2018 Season – still a few more races if you want to exercise your C1
Well that’s our official 2018 season over, although there are still a couple of chances to get your C1 out, most notably the simply wonderful Race of Remembrance run by Mission Motorsport at Anglesey on Remembrance Sunday, at which we will be running our somewhat battle-scarred car No 303 (reshell coming over the winter…). If you think you will be able to pass the breathalyser test, you may also want to consider Ben Atkinson’s “Plum Pudding” event on Boxing Day.
If you think you may build a car – Let us know now!!!
It is already clear from the various chat forums that a number of people are considering building a car. If you are planning to do so, you should order the club kit and cage no later than the end of November. The main issue is the cage, the lead time for which is already 12 weeks. So if you were to order a cage today, you wouldn’t get it until mid-January. This is Safety Devices’ busiest time of year, we have no influence over their lead times and we do not carry spare stock. If you are building, or thinking of building a car, especially for Silverstone, we would encourage you to get an order to us as soon as possible.
2019 season opener will be Silverstone!
We’re going to start with the fabulous Silverstone GP 24-hour. We’ve tested at Silverstone, in the damp, and it was utterly fabulous. And, well, its Silverstone. Its what you asked for in the survey, so we took a brave pill or two and signed a big contract. We’re just working out the support races at the moment.
The rest of the calendar is currently being nailed down. We will announce it as soon as we can. Entries will follow the same procedure as last year, with the race entries opening on the website with plenty of notice. Again, reflecting what you asked for in the survey, there are going to be a couple of sprint days and four or so enduros, hopefully with the season being rounded off with Spa again.
Spa 24 hour – well done to MacAttack for a fast and clean race
Spa was fabulous, wasn’t it? Many congratulations to MacAttack who have had quite a season and rounded it up with a class win at Spa. It was a very well measured and confident drive after a spectacular qualifying lap from Simon Walker-Hansell, who managed to get a tow both up the Kemmel straight; and from Stavelot to Blanchimont. The MacAttack car also still sports the same bodywork that it started the season with; so it is possible!
We all arrived at Spa in blazing sunshine, well except for Nick, who didn’t get in until nearly midnight. Having come from a decidedly chilly UK, it was lovely to feel the heat of the sun again. They have a slightly different approach at Spa, so its always a bit of a voyage of discovery as to what’s going to happen; and sure enough, the welcome packages weren’t as expected, but they were in a very large orange bag. We could learn things from them, we thought.
Scrutineering proved to be a whole lot easier than last year, mostly because we had organized for an MSA scrutineer to be over in Spa with us, who was marvellous. Keith, thank you. So we all got stuck into practice. Well, two sessions of practice, unless you wanted to go and play with some very quick and awesome-sounding DGMC (a German category) series cars. That Mustang must rate as one of the angriest-sounding race cars in history. It went pretty well and looked stunning as well. Somehow, over the day, we managed to get all the cars weighed and scrutineered (or thereabouts).
You really should attend the Spa driver’s briefing. It could only happen at Spa. Of course it started late; and of course it was in French. But we had Steve Sykes translating, which was just brilliant. The Clerk would speak loudly and enthusiastically for some time. Steve would then translate briefly and drily something like: “Respect the marshals, they’re there to keep you alive”. It was also the shortest drivers’ briefing in history; and failed to cover any of the material things that it would have been nice to know about, like full-course yellows or two safety cars. Not that any of us asked any questions of course.
It is an FIA requirement for every driver to complete three laps of night qualifying in order to be able to drive in a 24-hour race. Not in Belgium, its not. Quali was one and a half hours, which is mighty tight when you have 6 drivers, and daylight only. Its even tighter if you forget (despite half a dozen text reminders) to have your car weighed. And its underweight. And the seat is out of date. You had to admire our American friends style of walking over to the reassuringly expensive shop and just buying another seat, though. We managed to get them out in quali. Just, with their car sporting some lead that was somehow (and somewhat worryingly) procured from a nuclear power station. Most of the rest of Saturday passed in a cacophony of noise from the BGDC, the standouts being that Mustang, a Mondeo which sounded like it had much the same engine and, of course, a brace of 911s. It would best be described as an eclectic bunch.
