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April, 2014:

SEASONS’ OPENERS – DONINGTON PARK 30TH March 2014

The first races to start off the Season were at a warm, windy and sunny Donington Park on the Grand Prix circuit.   The GP circuit has not appeared on our Fastest Lap Chart so all fastest times would give all classes a new lap record.IMG_7057

Building and alterations are still being carried out at Donington and currently the public cannot gain access to the inside viewing areas so spectating was limited.   By the race there were only sixteen drivers entered and for our first races of the Season this was not as good as expected.   There were some registered drivers who were unable to make the grid as they had either not completed their cars or had other commitments so numbers do look more promising for future Thoroughbred races.

Practice only saw thirteen drivers out on track but there had been quite a few  problems:  Simon Cripps should have been out in his V8 which was literally just ‘out of the box’ and hadn’t been tested came in after four laps with engine issues on the Saturday BCV8 race. However, Simon had expected things not to go smoothly so had brought along his Roadster just in case so had a change to the B class.      Kathy Sherry had brought along her Morgan but had electrical problems before she could get to the practice grid so had withdrawn.

Russell McCarthy had a terminal engine problem in the BCV8 race and returned home completing a ten hour round trip to put in his spare engine.  He got back to Donington at 01.30 but couldn’t get in as the gates were closed so walked in and found the motorhome had a drink and put the clock on one hour to 02.30,  oops.

Lawrence Wood had come a bit further, from Dubai, but also had terminal problems on the Saturday and had withdrawn.  Ken Deamer had a bad misfire on his Saturday races so had withdrawn.

Finally, Peter Dumelow also had a terminal engine problem so withdrew after practice and Mark Scott had a carb problem and had a lot of running around to get a part before he could make the grid.

THE GRID

A much reduced grid now with only eleven ready to compete as follows:

Pole for Round 1 of the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Championship went to Class D Neil Fowler in the MGBGTV8 on a 1.49.990 sitting alongside Ian Prior on a 1.50.830.   Row two the empty spot for Russell McCarthy, running-in the exchange engine who had developed an oil leak in practice and was still trying to fix it, on 1.51.850.

Row two did have Class C Pole Jon Ellison in his TR6 now with ‘top hat’ and looking very smart on 1.54.390 and on row three new soft tuned V8 Rob Spencer on a 1.55.550 alongside Simon Crips Class B Pole on a  1.55.630.

On Row four Mark Scott on a 2.00.000, next to Dave McDonald on a 2.02.260. On Row five Jonathan Upchurch with a 2.05.490 alongside Bob Lines in his D Type Rep with 2.05.550.   Row six Class A Pole Martyn Clews in his Spridget on DSCF3467-001a 2.09.910 alongside newest member of TSCC Jordan Spencer, Son of Rob, out for the first time in his MGB FIA with a 2.12.570.

RACE  1 – Round 1

Eleven drivers assembled in the collection area and pulled round to the grid for an 18 minute plus one lap race.  We had a green flag lap as the GP circuit was new to so many of the drivers.

Green flag lap completed and lights changed to green and Neil and Ian stormed away with Ian just managing to reach Redgate before Neil.  Ian managed to keep Neil just behind him Neil staying in Ian’s rear view mirror for the whole race and at the flag Ian crossed to take the D Class and Overall Win but Neil was just .11 behind.  A fantastic drive by both drivers.

A little way behind an equally great battle, Rob Spencer in his new soft tuned V8 and Simon Cripps,  Simon doing his best to keep up with Rob, managing it for most of the race but the V8 power just beating him to the flag with Rob taking the C Class Win and Simon taking the B Class Win. Jon Ellison hung on to the back of Simon for nine laps until he pulled off not making the finish.

Dave McDonald headed another fine battle keeping in front of Mark Scott who had also had problems the previous day and had fixed his carb just in time to make the practice. A length or two behind Mark, Jonathan Upchurch was also in the frame until he pulled off on lap five after he believes a plug lead fell off causing terminal problems.   Once Jonathan had pulled off Mark tried to catch up with Dave but had to be content to follow him to the flag.  The pretty D Type Jag of Bob Lines had a bit of a lonely race but Bob was enjoying his last race for a little while and we hope to see him back out later in the Season.

Finishing off the field was the Class A battle of Martyn Clews and rooky Jordan Spencer.  Jordan kept great pace with Martyn and once he got the hang of it hounded him by under a second for the majority of the race, both taking the flag Martyn just leading Jordan by under a second.    There were only nine finishers but four great battles.IMG_7096

Congratulations to Overall and Class D Winner Ian Prior –  To Class C Winner Rob Spencer –  To Class B Winner Simon Cripps and to Class A Winner Martyn Clews.

 

 

 

RACE 2 – Round 2

Pole for Round 2 of the Thoroughbred Championship again went to Neil Fowler who was alongside Ian Prior.  This time though Russell McCarthy had made the grid on row two and was alongside Class C Jonathan Ellison.   Row three Class B Pole Simon Cripps alongside Rob Spencer and on row four Mark Scott alongside Dave McDonald.   Finishing off the ten man grid was Class A Pole Martyn Clews alongside Jordan Spencer.

THE RACE

Ten drivers took the lights, this time Neil Fowler took immediate lead and Ian fell into second place.  Neil powered away slowly and Ian hung on behind with Russell slowly gaining pace to tag on behind Ian.  Ian kept Russell at bay for seven laps and Russell thinking he had done enough running in stormed off after Neil but had a hard task to catch him as Neil had pulled away by some ten seconds.   Russell tried his best to catch Neil but the gap was too great and he had to content himself with gaining fastest lap in the process.  Ian Prior had developed a rev limiter problem and had to satisfy himself with a third overall and in class.

The Rob Spencer and Simon Cripps battle from the first race continued with Jon Ellison leading Simon for the first few laps then having to content himself to follow Simon for the remainder, Simon enjoying his Roadster and happy to be racing such a close race with Rob in the V8.

One of the very closest battles of the race was between Dave McDonald and Mark Scott.  Dave just managed to stay one second ahead of Mark for the whole twenty minutes crossing the line at the end of their battle by under a second.  A great show from them both.     Class A, a wonderful battle as well Martyn this time had to content himself in following behind Jordan.  Jordan in only his second race managed to keep his cool and take the pretty MGB FIA car to the lights a couple of seconds in front of Martyn.  Jordan gaining fastest lap and new lap record in only his second attempt at being ‘a racing driver like his dad’.  Well done Jordan.

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Congratulations to Neil Fowler for his Overall and Class D Win – To Rob Spencer for his Class C win – To Simon Cripps for his Class B win and To Jordan Spencer for his Class A win.