The 2019 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship continued with round 9 & 10 (the penultimate rounds) on Saturday 14th September at Mallory Park circuit. The championship last went to Mallory Park in 2017 and with some surprisingly hot September sunshine on hand, some lap records looked likely to be under threat, although some class records were still to be set. In the lead up to the race the entry seemed to be building up nicely, but a rash of late withdrawals, including Verity Banks who had to withdraw when Tony Browns transporter broke down, which meant she didn’t have a car! However as we had a late start, and the sun was shining, and with the Mallory Park lake as a background the lads suggested we have a Photo call (its all over Facebook)
Entry & Practice – Keith Butcher and his Audi Alms has been on pole for all 8 of the races so far, but that record looked in doubt after he dived into the paddock early on. ‘The ABS was going beserk!’ It seemed a foreign object had entered onto the rear disc, and there was some frantic work to take off the wheel and remove the object. Keith made it out to turn some laps.
In the meantime Mark Williams put in some quick laps, and was on provisional pole. Damian Longotano was also quick, but according to a noise official, his car was noisy! The Black and Orange flag was displayed with Damian’s number displayed, but as he was concentrating on his driving, he never made the sign! The Clerk of the Course ordered a red flag to stop the session, so Damian could be taken to task. The session re-started minus Damian, and Keith was able to pump in some quick laps to take pole again. Mark Williams was 2nd on the grid. Mike Moss was 3rd, Colin Dunn was 4th. 5th and making a welcome return was Daryl Radford. Andrew 88 Williams was 6th and Alan Smith was 7th. Damians times were set aside.
Race 1 (round 9) 15 minutes plus 1 lap –Rolling start - There was frantic work to try and re-stuff the silencer on the Westfield (which looked fairly well-stuffed anyway!) Part of Damians punishment was that he would start Race 1 from the pit-lane and would then also not do the green flag lap, so would start with cold tyres and brakes ( It begs the question if the official handing out the punishment had considered this point!) Fortunately Damian was able handle it, but some others may not be as skilful or as experienced.
In the meantime Keith grabbed the lead when the lights changed, but Mark Williams and initially Mike Moss kept him company, until the Audi had warmed it’s brakes and tyres and then Keith powered on. Mark at least kept him in sight. Meanwhile Damian was steadily making his way through the pack and was up with Mark as the race neared 12 laps. Although Damian passed Mark for 2nd place, the gap to Keith was now too great and Keith powered on to win by 23 seconds! Not that it he was taking it easy, as he set his fastest lap (and set the Class D lap record) on his last lap! Mike Moss was 4th and the Class BS winner, and he set a new BS Class Lap Record, bettering Ellis Wiggins old record in the process!
In the break between the races it was nice to see Ken James, who hopes to come out with us again before long. The Damian noise issue rumbled on for a short while, but is seems that some others from other races were also close to the noise limit, and then things went quiet so to speak.
Race 2 (Round 10) 15 minutes plus 1 lap –Rolling start -With the grid from Race 2 being made from the finish order of Race 1. Keith had Damian for company on the front, and as the lights changed it looked like we were in for a proper race and with Mark and Mike in tow it looked good. However it only lasted 4 laps and then Damian began to drop back and circulated at a greatly reduced pace of the remainder of the race. There was speculation as to the cause, but after the race Damian revealed that the ECU (the engines brain known as the Electonic or Engine control unit) had swung loose and was dangling down. ‘As its worth a lot of money I decided not to risk damaging the unit, but as the points are so tight I wanted to finish to get as many points as I could.’ Even though it meant that Mark Williams won Class CS, Damian would take the extra point for the fastest lap in the Class. Mike Moss was 3rd and won Class BS, and was the last driver on the lead lap!
One lap behind, Daryl Radford and Colin Dunn were having a real ding dong of a dice. Daryl coming out the winner by a few hundredths of a second from Colin in a dice that can be viewed on Facebook! It’s worth a look. Colin enjoyed the race as did Daryl! Colin was awarded the ‘Driver of the Race’ but it was a shame we only have one award per race! Andrew Williams finished 6th, and Alan Smith was 7th, with Damian 8th. Keith Butcher broke the Class D record he set earlier as did Mike Moss (BS) Colin Dunn set the new BT record on his last lap. and Alan Smith (AT) left the AT record at 58.767 having got faster throughout the day, which is a great effort!
The sights and sounds from a wonderful day will live long in the memory, things like Keiths car on full chat and Mikes engine hitting the limiter just before the esses, but also the friendliness of the drivers and their crew. Indeed we may have been small in number but we were big in spirit. The committee will be working hard to increase the numbers for October 6th and for 2020, which will be the 30th year of the Championship!
