2017 WSSCC Rounds 7 & 8 Pembrey + new corners – Sunday 23rd July!
Entry & Practice – The weather, and what it is going to do, is source of endless fascination to many people. After an early morning rain shower made practice a ‘wet’ affair, it was dry until there was a second shower late in race one. After that it was dry and even the sun came out, which must have been galling for Simon Hutchings who was looking to make his debut with us on Sunday! Unfortunately Simon spun off in torrential rain in Fridays testing and damaged his car! Simon hopes to be out with us in October.
Qualifying (aka Practice) was held on a wet track but it was the usual suspects at the front with Jason Davies (Ford Sierra T) who was on Pole with a time of 69.523, which was almost 2 seconds quicker than anyone else! Bradley John was second fastest in his Mitsubishi Evo. On the second row was Nick Crompton and his Evo and 3rd fastest , and making a welcome return, was Chris Everill and his red Ginetta G50. On Row 3 was Andy Williams (non-turbo Ford Sierra Sapphire) and Ken James (Loco Hornet) on row 4 was Damian Logontano (Westfield SE) and Fabio Luffarelli (VW Corrado silhouette) On Row 5 was Mike Moss with his Westfield (making that side of the grid a Westy double with Damians car) alongside was Tyrone Luffarelli (Peugeot 106) making that side of the grid a Father & Son double! While Tyrone was on the Class BT pole with 1.20.721, on row 6, Colin Dunn (also in BT) was close with 1.21.116! Alongside Colin was Dave Scaramanga with his Class CT VW Scirocco. On row 7 was Mark Williams (180) with his Class CT VW Golf. Alongside was Daryl Radford (181)and his Class BS Honda Civic. On Row 8 was Gareth Haycock (Class CT VW Golf, thanks to Dave S). Alongside Gareth should have been Mat Harries, but he broke a half shaft in his Porsche 944 which ruined his Diff, so after a valiant try to fix failed, sadly it was back on the trailer! On row 9 was Andrew Williams and his MG ZR 105 and Nick Rocke with his Ford Fiesta, both in Class BT! On Row 10 was Darren Osborn BMW and Richard Francis( Saxo VTR. )Richard pulled off early as he only had slicks. On row 11 was Melissa and her Class M Moto Mini. Alongside was Ellis Wiggin. On the last row was Verity Banks and her MG ZR.
After practice the Clerk of the Course Mike Skelton, gave a briefing to all the drivers in the Scrutineering Bay under the watchful eye of the MSA Steward. (if you don’t know, the MSA Steward is a highly experienced official who is appointed by the MSA to over-see the meeting, and he is responsible for ensuring we run the meeting safely, guided by the Blue Book rules along with the BARC club stewards, the highly experienced John Felix and Brian Hopper. He will make a report to the MSA on the meeting, including reporting on any disciplinary matters). During the briefing the 2017 MSA Blue Book was held aloft, and Mike said plainly that this is a non-contact sport
Race 1 -15 minutes plus one lap – rolling start
It bears telling that I can only see what I can see, from where I am standing. In general I try to make these reports reflect the fun, enjoyment and action from motor racing. Sometimes things happen that don’t make writing a report, particularly easy or enjoyable. However lets pick up on some of the action.
There was no commentary through the speakers where I was. But I could see that as the pack passed the start-line lights, to start the race, it was a 4 way fight on the run down to Hatchets with Jason & Bradley side by side with Nick & Chris right there too! There was some smoke (tyres?) in the air, but the next time they came into view, Jason Davies emerged from Debeni in the lead, but with Nick Crompton in 2nd place, closely followed by Bradley John. The next time I saw them, Nick & Bradley were side by side, heading to the new corners. Then as Jason came round in the lead, Bradley was second, Chris Everill was 3rd and Nick was 4th. Meanwhile over at Hatchets, Mark Williams and Nick Rocke got involved, in what might be called, a typical Hatchets tangle. Richard Francis who was 12th place behind Mark, had a ring-side seat, and was able to miss it all and carry on his way, now in 11th place! However Marks & Ricks cars were stuck and unmoveable, so the Red Flags had to come out, after only 5 laps. Ricks car was ok with a tow back to the paddock. Marks car needed a full recovery, but with some fluid escaping, it took what seemed an age (possibly 20 minutes)to arrange the clean-up and to re-start the race. Two other cars need a recovery as well, after Mike Moss made a mistake and hit Andy Williams, the impact side-lining both the Ford Sierra Sapphire and the Westy with broken wheels! Mike was very sorry and upset and he went to Andys’ paddock space to try to apologise.
