2014 WRDA News

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Keith White scores back to back wins after 2 mega races at Pembrey! Big battles all the way through the field!

by web editor Rob Alleder

 The 2014 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship - VSCC Pembrey Sunday 29th June


Entry & Practice

Race 1 - Keith leads the rest chase him!

A good grid was in prospect for the latest rounds of the 2014 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship at Pembrey on Sunday 29th June as part of the Vintage Sports Car Clubs meeting. However after a few weeks of gorgeous hot & sunny weather, the opening of Wimbledon tennis and the Glastonbury Festival (famous for it’s mud) heralded a change! The weather across the South of the country took a dip on Friday with torrential rain at both venues!  However, happily Pembrey stayed dry and sunny, apart from some overnight rain!


There were some new faces, returnees, and regular faces amongst the entry, but sadly however we were without Mike Edgell and his classic Mini, as Mike was taken to hospital during the week before the race, after apparently collapsing at home! The news is that he is ok, after having had a pacemaker fitted. Alan Jenkins arranged for everybody to sign a giant ‘Get Well soon’ card & we all do sincerely hope he gets well soon! This left Roger Dowden on his own in Class AS with his usual yellow Trinity St David Davrian Mk6.  Unfortunately both Rhodri Jenkins and Martin Davies were missing from the grid as both have some problems to fix on their cars! Martin is taking the time for a ground-up rebuild of his car, aiming at upgrading & lightening the car. Verity Banks was also missing as her engine was in bits!

On pole position for Race 1 was Keith White in his usual Class D BMW Z4 with a time of 61.51. Next up, and on pole for the West Wales open cockpit class (if such a class existed), was Mike Cond and his Class M Sylva Riot with a time off 62.69. Heading the 6 runners in the big Class AS entry, was the big man himself, jovial Geraint Rees and his Westfield who was 3rd (64.71) with Neil Watts (also with a Westfield) 4th (64.81). Completing the West Wales fresh air fanatics was Ken James in 5th place with his Loco Hornet (64.89) “That’s a personal best time for me!” 6th fastest was returnee Jim Lyons and his Turbo Mini, tended by Endaf Owens crew (Speaking of which, Endaf will show up later) Andy Williams was 7th & Glynne was 8th on the grid'  Mellissa Lufferilli was 9th in her Moto Mini, with Roger Dowdon 10th. 11th place is not where you would normally expect to see Endaf Owens; but one of his rear tyres went down when the tyre valve unseated itself, giving Endaf only 2 laps to set a time! Paul Flinders was a returnee in his Toyota MR2 & was 12th and on pole for Class BT with a time of 1 min 11.36 seconds. However Huw Morgan (Honda Civic) headed the Class BT saloons, with Phil Bendall in 14th place with his potent Ford Fiesta ST150. Daniel Burt was 15th with his unusual, but really rapid (or should that be rapidio) Fiat Punto. All times of all these 3 drivers were within a second or so of each other. Tyrone Lufferelli was 16th and last, clearly trying to find his feet in his a Peugeot 106 GTi on his big race debut!



The race 15 minutes + 1 lap

As the lights changed Mike Cond was fast away heading into Hatchets, but Keith was in the lead by the time they emerged from Hatchets and headed to Spitfires and beyond.  Geraint & Neil were neck and neck but Endaf was already up to 5th place! Next up were Ken James, Glynne & Mellissa. Paul Flinders was 9th and Andy Williams was already doing a recovery drive, having spun early on! By lap 2 the order at the front was Keith, with Mike Cond & Endaf, but that was only a temporary state of affairs as there was much ducking, diving and place swapping going on!


Geraint & Neil spend several laps actually side by side, until Geraint was able make a break and build a gap! Ken James had Jim Lyons for company, until Jim sadly exited to the paddocks. Also joining him in the pits was Tyrone Lufferilli who found his car vibrating and handling strangely, but that was found to a broken drive shaft and that was easily fixed from the spares box in the impressively sized Lufferilli family truck! Behind Ken James, Glynne, Mellissa, Roger Dowden and Paul Flinders were having their own battles, with Andy Williams well into his recovery drive!


At the back and having a battle every bit as riveting as the battle at the front, were Huw Morgan, Phil Bendall and Dan Burt! The tin-top trio swapped places, almost on a lap by lap basis; and were nose to tail for most of the time, except when the leaders came up to lap them!  On one occasion it looked like Keith, Mike & Endaf were forming an orderly queue to find a gap in the tin-top wall!  Meanwhile, Keiths ‘ car was trailing some smoke on some corners, and running into the final stages of the 15 minutes he found he had lost first gear, leaving him vulnerable on the exit of Hatchets!  Sensing something was wrong, Mike began to put the pressure on and overtook Keith for the lead at Hatchets Hairpin! On the next lap, the extra power of Keiths’ car pulled him up to mount a challenge to Mike & his bike engine Riot, but a half spin allowed Endaf to close right up to Keiths’ tail.

Huw, Dan & Phil were side by side across the track having their own battle as Mike came up to lap them again, and this allowed Keith to close up again and to repass Mike for the lead. In some late race lappery Glynne in his BMW made it 3 wide passing Phill & Dan, who were side by side again!  Some paint was traded!


Going into the final lap Keith went deep into Hatchets and overshot, allowing Mike back into what looked like a decisive lead! However down at the Brooklands hairpin it all went wrong for Mike, as he out-fumbled himself and went into a quick spin that allowed Keith back into the lead and take the chequered flag with Endaf taking 2nd place! A crestfallen Mike Cond followed' 12 seconds behind Keith in 3rd place! Geraint was a lonely 4th. Neil Watts powered back up to 5th overtaking Ken James in the later laps! Neil was the last un-lapped runner! Glynne Jones was 7th ahead of Andy Williams (8th) in the battle of the heavy metal. Mellissa was 9th and Roger Dowden was 10th. In 11th place was Class BT winner Paul Flinders, some way ahead of the warring BT saloons! Huw Morgan was 12th in the Honda Civic, Phil Bendall was 13th in the Fiesta ST150 & Dan Burt was 14th in the Punto with only 2/10ths of a second covering all 3 cars at the end! Phil confirmed ‘That was the most fun I’ve had here’


Afterwards Michael confirmed ‘It was my own fault, I threw it away! I thought I was in the wrong gear, half way throough Brooklands, and so I downshifted, but the back wheels locked up and around it went!’ Winner Keith was happy to receive the laurels but the team started to try and find the reason for the smoke that was trailing behind his car particularly at Dibeni! ‘We think it’s a bit of residue from the last race meeting where we blew up a diff. That was hard without 1st gear but it was a great race’ Keith was awarded ‘Driver of the Race’  for his efforts as adjudicated by the post 3 marshals!


The race results are available on the VSCC site at http://www.vscc.co.uk/vsccMedia/8975.pdf  but the dry data alone will not convey what was another excellent race in the history of the WRDA Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship, and it certainly impressed the VSCC Commentator!   Indeed it made such an impression on the lap scorer, that they allowed us 16 laps, taking almost 17 minutes, instead of 15 minutes & one lap! Perhaps they didn’t want our race to end too!


Race 2 report  Awards gallery in progress