WET, WET, WET!
Haverhill's Gerry Taylor scored a couple of podium finishes on his home circuit. Photo: www.bournephoto.co.uk
In common with most of the country, it was a wet and windy weekend at Snetterton for the BRSCC East Anglian Centre season opener on the 300 circuit.
After a morning session full of qualifying and practice, racing started in earnest on Saturday after the lunch-break with the Ma5da MX150-R race. Brett Smith was the first across the line in the MX5 Mk1 invitation class but it was Stewart Mutch, the only 150-R in the field, who took the ‘official’ win. The second 150-R race followed just one race after and this time it was Rhys Jenkins who took the chequered flag.
The first of the three Logson Group Porsche Championship races went to Thirsk’s Richard Sykes, with Ric Styrin a distant second and David Bearman a closer third. Rebecca Jackson maintained her early season good form with a class win in the 924s.
Jordan Stilp made a great job of handling the slippery conditions to win the first Ma5da Cup race for the Mk3s. Championship leader Chrissy Palmer was just 1.293 seconds further back and Eynon Price came home third.
The last race of the day was for the OSS Championship but unfortunately, it was red-flagged after just 100 yards when three cars made contact, partly due to the inclement conditions. The re-started race was over seven laps and it was Darcy Smith who nursed his Radical SR4 home first, with Ginger Marshall and Ake Bornebusch second and third respectively.
The hope for an improvement in the weather on Sunday morning proved to be a forlorn one as the first race was delayed for half an hour while water was pumped off the track! The Ma5da MX5 Championship race was worth the wait; Alan Henderson took the plaudits overtaking Rhys Jenkins on the last corner to take the win by just .040 seconds, with Brett Smith third.
The first Motorsport News Ford Fiesta Junior Championship race was won by Brightlingsea’s Charles Ladell, who comfortably fended off the challenge of Freddie Lee and Jack Mitchell, who were second and third respectively.
The Boxster of Richard Sykes secured another win in the Logson Group Porsche Championship ahead of local driver Gerry Taylor, with Ric Styrin dropping down to third. James Atherton claimed the 924 honours and in doing so won the Barn Ruche Trophy.
The ST class of the Dunlop backed Ford Fiesta Championship were next on-track and Chippenham’s Jason Cooper made it three wins out of three this season, finishing ahead of John Langridge & Andrew Foley.
A shivering Ben Short, Alexander Preston and Brian Chandler made up the podium in the second Ma5da MX5 Championship outing before the Fiestas returned to the track for the race featuring classes A & B. Torsten Skeen returned to racing after a sabbatical of many years and was straight back in the groove beating local hero David Elsom to the line by an impressive 22.98 seconds. Nik Barton came home in third.
Cardiff’s Tom Roche used all his experience in the next Ma5da MX5 Championship race to hold-off old rival Adam Gore to take the race win. ‘Mr Consistency’ Brett Smith was third, which was his fourth visit to the podium of the meeting.
After their first race incident a depleted entry of six OSS cars lined up for their second tour, as the weather went from bad to worse – a river was running through the pitlane! Veteran Ginger Marshall took the race win with Darcy Smith second and Ake Bornebusch third. Smith accrued enough points over both races to win the Archie Scott Brown Trophy.
Finally, the weather improved and the sun was even spotted as the Ma5da MX5 Cup went out for their second race of the weekend. Chrissy Palmer went one better than yesterday, winning from Luke Herbert. Welshman Eynon Price matched his feat of Saturday, taking third place again.
The second Fiesta Junior race was a much tighter affair, but Charles Ladell again showed his rivals a clean pair of heels. Jack Mitchell moved up to second, just under three seconds behind the double winner with Freddie Lee completing the podium.
Richard Sykes completed an impressive treble in the Logson Group Porsche Championship, with Ric Styrin and Gerry Taylor following the North Yorkshireman home. Conversely, the 924 class produced its third different winner of the weekend – Alastair Kirkham taking the honours ahead of a consistent Rebecca Jackson and Sean Siddall.
Jason Cooper also completed a clean sweep in the Fiesta ST race. Andrew Foley, from Merthyr Tydfil, bettered his morning performance by moving up one to third. Porth’s Shaun Clay was a creditable third.
Rhys Jenkins, James Blake-Baldwin & Alan Henderson had a tremendous scrap in the fourth MX5 Championship race. Jenkins finally got the better of Blake-Baldwin on the last corner to squeeze home by .329 of a second, with Henderson just another .675 further back.
Another driver who enjoyed a 100% success rate at Snett was Torsten Skeen who again put his rivals to the sword in the second Fiesta Championship race for Classes A & B. David Elsom was second and managed to close the gap from the first race by almost six seconds. Bournemouth’s Terry Scruton was third.
In the last of the five Ma5da MX5 Championship races, Tom Roche posted his second win of the day in a tight battle with Ben Short and Adam Gore. The result gave Roche the best points haul from the Mk1 races but Short, Henderson, Jenkins and Brett Smith could all be pleased with their weekend’s work.
The final race of the meeting was won by Luke Herbert in the Ma5da MX5 Cup, who had to work very hard to keep Chrissy Palmer and Jordan Stilp at bay, in what was yet another very close battle. Just over half a second covered the top three.
So the East Anglian Centre opened their season with a meeting to remember. Our thanks go to all the marshals, competitors and officials for getting through a ‘challenging’ weekend.
For the full results go to SNETTERTON RESULTS