At the re-start, once again Jason took the lead, with Bradley John 2nd & Chris Everill 3rd. Jason started to pull a gap but Bradley put in the Class CS fastest lap in his efforts to chase Jason. However Bradley only lasted 5 laps before pulling off it the pits. This left Chris Everill into 2nd place, with Damian Longotano in 3rd place. Joining Bradley on the side-lines were, Andrew Williams, whose MG just stopped, and Ellis Wiggins.
Behind the flying Jason, the best action was in the midfield., as Dave Scaramanga and Tyrone Luffarelli had duel, followed by Richard Francis, who is coming on well in recent races, and Daryl Radford. Melissa Luffarelli and Colin Dunn were having a good tussle as were Ellis Wiggins and Daryl Radford. Darren Osborn was showing improved form in the BMW as was Verity Banks. Daryl & Richard changed places a few times, but in the final analysis, Tyrone Luffarelli was 7th with Richard Francis close by in 8th place. Daryl Radford was 9th. Colin Dunn was 9th with Melissa close by. Darren O was 13th and Verity Banks scored her 3d race finish in a row! At the front Jason continued to pull away on his way to the race win. Late on a rain shower swept the track but this did not matter to Jason and he was almost 25 seconds ahead of Chris who had Damian close behind in 3rd place. Fabio was later elevated to 4th. Ken James was 5th (and ‘Driver of the Race’) Dave Scarmanga was 6th and the last un-lapped runner.
It took a long time after the end of the race to bring out the final race results, as sadly there was a lot of cars bearing signs of damage, and lot of very upset drivers! However after a long delay a set of amended results were issued and they showed that car 80 (Nick) was excluded from the race & the meeting!
In the lunch break it was nice to see, amongst others, Blake Edwards our first ever champion, Alvin Powell, Rhodri Jenkins, and Denis Carter who as the head of BARC in the 1990s, oversaw the development of Pembrey into the facility it is today.
Race 2 Rolling Start 15 minutes plus 1 lap
In between races we were treated to the very surprising sight of a tornado in the sky over towards Pembrey Country Park! But as race 2 started, the sun had come out. This time there were only 17 starters. Crucially Class CS was down to 3 starters, with Jason Davies on Pole with Damian Longotano on the row behind. Chris Everill was on the front row with Fabio behind him. On row 3 was Ken James and Dave Scaramanga. On Row 4 was Tyrone Luffarelli and the surprising Richard Francis. On row 5 was Daryl Radford and Colin Dunn. On row 6 was Melissa Luffarelli and Gareth Haycock . On Row 7 was Darren Osborn and Verity Banks. Behind them were the re-starters Ellis Wiggins, Andrew Williams and Nick Rocke.
