DOUBLES ALL ROUND AT SNETT


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Richard Mitcham was one of five drivers to win both their championship races. Photo: www.johncooperphotographic.co.uk

It was a busy two days at Snetterton last weekend with a total of sixteen races contested, with no less than five drivers winning their respective double-headers. Interestingly, the BRSCC East Anglian Centre run meeting, was conducted on two different circuits, with the proceedings on Saturday taking place on the three mile Snetterton 300 circuit, and the Sunday using the classic 200 layout.

The Arrowpak Euro Saloon & Sports Car Championship was absolutely dominated by Andy Robinson, who was in a race of his own at the front of the field. Robinson took two lights to flag victories from pole position, finishing a minute ahead of the competition both times. There was some great racing behind him however, with ‘best of the rest’ Alex Sidwell wrestling his Holden Commodore to two very close second and third place finishes. Wayne Schofield just did enough to keep Sidwell behind on Saturday, finishing 0.158 infront at the finish, and on Sunday Ilsa Cox pushed Sidwell hard for the third place spot, eventually finishing just over a second behind in third.

The first race of the weekend was the Quaife Intermarque League, with Matt Moore starting on pole after dominating the qualifying session by nearly one and a half seconds. However, the seemingly inevitable cruise to victory was halted by Tommy Field in his Vauxhall Tigra, who snatched the lead on the second lap, and pulled away into the distance to take the win. Keith White fought hard for second place, but was unable to make a move stick on Moore, eventually settling for third just half a second behind as the pair crossed the finishing line. In the second Intermarque race, problems for both Moore and White left Field to take to the top step once again, with Daniel Smith’s Peugeot 206 and another Tigra, driven by Matt Simpson left to fight for the remaining podium places, Smith finishing second and Simpson following closely behind to take third.

The BRSCC Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship saw Adie Hawkins dominating every single session with a clean sweep of the results sheets. Anthony George took second place on Saturday, however he struggled on the 200 circuit and dropped back to an eventual sixth place after an intense last lap battle with Ray Foley and Vincent Dubois. Roger Evans took up the final spot on the podium on Sunday, still in sight of, yet unable to catch Christopher Oxborough for second.

The Quaife Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship and the Cannon Motor Spares Tin-Top Challenge were combined on the grid, with Rod Birley just stealing the pole position away from Ashley Hargreaves by 0.094 in QMN. Graham Heard lead the Tin-Tops qualifying, with Ian Butler just over a second behind and third in class. Hargreaves took the lead from a great start in the first race, but by lap three Birley was able to slingshot back past, and lead the race from there on to the flag.

On Sunday the 200 course suited Hargreaves’ Peugeot better, allowing him to catch and then challenge Birley for the lead. However, a problem demoted Hargreaves back to an eventual fifteenth overall, and left Malcolm Wise and Birley to fight for the win. Birley finally emerged the victor after a strong challenge from Wise in the final laps, Birley crossing the line just 0.277s ahead.

The Tin-Top wins were wrapped up by Graham Heard, who finished an impressive third overall on Saturday, and then almost repeated the feat with fourth place on Sunday. Ian Butler was left unable to challenge Heard after a retirement on Saturday and a mechanical problem on Sunday dropped him to the bottom end of the results sheets.

In the BIGprofile Sports 2000 Pinto Championship, pole sitter Damian Griffin was caught up in the first-corner scramble and forced to fight back from tenth position at the end of lap one. By the end of the third lap he had already bounced back up to fifth place, but the lead that first and second placed pair Paul Streat and Peter Needham had stretched was too large for Griffin to chase, leaving him stood on the last step of the podium while the leaders squabbled at the front. On the last lap, Needham was finally able to make a move stick, and he clung onto the lead by just 0.204 as the pair took the flag.

Richard Mitcham never looked back in the BRSCC Formula Jedi Championship, taking both pole positions on his way to a double-win. However, his rivals still managed to make him work for his prizes, with Dan Clowes taking an early lead on Saturday until a mechanical problem struck and eventually forced him to retire. On Sunday, it was Matthew Bett’s chance to pressure Mitcham; however, Bett was unable to close the three-second cushion that sat between him and the eventual winner, although he was still close enough to keep the heat on Mitcham all of the way to the flag.

The BIGprofile Sports 2000 Duratec featured a classic battle between Mike Jenvey and Patrick Sherrington. Jenvey was the only driver to dip into the 1:53’s in qualifying and took pole by 0.237 from Sherrington, however he wasn’t allowed an inch by Sherrington during the race and for the first seven laps there was never more than half a second separating the pair. Eventually on the eighth lap, a pass attempt that didn’t stick allowed Jenvey some breathing space, and from there with the release of pressure he was able to steadily stretch his lead to 5 seconds at the end of the race.

The Pre-91 Alfa Romeo race was initially led by Andy Hancock, who was able to slip into the lead on the first lap past pole sitter Anthony George. Hancock tried his best to pull out a gap between the pair, but George stuck like glue to Hancock’s rear bumper and pushed him around the circuit for much of the race. After closing the gap at one stage to just 0.081 as they crossed the line to start lap seven, George found just enough extra speed to pass Hancock, eventually leading the way to the podium by 2.6 seconds.

David Thomas topped the qualification results sheets in his Class B Clio in the Norfolk Enduro Trophy, however after locking horns with the top three, his Renault developed a problem on lap eight and he slowed significantly. This left the contest for the lead to be fought between Chris Murray-Brown and the pairing of Rothery/Whiteman. Murray-Brown eventually came home the winner, after stretching a comfortable gap and cruising to victory in the second stint of the race once the pit-stops had been completed.

For the full race results go to SNETTERTON RESULTS

George Simmons