Round 12 2018 SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship

Rockingham-19 August 2018

One ofthe more tragic losses?

Organised by Midland Automobile Club

by Paul Parker

In the week leading up to this event news emerged that this venue had been sold. The venue had been up for sale for some time. However it was hoped that one of the circuit operators might have found a home for it. Sadly that appears not to be the case. So we won't get to return. Pretty well throughout the paddock, through the range of cars that a Sprint event represents, there was joy at the venue and sadness at its loss. There have been other Sprints at the facility but only one using the format we enjoyed in this event, and since that was with the VSCC it was unlikely any competitor in the event would have had the advantage of an earlier view.

A further sadness was the loss of Chris' Jones and Bennett during the timed runs with a broken drive chain. For such a short lap, the second shortest of the 2018 season, qualifying times generally were quite closely matched. Conscious of the "bonus points" system, and how it is calculated at a venue such as this where no previous records exist, many were not pressing to the maximum during qualifying. One newcomer to the British Sprint Championship ranks was Piers Thynne. he sadly managed to spin on his first qualifier but produced a time on his second run to ensure he made the Top 12 Run Off. Colin Calder was unaccompanied in the cockpit at this event, Heather's absence explained by her attendance at a wedding. Nick Algar's aid came in the form of a friend with FOM associations. John Graham's gearbox had been repaired. Steve Brown was accompanied by his car's manufacturer JKS Cars' John Kirby. With the loss of the two Chris' everyone qualified for the Top 12 Run Off.

Top 12 Run Off

Piers Thynne's alternator broke on his first timed run, so his time was disappointing and he was unable to undertake a second run. He realised some attention is required to his rear anti roll bar before his next outing the existing one being at the basis for the spins he undertook. But he left the venue with his first British Sprint Championship points. Steve Brown steadily improved his times as the day progressed and made his second points collection of his career. Graham Porrett's Run Off performance was rather disappointing, both times being rather less than his second qualifier. Steve Miles committed the ultimate sin for an experienced British Sprint Championship contender, he spun on his opener. This of course left him under pressure to produce a time on second run in order to gain any points. This he did albeit in the form of a "banker" and somewhat less than of which he was capable. John Graham's performance seemed curious, his opening Run Off run being rather less than both his qualifiers and even his second run although a notable improvement seemed to this observer to be disappointing. Interestingly the performances of both Steve Broughton and Nick Algar were comparable, hundredths apart on their openers and only a few tenths separated them on their second runs. Splitting them however was Pete Goulding, only a hundredth adrift of Algar, before he and wife Diane flew off on their holidays. Terry Holmes steadily improved throughout the day through both qualifiers and Run Off runs. What he was unable to do was match Graham Blackwell's best time which must be considered the performance of his season so far overcoming Holmes by a tenth, a remarkable performance indeed. Matt Hillam's too was an outstanding performance, being only a second shy of the outright winner, and considering who that was he had every reason to be pleased. Finally and unexpectantly Colin Calder decided, even if it was only a one day event, the opportunity of potential bonus points was too good to turn down. So he undertook the 12 hour trip and gained the bonus point in addition to his 12 winner's points, he was pleased at least.

Results

DriverCarTime
1. Colin Calder(3.5 Gould GR55-NME))50.65secs
2. Matt Hillam(2.0 SBD Dallara F3)51.93secs
3. Graham Blackwell(1.6t Mygale) 52.74secs
4. Terry Holmes(3.5 Lola-Tegra Judd)52.86secs
5. Nick Algar(1.3s DJ Firehawk)53.45secs
6. Pete Goulding(1.6t Mygale)53.46secs
7. Steve Broughton(2.0 SBD Dallara F3)53.83secs
8. John Graham(3.5 Gould GR55B-NME54.51secs
9. Steve Miles(2.0 Van Diemen-SBD RF96)54.91secs
10. Graham Porrett(3.5 Lola-Tegra Judd)57.00secs
11. Steve Brown(1.5 JKS JR01) 58.21secs
12. Piers Thynne(2.7 Radical SR8)74.03secs