July 2018 will go down in the history books as a month of record high temperatures and a complete lack of rain, until Sunday 29th July that is! Actually Donington was on the edge of the rain band that swept the country, so whilst there was some rain, it was never as bad as some areas, and the racing never seemed in doubt!
The Entry and Practice – There were 33 cars on the track in what was the biggest grid of the year! (If some of the late with-drawls had made it we would have a record entry) There were a welcome number of guest drivers in the ‘Invitation Class’ (Class I) some returnees and plenty of regulars!
In the event it was one of our own drivers, Jason Davies, who took Pole Position in the wet practice session with a time of 1.25.842 (0.231 clear of the 2nd place man) It was Jasons first race of the year, and he entered Class I, as he was so busy getting the car ready, he had not registered for points! 2nd fastest was the quick guest Dave Cockell with a standard looking Mk 6 Ford Escort, that was the classic ‘Wolf in Sheeps clothing’. On the second row was another guest Mike Cutt with a wild looking BMW E26 M3 but he was joined by Chris Everill who was the first of the WSSCC points scorers. Another guest Paul Wollfit was 5th but he was joined by Fabio Luffarelli, the 2nd of the WSSCC points scorers!
As the full grid is on TSL, (including our guests, who we decided to split into Class IA for the fastest cars, Class IB for 2 litre Fwd cars and Class IB for the 1.6 cars), I’ll concentrate on the WSSCC entries. Mike Moss, the current points leader was 9th in his Class CS Caterham, and was full of the delights of driving an open top car in the rain. ‘My Racesuit is soaked through and as I haven’t got another I just hope it dries out before the race.’ In 15th was Mark Williams, clearly at home in the wet. In 16th was Ellis Wiggins, the 2nd CS car, then a guest driver, and then Simon Hutchins (3rd in CS) then another guest driver, and then in 20th place, was Nick Rocke! Nick was closely followed, in 21st Place by Colin Dunn (Class BT). Then another guest driver and in 23rd place was Gareth Haycock, who was re-united with his V6 Golf, and had now moved into Class CS and took Pole for the class as Damian Longatano was languishing down in 28th after being plagued by a lack of grip. Actually he was behind Darren Hockley (a Class IB Contender) in 26th and Andy 88 Williams in 27th, but they were all due for a boost after 2 of our guests pulled out, leaving some empty spaces on the Grid, Daniel McKay, and Jasver Sapra. Jas lost his wing of his BMW in Practice, and as he is 2nd in Kuhmo Tyres championship, decided some discretion was best for him. (Shame that because he was a very late entry and I was hoping to say hello to both him and Daniel).
Tight behind Damian was Melissa Lufarelli (29th) , and then Blake Edwards (30th). Blake managed to set a time on his 2nd lap, which is just as well, as he spent the rest of the session throwing his Clio at the scenery! First he went into the gravel trap (aka ‘the Kitty litter’) at Redgate and had to manoeuvred back on the track by the Redgate snatch vehicle! Not content with that he went off again, near the end of the session! ‘The tyres I had were just a semi sort of wet and weren’t up to it!’ Karl Mason was our last guest ahead of Verity Banks, who was 32nd driving Tyrone Luffarellis spare car. (Tyrone was on hand to support Verity) Alan Smith was 33rd and the last WSSCC point scorer in the Ford Ka!
In between practice and the race, the rain showers eased and then came back, and driven by a strong wind, it made the track truly wet! So there was no dilemma as to what tyres to use!
As the grid made it’s way back to the start-line, front row man Dave Cockell drove straight into the pit-line and then the paddock, with a lack of turbo power after a pipe had come adrift!
This left Jason on his own as he lead the pack down into Redgate for the first time. Jason looked to be in his element and began to build a 7 second lead over Mike Cutt. But more on that story later!
3rd & 4th on the road was Chris Everill and Fabio Luffarelli but Chris began to draw away as the they came up to lap, the back markers which included Melissa Luffarelli who was having a big struggle that unfortunately lasted all race long! Melissa could only manage 8 laps in the end, but at least she finished! We had already lost 3 of our guests, Dave Cockell, Rick Jessop and John Dee, when late on Colin Dunn also was a DNF! ‘ I was overdriving due to a misfire and spun into the gravel at Craner. More on that story later
On 9 laps Blake Edwards was 26th Karl Mason was 25th and Verity Banks was a respectable 24th with Alan Smith in a great 23rd place. Andrew Williams was 22nd and Simon Hutchins was 21st and but for a last lap spin, in front of Damian Longotano, was look to stay on 10 laps and was in 7th place for a lot of the time. Later he commented ‘Despite learning that I’m not very good in the rain, had a great time at Donington, and thanks very much for all the close but safe driving (and for dodging me when I span, twice…. especially Damian!!.
