2017 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship – Entry & Qualifying
Jason Davies – Numreo Uno!
The first 2 races in the 2017 championship were held on the ‘Classic’ course at Pembrey on Sunday April 23rd, which in contrast to Saturday, was overcast, slightly chilly, by dry. 2016 Champion Jason Davies, carrying the Champions number 1 on his car headed the timesheets, with a Pole lap of 60.949 secs! Jason has been busy over the ‘closed’ season and said he was well pleased with changes to his Class CS Ford Sierra Cosworth turbo. Chris Everill (61.517)was alongside with his Class D Ginetta G50. On the second row and both with times in 63 second bracket were the Class CS duo of Ken James (Loco Hornet) & Bradley John, with a bonnet full of bright & shiny bits on his Evo. On the 3rd row (64 seconds) was Fabio Luffarelli was 6th in his VW Corrado silhouette, now in the family colours of Green & White! Alongside was Damian Longatano, with a few new bits on his Westfield.
On row 4 Andy Williams (65.501) and Tyrone Luffarelli (67.196) broke up the trend, but it was a fine effort by Tyrone to get his Peugeot 106, so far up the grid! Also in the 67s on row 5 were Glynne Jones (BMW E26) & Dave Scaramanga (VW Sicrocco). On Row 5 were Mike Moss (Westfield) & Graham Haycock (VW). On Row 6 were Anthony Weeks (Mazda RX 6 Rotary) and Colin Dunn (Renault Clio Williams).
On row 7 was Melissa Luffarelli, (returning to the Championship after her travels, to drive the quick Moto-Mini) and Andrew Williams with a nice new wrap on his MG XR. On the penultimate row was newcomer Matt Harries and his Porsche 944 S2. However Matt and the Porker were having gearbox problems which was restricting his pace. He was joined by Nick Rocke, who also had a nice new wrap on his Ford Fiesta. On the final row were Alan Smith and Richard Francis who were both having car problems which restricted their pace.
2017 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship – Race 1 – 15 minutes + 1lap. Rolling start.
As the cars came around to the start, Jason Davies took the lead and was pulling away from Chris Everill. Gareth Haycook looped around at Honda, ‘Trying too hard on cold tyres’ but he got going again, to continue! However the race barely lasted a few laps before it was stopped with a Red Flag! Ken James had gone straight on at Hatchets, when the lower wishbone broke and left him without steering or real brakes. Ken was uninjured and the car was undamaged, but as it was stuck in a dangerous place, it needed a suspended tow to get it back to the paddock!
The re-start – 11 laps. At the restart it was the same again as Jason headed the field and drew away from Chris Everill, by banging in some early quick laps! In the paddock after it was plain to see how hard Jason was pushing, as he had got little sideways on the far side of circuit, and dropped a wheel onto the grass, slightly damaging the bodywork! (actually durinh this period, Jason managed to shave some time from his own Class lap record) Chris tried as hard as he could to remain in touch and although Jason was some 5 secs up by lap five, Chris had also pulled away from the rest of the field by a similar amount! Bradley John was 3rd initially with Andy Williams 4th but with Fabio Luffarelli in close contact! Fabio passed Andy for 4th place early on, and it became 3rd place as Bradley took the Mitsubishi into the pits, as his oil pressure had begun to disappear. He did one more slow lap before retiring to the paddock with a possible split oil cooler being the culprit! Damian Longatano was now 5th with Glynne Jones in 6th, and the top 6 remained the same for the rest of the race!
