Championship battles rage at Cadwell Park and Snetterton meetings

A number of champions were provisionally crowned at the 750 Motor Club's Cadwell Park meeting, but several other battles will go down to the wire next month. While at Snetterton, the British Trucks were in action with all the usual thrills and spills

Championship battles rage at Cadwell Park and Snetterton meetings

The 750 Motor Club’s visit to Cadwell Park featured a dramatic climax to the 116 Trophy race, with victory changing hands on the final lap and then again after the chequered flag.

Multiple race winner Sam Carrington-Yates made a return to the one-make BMW series alongside Toby O’Reilly and led the early stages of the 90-minute mini-enduro from pole before heading to the pits approaching the 20-minute mark. Having also made a pitstop, Ben Seybold closed a five-second deficit to take the net lead from O’Reilly into Park before passing the still-to-pit Harry Portlock for the overall lead, just after the first of two safety-car periods.

After making his final stop, Seybold rejoined but had lost out to Peter Keen, who had also made his two mandatory stops. Meanwhile, Carrington-Yates emerged from the pits with significant ground to make up on the pair after taking over from O’Reilly just past the halfway stage.

Keen pulled out a 7s lead over Seybold, while Carrington-Yates recovered from a brief excursion at Gooseneck as he negotiated backmarkers to pass Alan Corfield for third. The safety car made its second appearance late on when Richard Lakey ground to a halt shortly after hitting the barriers at Gooseneck, leading to a seven-minute dash to the finish.

Keen took advantage of a lapped car between him and his pursuers at the resumption to swiftly build a 3s advantage, as Carrington-Yates snatched second from Seybold. After catching Keen on the final lap, Carrington-Yates squeezed past into Hall Bends, but was demoted back to second after the finish for leaving the track and gaining an advantage while making the move. “That was so hard,” said Keen after taking victory. “I made a tiny mistake which lost me a bit of pace up the hill and that’s where [Carrington-Yates] got up the inside. I tried to block him, but he went onto the grass. I’d have done the same thing.”

Bill Cowley proved to be the class of the 750 Formula field in his grandfather’s Cowley MkIV, but he had to wait until race three to claim victory on his local circuit. A red flag eradicated Cowley’s 5s lead in the opening encounter and, after slipping to second at the standing restart, he was forced to retire with a puncture. This meant the returning Oliver Collett took the spoils in a Racekits Falcon ahead of Peter Bove (Darvi 88 P) and Richard Rothery (PRS 1b).

After dominating the early stages of race two, a broken drive belt put Cowley out again. Collett inherited the lead briefly before also retiring at Coppice, allowing Bove to move through and eventually take victory ahead of Rothery and Chris Gough’s CGR2 Evo.

Cowley started from 17th in the finale, but it took him only two and a half laps to storm into the lead, where he remained, with Bove a distant second ahead of Collett. “I had to work for it,” said Cowley of his recovery drive. “If there’s a gap, you’ve got to be in it. I’m looking forward to watching the onboard!”

A second Formula Vee title went the way of Craig Pollard at Cadwell Park

A second Formula Vee title went the way of Craig Pollard at Cadwell Park

Photo by: Steve Jones

Craig Pollard sealed his second Formula Vee title with a round to spare despite a collision with closest rival Daniel Hands. After qualifying third in his WEV, Pollard swiftly took the lead on the opening lap of race one and remained ahead of Hands (AHS Dominator Mk2) and Matthew Hyde (AHS GAC) following a late safety-car period.

Another great start in the sequel enabled Pollard to challenge Hands and Hyde into Charlies, but contact between the trio on the exit put Hands out, with the race red-flagged due to oil being deposited on the circuit. Pollard dominated the restarted contest to take his 10th win from 10 starts ahead of Hyde and Matt Harbot.
Ben Short made it 13 wins from 13 starts in the opening MX-5 Cup race, leading home Ben Abbitt by 0.47s.

Abbitt moved ahead at the start of race two before losing out to Short exiting Charlies. But Abbitt then made the better exit from The Mountain to lead once more. The pair continued to swap places before Abbitt lunged up the inside at Mansfield on the final lap but ended up on the grass and had to settle for second. Short climbed from sixth in the partially reversed-grid finale to complete the hat-trick ahead of Abbitt.

Neven Kirkpatrick beat Steve Rideout and David Kirkpatrick in both Super Mighty Minis races. Sam Slater pipped Ben Butler to Mighty Minis class honours in race one by a slender 0.39s. Things boiled over on the final lap of race two, with Slater denied the double by a collision with Dan Smith, who took the class win ahead of Butler.

With nearest rival Martin West absent, Craig Land cruised to a brace of victories and the Locost Championship, finishing well clear of maiden podium finisher Rob Apsey in race one and Bradley Horsnell in race two. Land’s escape in the second contest was made easier by Paul Clark and Apsey going off on oil at Mansfield.

Aaron Cooke boosted his hopes of taking a third straight Toyota MR2 crown with victory in race one as closest rival Shaun Traynor took an incident-filled third. Adam Lockwood prevailed in a final-lap shootout in race two, while Cooke survived a sideways moment exiting the Mountain to edge Traynor for second.