Most of the rest of the grid was on 10 laps! From 5th to 10th place was a gaggle of guest cars, with Kirk Armitage in his BMW M3 who put in an excellent drive to pull up from 11th place and was given the ‘Driver of the Race’ award for his entertaining drive! (Which went down well with Kirk and his 3 little children!) In 6th Place was David Jones (Ford Focus) who was the Class IB winner and Paul Woolfit 7th (Lotus Excige) and 8th Scott Hubel (Peugeot 205T)
In 9th place was WSSCC scorer Mark Williams and his immaculate Class CT winning VW, with Mike Moss 10th and the Class BS winner. Mike had a good grid position, but lost a lot of places at the start, when he couldn’t get a gear! Mike had a good dice with Mark with Simon Hutchins early on, but later with guests Gary Bowers and Darren Moon and Ellis Wiggins who also in the mix, and was 13th! Nick Rocke was 14th, and had switched back to Class BT , and took the BT win, after Colin Dunns faux pas! Gareth Haycock was 15th and was justifiably proud of his regenerated VW V6 Golf! Gareth had switched to Class CS and he was a Class Winner on his debut! Gareth was at the head of a ducking & diving bunch of guest drivers including Darren Hockley! In 20th place was Damian Longatano the last driver on 10 laps.
Back at the front Jason Davies had drawn out a 7 second lead over Mike Cutts’ BMW M3. Chris Everill was 3rd in his 69 red Ginetta G50 and Fabio was 4th in car 70, and was the last driver to complete 11 laps! As Jason looked on his way to a race one win, he came across a gaggle of backmarkers, just as Colin Dunn spun into the gravel! The yellow flags came out and that forced Jason to back off! This gave the advantage of Mike Cutt, who was able to catch Jason, and did a slingshot past as they passed out of the ‘Yellow’ zone! Mike put the hammer down and tried to draw away, but Jason responded and set the races fastest lap on final lap of the race, and was only 0.194 behind at the chequered Flag!
We had the lunch break after the end of the race and shortly after the rain lessened, (although the wind didn’t!) We had planned to use the Aston Martin marquee to do the prize-giving, but due to weather they decided not to erect it! Due to the prospect of more rain later it was decided to walk around & deliver the Race 1 Awards.
By the time of our 2nd race of the day the rain had largely eased and the wind was having a dry effect and with 3 races on track before our race, it seemed that a dry line was showing.
Shortly after the start we lost one of guests and Colin Dunn, ‘We hadn’t fixed the electrical gremlins and the engine cut out on the first corner. So far we’ve found duff battery, alternator and some loose wiring to a relay. I’m very disappointed with the result as I was making great progress in race 1. I love the wet conditions and I was having great fun racing amongst the big grid. I don’t get much luck when we travel to the East Midlands. I had a double dnf at Mallory last year too.
Colin was starting from the back, along with the other DNF finishers, 3 guests including Jon Dee, Rick Jessop and the very rapid Dave Cockell! For Jason the priority was to build a big enough lead, to keep himself out of reach of a late challenge from Dave! Jason banged in an early series of quick laps to establish a lead over race 1 winner Mike Cutt, who was 2nd. Chris Everill was 3rd and he had Kirk Armitage and Fabio for close company. However Fabios race didn’t last long this time, as he pulled off with the Corrado on Fire! ‘The marshals were on the scene quickly and not only put the fire out, but sprayed powder over me and my helmet as well as the car!’ Fabios problem let guest driver Scott Hubel have a run on to Chris Everill, but Chris was out of reach! . Dave Cockell was already on the move and was up to 6th by lap 2! Also on the move was Damian Longotano and they came on Mike Moss who became sandwiched between Damian & Jon Llanon and his Citroen Saxo. Meanwhile Mark Williams had made an excellent start and was dicing with guest Gary Bowers when they were joined by the Damian, Jon & Mike trio! At the end Damian was 7th with Mike Moss 8th and closely followed across the line by Guest driver Gary Bowers! Damian was 1st in Class CT & Mike was 1st in CS. Mark Williams was 10th and the CT winner. Simon Hutchins was 13th, with Darren Hockley 14th and Ellis Wiggins 15th only a second behind. The dicing Yorkshire Mini Miglia duo of Darren Moon & Rick Jessop had a race long dice to 15th & 16th Gareth Haycock was 17th. In 20th place Andrew Williams found his himself winning Class BT, after Nick Rocke became the final retirement. Nick was pushing on well, when he found he had trouble getting all his gears, which escalated into a complete lack of drive, when he was almost within sight of the line. Nick thought that it might be the output shaft that may have broken! Melissa was 21st , and the Class M winner, after a big dice with Blake Edwards. Verity was 23rd after passing Alan Smith who was the final finisher in 24th place. All the while at the front Jason was lapping so quickly that it was hard to check on the rest of the field!
Jason was leading from Mike Cutt, Kirk Armitage and Chris Everill. By lap 10 Dave Cockell had joined them. Armitage and Chris Everill were almost joined together, but as if it meant to remind us, it started to drizzle again!
Dave Cockell took advantage and leapfrogged Chris &Kirk, to put pressure on Mike Cutt. Dave was pushing like mad and he passed Mike on the last lap and threw everything into trying to catch Jason. However it was all in vain as Jason romped home with a 24 second advantage at the cheqeured flag! So Jason took the race win, with guest drivers 1st, 2nd & 3rd Chris Everill in 4th the first WSSCC points scorer!
After Jason said ‘It’s a bit of shame that Dave wasn’t on the front row for this race as I’m sure it would have been interesting!’ Even so Jason was justly awarded ‘Driver of the Race’
The rain seemed to be back as hard as ever, as we went around to deliver the awards, and later Alan & Mike made an early exit as they both had got soaked for the second time! It was only then that we found out it was Alans birthday! Happy birthday mate!
