Rounds 13 & 14 2018 SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship

Blyton Park-8th & 9th September 2018

A game of two halves

Organised by Nottingham Sports Car Club

by Paul Parker

Well what an oddball weekend that was producing two very disparate results. The Saturday event was notable for something which for some reason we suffer fairly little in the British Sprint Championship...rain. Added to this was that the Eastern Circuit was in use which contain two very tight corners which seemed to affect some cars far more than others. The conditions were such that spins were taking place quite widely. During the day Stewart Robb discovering the advantages of Sprint courses, spinning off both sides of the main "straight", without touching anything. Perhaps a contrast to what might have taken place if his tentative plans to enter the forthcoming Doune hillclimb close to home come close to reality. In fact it was something of a "Pilbeam" day, visits being made by constructor Mike Pilbeam and also fellow large engined Pilbeam Sprint car owner Mike Musson, Blyton Park being possibly the closest venue to home for both. A few "issues" were being encountered. Chris Jones and Chris Bennett encountered clutch issues throughout the weekend and segregated their running to save that element of the car. Some competitors (mentioning no names) discovered "a means of carrying much speed through the final corner" on this course. One of our newer contenders managed to secure his first ever FTD (based upon timed runs) and was understandably chuffed to bits and so had to perform his first ever FTD speech! Graham Blackwell took full advantage of this, as things were different the following day

Top 12 Run Off

John Graham finished bottom of the pile during the course of a weekend he would probably wish to forget, so many issues that he was encountering. Stewart Robb managed to find the other side of the "straight" on his first run and so was understandably cautious on his second run. Chris Jones managed two runs and demonstrated what can often happen in adverse weather conditions in our sport overcoming the 2 unlimited capacity cars and comfortably so. Next was Nick Algar who had to rely upon only his opening Run Off run, pursued by Steve Miles the wet weather enabling him once again to trial tyres from another manufacturer. Tyres from Avon, Michelin and Hankook seeing the light of day in the British Sprint paddock this year and I gather there is yet another manufacturer's products still to appear. Then came a very closely matched group all on the 81 second category. Matt Hillam , Pete Goulding, Heather Calder and Graham Blackwell all more closely matched than normal dry conditions would warrant. There then came the top 3, starting with Steve Broughton having perhaps his strongest weekend for some time, the development of the SBD car showing dividends. At the top were among the two most experienced runners Colin Calder becoming beaten by Terry Holmes, on his first win of the season.

Results

DriverCarTime
1. Terry Holmes(3.5 Lola-Tegra Judd)78.00secs
2. Colin Calder(3.5 Gould GR55-NME78.31secs
3. Steve Broughton(2.0 SBD Dallara F3)79.27secs
4. Graham Blackwell(1.6t Mygale) 81.09secs
5. Heather Calder(3.5 Gould GR55-NME81.14secs
6. Pete Goulding(1.6t Mygale)81.61secs
7. Matt Hillam(2.0 SBD Dallara F3)81.69secs
8. Steve Miles(2.0 Van Diemen-SBD RF96)82.98secs
9. Nick Algar(1.3s DJ Firehawk)83.60secs
10. Chris Jones(1.0 Force TA)84.55ecs
11. Stewart Robb(5.0 Pilbeam MP88B-Judd GV)85.33secs
12. John Graham(3.5 Gould GR55B-NME)90.54secs

The Force TA partnership continued their run limitations partaking of just one practice and one timed run each. Steve Brown was the only member of our runners to indulge in a third timed run. However he was juggling the needs of his British Sprint participation with participation in another championship and its very different scoring system. Nick Algar performed one of those occasional feats and qualified fastest overall which I suspect surprised the whole field? The SBD partnership were hanging on grimly with stellar performances. Steve Miles was bottom of the 2 litre pile some way distant. Stewart Robb qualified top of the unlimited fraternity but then surprisingly withdrew before he was able to participate in the Top 12 Run Off. Both Calders were very clearly after record bonus points to enhance their respective scores. There then came a whole bunch, all qualifying in the 59 second bracket, including Terry Holmes who together with Graham Porrett had a gearbox to rebuild after a tooth made a bid for freedom.

Top 12 Run Off

Just to demonstrate how our sport can produce contrasts from one day to the next Graham Blackwell, having achieved an FTD the day before, on his opening launch managed to break a driveshaft, no finish, no points. Steve Brown admitted to the Top 12 upon Stewart Robb's withdrawal, secured his 3rd capture of points this season for 11th. John Graham concluded his dire weekend with a 10th place finish well below his capabilities, perhaps wondering how he might use the Gould on the farm? Pete Goulding only managed to complete one run and despite completing two runs Steve Miles won't have been pleased with his weekend. Chris Jones at least managed to complete his weekend on a positive note with a new 1100 Racing Car record for the Outer Circuit, with his midfield finish. Only a few tenths better was Steve Broughton but his ever improving times over the day this had to have been considered a positive. Terry Holmes and I indulged in a meaningful discussion on the interpretation of "finish line" in S.9.5.3 (a) as he spun removing one element of the timing equipment. Nevertheless his points for the day placed him in 3rd place in the British Sprint Championship. Nick Algar was unable quite to match his qualifying time in achieving 4th spot but Matt Hillam put in a stormer to break the 2 litre record by a second and a half! Then the family feud......Colin Calder on his second run managed to get within 2 hundredths of the existing outright record, a fact Heather just wished to confirm before her run, then she went out and took half a second off the outright record....and the bonus point she was after!

Results

DriverCarTime
1. Heather Calder(3.5 Gould GR55-NME53.49secs
2. Colin Calder(3.5 Gould GR55-NME54.02secs
3. Matt Hillam(2.0 SBD Dallara F3)55.66secs
4. Nick Algar(1.3s DJ Firehawk)56.46secs
5. Terry Holmes(3.5 Lola-Tegra Judd)57.69secs
6. Steve Broughton(2.0 SBD Dallara F3)57.83secs
7. Chris Jones(1.0 Force TA)58.24ecs
8. Steve Miles(2.0 Van Diemen-SBD RF96)59.15secs
9. Pete Goulding(1.6t Mygale)59.28secs
10. John Graham(3.5 Gould GR55B-NME)61.49secs
11. Steve Brown(1.5 JKS JR01)64.37secs
Graham Blackwell(1.6t Mygale) DNF