MORE POWER TO LEWIS’ ELBOW
| Following his disappointing exit from the second race at Brands Hatch in mid August which virtually ended his Alfashop Alfa Romeo Championship challenge, Tim Lewis was determined to ensure there was no repeat at Oulton Park last Saturday. In the end he managed to win both races but there were some pitfalls on the way.|
A slow start in race 1 meant that he had to fight his way past the battling Neil Smith and Adie Hawkins while a loose door, which had to be taped up, saw him start from the pit lane in race 2 giving him even more work to do. Fortunately for Tim both Adie and Neil retired early in the second race but it was not until lap 5 that he was able to pass Lee Penn, Andy Page and Chris Snowdon who had been having a great tussle for the lead.
In a mix-up at Lodge, Lee Penn suffered a bent rear axle and retired, leaving Andy and Chris to chase the Alfasud Sprint home. Little did they know that the tape on Tim's door had given way and he was having to keep it closed with his elbow! Reports were coming in to the Clerk of the Course but by the time a decision had been taken to show the black and orange flag, the 6.30 curfew had arrived and the race was over! Biggest disappointment of the day was the failure of Dave Pinkney's BTCC spec 156 in race one after a troubled qualifying, the car getting up to 4th place before expiring in a cloud of smoke.
Further down the field there were some great class battles in both races – Nev Simpson and Gareth Haywood fought out Class B, Nev taking a double win, while in Class C Shaun Hazlewood and Barry McMahon shared a top spot apiece. Some of the best action came in class D between the 33 16v's of Mel Healey and Emma Karwacki, the latter having her first outing of the year. The first race saw them finish 0.264" apart and the second 0.507". Couldn't be much closer than that!
Championship leader Paul Plant dominated Class E once again with his 156 but the outcome of the contest for the runner-up spot is always unpredictable and in race 1 was the property of Paul Buckley ahead of Andy Inman while in race two Chris Healey drove an inspired race to lead Andy home.
The Championship Driver of the Day awards went to Emma Karwacki and Chris Healey. The final round, for the Kevin Griffiths Trophy, will take place on the Silverstone GP circuit on Sunday, October 4 as part of the Britcar 6 Hours meeting.
For more information on the Championship visit : www.alfaracer.com