FJHRA/HSCC “Silverline” UK Championship Rounds 4 + 5, Snetterton, 4th – 5th June 2016
The entry was shall we say – small but select – only 9, certainly the fewest I can recall.
All 9 circulated without mechanical drama with the Lotus contingent to the fore – Nick Fennell having a rare outing in his ex-Ford France 27 looked smooth and quick but Greg Thornton took pole by a comfortable margin from Fennell with Western Australian Marty Bullock 3rd in his rebuilt 27.
Learning the track was Richard Nitschke from Adelaide in his unusual and neatly prepared Elfin Catalina – steady at first but he learned well and found huge amounts of time.
Marty Bullock made a stupendous start from the second row – and no he didn’t jump the start – your correspondent was watching from the very good CCTV at Race Control! Marty led most of the first lap before Thornton and Fennell got by. These two diced for the lead with Fennell leading – Thornton closed the gap before spinning at the last bend before the pits (used to be called Russell)
So the first 3 was a Lotus lockout – Fennell, Thornton and Bullock – The remainder were led by Alex Morton (he seems to have inherited the family Lightning Envoyette) Chris Alford comfortably headed the C2 class from Trevor Griffiths’ Emeryson and Bill Grimshaw was the sole Front engine runner – the remainder having decamped to Dijon for the Front Engined Championship round (also supported by Silverline)
Race 2 looked like being a repeat of the previous day’s effort with Fennell holding a comfortable lead over Thornton. On lap 5, Fennell coasted into the pit road – a fuel leak had resulted in an overflow near the cockpit and Nick wisely withdrew.
This left Thornton with an easy lead – being the sportsman he is, he ensured a really great last couple of laps by spinning again with 2 laps to go. This allowed the pursuing Alex Morton and Marty Bullock to close up – Morton gaining the lead – These 3 were extremely close throughout the last lap – with 2 corners to go, Morton still led but a desperate lunge saw Thornton regain the lead – exiting the last corner it looked like Morton was going to slipstream past into the lead. Thornton moved left to cover this – in such a situation only 1 direction change move is allowed – Greg moved – once – I know that for sure – I replayed it on CCTV a few times! Marty Bullock was coming through on the inside but missed out by under half a second with John Rees 4th in his superbly prepared Lotus 22.
Chris Alford again drove smoothly to take class C2 this time from Roger Skipp who had taken over driving duties in the Emeryson.
Bill Grimshaw as the sole runner, won the Front Engined class – he observed with his customary smile that this was the first time he’d finished last on the road and first in the class – no need to feel embarrassed Bill – you were out there – the others were nowhere to be seen (except the Brexits at Dijon)
A new attraction is an award by Silverline for “Man of the Meeting” – on this occasion awarded to Richard Nitschke –all the way from Adelaide – The award prizes are a variety of useful Silverline workshops tools – from Cadwell, Silverline have generously agreed to extend the award of tools to include Race Winners as well as “Man of the Meeting”.
by Bob Birrell