The 2016 Awards Night was held at the Village Hotel in Swansea, in a late change of venue, and there was a good crowd of 62. (nb Photos of the Award is on the WRDA Facebook page)
Robert reminded everyone that is was actually 35 years since we had the first meeting to set up the club.
Class AS 1st Robert made the Class winners award to Roger Dowden – Davrian Mk6. It was his 2nd Class AS win (Roger was BS winner in 2013 so this was his Third Class win in 3 years)
Class AT 1st Alan Smith Ford KA = Alan has come a long way from Yorkshire to compete with us
Class BS 1st Susanne Jones Lotus Elise – Susanne did really well after moving class, and now needs to take the pins out of the Andy Long doll she has at home!
Class BT was a big class
4th was Andrew ‘Caldicot’ Williams MG Z
3rd Daryl Radford Honda Civic — fought hard
2nd Colin Dunn Renault Clio – who has moved up 1 place from 3rd place in 2015 (next year only 1 more place to go!) Colin has done well since his debut in 2014.
1st Tyronne Lufferelli Peugeot 106 – Apart from one or two glitches Tyronne was dominant and was a well deserved winner!
Class CS – another big Class – 4th Andy Williams Ford Sierra Cosworth – Andy quite a few incidents but scored well, when he finished!
3rd – Ken James – Loco Hornet – despite a slow start Ken had a good run in the wet races!
2nd – Bradley John Mitsubishi Evo – 2016 saw a fantastic debut for Bradley with consistent finishes as Brad & the car improved through the season.
1st Class CS – Jason Davies Ford Sierra Cosworth t – Apart from one or two early season glitches – Jason was dominant in the last 4 wet races – a well deserved winner!
Class CT 1st Dave Scaramanga VW – Dave had a scary start-line accident in the 2nd race, but when he switched to the Scirocco it was a wind in his sails that took him to the class win!
Class D 3rd Fabio Lufferelli Mini/VW Corrado Suzuki – Fabio is a one man chain-gang
2nd Chris Everill Ginetta G50
Class D winner – Keith White BMW Z4 – Keith & Chris were neck & neck until the final race, and Keith has now won Class D 5 times in a row, and he was only 1 point behind Colin Dunn for 3rd place overall.
Novice. The winner of the Novice award is Bradley John who in his debut (Rookie) season finished 2 in Class CS.
Newcomer (As there were a lot of newcomers in 2016 we decided to give 3 awards)
3rd was Colin Lewis (Renault Clio) 2nd was Gareth Haycock VW Golf-
Newcomer of the Year was Richard Francis (Citroen Saxo) – Richard has become a father as well as finding his feet in cars, having raced Karts for several seasons.
Chwarae Teg award was given to Endaf Owens as he has introduced several new drivers to the Championship.
Presidents’ Awards. Robert gave a special awards to –
Paul Flinders – Paul was the Class BT winner in 2014, and although he has paid the same race-entry fees as everyone else he has hardly did 10 laps all year, and then not all in the same race!
Nick Rocke for all the work he did to support the club.
Steve Williams for allowing us to use all his wonderful photographs
Janice & Sonia Williams & Sue Davies for all the work they have done in years past on the raffle etc.
Young Driver of the Year Award Our Celtic cousin from Cornwall, Tyrone Lufferelli was awarded the 2016 Young Driver of the Year Award. WRDA Chairman Roger Dowden who presented the award said ‘Tyrone , driving a Peugeot 106 , is only 20 and won his Class with fine performances at Castle Combe & Pembrey and kept Jason honest and was 2nd in the overall standings! He has been one of the most consistent drivers , and so is a worthy winner of this award’
Former winners . Robert then gave a breakdown on the exploits of former winners of the Young Driver of the Year Award. Hywel Lloyd, who was the first Young Driver of the Year has moved to team management and his team CF Racing, won the MSV F3 Cup and his driver, George Line, won the Drivers Championship. Andy Meyrick has become a very experienced Endurance Racer, and is part of the MSA team helping young drivers. Matt Parry won his first GP3 race and is currently 7th in the championship, with the final races happening at the same time as the awards night! Seb Morris won the Young Driver of the Year Award in 2011 but he has since moved into the British GT Championship, and this has brought up the question how to recognise drivers who are now doing well.
The Neil Cunningham Memorial Award. After some thought a new award , ‘The Neil Cunningham Memorial Award’ was inaugurated by the Welsh Racing Drivers Association. WRDA President Robert Allender said about the award, ‘There are lots of links between New Zealand, where Neil was born, and Wales where he came to live with his wife Rachael. Neil was just reaching out to clubs in Wales and he became known to myself and other members of the WRDA, but before we could build on the relationship, he was struck down by this horrible disease Motor Neurone Disease! Neil set up a charity giving page ‘Racing4MND’ to raise funds for the Heaton Ellis Trust which funds research in to a cure for MND. We know Neil had a good career in Single Seaters, Saloons and especially in GT Racing and we have several young drivers who are making names for themselves, so after Neil passed on we reached out to Rachael and she was happy to allow us to honour Neil in this way. She was especially pleased that our first choice was Seb Morris for his efforts in British GT racing, (where he set multiple poles, fastest laps & podium places) especially his efforts at Oulton Park where he broke the circuit lap record, during his drive which secured the first race win for Seb and his team-mate Rick Parfitt Jnr, as it was at Oulton Park she first meet Neil. ‘Neil was interested in helping young drivers, so this was something he would approve of’ Seb said ‘I’m delighted to have been awarded the Neil Cunningham memorial award. May I thank the Welsh Racing Drivers Association, all guests and especially Rachael Cunningham. I am very honoured to be the first recipient of Neils’ award and I will cherish it’ Seb has his own personal award while Rachael will look after the actual trophy until such time as another winner makes him/her presence known!
Later in the awards night there was a raffle and an auction and a substantial donation has been made to Neils’ charity Racing4MND which supports the Heaton-Ellis Trust which tries to find a cure for this cruel disease! There were also a donation to the Welsh Air Ambulance, and to Jennie Morris chosen charity.
Having won the 2016 WRDA Young Driver of the Year, Tyrone Lufferelli, later picked up the inaugural ‘Colin Gundersen Fastest Lap trophy’
As Colin wasn’t able to join us for the Awards Night, in the circumstance Blake Edwards (the first ever WSSCC Champion, stepped in and did the honours.
The ‘Colin Gundersen Fastest Lap at Pembrey’ award was calculated by taking the Class fastest lap divided by the fastest lap in the race x 100 = points. It was very tight – Roger Dowden was leading for a long time, but Peter Hills took the class AS fastest lap in the last race which threw it all up in the air. It was then very tight with Roger dropping to 4th; Dave Scaramanga moving into 3rd but with Jason Davies 2nd, only 2.482 points behind the winner Tyrone Lufferelli.
Blake Edwards Race Winners Trophy. As well as taking the newly re-dedicated ‘Blake Edwards Race Winners Trophy’ having won 6 of the 10 races won, Jason Davies picked up the 2016 Welsh Championship winners trophy.
Welsh Championship winner. C0lin Dunn was 3rd and Tyrone Lufferelli was 2nd but Jason, who drove a 2WD Ford Sierra Cosworth turbo, dominated the later stages of the championship after one or two early season glitches and he was a well deserved winner! After the first ever Welsh champion Blake Edwards had presented him with his award, Jason, whose father Martin had won the same Championship, commented ‘It was something special to win, this championship is not easy, there are a lot of very good and very quick drivers in it, and it was really special to win it 20 years after my dad won it too!’