ALFASHOP ALFA ROMEOS – THE SEASON SO FAR
Graham Seager moved to within one point of the summit at Cadwell. Photo: Paul Stone
Every Championship has a “Won Factor” weekend from time to time that leaves both drivers and spectators with memories of a race (or two) that they won’t forget in a hurry!
For the BRSCC Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship it came over the weekend July 18th/19th at Cadwell Park. Both races on this most challenging of circuits produced intense battles at the front with several of our quickest modified cars involved all the way through – Graham Seager took a win and a second place with his supercharged GTV, the only one to get on the podium twice, while Bryan Shrubb (33 16v) inherited a win in race two on Sunday after leaders Chris Snowdon (33) and Roger Evans (Peak Alfa 147 GTA) retired following an incident at Charlies and Graham was also delayed.
On Saturday, Chris and Roger had finished a battling second and third, with Bryan Shrubb a close fourth, the top four covered by just 1.6” after 20 minutes racing. Bryan also made fastest lap in both races. In race 2, the ever improving Andy Robinson took a well-deserved third place in his 3.8 litre 156. Ray Foley (156 GTA) was, by contrast, a lonely Power Trophy winner on both days although well up the field overall.
It is usually the Twin Spark Cup that provides us with close racing but race one was a little lacklustre after the retirement of 2014 Champion James Bishop with a throttle problem, leaving Paul Plant to chase home James Ford, with Andy Hancock a distant third. Sunday was a different matter altogether as James Ford and Paul Plant battled it out side by side for part of the race, Paul eventually edging ahead to take to reverse the previous day’s result while James Bishop worked his way from the back of the grid to finish a strong third. Andy Hancock, Steve Potts and Tom Hill completed the class top six.
Cadwell marked the start of the second half of our season, the Championship having already visited Silverstone International, Rockingham, Oulton Park and Snetterton, our popular title sponsor Alfashop supporting us into a tenth straight season. Race wins had been well distributed, Graham Seager taking three (two at Silverstone plus the single header at Oulton Park), Roger Evans two, at Rockingham, and Anthony George a pair at Snetterton.
Unfortunately it is not always easy to get all the modified cars out together and notable absentees at Cadwell were Anthony (156 Turbo) and Vincent Dubois who was on the podium twice at Snetterton with his 156. As at Cadwell, the 33s 16v’s of Chris Snowdon and Bryan Shrubb can never be discounted and they certainly fought Graham Seager hard at the opening round. Unfortunately other commitments mean that they can’t enter all the races. The Power Trophy (based on a power to weight ratio formula) has yet to get going, although there were five entries at Snetterton, providing a win apiece for long time Championship contenders Keith Waite (75 3 litre) and Nick Anderson (33 8v).
The ultra-consistent James Bishop, has continued to dominate the Twin Spark Cup, despite the blip at Cadwell, and already has another five wins to his name (at Silverstone, Rockingham and Snetterton) helped by a normally reliable 156 prepared by Bianco Auto Developments. Paul Plant had set a strong pace to win at Oulton while James Ford had taken victory at Snetterton. However, there are always battles throughout the Twin Spark class, offering excellent entertainment with drivers like Andy Hancock, Dave Messenger, Tom Hill and Richard Stevens all in the mix plus Tim Perry as and when he is able to race. In the second half of the year we are also expecting Steve Potts and newcomer Simon Cresswell to feature well. The Twin Spark Cup usually provides over half the grid, most of the cars 156s but with 145, 146s and 147s thrown in for variety.
The Cadwell results closed up the Championship points position at the top – Graham Seager moving to within a point of James Bishop once dropped scores are taken into consideration. Ray Foley who had led after Oulton now lies third with Bryan Shrubb, a points adjusted fourth, ahead of Tom Hill and James Ford who are equal fifth. A good mix of the classes at the top and there is the big question now as to whether James Bishop can repeat his 2014 Championship run or will Graham Seager continue his current form to move ahead. Graham’s car is prepared by 2012/13 Champion Roger Evans at Peak Alfa, so he will have plenty of support from that direction as will James from Bianco.
We now move on to a single header at Brands Hatch on August 23rd followed by our first visit to Croft since 2005. The season ends with a double header at Donington, always a popular place to finish the year, on October 17th/18th. Let’s hope for some more of the fantastic racing we saw at Cadwell!