Scott Austin won the Alfa Romeo opener as Thomas Hill’s unbeaten run in the V6 class ended when his GT retired with a broken driveshaft while running in a close second. Hill made amends in race two, coming home well clear of Graham Seager, who repeated his result from the opener with second. By taking a brace of wins in the Twin Spark class, Andrew Bourke’s 156 moved to within a handful of points of Hill for the overall title.

John Village dominated the two Historic 750 Formula contests ahead of Timothy Sage’s Mallock U2 Mk4 and Trefor Slatter’s Centaur Mk11.

Snetterton BARC: Ovenden, King and Mann top hectic Mini races

Tom Ovenden took the spoils in opening Mini Challenge Trophy race

Tom Ovenden took the spoils in opening Mini Challenge Trophy race

Photo by: Richard Styles

Inventive overtaking manoeuvres by Tom Ovenden on his way to an opening-race win highlighted three hard-fought Mini Challenge Trophy races at Snetterton.

Rounding Nelson King at the Wilson hairpin allowed Ovenden to complete his move for second into Turn 3 on the penultimate tour, before diving to the inside of Nicky Taylor for the lead at Coram later that lap. Taylor attempted to fight back into Murrays, but that allowed King to use Ovenden’s slipstream to snatch second. “That was the most stressful race I’ve done in a while,” said Ovenden.

Beaten for only the third time in 11 races, King resumed normal service in the rematch, pulling clear as the rest squabbled. Taylor and Jack Byrne completed the podium after Ovenden was forced to pit when his car dropped into limp mode.

Charlie Mann converted pole position on the partially reversed grid to victory in race three, but only on countback after Taylor’s stranded car caused a red flag. Matt Hammond had prised an opening on Mann into Wilson, with King unsuccessfully attempting to follow through and losing out to Byrne as a result, only for both changes to be reversed by the early declaration.

Stuart Oliver bounced back from a heavy accident at Donington Park to make inroads into Ryan Smith’s British Truck Racing championship lead with three wins. Oliver won the opener under pressure from Dave Jenkins, and was more comfortable in race two. “If we hadn’t had the accident at Donington, I’m not sure the two wins would have happened,” said Oliver, who had taken the opportunity to overhaul his Volvo VNL.

Crucially, Smith snatched eighth on the line in race two, giving him pole for race four. The six-time champion controlled that encounter but retired from a shortened finale – won by Oliver – in a cloud of smoke after a blown turbo on his hastily built MAN TGA had also thwarted him in qualifying. In between times, Richard Collett scored a rare victory.

No one could stop Stephen Primett's Ford Escort Mk1

No one could stop Stephen Primett's Ford Escort Mk1

Photo by: Richard Styles

Stephen Primett (Ford Escort Mk1) was in typically strong form in the Classic Touring Car Racing Club’s Pre-’83 Touring Cars, marching to his seventh and eighth victories of the season and clinching a 10th championship crown in the process. Fellow ex-Pre-’74 runner David Osborne briefly led the opener in his Triumph Dolomite Sprint before suffering a misfire. Suspension arm failure and a loose axle halted Osborne’s challenge in the sequel as the Escorts of Mark Cholerton (Mk2) and Jason Christie (Mk1) filled both podiums.

Reigning Pre-’66 Touring Car champion James Ibbotson scored his maiden overall race wins in comprehensive fashion. Engine problems on his Ford Mustang prevented polesitter Piers Grange from starting, which handed Ibbotson’s diminutive Imp the initiative, and it was never challenged. Behind, Billy Kenneally twice edged Kevin Swann in an all-Anglia battle, the pair beaten by James Everard’s Alfa Romeo Sprint GT in the opener.

Everard took his rebuilt BMW M3 E30 to a dominant win in Pre-’93 Touring Cars before differential failure cost him a double. In an attritional race that also claimed the E36 models of Ian Bower and Mark Fowler, a delighted Rob Crisell secured a maiden win in race two.

A suspected blown valve put Nick Vaughan’s Audi A3, early leader of the opening Classic Thunder race, down two cylinders and removed Jason Davies’s main challenger. That left the way clear for the Welshman to take the first of a pair of dominant victories in his Ford Sierra Cosworth and clinch the title.

Regular Legends pacesetters Will Gibson, Miles Rudman and John Mickel snared five of six races between them. Gibson edged Rudman in both of Saturday’s heats but could only manage fourth in a final won by Matthew Isherwood. Rudman, who was handed a 20-second jump-start penalty in Saturday’s opener, then won both of Sunday’s heats. Gibson charged through the field in the final, passing Mickel on the last lap, but Mickel timed his retaliation perfectly to pip Gibson on the line as Rudman came through to fourth.

Dale Gent held off Allen Cooper to win the first Pickup Trucks race, but Matt Simpson put a rod through his truck’s engine block while running third. Reece Jones (clobbered into a spin) and points leader George Turiccki (loose alternator cable) both rebounded from race-one disappointment to lead home race two.

Reports by Steve Whitfield and Mark Paulson. Photography by Steve Jones and Richard Styles. Want more reports from the world of national motorsport? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport with Autosport magazine

Stuart Oliver bounced back from his Donington Park smash in fine style in British Trucks

Stuart Oliver bounced back from his Donington Park smash in fine style in British Trucks

Photo by: Richard Styles

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