Sprint Report June 2008

By • June 29th, 2008

Jedi Masterclass

Liverpool Motor Club Aintree Summer Sprint

June 28th 2008

Thankfully the weather held for the entire day however there was a very strong head wind from Beechers to the Finishing Line. Just one car didn’t make it through practice into the timed runs and that was Geoff Harrison’s Austin 7. As usual the first three timed runs would count for the awards yet there was time for two further timed runs that did not ““ maybe Liverpool Motor Club could consider extending the runs that count to four?

With practice completed it was a seamless transition into the timed runs. First to the line were the Roadgoing classes led by the 1400s. Craig Lawton led throughout in his 205 whilst initial second place man John Marsden managed to hold onto that place despite being slower on his next two runs. Martin Rowe slipped into third with his final run when Martin Addison slipped back despite improving his time. In the two litre class there was a frenetic battle as first Keith Minshull led from Rachel Atkinson. On the second set of runs John Atkinson, who had languished in sixth after his first effort in the Saxo, moved into second place behind Minshull. On the third runs it was all change again as John Atkinson took the class win from Minshull with Rachel Atkinson third and Gordon Holmes in the turbo diesel Golf fourth. In the over 2 litre class Rob Wakelin was the only driver to set a sub 50 second time and in fact he just reset his own class record on the first timed run. Mark Maltby held second throughout in his Evo 8 whilst John Biddulph was a constant third in his 964RS Porsche.

Next were the Roadgoing kit cars and in the up to 1700 division Jim Spencer led throughout after a stunning first run charge. George Hardman just failed to beat the elder Spencer brother whilst holding off the younger Spencer brother ““ David. Martin Walker’s tyre burning Westfield was fourth with Liverpool Motor Club’s very own Phil Gough in fifth. The Over 1700 class had just two runners. Mark Wallwork’s first run was another stunner and with time in hand he was slower on the next two runs. Andy Dunbar slowly improved his times throughout the day and closed the gap to Wallwork finishing just over a second adrift in the Westfield.

Into Mod Prod next and George Cole had a solo run to victory in the up to 1400 class netting his first ever class win in over 40 years of competition ““ an superb example of determination! In the two litre class Ian Butcher’s Elise was held the lead throughout despite co-driver Martyn Craske’s best attempts to oust him from the lead. Robert Tonge’s very green Seat was third finishing well clear of John Moxham in the 205 and the very well driven TVR Vixen of Mark Halstead who in turn just held off a challenge from co-driver Stuart McPherson. In the Over 2 litre class David Robinson held the lead throughout despite going slower on each successive run. Second place went to John Graham in the pretty Lotus 2 Eleven whilst David Robinson’s son John took third ahead of Neil Sawyer in the TR7 V8. The final Mod Prod class was for the kit cars and Roger Fish in the Carcraft Cyclone was top dog throughout. Martin Rose got to within a tenth of Roger’s time in second whilst Tim Pennington having been transferred from the Roadgoing class because of his List 1B tyres took third spot.

There were then two classes of Sports Libres and with 7 entries things on the surface were looking up. However after three withdrawals the Up to 1700 class was taken by Richard Houlgate in the Radical who was less than a second away from the class record. Ian Medcalf in the Mini engined Fiat 500 Special Saloon car was second with Peter Ibbotson in the historic CTG Clubmans car third. In the Over 1700 class Howard Parkinson had a solo run to the class victory with the Nemisis.

Next were the four single seater racing car classes; in the Up to 1100 division Paul Masters put in three very fast and very consistent runs to annex the top spot. He was chased hard by Henryk Koslowski in a Mark 1 Jedi who slowly reduced the deficit on each run. Third went to the OMS of Craig Powers who is rapidly getting the hang of the ex-David Flanagan car. Phil Burton was fourth in the now red Pink Panther OMS whilst Andrew Dobson netted fifth despite only taking one run. The Dobson/Hunton OMS was sidelined after Jeanette’s second run when the rear wing delaminated as she hammered down the Railway Straight.

The second single seater class was for the Formula Ford racers. David Bailey was taking time out from his Champion of Oulton & North West FF1600 Championship campaigns to have some fun sprinting. He was immediately on the pace and cruised home just three tenths shy of his own class record ““ I suspect the headwind to the finish was the reason he failed to break the class record. There was a very keen battle for second place; initially Graham Curwen & Derek Martlew set identical times in their Van Diemens. On the second runs Graham Curwen slipped into the lead but on the third and final run Martlew snatched the place away from Curwen.

The final racing car class, the two litres, saw three of the four cars have mechanical problems. First Pat Loftus had his Dallara cut-out as he rounded Beechers and unable to get it back into life he retired. Tony Ellis meanwhile had set the standard and was in the lead. On his second run Ellis only got about 70 feet off the line when the clutch failed. Back in the Paddock it was discovered to be a terminal failure so he too retired, however his first run time would be good enough to record the first class win for the latest Megapin single seater. Paul Tinsley in the Swift-Renault had a glitch on his second run when the gear-change mechanism jumped out and left him with a boxful of neutrals. This was rectified in time for his third run and he brought the Swift home in second. Peter Brogden by contrast had a trouble free day in his Vauxhall powered Ralt RT3 taking third on a set of very old and very hard tyres.

Just two of the Classic Cars made it to Aintree. Ronnie Clayton had the TR4A moving well and easily set the fastest time however the Classic Class is decided on handicap and Malcolm Evans in his immaculate Anglia once again beat the handicappers to take the win. After Geoff Harrison’s retirement this left just two Austin 7s in the Road Car class. Young Thomas Emden tore round the track to take the win by just over ten seconds from Clive Pearce. In the Track Car class Darrell Woods led initially from wife Carol however on the third run John Mansfield just managed to beat Carol for second spot. The final class was for the enthusiasts in the Morgan Speed Championship. Once again this is decided on handicap as there are cars of varied performance and power taking part. Fastest overall was class record holder Simon Baines in the Plus 8. Simon got to within three tenths of his record but this was only good enough for fourth after the handicapper had done his stuff. Taking the class outright was John Stephens in his 1598cc 4/4; second spot went to David Frow in a two litre Plus 4 whilst third went to Richard Smith in another 1598cc 4/4.
The two extra timed runs that didn’t count for the results completed a busy day and after the prize giving in the Golf Centre everyone was soon on their way home. Once again the team behind the event and the marshals could be proud of a well organised and run event that I am sure will see many of the competitors back for the September sprint as well as having a run up Loton Park in July.

Click here to see the results.


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