On occasions, albeit rarely, we suffer a variation from the sunny summer weather this weekend enjoys. This particular day was one such occasion. The day began with rain, to varying degrees, but fairly consistent. On arrival at the circuit the track possessed a good deal of standing water. That did however subside as the morning progressed, enabling competition to take place. Precipitation did however continue, to some degree or other, until lunchtime. When it did stop that was it, for the remainder of the weekend. For those many competitors that captured the opportunity of a garage slot, they were all grateful for that smart move.
This did represent qualification issues, as the first timed run took place immediately upon the conclusion of the two practice runs, meaning that represented ultimately a lost opportunity to everyone, as the lunch break took place only after it. Indeed those times set after the lunch halt in some cases showed some remarkable intervals one with another. Those few runners who were amongst the fortunate souls who were the second driver in a partnership benefited noticeably. They were some distance away from the remaining runners.
So on this second timed run of the International circuit conditions had improved significantly and the times showed that to be the case. The event entry had benefited from the addition of "visitors" from Guernsey. They were experiencing Sprinting in a way substantially different from anything they had before. They all suggested that the combination of mileage and seat time they'd undertaken was in a different world to what they were used to....and they'd be back, with others! The background to this was that they had, in the past, done "away weekends" at Harewood and Gurston Down before, and more recently at St Goueno (but they've been denied that latter event by the organisers now) so they wanted something else different and this was what they had chosen. For other event entrants it was in most cases the first time they'd seen the Channel islands Sand Racers.
There were a few returnees, Martin Pickles coming back after a break and Peter Howgate benefiting from a new clutch delivered and fitted in the week and Richard Keen taking a turn in the family Dallara this day. The Chichester Mafia, Terry Holmes & Graham Porrett had undertaken their usual week off in Wales, between Pembrey & Anglesey. However the pair were experiencing handling niggles. So much so the Porrett failed to qualify. Although they did improve Timed run one over Timed Run two both the Bill Gouldthorpe and Carole Torkington pair were just beaten to qualification. Out running them were the Sports Libre pair of Matt Carter and Jim Belt. The former opined he had entered the British Sprint Championship this year in the hope of qualifying at least once, he'd already far surpassed that aim. Mike Musson was encountering starting issues, these had to be overcome before he was available to take just one timed run which was just enough to qualify. The came three drivers whose second run times were only separated by small margins. Matt Hillam, Steve Miles and John Graham all were bunched together, but showing notable improvements over their pre-lunch efforts. Two first runners, in a partnership, then bracketed Terry Holmes, Craig Sampson that bit slower and Colin Calder that bit faster. The final runners were all second drivers and the times of Steve Broughton, Heather Calder and Mark Smith all benefited from a combination of both sunshine and sea breeze.
Jim Belt undertook his now customary singular Top 12 run, to secure himself his point. Matt Carter took both of his, each a tenth apart from one another and that gave him a couple of points but he was some margin away from the remainder of the Top 12. Steve Broughton's pair were merely a couple of hundredths apart but this was only a modest interval away from much of the remainder. Mike Musson was next up, steadily improving as the day wore on, but above all discovering he has now to learn his car completely anew it being a quite different character now that his chassis modifications have begun to come into effect. Matt Hillam like his partner had discovered the car transformed with the installation of stronger springs in the week's interval. They both were now feeling they were making real progress, but still work still to do to get the car's handling where they want it. A few tenths quicker was Steve Miles managing to achieve what he thought possible on the day. Again a few tenths quicker was Terry Holmes disappointed with the result, some thinking to take place overnight. Less than a couple of tenths better was Craig Sampson but a second clear of his partner Mark Smith. He in turn was a quarter of a second ahead of a delighted John Graham. He managed his best ever British Sprint Championship finish in 3rd spot. Then the family one two as Colin Calder superseded daughter Heather by tenths to secure the win, the latter disappointed in her performance feeling there was more to come.
|1||Colin Calder||3.5 Gould GR55||73.35secs|
|2||Heather Calder||3.5 Gould GR55||74.05secs|
|3||John Graham||2.8 Gould GR55/td>||77.35secs|
|4||Mark Smith||2.0 SBD Reynard DBMH2||77.60secs|
|5||Craig Sampson||2.0 SBD Reynard DBMH2||78.59secs|
|6||Terry Holmes||3.5 Lola Tegra Judd||78.77secs|
|7||Steve Miles||2.0 Van Diemen RF96mm13||79.01secs|
|8||Matt Hillam||2.0 SBD Dallara F399/01||79.85secs|
|9||Mike Musson||4.0 Pilbeam-Judd KV4 MP97||80.31secs|
|10||Steve Broughton||2.0 SBD Dallara F399/01||81.23secs|
|11||Matt Carter||1.3 Radical PR6||85.64secs|
|12||Jim Belt||3.0 Juno-Jaguar||87.43secs|