Packing up was a bit of chore for some! Mike Moss had to ‘bin’ his gazebo as it collapsed under the strain, despite the help from a few willing hands. In typical motorsport fashion, on the way home the rain stopped, and the sun came out!
Later we had a chorus of emails giving us some great feedback from our guest drivers such as this one. ‘Absolutely loved the racing, it was a great family day out. Everyone at the club and in the paddock was approachable and friendly. On track, all the racers seemed to be aware of the conditions and drove to them and if being lapped were very observant, which was a revelation’
So we certainly made a great number of new friends, who would be looking to support us when we go back to Donington. That’s a ‘when’ not an ‘if’
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
The remaining dates in the 2018 Championship are as follows
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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.
The Colin Gundersen Trophy for the Class Fastest Race Lap at Pembrey
The 3rd & 4th races in the 2018 Colin Gundersen Trophy (WSSCC rounds 5 & 6) were on the Old ‘Classic’ Circuit, which was used for the first time since 2015, but no new records were set. Alan Smith still leads, but Mike Moss, Mark Williams & Damian Longotano are close by! The remaining rounds in 2018 are on August 19th Pembrey and Oct 14th Pembrey.
Total 24 Hours of Spa Report. There was good news of a differing degrees coming from Spa last weekend.
Matt Parry and team-mates Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe brought the Bob Neville run Nissan GT-R home in 7th place overall for some welcome points.
Happy Days the Bentley crew before the race
However the Bentley driven by Seb Morris, Derek Pierce, Rob Smith, and special guest Andy Meyrick, suffered some engine problems, which was cured after the Team Park guys traced it to a faulty fuel injector. However the car itself was wrecked after a big accident with Andy Meyrick on board! ‘ At 3.00am local time on Sunday morning, Meyrick and the No.666 Lamborghini of Jurgen Krebs were involved in a monumental accident – the severity of which led to a race stoppage for the fourth round of the Blancpain Endurance Cup and required both drivers to be extricated from their cars.
Initially taken to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit medical centre before being transferred to nearby hospital, Meyrick and Krebs sustained a number of fractures and both remain under observation due to the high-speed nature of the extremely serious accident. Seb takes up the story ‘The only thing that matters about the weekend is Andy being as OK as he can after such a massive accident – all our thoughts are with him. It was the worst crash I’ve seen, the damage to the car was huge. Most importantly, Andy’s injuries are fortunately not critical and he should make a full recovery in four to six weeks. “I have to say a huge thank you to the boys in the team for their efforts this weekend, the accident really shook everyone up and we’re all just relieved Andy is going to be OK. Everything about the race and the weekend is secondary to what happened with him’
Total 24 Hours of Spa preveiw – Seb Morris, his usual team-mates Derek Pierce and Rob Smith, and special guest Andy Meyrick, will line up for the start in 33rd place but crucially they are 3rd in the Pro-Am class! Andy Meyrick warmed up for the contest by winning the Pro-Am class in the North European GT4 Championship last week at Spa itself! Also Sebs former team-mate Rick Parfitt Jnr proved the Team Parker Racing Bentleys are at home at Spa, by taking 2nd place overall , with his now recovered team-mate Ryan Ratcliffe!
Meanwhile Matt Parry and team-mates Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe will start the Bob Neville run Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 from 21st place. With points on offer throughout the race, the 24 hrs race can play a huge part in the Blancpain Championship.
Blancpain Endurance Cup Pro-Am championship contender Seb Morris is just a week away from his maiden appearance in the world’s biggest GT3 race, the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium, where the Welsh star believes the No.31 Team Parker Racing squad will be a ‘force to be reckoned with’.
Getting underway on Saturday, 28th July, at the unmistakable Spa-Francorchamps, the huge twice-round-the-clock spectacular is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges in world motorsport. Heading into round four of his maiden campaign in the pan-European championship, the reigning British GT Champion and team-mates Rob Smith and Derek Pierce are third in the Pro-Am title battle, just three points shy of the runner-up spot and only 10 points adrift of the top of the table. The 24 hour race rewards points at three different junctures in the encounter, at six hours, 12 hours and at the conclusion, a consistently strong performance throughout the contest could have huge implications for the championship picture.
With Morris, Smith and Pierce already proven to be a highly competitive Pro-Am combination, their bid for Total 24 Hours of Spa success is being further boosted by the addition of experienced former Bentley ‘factory’ driver Andy Meyrick – Morris’ long-standing manager – to the line-up.
All four drivers participated in the official pre-event test day at Spa a couple of weeks ago and preparations for the blue riband Blancpain event went very well indeed, the quartet ending the day third fastest in Pro-Am and delighted with the work completed.
“I really can’t wait to be back at Spa, the 24 hour is by far the biggest GT3 race in the world and I think we’re very capable of winning Pro-Am”, said a bullish Morris, “We’re in a lucky position to be able to bring Andy [Meyrick] in, we know we’ve got two great ‘Am’ drivers in Derek and Rob and now, with another Pro driver like Andy, I think we’re a force to be reckoned with. Obviously, Andy has been there as my manager right from when I was 12 or 13 when he coached me at Pembrey in Wales when I was first looking to move-up into cars from karting. I was a lot shorter then, but I’m taller than him now! To come full circle to now be racing together in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, it’s pretty special.”
