The 2019 WSSCC final day shoot out- full report on line

After the first 10 rounds Colin Dunn led from Mike Moss with Damian Longotano 3rd, but with Joker cards and Dropped scores to come in to play, it’s too close to call. (report by Robert- Thanks to Nick Forbes for his photos)

In 2018 Pembrey caught the full force of storm Callum, which hit all day Saturday and it turned the circuit entrance into a considerable lake, with a large lake in the paddock!  However this year we were brushed by the tail-end of Lorenzo , over Saturday night, and although there was a large puddle at the circuit entrance and some  puddles in the paddock,  it was much less than last year.

Entry and Qualifying .  There was a pleasing 17 cars on the grid, although despite some mighty efforts, but Gareth Haycock (and us), we couldn’t make it to the magic 20! Thanks to Gareth for his efforts!   The track was damp and greasy as the cars went out to practice, and Keith Butcher had one of the those ‘déjà vu’ moments as his Audi understeered  on the exit to Debeni and headed for the grass! Fortunately he managed to stop just in time, with only his front wheels on the grass, and he was able to reverse out, and go to the pits for a quick check and then to head out to get some times in!   Meanwhile the bellowing Ginetta G50 of Chris Everill was setting the pace and he took pole with a time of 1.07.532! Damian Longotano was 2nd fastest with 1.10.513. On row 2 Keith Butcher was 3rd on 1.12.116 an indication that something wasn’t right with the R8. Mike Moss was 4th fastest and on the Class BS pole!  On the 3rd row was Glynne Jones and his BMW and Mark Williams and his Class BS VW Golf. On row 4 was Gareth John with is Ginetta G40 looking good in its new livery. (a warp) Next to him and making it an all Class BS row was Daryl Radford and his Honda Civic R. On row 5 Colin Dunn (Clio) and Andrew Williams (Fiesta) made it an all class BT row.

On row 6 was Gareth Haycock who was giving his nice sounding 3.2 V6 Golf its Pembrey debut, with Mark Nicholson having his Pembrey Debut in his Clio. Mark, who is a mate of Mike Moss,  is usually found at Castle Combe although he did come with us to Silverstone! Mike was bedding in some new brakes, but got the shepherds crook (aka the Black Flag) for going too slow!  In the end he was the last driver to get under 1.20.0 so he wasn’t actually too slow!   On row 7 was Roger Dowden (WRDA Chairman) and his usual yellow Davrian, and Alan Smith who is getting his Ka down to some tidy times. On row 8 was Ben Cutler and his Mini, (only .5 of a second behind Alan) Verity Banks was alongside. On row 9  Ellis Wiggins was last! He only did a few laps as his tyres were lacking grip! He confirmed that setting them to the right pressure would have helped!

Race 1 – Round 11 15 mins + 1 lap – Rolling Start.  Damian Longotano, Mike Moss and Chris Everill played their Jokers cards for this race.

Chris Everil Leads Race 1

Blake Edwards was driving the pace car, but as he pulled off, and the lights flashed out to start the race, Damian and Chris headed the pack into Hatchets. Chris headed the pack on the first lap, Damian settled into 2nd place and the lead of Class CS! Keith Butcher settled into 3rd place, with his car somewhat lacking in pace. That’s the way the places stayed to the end,  as Damian had other fish to fry, and was not really risking anything, whilst Keith was lacking for pace. Actually as the winner of 6 races already this year, Keith was assured of the ’Blake Edwards Trophy’ but he also did have a shout for the ‘Colin Gundersen Trophy’ based on the fastest laps at Pembrey. However Chris Everill powered to the fastest lap point in Class D with a time of  1.06.489, whereas Keiths best time was 1.10.172 which shows how much his car was suffering, and this dented his  Gundersen Trophy’ hopes. Behind the first 3 there was much action. Mark Williams settled into 4th place and had Mike Moss on his tail. Mike & Mark passed & repassed each other, but more on that later on. Behind then Glynne Jones settled into 5th place, and as the flame-spitting Ginetta of Chris Everill went on its merry way, Glynnes’ BMW thought it would do some  flame-spitting of its own! The problem was that whilst Chris’ flames were coming from his exhaust, Glynne was coming from underneath his car! Eventually  after a lap or 2 Glynne became aware of the flames and as it was in the area near the cars fuel tank, he decided it was time for action, and instead of turning left onto the new section he headed direct to the marshals post near the rally-cross track!  ‘I decided I needed to be out of there!’ His door was open before the car stopped rolling, and as he jumped out, the marshals swung into action and put the fire out with a dry powder extinguisher!  Although the car disappeared in a cloud of powder, Glynne and the car were safe! Yes that’s what the marshals train for, but it is what you pay your entry fee for, to make sure the infra structure is there if it is ever needed, and the marshals can use whatever they need to keep us safe! At the time of writing Glynne hasn’t found the cause of the fire but the scrutineers thought it might have been an oil leak.

