Colin Calder (having repaired his broken rocker arm after Castle Combe) and Mark Smith had both enjoyed a week in Tenerife. They joined the remainder of the competitors on Easter Monday indulging in the most glorious sunshine at the SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship’s annual visit to the North of England at Croft.
Some North of England based competitors were making their seasonal debut. They included John Graham, out once again in his Gould GR55B, Jim Belt in his Jaguar engined Juno, Colin Birkbeck (back after a couple of years away, now armed with a supercharged Force PT, in the 1600 class), Nick Algar with his supercharged DJ Firehawk, Colin Metcalfe, back for some more action in his ModProd Nissan Primera and debutant Mark Dempster in his Sports Libre Imagination. Missing was casualty Matt Carter after a motor cycle accident.
The Calders took things (for them) fairly gently in practice, but confident all was well then were straight on the pace. John Graham was not far adrift of them. Mark Smith lost time in the final sector of his 2nd timed run, but his first run was only a tenth away from Graham’s. Bradley Hobday had taken advice from Tom Potter (flat everywhere); never having seen the venue before, on the basis of which he took pretty literally and proceeded to take Potter’s class record apart! Steve Broughton demonstrated that all was well with the SBD Dallara, Birkbeck demonstrated his car to be well suited to the Sprint environment and that he’d lost nothing in his absence. Both Miles and Hillam were on their usual pace, although Craig Sampson appeared (for him) off his usual pace. Belt too doing enough to make the Top 12, Tony Jarvis did require a greater effort on his 2nd timed run to squeeze into the Top 12 pipping two or three others who were closely separated by just tenths.
Tony Jarvis opened with a standard banker, but did not undertake his 2nd run having discovered a fuel leak after his opener. Jim Belt was unable to complete his 2nd run. Colin Birkbeck lost a bunch of time as he came to the end of his opener, and didn’t undertake his 2nd effort. Matt Hillam was a few tenths off his best timed run, and was unable to improve on his 2nd attempt, Bradley Hobday found a couple of tenths on his opener and produced a time he was unable to improve upon. John Graham looked on his opener to be pressing Heather Calder, but unfortunately spun in the closing complex. On his second attempt he could muster no more than a banker to secure his points. Craig Sampson made distinct progress from his timed run efforts battling closely with Steve Miles over the 5th and 6th spots. Steve Broughton also made notable improvement, over his timed run times, and showing the car now to be everything he has really always wanted! Mark Smith demonstrated that, despite being hobbled by a foot injury, once inside the cockpit it appeared not to hinder progress with two sub 2 litre record times. Heather Calder, opening with a banker but finding a second and a half on her second run was not enough to beat her father Colin who was, as usual, disappointed not to make record times.
|1||Colin Calder||3.5 Gould GR55||67.01|
|2||Heather Calder||3.5 Gould GR55||68.32|
|3||Mark Smith||2.0 Reynard DB Mk1||70.16|
|4||Steve Broughton||2.0 SBD Dallara F3RB1||71.61|
|5||Steve Miles||2.0 Van Diemen-SBD||72.17|
|6||Craig Sampson||2.0 Reynard DB Mk1||72.73|
|7||John Graham||2.8 Gould GR55B||72.92|
|8||Bradley Hobday||1.0 Jedi Mk4||73.08|
|9||Matt Hillam||2.0 SBD Dallara F3RB1||76.76|
|10||Jim Belt||3.0 Juno TR400||78.02|
|11||Colin Birkbeck||1.1s Force PT||78.29|
|12||Tony Jarvis||2.0 Dallara F399/00||78.61|