As the pack passed the start-line, everyone was surely hoping for a race to raise the spirits. It was not without drama however, for Jason Davies, as although he emerged from Hatchets in the lead, he had a West Wales ‘Love-tap’ from Damian Longotano. It wasn’t a big hit, but later it had a big effect! However Jason blasted on, but with Chris Everill in surprisingly close attendance, and it became clear that something was wrong, and it looked like something was dragging on the ground! It turned out that the Sierras rear diffuser had been dislodged and Jason was called into the pits to try to get it fixed! So this meant Chris Everill was now in the lead, Damian was in 2nd , a place Fabio moved into when Damian went off! Jason’s crew Tie-wrapped the rear diffuser back up and after losing almost two laps, Jason powered back into the race! The diffuser dropped back down as soon as he left the pits, however as it was still attached to the car, Jason was allowed to continue and eventually finished 8th! However this was good enough for 2nd in class, as Damian had crashed out at Brooklands after missing a gear when lapping some backmarkers! Fabio was then 2nd and Ken James was now 3rd on the road, and 1st in Class CS. These positions remained static for the rest of the race, although they lapped the rest of the field! Behind them in 4th place was Darryl Radford was One lap down but he, Dave S, Tyrone and Colin Dunn had a great scrap early on, until Colin became the 2nd and last person to retire! Tyrone got the better of Dave Scaramanga to finish 5th with Dave 6th. Melissa, who was 7th, had an excellent race with Richard Francis (8th) until the recovering Jason Davies passed Richard taking 8th and pushing Richard down to 9th! Ellis Wiggins rose from the back to harass Gareth Haycock, and eventually passing Gareth to finish 10th However the Marshals on post 3 choose Gareth as the ‘Driver of the Race’. Gareth was the last driver on 13 laps
On 12 laps, Nick Rocke was 12th after a great race with Andrew Williams who was 13th. Darren Osborn was happy with 14th p1ace. Verity was 15th and last but still managed to only loose the 2 laps!
So Chris Everill reeled off the laps to the chequered flag with Fabio 2nd and Ken James 3rd. This time we coulc hear as the commentator interviewed the top Three! The winner Chris Everill confirmed ‘I could see Jasons’ diffuser was hanging down, so I kept on pushing!’
Fabio(who has had 4 x 3rd places), sounded very happy to move up a place! ‘I didn’t know I was 2nd! I’m very impressed! A good day for all! I’m over the moon!’
Ken James was equally joyful and ecstatic with his 3rd Overall and 1st place in Class CS ‘It was hard work, but I’ll take it’ Ken confirmed he had played his Joker ‘I did, I did! That’s excellent that It paid off! I’m pleased with that! It was better than race 1, when a lot of damp track caught me out! That’s my excuse, but I had to check the ‘Big Book of Excuses’ to see which one I could use.’
So that brought the curtain down on the week-ends action and the focus should now switch to Oulton Park for the next rounds on Saturday September 9th (they are not able to race there on a Sunday). In the meantime let’s hope that Mike Skelton’s words’ this is a non-contact sport’ really sink in! Myself, I am reminded of the words of a former champion, who described the Championship as ‘a competitive championship populated with Gentleman drivers’ With respect to the lady drivers who have graced our championship with their presence, we need to make sure The Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship becomes again ‘a competitive championship populated with Lady & Gentleman drivers’ regards Robert
