A wonderful sunny weekend was only spoiled by the constant biting wind. It was a joy to once again return to this MSVR facility and the slick organisation provided by the Borough 19 Motor Club.
Saturday's event was the one where most of the difficulties were faced by the SBD Motorsport British Sprint Championship contestants. Sadly we lost Simon Bainbridge in the SBR Chrono (Chrono is Italian for Time Trial) when the engine let go. The engine was that run in Simon's earlier car and it returned to the paddock covered in extinguishant. This was very sad as Simon had begun to get very much on the pace, getting closer to threatening the Category Record for the Sports Libre cars on this, the slower day of the two. Despite what I have just said however Mark Smith posted his fastest time of the whole weekend on his first timed run, half a second below the existing 2 litre record, helped perhaps by some new rubber? In doing so he managed to squeeze between Colin & Heather Calder during the timed runs. Steve Broughton's car was receiving a certain amount of tender loving care from the expertise of Alan Mugglestone over the course of the weekend in an attempt to make the rear of the car work as well as the front does. Tony Jarvis demonstrated how the winter work on the Dallara he shares with Martin Webb was paying him dividends, being only 5/100ths behind Broughton at the end of the timed runs. Bradley Hobday continued, in yet another venue he'd never seen before, to make the 1100cc record an historical issue, steadily enhancing it throughout the weekend. Nick Algar continued his learning process with the ex-Alex Summers DJ Firehawk. One observation being that the car's wish for upchanges bettered Nick's speed with the paddle. Interestingly Nick was also undergoing the "learning process" never having competed before on the 100 Circuit. It bwas good to have the Bill Gouldthorpe & Carole Torkington back with us.Chris Bennett was giving his Force its British Sprint Championship debut, so a learning process there too. Richard Arrowsmith had all repairs undertaken after Lydden with a new left upper wishbone, new front wing end plates, a new front wing mounting together with s spare front wing Richard had.
TOP 12 RUN OFF
Throughout the Top 12 Run Off there was a series of "offs". Steve Miles, Steve Broughton & Nick Algar all suffered their times being discounted because of off course excursions. In Nick Algar's case there was no time set at all as a brake problem was discovered on his return to the paddock. Martin Webb took his initial run which was his "banker" but aborted his second attempt early, on the basis he felt he had made mistakes almost throughout his opening lap so felt that continuing was not worthwhile. Jim Belt uncharacteristically undertook both runs but concluded with a time 2/100ths slower than his opening timed run having conducted the necessary repair work after his last outing at Croft. Bradley Hobday concluded with a time close to 3.5 seconds under the existing 1100cc record. Rather quicker was Steve Broughton three quarter's of a second behind Tony Jarvis. Co-driver Matt Hillam was however to conclude his efforts a couple of seconds quicker than Broughton. A second better than that was Craig Sampson who was a couple of tenths shy of Steve Miles and better yet than Miles by a second or so was top 2 litre runner Mark Smith. The came at the top of the pile perhaps the dynamic duo, both of whom concluded with times they were not altogether happy with, Colin having bettered the outright circuit record on his first timed run, did so again on his final run, with Heather just a tad over a second short of that.
1. Colin Calder (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 76.95; 2. Heather Calder (3.5 Gould-NME GR55) 78.09 3. Mark Smith (2.0 Reynard-SBD Duratec DB Mk 1) 81.47; 4. Steve Miles (2.0 Van Diemen-SBD Duratec RF96) 82.74; 5. Craig Sampson (2.0 Reynard-SBD Duratec DB Mk 1) 82.96; 6. Matt Hillam (2.0 Dallara-SBD F399/01) 83.89; 7. Tony Jarvis (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399/01) 85.10; 8. Steve Broughton (2.0 Dallara-SBD F399/01) 85.85; 9. Bradley Hobday (1.0 Jedi-Suzuki Mk 4) 86.05; 10. Jim Belt (3.0 Juno-Jaguar TR400) 88.84; 11. Martin Webb (2.0 Dallara-Vauxhall F399/01) 91.44; DNF Nick Algar (1.3s DJ Firehawk)
Sunday was a much more trouble free day. The Calders decided that one timed run each was enough to qualify in an effort to save both engine and tyres. Mark Smith put together two closely matched times for third spot. Steve Broughton's opener was better than both all his Saturday times and a few tenths better than Craig Sampson's best. A further few tenths back was Steve Miles, a tenth better than Matt Hillam and a further half second or so away was Nick Algar. Bradley Hobday now was into the 85s, despite still suffering with front end grip issues, and a tenth and half ahead of Tony Jarvis. Tony's co-driver was now coming to grips with the 2015 set up of their car and his times started to improve markedly on his Saturday ones. Martin Pickles also showed distinct improvement and commented that he was now beginning to enjoy Snetterton, having got the "hang" of the place, Bill Gouldthorpe was a second better than the day before and Nick Houston was streets ahead of his Saturday times, perhaps nipping off locally (he knows the area, having worked there) to get his front's balanced had some part to play? Chris Bennett too was now steadily settling into the Force and his times showed he was getting the hang of it.
TOP 12 RUN OFF
Jim Belt undertook just the one run on Sunday and secured his point with a time a full second better than the day before. Martin Webb managed both runs this time and concluded with a time over six seconds better than he had the day before, real progress. In tenth spot was Bradley Hobday who managed to conclude into the 84s, something in theb region of 5 seconds below the record for the 1100s! Just one spot ahead was Steve Broughton with two runs in the low 84s, not his best of the weekend, but heading the right way. Half a second better was Tony Jarvis his Top 12 efforts both in the 83s, just one tenth better than Jarvis was Steve Miles' best of the day but a further half second better was Matt Hillam. Ahead of his, another second better was Craig Sampson both is runs proving to be his best of the whole weekend, his co-driver Mark Smith finding another second to gain fourth spot. However on his final run Nick Algar managed to get 1/100th under the 2 litre record to secure third spot. Heather Calder finished with her best of the weekend in the 76s but demonstrating how serious Heather takes her sport, her return to the paddock was accompanied by much head shaking, she was not a happy bunny, she knew there was more to come that she had left out on the track. Then there was Colin, I'm not sure what he had for lunch, but it obviously agreed with him as he concluded with a time a full two and half seconds inside the existing outright record, an astonishing performance.
1. Colin Calder - 74.56; 2. Heather Calder - 76.71; 3. Nick Algar - 80.17; 4. Mark Smith - 80.63; 5. Craig Sampson - 81.63; 6. Matt Hillam - 82.85; 7. Steve Miles - 83.40; 8. Tony Jarvis - 83.51; 9. Steve Broughton - 84.03; 10. Bradley Hobday - 84.78; 11. Martin Webb - 85.35; 12. Jim Belt - 87.96