Results from TSL. https://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BRSCC/2019/193731wss.pdf
Lap records for Mallory Park.
|Class CS||Jason Davies||48.125||04/06/2017|
|Class CT||Mark Williams||56.834||04/06/2017|
|Class BS *||Mike Moss||52.265||14/09/2019|
|Class BT *||Colin Dunn||54.964||14/09/2019|
|Class M||Fabio Luffarelli||51.449||04/06/2017|
|Class I||Piers Grange||47.849||04/06/2017|
|Class AS||no entries||To Be Established|
|Class AT *||Alan Smith||58.767||14/09/2019|
|Class D *||Keith Butcher||48.692||14/09/2019|
|* = new record|
Butcher wins at Silverstone but
Dave Cockell and Chris Everill keep him on his toes!
The 2019 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship continued with round 7 & 8 on Sunday 11th August on the Silverstone International circuit. This is the first time the championship has used the International circuit, and it was first time in many years to be at Silverstone at all! The entry to the Intenational paddock was via a long and twisty route. Darren Osborn could not be with us, after his wife recently gave birth to a baby girl, and Nick Crompton and Jim Lyons both have car damage to repair. However it was nice to see Ellis Wiggins and Gareth Haycock with us for the first time in 2019. Adding to the grid the first of our away rounds were 8 Guest drivers in Class I, the Invitation Class. Our Clubs’ motto is ‘You don’t have to be Welsh to join in the fun, and we are happy to see so many people joining in the fun! However missing David Krayem and his massive Dodge Viper, as he sadly had to withdraw after testing problems!
Entry & Practice. After the lead up to the August 11th featured howling winds and torrential rain, on the day, the winds had died down and the race-day started dry. Before we started practice, the 750mc asked me to ask everybody, if they thought were dropping oil, then please pull off straight away! Apparently Silverstone had re-surfaced the track prior to the Moto GP, and they were paranoid about damage to the track surface. Silverstone would then send out their own clean-up team and that could take 45 minutes out of the timetable. This had happened on the Saturday and resulted in the programme running late, which had a knock-on effect even into the evening.
After practice on pole position was Keith Butcher and his Audi R8 with a time of 1.08.45 in 2nd place was guest driver Dave Cockell and his Ford Escort RSR Turbo. On Row 2 and 3rd fastest with Chris Everill and his new build Ginetta G50, and he shared the row with another of our guests, Mark Jones and his Eurocup Seat Leon. On row 3 guest driver Kirk Armitage made it all Ford row with his Escort alongside Andy Williams and his Sapphire (Andy was on the Class CS pole). Row 4 was an all WSSCC row with current champion Mike Moss (Caterham) alongside one of the WSSCC longest & strongest supporters, Glynne Jones and his BMW M3. On row 5 guest driver Scott Hubel (Peugeot 205) had Damian Longotano (Westfield SE). On row 6 Mark Williams was out in his VW Polo and had guest driver Gary Bowers alongside (BMW M135). Row 7 we had guest driver Jack Egar with the Egar families mighty 3 litre Porsche 968 (his dad Adam would do race 2 with us) alongside was guest driver David Jones with his Ford Focus. On Row 8 was guest driver Mark Nicholson (Renault Clio – Mark is a mate with Mike Moss) alongside was Simon Hutchings (MX5), (2019 WSSCC Best Newcomer) who was having a run out on this occasion as a guest driver. On Row 9 was Colin Dunn, on the Class BT Pole with his Renault Clio. Colin is the current WSSCC points leader and alongside was Ellis Wiggins who was having his first race of the year with us in his Nova. On row 10 was Andrew Williams (Ford Fiesta) and Roger Dowden (Davrian MK6) On Row 11 was Gareth Haycock (VW Golf) and Alan Smith (Ford Ka) and last but by no means least was Verity Banks with her Ford Focus at last giving her a decent run.T
- Keith is harried by Dave Cockell
The race 15 mins + 1 lap – Rolling start. The grid left the assembly area on the Green Flag lap sadly without Gareth Hockley, who had clutch problems which made it hard to get gears. We also soon lost Roger Dowden when the right rear wheel detached. With 3 wheels on his wagon, sadly Roger was not rolling along. As the grid past the lights, Keith Butcher took a lead he was never to loose, but Dave Cockell in his Mk5 Escort kept him honest, for most of the distance. Behind in 3d place initially was Kirk Armitage ahead of Chris Everill but Chris got past and then held was able to keep Keith and Dave in sight but was never close enough to mount a challenge. Kirk dropped back towards the Seat of Mark Jones, who later passed him. In 6th place Andy Williams was leading Class CS with Glynne Jones for close company, Mark Williams was next making it a CS Class 1-2-3. Scott Hubel was a fast starter but he was soon overhauled by Mike Moss. Damian Longotano was having a cautious start. Guest drivers Gary Bowers, Jack Egar and David Jones where next along. Behind them Mark Nicholson, and Simon Hutchins were having a battle, until Mark hit a problem and slowed to a stop. Colin Dunn had few side by side moments with Ellis Wiggins who was trying to make some places, after starting from the back, in a drive that was to net him the ‘Driver of the Race’ award. Mike Moss and Mark Williams were having a battle royal. However in Class CS it was suddenly all change, as Andy Williams headed to the pits trailing a huge cloud of smoke/steam! It was thought that a piston had gone, ‘Piston broke’ so to speak. This left Glynne in the lead of Class CS, but