4, Jan, 2019
Robs Blog. September – October
Classic and Sports Car Club Late Summer Meeting, Donington Park, 15/16 September
Boss Racing customers came away from the Leicestershire circuit with two wins from two races, a perfect result. It started well with Colin Watson (Caterham C400 2400), Richard Carter (R300 2500) and Tim Davis (C400 2400) occupying the front row of the starting grid for the Racetruck Open Series race. Peter Hargroves was 20th in his Superlight R2000.
For the Magnificent Sevens race, however, our old rival Peter Ratcliffe pipped Tim and Colin to pole position. Richard was fifth (and first in his class), with Peter Hargroves 25th (third in class) and Peter French (Superlight 1800) 34th and first in class.
From the time the lights changed to start the Open Series event Tim and Colin dashed off into the distance. But on lap 17 of this 31-lap race, Colin was wrong-footed while lapping a back marker at the Craner Curves and ended beached in the gravel. This left Tim secure in the lead and he won by a comfortable 17-secs. He also set fastest lap. Richard was third and second in class, with Peter tenth and second in class.
The Mag 7s race was a little less straightforward. It was raining as the cars assembled in the collecting area but the sun was out when the race started – with our cars on wets. The first couple of laps were run under the safety car and Tim was caught out as he’d been expecting two green flag laps. He soon recovered, though, and he and Colin battled for the lead with Peter Ratcliff until Peter spun exiting coppice on lap four as the leading trio tried to put down nearly 1000hp on to the all important Starkeys straight.
Colin had eased into a three second lead as the pit window opened and the cars came in for their mandatory pit stops. Colin made the call to only change three wheels giving him the edge over Tim as the pit stops unwound. Backmarkers seemed to be particularly tricky at Donington perhaps due to the flowing nature of the track and the gap yoyoed but Tim slowly reeled Colin in. As it looked as if there would be a last lap fight, faces on the pitwall became more concerned – team orders perhaps? In the end however Tim couldn’t quite latch on to the 92 car and they crossed the line 1.5 seconds apart but over 40 seconds ahead of third place! Peter Hargroves was 13th but Peter French wasn’t classified.
Classic and Sports Car Club Wendy Wools Anniversary Meeting, Mallory Park, 6/7 October
There was a brace of victories for Tim Davis at this tribute to the Wendy Wools sponsorship of the crowd-pleasing special saloon and mod sports races of the 1970s and `80s. It was certainly a busy qualifying session for us with five cars entered for the Mag 7s race: Colin Watson, Tim Davis, Christian Pittard, Hugh Coulter and Richard Carter. We were also supporting Peter French.
Colin, Tim and Christian took the first three places on the grid with Richard fifth, Hugh (C400 2000) sixth and first in class G. Peter French was 22nd.
Richard however went off and hit the wall, seriously damaging his front suspension. We only just managed to get him to his grid position in time for the start. Colin, however, had incurred a five-place success penalty and had to start sixth.
Tim, therefore, inherited pole with Christian alongside him
In a lively race Colin, who likes Mallory, quickly surged to the front with Christian second and Tim third. But he had to make an early pitstop to replace a broken wing that was rubbing dramatically on the front tyre. Then, on lap 13, he was squeezed onto the grass by a back marker and went off ending his race. Christian suffered clutch failure, while Hugh had a moment and left the track.
And so Tim and Peter Ratcliff pulled away to battle for the win. Indeed with ten laps to go Ratcliff seemed to have the win in the bag as he gradually pulled out a five second lead. However, never one to give up, Tim held the gap and managed to reduce it as the clock wound down and with one lap to go he was back with Ratcliff. Catching was one thing but with just the hairpin and Devils elbow to go, getting past looked like something else. However the Team Leos car struggled to slow for the hairpin, half spun and left a small gap that Tim dived in to. To the amazement of all on the pitwall who had watched the cars disappear on the run up to the hairpin they reappeared with Tim in front and he sailed across the finish line to take the chequered flag! Richard was third. Peter French was 15th and first in class. Tim also recorded the fastest race lap.
The Racetruck open series event should have started with Colin, Christian and Tim occupying the first three places on the grid and Richard fifth. However due to his crash in the earlier race Hugh elected not to start, Colin’s car car was too damaged to repair and Christian, with a broken clutch, was another non-starter.
Tim was leading the race – a much quieter affair – when the organisers were obliged to bring it to a premature end on lap 21 due to problems with noise limits. Again, he set fastest lap. Richard was placed third.
With only nine days before we were scheduled to leave for France Colin’s no. 92 Caterham was stripped the day after we returned from Mallory. Unfortunately the damage was worse than we thought with the front of the chassis twisted. The only option was to ship it to Arch Motors on the Wednesday. We collected it two days later and spent the next few days building up the car and getting it running again just in time for the five day trip to France.
Classic and Sports Car Club, Magny Cours, 19/21 October
It’s a day’s drive from the port of Calais to Magny Cours in central France, 250km south of Paris, but it was far enough south for the weekend’s weather to be gloriously warm and sunny. We had four cars for Colin, Tim, Richard and Will Redman (420R) to contest two open series races. The results of the first determined the starting positions for the second.
Colin was on pole once again with Tim third, Richard fifth and Will 16th. The first race was a repeat of the earlier battles between Colin, Tim and Peter Ratcliff. In fact, I’d call it epic. Tim pitted first but Colin and Ratcliff came in together. On re-joining the circuit both were delayed by a slower car, allowing Tim to sprint away into a lead he retained to the flag. Colin was second and Richard fourth. Will was 17th and the winner of his class.
Battle was re-joined during the second race. Tim started from pole and the leading trio was soon hard at it again. They pitted in the order Ratcliff, Tim and Colin but Colin was again delayed by a slower car leaving Tim and Ratcliff battling for the lead until a late-race safety car interlude. The safety car toured for ten minutes and it looked as if that was how the race would finish as the officials struggled to clear the debris. But just as we thought it was all over (and we were singing the praises of British marshalls!) the safety car pulled in with one lap to go. In the dash for the flag the lead must have changed five or six times but Ratcliff just held on to win. Colin was third and Richard fourth. Will, meanwhile, came in an excellent 17th again.
There was nothing left for us to do except pack up and head to our home from home one more time for a barbeque and ‘couple’ of beers and reflect on the results of the 2018 CSCC season. Out of nine Mag 7 rounds we’d won seven with victories in five out of eight open series races. Not bad, I’d say