After a very troubled year for the Bugatti Owners Club the members competing in their home championships finally returned to the historic venue. The meeting ran pretty much perfectly with only a couple of hold-ups due to some minor 'offs'. In view of the problems faced by the new team running the venue it must be judged as a successful if very low-key start - well done to all concerned, it was great to be back and appreciated by all the drivers present on the day.
Weather conditions were very mixed with an early damp track, the drying, then dry, then rained on again - it was a bit of a lottery and certainly unpredictable!. Added to this was a very green track surface, a result of the long lay-off at the venue and this will improve throughout the planned 5 meetings in 2020.
A bumper field of 15 cars started the day including the return of former front-runner in the class Anthony Ward in his immaculate and highly modified BMW 2002. The sheer variety of cars made for an entertaining and close fought battle - both on scratch and handicap times. Handicap winner was Stephen Akers in his rally spec Mini with a time 0.43 seconds under his target. Second (also Mini mounted) was Andy Clarke just over his handicap by 0.18 seconds. Third was Scimitar GTE driver John Louch in the Martini stripped car , sharing once more with son Steve. Fastest scratch time went to Simon Braithwaite in his Mk1 Escort with a time of 50.43 seconds. Second was Matt Clarke on 51.14 in the ultra rapid Mk1 Mini, followed by John Louch on 51.39.
The class was largely divided into a Porsche verses MG contest. The new 911 of Richard Jones joining the ultra quick Josh Sadler in his similar car. This pair took the Scratch time placings with Josh setting a very good time of 49.75 seconds to Richards 50,97. Third place on scratch was Steve Phennah in his MGB roadster on 53,32. Steve also took the handicap victory as his time was 0.14 seconds under his previous best. Richard Jones' 50.97 was 0.03 under the new estimated handicap time by Tim Milvain giving him second place. Third went to Charles Boulton in his MGB , 0.87 seconds off his best.
Single Seaters & Sports Racing cars:
This class contained 8 runners, split fairly evenly between the two vehicle types. Fastest overall was Andy Tippett in the Brabham V8 with a time of 46.39 seconds , second was the always rapid Peter Thurston in his Mallock on 46.71 followed by the Ensign of Mike Bainbridge (complete with repaired driveshafts after last weeks Shelsley dramas) on 47.39. Handicap win went to Phil Fisher in another Mallock, 0.94 off his PB. Second was Andy Tippett 1.17 seconds adrift, third was Les Buck in the Pringlett Formula Ford some 1.68 seconds off his PB.