he then began to slow with fuel feed problems! Meanwhile Damian was on the move and caught and passed Moss & Williams, to pass the slowing BMW of Glynne and take the lead in Class CS (6th overall) and go on to make it a maximum score in CS! On the last lap Mark Williams passed Glynne, to take 2nd in Class CS with Glynne finishing 3rd. Mike Moss was 7th overall behind Damian, with Mark 8th and Glynne 9th. From 10th to 14th were the Class I cars of Gary Bowers, Scott Hubel, Simon Hutchins, Jack Egar and David Jones. Behind them in 15th was Ellis Wiggins and then the Class BT cars of Colin Dunn (who had chosen this race to play his Joker card) and Andrew Williams, with Alan Smith (AT) 18th and Verity Banks, who completed the race! So Keith Butcher took his 5th win of the season having battled hard Dave Cockell in his Mk5 Escort dropped back on the last lap with some smoke coming from his car. After Keith commented ‘ He was catching me on Hangar Straight! It was getting interesting for a bit’ Dave confirmned ‘It was great fun at the time, but I hit a bump late on so I hope its not too bad. Maybe a pipe came loose!’ Chris Everill confirmed ‘It was my first time in this car and once they got their tyres warm, I wasn’t able to catch them. Maybe on a twisty circuit!’ After the end of our 1st race it was the lunch break. In between times Roger Dowden worked hard to re-attach the rear wheel and repair the body damage caused when the wheel detached. Also there was a light sprinkling of rain. Glynne couldn’t sort out his fuel feed problems. So sadly he had to head home.
Race 2 – 15 mins + 1 lap – Rolling start By the time of our race the rain, or heavy drizzle, had set in and part of the circuit was damp! As the race wore on the whole of the circuit was affected. Even so Keith Butcher went into an immediate lead, followed initially by Dave Cockell and Chis Everill. Dave lasted 2 laps but ran wide and Chris dived into 2nd place. Dave pitted soon after as his brakes had disappeared! Chris this time really took the fight to Keith and was all over him in the corners, but the greater power of the Audi was always a telling factor on the long drag down Hangar Straight. Chris got closer & closer as the mist & rain got worse, and his efforts made him ‘Driver of the Race’
After Dave Cockell had departed, Mark Jones and the Seat moved into a secure 3rd place. Some way behind Damian Longotano had moved into 4th place, and the Class CS lead, but late on he was joined by the waring trio of guest drivers Gary Bowers & Scott Hubel who were swapping places and Mark Williams, who was now the sole remaining Class CS driver, and was trying his best to get in the action. All 4 of them were joined together, as the rain intensified and they began to reel in Mark Jones. Late on Gary Bowers got ahead of Damian, but Damian responded and moved back into 4th place and pulled a gap on the last lap to finish 4th and 1st in Class CS! Behind the dicing foursome, Simon H was dicing with Mike Moss, but late on Mike moved clear of the slick shod MX5. Guest drivers also claimed next 3 places with David Jones’ Ford Focus, who got ahead late on of the Clio of Mark Nicholson and the big Porsche with Adam Egar in charge this time. Adam was doing a fine job having started from the back. Colin Dunn was well in charge of Class BT from Andrew Williams. Ellis Wiggins was having a quiet race and finished 15th Alan Smith was having a fine race and finished 16th ahead of Roger Dowden in 17th, who faded after an initial charge, and Verity Banks who was 18th and now reacquainted with the chequered flag having seen it twice in one day! For my money Verity is a credit to the championship as she has had some rotten luck but she keeps calm and keeps on keeping on! Lets hope shes on a roll of good luck!
So as the race drew to a close the rain intensified again and Keith, who had been under real pressure from Chris throughout, took the chequered flag for his 2nd win of the day. Later Keith confirmed to the commentator ‘The last 2 laps were really, really bad. I had the traction control and ABS turned right up!’ Chris also confirmed ‘I tried real hard , we needed some more horsepower as Keith was quick on the straight, and I was quick through the twisty stuff!’ Mark Jones in 3rd place with the Seat confirmed ‘It was phemonial’ So our first ever visit to the Silverstone International Circuit was over. There are several things that will live long in my memory. The iconic corners, the huge (cavernous) pit garages, the plush seats in the auditorium, the spectacular wing pits, to name a few. The feedback we received about the racing was positive, so who knows when our next visit will be!
N.B there are some excellent photos from Qualifying and Race 1 via
The 2019 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship continued with rounds 5 & 6 on Sunday 9th June at Pembrey circuit. Due to the majority of the track time being taken up by the Citroen C1 6 hour race, the WSSCC team swung into action and tried to give our competitors something so that they could have a chance of making the best of it! We were helped by Phil Davies, the Circuit Manager, who could see where we were coming from, and he was a great help to us. So, although we tried to give some clues via Facebook, it was late in the week that it was confirmed that we were in Paddock 2 and would race on the ‘original’ National Circuit! Even better, the weather turned from a rainy Friday, described by Eric Dunn (Colin’s Dad) as a ‘Monsoon, and a windy Saturday, which dried up the puddles of rain, to a mostly Sunny Sunday!
