RACING REPORTS SMITH AT THE DOUBLE IN VEE
MALLORY PARK: 750MC BY RORY MITCHELL
It was a day of double victories at Mallory Park for the 750 Motor Club meeting. Paul Smith continues to be the man to beat in Formula Vee, adding to his tally of six race wins in a row in a dominant showing.
The Class B car of James Harridge was his nearest challenger and put pressure on Smith in the first race after having a good start from the third row of the grid.
Harridge took the lead through Charlies, although only briefly before Smith was able to make use of his superior straight-line speed and the backmarkers on the Stebbe Straight. The dispute between the leaders was cut short abruptly though, when Harridge’s engine seized just a couple of laps before the end, sadly putting him out for the rest of the day.
In the second race Smith was able to control the pace, as there was a battle for second between Martin Farmer and Graham Gant. It was a close opening few laps between the pair, before Gant went wide through Charlies and got grass on his wheels, which caused him to drop back. That promoted Ian Buxton to third, after fourth was settled in the closing stages when David Hughes overtook Ian Jordan coming out of the Shaw’s hairpin.
Robin Gearing also triumphed in both 750 Formula outings, however the story of the day occurred in the afternoon when Bill Cowley suffered a major shunt which caused the race to be shortened.
After getting into the lead at the start, Cowley was desperate to defend from Gearing who was gaining on Cowley through the fast corners with his new front wing. Cowley employed similar tactics to Donington earlier in the year by making his car as wide as possible, going three-abreast with Peter Bove into the John Cooper Esses at one point.
But when it came to lapping the backmarkers he went off the racing line and onto some oil that was dispersed earlier in the race, which speared him off the track and heavily into the barrier at the Esses. Cowley was conscious but taken to hospital as a precaution, however his Cowley MKIV was looking worse for wear when it was recovered.
Pip Hammond did the double in Classic Stock Hatch. In the first instance it was from Lee Scott, after a battle with Matt Rozier. The top four ran closely, but the narrow circuit made it difficult to pass. Only Rozier was able to make a move into the Shaw’s Hairpin which was defended from Scott heading to the finish.
Tom Bell was the fourth driver to take double victories in Hot Hatch. Bell controlled the pace from lights to flag on both occasions, the first from Neil Stringfellow and Alistair Camp. It wasn’t an easy third place for Camp though, as he had to fend off a late challenge from Matt Howarth coming out of the Shaw’s Hairpin to the chequered flag.
In 750 Trophy Lyndon Thruston won the first race while Christian Pedersen took the honours in the second. Pedersen was challenged by John Slatter, who made use of his late braking into the Shaw’s Hairpin to briefly take the lead before the superior straight-line speed of Pedersen allowed him to ultimately take victory.
Peter De La Roche was another driver to take a brace of wins. The Cooper Mk5 racer was unstoppable in the 500cc F3 races, with Darrell Woods (Cooper Mk12) second both times.
1 Gearing; 2 Bove +0.63; 3 Glover; 4 Gough; 5 Simpson; 6 Rod Hill (Mystic T4). CW Andrew Lake (Darvi 91D). FL Bove 51.44s (94.48mph). P Gearing. S 16.
1 Pip Hammond (Vauxhall Nova GTE); 2 Lee Scott (Ford Fiesta XR2I) +2.47s; 3 Matt Rozier (Peugeot 205 GTI); 4 Martin Cayzer (Ford Fiesta XR2I); 5 Edward Cooper (Vauxhall Nova GSI); 6 Andrew Thorpe (Citroen AX GTI). FL Hammond 56.77s (85.61mph). P Hammond. S 22.
1 Hammond; 2 M Rozier +0.87s; 3 Scott; 4 Cooper; 5 Derek Rozier (Peugeot 205 GTI); 6 Cayzer. FL Scott 56.90s (85.41mph). P Hammond. S 19.
1 Christian Pedersen (Austin 7); 2 Slatter +10.54s; 3 Thruston; 4 Rowe; 5 Davies; 6 Charlie Plain-jones (Austin 7 Cowley Special). CW Plain-jones. FL Pedersen 1m00.32s (80.57mph). P Pedersen. S 15.