Ty Croes 6th/7th Oct 2018
Well the was the long awaited finale to the 2018 season. Most of the year had seen John Loudon and myself as leaders in the overall championship and Simon Waterfall pushing for at least Novice championship honours in the ex Kev Bamber car. After celebrating our 50thwedding anniversary Margaret and I booked a one week cruise to the Greek Islands and I would be back just in time for ANGLESEY. Whilst I was away John Loudon and Howard (I am sneaking up on you) Gaskin scored well at Curborough and suddenly there was 3 people in with a chance of the title. Despite the threat of rain the weather was very cold but dry all weekend and there was a good entry of 13 Westfields and 5 class J2 cars. Early excitement was when Mick Skidmore executed an excellent manoeuvre of his trailer (having offloaded his car) but due to his motorhome he had limited visibility and he reversed it into the carbon fibre nose cone of his car. I have to say that the grey duct tape repair was not nice to look at and I thought he should have used black tape for a far better visual impact. After the bar closed early at 2200hrs we had overnight rain that cleared up quickly on Saturday morning. Mark Anson was back out in his Jedi after an engine rebuild but he needed a last minute session of trying to balance his brakes.
Sat – 1 lap of National circuit.
In P1 there was a spin by Tony Smiley at Rocket in his Busa and so I got red flagged at the so that was a bad start. I also recollect that Simon Waterfall spun at Rocket in T1 so he was clearly pushing hard and trying to learn the circuit which was new to him. At the start of the top 12 run offs, Mark’s Jedi suffered a regulator failure and my bother Steve and I plus the paddock marshal Dorran pushed him to the start and its surprising how heavy that car is ………when Mark is sitting in it ! Luckily he had a spare regulator so we did not have to use our muscles again. Garry Bunn’s car sheared an alternator mounting bolt and damaged the dry sump pump belt but it was quickly repaired. A good day for most with 2 practice and 5 timed runs by our friends at LDMC. As well as setting a new class G record, I was quickest Westfield and second FTD in National B and I think Tony Smiley got best Novice despite his coolant issues which seemed to be related to not having a fan fitted and maybe a blown water pump fuse. It was good to see a few friends including Scott Beeland (original owner of the boghouse blue car), John Hoyle, Stephen Herbert and Sally, and later Paul Aspden and Jill.
A few rough calculations by me suggested that Howard Gaskin had just squeezed in front of John Loudon and myself as he beat the target time and dropped a previous low score. There was confusion though as Alex Gaskin still believed his John Loudon was leading.
Several of us retired to the bar for food and drinks and a bad omen for me was that I was given order number 13 which I tried, unsuccessfully, to pass to John and Howard. As usuakl the Westfield crowd were the last ones to be thrown out of the bar and get ready for tomorrow.
Sun – I lap of International circuit
It is fair to say that the targets (records) for this layout are very difficult and we doubted the ability to beat them and score well as the track was cold and we were on old rubber.
In P1 John Loudon reported possible clutch slipping and in P2 Tony Smiley had the front edge of his rear undertray come loose, I suffered from flatshifter upshifts not working for some bizarre reason and then I stripped the threads on a wheel nut but luckily Derek Hodder had a spare. Garry’s car was now pushing out a lot of water from the header tank and he spun as the water sprayed onto the rear tyres. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a suspected blown head gasket.
T1 saw John Loudon put in a great time of 88.70 secs which was as close a she got to the target of 88.02secs. garry Bunn spun at the final hairpin and Howard overshot the corner at the same place. I could not believe the buffeting the cars were experiencing at high speed particularly down the long back straight from Church to Rocket.
In T2 Charlotte Phelps spun as did Simon Waterfall who lost it at the first corner and nearly hit the tyre wall. Adam Phelps was going very quickly and was quickest in class H chased by Chris Griffiths in his Millington Diamond powered car. Best novice prize went to Simon Waterfall. I have missed out a lot but I could not be everywhere so I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend including Mark Bishop and Ian Davenport in classes A and C.
So where did it all finish? Howard Gaskin was indeed our overall champion by a ridiculously small margin with John Loudon second and me 3rd. Simon Waterfall wrapped up
a great season by winning the Novice title and also winning class A.
Once again the Speed Series produced a season where it came down to the very last event of 37 to decide positions.
In class J2 Steve Broughton just pipped Matt Hillam on both days.
Roll on next year… I cant wait. Hope to see many of you at the award night.
Class G competitor