2017 WSSCC Rounds 5 & 6 Mallory Park – Sunday 4th June!
The Entry & Practice – A group of 16 WSSCC contenders made the trip to rural Leicestershire for the Welsh Championship first away day at Mallory Park in 10 years and along with a couple of Guests it made a pleasant 18 car entry! Initally it was Sunny & Dry and Fastest in Practice was Jason Davies with a time for 48.814 secs or 99.56 mph! 2nd fastest and only 0.22 behind Jason was Piers Grange, an Invitation driver from Crewe, with his Ford Escort MK1 Silhouette, which was an effective piece of kit with a turbo engine! Piers best lap was timed at 99.11 mph! Behind the Blue Oval twosome, 3rd & 4th with the EVO pair of Bradley & Nick, both in the 50s. Andy Williams was 5th fastest in his heavy metal non-turbo Ford Sapphire alongside Fabio Lufferelli and his VW Corrado Silhouette. Fabio was the last driver in the 90s with a lap speed 91.12 mph! Behind them was Damian Longotano in his Westfield with a disappearing wing, and Dave Scaramanga in his Class CT VW Sirocco! 9th fastest was our second guest, Marcus Bicknell and his massive & striking 1971 Mustang! It must be the biggest car we’ve ever had in one of our races,(I can’t remember one bigger) and Marcus from, Chalfont St Giles, was up for a bit of fun, declaring ‘I’ll need a 3 point turn to get around Shaws hairpin, so the others will just have to wait!’ The way Marcus drove was certainly spectacular with smoke coming of the tyres at almost every corner! In a ‘David v Goliath’ scenario alongside Marcus on the grid was Ellis Wiggins and his Vauxhall Nova! Next up on row 6 was Tyrone Luffarelli and his trusty Class BT Pug with Mark Williams and his VW Polo, alongside. On row 7 was Colin Dunn (Clio) and Mat Harris (Porsche 944)
Next up on Row 8 should have been Gareth Haycock and his VW Golf and Mellissa Luffarelli and her moto Mini. Unfortunately Gareth would not be taking his place on the grid after he had a heavy accident, late in the session, after dropping 2 wheels on the grass on the exit to Gerards Bend! This spat the car across the circuit and straight into the barriers, head on! This wrecked the front of the Golf, but thankfully Gareth was ok, apart from a bruised leg. The car looked beat up, but Grant the mechanic reckoned it might be fixable back at the garage! Occupying the final row was Nick Rocke and Verity Banks! At one stage it looked like Verity would not be able to race as her own car wasn’t ready, then Andrew Williams stepped in and offered Verity a drive in his MG ZR! Andy explained ‘I didn’t plan to enter my car but I was going to come up and marshal, so I brought the car for Verity!’ Compared to Andy, Verity is petite (that’s French for small) but she bought some cushions!
In the lunch break, Martin Davies explained the bizarre reason for his ‘Oil surge’ problems at Pembrey. ‘Apparently I didn’t run the engine in for long enough!When I put on the boost, the increased friction ‘glazed the cylinder bores’ and the piston rings started to pressurise the oil, which escaped into the catch tank and the oil that was left, started to surge! We’ve fixed the glazing, so now I’m going to take long time to run it in properly this time!’ If all is well Martin should be out at the next Pembrey meeting in July.
The Race 15 minutes plus one lap – Rolling start!
By the time of the race, the sun was long gone, and some light drizzle showed itself from time to time, without coming to much. A little later than published, due to a delay to the programme, after the Kart practice as halted to allow the Air Ambulance to take a casualty away; the grid left for their ‘Green Flag’ lap, but without Dave Scaramanga whose engine died before he could get to the grid ‘I suspect it’s the crankshaft sensor but we can’t fix it here’ Colin Dunn did take the start, but didn’t get much further, as he felt his rear wheels take flight after the cars rear wheel bearings collapsed, and he waited out the race at the nearest Marshals post!
So Jason lead the grid to the lights, after the pace car had pulled off, and then it was ‘Race on’ to the first corner, and it was Piers Grange, (Invitation Class) who jumped into the lead with Jason in very hot pursuit! (Class win? What Class win!). Piers lead across the line on lap one, but then Jason passed him for the lead and led the rest of the race, but with the Orange Escort tied to his bumper, and never more than a few 10ths behind! Jason tried to build a gap in the early laps and set the first 100 mph (100.98 mph) lap of Mallory Park for a WSSCC contender! However Piers responded and left the races fastest lap at 47.894 secs which equals an astounding 101.56mph! However we will leave the leaders fighting it out until later!
Behind them, in the battle of the Evos, in 3rd place was Bradley John followed by Nick Crompton. Nick was late to join the gird, after his team found his oil cooler had burst! This needed some urgent work to by-pass it! Late in the race Nick began to drop back as his oil temperature rose, but on 20 laps, he was the last runner on same lap as the leaders!
