The first round of the 2018 championship gathered a high quality field of 19 cars spread across the 3 classes. Amazingly after the terrible weather of the previous few weeks the race day dawned bright & sunny if a bit cold. Practice run 1 took place on a patchy damp track with drivers playing themselves in gently after a long winters break from competition. Track conditions improved all day and some new PB's , particularly from Matt Clarke in the super rapid Mini, proved the grip was there if you dared to try to find it!
Andy Clarke debuted his new race Mini having a good first outing with improving times all day as he adjusted to it. Nick Stephens was out in his pretty Ginetta & will alternate with his Lotus single seater during the year.
All drivers were running in a single BOC / Aldon class on the day. Fastest overall going to Martin Jones (Brabham BT21) , Second place was Philip Stader (Mallock) , Third was Steve Louch (Scimitar GTE) just pipping Simon Braithwaite (Ford Escort) on the final run.
Six cars ran in the BOC single seater division, after Phil Fisher/Mallock non-started. No-one got below their handicap, which perhaps was not surprising given the cool temperatures, some 15 degrees C lower than when most were set last summer. Despite having to repair a sticking throttle, Philip Stader came closest, just 0.74 seconds over target, with Martin Jones second on handicap on + 0.83. Martin was fastest on scratch, with Philip second. Les Buck was third on scratch and handicap, with Les, Grant Cratchley and Michael Gale all within a window of 0.4 seconds in excess of each others' handicap targets. Carole Nichols struggled with only three and a half cylinders in practice, but found the missing 200cc for the timed runs in the afternoon, with each run faster than its predecessor.
Simon Braithwaite & Les Buck
Top - 'Single seater corner' with Les Buck / Martin Jones &
Bottom - Andy Clarke / Nick Stephens & Steve Phennah