Morris of course, is no stranger to the challenges of Spa-Francorchamps having set a GT3 lap record in British GT at the track last year and in 2016 he just missed out on race victory there in British GT by a mere 0.6 seconds. During his formative career in single-seaters, he also competed at Spa in GP3 and Formula Renault.
Since the previous Blancpain round at Paul Ricard in France, Morris grabbed plenty of headlines with an unbelievable ‘super-sub’ performance at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit when he made a very unexpected return to British GT as a true last-minute stand-in for the unwell Ryan Ratcliffe. Linking back-up with former team-mate Rick Parfitt Jnr, who partnered Morris to British GT title success last year, BRDC Superstar and MSA Team UK driver Morris made a 153-mile dash from his home to Silverstone, after receiving a late-morning phone call, to arrive at the track literally minutes before his stint. Remarkably, he and Parfitt Jnr secured a sensational fourth place finish in the race.
Now, all attention turns to the biggest outing of the season. Following the usual parade of race cars into Spa city centre on Wednesday, 25th July, free practice for the Total 24 Hours of Spa – which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary – will follow on Thursday, 26th July, along with pre-qualifying, qualifying and a night-time practice.
On Friday, 27th July, the Super-Pole session will take place with the 24 hour race itself getting underway at 16.30 (local time) on Saturday, 28th July.
PAUL RICARD SIX- Hours Report Seb Morris overcomes a fiery pit-stop to take 2nd place in Pro Am Class with the Team Parker Bentley Continental GT3, only 13 seconds from the top step of the Podium after 6 Hours + Matt Parry plays his part to take the RJN Nissan GTR to 5th Place overall!
Seb Morris made a very welcome, and richly deserved, return to the Pro-Am podium during round three of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season at Paul Ricard in France on Saturday, 2nd June, with a fantastic second place finish in the six-hour ‘into the night’ race. Along with team-mates Derek Pierce and Rob Smith, 22-year-old M orris produced a scintillating performance in the annual 1,000km encounter at the Le Castellet track and with their second runner-up spot of the year, and the trio climbed into third in the Pro-Am championship.
Beginning Saturday evening’s race from fifth in Pro-Am, the Team Parker Racing drivers combined to deliver a tremendous push for their maiden class victory and at the end of six pulsating hours they were just 13 seconds shy of the top step of the podium. Notably, that gap was roughly the equivalent of time lost during Morris’ pit visit halfway through his double stint during the closing stages. Due to a worrying fire, which the Team Parker crew dealt with impeccably, Morris ventured out onto track behind the class-winning Ferrari. Without the issue with the fuel rig, a victory charge was certainly on the cards.
“It was a very tough race, we had quite a few problems during it, but to come away with second is fantastic”, said Morris, “When I jumped in for my double stint, it was tough as I had to let a lot of people by, who were fighting up-front in the overall battle, but in my second stint I got some good space and lapped as quick as anyone on track.
“Unfortunately, though, we lost time in the pit-stop as the car completely set on fire! It was a pretty hair-raising moment, but the team did a great job and put the fire out quickly and also then got the fuel topped up so we could run to the end – it was a fantastic job by the guys. We lost about 13 seconds, though, and that was the gap to the Ferrari in the end so we know a win was possible. Our next is at Spa-Francorchamps in July for the annual 24 Hour race. I think Spa will be good for our Bentley, we should be strong there and we’re just waiting to hear who our fourth driver will be which is exciting. We’ll take some time to evaluate where we went wrong at Paul Ricard, improve on a few mistakes – just little, tiny things – and make sure everything is right for Spa. You need to be as faultless as possible there.”
There is now a lengthy eight-week break from Blancpain Endurance Cup action ahead of the otal 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium, which will take place on 28th/29th July.
Meanwhile for Matt Parry it felt more like ‘The Brawl Ricard 6 Hours’ than the Paul Ricard 6 Hours for GT Sport Motul Team RJN Nissan, but another tenacious performance from Matt Parry and team-mates Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe was finally rewarded with their first points of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup campaign in the south of France.
The trio’s number 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was on the receiving end of no fewer than three spin-inducing contacts in the course of the mini-marathon event, and also survived a couple of minor delays in pit-lane, to take the flag in seventh position. However, with the two cars immediately ahead of them having on-track misdemeanours converted to post-race time penalties, Parry and co were elevated to fifth on the final result sheet, securing a hat-trick of such results for the RJN Nissan combination at Ricard over the past three years.
Lucas Ordonez quickly had the Nissan moving up the order, cracking the top ten inside half an hour. However, just as the Spaniard was establishing himself as a threat to those chasing points in the early going, a touch from behind sent the Nissan spinning into the run-off at the final corner, undoing all his hard work and dropping the red machine back to 17th.
Ordonez handed over to Buncombe finally Parry knew that he would be behind the wheel for the final two stints.
Although a problem tightening his seatbelts at the handover further delayed the Welshman’s appearance, he appeared unfazed as he continued the good work – only for the second unwanted contact of the race to spin the #23 around and down the order once more. Although progress from 17th was always likely given the pace of the Nissan, the RJN team had another ace up its sleeve, having held back its ‘joker’ pit-stop – where crews are not constrained by a minimum time limit – until the closing stages. With Parry already making up ground and close to returning to the point-scoring places despite another enforced spin at turn five, the strategy paid off, confirming the Nissan in seventh spot on the road for the run to the flag.
