SEASON REVIEW: ARROWPAK EURO SALOONS


CATEGORIES:

Wayne Schofield was the deserved Arrowpak Euro Saloons champion. Photo:John Cooper

The Arrowpak Euro Saloon & Sports Car Championship provided yet another great season of competitive motorsport, which was well supported by the drivers. Sixty-seven competitors raced at least once during 2012 in twenty-two different marques spread across five classes. The Championship visited eight circuits using nine layouts, including our first ever run on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The average race entry across the sixteen races was over twenty-four cars for the second year running. There were five different outright race winners, and twenty drivers took at least one class win and, for the second season running, the championship was settled at the final race. Factor in three sub-championships within the main framework and there is always something to race for.

For the third time in four years, the overall champion came from Class D, but this time not a Renault Clio. Wayne Schofield triumphed in the smallest car to ever run in the championship, the diminutive Suzuki Cappuccino, only securing the title from the largest car in the series, Andy Robinson’s Ford Falcon at the final round. On his way to the title, Wayne took twelve class wins and fourteen fastest laps in sixteen races, failing to finish just the once.

Class A was the busiest, with twenty-four different drivers taking to the track in some of the fastest cars in the series, with four of these accounting for twelve outright race wins. Andy Robinson felt he was robbed of his first outright victory in race one at Silverstone when demoted to second via a time penalty for exceeding track limits, but went on to record six outright race wins and four fastest laps as he won the class with 274 points to Gary Prebble’s (Mitsubishi Evo) 192. Gary only competed in four rounds, but took seven class wins, 3 of them outright race wins and 7 fastest laps in 8 races. Expect a closer battle for Class A honours next year if he does the full season. The remaining class wins were for Rex Stamp (Lotus Elise) with two outright wins at Oulton Park and one for Darren Dowling (TVR Sagaris) in the first race at Silverstone. A consistent approach saw Doug Ellwood (Marcos Mantis) take third in Class A with eleven race finishes from thirteen starts.

Class B was mostly a mixture of ex-Touring Cars and Seat Leon Cupra cars, with single entries from a BMW M3 and Ford Sapphire Cosworth. Ilsa Cox (Seat Leon) took eight class wins, the Class B title and the Arrowpak Super Touring Cup in a season that lacked consistent competition. Kevin Wendt (BMW M3) came second in class despite only entering the first three rounds, while Derek Palmer (Nissan Primera) would surely have finished higher than third if he had started sooner than the final three races, all of which he won.

2010 champion Nick Hayes (Seat Leon) missed out on round two, but strong results from round three to the end, including four class wins, saw him regain his class title. Nine good finishes were sufficient for Mark Todd (Seat Leon) to come second in class from 2011 class champion Ian Craig, who managed four class wins in his six races entered. Dennis Crompton (BMW M3) took class honours in all six races he competed in, Dutch driver Cees de Haan and Andy Robey also taking class wins during the season.

Wayne Schofield’s Suzuki Cappuccino looked like a caricature when it first appeared at Silverstone, but Schofield took his first Class win in race two and only issues at Cadwell Park and his sole DNF at Rockingham where the throttle cable came adrift prevented a clean sweep of wins from that point. At Anglesey, Wayne finished second overall to one of the guest Sakers, the highest finish ever for a Class D car. 2011 Champion Andy Jordan returned to defend his title and may well have succeeded without Schofield’s intervention, which limited him to nine second places on his way to second in class. Andy did have the consolation of winning the Mark Fish Renault Clio Cup Challenge for the second year running. David Thomas (Clio) came third in class while the remaining class wins went to John Hamilton (Clio) and a pair of wins for Garrie Whittaker (BMW M3) at Cadwell Park.

The Class E turnout was disappointing, Chris Boon (Honda Civic) won all fourteen races he started, alas with minimal competition. The reduced points on offer for less than four starters in a class restricting Chris to sixth overall.

With thirty-one cars making the final round at Donington Park, the scene is set for another successful year in 2013. All the officials and competitors connected with the Championship would like to thank Arrowpak, Mark Fish Motorsport, MSE-performance.com and LMA Performance for their support this season.

For more information visit http://www.eurosaloons.co.uk/

Trevor Nicosia