Chris Everill takes a win double – Tyrone is 2017 champion!
2017 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship – Pembrey – 15th October – Truck Fest
A massive 32 car grid assembled for the final 2 races in the 2017 Championship. In contrast to the torrential rain showers that plagued our visit to Oulton Park, the weekend was overcast but dry & warm, if a little windy. Although there are many stories to tell (which I will update later in the week) I hope you will understand if I start with the front runners, as there is a dramatic end to the 2017, but rather than build up the suspense, like Agatha Christine, I’ll get to the main point asap.
Anyway due to other races dropping out, the day started with a Practice session, and then Qualifying, after the Clerk of the Course briefing and a brief feedback meeting. Topping the Qualifying was one of the Class I entries, Reuben Taylor and his Peugeot 206 cc silhouette (Reuben was with us at Oulton Park)just ahead of Damian Longotano, who was having his best starting position in a long time. Chris Everill and Keith White were on row 2 with Martin Davies 5th and Nick Crompton 6th. On row 4 was Ken James and Andy Williams. On row 5 was Glynne Jones and Mark Williams who was an excellent 10th in his new Honda Civic 1600! Fabio Luffarelli was at the back of the grid, after an electric fault with his ‘Flat Shifter’ cut his engine, before he set a time. Fortunately it was easily fixed!( I will do the rest of the grid later).
However in the Truck race, just before the lunch break, a Truck turned left at full speed, and tried to enter the main paddock instead of paddock 2! It was a hard hit, and after extracting the truck from the barrier, the marshals worked hard to repair the barriers to allow racing to re-start! However it took a long while to do the repairs, and that had a knock-on effect on the programme, with both our races cut from 15 minutes plus 1 lap, to 12 minutes and a lap.
Race one – 12 minutes and a lap – rolling start!
The grid set off on the green flag lap, with Tyrone keeping his dad company! At the start Reuben Taylor went into the lead, with Chris Everill and all, pushing him hard! The pack exited Debini in a bunch, but Nick Crompton seemed to be taking the wide line, al la Alvin Powell! Like Alvin before him, Nick found out the wide line doesn’t work, and he got onto the grass. However luckily Nick was able to slow the Evo and nudged the tyre wall side on. After a moment he was able drive away with only some minor body damage, but another grassy moment half way through, tore his turbo pipe off, making Nick the only non-finisher. Back at the front the battle for the lead had boiled down to Chris Everill, who was now in front, defending his lead from Reuben Taylor with Martin Davies attacking Reuben for 2nd place! Although on one lap Reuben had a real ‘tank slapper’ out of Dibeni, Martin was unable to take advantage. However it was close at the end, with only 0.8 seconds covering all 3 cars at the end! This was the closest battle for the lead I have ever seen at Pembrey!
Race two – 12 minutes and a lap – rolling start! Damian got a rocket start and lead into Hatchets, however he seemed to go wide, which let the charging pack to get past! At the end of lap 1 it was a 4 way fight for the lead with Chris Everill holding a narrow lead from Keith White, Reuben Taylor and Martin Davies all in a tight bunch, followed by Ken James, Fabio and Damian! The battle for the lead intensified, with Reuben passing Keith to run 2nd behind Chris. Martin was not to be left out and on lap 7 he passed Keith or 3rd place, and then started to chase Rueben! On lap 9 Martin passed Reuben for 2nd place, and was maybe fancying a run at Chris, when it all went wrong! Coming up to Honda curve at the end of lap 9, Martin found himself a passenger, as one of his cars’ wheel & hub broke away and bounced high in the air! It was a heavy impact, with the commentator confirming the car had ‘Barrel rolled’. The red flag went out immediately! Now although Honda, the fastest corner on the circuit, is probably the worst place to have an accident, it also maybe the best, as the Pembrey rescue machine swung into action! Marshals were on the scene straight away, quickly followed by the Rescue truck, the Medical team and an Ambulance, all of whom where close at hand in their normal places in the pit lane! All the family & friends who had been watching at the Dibeni end, quickly moved to the Honda curve end. Sue and Mikaela, Martins wife and Daughter, supported each other, as we all waited to see if Martin was alright! After what seemed an age, but was probably only a minute or so, in which there was time to consider that this was the reason behind the MSA rules on Roll-cage strength, time limits on the life of Seat and Belts, and helmet & hans regulations, and what a good job the MSA are doing to try and protect the life of our friends and loved ones, Martin emerged and was able to walk un-aided to the waiting ambulance! This was a massive relief to everyone! Jason himself was watching from the pits, so was fully aware of the situation, and as they took Martin to hospital for checks and scans, just to be on the safe side, he was able to find the missing wheel and hub deep in the bushes on the outside of the circuit to confirm it was a failure of the drive flange which caused the wheel to detach! Later with an ok from the doctors, Martin was allowed home! Jason confirmed his special thank you to everybody that helped us pack away all the pit gear, and ‘especially Damian Longotano for driving the Van and trailer home for us’
2017 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship – Pembrey – 15th October – Truck Fest – The Midfield – Entry & practice.
Having already run through the top bunch, the rest of the 32 car grid, was broken into large lumps. 10th was guest driver Mark Harries and his Honda Civic. 11th and on the Class CT pole was Dave Scaramanga who pedalled his VW around in a time of 1.12.364, ahead of a 5 cars in the 1.14 secs bracket, Alex Kite, Tyrone, Peter Hills, new boy Andy Wilkins and Tyrones’ sister Melissa Luffarelli, who was an excellent 16th! 17th and at the head of another 6 cars in the same bracket was Daryl Radford and his Honda (1.15.079) ahead of Darren Hockely and his Honda, the Mazda of Simon Hutchings, the Saxo of Richard Francis and the Mini of Peter Harries (tended by Endaf Owens) and Nick Rocke and his Ford Fiesta who was 22nd!