The drama wasn’t over there, however, for Parry lost power steering in the final five laps, preventing him from chasing down the group ahead and leaving him with a tense finish as he held off a train of cars in his wake. His dogged determination was rewarded, however, not only by making it to the chequered flag but by then learning of the penalties being applied to two of the cars immediately ahead of the Nissan, promoting it to an eventual – and hard-earned – fifth place. “There was enough drama in that race to fill a book!” Parry claimed, “The Blancpain GT Series is extremely hard-fought and that showed tonight, with close racing through the field and the winner only being determined on the final lap. cost time and positions, so it was great to come away with my first points in the series. The last few laps were quite tense as I was hanging on to my position after the power steering went, but car was amazing throughout. Fifth is a great result for the team, but there is definitely a sense that it could have been even better, possibly even a podium, had we had a clean run. However, after what we have already shown at Monza and Silverstone, this performance will give the team a lot of optimism as we head to the Spa 24 Hours next month.”
Round four of the 2018 Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup, the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, takes place at the iconic Belgian circuit over the weekend of 26-29 July, with extensive live and highlights coverage on the Eurosport and Motorsport TV channels in the UK and www.nismo.tv online.
The 2018 Britsh Gt Championship is at Silverstone on Sunday 10th June and Ryan Ratcliffe and Rick Parfitt Jnr will be hoping to score a good result to give their 2018 points score a big boost. (edited by Rob Allender.)
International Preveiw! edited by Rob Allender
Over the weekend if 2/3 June Welsh drivers are travelling to Europe en masse hoping to collect some silverware.
Ben Hingeley from Abergele will be in Hungary for the latest round of the European F3 Championship on the Hungaroring, having scored a Rookie podium and a 4th place overall on the unforgiving streets of the Pau circuit. https://www.fiaf3europe.com/
Bentley trio practice Silverstone pit-stops, lets hope they can do it in the race at Paul Ricard! (Photo by Rob)
Seb Morris and Matt Parry will be at Paul Ricard in Southern France for the latest round in the 2018 Blancpain Enduro series, the 1000 Km 6 hour Day/Night race. Seb Morris didn’t even get to race at Silverstone after a silly incident put the Team Parker Bentley out, when Derek Peirce hopped a kerb and cracked the sump!
Matt Parry did at least race but after a mix up in practice, the RJN Nissan, started in 40th , instead of 18th! At least Matt and his teammates were able to put on a sparkling display on thier way to an eventual 16th place. Hopefully if the teams can eliminate the errors they might be both on for some better results.
As with all Major Series there are lots of live action on BT Sport or Motors Tv
Andy Meyrick and Jake Rattenbury are in action in Europe soon!
Blancpain Endurance Cup – Silverstone race report by Rob & Marion Allender
Matt makes a big impression in the big Nissan , but Seb sits out the race as the Bentley fails after only 8 laps!
The 2nd round of the prestigious 2018 Blancpain Endurance Cup took place on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday 20th May, where Welsh racers Seb Morris & Matt Parry tried to mount the strongest possible challenge for a class victory in the pan-European championship. With 52 cars it was a packed grid and both the Welsh drivers Matt Smith and Seb Morris needed to be at their best to make a mark in their ‘home’ race.
Nisssan trio (r to l) Lucas Ordonez, Matt Parry & Alec Buncombe ready to race after pit-lane duty (photo by Rob Allender)
However Parry was the first to try’ and he was 15th in his session but once his times were added to the times of his team-mates, Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordondes it gave them 18th place on the grid. Team owner Bob Neville, was realistic ‘ Being in the top 20 is good, by we expected much more’
Meanwhile Seb Morris and his team-mates were unable to break into the top 20 and the Bentley would start in 25th place! More importantly they were 2nd in the Pro-Am Class, only 0.787 behind the Class leading, Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488! Jules Westwood the Bentley cars engineer confirmed, ‘We are in with a chance of taking the Pro-Am Class win! Seb wasn’t able to get a quick time, due to the traffic but his team-mates were quick in their sessions, so it looks good!’ Indeed when the Rinaldi Ferrari pulled out after only 3 laps it looking good as the Team Parker car took over the lead in the Pro-Am Class, with the Class Win in their sights! However it all turned sour after only 8 laps, when the Bentley drifted into the pits, after Derek Pierce had hit the kerb at Copse very hard and cracked the sump, losing all the oil, and sending the Bentley into instant retirement! This was a severe disappointment for Seb who was looking forward to putting on a show, for the large contingent of his supporters! It’s always frustrating when you have so many friends and family along to a race and this sort of thing happens, and especially as we were looking very strong. The car was great at Paul Ricard when we tested there, so I’m really looking forward to the next round now.”
There was also dis-appointment for the RJN Nissan team, which had qualified in 18th place, but were relegated to start well back, in 48th place, after being penalised for a strange offence, which meant that Lucas Ordonez’s best laps were disallowed! However the stage was set for a great comeback and with Alex Buncombe at the wheel for the first stint, the car rose to 26th when Matt took over! Pushing as hard as he could, and passing car after car, and despite having to re-pass one of his victims, he handed over to Lucas with the car in 20th place! Ordonez continued the good work and took the cheqeured flag in 16th place, but agonisingly outside the points, which start at 10th ! But for the penalty, a very big result would have undoubtedly been on the cards. “Despite starting where we did, we were always optimistic of a good run,” Matt confirmed, “There was a lot of performance in the car from the start of the weekend, and Alex really underlined that in the opening stint. I’m a little frustrated with the mistake I made trying to pass one of the Lamborghinis at turn nine, but I don’t think it made much difference to our overall result, and Lucas was still able to bring the car home well inside the top 20. The number 23 Nissan had great pace throughout my run and I enjoyed being able to chase down the cars in front of me, so we know what it is capable of in the remaining rounds, It’s up to us now to piece together the perfect weekend.”
