Damian Longotano doubles up on Pembrey Classic Circuit!

2018 WSSCC rounds 5 & 6 held on Sunday June 10th. 

The long period of hot sunny weather which started weeks ago, held long enough to cover the 2018 WSSCC rounds 5 & 6 held on Sunday June 10th.  For the first time in almost 2 years, after a number of pleas, and after some brilliant ‘behind the scenes’ work by Alan Jenkins, we were racing on the original ‘Classic’ circuit!

There was some desperate work by some people to get cars sorted out to enjoy this rare chance with us, but we had only 15 entries, including Nick Rocke in his re-engined Ford Fiesta now with a Duratec engine. Sadly Verity Banks couldn’t join us as her new Ford Focus now seems to have sprung another leak and the car was a little short of brakes, and its not ready to join us yet! One bonus for Verity and the all the others missing is that Donington Park is 6 weeks away, and must be a goal that everybody can aim for! Actually, we were still the biggest grid of the meeting, apart from the Citroën C1’s (They were so quiet you hardly knew they were racing)

Entry – Joining us after missing a few races was Roger Dowden. Andy Williams returned with his Ford Sierra Sapphire. Alan Smith, having bent the Ka in the first race in April, had heroically straightened the battered Ford Ka, but plans a re-shell before Donington! Keith Butcher turned up with a nice looking Seat Cupra. The car was in Endro racing trim with long range tanks, brakes and tyres and may take some work to get it set up for the shorter races. Blake Edwards returned to the scene of his former triumphs with his Renault Clio now re-chipped following some good advice from Nick Rocke, on where to get the car checked after Oulton Park.

Practice was an early affair, and when the timesheets were issued, it was Fabio Luffarelli on Pole position with his VW Corrado with a time of 1.02.284! Next and only.016 slower was Damian Longotano (Westfield Class CS). Mike Moss (Class BS Caterham)  was 4th fastest, 0.377 ahead of his Class BS rival Tyrone Luffarelli (Pug 106). Keith Butcher, now in Class CS with his Seat was joined on row 3 by Andy Williams with his Class CS Ford Sierra Sapphire. Simon Hutchins & Mark Williams were on row 4  On row 5 Colin Dunn (Class BT Clio) was joined by Roger Dowden (Class AS Davrian) who separated the Class BT pair of Nick Rocke & Andrew 88 Williams (MG ZR) Completing the Grid were Blake Edwards & Alan Smith on row 7.

Now that looks like 14 cars!  We should have had Ken James on the practice sheets, but he was missing after he had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when the zip on his fireproof overalls split just as he got to the holding paddock, and he was not allowed out for the official practice session!   He was able to make the grid for Race 1 after borrowing a set of Fireproof overalls.

Race 1 (Round 5) 15 minutes plus a lap. Rolling start

Race 1 -Lap 1 Fabio leads (action photos by Steve Williams)

Although the original ‘Classic’ circuit, is shorter, it’s quicker by some degree. And the commentator dubbed the WSSCC ‘as the Quickest cars you’ll see all day!  So as the grid came around towards the lights, Fabio took the lead out of Hatchets from Damian, then a fast starting Tyrone, Andy Williams, Keith Butcher and Mike Moss.

However at the start of lap 2 Damian had passed Fabio who was trailing some oil smoke! Sadly the cloud of smoke increased until Fabio was forced to quit on lap 3 rather than risk the engine any more. Afterwards it appeared that an oil breather pipe had come off, but Fabio had brought the Mini along too, and as Melissa was away at Uni, he had a ready to go spare for race 2! Damian was now well in the lead but as Fabio dropped back, it was briefly Fabio & Tyrone 2nd & 3rd, but Keith Butcher got hold of the Seat, and passed Tyrone for 2nd place. Tyrone ran in 3rd place for a good 5 laps more, until first Andy Williams and then Ken James passed him, and he dropped towards Mike Moss! Tyrone & Mike then had a tremendous dice for the Class BS honours which lasted for many laps, until Mike got by late on, and set the Class Fastest Lap on lap 12 to eke out a lead, to win Class BS by almost 5 seconds.

Ken James, who had driven from the back in his Loco-Hornet to rise to 4th place, dropped out on lap 8! Unfortunately he had a surprise and un-welcome visitor when Rod-ney popped out to see him! In other words Ken had a potentially expensive engine blow-up when a Con-rod popped out of the block! ‘I hope the head hasn’t suffered any damage as that’s the really expensive bit!’

Simon Hutchings and Mark Williams had quiet-ish races to 6th & 7th overall but behind them it was all go! Initially Colin Dunn was in the lead of Class BT with Nick Rocke getting used to his car in race trim. But that all changed when Colin made a mistake at the far end of the circuit, and had a big off, but prevented major damage with a spectacular save, which impressed everyone who saw it! Unfortunately he had damaged his front splitter, and by the time he had gathered it all up, Nick Rocke was past into the Class BT lead, setting the Classes fastest lap in the process. Colin made major effort to catch and repass Nick, but Nick resisted a last lap challenge to take 8th place by just ½ second!

Roger Dowden had a quiet race to 10th place, but behind him, Andrew Williams and Blake Edwards were having a real dice! Andrew held sway in the first few laps, but then Blake began to find his feet and started to put the pressure on Andrew, overtaking him and pulling a gap, until Blake began to slow dramatically and then pulled off the circuit, handing 11th place back to Andrew and his trusty MG ZR!  Blake confirmed afterwards ‘I ran out of petrol. I’ve had the car Chipped and I miscalculated the petrol consumption” Alan Smith had a quiet r\ace to 12th place. So Damian Longotano took his 2nd race win of the year, but Keith Butcher found Andy Williams making a big last lap effort and took 2nd place by just ½ second!

