SUPER SPENCER’S LATE ENTRY REWARDED
Double North West Sports/saloon champion Joe Spencer gained some useful experience ahead of his 2019 750 Motor Club Bikesports campaign by winning both of the Sports Car races at Mallory Park on the British Racing and Sports Car Club Boxing Day meeting in a newly-acquired Radical PR6.
The Leicestershire driver won the regional title in 2015 and 2017, and a campaign in the 750MC competition – aboard a Spire – was mooted for 2018. “We’ve still got the Spire in build,” explained the 23-year-old. “We’ve got this car [the ex-phil Cooper race-winning PR6] as a bit of a benchmark. I have never driven a car with downforce before so I thought if I got the Radical I would know roughly what it should feel like so we could set the Spire up. Then we can work out which one to go with.”
With only one trackday under his belt before Mallory, Spencer entered the Plum Pudding races late and thus lined up on the back of the grid for the opener. However, he gave himself an additional penalty. “I wasn’t even ready,” he said. “I was still fiddling about with the lap timer when the lights went out.”
In spite of starting his race several seconds late, Spencer was up to seventh by the end of the opening lap and second by lap three. He then set about diminishing the advantage of the other Radical on the grid, Dave Porter’s SR3 RS, which had started from pole position.
What had been a seven-second gap was virtually nothing five laps later, and the two Radicals went either side of the slower Caterham of Tristan Judge on Kirkby Straight. At the entrance to Gerard’s they touched – each driver pointing the finger at the other – and while Spencer continued, Porter traversed the grass. Such was his advantage that he retained second, and only the Lotus Exige-bodied, Radical-chassised car of Paul Woolfitt also finished on the lead lap.
A late spin for the Ariel Atom of Darren Edmonds at Lake Esses handed fourth to Woolfitt’s brother Jon, in a Hayabusaengined MK Indy. The top five finished in the same order in race two, minus Paul Woolfitt, who didn’t take the start.
Andy Thompson did the double in the Saloon Car contests, which boasted a healthy 26-car entry. Steve Barnard, who won one of the races a year ago in his spaceframe Audi TT, took the lead from Rich Hockley’s Honda Civic at Gerard’s Bend at the start, with Thompson’s SEAT Toledo soon following. Barnard was still ahead when he spun at the exit of the Esses on lap five, rejoining in eighth and providing Thompson with a straightforward passage to victory. Barnard recovered to second – taking Hockley again at the Esses on lap 11 – and was initially shown the chequered flag and, with no timing in operation, classified first before the result was amended. Behind Hockley came Tony Haberman’s Volkswagen Beetle and Jacob Carter’s Civic.
Later, the race finished with the same top two but Adam Chamberlain’s Vauxhall Astra VXR – which had started on pole position due to a partially reversed grid – completed the podium.