Round three of the 2018 Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA), in Southern France for the annual six-hour ‘into the night’ race, on Saturday, 2nd June with extensive live and highlights coverage on the Eurosport and Motorsport TV channels in the UK.
International News! edited by Rob Allender
The 2nd round of the prestigious 2018 Blancpain Endurance Cup takes place on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this weekend, 19th/20th May, where Welsh racers Seb Morris & Matt Parry will be mounting the strongest possible challenge for a class victory, for their respective teams, in the pan-European championship. With 52 cars it will be a packed grid and both Matt and Seb Morris will need to be at their best to make a mark in their ‘home’ race. Matt & Seb had contrasting fortunes at Monza in Round 1 after strong qualifying performances.
Seb will be hoping for more joy like in Monza
Seb Morris started the event by posting the 4th fastest time in his qualifying session but with the grid position decided on the combined time of all the teams drivers, the Team Parker Bentley Continental GT3 started in 2nd in the Pro-Am class, 23rd place overall, and with teammates Derek Pierce and Rob Smith taking the first 2 stints, they were in for a good result and were contesting the Pro-Am Class with the Ferrari 488 GT3, until a slow pit-stop allowed the Ferrari to build an advantage. Morris took over the Bentley for the last hour but after passing car after car the Ferrari was just 20 secs ahead at the end of the 3hour race. Seb summed up “I think a lot of people were taken by surprise with how quick we were at Monza. Our entry into the championship was obviously quite late, we hadn’t really had much testing, and yet we came through to finish P2 in our first race which was pretty faultless. I can’t wait for the weekend, I’m more prepared than I ever have been and a lot fitter since Monza too. Silverstone is one of my favourite tracks, if not the favourite, and the nature of the circuit with the high-speed corners really does suit the Bentley. Monza was a great track for our car, but I think Silverstone can be even better for us.” Having won the British Gt race last year at a canter, Seb and the Team Parker team will be hoping for a repeat.
Matt hopes to get more silverware soon!
Matt Parry will also be hoping for a good race at Silverstone, having suffered from ill fortune in Monza. As the rest of the grid started the 3 hour race by charging into the first of Monza chicanes, Smiths car, the GT Sport Motul no. 23 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 run by Bob Nevilles team RJN, was forced to start from the pit-lane, when his teammate Alex Buncombe was hit by gearbox problems on the starting grid! Once started, the experienced Buncombe made good progress and made into the top 30 before handing over to Parry, but a fumbled pitstop and more car problems dropped them back. Parry did his best to recover, but problems dogged the car, but at least Lucas Ordonez (who raced with us in 2009, after winning the Nissan Playstation GT Academy competition)was able to bring the car to the chequered flag, albeit several laps down!
Parry commented “It’s a frustrating way to start the season, especially after the promise that our run in qualifying had shown. However, we have to remember that this is an all-new car and that there will always be teething troubles. Hopefully, we will have got most of these out of our system now, because there is certainly a lot of potential in the car’.
Free Practice for the Blancpain Endurance Cup runners at Silverstone will take place at 10.45 on Saturday, 19th May, with Pre-Qualifying following at 15.45.
On Sunday, 20th May, final Qualifying will begin at 09.45 with the big race itself scheduled to commence at 15.00.Live streaming of Qualifying and round two will be carried online at www.blancpain-gt-series.com/ with further coverage on digital satellite and cable channel Motorsport TV. In the UK Freesat – channel 253 – Sky – channel 447 -Virgin Media – channel 545
Team Parker Racing
Drivers Derek Pierce, Rob Smith, Seb Morris GBR
Car number 31
Bentley Continental GT3
Pro-Am Cup after 1 Round
2nd Sebastian Morris 18 points
GT SPORT MOTUL Team RJN
Drivers Matt Parry, Lucas Ordonez, Alex Buncombe
car number 23
Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3
Seb blasts Blancpain Monza race
Blancpain Endurance Cup debutant Seb Morris produced a remarkable performance during the opening event of the 2018 season at Monza in Italy on Sunday, 22nd April, with a fabulous second place finish in the Pro-Am class for Team Parker Racing. The 22-year-old Welshman, was on sensational form from the outset at the Italian venue at the wheel of the No.31 Bentley Continental GT3.
Photo by Jacob Ebray
Scorching to the fourth fastest time overall in qualifying, second in Pro-Am, the reigning British GT Champion turned heads again during Sunday afternoon’s three-hour contest where he delivered a masterclass in overtaking in the final stint of the race on his way to second place in Pro-Am.
Partnered by fellow British drivers Derek Pierce and Rob Smith, who both performed extremely well during the first and second hours respectively, Chester-based Morris is now incredibly excited ahead of the championship’s visit to UK soil next month for round two at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.
“I’m really happy, we had a mega start and Derek drove a really good stint to get from fifth up to first”, said Morris, “Unfortunately, we lost time in the pit-stop due to a radio problem, but we pushed as hard as we could and Rob did a flying stint in the second hour. When I jumped in, I had a really strong stint and we kept the tyres with us the whole way.
