb led from lights-to-flag in race two, while Krayem’s off at Camp handed sec­ond to the well-driven M3 of Martin Thomas.

The first BMW race was briefly in­ter­rupted af­ter erst­while leader Ja­son West went off at Quarry. Al­though James Mac­in­tyre-ure (M3 E46) aced the restart, it was the 1 Se­ries of James Cannon that took vic­tory af­ter fend­ing off his ri­val over the last three laps. James Card got the ver­dict when the sec­ond race was red-flagged af­ter Peter Miller’s 328 caught fire. Separately, Cannon and Daniel Wylie clashed at Quarry while dis­put­ing third.

David Mel­lor (ZR) had a big lead over the yellow Fs of Si­mon Ken­drick and Martin Wills in the first MGOC con­test, but af­ter Wills drove around the out­side at Camp to grab sec­ond he slashed the ad­van­tage. Wills grabbed the lead at Tower on lap five, but had to de­fend from Mel­lor to the end.

Af­ter nudg­ing past Wills at Bob­bies, Mel­lor took vic­tory in race two, which was halted early af­ter Stu­art Philps was nerfed into a roll at Ham­mer­down.

Bark won the sod­den first Clio race

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