Wins on both days in the final two events of the season created a dramatic conclusion for Colin Calder. It provided him with the SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship for 2015 and, in so doing, created an almost unique achievement in it becoming the 3rd year of a consecutive years hat trick of such Championships (something only achieved once before almost 40 years ago.) However there was more, it also enabled Colin Calder to create new record of 33 British Sprint Championship event wins, a record which has stood for almost 20 years. The first of the weekend’s events were achieved with a new outright record for the two lap National format of circuit. He also won the brand new format for the 2nd day of a combination of a lap and half of the Coastal circuit combined with an element of the International circuit format. Runner up on the Saturday was John Graham and accomplished a 3rd place finish in the 2015 British Sprint Championship although a mistake during the timed run of the Sunday event lead to him failing to qualify. Mark Smith unfortunately broke a drive shaft during the Saturday Top 12 Run Off which broke much of that corner’s suspension. Nonetheless his performances throughout 2015 enabled him to hold on to his 2nd place overall. His co-driver for the season, Craig Sampson, produced a 3rd place finish on the Saturday which secured him 4th spot in the Championship. Fifth place in the Championship went to Steve Miles with two good solid points scoring days. Also scoring well both days and enhanced his score in doing so was Bradley Hobday, enough to secure his 6th place season end finish. With a combination of some coaching (and testing a new Avon tyre compound?) gave Matt Hillam a good finish and score on Saturday, which gave him an overall 7th place. 8th & 10th place were shared by the Tony Jarvis & Martin Webb after a solid season long performance by the pair. They were separated by Championship sponsor Steve Broughton who finished strongly with a fine performance on the Sunday, in the same car driven by Hillam on the Saturday, and gave him “no 9” throughout 2016.
Perhaps the one thing that the customarily efficient Longton & DMC organisers suffered with, over the course of the weekend, was a surfeit of entries (perhaps as much as 30%?) given the ambitious programme provided. It was perhaps that programme itself which lead to the number of entries, particularly with a totally new venue format on Sunday. To those whose standards are determined by the number of runs offered it was a disappointment, although in fact, the mileage was no different to that in years gone by, and provided a venue format quite unique on Sunday.
Perhaps those who want 5 runs and be on their way home by 4pm on Sunday night might think of an alternative for 2016. Those who I spoke to certainly were of the opinion that the course formats were perfect and are in no doubt that Longton will have learned from running multi lap courses (something that most clubs, running multi lap courses for the first time, discover but learn from and correct for the succeeding year) and that 2016 will be of the usual Longton & DMC standard.
1.Colin Calder (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 91.20: 2.John Graham (2.8 Gould-NME GR55B) 94.26: 3.Craig Sampson (2.0 SBD Reynard) 95.34: 4.Matt Hillam (2.0 SBD Dallara F3) 96.31: 5.Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen RF96) 99.93: 6.Scott Pillinger (1.3t DSP SBD) 102.48: 7.Bradley Hobday (1.0 Jedi Mk4) 102.59: 8.Martin Webb (2.0 Dallara F399/00) 103.14: 9.Jim Belt (3.0 Juno TR400) 103.99: 10. Tony Jarvis (2.0 Dallara F399/00) 105.04: DNF Nick Algar (1.3t D J Firehawk) & Mark Smith (2.0 SBD Reynard)
1.Calder 126.35 2.Algar 131.29 3. Miles 134.44 4. Broughton 134.63 5. Hobday 136.66 6. Pillinger 137.00 7. Matt Carter (1.3 Radical PR6) 139.03 8. Belt 139.67 9. Martin Pickles (1.0 Jedi Mk 1) 140.91 10. Webb 141.55 11. Graham Porrett (3.5 Lola Tegra Judd) 142.86 DNS Jarvis
1.Calder 125 2. Smith 110 3. Graham 107 4. Sampson 104 5. Miles 95 6. Hobday 71 7. Hillam 67 8. Jarvis 60 9. Broughton 54 10. Webb 47 11. Heather Calder 45 12. Belt 44