On 19 laps, Fabio Luffareli had big dice with Andy Williams for 5th place with Andy in 5th until Fabio overtook him. Behind them Damian Longatono had a lonely race to 6th but found not much difference in the car, without the wing! Initially in 7th place was the massive Mustang of Marcus Bicknell, with the rest of the grid snapping at his heels! Tyrone Luffarelli & Mark Williams were the first cars through, leaving Ellis Wiggins and his tiny Nova hanging on to Marcus’ Mustang like a Chalfont! (Chalfont St Giles – cockney rhyming slang – you work it out!) Melissa was the next to make it through, followed by Mat Harries. Later Mark Williams fell back behind Marcus, but Tyrone (Class BT winner) eventually made his way up to 7th place. Mat (Class CT winner) was 8th, just ahead of Marcus who was 9th. Mark Williams (2nd in CT) was 10th ahead of Nick Rocke, Ellis Wiggins and Verity Banks, who finished the race..
Back at the front Piers Grange made a big effort late on to close the gap to Jason, and on lap 13 was only 0.146 behind! He was close. but then too close, as he ran into the back of Jason! Jasons’ Ford Sapphire picked up some battle damage, but Piers was out with a broken front rim and a flat tyre! This left Jason to reel off the laps, crossing the line after 20 laps 33 seconds ahead of Bradley John. Nick Crompton was 3rd but distant from Bradley. Fabio was 4th with Andy Williams in 5th place.
However, unfortunately Fabios daughter Melissa also did not finish! She got as high as 9th when the duel between her dad Fabio and Andy Williams came up to lap her! Andy looked to overtake Fabio, but it didn’t happen! However there was an incident between Andy and Melissa! Andys Ford Sapphire continued with some battle scars, but Melissa little Mini was out on the spot with several broken wheels and other damage! It was an incident, thankfully rare in the Welsh Championship, but it was something that needed the attention of the Clerk of the Course.
Jason Davies crossed the line at a canter and was cock-a-hoop at an excellent win, but the commentators said they didn’t have time to do a post-race interview with the winner, so Robert did it! Jason tells Robert about his race (in progress)
Race 2 -15 minutes plus one lap – Rolling start!
The grid for race 2 is based on the finishing order of race 1! This left Jason on pole, with Bradley John alongside. Row 2 saw Nick Crompton along with Fabio Luffarelli. However one of the features of race 2 is to see if any of the quick cars with low grid positons can pull back to the front. At the back this time were Piers Grange and Melissa, now back an running thanks to several spare wheels that her dad Fabio and brother Tyrone, found in the back of the cavernous Luffarelli transporter! From the moment that Jason brought the grid towards the lights, it was clear he was in no mood to hang around! Setting off like some kind of Welsh ‘Ayrton Senna’ Jason was almost 2 seconds ahead of Bradley John at the end of the first lap!
Coming out of the ‘Devils Elbow’ on lap 1, Jason, in an eye-popping moment, had the car really sideways, but caught it in a masterly fashion, and continued on his way!. Afterwards he said’ I knew Piers would be coming through the grid, so I wanted to build a big lead, so he wouldn’t be harassing me later on. However that moment early on, really got my attention!’ Now fully focused, Jason worked hard in the early laps, to build himself lead! It took until lap 5 for Piers to get into 2nd place, but by that time Jason had a 10 second lead, which he managed to the end! Although both Jason & Piers set fastest laps in 100mph bracket, the race pace was a little slower and the top 4 , Jason, Piers, Bradley and Nick, only did 19 laps this time! Fabio had an interesting dice with Andy Williams, swapping places a few times before Fabio pulled off late on, when his engine died. This left Andy all alone in 5th place but 1 lap behind. However Tyrone (CT) in 6th place, and sister Melissa (M) in 7th ,were upholding the Luffarelli family honour as both were class winners! Mat Harries was 8th and the CT class winner again! Mark Williams, Class CT Polo, was in 9th place, Nick Rocke was 10th, and in 11th place Verity Banks finished a race again! That’s Practice and 2 races, all in one day. A happy Verity, who improved her time in every session, explained. ‘There was an odd occasion, when the quick cars weren’t passing, when I was able to concentrate on my driving’ Her efforts won her the ‘Driver of the Race ‘award, and Andrew Williams got a round of applause for showing the true spirit of the championship!
