AND THE WINNERS ARE... ALLEE SNATCHES LOCOST TITLE AS RIVALS PAY PENALTY
SNETTERTON: 750MC BY RORY MITCHELL
Snetterton was the scene of the Locost Championship showdown, as Ian Allee triumphed despite he, Danny Andrew and Tim Neat all being set back by exclusions.
Coming into the weekend Andrew was leading the championship and started fourth in the first race. Steve Paddock won that affair but, having finished second on the road, Andrew was later excluded due to contact with Neat at Agostini while fighting for the lead. Neat was also excluded, and that handed Allee third, and the advantage going into the final race.
A big shunt at the start between Oliver Batten, Kevin Mccarthy and Victoria Baldwin brought out the red flag. Then while sitting on the grid, 750 Formula regular Bill Cowley had to be pushed off because of a head gasket issue after inheriting fourth place in the first race on his Locost debut.
When the race did get going, the fight for honours looked to be between Andrew and Neat, who led in the closing stages while Allee and Jack Coveney dropped back. But on the penultimate lap Andrew and Neat made contact heading into Brundle after going three-wide with Martin West down the Bentley Straight, which allowed Coveney back into the lead.
West and Paddock collided on the run to the line, and while West was able to cross the line in second behind Coveney, Paddock stopped a couple of metres short. Neat was again excluded for contact, as was Allee after a separate clash – but with Andrew only managing fifth, that was enough to hand Allee the crown by a single point.
With the Formula Vee title already decided in favour of Paul Smith, it was all about the battle for second place in the points. Thwarted by red flags in qualifying, Smith still fought his way to the front after starting down the order and added another two race wins to his impressive 2016 tally.
David Hughes was his only challenger, when in the closing stages of the second outing the pair diced for the lead through Riches and Montreal. Hughes stuck the nose of his Bears GAC up the inside through Brundle on the final lap, but Smith was able to get alongside exiting Murrays. The pair finished just a hundredth of a second apart, with Adam Macaulay making it a three-wide finish.
Ian Jordan secured second place in the championship, despite retiring from the first outing after contact while defending from Smith caused his engine to seize – and also left a noticeable tyre mark on the front nosecone of Smith’s AHS Dominator.
After changing his engine, Jordan had to rely on the misfortune of James Harridge in race two, who suffered the same gearbox problems he had at Anglesey all day. Harridge started the first outing from the front row, but a bad start coupled with contact through Oggies put him outside of the top 10 before he recovered to second.
Things didn’t improve in the next outing when he dropped back from fourth on the grid and found himself in the clutches of Jordan. The pair battled for sixth position, but clashed at Hamilton, sending them both off. The pair both made it back onto the track and remained close until the end, with Jordan making use of the slipstream down the Senna Straight to get ahead into Riches before Harridge was able to repass him through the final twists of the circuit. In the end Harridge finished ahead, but Jordan did enough to stay ahead in the championship standings.
In the Classic Stock Hatch Andrew Thorpe beat Matt Rozier after a heated battle for the lead. The latter had a much better run through Agostini and Hamilton, but lost out when they went down the Bentley Straight. It was a reverse of that in the second race with Rozier fending off Thorpe throughout, who dropped to third behind Lee Scott late on.
Pip Hammond secured third in the first outing after exchanging positions with Lee Scott. After a few tries through Agostini and down the Bentley Straight, Hammond eventually snatched third from Scott into Riches and beat the lap record for the series by a second in the process. In the second race Hammond found himself on pole but after a few mistakes, including selecting the wrong gears, he dropped to fourth.
Rod Goodman took the both wins in the Allcomers races. Goodman didn’t make a good start in race one, but retained the lead from Neil Constable-berry, who finished second on his racing debut. In the Super Cooper part of the race Andy Knowlton and Eliot Dunmore shared the race wins.
Dunmore forfeited the lead on the opening lap of the first race, after pitting because he thought he had been asked to serve a penalty for a jumped start. It was only a few laps later that the stewards issued him a penalty (with 10s added to his time post-race), which dropped him to fifth, despite finishing second on the road.
Michael Harvey won the 750 Trophy scratch race in his JB Special, while John Slatter took the spoils in the second Handicap race after snatching the lead from Jonathan Sadler through the Bomb Hole on the final lap.
1 Steve Paddock; 2 Jack Coveney +1.53s; 3 Ian Allee; 4 Bill Cowley; 5 Martin West; 6 James Millman. Fastest lap Coveney 2m24.58s (73.93mph). Pole Coveney. Starters 38.
1 Coveney; 2 West +8.18s; 3 Glenn Boyer; 4 Shaun Brame; 5 Danny Andrew; 6 David Boucher. FL West 2m23.36s (74.56mph). P Coveney. S 33.
1 Paul Smith (AHS Dominator); 2 Adam Macaulay (Sheane) +0.35s; 3 Graham Gant (WEV FV01); 4 Jack Wilkinson (Sheane Mk3); 5 Paul Taylor (Bears GAC); 6 Ian Buxton (GAC Daghorn). Class Winner Wilkinson. FL Smith 2m10.68s (81.79mph). P Belsey. S 25.
1 Smith; 2 David Hughes (Bears GAC) +0.01s; 3 Macaulay; 4 Gant; 5 Buxton; 6 Harry Webb (AHS Dominator). CW James Harridge (Maverick Vee) FL Paul Smith 2m10.99s (81.60mph). P Belsey. S 23.
1 Rozier; 2 Scott +0.31s; 3 Thrope; 4 Hammond; 5 Fowdrey; 6 Derek Rozier (Peugeot 205 GTI). FL Hammond 2m24.34s (74.05mph). P Hammond. S 19.
1 Rod Goodman (Radical SR3); 2 David Constable-berry (BDN S3) +32.01s; 3 Kelvin Rawles (Arion S2); 4 Richard Gilmore (Mallock MK18/25M); 5 Lloyd Chafer (BMW E36 M3); 6 Matt Cherrington (BMW Z3). CW Lloyd Chafer (BMW E36 M3); Ryan Steel (Citroen Saxo VTR); Andy Knowlton (Mini Cooper S). FL Goodman 2m02.54s. P Goodman. S 24.
1 Goodman; 2 Rawles +48.18s; 3 Chafer; 4 Constable-berry; 5 Cherrington; 6 Steel. CW Chafer; Steel; Eliot Dunmore (Mini Cooper S). FL Goodman 2m01.61s (87.89mph). P Goodman. S 21.