Cadwell Park (Wolds Trophy) - 18/19 June 2016
ByBox Historic Touring Car Championship
There can’t be many motorsport venues more attractive than Cadwell with so many great spectating points and despite the Saturday weather being ‘threatening’ with a definite chill in the early morning air the rain held off for the meagre group of hardy HRSR stalwarts supporting this round of the ByBox Championship.
Practice saw John Avill and Graham Pattle make the front row an all Cortina affair ahead of Bob Bullen’s Anglia and Simon Benoy’s Imp. Tim Harber’s Mini and Peter Hore’s Cortina filled row 3, Pete having his second race after a five year lay-off steering the HRSR rather than his Cortina and still feeling a bit rusty despite a couple of good races at the recent Snetterton meeting. Ian Claridge’s Anglia was next up driven by his son James and Adrian Oliver, Mark Watts and Roger Godfrey rounded off the top ten in Imp, Mustang and Mini respectively. Tim Bishop had one of his occasional races with us in his DKW, now painted Black rather than the Green we are familiar with, the 2 stroke engine note a nice change from the norm.
All the cars that practiced were fit to start the race and the two front row Cortinas shot away as John beat Graham away from the lights into a lead he held to the flag. Graham gave him no chance to relax, however, and there was never more than 1.8 seconds between them throughout and the gap closed in the last three laps to around half a second at the end. I think this was probably John’s first outright win with HRSR. Bob’s Anglia was a bit tardy off the line allowing Simon’s Imp to slot into third place and a grassy moment at Hall Bends on the opening lap allowed Tim Harber’s Mini to head the Anglia briefly before it asserted it’s power advantage along the bottom straight. Simon held on for a fine third overall and class win but Bob retired his car at the bottom of the Mountain on lap 6 with a recurrence of the distributor problem that caused his retirement at Silverstone. Tim held on to a class winning fourth overall but was harried in the closing laps by James Claridge as he got used to racing the Anglia for the first time. Just as an aside, Tim’s YouTube videos are always entertaining and worth viewing – they certainly help to pad out these reports – and show how hard Mini drivers have to work!
Mark Watts made a good start and powered the Mustang ahead of the row in front as Peter Hore was slowish off the line and he managed to keep Pete’s quicker Cortina behind for most of the race before retiring on the penultimate lap. Once free of the Mustang the Cortina quickly closed on James Claridge’s Anglia but there were not enough laps left and a grassy moment in the Hall Bends on the last lap (repeated in race 2 – but I’ll let Pete report on that!) meant that James took the class win. Adrian Oliver and Roger Godfrey also got by Pete during his excursion but the HRSR Chairman was not fazed by the moment and seemed to have really enjoyed his day. The race, though short on numbers, was full of good racing and Adrian and Roger diced throughout with the Imp ahead for 3 or 4 laps before Roger got his Mini ahead where he stayed to the end though only by a half second or so until Adrian slowed on the last lap. David Alexander had a bit of a lonely race after the opening lap with a large gap before Richard Cross took the Triumph 2000 over the line in tenth place ahead of John Marsden’s converted rally car Mini (John having been a rallyman for many years) and Tim Bishop’s DKW. Stuart Kerr was a non-finisher in his Imp but was running close to Richard’s Triumph which he had beaten in practice.
The retirees from race 1, Stuart Kerr, Bob Bullen and Mark Watts, had all rectified their car problems and all started race 2 on Sunday afternoon after quite a long wait after Saturday’s race. As I couldn’t be there on the Sunday I’ll pass this over to Peter Hore for his driver’s perspective of the race. But just in case he doesn’t mention it – don’t forget his grassy moment from Tim Harber’s video!
Qualifying and race 1 having been reported by Peter Wray, it’s another driver’s perspective view of race 2 ‘from the cockpit’. Strange word, cockpit…… In race 1 I’d forgotten to put it in gear at the start, which makes for lots of revs and a loud crashing sound as you put it in first in a panic. Remarkable how strong these Quaife gear sets are….. Anyway, I’m behind Roger on the race 2 grid and he at least selects a gear, but one a bit lower than third would have made for a sharper getaway! I’m on the ball though and swerve for the inside, manage to clear Roger (and the pitwall) and I’m into fifth by Coppice. I’m holding off Tim’s Mini and Mark’s Mustang, but have delusions of catching Bob’s Anglia. My exuberance in this quest eventually leads to an ‘off’ through the Hall bends and Tim’s through, thank you very much. My confidence dented, I settle for sixth, which becomes fifth when Graham Pattle retires his Lotus Cortina (rear suspension failure over the Mountain)from the lead dice with John Avill’s similar steed. There was a remarkable performance by Simon and his Imp to take second place, just a second shy of John. Simon is really on it nowadays, as he has been for the past couple of years. Bob took the Anglia to third (about fifteen seconds adrift, but with similar lap times to the leaders). Tim was quite pleased with his fourth place, and me with fifth in the end. Mark’s Mustang wasn’t far behind for sixth (I’d had a great scrap with him in race 1) and neither was the evergreen Adrian’s Imp in seventh. Roger brought the Mini home eighth after his sluggish start, I suspect having a quietish race by his past standards! James Claridge was ninth in the Anglia and would have been somewhat further up the order but for a spin out of the hairpin at mid distance. David Alexander overcame the brake issues that had afflicted his Alfa in testing to round out the top ten, and be the last unlapped too. The Triumph continues its reliability demo! – Richard came close to dipping under 2 mins for a lap, holding off John Marsden’s Mini for eleventh. John actually lapped faster than Richard at times, but consistency kept Richard to the fore. Stuart Kerr’s Singer Chamois was close behind John at the flag and all were fairly well clear of Tim’s buzzing DKW who completed the fourteen finishers.