MAGNIFICENT MALLORY PUTS ON A SHOW


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Matthew Walker claimed the second VTEC Challenge race despite the red flag – Photo: Jonathan Fletcher

It may have only been one day’s racing, but boy was it a spectacle to behold. With Hondas, TVRs, single seaters and historic racers all rolled into a few hours, Leicestershire’s Mallory Park was the scene of a fast and frenetic race day on Saturday, with plenty of thrills and spills to entertain the spectators.

Festivities started with the Toyo Tires Honda VTEC Challenge & Smart 4Two Cup on track together, for the first of two races for the pair that day. It was a tale of two fortunes for Marc Kemp in his ex-BTCC Honda Civic, as he started Race 1 on pole and raced into a lead in which he was never headed. Kemp took overall and Super Tuner victory by 15 seconds from Stewart Hutchinson’s Tuner Class winning Integra Type R and Matthew Walker’s EK9 Civic, also collecting 2nd in Super Tuner. Phil Wright’s “Pink Panther” Accord Type R was top in Production class and 4th overall. Race 2 saw Marc Kemp out in front again, but a sizeable accident between Greg Owens and Dennis Grace in the Smarts brought out the red flags.

The race was restarted and the remaining 7 minutes were played out minus Kemp’s Civic, which didn’t even complete the formation lap for the restart to leave Walker’s EK9 Civic to sweep the second race. Wright’s Accord took P2 and another Production class win ahead of Matthew Le’s Civic to complete the podium. Hutchinson was top Tuner once more, albeit finishing 7th. In the 4Two Cup, there were wins apiece for James Palmer and Simon Horrobin, while the remaining silverware was shared out to Alan Palmer and the aforementioned Greg Owens in Race 1 and David Nash and Alan Palmer in Race 2.

Our other championship in attendance this weekend was the Dunlop TVR Challenge, with another grid full of Blackpool’s finest ready to race. On this occasion, the Sagaris was the car to have as two examples secured the wins. Darren Dowling completed Race 1 victory ahead of Tim Hood and Dean Cook to provide an all-Sagaris filled rostrum. Hood then had his turn in the spotlight with a win in Race 2 from the Tuscan of Tim Davis and the sole Invitational entry of John Seery, who competed aboard his Westfield. Hugh Marshall took Class A all to himself in both races, Dave Stewart was the only Class B winner all weekend as no cars finished the class in the second race and Mike Luck and Alex Champkin claimed a top step finish each in Class C.

The Monoposto Tiedeman Trophy brought a single seater flavour to the raceday with their second event of the 3 race trophy. Pole man Jeremy Timms didn’t get further than the first corner before problems arose. This left the Invitational class TOM’S Toyota 037 of Robin Dawe to race away with Race 1 victory James Maclachlan’s Jedi Mk6 in the Moto class and another Invitational machine – the Formula Renault of Cian Carey. Neil Harrison, Shane Kelly, Ewen Sergison and Geoff Fern all won their classes respectively.

Race 2 saw a complete turn in luck for Jeremy Timms as he charged through from the back of the field to not only take the lead but then succeed by 7 seconds at the flag. Dawe scored P2 ahead of Harrison to complete top 3, while Kelly, Sergison and Fern once again secured class victories. Monopostos is one of the only championships in the country where you can find such an eclectic selection of single seater machinery and the Tiedeman Trophy, in honour of championship founder Frank Tiedeman, is a fitting tribute to the man and his philosophy.

Completing the day’s agenda were 3 races from the magnificent HRDC and their vast array of historic makes and models to bring back the heydays of motorsport from more than half a century ago. First up were the Allstars, featuring a mix of GTs and touring cars. One thing it did prove to be was a race of attrition, as one third of the field expired before they could see the flag. Nonetheless, after 30 minutes of tough racing, it was Kerry Michael who brought his Ford Lotus Cortina first past the post by a healthy margin over fellow TC65 class runner Jason Brooks in his Austin A40. Stephen Miles rounded out the podium with Touring Greats class victory in 3rd with John McDonald’s Ashley Works GT and Frank Slevin’s Alfa Romeo Giulia securing honours in GT and TC65 respectively.

Next it was on to a one of a kind race – the HRDC Academy “Flying A Trophy”, run exclusively for Austin’s A30 and A35 models, with the cars competing in Academy and Speedwell specifications. There was one man and one machine that was expected to be a front runner and Neil Brown in his “Powerful Peanut” A35 Speedwell was more than just that. From pole, which he took by over 1.5 seconds and the only driver to run sub-1 minute in qualifying, he dominated from the front to take the flag some 18 seconds clear of Matt Green with Andrew Allen a further 9 seconds back. Academy class victory went the way of Tony Shirtcliffe with Charles Settrington and David Lillywhite also taking home silverware.

Finally, the Touring Great had their turn to showcase just what touring car racing come the end of the ‘50s was all about. Ex-BTCC and sportscar star Mike Jordan had pole in his own Austin A40, but sadly would not see the finish due to retirement just after half distance in the 45 minute encounter. Taking his second success of the day was Neil Brown, who gave the Powerful Peanut more credibility with an outright win alongside Richard Dutton. Jason Brooks repeated his Allstars podium with another 2nd place, while Michael Moore rounded out the top 3 aboard his A40.

All the championships that competed this weekend will be back in action at some point soon as the season begins to reach its twilight period. We’ll see HRDC and Monoposto back with us at Donington for another race day on November 7th, while the Honda VTEC Challenge will head there too for the finals weekend in 3 weeks’ time and the TVRs will join the Fun Cup at Oulton Park on the same weekend. It’s safe to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our return to Mallory Park – we’d love to come back if you’ll have us next year!

For a full breakdown for this weekend’s racing, then look no further than MALLORY PARK RESULTS.

Scott Woodwiss