HARRISON POWERS HIS WAY TO VICTORY OVER PRIMETT’S FORD
Andrew Harrison’s Jaguar XJS won enthralling contests with Stephen Primett’s Ford Escort Mk1 in the CTCRC Pre ’83 Touring Car double-header.
The Jag’s extra grunt told along Park Straight on the opening lap of Saturday’s stanza, but an audacious move into Hall Bends on the next tour put Primett back in front. “I’ve never been overtaken like that before,” shrugged Harrison.
An increasingly ragged Primett lost the lead two laps later, a wheel on the grass at Charlies eventually costing him the place approaching Park. Next time around, it was a full-on excursion, cutting yards off the apex of Charlies, and Primett’s challenge was blunted.
Traffic threw him a lifeline, but Harrison won by a second. Third place (and Pre ’66 spoils) went to Paul Pheysey, who pounced when Stuart Caie (Capri) was delayed by backmarkers at Coppice.
Harrison won again on Sunday, with Primett trying everything he could to oust his rival’s wide Jag. “I can’t try any harder, I am at 10-10ths,” he said. With less traffic to worry about, Caie took third.
The star of the Pre ’03 Touring/ Classic VW double-header was AJ Owen, who climbed from 10th on the grid, after ECU issues on his Honda Civic in practice, to third in race one and victory in race two. Ken Lark was comfortably in front in Saturday’s race when his VW Corrado suffered driveshaft failure. That handed Danny Cassar (Honda Integra) the overall honours; he had passed Steve Barden’s Civic at Park on lap one. Owen battled with Simon Beament’s Escort on his way to the podium.
Barden passed Cassar for the lead on the run from Mansfield in Sunday’s race, then Owen – who reverted to 2015 set-up after off-season developments hindered him at Rockingham – got a run on him coming out of Barn that carried him into the lead by halfway round lap six. From the rear of the grid, Lark climbed to fourth by lap seven – passing Saturday winner Tony Harberman (Beetle) – to be top VW.
Dave Cockell was leading the first Classic Thunder race when it was redflagged after David Margalies, in Mark Fowler’s BMW M3, landed atop the Mountain Armco. In Sunday morning’s rerun Cockell’s Escort Cosworth led throughout, but the second race went the way of Vaughan Fletcher’s Subaru Impreza. “I made it hard for myself when I threw it off at Park in the restarted race,” he said, after driving around Cockell at Coppice to take the lead.
Jack Stanford took a lights-to-flag win in Pre ’93 Touring Cars, but fellow front row starter Kirk Armitage spun off the line, wiping out the top Pre ’05 Production Peugeots of Gary Parkes and Paul Waterhouse. In their absence, Wil Arif (Alfa 145) took divisional honours.
Stanford led home an identical Pre ’93 podium on Sunday, with Paul Bellamy and David Hickton also M3-mounted. Having lashed up his 206, Parkes produced a stirring drive from the back to lead the Pre ’05 section within the first three laps.
The Northern Saloon and Sports Car races were dominated by Leicestershire driver Joe Spencer in his Stuart Taylor Locosaki. The 20-year-old streaked away from his rivals, cutting near 90-second laps as he won the two races by a combined margin of more than a minute. Michael Cutt grabbed second from fellow BMW M3 pilot Paul Brydon on the first lap of the opener, while, after stalling on the line, Andy Robinson climbed back to fourth in his Ford Falcon, aided by the retirement of Andrew Morrison’s SEAT.
In the second race, Brydon headed first Cutt, then Robinson, for second until he limped into a smoky retirement.
Championship leader Peter Sparrow headed the 2CV opener throughout, in spite of occasional pressure from Thomas Perry. Ex-renault 5 ace Sandro Proietti overcame Alec Graham through the woodland section on the penultimate lap for third before Graham spun fourth place away exiting Gooseneck on the final lap.
Graham started race two from pole but briefly lost out to Mick Storey on the third lap. Storey passed him again at the Mountain on lap eight, with Nick Crispin and teenager Luca Proietti following him through on the next lap. Crispin – having fixed considerable damage after the last meeting at Croft – took the lead at the Mountain on the penultimate lap and went on to win, with Storey maintaining second after Proietti’s final lap bid resulted in him being squeezed outside the top six.
Alex Comis won the Super class in both Mighty Mini encounters by a tiny margin. In the opener, he took the lead from Adrian Tuckley at Coppice on lap four, while in the reversed grid race Steve Maxted was his main rival for the main part, until Tuckley recovered from an early missed gear. Stuart Coombs somehow emerged as the top Mighty after each frenetic race, Greg Jenkins and Sam Tomlinson sharing the podiums.
Ian Goodchild enjoyed a largely untroubled Hyundai Coupe double, with Jon Winter twice having to make ground in the early stages to earn second.
Harrison and Primett had great lead battle