PARK’S FF2000 STREAK COMES TO AN END AT CROFT
Cumbrian lifeboatman Andy Park is odds-on favourite to win the Historic Formula Ford 2000 title, but the Reynard driver’s three-year five-race victory streak at the HSCC’S annual Croft Nostalgia Festival was ended. F2/atlantic racer Andy Smith, guesting in unrelated reigning champion Tom’s TS Historics Royale RP27, prevailed in Sunday’s second race.
Defeated only once this term – when pressured into a spin by Benn Simms at Snetterton – Park withstood a barrage of attacks from Smith until his rival’s car’s handling went awry in the morning. A cracked chassis rail was the culprit, but it took graft to fix resultant issues at the rear. Smith rewarded the team with a brilliant afternoon win, diving ahead at the hairpin on lap six. “My car was better in the twisty sections,” said Smith following hearty congratulations.
The other Andy in the field, Pukka Pies boss Storer, completed the podium both times having passed the mercurial Graham Ridgway. Tom White (Osella) owned Class B, progressing to fourth overall.
A sensationally clean scrap between Brabham drivers Jonathon Hughes (BT6) and Cameron Jackson (BT2) set the Formula Junior standard. A distant second on Saturday, Jackson briefly squeezed past the local man at the hairpin on Sunday but finished 0.167s shy of his Hi-tech Motorsport team-mate. Andrew Garside (Lotus 20/22) claimed a first podium, but Pete Morton’s drive from the back to third – having taken over father Alex’s Lightning Envoyette after his Ausper’s transmission wilted in race one – was another highlight.
Split by 0.687s in qualifying, Graeme Adams, James Dunkley and David Weston crossed the timing line abreast on lap one of Sunday’s Midget and Sprite Challenge opener. Dunkley prevailed and repeated in the event finale in which an unfortunate touch between Weston and Adams fired the latter off at high speed towards the Jim Clark Esses and retirement. Former Clubmans and Classic F3 racer Steve Collier, back this season after a 21-year lay-off, was thus astounded to finish third in a closed Class B car and take the solus points lead.
Callum Grant stunned Formula Ford opposition, quickly repassing chief rival Rob Wainwright to make it seven wins from nine and close on a second title. “Two seconds aren’t bad, but it’s Callum’s pace which is mildly disappointing,” said Wainwright. Simon Toyne and Benn Simms landed thirds, the latter after fierce combat with Mark Shaw, whose Classic Team Merlyn team-mate Ben Tusting went off attempting to round him at Clervaux. Rob Tusting, Ben’s dad, stormed to a career best fourth meanwhile.
A 43-car entry justified daily repechage heats. Ending his run of bad luck, Will Nuthall (Jamun) wriggled past Ross Drybrough’s superbly-presented Merlyn to win Saturday’s photo finish. James Buckton (Elden) led the chase. On Sunday 16-year-old debutant Ed Thurston (Elden) sprinted past Swede Roland Svensson (Merlyn) to grab his maiden victory, over Drybrough and Andrew Wiggins (Titan), after polesitter Rob Smith crashed heavily without injury.
The ’70s and Historic Road Sports sets united to form a splendid field, Jim Dean (Lotus Europa) and Kevin Kivlochan (Morgan +8) narrowly beating Julian Barter (Elan S4) and David Boland (Ginetta G4) respectively each day. Having missed Saturday’s race through clutch failure, Peter Shaw tore back to third in HRS on Sunday, lapping almost 0.3s inside the pole time of fellow Elan ace John Davison whose S3 was sidelined by broken gearbox syncromesh after practice. David Tomkinson (Triumph Spitfire) denied ’70s table topper Chris Fisher (MG Arkley) a class double by 0.047s.
Rob Wainwright left Classic Racing Car rivals panting with two faultless demonstrations in Eamonn Ledwidge’s Crossle 18F. Great scraps in his wake between Andy Jarvis – whose Palliser twin-cam was stymied by a locking front brake on Sunday – David Wild (back in his March 712 after six years, rueing ancient tyres) and Julian Stokes whose fast Tecno progressively lost gears each day were hugely entertaining.
Outrun by Jonathon Hughes until his Merlyn’s engine cooked – having lost its water pump belt – Simon Armer bolstered his Historic F3 title aspirations with two measured maximums in his March 703 where it all came unglued last season. Defending champion Leif Bosson of Sweden (Brabham) and Monagasque Marcus Mussa (Tecno) shared seconds and thirds.
Mark Jones won both Touring Car races in his Lotus Cortina, Saturday’s fortuitously having skated off on oil – followed by eventual class winners Steve Platts and Barry Sime – dumped in the complex by Colin Gunton’s Imp. Warren Briggs (Mustang), Neil Wood (Anglia) and 16-year-old Historic rookie James Clarke (Cortina) led the chase from the restart.
From P2, Briggs arrived at Clearvaux 13th on Sunday (“I was in third gear, then got top when I changed down to second,” grinned the New Zealander), but recovered to silver, under relentless pressure from the hugely promising Clarke who ran second initially.
Hugh Colman won the Guards Trophy round in his Chevron B8, beating the sister car of Charlie Allison/peter Thompson, after runaway leader Jon Waggitt’s Lenham fell to brake dramas.
Mike Gardiner’s TVR Griffith was third, its left flank scuffed after co-driver Dan Cox spun off on the exit of the Jim Clark Esses, dislodged the tyre stack and tossed it onto pursuer Bob Brooks’s Merlyn Mk6, started hard by daughter Vicky. The race was red-flagged, but results stood on countback. Points leader Jon Davison (Elan 26R) won his class again.
