Round 2 2014 SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship

Croft - 21st April 2014

She did it again!

Organised by Darlington & District Motor Club

by Paul Parker

The day before the Championship Co-Ordinator had been at Knockhill where he enjoyed a warm, sunny day and 16 degrees. Sadly the "warm and sunny" bit was not to be seen until the afternoon for a while but the day was dry throughout. The event unfortunately had a few folk missing. Peter Howgate (dropped valve guide) was awaiting his engine rebuild, John Graham had planned to start his season at Croft but was also awaiting the completion of the engine rebuild of his new mount, Terry Graves had his gears on order to enable his new car to attain Sprint speeds and Mike Musson had discovered shortcomings in the nose and front wing of his car which had to be attended to before re-appearing.

Everyone had missed Croft, there not having been Sprint events at the facility for the previous three years, but the same friendly reception was evident. Also apparent was an excellent new catering facility. Back after a year away was Roy Munro, this time accompanied by his son John, who will also be joining the British Sprint Championship when he has the requisite signatures to upgrade his licence, but Croft was his first event! Also back was Nick Algar also not alone having son Luke as co-pilot in the ex Mike Musson car. The Sports Libre fraternity was enjoying an upswing in numbers with many of them having their first British Sprint Championship outing. Included in this group was Mark Dempster, but sadly he was unable to enjoy much of the day with a problem during practice. Similarly afflicted was Jim Belt who broke some driveshaft bolts during practice, replacements were acquired.

Amongst the Sports Libre family it was a Radical battle during practice, half a second splitting Kurt Ramsden and Matt Carter. Mike Manning was amazing all present, on his first British Sprint Championship outing (although he had planned to start at Castle Combe but a problem after his winter engine rebuild meant his engine couldn't be fitted), with his "launches", although the nature of the car prevented him being quite at the level of the pure Sports Racers. In the 1100s John Munro lead the way, with Richard Arrowsmith close on his heels, and Roy Munro, despite years of Speed Event experience, was enjoying a whole new element of experience, Sprints on a Race Circuit, he was like a kid with a new toy! Among the 2000s all the usual runners were on the pace, but Nick Algar and son Luke, were struggling with the car proving unwilling to provide outright pace. All the unlimited runners were on the pace during practice.

In the timed runs Jim Belt produced a quick run on his sole run (enough, it proved, to qualify for the Top 12 Run Off) but the car came back to the paddock making some strange noises and a damaged diff was provisionally diagnosed. Kurt Ramsden was enjoying the benefit of a winter engine rebuild and was very quick, and Matt Carter was not a huge amount behind him. John Munro proved comfortably quickest of the 1100s and Roy Munro and Richard Arrowsmith were separated by mere tenths. Bill Gouldthorpe & Carole Torkington were discovering an historic March 79B to be one hurdle too difficult to overcome. Nick Algar had a rear wishbone fail on his only timed run attempt (although he did participate in the 3rd timed runs later, once a replacement set of wishbones were collected from their workshop). The Redditch duo of Martin Webb and Tony Jarvis both qualified for the Top 12 but were unable to take part as a 10mm piece of the gearchange mechanism had failed! Mark Smith qualified fastest of the 2000s but got carried away with himself and spun at the chicane during his 2nd timed run. Graham Porrett also mirrored that self same shortcoming during his second timed run.

Top 12 Run Off

So replacements had to be found to substitute for the 3 qualifiers who were unable to run, Jim Belt, Martin Webb and Tony Jarvis. Matt Hillam, Mike Manning and Roy Munro took up the cudgels. Sadly Roy Munro only undertook one of his runs as the exhaust manifold failed during his run (it was hastily repaired to enable Roy and son John to undertake 3rd timed runs later), but he completed the run in a hindered time. Mike Manning on his second run made his quickest time o his second run, albeit slower than his first time run, but all of his times in timed runs and run off were only about three quarters of a second apart. Graham Porrett, aided by a part spin, was hindered on his first run, and having had 2 of them side by side seemed more than conscious of the experience which rather tainted his 2nd run off run. Matt Hillam on his 2nd run off run set his best time of the day. Matt Carter managed to better that on his final run off run....by four hundredths! Kurt Ramsden set his quickest time of the day on his opener and gave him points for 7th. Steve Broughton did likewise, and improved his time over his timed run ones by a significant margin, but on his second attempt tried the novel concept of a Sprint and Autotest combined, which did nothing at all for his time. Then the 2 litre boys undertook their battle with Steve Miles bettering Mark Smith (cautious after his 2nd timed run spin?) on their openers, but they then both turned it on in their second runs with Mark Smith having to better the 2 litre record to overcome Smiles the pair finishing just a quarter of a second apart. Amongst the three unlimited runners both Heather Calder and Terry Holmes opened in the 69s, but Colin Calder opened with a 67. But Heather Calder came back on run 2 with a mid 67, the fastest up to that point. Terry Holmes responded also with a 67 that bettered Colin Calder's first run time. So we were left with just the reigning Champion's final run. It was apparent, from the outset, that he was after not only the win but a new outright record too. Everything looked promising...until the final corner, when in an attempt to hold it in tight to the finish line he spun, so had to rely on his first run off time. So a third of a second covered the top 3 and Heather Calder had win number 2 under her belt!

Results

PositionDriverCarTime
1 Heather Calder3.5 Gould GR5567.49secs
2Terry Holmes3.5 Lola Tegra Judd67.70secs
3Colin Calder 3.5 Gould GR5567.83secs
4 Mark Smith2.0 SBD Reynard DBMH270.33secs
5Steve Miles,/td>2.0 Van Diemen RF96mm1370.57secs
6Steve Broughton2.0 SBD Dallara F399/0173.53secs
7Kurt Ramsden1.5 Radical SR3 turbo74.45secs
8Matt Carter1.4 Radical PR676.73secs
9Matt Hillam2.0 SBD Dallara F399/0176.77secs
10Graham Porrett3.5 Lola Tegra Judd78.17secs
11Mike Manning2.0t Ford Puma81.73secs
12Roy Munro1.0 OMS Zoom84.23secs