Cadwell Park (Wolds Trophy) – 22 June 2014
Warm weather greeted the HRSR 'ByBox' competitors to this picturesque Lincolnshire circuit for the 7th and 8th rounds of the championship. 22 cars started practice and included the great sounding DKWs of Tim Bishop and Mike Ryman, Warren Briggs' Mustang, Steve Platts' Imp, Richard Dutton's Cortina, Pete Morgan's Mini and Stuart Kerr's Imp all making their season's debut at this challenging track.
For once Tim Davies and Neil Brown were jolted off pole by Warren Briggs' Mustang with Tim and Neil next up ahead of Mike Gardiner's Cortina and John Avill and Richard Dutton's Cortinas. Richard's is the newly rebuilt car that Neil Brown rolled heavily at Thruxton last year. Tim Harber and Pete Morgan's Minis had class D to themselves as Roger Godfrey had a rare absence this weekend and they took 7th and 8th on the grid with Simon Benoy's Imp and Graham Pattle's Cortina completing the top ten, ahead of a trio of Imps with Adrian Oliver ahead of Steve Platts and Shaun Hazlewood. Adrian was suffering with ignition problems towards the end of practice whilst Steve was running himself in having been serving in the middle east for a few months but soon back on the pace being just .032 behind Adrian. Shaun had a 'moment' on oil from the holed sump of Warren's Mustang and a bit of autocrossing broke a front wishbone on his Imp. However, a spot of welding using Warren's welder had the Imp ready to race, though Warren was not so fortunate and the sump could not be repaired in time for race one.
OK, so let's check the timesheet and see which Anglia is quickest this time. What! No Anglias! I can't remember when we've had a race without an Anglia on the grid. What's happened to this mainstay of HRSR Historic Touring Car racing?
With Warren missing the race Tim had the front row to himself and led from the start with Neil making a dreadful start and being swamped as the field entered the first corner. Tim led at the end of the lap from Richard Dutton's Cortina, Mike Gardiner and John Avill's similar cars with Neil in fifth. Next up was a great scrap between Pete Morgan and Tim Harber's Minis just ahead of Adrian Oliver and Simon Benoy's Imps and continued for seven laps with less than a couple of seconds covering the four until Adrian fell back with recurring ignition problems and Pete Morgan pulled off on lap 8 out on the circuit.
Back at the front Tim led the entire race and easing 3 seconds clear of Richard Dutton before Richard retired with transmission problems on lap 9. Behind this pair Neil passed John Avill on lap 2 and closed in on Mike Gardiner before taking third before Richard's retirement elevated him to second place for a few laps before Mike regained the place and held it to the end with Neil in third. John Avill stayed close behind and during a frantic period as the three lapped traffic near The Mountain Mike dropped behind John before repassing him as the traffic thinned. A great race between these three which really entertained the crowd. Tim Harber, Simon Benoy and Adrian Oliver filled 5th to 7th places and Steve Platts, Graham Pattle and Mark Watts (Mustang) completed the top ten. Steve was running on his own during the early laps but his lap times started to increase towards the end and Graham started to catch him as he got more used to the Cortina at Cadwell and they both gained on Adrian's ailing Imp though the flag came before they caught him. Dave Cabena and Shaun Hazlewood had uneventful races but next up, Roger Cope, had gearbox problems at the end of the opening lap and lost the place to Richard Cross's Triumph 2000 before deciding to stay in third gear for the rest of the race and regaining the place at two thirds distance as Richard's Triumph went decidedly offsong towards the end. Unfortunately, neither was able to take part in the second race.
Stuart Kerr, Richard Conway's Volvo P544 and the two sewing machines (sorry …. DKWs) completed the finishers with Colin Flynn's Mini being the other non-finisher. With Warren's Mustang, Richard's Cortina and Pete Morgan's Mini being repaired in time there would be 19 cars ready for race 2.
Race two and Tim was on pole again with Mike alongside. Neil and John were on row two. Off the line it was Tim’s two litre power that just told as they swept into Cascades. Neil made it past Mike on the back straight and this is how the first three stayed until lap three. Now, following their retirements in race one, Richard Dutton and Warren Briggs started from the back and were working their way up the order. Richard was now with the leading group and in John’s mirrors, with Warren a couple of places further back. Lap four and it’s all change – Mike and John slip past Neil until lap five when Neil regains momentum and both he and the charging Richard pass John. They weren’t to get to grips with Mike though, who put in fastest lap and halved the gap to Tim, serenely reeling off the laps out front. Tim then held the gap at around three seconds to the flag. Neil kept first John, then Richard, at bay for third. Richard’s erratic progress was caused by a gearchange that stuck in neutral for a few seconds then freed itself off. All through this excitement Warren was steadily closing in, demoting John to sixth on lap ten, but not quite able to challenge Richard’s fourth place. These top six were always clear of Simon Benoy’s Imp, that kept Graham Pattle’s Lotus Cortina always at a just out of reach distance. Similarly, Graham kept Tim Harber’s Mini behind, but only just. Tim came under increasing pressure from a flying Pete Morgan who was another starting at the back after race one retirement and only fended Pete off by a few tenths at the line for ninth. Quite a gap back to Steve Platts, whose excitement came when trying to fend off Pete Morgan’s progress up the field. Mark Watt’s Mustang (going better and better nowadays), Dave Cabena’s Alfa (quite a moment on the grass up the Mountain!), Tim Bishop’s DKW, Stuart Kerr’s Chamois (posh Imp), Richard Conway’s Volvo and Mike Ryman’s DKW completed the finishers.
Report by Peter Hore and Peter Wray