Entry & Qualifying – We seemed to be on for good entry, but sadly though, we began to loose a few with cars not ready, but we still had enough entries to make it worthwhile, We were first out on the National circuit, the circuit we raced on for almost 25 years, but even the stalwarts of the championship, who have most experience of the original circuit, found it somewhat unfamiliar. Sadly we lost Nick Crompton, the Bridgend Boy and points leader, on his first lap, as he went in to the barrier at the ‘Esses! ‘I haven’t driven on this part of the circuit before, and I went into the left too fast, and the back-end kicked out and I went straight in! I was probably trying too hard on cold tyres!’ Sadly the drivers-side front-end took the major impact, and it looked like the radiators had also been damaged. Even after a few thumps from Damian Longotanos’ hammer, things weren’t any better, so sadly Nick had no option but to pack up the trailer and go home! Nick said he would be back, maybe with a new car, possibly a Westfield.
At the end of the session, it was perhaps no surprise to find that the person on pole was Keith Butcher, and his Audi R8 ALMS with a time of 61.139 sec. Keith set his pole winning time on his last lap! 2nd was Damian Longotano (62.528). Damian main problem seemed to a lack of grip, which was a theme, echoed by a few drivers, and almost everyone set their fastest time late in the session! Andy Williams was 3rd fastest in his Ford Sierra, with Mike Moss 4th. Glynne Jones was 5th in his BMW M3 with Gareth John alongside.Roger Dowden was 7th with Colin Dunn on the Class BT pole in 8th place. Andrew Williams was 9th with the ex-Nick Rocke Fiesta, with Nick on hand as well. Darren Osborn was an excellent 10th fastest, with Alan Smith 11th and Ben Cutler 12th. Ben was with us, after the Mini 7 race at Silverstone was cancelled as Silverstone wanted to re-surface the track before the British Grand Prix and World Superbike events! Both Ben and Gareth John were having their first races on the ‘original’ National Circuit.
Race 1 (Round 5) – 15 minutes plus 1 lap – Rolling Start
Just to start the day on a proper note, the race started just an hour after qualifying had finished, and as the lights changed, the grid roared away, with Keiths Audi leading the way! At the end of lap 1 Keith had established a lead he was never to loose, and he eventually lapped everyone except Damain Longotano, who finished the race in 2nd place albeit 46 seconds behind Keith! Mike Moss was 3rd but was 1 lap behind on 15 laps. Sadly we lost both Andy Williams and Glynne Jones, half-way through lap 2. Andy got really sideways in the Ford Sierra, and when he straightened up, he hit Glynne in the door, and both cars were off, but out of the way! Mike Moss had a grandstand seat, but managed to avoid the incident, and was promoted to 3rd place. Andrew Williams was now 4th (and leading Class BS) but he had Roger Dowden for close company. Colin Dunn had been delayed by a spin from Gareth John, and he revealed he had to go on the grass to avoid the spinning Ginetta! Now, however they were running in tandem and catching Andy & Roger. Roger passed Andy briefly before Colin & Gareth caught up. As Keith continued on his way, there was a tremendous battle between Darren Osborns BMW, Alan Smith Ford Ka, and Ben Cutlers Mini! Places were swapped on a regular basis. In the midfield battle Gareth John was now in 4th place, Andy was 5th but now had Colin Dunn on his tail and Roger Dowden was 7th. However Andys’ Ford Fiesta began to slow and dropped back towards Alan Smith! Ben Cutler passed Darren as the heavy metal BMW began to use its tyres. As the race began to draw to a close, Mike Moss and Gareth John were lapped by Keith, and finished 1 lap down in 3rd and 4th place respectively although Gareth had time for another spin! Andy Williams found some life back in his car and retook 7th from Alan Smith who was only 0.323 seconds behind at the flag! Ben Cutler was 9th in only his 3rd ever race and was given the ‘Driver of the Race’ award for his performance in taking 3 seconds off his Practice time, on a circuit he had never seen before!
The only remaining question was, could Keith set a new lap record! The current fastest lap on the National circuit was 60.441 set by the other Keith- Keith White at 60.441. Keith Butcher set his fastest time on lap 2 setting a new record of 60.265!
Afterwards Keith confirmed ‘There was no grip out there and I had a problem with the rear tyres! Andy Williams and Glynne Jones had a chat and a chance to assess the damage to their cars! However whereas Glynne had an unwelcome dent in the driver side door of his BMW, Andy had lost his front splitter and had damage to the Sierras steering, so it was time to put the car on the trailer and sadly head for home!
Having brought the Thunder of real race cars to the circuit, after a short break it was time for the C1s to take to the track, and with precious little noise from the race track to disturb the peace, it was time for everyone else to have maybe, have time for a long lunch break, or in the case of Alan Smith, take some time to work on the Ka car!
However there was plenty of drama waiting for us in the Welsh Championships race 2!