Sadly, Marcus Bicknell only did 2 laps in his mighty Mustang, before he retired with a rough sounding engine. Damian Longotano retired on lap 8. Ellis Wiggins pulled off late after losing all drive possibly due to a dodgy cv joint!
At the end of the race Jason summed up.
Shortly after the prize-giving, there was a cloud burst, but a lovely rainbow and some late sunshine to guide people home!
The next races in the 2017 season is at Pembrey on Sunday July 23rd.
2017 WSSCC Rounds 3 & 4- Pembrey new course – Sunday 21st of May!
Entry & Practice. This was to be the first time the WSSCC had used Pembrey with the new Rhodri & Phil inspired complex, making it a welcome change. The general feeling was that it was well liked, with lap times about 6 seconds a lap slower!
There was a welcome 25 car entry with the usual mix of regulars, one notable returnee, and some welcome newcomers! After qualifying Jason Davies took pole position in his 2wd Ford with a time of 66.238 seconds. Next to him was the notable returnee of Martin Davies (Jasons’ dad) who set a time of 67.740 secs in his 4wd Ford. The times were of academic interest compared to the grid positions and 3rd fastest was Bradley John and his Hi-tech Misubishi Evo. However next to him was the first of the newcomers, Nick Crompton of Bridgend, with his slightly lower tech Evo! Nick had done some sprints before, but the car had not been used for 5 years! It and the driver didn’t look too rusty! On Row 3 was Fabio Luffarelli with his Suzuki powered VW Corrado silhouette and Damian Longotano, with his Westfield now sporting a rear wing! On Row 4 were Ken James and Andy Williams. Row 5 saw Glynne Jones and his BMW and Mellissa Luffarelli and her Suzuki powered Mini. On Row 6 were 2 Class Pole sitters Dave Scarmanga (Class CT. VW Sirocco), and making a welcome return, Daryl Radford (Class BS Honda Civic). On Row 7 another newcomer making a big impact was Adam Jones from Tenby and his Class BS Honda Civic, (tended by Endaf) with Tyrone Luffarelli taking the Class BT pole with his Pug 106. On row 8 were Gareth Haycock (Class CT VW Polo) and Richard Francis who was the only Class AS runner, but was still doing a good job! On row 9 was Tony Gallager, and his Honda Accord, one of the Irish Touring Cars who decided to get in a quick race with us, before heading back home to Ireland and Colin Dunn (Class BT Clio) On row 10 was another newcomer Mark Williams (Class CT VW Polo) and Mat Harries (CT Porsche 944) On Row 11 was Andrew Williams (Class BT MG ZR) and another welcome newcomer Ellis Wiggins and his Class BS Vauxhall Nova (tended by 2013 Champion Chris Morris!) On Row 12 were the final 2 newcomers Darren Hockley (Class BS Honda Civic)and Darren Osborne (Class BS BMW). On his own on the final row was Alan Smith (Class AT Ford Ka Sport)
Race 1 15 minutes +1 lap – Rolling start. As the lights changed it was Martin Davies who took the lead with Jason as close
company! With this being the first time that both Martin & Jason had been side by side in equal cars, this had the hallmarks of a classic duel, as Martin didn’t appear in any hurry to cut Jason any slack! Martin set the fastest lap of the race on lap 2, and the pair of Fords drew away from the Evo pair of Bradley John and Nick Crompton. It seemed only a matter of time before Jason tried to find a way past Martin, but suddenly Jasons’ car began trailing some smoke! Whatever it was, it was getting worse and Jason retired to the pits on lap 6. Martin was now a good distance ahead of Bradley John, but dramatically he too began to slow, and only 2 laps later he joined Jason in the pits! This left Bradley in the lead, with a handy lead over Nick in second and Fabio Luffarelli in 3rd place. As always, although there was some spell binding action & drama, at the front of the race, there was plenty of action throughout the grid. Notably Tyrone Luffarelli dropped to back of the grid, to take the start. ‘I saw a few people overshoot the new complex so I thought I’d keep out of way, until things settled down’ He then pulled up through the field to finish in 12th place, taking the Class BT win and late in the race, the BT Fastest lap too!
