AHLERS UNSTOPPABLE AS MORGANS HEAD TO WALES
ANGLESEY: CSCC BY JAKE JONES
Morgan veteran Keith Ahlers dominated the first Morgan Challenge race held at Anglesey despite never having raced at the circuit.
He got an excellent start and continued to pull away until the chequered flag, finishing 20 seconds ahead of Phillip Goddard, with Russell Paterson third just behind.
Race two on Sunday was damp with the grid set on the previous day’s results. Ahlers again crushed the field from pole to take his second victory of the weekend and his 88th in Morgans. Initially, he looked in trouble as wheelspin dropped him to fourth off the line. Elliot Paterson took advantage to lead from third place after a brilliant move on second placed Goddard at the banking hairpin. It was short-lived as Ahlers powered past on the back straight to retake the lead and cruise to his eighth win of the season. Paterson Sr finished 19 seconds behind after he overtook his son, Elliot, early on. The latter completed the podium.
Colin Philpott was dominant in both the Jaguar and GT outings but was controversially excluded from the second race result. The safety car interrupted Philpott’s excellent start in race one courtesy of a Corkscrew spin for Bruce Cologne-brooks on the opening lap, but he weathered the pressure from Ian Drage throughout to secure his third win of the year.
He did the same in the wet race two, but his Jaguar XJS was found to be underweight post-race which gifted the victory to Drage.
“I put the wet tyres on and I think that’s where I slipped up with the lighter wheel,” said Philpott. “I’m a little bit peeved because it was a difficult race, it was wet and then drying and we had a good race. I don’t think Ian would have wanted to win in that way but fair play to him.”
Gary Bate won both of the Open Series races in tense encounters. In race one Bate was bumped to second by Richard Carter at the start but reclaimed the lead halfway through on the back straight into Rocket. However, a speeding penalty during the pitstops dropped him back again behind his rival.
Bate was flying thereafter and copied his earlier move to re-take the lead and win ahead of Carter and Nick Starkey in third. Bate stormed to a wet weather victory in race two as polesitter and race favourite Danny Winstanley started on the wrong tyres. Still, the race one victor was in a class of his own and had built a 20-second lead over the field by lap 10 and the race was a foregone conclusion when Winstanley pitted for the correct rubber midway through. As Bate was left to cruise to his second victory of the weekend a lap ahead of the field, a stirring fight back ensued for the polesitter as he finished fourth.
Winstanley started the Magnificent Sevens on the right tyres though and showcased the speed that made him favourite for the Open Series. Despite a pitlane start due to an issue, the Caterham Superlight was in the lead very early on, sweeping past Bate on the back straight and to the win. Peter Ratcliff re-took third position on track after Carter had nipped ahead at the midway stops.
David Marcussen was untouchable in the Modern Classics and New Millennium in which the safety car was prominent at the start. The nonstarting Ginetta of Gary Wardle and a spin for the Porsche of Andy Yeomans meant a slow start to proceedings. Polesitter Nicolas Olsen tried hard to overcome his 30-second success penalty applied from his win at Donington when the safety car peeled in. Once it settled down following the mandatory stops early on, Marcussen emerged as the lead driver. He stayed there until the flag with Mark Smith and Arran Moulton-smith finishing 30 seconds back. Olsen and James Broad collided going into Rocket battling for third late on, with the latter losing out and having to settle for fourth.
Mark Campbell scored an excellent win in the Swinging Sixties series after a spin at the Corkscrew on lap one meant he ended the lap in 33rd place. Many in the field struggled with the wet conditions but once the order settled down following pitstops, Campbell’s Triumph had clawed its way back to second. He swooped past Malcolm Johnson’s Lotus Elan at Target to take the lead midway through and eventually the win just before polesitter Mark Halstead retired when his Ginetta lost drive.
Chris Boardman and Arran Moulton-smith dominated Tin Tops so much so, that they still finished eight seconds clear of Nigel Tongue in second even after penalties for exceeding track limits were applied. Nigel Ainge and Mike Jordan’s success penalty for a previous win meant the Honda Integra couldn’t mount a victory challenge and finished fourth.
No-one could get close to Ahlers Philpott (l) and Drage battled in Jaguar opener
Winstanley had mixed event