Race 2 (Round 6) – 15 minutes plus 1 lap – Rolling Start
After the C1s had finished their race, it was time for the Welsh Championship to show what real racing was all about. Our usual potent mixture of cars with real engine noise and differing styles was welcomed by the Marshals and for them was a perfect way to end the weekend! As the lights changed Keith powered the thunderous Audi straight into the lead! Damian Longotano was in 2nd place, but this time he had Mike Moss for close company, and they were soon joined by Glynne Jones, who had started from the back, to make it a 3 way dice for 2nd place. This was worth watching, although the commentators were very interested how quickly Keith could go. However although he was able to extend his lead, the track seemed slower for almost everyone. Damian was in no position to chase, as he had Mike & Glynne on his tail!
Keiths’ Audi had built up a 12 second lead over Damian at the end of the 5th lap, but all of a sudden there was a dramatic change as Keiths Audi began to slow and crept into the pits! Something was wrong with the Audi, and the car sat motionless for what seemed like an age, meanwhile Damian had swept by into the lead! Having done a re-set, Keith eventually got the car going again, but he was now 57 seconds behind Damian, having lost over a minute in the process!
Things were now very different at the front, as Damian, now the leader, tried hard to keep Mike and Glynne at bay. On lap 13 Mike and Glynne set their fastest laps to close in to be a few 10ths behind Damian. On the penultimate lap Glynne tried hard to overtake Mike at Hatchets, as Mike was trying to take Damian, and paint was swapped! On the final lap Mike finally managed to overtake Damian and was able to stay ahead to win by 0.553! Damian was 2nd and won Class CS, but he was denied the point for fastest lap in class by Glynne! Glynne Jones was 3rd (& 2nd in CS) and the recovering Audi of Keith Butcher was 4th! Gareth John was 5th (& 2nd in BS) Colin Dunn was 6th & 1st in Class BT & Andrew Williams was 7th (& 2nd in BT) and the last runner on the lead lap.
Roger Dowden was eventually 8th overall after an eventful race, after he spun at Hatchets Hairpin in the early laps! Fortunately, this time, he was able to re-start the vintage Hillman Imp engine in the yellow Davrian, but he was now last and drove well to make it back up the order. Darren Osborn and Alan Smith had another great dice with some swapping of places. Alan finished 9th and Darren was 10th. Ben Cutler was 11th. At the end of the race Mike was overjoyed at his first race win, and won the .Driver of the Race’ award In fact it’s a shame there is only one award as all 3 drivers deserved it. Later Keith revealed the reason for his pit visit. ‘I ran over the rumble strip and after I brought the car back on the track, I lost power! I didn’t want to stop and re-set on the track, and I was able to make it to the pits, and do a re-set there! Thinking about now I may have touched the pit-lane limiter as I tried to get off the rumble strip!’
Even so Mike Moss is the latest name on the list of race winners. The next round in the 2019 Championship is at Silverstone on Sunday August 11th.
Keith Butchers’ double race win- Mike Moss & Colin Dunn both class winners too- round 3 & 4 report
The 2019 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship continued with round 3 & 4 on Sunday 12th May on the Club circuit at the Track Fest Meeting.
Entry & Practice. Once again after a chilly few weeks since the Easter sunshine, just in time for our races, the Sunshine and warmth returned! A good grid seemed to be in prospect, but several cars we thought we might see, were missing!. Verity Banks’ ‘flamethrower’ Ford wasn’t fixed, and Jason Davies found a Shock Absorber fault in testing that ruled him out, and Fabio & Tyrone had truck problems after a tyre blow-out caused some damage! On the grid though was Chris Everill, after his team of helpers put in a ’mighty’ effort to get him on the grid, after his Castle Combe prang! Namely his son Ross and his mate Matt. Also Chris great mate Neil, and with help from Ben Scrivens at Speedtec who has been very good lending Chris parts to copy and borrow till he can remake them! Chris confirmed ‘Yes she was a right mess but begged and borrowed parts to get her done”
Keith Butcher (Audi R8) was on Pole Position for the 3rd race in a row with a time of 65.935sec! Chris Everill joined on the front row for an all Class D lock-out! On Row 2 and fastest in Class CS was the incredible turbo Mini of Jim Lyons! Jimbo was really flying, but at a cost as his engine went on to 3 cylinders due to a HGF (Head Gasket Failure). This meant a lot of work to change it for a new one, which filled in the 5 hour gap between Qualifying and the Race! Alongside Jimbo on row 2 was Damian Longotano and his Westfield SE. On the 3rd row was Nick Crompton and his Evo and having his first r\ace of the season was Andy Williams and his Ford Sierra Sapphire, making it an all CS line up from 3rd to 6th fastest! There was only few 10ths between them, so an excellent race between them was in prospect!