The race proper started at 4.30pm… well, it should have done. More like 4.45pm and it took a while for the timing system to catch up. Obviously, the drivers’ briefing hadn’t covered the start procedure, so we had no idea what was going on, but it all worked in the end and off we all went! Atomic Racing turned a mistake into misfortune, somehow getting caught up in the wrong group and starting from the pitlane. They enjoyed leading the class for the first 5 laps until a safety car bunched things up again. There’s nothing like rain to shake things up at Spa; and boy did we get rain. Those lucky enough to be in the cars at the time could watch the thunderstorm coming up the valley towards the circuit until the deluge hit. At times, visibility was down to 25m or so. The rain stayed with us until the closing stages of the race, but dried out eventually.
Stand out heroes? There’s a deep bench to chose from here, but mentions have to go to Hurricane, for giving their car to another team after an accident concussed one of their drivers – that is proper sporting behaviour and we love you for it chaps. To 416, our American friends who had never seen a C1 before; arriving at the circuit with six drivers and mostly-finished car. It even had a stick shift, but at least it was left hand drive. They beat all odds and finished the race. Gents, and lady, well done, and we look forward to having you back over here again soon. To Mission Motorsport, who brought two cars and fifteen injured veterans over, one of which finished, the other of which had an accident; and to all the team crews who repaired broken drive shafts (we ran out), body work, suspension arms and kept everyone on the road.
Wheelgate… Citroen are investigating
We had some more wheels fail at Spa. All bar one of the failed wheels have now been given to Citroen to analyse, so we will come back with their report as and when we have it. The only additional news we have is that each wheel that failed appeared to have come from a different batch; and that most had clear kerb or accident damage to them. Safety comes first of course, so although we do have some options for different wheels that we could use, at this stage we don’t know whether they would be stronger, and they are a multiple of the cost of the current steel wheels. Our advice remains that if a rim is damaged – dispose of it.
We are meeting shortly to agree what changes there will be, but we hope that you will be reassured to know that they are likely to be minimal and aimed at safety and keeping costs down. One will be the requirements will be to have an operating forward-facing video camera. This is a low-cost way of ensuring that the Clerk of the Course will have the evidence to investigate any contact; and support a continued improvement in driving standards.
We’re going to be there again on the BARC stand for all four days. Come and see us for a catch up, to ask questions and look at cars. We will have a car on the stand for the children (young and old) to play with. Look forward to seeing you there.
Charity Day on behalf of the Stroke Association at Castle Combe
On Saturday 27th October, the Stroke Association is running its long-standing day at Castle Combe to raise money for itself. This dates back over 25 years and has a simple formula: owners of interesting and exotic cars bring them along and provide 5-lap passenger rides to the public in exchange for a solid donation. There is no cost to the owners; and every penny goes direct to the charity. We’ve been invited along, so if you would like to take your C1 along (you’ll have to have a passenger seat, obviously), please get in touch with Richard Jones, who is the volunteer organiser on 07961 565970 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This has been an amazing first full season for us; so we would like to thank each and every one of you for making this possible. We hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, we feel somewhat humbled by what we’ve created, and of course if you’re receiving this newsletter you are part of that success, whether you are a driver, mechanic, car builder or interested reader! As always if you have any ideas on how we can improve things, drop us a mail at email@example.com. We’re already excited about next year and look forward to racing with you all next season.
The C1 Racing Team
Rocky II and final 24hr turned out to be a decidedly interesting weekend, for some of the right reasons, and for some less so. Overall, the racing was some of the best that we have seen so far, and it was great to see some new teams out there. We were blessed with near perfect weather and the new track layout seemed to be preferred by almost everyone. We shall miss Rocky, it’s a great venue and the facilities were excellent for what C1 Racing needs.
This is one on which everyone is going to have an opinion; and on which our ability to comment until the appeal process is completed is severely restricted. Two cars were disqualified from the 24-hour race; and one car from the 3-hour race as a result of having been found with their fire extinguisher pins being in when checked in parc fermé.
Such a decision is inconsistent with the decision taken the previous weekend when one of the Touring Cars at Knockhill was found in the same state in a properly-policed parc fermé; but was only fined. Both competitors in the 24-hour are appealing this decision; and that appeal is fully-supported by the Club. We also understand that there is a further appeal pending. We are not able to comment further at this stage.
Penalties turned out to be something of a feature of the weekend. Some took it in good humour, some less so. They are there for a reason, though. There is little point in having a set of regulations, if some people don’t abide by them; and some do. We have implemented fixed and written penalties, which escalate on repeat offenders, so that there is consistency between Clerks and circuits.
Four directors run the club; and at each event, we try to have at least two of us acting as DSOs around the circuit at all times, much of the time, we have three of us. As far as we are aware, no other club goes to such lengths to ensure a level playing field and fair racing. For much of the 24-hour race, we had three of us acting as DSOs: one in the pit lane monitoring pit lane speeds; and two out around the circuit monitoring driving standards. Even in the early hours, there was always one of us acting as DSO out around the circuit or in the pit lane.
