ROC News

DONINGTON 11 JULY 2015: RACE REPORT

25th July 2015

Many apologies for the big delay, getting the pics turned out to be a bit of a Sherlock Holmes Job! Still, hopefully better late than never!:

Well, with so many superb things and memories, where should I start?

How about back to front just to be different? So in summary, cracking track, cracking weather, cracking vibe, cracking company, cracking racing and that’s before I mention the cracking curry and rice!

The day's action started with some of the closest qualifying I've seen for a long time: OK not unexpectedly, Tim Gray was the quickest by several whole seconds in his Invitation Class Spire, but wow, look at the rest of the times!; six cars were in the 1.08s, three were in the 1.09s and the remaining cars weren’t very far behind at all. High points of qualy were Tim’s astonishing 1.05.9 / 108mph best lap, stellar performances from both Jon-Paul Ivey and Mark Boot given the length of time since either have been on track in a Radical and the awesome sight of five PR6s on track together (there would have been six, but Will Brown was exposed on TSL as driving ROC’s cheap and nasty counterfeit Busa engined PR6 made in the People’s Republic of China Copy, hence it being shown as the infamous PRC Mayausa!), always an awesome sight and sadly no longer seen in the Radical Club/Sprint Championships – just two on Saturday and just the one on Sunday @ Snett according to TSL. Less cheery points were finding out that the always charming Richard Wise’s Spire had yet again occasioned engine problems after just the one (very impressive) flying lap, terminal type, so he was out for the day and Bob Scanlon’s car which was already showing signs that all was possibly not completely well.

And so to Race One with obviously millions of viewers utterly glued to Motors TV. Richard was obviously missing, but unfortunately so too was Bob having run out of electricity. The start?; essentially a problem and incident free standing start (I really enjoy writing that!) bar two small points; the commentators on Motors get overly animated about Will’s very slight downhill gradient creep before he just like everyone else powers away when the lights finally go out – how many times have I told you about putting your handbrake on properly Will? – and (due to sophisticated logistical nuances – how do you like that Darcy?) Darcy Smith belatedly joins the back of the pack from the pit lane at the end of the first lap. In the early laps there are two groups with close racing going on; for 2nd between Will, Gary Paterson and Jon-Paul and slightly further back between Mark and Doug Carter, a battle that will run right to the chequered flag with rarely much more than half a second between the two of them. On Lap 4, having sold him a really nice feint, Gary gets past Will into Redgate and immediately Jon-Paul ups the heat on Will B to Gas Mark 9, a titanic battle prospect emerging that promises to run all the way to the line, definitely as a duo, likely as a trio with Gary being part of it as well. But alas, it is not to be; on Lap 5 Jon-Paul loses the back of the car through Coppice and gets beached in the kitty litter. Waved yellows then no yellows at all (during which Will passes Gary) eventually evolve/resolve into all waved yellows and then an actual short deployment of the safety car.  Lap 8 and we’ve all gone racing again, with Doug continuing to pile the pressure on Mark and likewise Gary on Will, but then Gary loses the back of the car from Redgate towards the Craners and spins, unfortunately losing several places before thankfully he is able to rejoin the fray. Tim meanwhile goes about doing it all again, gets his head down and simply powers away at the rate of about 2 seconds per lap. So, it was relative calm by the chequered flag: Tim 1st in Invitation Class and Overall and about 15 seconds clear of Will with 1st in Class A1 and 2nd Overall and about 8 seconds clear of Mark with 2nd in Class A1 and 3rd Overall, closely (and I mean closely!) followed by Doug who took 3rd in Class A1. Julian Griffiths took the Class A2 honours.

We then had Japanese Curry & Rice, expertly prepped by professional foodie Sao Brown (Mrs Will) in the wee early hours that very morning and served up by Mr Will right next to the rice steamer powered Transit. And truly excellent it was too, the phrase ‘universally acclaimed’ springs to mind ........ and yes it was FOC - not £15 as Doug perhaps tellingly noted!

And so to Race Two, still with those millions of viewers completely glued to it on Motors TV. Another problem and incident free standing start (yes I really really enjoy writing that!), still without Richard obviously, but this time pleasingly with both Bob and Darcy on the grid, both of them making early progress, likewise Jon-Paul, getting past Gary to go battling hard with Will again. Perhaps it was that close attention from Jon-Paul that inspired Will’s move on Tim into Redgate on Lap 3, Will leading momentarily before Tim gained the lead back through Craners and started to steadily pull away, leaving Will and Jon-Paul to recommence their epic close battle. Unfortunately, by the end of Lap 6 Bob’s electrical/engine problems had returned, forcing him to retire and then on Lap 12, would you credit it, Lady Luck was yet again supremely unkind to Jon-Paul with his chain letting go on the Dunlop Straight, leaving Will, Gary and Mark all in comfortable 1st, 2nd & 3rd places respectively in Class A1. There was a real good little tussle in the final few laps between Darcy, Doug and Mike Davis, with that being the eventual finishing order. So, except for that, again relative calm ensued reigned at the chequered flag: Tim was again 1st in Invitation Class and Overall and about 15 seconds clear of Will who was 1st in Class A1 and 2nd Overall and about 8 seconds clear of Gary with a well-deserved 2nd in Class A1 and 3rd Overall, followed by Mark who took 3rd in Class A1. One heck of a performance after that long out of a car Mark! Julian again took 1st in Class A2.

Driver of the Day was awarded to relative aero-newby Mike after his solid performance in Race One and in Race Two having the confidence and ability to have a good battle with long-timers Darcy and Doug and indeed, making a fine save out of Goddards on the final lap. You are making great progress Mike!

So a paddock full of great company (be that drivers, helpers, supporters, friends and/or family) with one of the best vibes I’ve felt for a very long time; the two thoroughly entertaining, fast, clean, fair and contact free races were an absolute pleasure to be part of and watch.

So Thank You One & All: let’s hope we can have another generous dollop of that (including those who wanted to be at Dony but unfortunately couldn’t make it) at the next ROCC Round at Snetterton 300 on 30 August 2015

Trev

PS After the (ahem) ‘slight confusion’ with BARC regarding the taking and provision of photographs, we are much obliged and indebted to professional photographer Mick Walker (who regularly carries out commissions for the likes of Autosport & Motorsports News etc) for the great pics which now accompany this race report. Many thanks Mick! In addition, we are pleased to announce that each and every competitor will be receiving a DVD copy of the actual televised broadcast professionally produced by and courtesy of Motors TV; we will be in touch with each of you shortly to get a postal address to send the DVD to as soon as we receive them. Our sincere thanks to Motors TV!

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