DEE­GAN STARS ON GUEST SNETT HOT HATCH OUT­INGS

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

In a packed pro­gramme for the 750 MC’S visit to Nor­folk there was ac­tion all round. The first of two races for the com­bined Stock and Hot Hatch field kicked it all off and fea­tured a new con­tender in the ring as reign­ing Stock Hatch cham­pion Shayne Dee­gan made a guest ap­pear­ance in the Hot Hatch ranks.

Hav­ing claimed a front row slot along­side pole­sit­ter Tom Bell’s sim­i­lar Ford Fi­esta ST ma­chine, Dee­gan briefly held the lead be­fore drop­ping to third as Bell and the ST of Alistair Camp as­serted them­selves. But the shape of the race quickly changed when Bell’s anti-roll­bar failed, ini­tially drop­ping him down the or­der, and ul­ti­mately into re­tire­ment.

Dee­gan didn’t hes­i­tate to make his move, gain­ing a place when Bell dropped out and then chas­ing af­ter new leader Camp.

It wasn’t long be­fore Dee­gan was level with him as the pair flashed past the che­quered flag. The tim­ing screens ini­tially sug­gested a dead heat, be­fore up­dat­ing to show Dee­gan the win­ner by a hun­dredth of a sec­ond. All this de­spite his gear­stick break­ing off part-way through the race.

By com­par­i­son, race two was a frag­mented af­fair, with rain mak­ing the track treacherous. That con­trib­uted to a car spear­ing off into the bar­ri­ers at Wil­liams. The in­ci­dent caused the race to be red flagged af­ter two com­pet­i­tive laps. Dee­gan had led the field be­fore the stop­page, and re­sumed that po­si­tion when the grid re­formed. He duly claimed a re­mark­able sec­ond win of the week­end, with Bell’s re­paired Fi­esta beat­ing Camp to claim run­ner-up spot.

De­spite a hes­i­tant start from pole in the open­ing Bike­sports race, Joe Sta­bles wasted lit­tle time reel­ing in the sim­i­lar Rad­i­cal PR6 of early leader Will Brown. Once ahead, Sta­bles’ lead grew to half a minute by the fin­ish. By con­trast, reign­ing cham­pion Adrian Rey­nard strug­gled to keep up with the PR6S and had to be con­tent with third. Front row starter Ja­son Rishover was also sub­dued as clutch prob­lems re­stricted him to a sixth place.

It was a dif­fer­ent story in the se­quel, with Rishover’s choice of a full wet set-up in the un­re­lent­ing rain help­ing him sweep his refet­tled ma­chine past pole-sit­ter Sta­bles at the lights en route to a com­fort­able win.

The first of two races planned for the com­bined M3 Cup and Pro­duc­tion All­com­ers field started as it was to con­tinue, with the BMWS of pole­man Luke Sedzikowski, Carl Shield and Adam Shep­herd mak­ing the run­ning. De­spite los­ing ground to the oth­ers with an off at Agos­tini, Shep­herd quickly re­joined the group but couldn’t get close enough to find a gap to at­tack. Shield duly took the lau­rels. Sadly bat­tle never re­sumed as the planned sec­ond race was aban­doned due to heavy rain.

De­spite hav­ing his lead trimmed when he slowed for an early yel­low flag, Robin Gear­ing pulled clear again to se­cure top spot in the first 750 For­mula race. He was helped by a scrap be­hind him hold­ing up the sec­ond and third place cars of Peter Bove and Mark Glover. While Gear­ing took his chance to es­cape, Bove claimed the win by less than a tenth of a sec­ond at the fin­ish.

Gear­ing suc­cess­fully guided his Darvi through the damp con­di­tions greet­ing the field for Sun­day’s se­quel to com­plete the dou­ble. He was com­fort­ably clear of Mark Glover and Ian Bar­ley at the fin­ish.

Satur­day’s two-hour Club En­duro race at­tracted a var­ied grid, with the Cater­ham Road­sport of Russ Oli­vant and El­liott Nor­ris claim­ing vic­tory. They snatched the ini­tia­tive away from the BMW M3 of early lead­ers Rory Hinde and Owen Fitzger­ald af­ter the mid-race pit-stops, and sur­vived a late safety car pe­riod and a rain shower to se­cure the win. Be­hind them, Henry Wright’s BMW M3 over­hauled the sim­i­lar car of Brett Evans to take sec­ond over­all.

Sun­day’s shorter 45-minute en­duro in­cluded some of the same driv­ers from the day be­fore, most no­tably the BMW of Hinde and Fitzger­ald. They had looked like fac­ing a late bat­tle for vic­tory with the MR2 of Eu­gene O’brien and Si­mon Phillips, spiced up by the fact that both re­ceived late stop go penal­ties. But sadly fuel surge is­sues prompted Phillips to re­tire in the pits, al­low­ing the M3 to se­cure top spot.

James Bark and cham­pi­onship leader Pa­trick Fletcher shared the spoils in the pair of Clio 182 races, taking a win apiece. First blood went to Bark, who surged away from the lights to over­haul Fletcher’s pole ad­van­tage and claim the lead. Bark sur­vived the race-long jostling for po­si­tion to edge Philip Wright for top spot on the podium. Fletcher turned the ta­bles in race two, hold­ing off Bark to win the clash by half a sec­ond.

Rob John­ston got off to a per­fect start as far as his Sport Spe­cials ti­tle am­bi­tions were con­cerned, build­ing up a healthy race lead while key points ri­val Matthew Booth went down the es­cape road at Brun­dle and into re­tire­ment.

Booth re­sponded in kind in the se­quel, guid­ing his re­paired ma­chine into a lead he would hold to the fin­ish. Mean­while John­ston and another points ri­val Clive Hud­son clashed on the open­ing lap and re­tired.

While close bat­tles flared in the packed grids of MR2S, Shaun Traynor proved the man on the moon. He led on every lap of the open­ing race, leav­ing the bat­tles be­hind him and pulling out 10 sec­onds by the fin­ish. Mean­while, points leader Jim Davies had to come from the back with a 10-sec­ond penalty hav­ing been found un­der­weight in prac­tice.“i just for­got to put enough fuel in,” he con­fessed. He bat­tled back with zest, set­ting fastest lap en route to a sixth place in race one and vic­tory in race two ahead of Traynor.

Re­mark­ably for the usu­ally fre­netic Mazda ranks, the top five fin­ish­ers in their pair of races round the Snet­ter­ton 300 ended with the same top five driv­ers in the same po­si­tions in both races. Will Black­wellCham­bers edged out Ben Short to win by a tenth each time.

Fi­nally, Dar­ren Ber­ris se­cured a con­vinc­ing win in the well-sup­ported Armed Forces race, only briefly re­lin­quish­ing top spot for his manda­tory pit­stop.

Dee­gan is reign­ing Stock Hatch champ

Black­well-cham­bers took two nar­row MX-5 Cup vic­to­ries at Snet­ter­ton Davies (r) and Traynor were the class of the MR2 field last week­end

Gear­ing wasn’t headed in 750 For­mula

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