At some of the corners we monitored, there was nothing to report: for example, monitoring Yentwood and Tarzan in the first two hours of the 24-hour race saw no accidents and no track limit transgressions; so we moved to a different place. Other corners, however, saw a significant number of material transgressions and so we focused on those points; we reported them to the Clerk of the Course, who in turn decided whether to apply a penalty or not.
For the last 8 hours of the 24-hour race, it was clear that competitors were increasingly breaking track limits at the chicane in front of the pits. Even though we only reported the most egregious and repeated breaches, the frequency of breaches grew as the race progressed; to such an extent that a number of the rubber protection mats beyond the two blue and white kerbs were thrown around by cars; and had to be recovered by marshals during safety car periods.
In total well over a dozen cars were reported for breaching track limits; including one that was reported three times over the course of the race; and three who were reported twice. We don’t want to have to do this; but it’s impossible to achieve a level playing field if some competitors don’t abide by the rules.
A similar number of cars were reported for speeding in the pit lane at speeds ranging from 34 kph to 52 kph. Rocky is unusual in that it has hot and cold pit lanes, which are a hangover from its Indy car roots. The hot pit lane doesn’t work very well for endurance racing, so we negotiated with Rocky, the MSA and BARC to be able to use the cold pit lane for our races.
The compromise was that we had to have, and to enforce, a 30 kph speed limit from the start of the pit lane (which was clearly marked with a white line and 30 signs at either end of it); to the end of the pit lane (which was clearly marked with a green light with an “end of 30” sign next to it). There were 8 repeater signs up the pit lane, which we installed and paid for. We covered this in both drivers’ briefings; and explained to any driver who was stopped for speeding in the pit lane (or team if we weren’t able to) what the limit was, why it was there and where it started and finished.
We will be back to the usual 60 kph speed limit in the pit lane at all the other circuits we race at from now on.
Drinking / Alcohol
The ugly head of drinking reared itself again at Rocky II. The Club has a very clear zero-tolerance policy for any driver or team member who touches the car in the pit lane. We were somewhat hobbled at Rocky II, since the Club breathalyser announced on arrival that it wanted to be calibrated and although we searched, we could not find any disposable breathalyser tubes locally. We have solved this by buying a second breathalyser and will have them calibrated alternately every three months, so that at no point could we be left in this position again.
We were alerted that members of a team were drinking during the race and so visited the garage. One driver had a bottle of beer in his hand, so we had a discussion with him and suggested that he handed his HuTag in. No one else in the garage was drinking at that point. We then reported the matter to the Clerk of the Course, who immediately sent the pit lane chief to that garage and removed the HuTag from that driver. Both we and the pit lane marshals visited that garage on a regular basis following this breach, but at no point after that was a driver or team member seen drinking; nor were we presented with any other evidence to that effect.
We have now published the Club Rules, which set out the Club policy on alcohol & drugs on the C1 Racing website. The penalty for any driver or team member’s drinking is that the team is excluded from the event; however, the Clerk was unable to impose that, as we did not have a functional breathalyser. Rest assured that with two operating breathalysers, we will never be in that position again; and we will be breathalysing drivers before they get in the car as well. It is also worth noting that a refusal to take a breathalyser test is treated as a failure.
Thank you all for your efforts on the weighing front. Although it takes time, the purpose of weighing and tagging all the cars is so that lighter drivers do not have an advantage. No system is perfect, since teams with some light and some heavy drivers will have a disadvantage over teams with drivers all about the same weight. It is, however, in our view, the fairest system.
From next season, we will be introducing different coloured tags at each race; and your car will not be able to pass scrutineering without the correct-coloured tag lock-wired to the car. We also intend to introduce Club ballast plates, which will have lock-wire holes pre-cut in them, which should make the process easier for those who want to use them.
There have been some comments on the forums about the Club’s running its own cars. We do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, we need to test any components that we are going to introduce in full race conditions so as to ensure that they perform properly; secondly, we need to have seats available for the press (at Rocky II we had Stefan Mackley from Autosport in our car); thirdly, we are much more able to scrutineer from a technical perspective by running our own cars and understanding the cars better; and finally, it gives us a much better perspective on driving standards than we would get from solely standing by the side of the circuit.