“I pulled off some great overtaking, both for position in class and position overall, and it was just a really good, fun race – I think I showed what I can do on the European stage. The leading Ferrari just got too far ahead from us, but at a lot of points during the race we were the fastest car on track so I’m really happy with that.”
He added: “I’ve always said I could compete at this level with the right opportunity, it’s so nice to do that and prove that in my first race in Blancpain which is arguably the biggest GT championship in the world.”
On track with the quickest drivers in the championship during the final hour, including many ‘factory’ racers and vastly experienced international professionals, the Welshman absolutely starred. Holding sixth place initially, he quickly moved back into the top four and produced a memorable pass on the newer generation No.7 M-Sport Bentley Continental at the Parabolica for an overall position gain.
Running 2.5 seconds shy of the class podium placings, Morris reeled in the target AF Corse Ferrari and grabbed third place with just over half an hour to go. Closing down the next gap to the similar Kessel Racing Ferrari, Morris took second place with 25 minutes remaining where he stayed.
“It’s been a fantastic start in Blancpain and this result has only added to our confidence”, he added, “Silverstone next is a good track for us, we were strong there in testing and I obviously won there by a minute and a half in British GT last year, so we’ll go there aiming for another strong weekend.”
Round two of the Blancpain Endurance Cup will take place at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK over the weekend 19th/20th May.
Big Drive And Top-Ten Result For Andy Meyrick In The Michelin Le Mans Cup Season Opener
April 14, 2018, Le Castellet, France – WRDA memberAndy Meyrick put on a show-stopping performance t to bring the Motorsport98 team home a season-opening top-ten result.
The week started extremely well for Meyrick appearing at the top of the leader board in the official practice day on Wednesday. With a day off to strategize, the team returned to the Circuit Paul Ricard for the race weekend. After a second practice day, co-driver Eric De Doncker took the wheel in the morning’s qualifying session before starting the race 16th on the grid. In the Michelin Le Mans Cup, qualifying is done by the Am of the Pro-Am driver pairing.
As the first hour of the race came to a close, Meyrick took over from De Doncker in 13th position. As the race continued Meyrick continued to gain ground and positions. The last half-hour of the race proved to be a test of Meyrick’s driving capabilities as he fiercely succeeded in keeping ahead of the #22 United Autosports Ligier. An exhilarating battle, the pair caught the attention of the TV screens and commentators who agreed that both drivers would have massive grins on their faces after this race.
Andy confirmed “That was a tough race at the end there but good fun as a driver! Unfortunately we were unable to get the qualifying position we had hoped for but Eric put on a great performance in his stint to get us up to 13th. It was an exciting race and a great season opener and I’m happy we could secure a top-ten for the team. They did a fantastic job with the car and as we proved on the official test day, we have the ability to be up in P1. I look forward to the rest of the season and showcasing this some more.”
Next up for Meyrick and Motorsport98 will be The Monza Round at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on May 12th.
British GT is Rockingham-bound for first endurance race of 2018
Saturday 28 April
09:30 – 10:30: Free Practice 1
11:45 – 12:45: Free Practice 2
15:25 – 15:35: Qualifying 1 – GT3 Am
15:39 – 15:49: Qualifying 2 – GT3 Pro
15:53 – 16:03: Qualifying 3 – GT4 Am
16:08 – 16:18: Qualifying 4 – GT4 Pro
Sunday 29 April
09:30 – 09:40: Warm-up
13.10 – 15.10 Race
LIVE COVERAGE Sunday’s two-hour race will be streamed live on the championship’s Facebook page and website, as well SRO’s GT World Youtube channel
Pre-race smiles from Ryan Ratcliffe! Photo by Robert Allender
Stop Press- the Championship stewards have declared a result for the 2nd race, which never was! Rick n Ryan therefore scored 1 point for starting in 10th place! Full details at http://www.britishgt.com/
Q & Race report – In Qualifying Rick was 2nd fastest in his session, but in his session Ryan was 11th.Speaking after Qualifying Ryan confirmed ‘It was an awesome effort from Rick to put us on the front row for Race 1 on Monday! Mixed feelings for my Qualifying, I was getting faster and faster in the car but still not 100% confident to push on new tyres! P11 for me. Let’s see what Monday brings, as its all very tight!
Although it was dry during Qualifying, it was wet and rainy when Race-day dawned on Bank Holiday Monday! Wet weather traction is the Achilles heel in this version of the Bentley Continental GT3 car, and so it was no real surprise in the wet, morning ‘warm-up’ when Rick spun off at the Island bend! Afterwards a clearly unhappy Rick explained ‘I squeezed the throttle gently and the car did a slow spin. There was no traction control at all!’ However the front ‘splitter’ was damaged & the Team Parker mechanics worked frantically as they had only about an hour to fix the car.
