Another day and more sunshine. But the paddock looked very empty after the Paul Matty Lotus fraternity had departed, having just taken part in the one day.
Steve Miles was beavering away taking the rear of his car apart, bit by bit, in preparation for the removal of his engine and its journey to Surbition for attention. Just as well it's a few weeks before it's needed again in Northern Ireland! The Redditch pairing of Martin Webb and Tony Jarvis left in the morning to attend to their clutch before our next event and Dave Cutcliffe's car needed similar attention and journeyed home in the morning.
More cars suffered unfortunate damage during the day. Mike Musson's rear suspension was damaged but he felt the mechanical drama would take little fixing. Steve Broughton's car holed its exhaust box, so put his feet up and enjoyed the sunshine later in the afternoon. The dramas suffered by the Bill Gouldthorpe/Carole Torkington car the previous day whilst not totally overcome were at least under control.
Amongst the Sports Libre fraternity competition was fierce, newcomer Paul Horrox now on the pace and the pair were but a tenth apart during the Timed Runs and both within an ace of Top 12 qualification. Grahame Harden was higher up the order in the National course format, but was his happy, smiling self all day long. In the 1600s Glyn Sketchley took one timed run and then crossed his fingers it would be sufficient to qualify, which it was.... just! Amongst the two litres Matt Hillam had shaekn free of the rust absence brings, the day before, and was now much more on the pace to qualify 10th half a second shy of Phil Lynch. John Graham was another tenth quicker than Lynch but Mark Smith continued as class leader (and was contemplating a trip accross the water, as he cannot make the season end Anglesey weekend). The unlimited class runners were following the Sketchley example and both Heather Calder & Terry Graves took just the one run. The Chichester Mafia were beavering away to try to keep the tyres in shape and Mike Musson qualified midfield, only afterwards discovering his mechanical drama, which meant he was unable to take his place in the Run Off. Colin Calder headed Terry Holmes at the head of the field, with daughter Heather a few tenths behind Mark Smith in 4th, and Terry Gravesand Graham Porrett next up
Grahame Harden was over the moon at taking Steve Broughton's place, and the whole paddock heard when the Co-ordinator said he had to drive an orange car! He nonetheless drove sensibly with the conservative banker followed by a much better second run to collect a couple of points (benefitting from Mike Musson's absence). Next up was Phil Lynch who improved over his best timed run to finish with his best of the day which was unfortunately only sufficient for a 10th place finish. In 9th place and 3/10ths ahead of Lynch was John Graham who was unable to repeat his day's best (in the first timed run) and half a second ahead was Matt Hillam to conclude a good weekend for him in 8th. In 7th place with two runs which murdered the existing 1600 record (which earned him a couple of bonus points) was Glyn Sketchley who finished quite delightedly having broken the 100 second mark on his final effort and perhaps drive of the day. Graham Porrett was 6th with his best time of the day but was headed by Terry Graves who put in two runs, better than his singular timed run, over a second and half ahead of the Chichester garage owner (finishing with a glow that should take him all the way to Le Mans, which is his next planned trip) to take 4th. Mark Smith was unable to better his timed runs in either of his Top 12 attempts and was consigned to 5th as a result. Terry Holmes put in a banker a second and a third better than his best of the day so far, but could not better that in the second effort. Heather Calder put in a first effort over 3 seconds quicker than her sole timed run to put the pressure on her father. Colin Calder was nonetheless able to beat that......but only just....by 3/100ths!! Transmission issues lead to Heather being slower second time around and Colin concluding his second run at the end of the first lap, for the same reason. I know of one young lady's mother who has an opinion on this particular family battle!!
So another weekend concluded at one of the most, if not the most, popular venue on the calendar. Well run, as ever by our friends at Chester Motor Club. At least everyone has a few weeks break before heading across the water for the 2013 event at the longest running venue in the SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship calendar, appropriate as this year we are essentially the guests of honour as the ANICC use the event to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
1. Colin Calder 93.17; 2. Heather Calder 93.20; 3. Terry Holmes 94.41; 4. Terry Graves 96.18; 5. Mark Smith 97.11; 6. Graham Porrett 97.80; 7. Glyn Sketchley 99.81; 8. Matt Hillam 100.34; 9. John Graham 100.82; 10. Phil Lynch 101.16; 11. Grahame Harden 103.64; DNS Mike Musson;