Glynne – burning up the track!

Back in the race, initially behind Glynne was a fast starting Gareth Haycock, Colin Dunn, Daryl Radford, Andrew Williams, Mark Nicholson, and  Gareth John. As the race wore on Mark Nicholson and  Gareth John began to rise up as Gareth Haycock began to fade. Late on Gareth John overtook Mark Nicolson to finish 5th with Mark 6th! Daryl Radford (7th) and Colin Dunn (8th)  had another  close end to the race with only 0.45 splitting them at the flag. Gareth John (9th) split Colin from Andrew Williams (10th)while Elis Wiggins rose up from last qualifier to finish 11th and Roger Dowden was 12th. We lost Verity Banks early on when her gear-linkage fell apart, but last but no means least were Alan Smith and Ben Cutler who had the hammer & tongs battle for  most of the race with Ben & Alan swapping and re-swapping places! In the end Alan was 13th but only 0.294 ahead of Ben who was 14th, and was awarded the ‘Driver of the Day’ for his efforts in only his first race on the Club Circuit! As a tribute to the amount of pressure Ben put  Alan under, he (Alan) had to set a new Class AT lap record to beat Ben! However as the race wound down, there was still drama as the close dice of Mike Moss and Mark Williams, go a little too close and lap 13 was unlucky for Mike as he lost his left front mudguard, but more importantly the brackets were bent onto his tyre! Fearing the worst, but not realising a slow lap could have seen him take the finish, Mike pulled off at the paddock turn! However this meant that Gareth John took the Class BS Season in his debut season, but it all was not lost as Mike had already set the fastest lap, which put him narrowly in front of Keith Butcher in the Colin Gunderson trophy standings! So Chris Everill won the race, with Damian Longotano 2nd but the Class CS winner and with double points due to his Joker.  Keith Butcher was 3rd  

Race 1 – round 11- in progress

Damian Longatano – 2019 Champion!

In the Blake Edwards Trophy Keith Butcher is the clear leader, but in the Colin Gundersen Fastest lap trophy, only 0.25 separates Keith Butcher from Mike Moss!

The race – 15 minutes + 1 lap – Rolling Start.  Blake took the grid around to start the final race in the 2019 Welsh Championship and Chris Everill took the lead, but this time Keith had the R8 flying and he stalked Chris and pounced and took the lead on lap 4, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process leaving the Class D & Championship lap record at 1.05.414 seconds! However 2 laps later it was all over for Keith, as he trailed into the pits with a damaged rim and a puncture! Chris was left to run out the rest of the race on his own, Damian ran in 2nd place and the Class CS lead, but was some distance behind Chris, as he had his eyes on the title! In 3rd place, some distance behind, was 2018 Champion Mike Moss, after passing a fast starting Gareth John and Daryl Radford, he then stalked Mark Williams, before closing and passing Mark in the closing laps, and drawing away to finish 3rd with Mark W 4th and the last car on 15 laps.  Crucially Mike set the Class Fastest lap, and he was one of several drivers to leapfrog Keith B in the Colin Gundersen Trophy points standings! Behind them Daryl Radford and Gareth John were having a real dice, but Gareth eventually got by and pulled a small gap, and his efforts were noticed by the Marshals who nominated him for the ‘Driver of the Race’ award.  Mark Nicholson recovered from a first lap spin before pulling through to finish 7th. Behind him Gareth Haycock and his V6 VW Golf and Colin Dunn (Clio) were in a close dice! Having got by Gareth on lap 8 as Gareth began to have brake problems, Colin claimed 8th  and the Class BT win and fastest lap. Gareth was 9th with Ellis Wiggins closing on him, after  passing Andy and his Fiesta, but Gareth had 3 seconds in hand over  Ellis who finished in 10th in his white Nova! (Ellis has plans over the close season to make the Nova a different colour!) Andy W fell back to finish 11th, having got a good start initially. Ben Cutler also had a fast start and was 12th ahead of Alan Smith, Roger Dowden , Verity Banks and Mark Nicholson. Mark N recovered from his spin and moved up to finish 7th.  Roger too moved on to finish 12th but it was battle joined again for Ben Cutler and Alan Smith who swapped places several times! Alan was battling hard and threw everything into it on the last lap, and set a new Class AT lap record, to break the record he had set in race 1! At the flag Ben took 13th place by 0.268 secs from the battling Alan Smith who was 14th. Verity Banks was 15th having battled on with gearbox and engine problems to record a finish. Tony B has a good few months to get the Focus refreshed and ready for the 2020 season, the WSSCC 30th Anniversary!

Times from TSL Timimg https://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=BARC/2019/194021wss.pdf

The Awards Night is on 9th November at the Cardiff Copthorne. Contact Robert Allender via wrda@ntlworld.com or 01792 791686 or 0772231988

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