14 competitors lined up for this round comprising of Slot it LeMans and Pioneer Muscle Cars. The cold weather combined with a freshly cleaned track meant that grip was at a premium for the first few races.
The Pioneer endurance round was first up. Running opposite to normal track direction threw a lot of drivers off initially. Lap times were slower than normal owing to the low grip conditions, but everyone found a rhythm after a couple of races. Still, there were lots of crashes and quite a few frustrated drivers trying to find a way to put down consistently quick laps. Fortunately, everyone got into the act with marshalling and helping to minimise time lost after de-slots. Car failures and on track incidents also shook up the standings. Front axles coming adrift affected a few drivers; we’ll keep an eye on this for reliability issues next season.
Nick Cochrane took first over Syd Miller, with Chris Kendall rounding out the top three.
Running in the normal direction was a vastly different story. Every driver completed significantly more laps and there was a big reduction in crashes and incidents. Lap records were set, then broken, then broken again. Peter Worth proved 6.8 sec laps were entirely possible, being the first to dip into the bracket with a 6.884 sec lap. Nick Cochrane came tantalizingly close to breaking the 6.7 sec barrier with a 6.815 sec lap later on. Pete Hagerty, Darryl Nutton and Tony Mallinson all managed to put down 6.8 sec laps by the end of the event. Well done to all.
The overall winner for the round was Pete Hagerty. Nick Cochrane finished second, Chris Kendall third. Its great to see the results very close at the top; hopefully we’ll see a few different winners next time out.
Next up was Slot It LeMans. All drivers took a while to readjust to the speed difference of this class compared to the Pioneers. Lap times weren’t helped by the cold track offering little grip in sections, hampering drive out of some corners. As such, positions for the finals were somewhat scattered from the usual standings after heat racing was completed.
The E Main was first up. Mike Fuller and Mark Miller duked it out for the step up. Mike took a comfortable win in race 1 whilst Mark outdrove himself and crashed trying to keep pace. Race 2 was sweet revenge for Mark Miller, regaining his composure to snatch the win from Mike on the last lap by 0.251 of a second. Mark was never headed again and won the final 2 races for the step up.
The D Man competitors were a bit of a shock to see with Matt Boland and Peter Worth lining up against Claire Davie and Mark Miller. Matt romped home taking 4 wins from 4 starts despite being frustrated by an apparent lack of pace from his car. Peter Worth finished second across all the races. The surprise of the D Main was Claire, who improved her pace and nudged ever so close to the 6.9 sec bracket as the races progressed, and took a pair of third places in the final two races.
The C Main was a mostly straight forward affair, with good clean racing all round. Matt continued his winning streak, making it another 4 wins from 4 starts. John Cameron nearly made it a win in race four but was cruelly relegated to second place by Matt who passed him on the final corner of the last lap, taking the win by a mere 0.087 secs. Hard luck John!
The B Main was a fast event featuring lots of side by side racing and plenty of passing. Matt looked set to continue all the way to the A Main after winning race one. Pete Hagerty took the win in race two; the top three drivers in the race being covered by only 0.5 of a sec at the end. Race three saw another win for Matt, making it look likely he’d steam his way through to the A Main. It was not to be though, Pete Hagerty taking the final win and step up to the next event.
The A Main comprised of the expected drivers, and they showed why they deserved to be there. The pace was fast and close and exciting to watch. Nick took the win in race one whilst the rest of the field squabbled over minor placings. Nick also took the win for race two although Darryl Nutton chased him down right to the end, finishing just 0.559 secs behind. Darryl then took charge, comfortably winning race three while Chris Kendall got it together after a torrid couple of laps to take second. Nick recovered in race four, holding off the rest of the field for the final win of the event.
Nick Cochrane claimed the round win, Darryl Nutton second and Chris Kendall third.
And thats it for this season, folks! Trophy night will be upon us soon on July 8th. Please let Syd know if you plan on attending so he can arrange for catering. Look forward to seeing you all there!