It is commonplace for Series organisers to run cars in their own series, and we intend to continue so to do; and for the directors to continue to drive on occasion. We set this series up so that we are able to race in the way in which we wanted to; in a not-for-profit company, from which we are unable to pay ourselves. However, if you have serious concerns about the Club cars, please write to our chairman, Meyrick on firstname.lastname@example.org setting out in detail what your concerns are.
On a lighter note, we are all looking forward to Croft. Not only do we have a full grid for the enduro on Sunday, we are also trying out the sprint format on the Saturday; and we can’t wait to see how it goes.
There will be a further newsletter with the administrative points for Croft nearer the event.
Thank you to all of you who completed the Club survey, we really do appreciate it; and it means that we can organize what you want, rather than making it all up. So far, we have had 267 replies, which is approximately 25% of those to whom it was sent out. Here are the key points which came out of it:
Over 130 of you would like to do sprints, marginally more on a different, rather than the same, weekend. A clear majority wanted heats and finals of a 20-minute duration, so that’s what we’ll trial next season.
The five most popular circuits for sprints are Donington, Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Silverstone, Oulton; and the least popular five are: Knockhill, Pembrey, Anglesey, Thruxton and Croft.
Watch this space!
The most popular programme is for 4 enduros, so we will continue with that.
The five most popular circuits for enduros are: Donington (by a clear margin), Silverstone, Snetterton, Oulton and Brands. Least popular are Knockhill, Pembrey, Mallory, Anglesey and Thruxton. Cadwell is no longer really feasible given the poor facilities and pit area there.
We had to love the 23 people who would enter as may 24-hour races as we put on, but over 110 would enter one 24hr; and over 50 would enter two 24 hours. There was a mild preference for exclusive testing; about half wanted the costs included, half were happy to pay more for it. There was no stand out month in which you wanted 24hrs to be held; although a small majority would prefer it on a bank holiday weekend to not.
The most popular three circuits were Silverstone, Snetterton and Anglesey, with Knockhill and Mondello at the bottom. In practice, we are going to have to be driven by the facilities that are available at each circuit to some extent.
Thank you again for filling it in; it really will make a difference to what we put on next season.
The C1 Racing Team
After an eight-week break, it was good to be back out on track again, wasn’t it? Snetterton 300 is a brilliant circuit, and it was quite amazing to see 53 cars starting the four-hour race: the largest grid ever seen at Snetterton. It turned out to be quite a race, as well: Old Hat did a terrific job in qualifying, going nearly a second quicker than everyone else; and watching Dan in the early stages of the race, you could see why: consistent, smooth and accurate, which is exactly what’s needed to make a C1 fly.
It didn’t stay that way: McAttack and Absolute Alignment played the safety cars to perfection and managed to get in front of Old Hat. We were all treated to a brilliant battle for the next few hours, which got more and more tense as the race progressed. It was always going to be really marginal on fuel with one stop, but both of the front-runners took the gamble. It paid off for both of them, but there was an extraordinary twist at the end. Declan McDonnell had been asking if it was legal to finish the race in the pit lane, but decided not to take the gamble in case his driver missed the pit board on the last lap. With only a 50-second lead from the hard-charging and in-the-zone Chris Dear, McAttack came into the pits with just six minutes of the race left.
In the pits, you could cut the air with a knife. They made it out in front of Absolute Alignment. Just. But that didn’t last long, and Dear made it past at the Wilson Hairpin. In the pits McAttack faces fell; but then a red flag came out. A car had rolled at Agostini and the Clerk decided that it would be safer to red flag the race. The directors gathered with Dorothy, our wonderful Clerk of the Course, to discuss the outcome. If you’re familiar with the regulations, it did not turn out to be particularly controversial. In a race that is red flagged, the result is taken from the end of the lap before the red flag. McAttack had pitted, and had completed their mandatory pit stops. Declan had what must be one the shortest stints in race history, completing maybe 50 yards to the finish line in the pits – which, as we all know, is part of the race track. So McAttack won the race in the pit lane at approximately 40 kph (we had the Club’s speed gun on him). Extraordinary.
We also saw the world’s longest stop / go penalty. One unfortunate driver was penalized for speeding in the pit lane and leaving the pits under a red light; compounding his error with missing the black flag for a total of six laps. A four minute and fifty second stop / go was a long, long time, but then the miscreant had to get out of the car for a leisurely chat with Gary, the Deputy Clerk of the Course, before strapping in and continuing his race. Its well worth having a quick look at the fixed penalties in the Club Regulations; mostly to know what not to do. Its going to be really tough trying to win a race if you are parked in the pit lane for 5 minutes
Lastly on Snetterton, thank you to the volunteers who helped us: to Adriana, Christine, and Jill, to the marshals, the scrutineers, the Clerks and course staff. We think that they did a great job and in baking hot weather. Thank you to each and every one of you.
