SNETTERTON June 7th./8th. 2015
As this was the Clubmans 50th. anniversary meeting for Classic Clubmans, the entry was a little disappointing. Seventeen cars/drivers made it to the wilds of Norfolk. This was split into six A Sport entries and a very respectable eleven entries for B Sport. There were two additional A Sports expected (Steve Chaplin and the Racing Childs entry for Mark Hales) but sadly their engines were still sitting on the floor at the engine builders awaiting completion.
The Saturday weather was up to usual Norfolk standards, so wets were the order of the day on a very slippery track. Once again, it was Mark Charteris who dominated proceedings with a very respectable time, just under a second clear of Ray Mallock.
John Harrison, having his first race of the year following a major winter rebuild, was third, almost four seconds adrift. He was joined on row two by Rob Manson, our American import run by Mallock Sports.
Alan Cook was on row three, alongside the B Sport pole man Adam Paterson. Barry Webb and Rachel Green occupied row four, just ahead of Clive Wood and Dave Facer, Dave having his first outing of the year, following knee surgery.
Adam Wheeler showed real maturity in only his second ever race meeting and his first experience of wet conditions to take the inside of row six. Alongside him was another of our newcomers, Phil Hart.
Trish Hunter and Mike Sales were on row eight, Mike finally returning with the Phantom after a couple of outings in the Childs B Sport Centaur. Peter Carter and Steve Littler were on row nine, Peter having his season opener in the A Sport Phantom.
Alan Davenport was the sole occupant of row ten, his qualifying cut short by a fuel starvation problem.
The only other action planned for the Saturday was the celebration barbecue. In spite of uncertain conditions, with rain threatening, this was a great success. Many thanks must go to Sheila & Kerry for providing a great spread and our two cooks, Gavin Childs and Dave Facer for braving the rain and smoke to provide an array of cooked sausages, burgers, steak and kebabs.
The weather on Sunday was again quite variable, so everybody was kept guessing until the last minute. The anticipated rain did not materialise, so that there was a real rush to change to slicks.
As the lights went out, it was Mark who got the jump and headed Ray into Riches, closely followed by John. In Class B, Adam Paterson held on to his grid position advantage, to lead Rachel, Barry and Clive.
At the end of lap one, the A Sport battle was headed by Mark, ahead of Ray and John. Rob held a narrow advantage over Alan Cook and Peter Carter was on a charge from the back of the field.
Adam Paterson held a narrow lead from Rachel, who was starting to come under pressure from both Barry and Clive. Dave Facer was next up, but already finding himself being pushed by Adam Wheeler in his other car! Then came Trish Hunter, Phil Hart, Steve Littler and Alan Davenport, who seemed to have sorted his practise woes.
No change at the front, but on lap two, both Barry and Clive found their way past Rachel and started to catch Adam Paterson. Adam Wheeler also found his way past Dave Facer, who seemed to be struggling on wet settings. Sadly Adam then started to struggle with the gearbox, unable to get second gear. (There’s no truth in the rumour that Dave has got a Mark 16 malfunction button on the dash of his Mark 18!). After three laps he peeled off to the pits,posting the first retirement of the day.
By half distance, John had finally got to grips with the car and was pushing Ray very hard for second. In Class B, Barry was noticeably faster than Adam Paterson and started to reel him in. Dave had also got a wake up call and he quickly overhauled Rachel for fourth. Trish was keeping Phil Hart at Bay, both ahead of Mike Sales. Steve Littler and Alan Davenport were having a cracking dice for ninth in class.
Peter Carter’s return came to a premature end on lap seven, followed a lap later by Phil Hart. At the front, Mark was well clear and cruising and John had opened a gap to Ray. The real interest was in B Sport as Barry continued to close in on Adam. Finally, on the last lap, Barry found a way by, to grab the lead almost in sight of the flag.
Mark took the flag, almost twenty seconds clear of John, with Ray taking the other podium place, a further two seconds adrift. Alan Cook was fourth and Rob Manson, fifth.
In Class B, Barry took the win, crossing the line just half a second clear of Adam. Clive was a distant third, Dave fourth and Rachel fifth. Trish took sixth from Mike Sales, with Steve just beating Alan to eighth.
For the second race, later that afternoon, there were no such worries as the first race, as it was dry and sunny. There was just one non-starter, Adam Wheeler’s car had a major oil leak and it would have been unfair for it to start the race and cover the track with oil.
Mark seemed to have reverted back to his tardy starts, so at the lights it was John Harrison from Ray Mallock, with Mark slotting into third.
In B Sport, Barry Webb took advantage of his grid position to lead, with Clive Wood getting the jump on Adam Paterson. Rachel Green slotted into fourth, until Dave Facer usurped that position with a tidy move up the inside at Agostini’s. Going into Oggi’s, Rachel tried an ambitious move to reclaim the position, locked up and slid straight into Dave. Mike Sales said ‘Thank you very much’ and went inside the two cars locked together to claim fourth.
At the end of lap one it was John from Ray and Mark with Alan Cook just holding off Rob Manson. Peter Carter had retired onto the inside at Coram with a driveshaft problem.
In Class B it was Barry from Clive and Adam, almost side by side. Mike was fourth, Phil Hart just ahead of Trish Hunter for fifth with Steve Littler in sixth.
Dave Facer had recovered to seventh, but with his nose askew, Alan Davenport was eighth and Rachel ninth, having lost the nose in the coming together with Dave.
By lap two, Mark had got by Ray and was closing up to John. John however, is a very experienced pilot. Catching him is one thing, getting past is another with John placing himself on the racing line, making it impossible for Mark to pass. Adding to Marks problems, John was holding him up sufficiently to allow Ray to catch up. As well as look for the overtaking opportunity, Mark had to drive defensively himself to keep Ray behind him.
On lap three, Dave Facer got the dreaded black and orange flag. The deranged nose was causing the car to overheat, so rather than pit to remove the nose, Dave called it a day.
At half distance, it was still John from Mark and Ray with Alan Cook a distant fourth, having lost Rob to the pits.
Barry was easing out a gap to Adam, who had found a way past Clive the lap before. Mike was comfortable in fourth, well clear of the scrap between Trish, Phil and the Noseless Rachel. Rachel had managed to get to the front of this scrap but then had contact with Phil Hart although still managing to keep Trish at bay during a hectic period of racing.
Mark managed to get briefly ahead of John on lap eight, but John took it back and held it to the flag to win by just half a second, with Ray a further two seconds back. Alan Cook came in fourth in Class A with Rob in fifth, having re-joined three laps down.
Barry looked set for the B Sport win, but in sight of the flag. His engine gave up the ghost and he pulled off, giving Clive a very unexpected win. Adam was promoted to second and a very surprised Mike Sales took the other podium place.
Rachel was fourth from Phil and Trish, with Alan Davenport seventh and Steve Littler eighth.

A great result for John Harrison and he was deservedly awarded driver of the day. As a small consolation, Dave Facer was awarded mechanic of the day for his valiant (but unsuccessful!) attempts to stem the oil leak on Adam Wheeler’s Mark 16.
Some highs and lows. A great barbecue, but not as well attended as hoped. A great drive from John, proving Mark is not unbeatable.
See you at Cadwell for those daring to take on the best circuit in the country!
Race report from Sue Facer

↑ Top of Page