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Round 8 – Seasons’ Decider – Snetterton 200 5th October

The last race of the Season was held on Saturday 5th October at the MGCC’s final meeting of the Season.   The weather was good and we had a bright and sunny Meeting.  The practice at 11.34 saw 22 of the entries on the grid with two of the drivers Ian Prior and Neil Fowler having problems in the BCV8 practice but as they had both raced within the previous twelve months on the circuit they were able to start from the back of the grid for the race.

The entries consisted of Two A Class, Nine B Class, Three C Class and Nine D class cars with an Invited Morgan driver making up the 24 entries. Peter Hiscocks had a suspension problem and spent most of the time between practice and race rebuilding the front of the car.  Ben Tovey had a major engine problem and would not make the grid.  In other practices Jonathan Upchurch, Babak Farsian and Ben White would have a problem and could not make the Thoroughbred grid so only 20 assembled for the 16.13 race.

QUALIFYING

SN13_5866Overall Pole and C class Pole went to Rob Spencer with a 1.22.550 who sat alongside Ollie Neaves on a 1.22.809. Row Two the two yellow V8’s of Russell McCarthy on  1.22.932 alongside Spencer McCarthy on a 1.23.090.  On Row three Joe Parrington on 1.26.008 alongside Ken Deamer on a  1.26.496.

Row Four B class Pole Peter Barnard on  1.28.335 alongside Simon Cripps on  1.29.176 and on row five Class C Pole Tim Falce on a 1.29.428 alongside Babak Farsian’s vacant spot..   On row six Mark Scott and Jonathan Upchurch’s vacant spot and on row seven Paul Khouri and Ben White’s vacant spot with Colin Jones and Christopher Forrest on row eight.

Row nine Ben Toveys vacant spot alongside Phil Lambe and on row ten Class A Pole Martyn Clews on a 1.35.828 alongside Mike Mason.  Finishing off the field on row eleven were Peter Hiscocks and Carl Richardson.

Sitting at the back of the grid Ian Prior and Neil Fowler, giving a total to actually start of twenty.  The grid for Snetterton had been a healthy 28 in the programme but had reduced to 24 on the day and still further by the race.

THE RACE

Lights changed and from the second row Spencer McCarthy made a blinding start to take the field up to Riches with Russell just behind followed by Ollie Neaves and Poleman Rob Spencer.SN13_5830

By the time they returned back to the Senna Straight Spencer was still in control.  Russell, Ollie and Rob just behind with Ken Deamer a little way back.  Next Neil Fowler up fifteen places in one lap now in sixth overall with Peter Barnard leading Class B next, then Ian Prior up thirteen places just in front of Simon Cripps.

SN13_5836A few lengths further back Class C leader Tim Falce with a skittish Joe Parrington just in front of Mark Scott and Paul Khouri. Colin Jones, Phil Lambe next with Chris Forrest just behind, then Class A leader Martyn Clews with Mike Mason, Peter Hiscocks and Morgan driver Carl Richardson finishing the field for lap one.

Laps two and three the order remained the same except Ian Prior passed Neil Fowler to take fifth placeSN13_5856.

Spencer had been steadily pulling out a two second lead from Russell when on lap five disaster struck for him.  He noticed a squirt of fluid coming up on the screen from the bonnet at the end of the Bentley Straight and going into Nelson a sheet of flames came up from the bonnet. He pulled off, scrambled out pulling the fire extinguisher as he did so and watched in desperation as the front of the car appeared to totally ignite.  He ran to the empty marshal’s post and took a fire extinguisher and attempted to put out the flames.  Finally they eased by the time the fire tender arrived but regenerated again when he lifted the bonnet.  By this time the Safety Car was out not picking up the leader Russell but half way down the field in front of Peter Barnard.  The Safety Car let them go to catch up while he took position in front of Russell.

After an age it appeared that the smoke and flames subsided and the safety car came in but not until lap ten leaving only three laps to go.  Russell and Ollie charged ahead, Ollie hard on Russell’s tailpipe, Rob Spencer, Neil Fowler and Ian Prior a few seconds behind.

SN13_5908Russell managed to just hold off Ollie for the three laps and took the flag just .162 of a second in front of Ollie giving a good show for the last few laps.  The remainder of the field seemed to have lost a bit of interest in racing as I am sure you realise I had as well.

Peter Barnard came home first in Class B just half a second in front of Class C leader Tim Falce and Martyn Clews came home first in Class A.     Simon Cripps came in on lap eight and Joe Parrington on lap five both with problems.

Congratulations to Russell McCarthy for his Overall and Class D Win

To Tim Falce for his Class C win

To Peter Barnard for his Class B win and taking the CP13_9196Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship Overall Title for 2013

and

To Martyn Clews for his Class A Win.

 

A sad looking fire burned car came back to the paddock and both Spencer and Russell attacked it with a hosepipe to get rid of all the extinguisher foam.

Reason for fire – a fuel pipe had come loose and a spray of fuel had hit the hot exhausts and ignited.  Spencer said that the ‘Roy’ bonnet louvres had saved the car as he managed to spray directly through the louvres at the exhausts.  Without the louvres he is sure the car would not have been saved.   It will be back out competing in 2014.

 Pam McCarthy

Many thanks to John Allan for taking photos of the race Here

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