We look forward, later in the year, to seeing rather more teams at Spa on 5th-7th October. After extensive negotiations with our Belgian friends, they have been kind enough to let us have some more spaces, so all the reserves have now been promoted to full entries and we will see 55 UK C1s starting the race. We may even be able to squeeze a few more in, so if you don’t already have an entry, and want one, it’s probably worth getting a deposit in and joining the reserve list. It really is an epic circuit and great weekend. Our policy is that deposits are refundable if you are on the reserve list, so there is little or no downside. For those who have confirmed entries, the deposits are no longer refundable, though.
Race of Remembrance
Further out, C1s are also eligible for the fantastic Race of Remembrance, held at Anglesey on the weekend of Remembrance Sunday, 10th / 11th November. If you haven’t done this race, you really should. It’s a brilliant end of term party for one; it’s another rare chance to race at night; and it’s held in order to raise money for our supported charity, Mission Motorsport. Some of you will have seen Mission Motorsport at some of our events: it exists to help servicemen and women that have been injured in the course of their duty, whether physically or mentally, back into the workplace, using motorsport as a beacon, training medium and therapy. Take a look on: http://www.raceofremembrance.com/ where you will find some of the most moving video footage ever recorded. You’ll also spot a few C1s; and there will be a class again in 2018. We’ll be out there racing, with a serviceman or woman in the car. If you want to come and, particularly if you would like to have a beneficiary in your car, contact our chairman, Meyrick, on email@example.com ; and no, we aren’t usually the slowest cars there, especially in the wet, which it usually is at Anglesey.
The C1 Racing Team
Well that was quite a weekend, wasn’t it? A lot of firsts – it was the Club’s first 24hr race; it was Rockingham’s first 24hr race; it was the first use of HuTags in the UK; it was many driver’s first race; it was many team’s first 24hr race; and it was our first race recorded on video throughout. The most important first, though, was that of our winners, RAW. Warmest congratulations to Robin Welsh and his team for a brilliantly-executed race with both first place and the fastest lap. Well done.
Second, we want to make a big apology to the winners in the 3hr race. The timetable for the Saturday was so tight that we didn’t have enough time for a podium ceremony and make sure that everything else happened on time. We are extremely sorry that we couldn’t fit it in; and appreciate that it is an important part of the meeting. All the 3hr trophies, caps etc. were in Club HQ ready to be presented. We are planning to do the presentation at Pembrey as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams have all entered and should be present. We are going to work out a way in which we can manage a podium ceremony for the 3hr race at the next Rocky.
Thank you to the volunteers who helped us. To Christine, Aubrey, Miranda, Ryan and Richard, to over 60 marshals, to the scrutineers, clerks and course staff, to the 20 people who volunteered to drive the safety car, all of whom gave up their weekends for no pay to make the weekend happen. We all tend to take this for granted, but having now been on the other side of the fence and seen really how hard they work, we owe a big debt of gratitude to them all.
We’d also like to thank all the drivers who started for the race. As we said at the drivers’ briefing, you can only lose an endurance race on the first corner, so thank you all for such a clean start to the race: that is the standard of driving which we expect in the series. Sadly, not everyone followed suit as the number of damaged cars at the end of the race testified. Endurance racing is different from sprints: its much more about how many laps can you do before the end than can you stop the person behind you getting past – especially if that person is leading the race and blue flags are being waved. A more sophisticated approach is needed: one driver commented to us that he had waved the lead car through and tried to stick to its bumper, so as to learn from it; and had gained 2 seconds a lap in so doing. Its not often one gets the chance to follow a Touring car driver in an identical car
We also learned a lot, as it was our first 24hr in the club; so here are some of the things that we know we need to sort out or change for Rocky II:
Briefing documents need to be better. We now know the list of questions that we got asked, so can deal with them in advance.
Scrutineering needs to start earlier. We are going to aim for starting at 1000 or 1100 hrs on the Friday morning, so as to give a lot more time for the scrutineers to do their job to the full. We have ordered some new scales, since we had some inconsistent results from our trusty old (clearly too old) ones. We will limit the number of weighs per car, since checking six times holds everyone else up (and the winner was 16kg over weight, so it can’t be that crucial). We need to give a clearer briefing on how cars must be presented to scrutineering (full of fuel, with passport and MoT, with all drivers in kit and with drilled posts / bolts for ballast).