On the 4th row was Mike Moss, the reigning champion, who put his Caterham on the Class BS pole. Glynne Jones (BMW M3) was alongside Mike. Darren Hockly (Honda Civic R) was on row 5 with our New driver Gareth John making it an all Llanelli row. Gareth, from Swiss Valley in Llanelli, is a former biker, having his first car race in the GotBoost Ginetta G40. He had an unfortunate ‘off’ in Friday practice, but Steff of Gotboost worked wonders getting Gareth ‘On the grid’ for an impressive debut1 Mark Williams was on row 6, this time in the VW Golf as his Peugeot hasn’t been fixed yet! Mark had Roger Dowden rapid Davrian MK 6 alongside him. The last 3 places on the grid was an all BT affair with Colin Dunn on the Class BT pole with his Clio (Colin only got 4 laps due to a starter motor issue) . Alongside was Andrew Williams and his ‘new’ (to him) Ford Fiesta and finally Darren O with his series 3 BMW 1800 was the last starter.
It was nice to see former champions Martin Davies and Rhodri having a catch up in the sunshine!
Race 1 –Rolling Start-15 minutes plus 1 lap – Photo & report by Jonathon Mayne
After the lights changed everyone all go through Hatchets cleanly, with Keith Butchers R8 out in front. At the end of lap one Mike Moss made a huge dive into Hatchets on Jimbo, who held him off around the outside. Chris Everill in the Bitsa Ginetta (Bits of this and that) was closing on Keith in the R8, but Keith is able to power away down the start finish. As Keith’s tyres were now well up to temperature, he started to pull away.
A fast starting Nick Crompton and Damian Longotano were locked in a battle for the Class CS honours and the Evo seemed to have the advantage though Spitfires. Eventually Damian got past by the end of lap 4, he was never really able to pull away and Chris & Keith seemed too far away. In a ‘Battle of Bridgend’ Nick then had Jim Lyons for close company with less a second between them at times! Nick secured 4th with Jim 5th. Roger Dowden and Gareth John were fighting for position, it was an interesting battle as the G40 and Davrian are from two different eras of motorsport, as were the drivers with the experienced Dowden and the novice John, but they seemed very well matched.
The G40 and Davrian battle was eventually caught by Andrew Williams in the Fiesta.
Andy Williams and Glynne Jones were having a fun dice, with first Williams pitching his car into a lurid slide, followed by Jones, who was even more sideways! Mike Moss had dropped away from the Nick Crompton and Jim Lyons dice and was still on his way to a comfortable Class BS win, but he almost fell into the clutches of the Williams/Jones dice. Andys Seirra and Glynne M3 were virtually nose to tail1 Glyyne commented after ‘My rear tyres were shot at the end!’ That was no surprise to any of the spectators! Darren Hockly was the last driver on the lead lap in 9th place !
Keith Butcher was well into the traffic and had pulled out to a 7 second lead over the Chris in the Ginetta G50. On lap 7 Roger Dowden was on the outside going into Hatchets letting a faster car through, but he put a wheel onto the curb and spun through 360 degrees – the hot engine will not re-start and with Rogers’ car in a dangerous position and only 4 minutes left on the clock, the red flag is shown followed by the red and chequered flag. Ironically the Davrian burst into life at this point and Roger drove back to the paddock! Colin Dunn had been keeping up with Mark Williams, despite Colins’ tyres having already completed the BARC Saloons race and having a starter motor issue that required the car to be push started! With the DNF (Did Not Finish) of Roger Dowden, Gareth John was 12th with Andrew Williams’ Fiesta less than 2/10ths of a second behind him! Darren Osborn was 14th, and was driving the wheels off his car in the corners, to make up the lack of speed on the straight, but was only lapped once by the flying Audi R8 of race winner Keith Butcher!
Race 2 –Rolling Start-15 minutes plus 1 lap – report by Jonathon Mayne
After the lights changed everyone all got through Hatchets cleanly, with Keith Butchers R8 out in front again. Chris Everill in the Bitsa Ginetta kept Keith under pressure in the early laps. A fast starting Nick Crompton and Damian Longotano were locked in a battle for the Class CS honours again but this time Damian got past by the end of lap 2. Mike Moss lost ground and was down three places! Gareth Johns spun at the crossing in front of the marshals at post 3, but he was able to keep going but had dropped to the tail of the field.
Having got up to 3rd place Damian Longotano was slowing out of Hatchet, and everyone expected him to limp back to the pit but he surprised everybody by staying out! This promoted Nick Crompton into 3rd overall and the Class CS lead! Behind Nick, the Mini of Jimbo Lyons had a train of cars behind him, all the way down to Andy Williams in 8th place. Keiths’ R8 is on song down the front straight, having pulled away. Headlights ablaze he is catching the tail of the field. Damian Longotano is still lapping slowly. Colin Dunn had caught Mark Williams in the Golf and they are battling despite them being in different classes. The leaders were well into lapping traffic, and Keiths R8 was a few cars behind Damian Longotano, who suddenly returned to full speed and is off o the races! After the race Damian revealed the problems was with the Westfield gears. ‘I got stuck in 4th Gear, I couldn’t shift the gear stick but then eventually I started to get the gears again!’
