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NEW SEASON, NEW CIRCUIT Rockingham – First round for 2016

IMG_2699-001A first visit to Rockingham since 2003 for the Thoroughbred Championship and back then we were racing on the National Circuit which is 1.70 miles long.  This time we were on the International Super Sportscar Circuit or the ISSC, 1.940 miles long.  When we arrived on Saturday evening it had just started to rain and it then decided to pour down.  Most of the drivers opted to go off to the local House of Beverage and as soon as they left the sun came out and a beautiful sunset drowned the paddock in a warm glow, a nice red sky appeared and I was hopeful of a good sunny raceday.  It was sunny, but there was a biting cold wind but thankfully no rain.

Only fourteen drivers had booked to race on a circuit new to most of them and we had a first qualifying at 9.48am on Sunday morning. Our race was not until 4.25pm.

Qualifying saw all 14 drivers out on track with Rob Spencer having mechanical problems in the qualifying and he also had a carb spit and catch fire in the collection area and an overzealous marshal drowned his car with his fire extinguisher so he would have to start from the back of the grid after a major clean-up of expellant.

Qualifying gave Overall Pole to 2015 Champion E Class Russell McCarthy with a 1.32.010 with Ian Prior alongside and Neil Fowler and B Class Pole Simon Cripps with 1.37.457 on row two.  On row three Jordan Spencer Class D Pole with a 1.40.136 alongside Babak Farsian and on row four Jim Bryans vacant spot and Class C Pole Paul Khouri with a 1.41.275.  Jim having a very bad first time out with Thoroughbreds with an electrical problem that most of the ‘technical’ paddock were unable to sort.

Row five Paul Rayment and Martin Barrow and on the penultimate row Michael Hunter and Phil Lambe and finishing the field Roy Chamberlain and a very rare sight Rob Spencer at the back.  Behind Ian Prior held off Rob Spencer by meters until on lap 13 as they came round Brook for the last time Rob gained advantage and Ian lost control and the car veered into the pit wall.  A sad end to a great battle.

THE RACE

Class E

The track was basking in bright sunshine as the field came out to form up for the green flag lap. From IMG_2701-001the lights a great start from three drivers, with Ian Prior on a mission taking to

the front of the pack.  Rob Spencer from the back of the grid steaming through the field to come round in fourth on lap one, the order Ian Prior, Russell McCarthy, Neil Fowler and Rob Spencer.

As they came round all bunched to start lap two Russell had a Senior tank slapper and the order then changed to Ian, Neil, Rob and Russell.  By lap four Neil was in charge but by lap five he had pulled off at Deans and Russell took the race home to the flag. Behind Ian Prior held off Rob Spencer by meters until on lap 13 as they came round Brook for the last time Rob gained advantage and Ian lost control and the car veered into the pit wall.  A sad end to a great battle.

Class D

Down to three in the class with Jim Bryan not sorting his electrical problems.  From the lights Jordan Spencer took control of the class with Martin Barrow maintaining steady pace.  Paul Rayment pulled off at Deans on lap one with engine failure and Jordan continued home to the flag taking the class and Martin second.

Class C

Four in the class and Paul Khouri got a good start and held the class from lights to flag taking a good class win. Behind the three TR’s of Michael Hunter, Roy Chamberlain and Phil Lambe had a great close race with Roy and Michael swapping places and Phil watching and waiting.  Michael lost power on lap 12 his race finished leaving Roy to take the class win and Phil to follow him home.

Class B

Only two in the class with Simon Cripps out in his B class car while his V8 is being rebuilt.  Simon took IMG_2702-001class control from the lights and maintained it to the flag with Babak keeping him in sight but unable to catch him.

A good race with battles throughout the field.

Congratulations to Russell McCarthy for his overall and Class E win

To Jordan Spencer for his Class D win

To Paul Khouri for his Class C win

And to Simon Cripps for his Class B win

 

 

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