Silverstone race report 2nd May 2015

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Rounds 2 & 3 – Silverstone – May 2nd. 2015
A reasonable entry of 18 cars were assembled at Silverstone for the only non HSCC run championship rounds of 2015. An invite from 750 Motor Club Competitions Secretary and future Classic Clubmans competitor, Giles Groombridge, gave us the opportunity to run on the Silverstone National Circuit for the only time this year.
Amongst the entry of 7 A Sports and 11 B Sports were three people brand new to Classic Clubmans. A warm welcome to Martyn Halliday and Philip Hart, both seasoned racers joining us from other formula and a special welcome to Adam Wheeler, having his first ever motor race.
Following a very cold night, it was a cool but pleasant morning that welcomed the competitors onto the track. Sadly, Martyn Halliday had incurred incurable gearbox problems in testing the day before, so only 17 cars actually ventured onto the tarmac.
The 750 motor club utilise a different format to the HSCC when determining qualifying positions for two races. The fastest lap determines the grid position for race one and the second fastest lap sets the position for race two. For A Sport, this had no real impact, grid positons being identical for both races. Mark Charteris was on pole by over a second and he was joined on the front row by Ray Mallock, also more than a second clear of the rest of the field. Californian Rob Manson went superbly to secure third spot. He was joined on the second row by Journalist Mark Hales, having another run in the Racing Childs Centaur. Malcolm Jackson was on the outside of row three, just ahead of Alan Cook.
Class B was much closer with Barry Webb and Clive Wood sharing the spoils. Clive had the class pole for the first race, whilst Barry took it for the second race, these two occupying the fourth row overall.
Row five saw last year’s champion, Adam Paterson, joined by Rachel Green in the Doris. Rachel is sharing the car with Steve Clamp and Tom Dunstan. (I think it was Tom’s turn, but he had a better offer at Rockingham!)
On row six we had John Muirhead in the bright red Mk.18 ahead of Philip Hart in the ex Morris Hart Mallock Mk.16.
Row seven saw Trish Hunter and Alan Davenport, the only other pairing to swap grid positions for each of the races. Adam Wheeler, in Dave Facer’s Mallock Mk.16 was on row eight, along with Steve Littler, whilst Mike Sales in the Racing Childs B Sport Centaur was the sole occupant of row nine.
Race 1
I don’t know if he is just getting old, or if his mind was elsewhere, but Mark Charteris made his customary rubbish start, allowing Ray Mallock to get into a clear lead by the time the field reached Copse. Mark was being hounded by both Rob Manson and Mark Hales and was lucky to hang on the second.
As the front of the field reached the Brooklands/Luffield complex, Mark made a bold move to take Ray around the outside. As Ray drifted out, Mark was forced to take to the grass and rejoined in fourth place. As they crossed the line at the end of lap one, it was Ray from Rob and Mark Hales, then a recovering Mark Charteris, followed by Malcolm Jackson and Alan Cook.
In Class B, it was Clive Wood who made the best start and clearly led from Barry Webb, under pressure from Adam Paterson. Rachel Green was hanging on the leading group in fourth, clear of John Muirhead. Then we had a small gap to the battling trio of Trish Hunter, Philip Hart and Alan Davenport, closely followed by Mike Sales, Steve Littler and Adam Wheeler, whose first ever start in motor racing did not go quite to plan!
At the front of the field, Mark Charteris had recovered to second, but his excursion onto the recently cut green stuff meant that his radiator duct was now full of grass cuttings and the water temperature was getting dangerously high. Ray was now clear of Rob and Mark Hales, having another great run in the Centaur.
In Class B Barry had taken the lead and now Clive was under pressure from Adam Paterson. Rachel was unable to hang on the lead trio, but was very comfortable in fourth, well clear of John Muirhead in fifth. Trish was having a great dice with Phil Hart and Alan Davenport. Adam Wheeler, recovering from a tardy start, soon made it past both Mike Sales and Steve Littler.
Mark had no choice but to dive into the pits to have the grass removed. (His speed in the pitlane did earn him a visit to the Clerk of Course later on!). He rejoined over half a minute down on the leader. This promoted Rob Manson to second and Mark Hales to third, with Alan Cook just ahead of Malcolm Jackson.
By half distance, Barry had established a comfortable lead in B Sport, with Adam fighting his way past Clive for second. Rachel and John were having lonely races in fourth and fifth respectively and Trish had managed to nudge ahead of Phil for sixth. Adam Wheeler was now harassing Alan Davenport for eighth, whilst Mike Sales was well clear of Steve Littler.
On the penultimate lap, Rob lost his brakes and retired, thus promoting Mark Hales to second and Alan Cook to third. Clive had managed to retake second place from Adam Paterson and Adam Wheeler had finally got past Alan Davenport.
So at the flag, it was a fine victory for Ray Mallock from Mark Hales and Alan Cook. Malcolm was fourth and Mark Charteris had recovered to fifth, securing fastest lap on the way.
Barry took the victory in Class B from Clive and Adam Paterson, with Rachel a lonely fourth and John an equally lonely fifth. Trish just pipped Phil for sixth and Adam Wheeler took eighth. Alan was ninth, with Mike Sales tenth and Steve Littler eleventh.
Race 2
As the lights went out for race two, this time Mark had his wits about him and edged ahead of Ray to lead into Copse. Mark Hales and Rob Manson immediately continued their battle from race one, fighting over the final podium position, with Alan Cook just ahead of Malcolm Jackson.
The Class B drag was this time won by Barry Webb, who surged into a lead he was never to lose. Clive had made some minor changes between races and this allowed him to get clear of Adam Paterson. Once again, Rachel was doing her best to keep with the leading trio, just clear of John Muirhead.
This was followed by a three way battle for sixth, with Trish Hunter just ahead of Phil Hart and Adam Wheeler, Adam having learnt his starting lesson from race one. Mike Sales was ninth ahead of Alan Davenport and Steve Littler.
By half distance, Mark and Ray had distanced the field and were comfortable in first and second. The battle for third however, was monumental, with Rob and Mark Hales nose to tail.
No change in the B Sport order, except that we lost Phil Hart with an engine problem. Trish, now clear of the need to dice started to catch John Muirhead for fifth. Adam Wheeler was unable to stay with Trish, but remained well clear of those behind him.
With no other dramas, Mark Charteris took a comfortable win, 10 secs. clear of Ray Mallock in second. Ray was the same distance ahead of the battle for third, which finally went to Rob Manson after a race long battle. Alan Cook was a lonely fifth and Malcolm Jackson, an equally lonely sixth.
Barry took B Sport honours, just clear of a recovering Clive, who set fastest lap in his pursuit of the lead. Adam Paterson once again secured the final podium position, well clear of Rachel, John and a charging Trish. Adam Wheeler completed a very solid racing debut with a strong seventh, ahead of Mike in eighth, Alan in ninth and Steve in tenth. Adam’s fine endeavours in his first ever drive in anger in a racing car netted him the Driver of the Day award by popular choice.
It was great to see Mike Lane in the paddock after his Thruxton disaster, although his four wheel transport of choice was a wheelchair powered by Charlotte! Dave Facer was running Adam Wheeler in his Mk.16, still recovering from his total knee replacement four weeks previously. DC was not well enough to attend and Peter Carter is recovering from a hernia operation. We particularly wish DC well and hope to see both him and Peter at Snetterton in June.
The Snetterton meeting on the 13th/14th. June is the Classic Clubmans focal point for the Clubmans 50th. anniversary celebrations, so please try to make it, preferably racing a Classic Clubmans car!
See you there!

Sue Facer
The Demonic Perm!

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