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Snetterton Race Reports - by Josh Barrett

Tue 27 May 2014

The bank holiday meeting was split into two as Sunday’s action used the 300 circuit while Monday utilised the 200 layout.

Safety Devices | Gaz Shocks Compact Cup

As Snetterton can hold a huge number of cars, the Safety Devices Gaz Shocks Compact Cup saw forty-two racers take to the grid for the first race. Steve Roberts beat pole man Stuart Voyce off the line in the first race and took the lead into Riches. Despite Roberts initially pulling away, Voyce was able to quickly close in on Roberts and he had a good run out of Williams on the fourth lap to utilise the slipstream down the Bentley Straight and move around the outside at Brundle, to snatch the lead away from Roberts. He was then able to pull out a gap of three seconds by the end of the race.

David Drinkwater then tried to challenge Roberts but wasn’t able to achieve what Voyce could, so had to settle for third. Daniel Kirby made an excellent start to jump a row and move into fourth but threw that away when he span at Hamilton on the opening lap; but did fight his way back up to eighth. Mike Tovey completed the race in fourth ahead of the Roche’s battling for fifth; Neil beat Simon.

Once again Roberts outpaced Voyce off of the line in race two to take the lead into Riches. Tovey also made a good start from the outside of the grid to pounce ahead of Drinkwater for third. Voyce didn’t waste time to regain the lead and made a move up on the inside of Roberts at Brundle to take the lead away. Roberts then lost out to Tovey at the Montreal Hairpin on the following lap. On the penultimate lap of the race Drinkwater also passed Roberts which meant Roberts wasn’t on the podium for the first time since 2012. Despite consistent pressure from various drivers, Stratton MacKay held on to finish in fifth place after an excellent start. Simon Roche came home ahead of Neil in sixth with Josh Harvey, James Nutbrown and James Winstanley just behind.

Spire Sports Cars Bikesports Championship

Tim Gray (Spire GT3) drove two utterly dominant Spire Sportscars Bikesports Championship races where he won by 28 seconds in race one and 16 seconds in race two. Will Brown (Radical PR6) was the runner-up in both races. Elliot Goodman (Radical SR3) finished third in race one and won class A. Adrian Reynard (Radical SR3) won class A in race two but finished in fourth overall as Richard Wise (Spire GT3) drove an outstanding race to take his class C car to third overall and also claimed the class victory in both races.

Millers Oils Toyota MR2 Championship

Matthew Palmer continued his dominance in the Millers Oils Toyota MR2 Championship, winning all six races this year. Jim Davies led the opening stages of race one but Palmer used the extra power of the Mk2 to take the lead and then gear selection issues for Davies allowed Stuart Nicholls to move up into second place.

Rob Wells was the best of the rest, twenty seconds down, in fourth place ahead of Mick Nicholls. Palmer had to work very hard in race two to continue his victory streak as Davies led the way until the fifth lap when Palmer finally squeezed into the lead and then took another victory. Stuart Nicholls made a dreadful start and dropped down to twenty-third but did work his way back to ninth in impressive fashion. This opened the door for Matthew Wallis to take his first podium of the season as he managed to hold off Stuart’s father Mick for third position.

Disklok RGB Championship

Alastair Boulton (Spire GT3) took a double victory in the Disklok RGB Championship. John Cutmore (Spire GT3) and Scott Mittell (Mittell MC-52B) led the way in race one until the pair made contact at Nelson on the final lap which put them both on the grass, promoting Boulton to the lead. Cutmore managed to recover to second ahead of Mittell. Boulton took a lights-to-flag victory in the second race despite Mittell hunting him down in the closing stages. Cutmore finished in third. Reigning champion Matt Higginson (Spire GT3) struggled with a lack of pace and only claimed two fourth place finishes. James Walker (Phoenix) and Stephen Bell (Arion) shared the victories in the front-engine class.