Damian sets a new personal best lap on lap eight! Keith caught up with Dunn and Williams battle, who did their best to let the fast car through, but Mark is on the grass coming out of Hatchets, and they were 3 wide at the apex!
Keith has the 44 of Longotano in his sights as he comes to lap him. He is matching his fastest lap but Longotano responds with a near identical lap time, the little Westfield is being driven hard! As Keith was within blue flag distance, Damian moved over in a gentlemanly fashion into Hatchets!
It seems Keith Butcher’s April gearbox gremlins had moved on and were now attacking some other cars! Late in the race, Andrew Williams looped the Fiesta through at the crossing and continued! ‘I couldn’t get a gear and then I got 4th so I kept going’ This dropped Andrew back to Darren Osborn, who passed him to move into 14th place, and 2nd in Class BT! However on the last lap Andrew found 5th Gear and channelling his ‘Tiff Needell’ repassed Darren O to retake 2nd in Class BT! Darren finished and 15th and 3rd in Class BT.
Damian Longotano Westfield was staying with the Keith and on the last lap, Keith eased off, allowing Longotano to catch and pass the R8 coming out of Honda before the chequered flag. He then had another lap can to catch Glynne Jones in the BMW M3. He caught the BMW and passed him into Carters Curve on the very last lap to take 6th place overall and 3rd place in Class CS! Glynne was 7th and the last runner on the lead lap. Andy Williams was 8th, Darren Hockly was 9th . Colin Dunn was 10th and first in Class BT. Gareth John recovered to finish 11th (and earn himself the ‘’Driver of the Race’ award) Mark Williams was 12th and Roger Dowden was 13th Andrew Williams was 14th and Darren Osborn was 15th’
For results and Times https://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2019/191921wss.pdfhttps://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2019/191921wss.pdf
Keith Butcher & Nick Crompton are both race winners at sunny Pembrey The 2019 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship (organised by the Welsh Racing Drivers Association) is now in its 29th year and started on Easter Sunday 21st April with 2 races at Pembey circuit at the Brscc South Western Centre meeting.
Entry & Practice April started with freezing cold wind, but just in time for the Easter weekend the temperature began to soar with buckets loads of lovely hot sunshine! In the weeks before the entry looked like it was on the way to a decent size, but some late withdrawals with car problems, saw the entry peak at 16. However sadly we lost 2 cars in the first few laps of practice! Verity Banks exited after only 2 laps in her new(ish) Ford Focus before it turned itself into a mobile flamethrower! The culprit seemed to be no. 3 cylinder which failed and shot all the engine oil out of the hot exhaust! Mark Williams didn’t last much longer with his new (to him) Peugeot 205, which threw a rod out of the block!
However that was the last of the terminal Engine casualties of the weekend (at least as far as the WSSCC was concerned).
Heading the times was Keith Butcher, who was the series champion in 2007, and has an Audi R8 but had not driven this new car before at Pembrey. Keith was expecting up at the front, although he though it unlikely he will fall foul of the 60 second rule! This rule is designed to make sure that everyone is able to have a good race, meaning that the cars in the smaller engine classes, are not lapped too many times! Keith says ‘You have to drive really quickly to lap in the 60 second bracket’ On the day the pole time was 1.05.827. 2nd fastest was Chris Everill and his Ginetta with a nice new livery! Longotano was 3rd in his Caterham SE. 4th was Bridgend boy Nick Crompton, who returned with his trusty Mitsubishi Evo , while he builds a new Class M car. Now whilst Keith and his 21st century technology Audi were on pole. Endaf Owen and Jim Lyons were on the 3rd row. Endaf was giving his Honda Civic a run, while Jimbo was making a fine show by being less than 4 seconds slower than Keith, in his Mini turbo which has it’s roots in 1950s technology!
Glynne Jones was 7th in his BMW, and had Mike Moss for company on the 4th row. Mike won the 2018 Champion in his Class BS Caterham, and he now carries the Number 1 on his car, to indicate he is the current champion! On row 5 Dave Hockley and his Honda Civic was on his own as Mark Williams was missing. Colin Dunn and his Clio, was on the Class BT Pole, and shared row 6 with Roger Dowden and had Andrew Williams behind him on row 7. Andy had replaced his MG with a Ford Fiesta that looked vaguely familiar! Joining him on row 7 was teenage sensation Ben Cutler and his Mini 7! Ben from Newcastle Emlyn has just turned 16 and although he has had some karting and Auto-grass experience, he was having his race debut. Ben was supported by his dad Rob, and they are targeting the Mini 7 S Class, but getting off the mark at their local circuit was a bonus. Ben was clearly finding his feet, although he got beached after a grassy moment. On row 8 Darren Osborn had converted his 1800 BMW to Class BT and was joined on the final row by Alan Smith. Alan should have had some company but was the sole AT runner again.
Race 1- 15 mins plus 1 lap- Rolling Start.
