With the weather determined to spoil the weekend's fun, the garages were a very welcome bonus. Other formulae in the regular paddocks were subject to a biting wind with rain on and off throughout both days.
Saturday's qualifying and race were held in extremely slippery and dangerous conditions with the race being red-flagged after Winston Graham became wedged in his car in Copse's gravel after being T-boned. Winston was shaken but unhurt, and the car suffered relative minor damage, but it was sufficient to end Winston's first weekend in the car. Stephen Huison in Peter Burnham's car, Philip Barak and Martin Goddard were also sidelined for the weekend following their "offs". And so 24 cars started the second part of race 1 with a brilliant drive from Steven Dickens in his dad's Proto winning outright from Paul Gibson who'd spun and worked his way back from last to second. Rob Manson was 3rd overall and first "A" Class home. Sports 1600 was won by probably the fastest lady race driver in the world, Michelle Hayward, closely followed by "Wyd" Pickering and Alex Champkin. Barry Webb won as he pleased in "B" class chased by a resurgent Brian Hunter not far behind. Newcomers Graeme Smith, Chris Lake, and David Barnett all had mixed fortunes and agreed that the conditions were a baptism of fire!
Sunday's Motors TV dawned with an even stronger wind and heavier rain! Worringly, the track surface caused multiple crashes for the first part of the morning, with a very serious one delaying the day by well over an hour. This resulted in us agreeing to drop our qualifying session. And so, as you may have seen on Motors TV tonight at 9pm (also repeated during the week ahead), 25 cars gridded up including Peter Burnham who'd put his broken Mark27 to one side and gone home overnight to "commandeer" his son's Mark 21, thereby starting from the back of the grid. The rejuvenated Steven Dickens took the lead whilst Paul Gibson hit oil at Maggotts and spun to last. Paul's drive through the field, witnessed by the onboard Motors TV camera, made for an extremely exciting race which kept the commentator's voices at Murray Walker levels of excitement. Whilst the camera followed Paul, the scraps throughot the field were enthralling, resulting in a very happy buzz of excited and happy faces in parc ferme. Steven won outright just 2.3 seconds in front of Paul, followed by our Californian visitor Rob Manson in his works "A" class Mallock third. "Wyd" Pickering was first Sports 1600 car followed by Michelle Hayward and Adrian Langridge who'd been glued to Alex Champkin throughout the race. Barry "Retire" Webb won "B" class again and is already looking towards winning championship number 12! Drivers of the days were Chris Pickering on Saturday and Steve Everson on Sunday, with Dave Beecroft's Orex Competition mechanic Andy Marshall winning the Mechanic of the Meeting award. Trophies were presented by our title sponsor Phil Weaver of King Henry's Taverns. As well as our races overall winner Steven Dickens, both Phil and Peter Burnham were interviewed on Motors TV and will be signing autographs later!
Chris Hart 29th March
I thought that the Motors TV coverage I have seen was very good indeed. The expert commentary from David Addison with his in depth knowledge and enthusiasm for Clubmans was a bonus.
Phil Weaver's interview was priceless - he came across with bubbling enthusiasm for Clubmans as our series sponsor. Brilliant!
Peter Burnham's interview was equally good - portraying perfectly the dedicated enthusiast which epitomises Clubmans racing.
The overwhelming message any viewer should have received is that these cars are very fast, good value for money and raced by a bunch of friendly enthusiasts. We all know that of course - but hopefully that message will have got through to a few more people now.
They even mentioned a guy working for Jaguar leaving Clubmans for F3 some years ago but joined back in Clubmans as he missed Clubmans so much... Forgot his name but the story tels it all
Pete that's fine but when you next talk to David Addison will you please advise him that my name is not "Backmarker" he unfortunately called me that twice