Protech Shocks Sports Specials Championship

The Protech Shocks Sports Specials Championship saw Eclipse drivers Paul Boyd and Clive Hudson share the race victories in a massive 33 Sports Specials grid (and a 42 car combined grid with SR & GT Challenge). Edward Ives (Elite Pulse) led the early stages of race but a wheel arch broke which forced him into retirement. Hudson then took the lead but Boyd charged his way into that position after a slow start and did a lap time which was three seconds quicker than he managed in qualifying. Ives led the second race but was passed on the fifth lap in traffic by Hudson and wasn’t able to gain the position back. Hudson, Ives and Boyd completed the race just 0.63 seconds apart.

Paul Collingwood (Sylva J15) took the class C victory in race one in third overall but finished second in class in race two behind Ives. Paul Cooper (RAW Striker) and Colin Benham (STM Phoenix) shared the class B honours.

Andrew Chalmers took his RAM Cobra to a double victory in the SR & GT Challenge. In the first encounter it was Barry Holmes (MGB GTV8) who came home in second just ahead of Phil Walker (MGB GTV8) in a close battle for class C honours. Tim Falce (Jaguar RAM D-Type) finished second in race two ahead and won class C, just beating the MGB of Walker. Mark Bowd (GT40) and Charles Best (Westfield Eleven) won class B and D respectively in both races.

Demon Tweeks | Yokohama Locost Championship

One of the many highlights of the weekend was the Locost Championship as the 1300cc machines provided typical slip-streaming action. Race two was particularly entertaining as eight cars diced for the lead throughout the duration. Despite heaps of pressure from his competitors former Westfield racer Thomas Robinson took a double victory. Robinson, son of former World Sportscar racer Barry, put his car on pole position in just his second Locost meeting and stayed ahead of his rivals in a shortened opening race when the red flags flew for Rob Apsey and Gregory Smith as they came together on the exit of the Bomb Hole. Therefore a result was called after just four laps of action.

Nick Selby, who was in the car driven by Tom Coller at Brands Hatch, briefly led the race before mechanical issues put him into retirement. This allowed Robinson to build a gap over the scrap for second place which was eventually taken by Lee Bankhurst ahead of Lee McNamara by just six hundredths of a second. Mathew Brooks, Michael Roots and Matthew Booth were also involved in the race to finish in second position.

Robinson had to work yet harder in the second encounter where he was unable to pull out a consistent gap, as the Snetterton 200 Circuit provided the perfect opportunity for drivers to slipstream their way ahead of competitors. Robinson did lead the opening lap before novice driver Brookes used the draft to take the lead, which he was only able to keep briefly as Robinson did the same thing to Brookes but Bankhurst came with him, dropping Brookes down into third place.

This wasn’t the end of the story. Danny Andrew, a double winner at Brands Hatch, drafted from fifth to first in the space of just one lap and then fell back to fifth on the following lap as his competitors did the same to him. Brookes then was able to move to the front and stay there from lap six onwards but Robinson was playing a waiting game as he made his move on the final lap to take his second victory of the weekend. Brookes was able to hold onto second place ahead of Andrew who moved back into third place by the time he passed the chequered flag. 2013 title contenders Richard Jenkins and Bankhurst both just missed out on the podium. Booth, Sian Stafford Atkinson and Michael Roots were all part of the train of cars that battled for the race lead.

K-Tec Racing Clio 182 Series

The K-Tec Racing Clio 182 Series once again provided a couple of thrilling races with ex-Stock Hatch racers to the fore. In the first race Jeff Humphries took a convincing lead from his pole position. Local man Martin Ward, who had a disastrous weekend at Silverstone, was able to hold off Matt Fincham despite several challenges throughout the course of the race. Ben Seybold moved ahead of Patrick Fletcher in the opening stages of the race for fourth position and was always in touching distance of the podium positions but was never able to make it into the top three. Fletcher also fell behind Mark Hammersley on the seventh lap of the race and therefore only managed to finish in sixth position.

The second race saw an equally close race. Fletcher took the lead off the line ahead of Fincham and had to defend hard as Fincham tried to move ahead of him whenever possible. The red flags flew on the sixth lap of the race as George Williams had an engine failure and Matt Holtom and Seybold had a coming together on the exit of Nelson. A short four lap restart was in store and Fincham beat Fletcher away and was able to stay ahead of him to take his first victory of the season; making it three different winners in four races this season.