In the post-race interviews Damian confirmed ‘I was lucky Fabio had those issues, he’s a good driver and I didn’t think I was going to get past’ Keith confirmed that Andy gave him a hard battle. ‘It was good fun, that’s what we’re down here for, isn’t it !’ Colin Dunn was awarded ‘Driver of the Race’ for his epic early race ‘save’ Nick Rocke confirmed ‘I thought he was going to crash!’

Hear the end-of-race one interviews

n the lunch break, everyone signed a Sympathy Card for Nick Crompton, who dad died recently. Nicks dad won the Welsh Autograss Championship some time ago, and was known to a few, including our Scrutineer Vince Brown. It was also nice to see some old friends, some of whom were doing the C1 race, and they were not enjoying themselves as much as we wer!. You can always come back to us lads

To Mangle Shakespere (as I sometimes do),from Henry V ‘We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, who raced on the Old Circuit, Those did not turn out shall think themselves accursed they were not here’

Race 2 (Round 6) 15 minutes plus a lap. Rolling start

 Fabio did switch to the Moto Mini, and would start from the back as he had a DNF in Race 1, but the big shock was to see Tyrone leave the grid and drive into the pit-lane, before the start of the Green Flag lap! Tyrone explained ‘I could smell fuel in the car, so pulled in to check it out. Cleaned it up and went out!’ So as the grid came up to start-line to start the race, Tyrone joined in after the last car had passed the end of the pit-lane!  His dad Fabio was off like a rocket and was up to 5th place as the cars passed the paddock! Although he would continue his rise, he was adjudged to have jumped the start, and was given a 10 second penalty!

Damian took an immediate lead from a fast starting Mike Moss, and then there was a big dice between Andy Williams, Keith Butcher and the fast rising Fabio!  By lap 3 Fabio passed Mike to move into second place. Mike and Andy had a dice after Keith Butcher made an early exit from the race with no grip from the tyres that came with the car.

However whilst Fabio started to harass Damian for the lead, Mike Moss, the Class BS leader seemed to have a second or so gap to Andy Williams, who proved to be a handy Cushion between Mike and Tyrone Luffarelli who having started form the pit-lane drove well to finish in 5th  place overall and 2nd in Class BS, but. Mike won Class BS again, and also added the extra point for the class fastest lap!

 

Simon Hutchings had a quiet race to finish in 6th Place, after Jason Davies had fettled the Mazdas’ exhaust, that is!  Mark Williams also had a good run to 7th overall and was the last car on the same lap as the leader!

Colin Dunn, whose car looked very smart with some new livery, was holding a narrow lead in Class BT from Nick Rocke in the early laps, but suddenly Colin began to fall back. He fell behind Nick, Roger Dowden, Blake Edwards and Andrew Williams, and almost fell into the clutches of Alan Smith. Clearly something was wrong and after the race Colin explained ‘My throttle jammed part on! I was having to stay slow enough to be able to stop for the corners!’ In the end Nick Rocke was 8th overall and took the Class BT win and the extra point for the class fastest lap! Roger Dowden had a quiet race to 9th place overall. In 10th Place was Blake Edwards, proving there’s life in the ‘Old Dog’ yet! Blake had slowly built up his pace, after starting at the back due to his first race dnf, and was closing on Andrew Williams, and overtook him in the closing laps! Andrew finished in 11th place, ahead of Colin Dunn and Alan Smith, who both plugged away to rake in more points!

At the front, Damian & Fabio where having a fine dice for the lead, and swapped places a few times, before Fabio took the lead ‘On the Road!’ It looked exciting stuff, but Damian revealed later he had seen the 10 second penalty board with Fabios’ number on it, so he knew he only had to keep him in sight, to take his 2nd win of the day! Fabio overcame his penalty to finish 2nd and also take the ‘Driver of the Race’ award for his drive from the back row!

Hear the end-of-race two interviews

N.B as it is some time since the  old ‘Classic circuit’ has been used, the existing lap records for the circuit were all set some time ago.

Class Fastest laps
Class 2015 Lap Record Date set
AT Sam Summerhayes 67.000 16/08/2015
AS Craig Freeman 67.149 30/06/2013
BT Paul Flinders 68.641 20/10/2013
BS Jim Lyons 64.952 05/10/2014
CS Martin Davies 61.415 05/08/2012
CT Kevin Bird 68.404 05/08/2012
D Keith White 60.441 05/8/20112
M Mike Cond 60.872 30/06/2013

The remaining dates in the 2018 Championship are as follows

Round   Date                          Circuit

7 & 8          July 29th                     Donington Park            AMOC

9 & 10        August 19th                Pembrey                        BARC

11 & 12      October 14th               Pembrey                       BARC

Photos of the action and prizegiving on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWRDA/

Results from TSL Timing – http://www.tsl-timing.com

Full details are on www.wrda.co.uk

WSSCC rounds 3/4 Oulton Park Circuit. Race reports by Nick Rocke 

The Saturday morning brought a dry but cold start at Oulton Park Race Circuit, it also brought some bad news Chris Everill was unable to race due to having engine problems the day before in testing, Verity Banks’ new race car was not ready in time, so we were at 14 competitors going into Qualifying.

Simon Hutching had also been having car problems his exhaust had snapped in testing the Friday before, fortunately for Simon there was a custom exhaust center local to Oulton Park who agreed to open up at 7am to fix his damaged exhaust proving not all heroes wear capes.

We were joined by a selection of Invitation drivers some new faces, Patrick Smyth with his Millington powered Lotus Elan S3, Mike Nash in a Seat Cupra, Mark Jones and Steve Cunniffe were sharing car #98 another Seat Cupra, each driver was doing one race each, and were both also driving in the GT challenge. There was one familiar face Greg Barlow in the beautiful Mk1 Escort, Greg joined us last year at the Oulton Park rounds.

A past champion, Blake Edwards was ready to race his first race in 25  years, Blake has decided to make a return to racing this season. Blake was the very first WSSCC champion in 1991 & 1992, back then he was racing a Ford Capri, now Blake is sporting a MK2 Renault Clio 182 sport, he was looking forward to getting stuck into the thick of it again after a very successful test session at Llandow Circuit earlier in the year, with all of Blakes experience and a well prepared car he will be one to watch this season.