Ahead of Tyrone. Damian Longotano was 4th but he had Ken James (5th) & Andy Williams (6th) for close company early on. Glynne Jones as 7th and Mellissa Luffarelli was 8th and was the last un-lapped runner! In the Battle of the Honda Civics newcomer Adam Jones finished 9th and was the Class BS winner but he had a monumental scrap with Daryl Radford who was only 0.2 behind Adam at the end. However Daryl at least had the satisfaction, and an extra point, for setting the fastest lap! In 11th was Dave Scaramanga, who had Tyrone as a buffer between himself and a determined Gareth Haycock. In 14th was our Irish guest Tony Gallagher, who gave a good account of himself in his Honda Accord! In 15th place and also improving was Richard Francis, who unfortunately was the only Class As runner.
However it was all action in lower reaches of the grid, with Colin Dunn holding 16th place early on, but with plenty of company, in the manner of Mat Harries, Mark Williams, Ellis Wiggins, Andrew Williams, Darren Hockley, Darren Osborne, and Alan Smith. When the musical cars were stopped by the chequered Flag, it was Mat and his Porker 944 in 16th! Ellis Wiggins was an excellent 17th on his debut with his Nova, but with Colin Dunn on his right on his boot-lid in 18th! Andrew and his MG ZR won the battle of the Williams’ in 19th place with Mark and his VW Polo, the last runner on 13 laps in 20th Place! Darren Hockley, Alan Smith and Darren Osborn were the final runners. So Bradley John reeled off the laps to take his maiden WSSCC race win!
It could have been easy to have be affected by the occasion, but Bradley drove well to write his name into history, by winning the inaugural WSSCC race on the new layout! In the post-race interview he said ‘It my first win in my first full season so hopefully many more to come’ Nick in 2nd place commented that ‘It’s my first circuit race, and I loved every minute, it was brilliant. I did get stuck behind a few of the back markers, and I have to apologise, I think I hit Jason at one stage. With the close racing and the entertainment it was exciting for me and hopefully the crowd too. These cars are amazing things’ So Bradley and the John family were left to bask in the sunshine and the joy of a first win, but It wasn’t like that for everyone. But more of that later!
In the lunch break it was nice to see Rhodri, Alvin and Roger Dowden, but where are the cars lads! No excuses get them out for the next Pembrey! Alvin was said to be on £250 starting money to take his ex-BTCC car up to Knockhill in Scotland! Knowing his luck it’ll probably end up as 250 pounds weight in Haggis! In the Davies’ camp there was frantic action, as Martin & Jason tried to find out the cause of their woes. Martin confirmed that he had slowed as his Oil pressure warning light was coming on. ‘I tried to straight line the corners to see if that helped, but when it didn’t I pulled off, rather than risk the engine. I don’t know but we’ve fitted a new ‘Big Wing’ sump, and that may be the trouble! Anyway there is no sense in risking it further.’ Jason however may have been lucky as the plume of ‘Smoke’ turned out to be steam, as the hose clip holding the water pipe to the pump had broken! ‘It was a new clip that was narrower than the more usual ones, so we’ll change and see what happens’ Changing it wasn’t as easy as it sounds as it was in an inaccessible place, but Jason and his pit crew, Brendan Evans and Callum McKenzie, got to work to dis-assemble the front of the car to get at the offending part. They were bent on replacing the ‘Wurth-less’clip and changing it for a 2002 clip (2002 was the Queens golden Jubilee, as we shouldn’t endorse a product by name, but you get the drift)
Race 2 15 minutes +1 lap – Rolling start
