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Rounds 2 & 3 – Snetterton 300 Circuit – June 4th/5th. 2016
In complete contrast to the corresponding meeting last year, apart from some early morning mist on Saturday, Norfolk provided wall to wall sunshine for the whole weekend, with some very funny tans at the end of it!
The total entry was nineteen, although only eighteen for Saturday, as Rob Manson was at Silverstone racing one of his American beasts. The split was 8 A Sports, 10 B Sports and a Class C Mallock Mk.4 being raced by Richard himself. It was a season opener for Martin Halliday in Class A and for Dave Facer and Rachel Green in Class B, Rachel giving the Penfold its first outing since being purchased from Glen Eagling.
20+ would have been nice, but John Harrison is still embroiled in his business move and Tom Dunstan was busy looking after Caterhams (or something?) on the continent.
No real surprises in qualifying with Mark Charteris taking pole by over three seconds. Maybe the surprise was him being joined on the front row by a flying Mark Hales in the Centaur, ahead of Spencer McCarthy and Malcolm Jackson, the first three being the only runners under 2 minutes. Row 3 saw Alan Cook and Steve Chaplin and Martin Halliday, the final A Sport runner, was on the inside of row 4.
Clive Wood grabbed B Sport pole, with a time over a second clear of Barry Webb. Barry was also well clear of Rachel Green in third and Adam Wheeler in 4th.
John Muirhead had a good run in 5th. just ahead of Phil Hart. These two were well clear of Dave Facer, having a surprisingly slow run, albeit with overheating problems. Next up was Alan Davenport, just pipping Steve Littler and Trish Hunter.
Bringing up the rear was Richard Mallock in the only class C car, quicker that the B’s in a straight line, but with its treaded tyres, totally overwhelmed around the twiddly bits.
Sadly race one would start without Malcolm Jackson. Malcolm feeling unwell, made the decision to not compete and head home.
The race however, was immediately spiced up by pole man Mark Charteris’s decision to start from the back of the grid. He had concerns over the reliability of his gearbox and was worried that a failure at the start could cause a major accident.
So, as the lights went out, it was Spencer McCarthy who shot into an early lead, very closely followed by Mark Hales in the Centaur. These two very quickly established a gap to third placed Alan Cook, with Mark Charteris already carving through the B Sport field. Clive Wood got the jump in Class B and established a cushion to Barry Webb, hotly pursued by Rachel Green.
At the end of lap one it was Spencer from Mark Hales, then a five second gap to Alan Cook. Next up was Steve Chaplin, but already closely followed by Mark Charteris and then Martin Halliday.
Clive headed Class B, already with a two second gap to Barry and Rachel, who crossed the line side by side. Adam Wheeler was 4th., clear of John Muirhead in 5th. and Dave Facer up to 6th. Phil Hart was 7th., Trish Hunter 8th., Alan Davenport 9th. and then Steve Littler 10th., these last two separated by Richard Mallock in the little Mk.4.
The race settled down with Spencer leading, but the early focus was Mark Charteris’s progress towards the front. However it wasn’t going to be that easy. Getting to 3rd. was relatively straight forward and this was achieved by the end of lap two. However, further progress would take time.
In Class B, Clive was in charge, edging away from Barry with Rachel close behind. Adam Wheeler was 4th., but Dave Facer, having eased past John Muirhead, was closing in fast.
At half distance, it was still Spencer, but now just holding the lead from the charging Mark Charteris. Mark Hales, having just lost 2nd. spot, was clinging on to their tail, these three well clear of the rest. Alan Cook was having a lonely race in 4th. clear of Steve Chaplin and Martin Halliday.
In Class B it was Clive with a small cushion to Barry and Rachel. Dave, having driven round the outside of Adam at Agostini’s was now 4th. with Adam 5th. John and Phil were having a tremendous scrap for 6th. followed by Trish, Alan and Steve Littler.
Lap six saw the lead change, as Mark and Spencer crossed the line almost side by side, Mark easing by under braking for Montreal and swiftly establishing a comfortable cushion. In Class A the status quo was set and this was how it remained until the end.
Meanwhile, in Class B there was to be just one more twist, which dramatically affected the podium positions. In keeping his lead, Clive was pushing track limits and the officials decided to show him the driving standards flag. Unsure as to how to respond, Clive took a self-imposed drive through penalty, emerging from the pitlane in 4th. place, some distance behind Dave.
The flag came out after eleven laps for the leaders and it was Mark Charteris comfortably from Spencer and Mark Hales. Alan Cook was 4th, ahead of Steve Chaplin and Martin Halliday. It was ten laps for Class B and it was Barry Webb who took the honours ahead of Rachel and Dave. Clive took a confused 4th. Adam Wheeler was 5th.and John Muirhead pipped Phil Hart for 6th. Trish Hunter was 8th. Alan Davenport 9th. and Steve Littler 10th.
The final finisher was Richard Mallock, enjoying his run in the little Class C Mallock Mk.4.

