The final weekend of the 2016 SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship was not without its contrasts. Saturday a wet day pretty well throughout where as Sunday was a dry sunny day. There were competitors who were unable to complete two full days. On Saturday defending Champion Colin and daughter Heather Calder discovered late in the day a seized bearing in their starter motor, denying them the opportunity of taking part in the Run Off.Even towing the car around the paddock was unsuccessful.So it was a case of stripping the ralcitrant part and rebuilding it, a task which took well into the evening (until about midnight) to solve the issue.On Sunday Terry Holmes was also denied the opportunity of participating in the Top 12 Run Off for which he had qualified as a crank sensor had failed. Tony Jarvis & Martin Webb were back hoping that their engine's maladies had now been solved. They took great care on Saturday but on Sunday were back on their usual form, their final opportunity of displaying the permamnent numbers they had won in 2015.
On Sunday conferences were taking place widely so that all could discover precisely what they had to achieve in order to accomplish their various desired objectives. By Sunday one had already accomplished what he hadn't thought possible, On Saturday his conference was to confirm what he had to do in order to achieve a permanent number for the first time. The odd weather conditions on Saturday enabled Grahame Harden to secure the few points he needed to achieve his objective of 12th place. This he accomplished, accompanied by a smile extending from Holyhead to Bangor, so can wear "No 12" throughout 2017. One or two slight moments during practice on Sunday lead to the car being returned to its place on the trailer before any more damage was caused.
Colin Calder was, by Sunday morning, already safe in first place in the Championship. He had not added to his score but his opposition had not achieved what they needed to in order to displace him. So he became the unprecedented four consecutive year British Sprint Champion. So the battle was for 2nd place. John Graham & Heather Calder began the weekend on equal points. John Graham managed to pick up two more on Saturday, after dropped scores entered the equation. Heather Calder knew that she had to win and gain a bonus point for breaking the outright record and have her father Colin finish in second place to overcome John Graham, as she knew finishing on equal points would be insufficient (which winning would provide) as she would be unsuccessfiul under the tie break rules. Heather achieved part of her objective, she won on Sunday, that's a few she's won this year. Her father Colin managed to finish between his daughter and John Graham BUT she unfortunately failed to break the outright record by some three quarters of a second. This because, most uncharacteristically for her, she did suffer with a slight departure on to the grass, which lost her time. So Heather Calder ands John Graham finished on equal points and after the tie break procedure had been accomplished, John was second and Heather third.
After a frankly dismal year in 2015 when the Terry Holmes & Graham Porrett partnership didn't emerge until mid season, whem the Championship visited Scotland, and as a consquence finished that season without permanent numbers for 2016, they had almost a complete season through 2016. Certainly despite eletronic interferences entering the equation from time to time, they concluded the season back with permanent numbers for 2017, "4" for Terry Holmes and "10" for Graham Porrett.
Steve Miles, after yet more chassis development, retained his "5" from 2016 into 3017, with a win in Saturday's unusual conditions where all possibilities were in show (full wets, intermediates and slicks) not even the tyre manufacturer was the same throughout! Steve (on slicks) accomplished a comfortable victory. Finishing the season in 6th &7th was another SBD powered car, this time the works Dallara, shared by Matt Hillam & Steve Broughton who managed to finish but a few points behind Miles despite leaving Scotland & Northern Ireland visits out of their programme.
Nick Algar had a more active year, with fewer absences than 2015, in 2016 but a few niggles he still wants to overcome have prevented greater success. Nonetheless despite two weekend's where no scores were achieved and other odd events where scoring wasn't either achieved or disappointing (such as Saturday of this Anglesey weekend) Nick Algar wasn't too far adrift of his 2 litre class compatriots.
With the number of different awards that Matt Carter has to collect at the Awards Presntation he will need a fork lift truck and artic to get them all home. Another astonishing performance came about on Saturday. He finished in fourth spot, only a couple of tenths adrift of Terry Holmes in 3rd place and half a second ahead of Matt Hillam in fifth. How does he make the Radical PR6 do such amazing things? Jim Belt's target on Sunday was trying to overcome Graham Porrett's total but he wasn't able to be successful in that quest but bettered his 2015 final position in eleventh. Another engine is in the course of construction (quite different) and it is doubtful how much of Jim we will get to see in 2017. Louise Calder too finished 2016 well, albeit with the engine left in need of some slight tender loving care over the winter.A seventh and ninth placed pair of finishes over the Anglesey weekend were sufficient, with what she had achieved at her only other outing at Knockhill, to leave her placed just behind Simon Bainbridge and the father and son Robb family. Carole Torkington's 11th place concluded her 2016 scoring in her most successful season ever.
1. Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen RF96) 107.54s 2.John Graham (2.8 Gould-NME GR55B) 111.22s 3. Terry Holmes (3.5 Lola Tegra Judd) 113.05s 4. Matt Carter (1.4 Radical PR6) 113.24s 5. Matt Hillam (2.0 SBDDallara F3) 113.75s 6. Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Dallara F3) 114.89s 7. Louise Calder (1.0 Jedi Mk1) 115.44s 8. Grahame Harden (1.1 Jedi Mk 6) 116.70s 9. Graham Porrett (3.5 Lola Tegra Judd) 117.54s 10. Jim Belt (3.0 Juno TR400) 118.69s 11.Carole Torkington (1.6 OMS-SBD Suzuki CF08) 119.52s 12. Nick Algar (1.3s DJ Firehawk) 123.59s
1. Heather Calder (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 73.33s 2. Colin Calder (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 74.30s 3. John Graham (2.8 Gould-NME GR55B) 75.31s 4. Matt Hillam (2 .0 SBD Dallara F3) 78.59s 5.Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen RF96) 78.94s 6. Steve Broughton (2.0 SBD Dallara F3) 79.52s 7. Tony Jarvis (2.0 Dallara- Cougar Power F399/00) 80.47s 8. Nick Algar (1.3s DJ Firehawk) 80.53s 9. Louise Calder (1.0 Jedi Mk1) 82.55s 10. Matt Carter (1.4 Radical PR6) 82.90s 11. Martin Webb (2.0 Dallara- Cougar Power F399/00) 83.15s 12. Jim Belt (3.0 Juno TR400) 84.86s