The West Country Tour 2017
.. and wasn’t it hot, very hot! And it was the heat, that probably kept the crowd away as there are a few be\aches not far from St Day.
17 cars appeared at the track including long time absentee, and heritage founder 716 Roy Clarke, and great to see Neil Truran, 306 long time stockcar personality in the ex-Mike Walmsley car and Mikie Richardson, 213 in the spare Alan Humphrey car.
Every driver received a unique medallion courtesy of the Bateman family. The Cornish Open Trophy was sponsored by our own Paul Ferguson of Kat Kabin, many thanks to both.
Heat 1 had Dan Jeffrey,20 leading the way but 261 Jason Lamburn soon flew by into the lead, promptly followed by 533, Andy Kaye. Drama as Jason’s throttle stuck and like last year ended up bouncing off the tyres, but by Lap 3 728 Graham Bunter flew into the lead, followed by 763 Andy Bateman and son 128 Jack Bunter, but it was Graham who held the lead and took the flag.
Heat 2 was very exciting, starting with another father- son duo in 716 Roy and 616 Darren Clarke spinning, as Jason Lamburn 261 led the way, 306 new boy Neil Truran retired with a broken throttle cable, as all hell broke loose, as oil from the sump of 763 Andy Bateman spreading all around the track causing virtually everyone on track to have a spin or tow, including a tangle up between the other father-son duo 728 Graham and 128 Jack Bunter tangling together, (I’ll leave that to you two to sort out!) but keeping his wheels in the right direction was Farmer 533 Andy Kaye.
The Final for this year’s Cornish Championship was led off by Cornwall’s own, 253 Alan Humphrey, soon after last year’s champion 107 Dan Chiplen retired due to a broken throttle cable, as 213 Mikie Richardson spun meaning that 271 Dave Helliwell hit the fence avoiding a spinning 253 Alan Humphrey resulting in a yellow flag. On the restart 533 Andy Kaye led, followed by 306 Neil Truran and Andy Bateman 763. 128 Jack Bunter retired due to a misfire as Andy Bateman then took the flag as Mikie Richardson 213, spun on the last bend.
So Cornishman Andy received the Cornish Open from Paul Ferguson of Kat Kabin with 306 Neil Truran 2nd and 533 Andy Kaye 3rd, all certainly showed their pleasure on their victory lap.
So, ended a very pleasant, if hot time at St Day, although 271 Dave Helliwell’s weekend was finished due to severe axle/chassis damage, but he was still smiling!
Taunton 20th June Tarmac Semi Final
Extras at Smeatharpe stadium were long distance travellers 23 John Clements, 247 Andy Webb, 311 Granville Wright and local Saloon stock car driver 28 Ian Govier, driving the spare Humphrey car. No 271 Dave Helliwell due to damage or 306 Neil Truran with car needing adjustments.
Heat 1 was led off by 342 Ross Taylor as 28 Ian Govier spun and was collected by 107 Dan Chiplen, 59 Nigel Finnegan and 311 Granville Wright who went in hard, leading to yellow flags after being winded. The restart soon had Darren Clarke 616 in the lead followed by previous leader 342 Ross Taylor and Graham Bunter 728. Ross Taylor then spun meanwhile Ian Govier 28 and Andy Webb 247 collected the tyres.
Heat 2 ran without Andy Webb 247 and Granville Wright 311, Nigel Finnegan 59 took the lead with Ross Taylor 342 following, Bradford’s 218 Phil Hiles slowed to a stoop, but in a fairly quiet race Nigel Finnegan 59 took the flag.
The Final started without Jason Lamburn 261- blown engine and had Alan Humphrey leading a very uneventful final, which resulted in Daventry’s Spiderman, Andy Webb 247 taking the flag.
Autospeed then provided us an extra race, which had Alan Humphrey 253 lead the way with Ross Taylor 342 soon after taking the lead, 128 Jack Bunter initially retired after 3 laps but re-joined the race running with a misfire which had plagued his Cornish Championship hopes but towards the end of the race a coming together between 728 Graham Bunter, 533 Andy Kaye, 20 Dan Jeffrey, 59 Nigel Finnegan and 773 Nick Whitney caused all sorts of chaos and damage, but it was for his second win of the weekend Graham Bunter, 728 who took the flag.
So ended another enjoyable west country tour and everyone had made a holiday of it, we will be back again next year. So thanks go to the Bateman and Ferguson families, who helped make it special and to the Autospeed promotion, for making us so welcome.
Skegness Tuesday 25th July
A strong field of cars supported the annual Tuesday night trip to the east coast, and our 2nd meeting supporting the new Rob Speak era at Skegness Raceway. The heritage formula welcomes 138 John O’Sullivan in a full bodied Ford Pop, as well as welcoming back 375 Mark Lawrence to the formula in the ex Graham Prescott 127 car.
Heat 1 opened up with 16 cars on track and immediately Dan Chiplen rushed straight through the first group and into a temporary lead, as 311 Granville Wright stormed through the 6 cars ahead and to the lead where he remained until the end taking the chequered. New boy 138 John O’Sullivan certainly entertained the crowd on his debut going for a spin, mean while 47 Giles Carter had followed 311 Granville’s lead through the field too 2nd with 128 Jack Bunter third. 198 Alan Nicholson pulled to the infield with mechanical issues, but the race was in no doubt 311 Granville Wright’s, who concluded the race with a thoroughly deserved, dominant win.
Heat 2was a thoroughly entertaining heat, starting off with 533 Andy Kaye tangling come out of the bottom corner forcing 128 to go airborne after clipping the curb, leading to a slow puncture, which allowed 205 Paul Rookyard through to begin his chase of 107 Dan Chiplen and 218 Phil Hiles. It was again 533 Andy Kaye in a tangle, this time colliding with 47 Giles Carter, sending the latter into the tyres, damaging an axle, ending his night. Once again it was 138 John O’Sullivan entertaining the crowd having a spin out of the top corner clipping the inner tyres, meanwhile 198 Alan Nicholson was given a nudge and sent flying into 728 Graham Bunter, who finished the race with a damaged front axle radius rod. Nonetheless it was 205 Paul Rookyard who remained calm in a carnage 2nd heat who took the win.
The Final had lost us three cars, as 342 Ross Taylor loaded up due to lack of oil pressure, 47 Giles Carter with axle damage and also 375 Mark Lawrence. The race again started with more chaos as 107 Dan Chiplen and 218 Phil Hiles flew into a battle for the lead with 886 Brian Owen chasing fast, it was John O’Sullivan, 138, who completed a hattrick of crashes who spun coming out of the top bend, again colliding with the tyres in the exact same spot as the previous heat, this time causing some damage and leading to a yellow flag – an eventful yet entertaining debut for sure! On the restart it was 128 Jack Bunter who flew to the lead, where he stayed, followed by 533 Andy Kaye, who was battling off 205 Paul Rookyard, 728 Graham Bunter, 198 Alan Nicholson, 23 John Clements and 311 Granville Wright, who were changing places and trading paint lap after lap until the end, where 128 Jack Bunter had stretched his lead considerably and took the win, followed by 533 Andy Kaye, with three abreast of 728 Graham Bunter, 23 John Clements and just pipping both to 3rd place on the line 311 Granville Wright.
A huge thanks to Skegness for having us, a great night of racing, we look forward to Buxton!