The HuTag system needs refining. There are already more sensors on order, so that we have a larger sweet spot at the pit lane exit and at the exit of the drivers’ briefings. We need to add the drivers name to the timing screens as well; and remind everyone that we know the first driver from the nomination form, so you can just drive out onto the grid.
What else, though? Please let us know your thoughts on what went well, and what didn’t. How can we improve the weekend and make it run more smoothly? We will send out a SurveyMonkey survey shortly, but would welcome any ideas or suggestions directly as well, to firstname.lastname@example.org
It was the first time that we have attempted to provide TV coverage of one of our races. Look out for the highlights programme on Motorsport TV, when we know the timing, we will let you know. We think that Scruffybear and his team did an amazing job as there were over 3,000 full views of the live stream. We are preparing short and a long highlights programmes, we’ll let you know when they are ready. We’d also like your thoughts on the in-car set up – we can do that free, but we can also offer a more sophisticated wireless-based set up at a cost: Scruffybear is working that out for us. Again, please let us know your views.
Two final points. Parc Fermé needs to be just that. One team was disqualified because someone, who had lent the lead to them, cut the ballast sealing tags and removed their ballast in Parc Fermé. We have every confidence that it was an innocent mistake, but BARC had no alternative. Please, even if Parc Fermé is a little less Fermé than usual, respect the conditions and do not touch the cars.
There was one moment that made the race for us and absolutely defines the spirit of 24hr racing. Car 318 and 402 had been battling over 8th place for quite a few hours towards the end of the race, until 402 ran out of fuel one corner before the pit lane entrance within the last hour of the race, so there was no circuit tow back. 318 slowed, and pushed 402 so that it could get back to the pits. Its on YouTube here:
As they said: “Everyone wants to finish a 24hr race”. James, you’re a legend, and I’d wear those two points on your licence proudly. I hope that we would all do the same
The C1 Racing Team
TEAM LMPC1 TAKE SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON
The LMPC1 trio of Jacques Jensen, Aaron Bailey and Chris Davison took their second win of the season in the Absolute Alignment Citroen C1 Challenge at Cadwell Park, after a safety car intervention gained them a lap.
14 cars made it to the Lincolnshire Wolds circuit, with the Scuderia Sundial car of Andrew Stacey/Grant Hatfield/Paul Roddison securing pole, with Willow Racing’s Caryl Wills/Ben Anderson/Paul Rowland and Rent Boys Racing Philip Myatt/Nick Paton all covered by only 0.574s.
As the race got away poleman Stacey led the way from Chris Davison for LMPC1 and Ian Payne’s PT Sportscars, while Neil Garner’s NGM Sport car began to work through the order. Having demoted Willow Racing’s Anderson and Scuderia Pollo’s James Matthews on consecutive laps, he was into fourth, before Anderson and C’est La Vie’s Robin Welsh both demoted him again.
The safety car was soon in action though when the Bend it mend it squad’s Mark Theaker got onto the grass exiting the Hairpin and collected Nick Paton’s Rent Boys Car. They both continued until Theaker was off again at the Mountain, hitting Paton who was spun and collected by C1 want one’s Tim Storrar.
The safety car laps to clear the incident triggered a few early stops including the leader. “We anticipated the safety car but jumped the gun and rather than gain a lap we lost one,” Stacey explained. The safety car had waited for the leader, but as they pitted there was confusion and Davison gained as the new leader.
After one hour Team LMPC1 were clear by a lap, from PT Sportscars, with Sundial third and Old Hat, Willow Racing and NGM Sport the early top six.
The lead remained unchanged until lap 35 when Davison pitted to hand to Jensen, when Sundial took charge again, before their second stop.
The strategies were varied on the best time to stop, but after Stacey had handed to Hatfield, Anderson took charge until Willow Racing made their first stop at the 41 lap mark to hand to Caryl Wills. “When I was asked to race in the C1, I thought why? So I didn’t expect too much and I have been pleasantly surprised. It felt a bit like a go kart rental and Cadwell is my favourite circuit too,” said the Autosport Grand Prix editor.
So at half distance LMPC1 and Scuderia Sundial were both on the same lap, with both PT Sportscars and NGM Sport one lap down.
In fifth C’est La Vie headed The Bend it and Mend it squad and Willow Racing that had gone two laps down, followed by Scuderia Pollo Rosso, Old Hat Motorsport, Advantec Endurance, