Josh Barrett reports on the Stock Hatch, Classic Stock Hatch, Locost, Formula Vee, 750 Formula, Roadsports and Single Seater Cup races at Snetterton last weekend.
Demon Tweeks/Yokohama Stock Hatch
Both Lee and Shayne Deegan made strong starts from the third row (they qualified fastest, but carried penalties forward from Brands Hatch) to move up behind front row man Nathan Saunders by the end of the first lap. Philip Wright had a great qualifying and started from pole but fell down to fourth before long.
Saunders managed to hold off the Deegan brothers until lap six when they both found their way past Saunders. The battle continued between the new leaders until the last lap when Shayne, who was chasing, made a mistake at Brundle and went across the grass and lost time to Lee who took the victory. Saunders and Wright held on to third and fourth ahead of the heavily ballasted Tom Bell who started back on the fourth row.
Martin Ward was the first of the Clios and finished second overall, ahead of Matt Fincham.
Lee Deegan beat his brother off the line from the front row and led the race ahead of his brother at first, but Bell had a superb start to move up from sixth to second by the end of the first lap. Rob Drake also moved through the field and by the sixth lap he had taken the lead but he ran out wide at Murray’s and fell back down the pack.
On lap eight Shayne Deegan found his way back ahead of Bell, and then on the final lap took the lead from his brother heading down the Bentley Straight. Bell took another podium in third ahead of Jake Farndon and Saunders. Mark Armstrong had one of his best races and finished in seventh.
Trevor Gregory won among the Clio quartet (as well as overall) in only his second race in the car, while Ward finished second.
Demon Tweeks/Yokohama Classic Stock Hatch
A huge barrel roll for Thomas Langford after hitting the kerb at Nelson caused an early red flag. He emerged unscathed and was talking to fellow drivers in the paddock after the race. Championship leader Lee Scott didn’t make the restart after a wheel bearing problem before the stoppage.
When the race was restarted pole man Imran Khan got away well, and took a lights to flag victory, but Matt Rozier applied huge pressure throughout. Rookie racer Mervyn Beckett scored his first podium in the triple-championship winning Vauxhall Nova. Paul Thorpe also had a good race, and moved up from his fourth row start up to fourth place by lap two. Martin Cayzer received the Driver of the Day award. He had finished fifth after passing Dan Gibson at half distance.
Both Martyn Fowdrey and Rozier moved ahead of Khan off the start and went on to have a race-long battle. While the pair scrapped, Scott managed to close them in and on the penultimate lap got ahead of Rozier and took the victory. A race-long battle also raged behind between Beckett, Khan, Gibson and Thorpe. The four of them thoroughly enjoyed their tussle, which saw place changes on every lap - at one point the four were abreast heading into Riches.
After an engine problem for the erstwhile leader Fowdrey, Khan managed to clinch yet another podium in third. Thorpe managed to beat both Gibson and Fowdrey who were three wide across the line and finished 0.04 seconds apart. For this Thorpe received the DotD accolade.
Demon Tweeks/Yokohama Locost
Matt Cherrington dominated the first Locost race of the weekend. After a ding-dong battle, where they traded places every lap, Richard Jenkins clinched second place ahead of the returning Tom Coller. After a poor start, Danny Andrew made his way ahead of Alastair Garratt to clinch fourth after Lee Bankhurst spun out of the race at Montreal. Paul Bryant had a strong race where he moved up to seventh after starting 11th.
A red flag flew on the first lap after three cars collided at Montreal, so a ten minute plus one lap race was conducted. Coller made the best start over Cherrington, but did fall back behind the pole man. On the third lap Cherrington made a mistake through Hamilton and spun, Coller was unable to avoid him and collected the leader which forced the race one winner into retirement.
While the new leaders Jenkins and Garratt were trading positions at every opportunity, Coller was recovering from the collision after dropping back to sixth. Going on to the final lap Coller was two seconds behind the leaders but as they continued their fight, he pushed hard and managed to pass Garratt at Brundle and then clinched the victory on the run up to the line to beat Jenkins by 0.01 seconds! Meanwhile, Bankhurst beat Andrew to fourth.
Tillotson Formula Vee
The Vees sampled the 300 circuit on Saturday before reverting to the 200 layout on Sunday. Before the opening race even started the championship leader Paul Smith was eliminated with engine problems. Ian Jordan, in his Class B carm took the early lead after passing Steve Ough on the first lap. A great start from Ben Anderson meant he moved up to sixth from the back of the grid (he started there after missing qualifying due to a testing shunt) on the first lap, but he later retired with engine problems.
The top five enacted a superb slipstreaming battle, decided when Keith Farrance drove around the outside of both Ough and Jordan at Riches on the final lap. Jordan made it through to second
With both Anderson and Smith in troubles again, it meant different drivers were once more able to battle at the front. A good start from Daniel Pitchford meant he moved from fifth up to third behind the front row men Ough and Graham Gant. Jordan retired on lap two, then Gant had a spin at the Montreal on the lap three, forcing another driver out of the lead tussle.
Ben Miloudi had a strong race, climbing up to as high as third from eighth, but due to gearbox problem had to retire. Up front, Pitchford held the lead for the final three laps but second was only decided on the final tour when Farrance took second around the outside of Riches.
Premier Choice Group 750 Formula
Billy Albone produced a faultless and dominant drive in his Batten 3 to win by 22s. Pole man Robin Gearing had a spin at Brundle on the first lap which dropped him back to last, but he climbed back to fourth in his Darvi. Mick Harris (Darvi) also had a lonely race to finish in second as he managed to pull away from the battle which raged behind him for third.
Roger Rowe led that battle in the early stages but Chris Gough found his way through at Brundle on the third lap. Rowe continued to drop down the field as the race went on, ultimately to eighth. A great defensive drive from Gough meant he finished on the final step of the podium. Dave Robson was running well before having two consecutive spins at Murray’s which dropped him back to ninth.
Cartek Roadsports with Track Driver
The first encounter for the Roadsports revival had 23 entries, with the addition of eight SR> cars. Alric Kitson took a comprehensive victory among the Roadsports in his modified Toyota MR2 Mk3 and won by just under a minute from JM Littman who won class B in his Porsche Boxster. Anthony Day had been running in second until he had to retire with less than six laps to go.
Rob Boston (Mazda RX8) moved ahead of the shared Nick Holden/Patrick Mortell Toyota MR2 in the closing stages of the race to finish in third after Rob Horsfield had problems in his MR2 and dropped back to seventh. A consistent drive from Matt Cherrington and Sean Cooper (brand new BMW Z3) meant they moved up to fifth and second in Class B. Michael Wells (Toyota MR2) took the class C victory after an early scrap with Michael Comber (Mazda MX5), but Comber held on to finish second in class ahead of the MR2 of John Wilson. John Plant took the overall victory and the win in SR> in his Allard clone.
Single Seater Cup
Nine cars arrived to the first race of the revamped series at Snetterton. The Formula 3 cars of Malcolm Scott and Robbie Watts battled for the lead until contact between the two of them of the exit of Murray’s which broke the steering arm of Watts’ car. On the following lap Ben Cater did find a way past Scott, although the pole man got back in front. Scott managed to hold off Cater for the rest of the race to win by 0.5s.
A dice between Paul Presgraves and Erwin Smiech for fifth place ended when they clashed at the Bomb Hole, ending Presgraves’ season. Shane Kelly managed to hold off Mark Jackson for the final place on the podium.
The battle resumed between Scott and Watts in race two, with the race one winner fending off Watts until a mistake from the Lola driver dropped him back from the leader. Cater took the final place on the podium clear of Kelly and Jackson.
Full results for each race can be found via the relevant formula page on this website.
Further reports will be added as they are received from our reporters.