Alan Jenkins sent out a call-out on Saturday, as the organisers needed a driver for safety car driver for Sunday. Blake Edwards answered the call, and was rolling back the years by being in the lead of a WSSCC race again; even if it was for a short distance! As the grid assembled Keith Butcher was on his own as Chris Everills’ car was stuck in the paddock. Having moved the Ginetta to go out for race one, Chris found an oil patch on the ground! This needed investigation and it was found that the gearbox oil cooler line had sprung a leak, and it needed to be fixed and Chris would miss race one! So as the cars came round to the lights Keith grabbed an immediate lead from Nick Crompton and a fast starting Mike Moss. Damian Longotano made his usual cautious start and made his way up past Mike & Nick by lap 4 to run some 5 seconds behind Keith initially. However as the race wore on, Damian increased the pressure on Keith. The lead see-sawed, as they lapped the backmarkers, until Damian was virtually with Keith. Keith responded by setting his fastest lap on lap 10! Even so Damian still had Keith in his sights and there was less than 1 second between them as Keith crossed the line! Nick Crompton made up the top 3 finishers.
Behind Nick, there was some early dicing for positions, but eventually Endaf passed Mike Moss and had made it up to 4th place. Glynne Jones & Jim swapped places early on, but then Jimbo repassed Glynne, who then had Darren (Dave) Hockly for company.
In the later stages there was a tense stand-off between Mike Moss & Jim Lyons, with Mike in 5th place a few seconds ahead of Jimbo at the end! Jim was 6th, Glynne was 7th and Darren H was 8th
Colin Dunn (9th) established himself in the lead of Class BT but behind him Roger Dowden (AS) was having a dice with Andy Williams (BT) Ford Fiesta, which lasted almost the whole race, until Andy passed Rogers veteran Davrian Mk 6. However by that time Colin was too far up the road for Andy to do anything about catching him! Meanwhile Ben Cutler got a good start and was initially keeping Alan Smith and Darren Osborn at bay. Late on, Alan slipped by to finish in 12th place. Ben finished his first race in 13th, and his dad Rob was well pleased with his lap times! Darren found his tyres going off late on in his heavy metal 1800 BMW and finished in 14th and last. Damian had set the fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of Keith, and won the ‘Driver of the Race’ for his efforts to keep Keith honest!
Post-race in the paddock there was a lot of sweaty drivers, and wearing Black overalls while driving a Black car may not been the coolest choice in the hottest day of the year!
Race 2- 15 mins plus 1 lap- Rolling Start.
By the time the grid left behind Blake in the pace car, Chris Everill was able to join at the back of the grid, but Endaf was missing as he had family holiday duties. At the lights Keith made a good start, but Damian had the Audi under pressure, and with Chris Everill making quick progress through the field it seemed as if we were going to have a 3 car dice for the lead. Damian found his car going sideways and pulled off at Hatchets as his Westfield appeared uncontrollable. However Chris had taken his place and had Keith under pressure and they both began to draw away from Nick Crompton. Mike Moss had Jim Lyons as close company. Glynne Jones also had Darren Hockly on his tail. Andy Williams got the jump on Colin Dunn and with Roger Dowden joining in it was a close 3 way fight that was very watchable! Andy & Colin were nose to tail for lap after lap until Colin got past eventually finishing 7th and 1st in Class BT again. Andy eventually dropped behind Roger Dowden to finish 9th, but was still 2nd in BT. Alan Smith was 10th, with Darren Osborn 11th (and used his Joker Card to double his points) Ben Cutler finished his 2nd race in 12th place.
Meanwhile the dice at the front had started to cool as Chris Everills pace began to slow and he eventually pulled off with fuel surge problems. This left Keith Butcher and his Audi on his own to stroke his way to another win, with almost 27 seconds in hand on Nick Crompton. Keith opened the gap up to over 35 secsonds, but on lap 14 as he went to change up, the gearbox found only neutral and he pulled to the side of the track and stopped as Nick flew past into the lead! Keiths’ Audi was emitting the occasional V10 howl and then he got moving again and got up to speed but Nick was long gone. Mike Moss was now 3rd. So Nick proved if you want to finish first – first finish!
Later Keith revealed that as he tried to change gear he got a box of neutrals. ‘I was just going to switch it off and then switch it back on, when I got gears again’ Damian Longotano found the reason for the poor handling of his Caterham SE was that a bolt holding a stabilising bar, known as a Panhard rod, to the rear suspension, had snapped! That will be an easy fix and it can be hoped that the next round at Pembrey on May 12th when the race will be on the twisty Club circuit, the battle for the win will intensify.
Full times are at TSL Timing
Class Lap Records Pembrey Club Circuit 1.49 miles (2.40 Km)
New records are in red type
|New ‘Club’ Circuit|
|Class||Driver||Class Record||Date set|
Full details of the championship are in the 2019 WSSCC Regulations
Class Lap Records for Pembrey Club’ Circuit
Red = new record set in 2019
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For more details about joining in with the championship, contact Alan Jenkins on 07753 617087 or Robert Allender on 01792 791686 or 07722261988
More details about joining in is also on The Welsh Racing Drivers Association website wrda.co.uk