TAROUINI TAMES SU­PER TOURERS IN LES­LIE TRO­PHY

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

The re­turn of tour­ing car cham­pi­ons Gabriele Tar­quini and John Cle­land brought out a healthy crowd as the HSCC Su­per Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship made its Knock­hill de­but.

Tar­quini’s Accord suf­fered a brake prob­lem in qual­i­fy­ing which left him down in fourth on the grid while Cle­land’s Vec­tra did not make it out on Satur­day af­ter a prob­lem with a throt­tle body. Reign­ing cham­pion Ste­wart Whyte and Colin No­ble Jr headed the front row on Satur­day.

In true tour­ing car fash­ion, there was drama right from the start as the two lead­ers ran side by side through Turn One but col­lided at the bot­tom of the hill, caus­ing both to re­tire. Some­what sur­prised, Tar­quini was through into the lead and he eased away at a sec­ond a lap from Mark Jones’s Re­nault La­guna and took a com­fort­able vic­tory.

“It was great to drive a car with David Les­lie’s name on the side in front of all the peo­ple,” Tar­quini ex­plained. “Sure, I was a bit lucky with what hap­pened at the first cor­ner be­cause he [Whyte] prob­a­bly had the strong­est car here.”

While the two qual­i­fy­ing pace­set­ters started at the back for race two, there was more dis­ap­point­ment for Cle­land who slowed soon af­ter the start with an en­gine prob­lem. Whyte and No­ble Jr wasted lit­tle time mov­ing through the field and by lap five both had Tar­quini in their sights.

No­ble Jr mus­cled past Whyte at Scots­man cor­ner on lap eight and brought the gap down to un­der three sec­onds but be­gan to struggle with his tyres over the last few laps. Tar­quini took his sec­ond win de­spite suf­fer­ing from ris­ing wa­ter tem­per­a­tures, which slowed his pace.

Whyte was pro­moted back to sec­ond af­ter the race as No­ble Jr was later ex­cluded from the re­sults for driv­ing stan­dards in­fringe­ments. Dar­ren Field­ing clinched the cham­pi­onship in his ST2 cat­e­gory BMW.

Neil Ma­clen­nan sealed the Scot­tish For­mula Ford Cham­pi­onship with an­other two vic­to­ries. Near­est cham­pi­onship ri­val Jamie Thor­burn pushed Ma­clen­nan hard and got into the lead be­fore a brief safety car pe­riod for David Thor­burn’s crashed car at Clark Cor­ner. When the race re­sumed, Ma­clen­nan made a bold move past his ri­val at Duf­fus and edged away.

There was heartbreak for Thor­burn in the sec­ond race af­ter he too crashed out at Clark cor­ner, which se­cured the ti­tle for Ma­clen­nan with three rounds to spare. Se­bas­tian Mel­rose prof­ited from Thor­burn’s demise but he was made to work hard by re­turn­ing for­mer cham­pion Alan Kirkaldy.

The fi­nal race of the day was the an­nual David Les­lie Tro­phy and it was dom­i­nated by Ma­clen­nan. Jamie Thor­burn quickly made it through the pack to sec­ond, which clinched him the New­comer’s ti­tle for this year. The best bat­tle was for third with five cars run­ning nose to tail, headed by Mel­rose with Matthew Cow­ley mak­ing a late move past Kirkaldy to clinch fourth.

Hav­ing won Satur­day’s race, Gary Clark sealed the BMW Cham­pi­onship with a sec­ond place in race two be­hind Calum King, who took his first vic­tory in the series. Al­though Clark held the lead for the ma­jor­ity of the race, a mid-race safety car closed up the field and King made his move at Scots­man on lap 11 to lead a four-car train home.

Four wins out of six for John Pater­son sealed him this year’s Scot­tish Leg­ends Cham­pi­onship. As al­ways, David Hunter was Pater­son’s clos­est chal­lenger and took two more wins. Guest driver Chris Grieve was awarded driver of the meet­ing for his spir­ited drives to five podium spots. Grieve bravely fought off Pater­son to keep sec­ond in the fi­nal race af­ter Pater­son had spun on lap five with a gear­box prob­lem.

A dra­matic week­end of Mini Cooper Cup ac­tion did lit­tle to ce­ment the cham­pi­onship stand­ings with Ian Munro’s lead be­ing cut to just 15 points head­ing into Oc­to­ber’s fi­nale where five driv­ers could win the ti­tle. Mor­gan Mur­ray won the first two races to move up the stand­ings and had to de­fend staunchly from Munro in both en­coun­ters. John Dun­can started race three from pole po­si­tion af­ter the top seven were re­versed and held off Mal­colm Mc­nab for the win. The story of this race was the re­tire­ment of stand­ings leader Munro af­ter a col­li­sion at the hair­pin on lap one.

The strong­est en­try of the year for Fi­es­tas pro­vided some of the best ac­tion of the day with Chris Mil­ford seal­ing vic­tory on the last lap of race two af­ter a race long bat­tle with Wayne Ma­caulay. ST Cup leader Kevin Whyte won race one but dropped to eighth af­ter an early com­ing to­gether with his cham­pi­onship ri­val Ma­caulay.

Fin­lay Crocker and Steven Dailly won a race apiece in the Saloons and Sportscars, Harry Simp­son dom­i­nated the Clas­sics races and Katie Milner and Mat­teo Zanetti shared the Ju­nior Sa­loon spoils.

Tar­quini won in ex-les­lie Accord

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