It took Mark Charteris several laps to unseat John Harrison from the lead of both Classic Clubmans races as he grappled with a difficult stopgap gearbox. Mike Evans’ A-sport comeback after six years netted two thirds. Returnee David Wale, debuting the ex-rob Manson car finished Sunday morning’s race jammed in top gear but improved to fourth later.
Adam Wheeler was thrilled with a first Ff1600-engined win after a detached carb float reduced Clive Wood’s car to a crawl in the opener. Wood was clear in race two when his exhaust fractured, but he nursed his machine home ahead of Wheeler.
1 Andrew Park (Reynard SF81); 2 Andy Smith (Royale RP27) +3.928s; (Van Diemen RF82); 3 Andrew Storer (Reynard SF79); 4 Graham Ridgway (Reynard SF78); 5 Tom White (Osella FAF); 6 Stephen Glasswell (Reynard SF79). Class winners White; John Bowles (Elden PRH14). Fastest lap Smith 1m27.689s (86.22mph) Record. Pole Park. Starters 19.
(14 laps) 1 Smith; 2 Park +2.924s; 3 Storer; 4 White; 5 David Walton (Royale RP27); 6 Ridgway. CW White. FL Smith 1m28.137s (85.79mph). S 19.
1 Jonathon Hughes (Brabham BT6); 2 Cameron Jackson (Brabham BT2) +18.488s; 3 Andrew Garside (Lotus 20/22); 4 Steve Jones (Cooper T67); 5 Peter Anstiss (Lotus 20/22); 6 Robin Longdon (Lola MK5A). CW Jonathan Fyda (U2 Mk3); Crispian Besley (Cooper T56); John Sykes (Merlyn Mk2); Graham Barron (Gemini Mk2); Simon Durling (Lotus 18). FL Hughes 1m35.025s (79.57mph). P Hughes. S 31.
1 Hughes; 2 Jackson +0.167s; 3 Pete Morton (Lightning Envoyette); 4 Garside; 5 Anstiss; 6 Longdon. CW Fyda; Besley; Sykes; Tony Olissoff (Elfin Mk1); Durling. FL Jackson 1m34.529s (79.98mph). P Hughes. S 26.
1 Dunkley; 2 Weston +8.741s; 3 Collier; 4 Andrew Mcgee; 5 Pippa Cow; 6 Walker. CW Collier; Cow; Walker. FL Dunkley 1m34.249s (80.22mph). P Dunkley. S 21.
1 Thurston; 2 Drybrough +8.166s; 3 Andrew Wiggins (Titan Mk6); 4 Svensson; 5 Cormac Flanagan (Alexis Mk14); 6 Kevin Stanzl (Merlyn Mk20). FL Thurston 1m34.067s (80.38mph). P Rob Smith (Merlyn Mk20). S 27. Sports). FL Dean 1m38.934s (76.42mph). P John Davison (Lotus Elan S3). S 31.
1 Dean; 2 Kivlochan +7.204s; 3 Barter; 4 Boland; 5 Peter Shaw (Lotus Elan S1); 6 Payne. CW Kivlochan; Boland; John Williams (Porsche 911SC); Gate; Coffey; Brian Jarvis (Porsche 924); David Tomkinson (Triumph Spitfire); Mike Foley (Sunbeam Alpine); Cooper. Inv Cooper. FL Shaw 1m37.818s (77.30mph). P Dean. S 33.
1 Robert Wainwright (Crossle-bda 18F); 2 Andy Jarvis (Palliser-t/c WDB2) +1m02.457s; 3 David Wild (March-bda 712); 4 Brian Cullen (Crossle-bda 19F); 5 Julian Stokes (Tecno-bda 69); 6 Mark Goodyear (Lotus-t/c 59). CW Jarvis; Phil Nelson (Hawke-ford DL2B); Tom Smith (Dastle Hesketh F3). FL Wainwright 1m24.876s (89.08mph). P Wainwright. S 11.
1 Wainwright; 2 Wild +1m04.425s; 3 Stokes; 4 Jarvis; 5 Cullen; 6 Goodyear. CW Jarvis; Smith; Nelson. FL Wainwright 1m25.684s (88.24mph). P Wainwright. S 11.
1 Armer; 2 Mussa +19.025s; 3 Bosson; 4 Jim Blockley (Chevron B17); 5 Barry Sewell (Lotus 41); 6 Holland. FL Armer 1m34.344s (80.14mph). P Armer. S 9.
1 Jones; 2 Briggs +12.411s; 3 Clarke; 4 Bob Bullen (Ford Anglia 105E); 5 Hore; 6 Platts. CW Briggs; Clarke; Platts; Jimmy Sime (Morris Cooper S). Inv Glaister. FL Jones 1m42.907s (73.47mph). P Jones. S 16.
1 Hugh Colman (Chevron-bmw B8); 2 Charles Allison/ Peter Thompson (Chevron-bmw B8) +11.678s; 3 Mike Gardiner/ Dan Cox (TVR Griffith); 4 Vicky & Bob Brooks (Merlyn-t/c Mk6); 5 Nick Thompson/ Sean Mcclurg (Chevron-bmw B6); 6 John Davison (Lotus Elan ‘26R’). CW Gardiner/ Cox; Brooks/ Brooks; Davison; Brian Casey (Lenham P69); Alistair Dyson (Jaguar E-type); Craig & Adam Jones (ELVA-BMW MK7S); Martin Richardson (MGB). FL P Thompson 1m35.072s (79.53mph). P Colman. S 23.