In 7th place Tyrone Luffarelli was pedalling his Peugeot 106 in fine style, but he had Dave Scaramanga and his VW for very close company throughout the race. Indeed the competition between them was so fierce that each of them set a new Class Lap Record in the process! Tyrone broke the Class BT lap record and left it at 67.519 secs and Dave broke the CT record and left it at 67.181 secs! There was only was only 0.5 of a second between them at the end! Dave was the last runner to complete 11 laps! In 9th place was Mike Moss with Melissa Luffarelli completing the top ten after, rising up through the field as she got used to her Moto-Mini again. In the midfield, Gareth Haycock (VW) who finished 11th had Anthony Weeks rorty Rotary Maxda (12th) for close company! Richard Francis had fixed his car problem with his Saxo and pulled up well to finish 13th, winning the ‘The Driver of the Race’ for his efforts! He had Colin Dunn for company (14th). Newcomer Matt Harries and his Porsche 944 S2 was 15th. However Matt and the Porker were having gearbox problems, such as not knowing what, if any gear he would get next! This obviously restricted his pace. Andrew Williams (MG XR) held 16th place for a long time, but under pressure from Nick Rocke, who nipped by in the closing laps to take 16th and push Andrew back to 17th place. 18th and last was Alan Smith, who had been going well, but then dramatically slowed in the final lap!
So Jason won and set the fastest lap with Chris 2nd & Fabio 3rd. After the race, when the commentator, Peter Hughes suggested that a pole, a win & fastest lap, was an ideal way to start his title defence, Jason commented, ‘I cant fault it. It’s like carrying on from where we left off last season. We ran a low boost set up, but it looks like all the work we did in the winter has paid off. We happy with a clean sweep, lets hope we can do it in race 2!’ Chris Everill confirmed he couldn’t do anything about getting really close to Jason. ‘I was better through some of the corners, but he pulls away on the straights. We got another race later on, so we’ll go back & make some changes and see if we can pick up some more pace later on!’ Fabio was 3rd in his 998cc machine, and confirmed to Peter ‘I’m glad I finished, the clutch was causing a problem but we’ll fix that, but I’m delighted to be 3rd!
Race 2 15 minutes plus 1 lap – Rolling start
As the grid lined up for race 2 we were missing a few souls. Bradley, & Ken James were obviously out, but Alan Smith couldn’t fix his lack of power, so headed home to Yorkshire. Matt Harries was made of sterner stuff, and decided if he could find a gear, he would start. Luckily he found 3rd gear, so on he went! At the lights Chris Everill made a lighting start and took the lead! It was only for a few yards as Jason powered through, but Chris had a fast starting Fabio on his tail! Behind them, Damian Longatano got a good start, as did Glynne Jones who was ahead of Andy Williams. Glynne & Andy passed Damian early on, but Glynne was really flying after improving the traction on the BMW and began close on to Fabio. However the mouth-watering prospect of Glynne and Fabio having a dice, faded as Glynne had to move to fuel saving mode! Andy was the last unlapped runner in 5th place. Damian dropped away to finish 6th ahead of Mike Moss (7th) with Tyrone Luffarelli in 8th place. Although the top 8 places remained static there was an intriguing prospect of the first ever Bro v Sis dice as Melissa had moved into 9th place, but then Tyrone raised his pace and the prospect dimmed! However late in the race, dad Fabio reminded his son and daughter just who was the boss, and lapped both of them, but we had a Green & White wash as all 3 cars of the Luffarelli team headed towards the chequered flag in formation! This time the race for the full distance, and as Jason powered on towards his 2nd win of the day, Melissa was the last runner on 15 laps.
This time the best action came in the midfield and rounding out the top 10 was Anthony Weeks and his flame spitting rotary grill machine, after a big dice with Gareth Haycock, which impressed the marshals so much the nominated Anthony as the ‘Driver of the Race’! Richard Francis had the bit between his teeth and passed Gareth late on to finish in an excellent 11th. Gareth finished 12th with Colin Dunn coming close to finish13th. Matt Harries magnificently motored on in 3rd gear to finish 14th. Nick was 15th with Andrew Williams 16th. After starting well, Dave Scaramanga was the only retirement!
So Jason reeled off the laps for his 2nd win of the day. This time Chris Everill did keep him in sight for some of the way. Fabio was 3rd but some way back. But Tyrone upheld the Luffarelli family honour, by taking an early lead of the Championship with a strategic use of his Joker! The next races are at Pembrey on May 20/21 when the Irish racers come over, and that’s usually a hoot!
Race 1 & 2 awards are on Facebook and also paddock scenes!.
2017 OVERALL POINTS after 2 rounds
Full results on http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2017/171621wss.pdf