SUNSHINE AND SLIPSTREAMS DOMINATE SNETTERTON
Steven Dailly put up a rock solid defence to win the second Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup race – Photo: Jon Elsey
Summer felt as though it had well and truly arrived this past weekend at Snetterton as the BRSCC East Anglian Centre hosted its second meeting of the season with a true mixture of disciplines and machinery on display. The racing didn’t disappoint as drivers jostled for position and silverware all weekend.
The racing action of the weekend seemed to be characterised by the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship as points leader Ed Hayes started Race 1 from pole position in the Race Boxster class. As it was, his self-acknowledged poor starts came back to haunt him as fellow front row man Adam Southgate would go on to take his second win in a row in Race 1, despite holding off Hayes in second place whilst being slightly down on horsepower. Richard Avery would drive home to 3rd place. Come Sunday, the tables had turned as Hayes managed to find a way through and drive away to take yet another win from 2017. Southgate and Avery took up 2nd and 3rd, leaving the reverse grid Race 3 to be the deciding factor. An almighty sort out on the opening lap saw Avery end it in the lead, but both Hayes and Southgate closed him down throughout the final 20 minute encounter to come away to eventually overtake. Hayes took his 2nd of the weekend as the podium duplicated that of Race 2, albeit with 2nd and 3rd placed drivers switched.
Over in the 924 Class, it was once again all about that man Pip Hammond. Making a return to the scene of his stunning debut in the championship back in April last year, Hammond wasted no time in evoking a sense of deja vu as he went to pick up all 3 wins at a canter, finishing at least 8 seconds ahead of his rivals each time. His PDC Racing teammate Gavin Johnson kept it strong and stable with a trio of 2nd places while the 3rd place step was shared all weekend by Peter Smith, Ryan Lowry and David Jones respectively. Andrew Baker was also the man to be as he dominated Production Boxster Class.
Tin-top action began on Saturday with the Teekay Couplings Production GTis with both Mk2 and Mk5 drivers out on track dicing for the victory in their respective series. Martyn Walsh wasted no time in exerting his authority as he took the Mk5 win in Race 1 ahead of Dan Rose and James Howlison, while behind them Dan Gibbs was able to secure a long awaited first win in the MK2 16V class from reigning champion Chris Webb and 3rd placed Nick Porter. Later that afternoon, there would be a rather different Mk5 podium as Simon Hill made up for starting from the back of the Race 1 grid with a 10 second penalty to go on and win Race 2. His long-term friend and rival Walsh took 2nd with Adam Hance taking a 3rd. Gibbs would go on to take another Mk2 16V win, while Tim Hartland snuck into 2nd place this time with Porter again 3rd. Matthew Eccles would win both races in the 8V class.
Single seater thrills were provided by the Formula Jedi championship as Michael Watton made the most of pole position in Race 1 to extend a lead which he would never lose. Crossing the line some 7 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Lee Morgan showed he was on great form, as local boy Rob Sayell brought the #1 car home in 3rd. Come the second race, Morgan had managed to find a little bit more pace and overhauled early leader Sayell after the opening few laps to pick up his third win of the year. Watton would come through to second leaving Sayell to score another 3rd place. It was the 3rd race on Sunday that really saw the most action as Morgan was put under pressure all race by Paul Butcher, who had survived a Race 1 suspension failure at the first corner to work his way back through the field come the final race. He missed out on victory behind Morgan by less than a second, while Sayell made sure he owned the 3rd place step by completing a hat-trick at home.
Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup points leader and 2016 champion James Gornall wasted no time in show he still had the ultimate form over the rest of the field as he went on to convert pole position in Race 1 to a relatively straightforward victory. Steven Dailly fought through an overheating tyre problem to take 2nd with Owen Hunter bringing home a strong 3rd. With the setup tweaked for Race 2, Dailly’s pace was much better and made his BMW E36 318i Compact the widest car in the field as he somehow fended up multiple advances from Gornall all race. Dailly would take the win as Gornall settled for 2nd, while Hunter put in another top performance to pick up 3rd place again.
In the weekend’s two guest series, it was Allen Brooke who had the rub of the green all day in the Peter Best Insurance MG Cup as he took his superb little MG Metro to a fine victory in Race 1, both overall and in Class C. Richard Buckley couldn’t be topped in class B to take 2nd place, with Gianni Picone picking up 3rd in his Invitation class MG ZR. The same result occurred in Race 2 with the top 3 overall, while Class A success was shared bout between Steve Tyler and Joshua Wright.
Also out in force on Sunday were the magnificent historic races of the HRDC as they once again put on a show in the 45 minute Touring Greats/ TC63 pit-stop race. When it was all said and done, David Devine’s beautiful Riley 1.5 was the winner ahead of John Yea’s Austin A40 Speedwell and Gavin Watson’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti after the pit stops shook out the order. In the 30 minute Allstars/ Academy & A-Series Challenge race, it was Brian Small’s Ashley MG Midget with the from John Yea once again, this time in an MGB Roadster, with Matthew Holme in 3rd.
You can find the full results via TSL Timing from the weekend here – SNETTERTON RESULTS