Rick gets ready to start the race, before the safety car spread the field all around the circuit! Photo by Robert Allender
Showing their superb professionalism, the car made it to the grid. Rick declared ‘I am just going to drive nice & easy and maybe we can pick up some points’ Ryan interjected ‘I told Rick to try for the lead, and then the others will be eating your spray!’ However it turned out to be not so simple as the race organizers decided to start the race behind the safety car! It set off at a pace and lead the pack around for 3 laps. However, rather than backing off on the ‘In lap’ to bunch the pack up a little, by the time the safety car headed to the pits, there was 45secs between the first and last cars, and the leading car was heading into the first corner, before Rick in the 2nd place car had even exited from Lodge corner! Rick was soon under pressure from Ian Loggie in the 2nd Team Parker Bentley who got past, but they were some both passed by the Lamborghini of Minshaw and Keen. Rick faded away before pitting for Ryan to take over. However Ryan also found ‘The Beast’ a handful in the wet, and made a big bid to stay in the points, until a slight moment dropped him back, to finish out of the points in 12th place. In the end the Aston Martin of ‘Flick’ Haig and her teammate Johnny Adam won the 1 hour race by almost 28 seconds! Another Aston Martin was in 2nd place on a day that suited them. Minshaw and Keen looked on their way to a good result, until a broken wheel forced them into a pit-stop, and they ended in 4th place. With the car in one piece there was at least another race to try to get Rick n Ryans 2018 points tally started, as the Jools Westwood engineed car of Ian and Callum were able to pick up some points with a 7th place finish. However worse (or better depending on your point of view) was to come as the heavens opened and torrential rain flooded the track! Given that in race 1, a dry line did not appear even with 36 cars pounding around for an hour, the track surface was retaining water, and after another 3 laps behind the safety car, the race, and the rest of the programme, was abandoned. Rick summed uop. ‘Race 1 was bad enough, but it was far too dangerous to race! Onwards to Rockingham where we shall let the thunder roar!’
The other big news at Oulton Park was the return to racing of Billy Monger. Also known as ‘Billy Wiz’ he lost both his lower legs after an awful crash in April 2017, he was a sensation 12 months later in his first race in the 2018 F3 Series, finishing 3rd in his specially adapted car!
Reports by Marion A
Preview While some Welsh drivers are getting ready for the Welsh Sports & Saloon Championship to start towards the end of April, some Welsh drivers are already to start their season now! Whilst Ben Hingeley for Abergele has been working hard and showing well in the European F3 test days, Ryan Ratcliffe from Pontyberem near Llanelli, actually starts racing this weekend in the first round of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park! Ryan will link up again with Rick Parfitt Jnr who is the current GT3 champion! Rick was partnered in 2017 by Seb Morris, but now that Seb is moving on to race in the Blancpain Endro Series in Europe, Ryan has taken his place. Rick & Ryan already know each other as they won the GT4 championship together in 2013! They will continue with the Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 car, but with all new sponsorship! Whilst Oulton Park may not be thought of as a ‘Bentley’ circuit, last year Rick n Seb were on pole position for both of the traditional 1 hours races, and Callum Macloed in the 2nd of the Team Parker Racing Bentleys, set the fastest lap, lowering Seb Morris’ record time set in 2016! Team Parker will run 2 GT3 cars again, with Ian Loggie partnering Callum Macloed again! Qualifying will be on Saturday 31st March and the first of the 2 x 1 Hour races starts at 11.00 am on Bank Holiday Monday. (Preview by Marion A)
Saturday May 12th Oulton Park International Circuit
June 10th Pembrey with Citroen C1s
July 29th Donington Park National Circuit
August 19th Pembrey with MSA Time Attack
Oct 14th Pembrey with Trucks
N.B for those of you who want something to do in September there may be a Non-championship sports/saloon car challenge race at Castle Combe in September, usually on their Saturday meeting. The entry fee is usually about £120. Alan will notify everyone when he finds out.
Well done to Dave Scaramanga who has won the 2017 Colin Gundersen Award! Dave had a narrow lead 2.4 point lead over Tyrone Luffarelli (who won the award in 2016) going into the last 2 races at Pembrey, on the new circuit. Both Dave, who races a VW Sirocco in Class CT & Tyrone who races a Peugeot in Class BT, each set a new Class Lap Record in Race one, with Dave making 4 points, as his time was that much better. Crucially however Daves’ fastest lap in race 2 was 99.5% of the new Class CT record, while Tyrones’ Fastest lap was only 97.17% of the new Class BT record, making Dave another 2 points better off, and securing the trophy for him by 8.9 points! Fabio Luffarelli (Tyrones’ dad) was 3rd, only 1 point behind his son, and Richard Francis was 4th only 3.5 points behind Fabio! (n.b all the Class Fastest Laps are taken from the TSL timing website.)
Hi re the 2017 Colin Gundersen Trophy – points after 8 rounds at Pembrey. Dave Scaramanga still holds a narrow lead after 6 rounds from Tyrone Luffarelli with his Dad Fabio in 3rd place, with Richard Francis a close 4th. With the last 2 races held on the ‘New’ Circuit Layout, the established the Class Lap Records gave us a benchmark for the July 23rd races. The Final scoring rounds at Pembrey are on Sunday October 15th
Hi please see the attached Class lap records for the WSSCC races at Pembery. I have sourced them from the ‘official results’ on the TSL website and converted them, so I can use them in the ‘Colin Gundersen’ trophy calculations. So 1.12.345 = 72.345.
Also I can confirm that for the Blake Edwards trophy for race wins, Jason Davies has 7 wins, Chris Everill has 3, Bradley John has one, as does Steve Hall (Guest at Oulton Park). So Jason retains the Blake Edwards trophy. Regards Robert