So as Bradley lead the pack around, Jason joined in at the very back, as the grid for race 2 is set from the results of race 1. At the lights Bradley lead the pack around from Hatchets, but in the early laps Nick Crompton was closer than he had been in the early laps of race 1. Meanwhile Jason had picked his way through the smaller, less powerful cars, as you might expect, and at the end of lap 1 he was behind Fabio in 7th place! By the end of lap 2 he was into 3rd place, but still at a relatively modest pace! Bradley was leading from Nick but by only a few hundredths! Jason meanwhile had begun to pick up his pace and set the races’ fastest lap on lap 3 as he cruised up to Nick & Bradley. Then Jason pounced on lap 4 and went from 3rd to 1st in one dramatic move! Afterwards he commented ‘I said to dad that I’m going to see if the engine holds the boost after the first lap. If it does, then I’m going to go for it!’ Nick soon passed Bradley but wasn’t able to challenge Jason as he moved away to win by 12 seconds! Nick said after ‘I could see Bradleys’ tyres were going off, and I was just about to try to pass him, when Jason passed us both!’ Later on Bradley fell back and was passed by Fabio and fell back further to come under pressure from Ken James! In the end Bradley just held on to 4th place by 0.2 secs from the charging Loco Hornet! In the early laps in a tight bunch, Damian Longatano was 4th ahead Andy Williams, Fabio, and Ken himself and Glynne. However first Fabio, and then Ken made their way through the pack. Damian stabilised himself in 6th place, Glynne was 7th and Andy was 8th. Behind them Mellissa was 9th and the last of the un-lapped runners. However she had Dave Scaramanga as close company for most of the way, and her efforts inspired the Marshals on Post 3 to nominate her for the ‘Driver of the Race’ award. In 11th place, Daryl Radford was the Class BS winner! He got a good start and was high as 9th in the early laps until Mellissa & Dave got past. He then spent the rest of the race making sure he had a gap to Tyrone, who in 12th place was going a good job of bottling up Adam Jones, Daryl’s Class BS sparring partner! Gareth Haycock was 14th with Richard Francis in 15th. Richard was hoping some new tyres would give him a boost, however his fastest lap time was slower than in Race 1! Behind him was a classic duel between Mat Harris & Colin Dunn! Colin had Mat under pressure and nipped past to take 17th place in the closing laps, but Mat fought back and there was only 0.3 secs between then at the end! In 18th to 20th, Mark with his MG ZR won the battle of the Williams’ this time from first time racer Mark and his VW Polo! Darren Hockley (Honda Civic) was keeping them honest. Alan Smith was 21st and Darren Osborne was 22nd and last! Ellis Wiggins was the only retirement. So Jason reeled off the final laps to win by over 12 secs from Nick Crompton, with Fabio in 3rd place. After Fabio gave his opinion on the new track, ‘The new section of the track is fantastic. It’ a great leveller, the smaller powered cars are really doing well. My car is only 1000cc, so let’s hope it brings more people into the sport!’ Afterwards Jason celebrated with his family and his team and reflected on going from Hero to Zero and then back from Zero to Hero all in one day! Should be a new ride at Oakwood, the local West Wales fun park! More than that with Tyrone Luffarelli taking another maximum score, Jason must be grateful that ‘two dropped scores’ are now part of the regulations, as it is keeping his championship hopes very much alive! Times at http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2017/172021wss.pdf
(report by Rob Allender. Action photos by Steve Williams)
Sunday 23 April 2017 – Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship – Pembrey ‘Classic Circuit’
Jason takes double win at Pembrey -Chris chases hard! Tyrone & Dave also break records!
Entry & Qualifying
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!
Full results on http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2017/171621wss.pdf