Fletcher and Ward completed the podium and both finished within a second of the winner. Hammersley came home with another strong result in fourth ahead of series debutant Matt Digby. Tony Hobson completed the top six with his best result ahead of Daniel Spencer and Martin Bentley.

Demon Tweeks | Yokohama Classic Stock Hatch Championship

The Classic Stock Hatch Championship saw a day of dominance for the Citroen AX as the French car took a double victory in the hands of Andrew Thorpe and Stuart Window. Even with a red flag and restart Thorpe held on to take the victory in the opening encounter ahead of Matt Rozier (Peugeot 205) and Martyn Fowdrey (Ford Fiesta).

In the second race Window, who went out due to damage in race one, battled Thorpe for the victory. The place traded positions multiple times before Window finally claimed the position on the sixth lap of the race and took his first race victory in front of delighted supporters. The pair finished nearly ten seconds clear of any of their rivals. It was Fowdrey who claimed another third position.

Gordon MacMillan (Peugeot 205) claimed fourth place honours after a race long battle with Mervyn Beckett (Vauxhall Nova) and Andy Philpotts (Ford Fiesta) who finished with a dead heat. Reigning champion Lee Scott, who claimed both victories at Brands Hatch, was disqualified in the first race as his car was underweight and only managed seventh in race two. Both results really hurting his title defence.

Demon Tweeks | Yokohama Stock Hatch Championship

The Stock Hatch Championship saw a maniac start to the opening race. Lee Deegan hit the sausage-dog curb sideways at Murrays which flung the car at an almost unrecoverable angle in the air. Deegan somehow brought the car back onto four wheels but clipped Tom Bell, his brother Shayne and Carl Swift when he recovered. Shayne Deegan was forced out of the race with broken steering and Swift got through the carnage just losing a rear bumper and in the race lead.

Neither Bell nor Lee Deegan could close Swift’s gap in with their ill-handling cars gifting Swift his first circuit race victory in just his fifth try. Bell and Deegan did hold on to stand on the podium, nevertheless. Philip Wright was the best of the rest ahead of Scott Sharp.

Race two was a much more straight forward encounter as Shayne Deegan put race one behind him to dominate and take an almost unheard of victory in Stock Hatch as he finished fifteen seconds ahead of his rivals. Bell and Swift completed the podium.

Tillotson Formula Vee Championship

Paul Smith (AHS Dominator) was hit with more fuel pressure issues in the first Tillotson Formula Vee Championship race of the weekend, which promoted Martin Farmer (GAC) to his second victory of the season. Graham Gant (WEV) and Pete Belsey (Spyder Mk2) also finished on the podium in a shortened race as the red flags flew after oil was thrown all around the circuit.

Smith fought back in race two with a ten second victory over Smith and Gant. Jesse Chamberlain (VWS Venom) and Jack Wilkinson (Sheane Mk3) both drove good races to claim a class B victory each.

Premier Choice Group 750 Formula Championship

Robin Gearing (Darvi P88) led the early stages of the lone Premier Choice Group 750 Formula Championship race but Billy Albone (Batten 3) worked his way ahead of Gearing on the third lap to remain unbeaten in the championship this season. Albone only pulled out a two second victory margin in one of the most competitive races this season. Gearing held on to second to the challenging Bill Cowley (Cowley Mk4). Dick Hartle (Tristesse Mk7) took the victory in class B.

CARTEK Roadsports Endurance Series

Gary Goodyear (Lotus Exige) took the victory in the Cartek Roadsports Endurance Series after JM Littman’s Porsche Boxster ended in the barriers on the exit of Coram. That allowed Goodyear to take a twenty-four second victory over Rob Horsfield (Toyota MR2 Turbo). Lloyd Chafer (BMW M3) finished in third in his Roadsports debut. Steve Hewson and Robert Gilham (Porsche 924S) claimed class B honours ahead of Rebecca Jackson (Porsche Boxster). Ben Rowe won class C in his Toyota MR2 ahead of John Wilson (MR2).