LIVESLEY LOSES OUT TO LEWIS
Snetterton Future Classics winner Alec Livesley narrowly failed to repeat his success at Brands, beaten mainly by his “reward” for success in Norfolk - a 30s pit stop penalty.
This dropped the Jensen Healey to 21st place after its stop, and a later drivethrough left Livesley with no chance to make up the deficit and catch winner Matthew Lewis (Marcos) or the shared BMW of David Ball and Tom Houlbrook. Third was still a good result, Livesley just pipping Graham Scarborough’s Capri.
John Spiers (TVR Griffith) lapped everyone before making his Classic K pitstop, and continued to draw away afterwards until a spin allowed the next two cars to unlap themselves once. David Holroyd (Lotus Elan), in second, had two spins plus a 30s success handicap, but still beat the Grahame and Alan Bull E-type.
A restarted Tin Tops race provided the best action on the meeting’s first day. The length was cut after front row starter Tom Mensley (Renault Clio) failed to get away cleanly, innocently triggering a multi-car shunt before the first corner in which the unlucky Andrew Windmill was the worst casualty, the driver needing careful removal from his Peugeot.
With the usual pit window rules cancelled for the day, Russell Hird pitted his Honda Integra on lap one, falling to the back but rapidly regaining places when the others made their stops. Chris Boardman (BMW Compact) adopted the opposite approach, stopping late, but Hird and Carl Chambers’ Peugeot (which had no third gear in qualifying) passed the BMW. This looked decisive, but Hird was then hit with a five-second track limits penalty, which dropped him behind the other two. Richard Wheeler (Ford Fiesta) completed a tight top four, 4.6s covering them in the final results.
Wheeler then joined Paul Mensley in an Elan to win the first Swinging Sixties race. Wheeler was lucky to rejoin after avoiding contact in an early spin at Paddock. Jon Wolfe and David Thompson steered their TVR to second, but only by a length from Ray Barrow’s Camaro, which was catching up after his penalty pit stop as a previous winner.
The Mini of Richard Wager and Nick Swift dominated the second Swinging Sixties event, although Sam Polley’s MGB was never far behind. Everyone else was at least half a minute back, and most had been lapped.
James Ramm (XJS) won both Jaguar Saloon & GT races, the first after a close contest with Colin Philpott and the second by a comfortable margin over the same rival. David Howard and Rodney Frost had a third and a fourth place each. Two crashing cars made a big dent in the Cooper Straight barriers in race one, and the second outing stopped early with the Derek Pearce XK8 parked in a dodgy position at Paddock.
Dean Cook’s TVR Sagaris looked a hot favourite for New Millennium honours after leading for almost half the race until his pit stop. A spin when he looked poised to regain first place blunted his charge and allowed the Mark Smith and Arran Moulton-smith BMW to head Tim Davis (TVR Tuscan) at the flag. Another potential winner heavily involved in the early action, the Porsche 997 of Peter Challis, retired with a slipping clutch.
The MG Midget of Chris Southcott triumphed in both Special Saloon & Modsports races. The first was a tame affair, but the second was sometimes frantic as Southcott bombed up the order from a back row start. Behind the MG came Ricky Parker-morris in a Peugeot 309, Paul Sibley’s Lotus, Daniel Brown’s Escort and the bizarre Cosworth-powered Anglia of Steven Moss.
Peter Ratcliff thrust his way past Christian Pittard to lead the Magnificent Sevens at the last corner, but Pittard had more momentum and won the drag to the line by 0.079s. Ratcliff had already reached the front from a pitlane start, the penalty for winning last time out, but made a stupid mistake – his words – by lapping a much slower car under yellows. Ratcliff, slowing to hand the place back, gave Pittard the opportunity he needed to retake the lead as the race headed for its final corner climax. Richard Carter and Graham Charman were third and fourth, nearly half a minute back.
Modern Classics victory went to Laurie Grant’s BMW under increasing pressure from the Porsche Boxster shared by James and Alan Broad. Grant had the self-imposed handicap of a slow pitstop as he grappled with his harness. Both these cars had to follow the Porsche of David Hornsey and Steve Miller before the pit stops, but the 996 duo drifted back to a fairly distant third, its drivers nevertheless well pleased with the result after a lengthy absence.
After a few laps of pressure from Richard Carter, Peter Ratcliff never looked like being denied a consolation win in the Open Series final event of the weekend.
Lewis took the win in Marcos
Tin Tops were a real highlight