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Race 2
There was a full 24 hours between races, but the glorious sunshine was still in place on Sunday afternoon. The grid was established from the finishing positions in race one, so the first three rows were the A Sport contingent, Mark Charteris deciding to start from the front this time.
The next five rows were all B Sport and then Richard Mallock was joined on the back row by Rob Manson, who had been racing at Silverstone on Saturday in his big American banger.
The first lap was very clean with the only deviation from grid order being Rob Manson’s rapid progress from the very back. On its completion, it was Mark Charteris from Spencer McCarthy and Mark Hales. Then a gap to Alan Cook, Steve Chaplin, Martin Halliday and Rob Manson.
In Class B it was Barry Webb from Rachel Green, with Clive Wood ahead of Dave Facer. John Muirhead was next up, ahead of Adam Wheeler and Phil Hart. Trish was just ahead of a fast starting Richard Mallock, followed by Steve Littler, this time ahead of Alan Davenport.
At the front, Mark was quickly into the groove, pulling away from Spencer on each lap. Mark Hales was in a lonely 3rd., ahead of Alan Cook. Rob Manson was up to 5th. and closing in on Alan. Steve was 6th. and Martin 7th.
In Class B, Barry had the lead, but Clive had found his way past Rachel and was closing in fast. However, as he accelerated out of Oggi’s on lap four, he had an apparent repeat of the engine failure he had in qualifying and he coasted to a stop at the start of the straight. This left Barry with a clear cushion at half distance, ahead of Rachel with Dave in 3rd. Adam had passed John for 4th. and was starting to catch Dave. John was 5th. and Phil 6th.
Then on lap 6, we had changes in both classes. In Class B. Adam Wheeler started to have pick up problems on right handers and pitted to see if anything could be done. Phil Hart, whose nosecone had disintegrated in race one and had borrowed a spare from Adam Wheeler,s car, was black and orange flagged for a flapping nose and he pitted into retirement. Spencer McCarthy also had to pit at the end of lap six, to have a flapping mudguard removed. He rejoined in 5th. place.
The main interest now, was to see how many positions Spencer could make up following his pit stop. On lap eight he passed both Rob Manson and Alan Cook to move up to 3rd. but by now, Mark Hales was too far down the road for Spencer to make any further progress.
So at the flag, it was Mark Charteris, well clear of Mark Hales in 2nd. Spencer had recovered to a distant 3rd. ahead of Alan Cook, who had just stayed clear of Rob Manson to take 4th. Steve Chaplin was 5th. and Martin Halliday 6th.
Class B once again belonged to Barry Webb, well clear of Rachel Green. Rachel started to experience brake problems and Dave Facer was closing in fast (but not fast enough!). John Muirhead came in a lonely 4th. and Trish Hunter was up to 5th. Steve Littler had a great run to 6th. well ahead of Alan Davenport, who enjoyed a dice with Richard Mallock in the Mallock Mk.4. The final finisher was Adam Wheeler, a further lap down after two pit stops.
A great weekend for all, with regards to the weather. An equally great weekend for A Sports leader, Mark Charteris. But a disastrous weekend for B Sports leader Clive Wood, whose mechanical issues gave the B Sport championship lead to Barry Webb.
Driver of the day went to Spencer McCarthy for his fine recovery drive in race two and mechanic of the day was awarded to Phil Harts mechanic for the comprehensive work on replacing the nose.
A final word must go to Sheila and Kerry for raising the bar with the superb catering over both days. Even the HSCC recognise that we have the best hospitality in the paddock!
Just two weeks now until Cadwell. Time to burn some midnight oil to get your cars ready.

It is old news now, but for those who may not know,The day after Snetterton, Clive Wood was rushed into hospital. At the time of writing, Clive is home again, but far from fit and still waiting for a finite diagnosis. I’m sure you will join me in wishing Clive (and Kerry) our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Sue Facer
The Demonic Perm

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