Heading the last batch of drivers in the 1.17120 to 1.9.549 bracket was Colin Dunn (1.17120), Ellis Wiggins, Gareth Haycock, Mat Harries, and Andrew Williams who was 27th and was the last driver to get under 1.20 secs.
From 28 to 32 we had Darren Osborn, Mark Williams, Alan Smith, Verity Banks and 32nd and last was Fabio Luffarelli, who failed to set a time after his flat shift problem!
Race one – 12 minutes and a lap – rolling start!
The grid set off on the green flag lap, with Tyrone keeping his dad company! Remarkably all 32 cars made it, with none missing! Alex Kite got up to 9th on the first lap with a fast starting Richard Francis rising from 20th to 10th and having to take action to avoid a spinning Andy Williams, as the big purple Sapphire had a 360 spin on the rundown to Brooklands! Andy got going again in14th Place! Richard soon had Dave Scaramanga on his tail, and looking for his place back, after Richard had passed him going into Carter, (if that’s what the new left/right flick is called) Fabio was rising quickly to eventually finish 6th! So we now had Alex Kite in 9th , followed by Dave S & our old friend Peter Hills. There was a big bunch consisting of Andy Wilkins, Richard Francis, Daryl Radford, Andy Williams, and Tyrone Luffarelli! Melissa has next up followed by Nick Rocke and Colin Dunn who are locked in a Class BT battle!
There was then another bunch headed by Darren Hockley, Mat Harries, Mark Williams, Simon Hutchings, Peter Harries and Gareth Haycock. The final bunch was headed by Andrew Williams, Ellis Wiggins, and Darren Osborn. Darren had brought his own fan club, complete with banner, to inspire him! It’s what the Championship is all about, the drivers have fun on the track, and their families should join in the fun too, and brighten up the paddock too! I thought it was great! Alan Smith & Verity Banks completed the grid.
Now I know there is some people who prefer the ‘Classic’ circuit, but it can’t be denied that the new corners add to the racing in the mid-field, with 10 cars on the leaders lap! The drivers from 10 to 28, where only lapped once, and only the last 3 finishers were lapped twice!
At the flag Mark Harries was 9th. Dave S was 10th and was the last car on the lead lap . In 11th was Alex Kite, Andy Wilkins, who had the Ford of Andy Williams right on his tail. Tyrone Luffarelli and in 15th Melissa Luffarelli, narrowly ahead of Peter Hill!
17th was Daryl Radford, followed by Richard Francis, Colin Dunn and in 20th was Nick Rocke with Darren Hockley, Simon Hutchings and Peter Harries in a tight bunch! Mat Harries was 24th with Ellis Wiggins only .073 behind! Mark Williams was 26th, Gareth Haycock 27th and in 28th place Andrew Williams was the last runner to do 11 laps!
On Ten laps were Darren Osborne, Alan Smith and Verity Banks! Remarkably there was a 100% reliability record, with only Nick Crompton missing with some fixable body damage.
Race Two – 12 minutes and a lap – rolling start!
The full 32 cars started the 2nd race, which was itself an historic moment! Only Nick Crompton was out of place, as he had to start from the back of the grid, but soon pulled up to 7th place! Mark Harris was 8th in his Endaf Owens fettled Honda Civic! This is sure to be an awesome car, and let’s hope we see more of Mark in 2018! Andy Williams pulled up from a 14th place start, to 8th, after some entertaining side-ways driving! Glynne Jones had started from 7th but having with a lack of grip from his tyres, was unable to resist Nick, Mark & Andy! A fast starting Tyrone was initially 7th but he and Mark Harris soon swapped places. When things had settled down Tyrone, (the 2017 champion elect), was chased by Andy Wilkins, Dave Scaramanga, & Alex Kite! Peter Hills & Melissa were in thier own Mini Libre race! Daryl Radford, Richard Francis and Nick Rocke were in a tight bunch, ahead of the next gaggle, of Peter Harris, Simon Hutchings and Colin Dunn! Darren Hockley initialled headed a fast starting Gareth Haycock, Mat Harries, Ellis Wiggins and Mark Williams. Andrew Williams & Darren Osborn, and Alan Smith and Verity Bank completed the runners.
As the race neared the 10 minute mark (8 laps) the red flag came out as per the first section of the race report. This put an end to some excellent racing by the huge grid. Tyrone finished 10th and was chased by Andy Wilkins, Dave Scaramanga, & Alex Kite! Melissa passed Peter Hills to win their own Mini Libre race! (Melissa’s dad Fabio stopped on lap 5, so she won Class M) Daryl Radford was 16th with Richard Francis and Nick Rocke in a tight bunch, ahead of the next gaggle, Simon Hutchings had got the better of Peter Harris, and Darren Hockley had passed Colin Dunn! Mat Harries has worked his way up to 23rd , but had Ellis Wiggins and Gareth Haycock for close company, after Ellis had passed Gareth . Mark Williams, Andrew William, Darren Osborn, Alan Smith and Verity Bank completed the runners! Alan Smith was voted ‘Driver of the Race’ by the marshals. It would be great if we could get this kind of entry and racing all the time!