Qualifying

By the time qualifying came around the weather had brightened up there were clouds in the sky but the forecast was looking to be a nice dry day. With fewer drivers on our grid at Oulton Park this season it gave more room for drivers to really push for the best possible qualifying times.

By lap 3 Patrick Smyth had secured pole position with a time of 1.52.98 which was almost 4 seconds clear of 2nd place competitor Mark Jones, Mike Nash grasped 3rd on the grid from Fabio Luffarelli by two tenths of a second, Fabio was not in his usual bike engine powered Corrado he was actually borrowing his daughter’s (Mellisa Luffarelli) Bike Engined MIni.

Mike Moss was sat in a very respectable 5th place and also 1st in class BS in his Caterham, by the looks of it he was going to keep our current WSSCC champion Tyrone Luffareli honest. Tyrone was running in 6th and had his work cut out to try get past Mike Moss. Simon Hutchings with his newly repaired exhaust was going strong and almost matched Tyrone’s qualifying time.

Daryl Radford was 8th in his Honda Civic but unfortunately sheered a aluminum mount for a auxiliary belt pulley, despite trying to source a welder or someone local to repair it he was left with the only other option which was to retire the car for the meeting and enjoy a bit of spectating. Greg Barlow in the fabulous Mk1 Escort was 9th on the grid with class BT Colin Dunn snapping at his heels in 10th.

Ellis Wiggins in the Vauxhall Nova was in 11th and Andrew Williams in the MG ZR was in 12th, Gareth Haycocks Qualifying session was rather eventful as he tried to get used to the Car he had rented for the weekend, Gareth had problems keeping the grip through the rear end of the Smokey diesel VW Golf, he may have had a few nail biting moments but he managed to keep the car out of the Armco, he later found that the tyres that came with the car were no good and changed to his alternative set and this rectified the problem. Gareth has been slowly rebuilding his V6 powered VW Golf since a nasty accident at Mallory Park in 2017, he is approaching the end of the rebuild but to satisfy his craving for motorsport he decided to support the championship by renting one of the Grant Motorsport cars for this weekend, we look forward to seeing his V6 beast back out with us hopefully this season.

Blake Edwards had qualified in 14th and last on the grid. Blake was still getting used to the new car and was getting quicker lap by lap, he was enjoying pushing the car around the fantastic circuit that is Oulton Park, he had not driven round it for many years.

Race 1 (Round 3)

The grid gets ready for the Green Flag lap. Patrick Smiths red Lotus Elan was on pole! (photo by Rob Allender)

The rolling start was far from perfect as the lights were a little late going out but they all got away safely, Tyrone Luffarelli jumped straight in 4th from 6th taking 1st in class position from Mike Moss, Fabio was up into 2nd by the end of lap one, Patrick Smyth had pulled away massively by the end of lap one and had a huge 8 second lead over 2nd place Fabio. Mark Jones had dropped to 5th off the line and was waiting for his chance to pass Tyrone’s 106.

Number 17 Gareth Haycock had got past Ellis Wiggins in the Nova but it was short lived as Ellis regained the position on lap 2. By lap 2 Patrick Smyth’s lead over the pack had grown to 10 seconds, Mike Nash had managed to pass Fabio Luffarelli and Mark Jones was passed Tyrone and up into 4th, Now Mike Moss could focus on trying to get that Ford Sigma powered Caterham past Tyrones Pug 106 they were less than a second from each other the whole lap but Tyrone was leaving no doors open for Mike to squeeze through. Simon Hutchings MX5 was running in 3rd in class BS but couldn’t quite keep up with the battling pair in front.

The pack stayed the same until lap 5 when the racing started to get you off your seat and watching in anticipation, Mark Jones had taken 3rd place from Fabio’s Mini and was now hunting 2nd place Mike Nash, Tyrone Luffarelli was under some serious pressure from Mike Moss, who’s Caterham is far lighter than the Pug 106 and has far better braking due to this lightness. I imagine Tyrone had to keep his defense very tight to fend off Mike Moss.

This competitiveness continued further back in the pack as Ellis Wiggins had been trying hard to get past Class BT driver Colin Dunn, Simon Hutching was going well but although putting in some very consistent lap times he could still not catch up with the BS battle between Tyrone and Moss.

Greg Barlow was also very consistent and was still running in 9th overall, now that car will make any blue oval fan weak at the knees, absolutely spectacular seeing the pinto powered Mk1 Escort being put through its paces the way it should be. Andy Williams was hanging in there and holding off Haycocks Derv propelled golf. Blake Edwards was running at the back but was enjoying his first race none the less.

Mark Jones set the new invitation class lap record for Oulton Park with a time of 1:54.409 in his Seat Cupra, well done Mark Jones.

On lap 6  Mike Moss made his move and grabbed hold of 1st in class BS Tyrone Luffarelli was trying to regain the position so Mike Moss had his work cut out to retain his position. Patrick Smyth was still running in first and had a comfortable lead so just needed to finish, Ellis Wiggins was still fighting to get past Class BT Colin Dunn in his Renault Clio 172, Ellis had and fantastic 7th lap and took another 3 seconds off his lap time, this hard work paid off as he was now in front of Colin’s Clio.

As they all came through Lodge corner on the final lap there were some who took it right to the line Moss and Tyrone Luffarelli drag raced to the line but it was too late, Mike Moss had taken his first class win of the season.

The finishing order was Patrick Smyth taking the overall race win and 1st in class I with a gigantic 14.1 second lead. Mark Jones 2nd overall and 2nd in class I, Mike Nash in 3rd overall and 3rd in class I, Fabio Luffarelli brought the Mini in 4th and 1st class M.

Mike Moss in 5th and 1st in class BS Mike also played his Joker so will receive double points for this round also had fastest lap in class, Tyrone Luffarelli in 6th and 2nd in class BS, Simon Hutchings in 7th after a very lonely race but retained 3rd in class BS, Greg Barlow drove that Mk1 beautifully all race, he started in 8th and finished in 8th and also 4th in class I.

Ellis Wiggins brought the Nova home in one piece or so we thought later to find he had broken yet another drive shaft/ CV joint,9th overall and 4th in class BS he drove amazingly and finally conquered Oulton Park. After last years issues I am sure he was one happy guy. Colin Dunn came 10th  and 1st in class BT and was also the last competitor to complete 8 laps.

Blake Edwards gets the ‘Driver of the Race’ award from MC Nick (photo by Rob Allender)

Andrew Williams brought his MG ZR home in 11th and in 2nd in class BT, Gareth Haycock tamed the Derv powered golf and kept it on the black stuff to come 12th and 1st in CT.

Blake Edwards drove that Clio Sport to the limit and came 13th  and 5th in BS, Blake was also awarded ‘Driver of the Race’ as he showed us there is still hope for Robert Allender’s return to racing, watch this space!

 Photos of the action and prizegiving on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWRDA/

Results from TSL Timing – http://www.tsl-timing.com

 

Race 2 (Round 4)  Well it was not long before we were on the grid for the final race of the day, we were last on the programme for the day and time was tight with Oulton Park having a 6:30pm curfew on noise, so we were praying for no incidents. Unfortunately Patrick Smyth had retired the Lotus Elan s3, i do believe due to a tyre issue.

Mark Jones’ team mate Stephen Cunniffe was in the drivers seat for round 4 and because of the rules had to start from the back of the grid. Andrew Williams had been having a few battery issues with the MG ZR and needed a bump start out of the holding area.

Fabio Luffarelli being the only class M competitor wanted to have some fun so opted to start from the back of the grid but was not there long. They lined up on the grid for the green flag lap and off they went to start the 4th round of the 2018 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship.

The rolling start this time was text book and everyone got away with any issues, as they came around for the first lap at race speed, Andrew Williams’ battery problems came back to haunt him and his car began to miss-fire, but good Andy is also a experienced track marshal, so he new exactly what to do with it and he pulled off next to the nearest marshals post and reversed behind the Armco barrier, this meant there would be no need to delay the race with a red flag or safety car! Well done Andy proves its good to not only know how to drive quick round a circuit, but you also benefit from knowing how the orange army operate.

By the end of lap 1 car #98 Stephen Cunniffe was motoring and was already running in 2nd. Blake Edwards had taken 10th from Haycock’s diesel VW Golf and was pushing that Clio to its limits, Blake was already 2secs quicker than his fastest lap in race 1 (round 3). Ellis in the Vauxhall Nova was now reeling in Greg Barlows Mk1 Escort.

 By Lap 2 Tyrone Luffarelli was in 3rd and had got past his rival Moss. Fabio, father of Tyrone, had managed to get from the back to the front very quickly in the bike powered Mini, and he was now in 4th overall.

Positions stayed the same for a few laps and Moss was finding it hard to try make a pass on Tyrone because Fabio’s Mini was sandwiched between the two BS competitors. Mike Moss was pushing hard and on lap 4 managed to set the new WSSCC Oulton Park Class BS record with a time of 1:58.894. Ellis Wiggins in the Vauxhall Nova had reeled the Escort of Greg Barlow in and had made the move that put him into 7th overall.

Both drivers in the Hot Seat- Mike Nash & Steven Cunliffe fight it out for the lead (photo by Richard Redshaw)

Stephen Cunniffe took the lead from Mike Nash on lap 4 but Nash was not ready to give up without a fight. Haycock made a move on Blake as the approached lodge on lap 4, Blake tried to fight back and put a rear wheel on the grass this resulted in a massive sideways moment for Blake, he recovered well and showed us that despite being a lot older than most on the grid his reaction times are still as sharp as they always were! Simon Hutching was pushing hard to try catch the BS battle between Moss and Lufferelli.

By lap 6 Fabio had got past Tyrone’s 106 and Moss was pushing to get pasts, both drivers were only two tenths of a second away for each other this is some exciting motorsport for ours supporters to watch. Despite all his efforts MIke Moss could not find a kink in Tyrone’s armour and they continued mirroring each other for the remaining laps of the race. 

The class M (WSSCC) Oulton Park lap record was set by Fabio Luffarelli on lap 7 with a time of 1:57.224. Also Colin Dunn set the new class BT Oulton Park lap record with a time of 2:05.745 on the final lap.

As they came across the line for the last time it was Stephen Cunniffe who took the cheqeured flag followed by Mike Nash in 2nd and 2nd  in class I, Fabio Luffarell was 3rd across the line and 1st in class M, a fantastic drive from Fabio starting from the back and making up 9 places in 8 laps! In 4th, just missing out on a podium spot, was Tyrone Luffarelli although he was 1st in class BS after an exciting race with 5th place Mike Moss, who arrived home in 2nd in class BS.

Simon Hutchings finished 6th overall and 3rd in class BS, Ellis Wiggins stayed in 7th till the end and finished 4th in BS, Gregory Barlow finished 8th and 3rd in class I, Colin Dunn crossed the line in 9th and 1st in class BT, Gareth Haycock finished 10th and 1st in CT, Blake Edwards finished in 11th and 5th in BS.

Ellis Wiggins gets his ‘Driver of the Race’ award from MC Nick (Photo by Rob Allender)

Ellis Wiggins was awarded the ‘Driver of the Race’ for his dice with Greg Barlow and his Mk1 Escort.

A fantastic days racing alongside the Aston Martin Owners Club I would like to thank everyone for coming and I look forward to seeing you all at Pembrey on the 10th of June.  Nick

Photos of the action and prizegiving on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWRDA/

Results from TSL Timing – http://www.tsl-timing.com

 

Preview. WSSCC competitors ready for Oulton Park

A select band of WSSCC championship regulars will be at Oulton Park on Saturday 12th May for Rounds 3 &4 of the 2018 Championship. 2017 Champion Tyrone Luffarelli will be joined in Class BS by Blake Edwards, who was the very first champion in 1991 & 92. Blake is having his first race in the 2018 series in a Renault Clio. The regulars will be joined by some guest with some intriguing cars, including the Seat Cupra which Rhys Lloyd used to win the Championship in 2008!

Live Timing from Oulton Park  is available on TSL  http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/181954

The remaining dates in the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship are all Sundays

  • June 10th Pembrey
  • July 29th Donington Park National Circuit 
  • August 19th Pembrey
  • Oct 14th Pembrey with Trucks

Race 1 and the clouds are clearing

WSSCC rounds 1 & 2 22/4/2018- Pembrey

Report by Nick Rocke -Action photos by Nick Forbes

Qualifying.

With a rather unsatisfying damp start to the Sunday morning, the competitors of the WSSCC dusted off there Racing Boots and fired their cars up, some of which for the first time since October 2017.

The Saturday before there were a few repairs to be made to the current champion Tyrone Lufferelli’s Pug 106 after his clutch exploded during the race he did with the track attack championship on the Saturday, so he had to change the clutch and rather beaten up gearbox. Former WSSCC champion Jason Davies had offered his services to Simon Hutchings and was spannering his MX5, with all Jason’s experience and knowledge surely, he could help shave a few seconds off Simon’s lap times.

Mark Williams had bought a new race car this year he was now sporting a very nice looking mk5 Golf, roger Dowden had come back out of the woodwork with the little yellow davrian, 2007 champion Keith Butcher has made a return to the championship this year with his Audi A4 super tourer, Damian Longotano had made a few changes to the Westfield it was now running a 2.0 litre Millington engine.

We were 2nd out after the trucks which turned out to be eventful with one of the truck spraying diesel, oil and mud for good measure over most corners of the circuit, there were a few spinners, Alan Smith pulled off after a few laps with an overheating issue later to find his auxiliary belt tensioner had disintegrated and threw the belt off.

Nick Crompton Qualified 2nd behind Chris Everill but Nick had altered the camber on the rear of his EVO the rear arches tried to eat his rear tyres lucky enough they were salvageable after qualifying, Jim Lyons also making a return the championship in the Mini Turbo qualified 3rd overall and 2nd in class CS behind Nick Crompton. Behind Jim there Endaf Owens out in a Seat Leon, 5th on the grid with a very Respectable 1.17.6 lap time was our current WSSCC champion Tyrone who also qualified 1st in class BS with a new clutch and spare gearbox fitted he was set for a successful weekend.

Mark Williams was going well in his new VW Golf cementing his 6th place by the 4th lap, Mike Moss in the Westfield in 7th and Damian Longotano in 8th, Simon Hutchings in 9th, Number 19 Colin Dunn in his newly built Clio 172 qualified 10th on the grid and 1st in BT but retired the car early due the oily conditions, Richard Francis had a sideways encounter with hatchets after a late pass on Andy Williams on the main straight he drifted the car through hatchets hairpin and cocked a rear wheel on most other corners qualified 11th on the grid and 1st in Class AS unfortunately it was not all good for Richard his flamboyant sideway moment had resulted in injuring his little finger as he caught the steering wheel, he later found he had actually fractured the bone Ouch!

Ken James was 12th overall and 4th in CS, Daryl Radford in his Honda Civic was 13th on the grid and 4th in BS, Ellis Wiggins in the Nova redtop was 14th on the grid and 5th in BS. Andy Williams (Caldicot) in his freshly painted white MG ZR finish 15th on the grid and 2nd in BT he struggled to find grip on the greasy track, behind Andy was Alan Smith in the Ford KA despite his DNF he managed to squeeze a time in on lap 2 putting him 16th on the grid and the only runner in class AT,  Roger Dowden qualified 17th in his Davrian and 2nd in class AS.

In 18th position was invitation racer Daren Hockley in his Honda civic which came in early with a suspected oil leak, Melissa Luffarelli didn’t have the best of qualifying sessions coming in early with brake issues Melissa was sat in 19th on the grid with Keith Butcher to keep her company Keith qualified last after coming in after one lap with a knocking noise coming from the Audi A4 super tourer.

There was plenty of time for tinkering and refining the car as we were not out for the first race until 2pm.

Round 1.

Although the sun did peep through the clouds occasionally the morning was very wet there was the big decision that all drivers dread WETS or DRYS, with most teams frantically checking the forecast, a lot of drivers opted for wets weather tyres others were brave enough to try their luck on slicks or dry weather tyres.

Well the one who took the dry option were on to a winner because our unpredictable Welsh weather changed drastically, the clouds moved to the song of an aerial display of acrobatic planes overhead at Pembrey, the sun soon dried the circuit out whilst drivers sat in park ferme.

As driver came around on their warm up lap the sight was fantastic the sound even better, the front row of Everill and Crompton compacted the grid up as they came through Honda corner, the lights went out and round one was under way.

Front runner Chris Everill had pulled a small lead in his Ginetta by the first time round Honda, but Nick Crompton’s Lancer wasn’t far behind, Endaf’s had got passed Jimbo and was third and Jimbo’s Mini was 4th, Tyrone Luffarelli was still holding 5th but was defending against Mike Moss in the 1600cc Caterham.

Mike was closely followed by Longotano’s Westfield and he was motoring, next was Mark Williams in the mk5 Golf he started 6th but had dropped to 8th during the opening lap, Richard Francis had jumped up two places on the start, his years of karting in his younger years had paid off when he put his car into a gap that no one else would of dared.

In 10th was Ken James in his Duratec powered Loco Hornet, in 11th Simon Hutching who had lost two place but was still hold 3rd in class BS, behind him was BT front runner Colin Dunn in the Clio 172 cup, closely follow by Daryl Radford’s Honda Civic, Ellis Wiggins was still retaining 14th in the Nova, Roger Dowden had made up a couple of positions now in 15th followed by Andy Williams in 16th, Alan Smith in 17th, Darren Hockley 18th and finally Melissa Luffarelli, Melissa had a few place to make up due the braking issues spoiling her qualifying time, Keith Butchers Audi A4 was nowhere to be seen.

By the end of Lap 1 Everill had opened the lead up another second but was by no means out of danger with Crompton’s Lancer keeping him honest, Longotano had got passed Tyrone and Mike and was now hunting Jimbo’s Mini, Tyrone and Mike were running within a tenth of a second of each other and Tyrone was leaving NO GAPS, the Hornet of Ken had made up yet another place and was challenging Mark for 8th. Simon in the Mx5 was now in 10th with Francis in 11th and Radford now in 12th. Colin Dunn wasn’t far behind in 13th the rest of the pack stayed the same on lap 2.

By lap 3 Chris Everill had furthered his lead and looked unstoppable, Endaf had shortened the gap between him and Nick Crompton, but the real shock was that Damian Longotano was now in 4th and was Flying extracting every drop of power from that Millington powerplant. The gap between 5th Jim Lyons and 6th & 7th (Tyrone and Mike) had grown to a few seconds again on this lap going into Honda these two were inseparable, Melissa finally found a gap on lap 3 into Honda pulling of a fabulous move and gaining two positions in one hit, now was time to open that bike engine powered Mini up.

Lap 4 Everill was still Managing his lead with no sign of a threat in sight the first 5  had become evenly spaced out but did not change positions, the gap to the 6th competitor had grown to about 10sec and Ken James had managed to get past the dueling pair of BS cars, Keith Butchers Audi A4 made an appearance on this lap after having to start the race late due to an issue early on in the race.

lap5 Everill was still managing his lead from Crompton’s turbo charged Lancer, but Damian’s Westfield was closing in on 3rd place Endaf Owens. Jim in the Mini and ken James looked to be racing on their own at this point with no challengers or no one to challenge close by, Simon Hutchings had moved up in to 8th and 2nd in class after managing to pass Mike Moss in the Caterham 1600cc, Tyrone still being persistently hunted by these two competitors, there was no let up for Tyrone he had to continue to fight for his class position. By this point of the race it was apparent that we had lost car number 13 Alan Smith had a nasty off over near old paddock and was out of this race.

Most positions stayed the same during lap 6 Mike Moss had regained his 2nd in class position back from Simon Hutchings and tried a late lunge down the inside at Honda, but Tyrone seen it coming and close the door on Moss’s Caterham. Again, on lap 7 the trio of Tyrone, Mike and Simon were fighting it out for the top spot in class BS all three cars were a tenth of a second from each other fantastic to watch. Daryl Radford was still trying hard to get past Mark Williams in his new VW Golf, but Mark was not going to let him take it easily. Damian Longotano Was becoming the star of the show as he past the Turbo charged Lancer of Nick Crompton and now had the Ginetta in its sights there was no denying it that Westfield was shifting as quick as a stabbed Rat.

As the front runners came through Honda on lap 8th Everill’s lead had decreased to only a couple of seconds and Longotano was whipping every horse power out of that new Millington motor to catch him. The rest of the pack position remained unchanged and most were spread out a bit, one thing a do recall is how nice Ken James’s Duratec powered Loco Hornet sounded as it screamed past, sadly there was no one near him to race with. Mike Moss had made a move on Tyrone and made stick. Keith Butcher was still going well picking off car by car as he made his way up through the pack after starting late and from the back.

As the front cars approached Honda going on to lap 9 I was amazed to see the bright yellow kit car of Damian Longotano leading, he had closed the gap and made the pass in only one lap, Colin Dunn had made some ground up and was now catching the Nova of Wiggins once again. Melissa Luffarelli was shadowing the Davrian of Roger Dowden and waiting for a chance to get past, Tyrone had also regained the position he had lost to Mike’s caterham.

Lap 10 and Damian was still in the lead, but Chris was hot on his heels, Endaf was now in 3rd and Crompton on 4th, Jim’s Mini turbo was still holding 5th but with a huge gap to Crompton’s Lancer, Ken James was running in 6th and again with only himself to race with. Damian and Chris had now lapped everyone up to 8th position but Damian had now lost the position to Chris Everill going onto lap 11, great to watch kept me on my toes with all the battles going on.

Melissa had now got her spaceframe Mini past Dowden’s Davrian and had put a few seconds between them, Andy Williams (Caldicot) was now getting into a dog fight with the Honda Civic of Darren Hockley, but Andy was defending well and was fighting for overall position. Chris and Damian were now trying to work up through the back markers and Chris had lost a bit of time getting stuck behind the 3-way BS battle of Simon, Mike and Tyrone, could Damian use this to his advantage, the Westfield appeared to have better straight-line speed than the Ginetta.

Now by lap 12 the track was bone dry and the competitors whom went out on slicks were being rewarded by fantastic grip, the competitors who opted for their wet tyre choice were no doubt struggling and the tyres were more than likely as good as a chocolate fire guard, Damian had used the back markers that were slowing Chris up to his advantage, by the time they came through the kink before Honda Damian was back in the lead, now all he had to do was stay there. Daryl and Mark were still having a race of their own never more than a car length from each other from the start of the race.

Richard Francis was holding 13th well and running in 1st in class AS and doing it all with a broken pinky (not that he knew at this time but sure he was feeling the pain). Damian had now pulled slightly away from Chris as they started lap 13 but was by no means safe yet. Tyrone and Mike had pulled away from Simon’s mk5 but there was no way Tyrone could let his guard down yet with 1 lap to go. Colin Dunn was looking to have one more go at getting past Richards Saxo before the end, but Richard’s defense was to strong again his years of karting experience showing through here.

As they crossed the line Damian had done enough to remain in the lead and took his first ever overall win and 1st in class CS, it was a very well-deserved win fought out with the Ginetta of Chris Everill Right up to the Chequered flag. Chris Everill finish 2nd and 1st in Class D, Endaf Owens finished 3rd, Nick Crompton 4th and 2nd in CS, Jim Lyons finished 5th and 3rd in CS, Ken James finished 6th and 4th in CS after having a lonely race with no one to challenge. Tyrone in his first class BS race came a very respectable 7th and 1st in BS, it wasn’t easy defending off mike and Simon and on his wet option tyre as well, well deserved Result, Mike Moss tried very hard to past Tyrone and again went right to the flag Mike finished 8th overall and 2nd in class BS. In 9th Simon Hutchings with a fantastic drive from Simon and a great tyre choice from the former Champ Jason Davies who was spannering the car for Simon, also he finished 3rd in class BS fabulous start to the season for him.

Mark Williams was 10th and 1st in CT Mark never did give in to the constant threat of Radford’s Honda Civic. Daryl Radford finished 11th and 4th in BS, Ellis Wiggins had made a massive improvement on last season’s lap times most likely because he had improved his brakes, so he had a lot more confidence in the car, Ellis finished 12th overall and 5th in BS. Richard Francis despite having fractured his finger in qualifying had come 13th and 1st in class AS, Colin Dunn Came 14th and 1st in BT in his new Clio 172 Cup, Melissa Luffarelli had gone out on a wet set up and once her confidence built up she was rocketing around Melissa finished 15th and 1st in class M.

Roger Dowden (WSSCC chairman) has fully rebuilt the Davrian for the 2018 and we look forward to him racing here once again, roger came in 16th and 2nd in class AS, in 17th was Andy Williams in the MG ZR also 2nd in class BT Andy held off Hockley’s Civic right to the end great drive from Andy, in 18th was Darren Hockley.

Two Cars did not finish Alan Smiths Ford KA which suffered heavy damage after the incident which the tyre wall earlier in the race and Keith Butcher retired the Audi A4 Super Tourer just before the end of the rest.

So, a fantastic opening round to the WSSCC 2018 season with great driving and some competitive battles to keep us wanting more I wonder what round 2 will have in store for us.

Round 2      

There was about 2 hours of spare time between our 1st and 2nd race of the day so the competitors had time to carry out repairs, Alan Smith’s Ford KA sport was looking rather sorry for itself after his off in race one, he had his work cut out to get it fit to race in the 2nd race of the day, but first he had to get checked over by the circuit medical staff.

Damian Longotano was celebrating his first WSSCC overall win but the celebrating was short lived as he also had car issues, Damian said they may have a alternator issue and the battery had gone flat right at the end of race 1 and they had to push the car back to the paddock, luckily the WSSCC camp was in the pit lane so was not far to push.

It was a pleasure to see many of our non-racing competitors had come down to spectate and support the championship, former champion Rhodri Jenkins was down with former WSSCC racer Alvin Powell, Mat Harries had come down and Robert Allender had awarded him his trophy he was unable to collect at last season’s awards evening.

Nick Rocke (WSSCC vice chairman) had come down to help and show his support to the championship, Andy Williams and Richard Francis were both glad to take shelter under his race shelter, Nick was also on hand with refreshment for all who wanted them. Former WSSCC champion Chris Morris was also around the paddock helping and offering advice and support where needed.

Alan Smith managed to get his car sorted, there’s nothing you can’t fixed with a hammer, duct tape and cable ties, it may not have looked pretty but it would make it into the second race and that’s all that matters as it’s no fun watching from the side of the track.

They all lined up on grid for the second race of the season, unfortunately Endaf’s Seat Leon would not be Joining them. Damian got a better start, but Chris Everill out braked him going into hatchets, Everill took the lead and Nick Crompton was in third, Mike Moss had a bit of a moment on the new section out braking himself going into the new left hander, mike had a little lock up but got away with it without any issues.

By the end of lap 1 Everill had pulled away considerably and had a comfortable 3 second lead as he crossed the line, Crompton’s Turbo Charged Lancer was chomping at the heels of Longotano (was Damian being haunted by his alternator issues) Jim Lyons and Ken James were not far behind Crompton’s Lancer. Current Champion Tyrone Luffarelli was running in 6th position and catching Ken on the Brake into Hatchets, as Ellis Wiggins Nova came down to the new section his wheel locked under braking and the car was forced into a spin, later found out that a gearbox/ driveshaft issue had caused this. Ellis’s Nova was stranded in a dangerous position, so Circuit staff called for a red flag and the race was abandoned.

Due to the short duration of the race they asked for a re-grid to original starting positions, and the race length had been reduced from 20mins to 15mins plus one lap. This time Longotano gets the better line through Hatchets and leads the race through old paddock, the front 3 car of Damian, Chris and Nick were all within a 10th of each other, Tyrone, Ken and Mike may as well of been touching they were so close as they all diced into the new braking zone. Keith Butcher was working his way up from the back row and made a pass on Colin Dunn and Richard Francis whilst 3 a breast at old paddock crossing, I don’t think Colin expected it by there and twitch the steering causing him to have a little wobble I’m not sure if there was any slight contact between the 3 cars but nothing was reported but my God it was close.

Chris Everill in the Ginetta took the lead back coming out of Brookland’s but lost it again to the Westfield in the braking Zone for Honda, but Chris was on the inside and again took the position back coming out of Honda, the lead had changed 3 times in the first lap Exciting Stuff to watch. Nick Crompton was still following close by in 3rd and was shadowed by Jim in 4th, A slight gap to Ken James who was 5th and still under attack from BS runner Tyrone Luffarelli, Mike Moss in the Caterham was 7th and in 8th was Mark Williams, Butcher in the Audi A4 Super Tourer was already up to 9th in 10th by a half a cars length was Simon Hutchings and was dicing with 11th place Daryl Radford’s Honda Civic.

Melissa Luffarelli was in 12th, Dunn in the Clio cup passed Francis on the straight to take 13th position, Francis was 14th, Dowden in 15th, Andy Williams in the MG ZR was in 16th and Hockley’s Honda Civic in 17th and the Beaten but running Ford Ka was still motoring on in 18th.

On lap 3 Tyrone was glued to the back of Ken’s Loco Hornet, Tyrone lost the back end and ended on the grass at Debeni, ripping his front splitter off in the process but he managed to save it, it was a nail biting moment to watch but thank fully other than losing some aero aids his was ok, Mike Moss capitalized on this and moved up into 6th position. Andy Williams had dropped back into 17th and Hockley and opened the gap slightly.

By lap 4 Everill had breathing space and was running 4 seconds ahead of Longotano’s Westfield, Crompton and Jim were not far behind both still in their starting positions, Keith Butcher was Flying through the Pack and had definitely worked out the kinks from the first race he was now in 5th, Moss had a small lead over the 106 but Tyrone was not going to let his little off effect his confidence as he regained some ground coming down to hatchets. Simon had pulled his Mx5 away from Daryl’s Civic and both had passed Mark Williams Golf.

Everill was coming close to lapping Alan Smith’s KA as he entered lap 5, Keith Butcher was pushing hard to catch the front pack and was still in 5th Mike Moss was matching the time of Ken James, but Tyrone’s 106 was still sticking with them both. Colin Dunn was now catching Mark Williams mk5 Golf.

Averill’s lead had grown to 5secs by lap 6, Colin Dunn got the inside line going into Hatchets and stole a position from Mark Williams but was short lived as Mark fought back and went around the outside at debeni. Richard Francis Seemed to be slowing up and was now under attack from Darren Hockley’s Civic.

Lap 7 the front runners positions all stayed the same, Tyrone used the back markers to his advantage and made his move into hatchets and just got the nose of his 106 in front of Moss’s Caterham, Moss fought back on the exit of Hatchets and they were side by side through Debeni but Lufferelli had the better line and kept the position he had been trying to regain since lap 3. Tyrone’s sister Melissa had now moved up yet another position after snatching 10th from Radford.

Again Colin managed to pass Mark on the inside at Hatchets again but lost it on the exit and done a spot of gardening before rejoining the track at debeni, Butcher passed Jim’s mini on lap 8 and was now running in 4th, but again the main battle was between Tyrone Luffarelli and Mike Moss as they switched position every lap, Moss wanted that 1st in class badly and was pulling out all the stop, absolutely fantastic motorsport to watch.

Lap 9 and Everill was making his way through the mid pack back markers, Mark Williams went defensive coming into the new left hander but out braked himself and went off on to the grass and lost a place to Colin Dunn, by lap 10 Keith Butcher managed to pass Nick’s Lancer and was now 3rd at this rate he will be challenging for the lead or will he run out of laps first. Mike Moss was certainly keeping Tyrone on his toes as he tried every angle to try passing him, Tyrone’s defense was so far superior.

Lap 11 Keith Butcher now in 2nd but if Everill does not make a mistake he has enough of a lead to call this one his, but this is Motorsport and we all nothing anything can happen. Mike Moss was in all of Tyrone’s mirrors, the 106 driver was having to use all his racing experience here to hold him off, its hard in words to describe how close they were but if Tyrone was to make the slightest mistake Mike was there waiting to pounce. Melissa Luffarelli was now catching her Brother and was running in 9th.

Lap 12 Butcher was still in 2nd and was making ground up shame it wasn’t a 40min race as he may of caught up to Chris Everill, Andy Williams was running in 17th and 2nd in class BT and although there was no one for him to have a race with he still looked to be having a blast as he threw that little MG into debeni on the limit. Everill started his final lap (lap 13) with a epic lead over the rest of the pack, Butcher was 2nd and Longotano was in a solid 3rd and 1st in class CS. As Richard Francis started his final lap the Saxo gave up the ghost and he pulled off to a safe place, he did not look happy and with less than 1 lap left i can see why.

Chris Everill took the flag and had driven well all race, Chris was also 1st in class D, in 2nd was Keith Butchers Audi A4 Super Tourer also 2nd in class D was also voted driver of the race, Damian Longotano could repeat the outright win of the first race but I am sure he was more than happy with 3rd overall and 1st in class CS unfortunately the days racing had taken its tole on the Westfield with a suspected gearbox issue and a potential alternator fault. It was not a good day for competitor’s gearboxes Ellis Wiggins (dnf) because of a gearbox issue, Richard Francis later told me he believes his gearbox let go as well.

In 4th was Nick Crompton and 2nd in CS, 5th place went to Jim Lyons (3rd in CS), 6th was Ken James (4th in CS). The continuing battle between Tyrone Luffarelli and Mike Moss lasted right to the end as they drag raced to the line, Tyrone held the 7th place and came 1st in class BS a great end to a busy but fantastic for Tyrone, Mike Moss came in at 8th and well deserved 2nd in class BS, Tyrone’s sister Melissa Luffarelli was not far behind in 9th (1st class M). Simon Hutchings could now reflect on his most exhilarating weekends Racing he has had to date and to top it off he had his second 3rd in class BS, Simon came in 10th overall.

Daryl Radford was 11th (4th in BS), Colin Dunn in 12th (1st in class BT) fab weekend for Colin in his new Clio 172 cup. Mark Williams could not make up the place he had lost and came 13th and 1st in CT, Daren Hockley the only invitation racer running in round 2 came 14th. Roger Dowden moved up to 1st in class AS due to Francis’s car failing, Roger came 15th overall, 16th was Andy Williams (2nd in class BT), and unbelievably still running after its off in race one the KA of Alan Smith came 17th.

The race weekend was a success, lots of fair close racing, was a great way to start the WSSCC 2018 season, I thank everyone who came to race, spectate or to show us their support, thanks to the orange army for keeping us all safe. I look forward to seeing you all at Rounds 3 & 4 at Oulton Park.

Race Results – http://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2018/181621wss.pdf

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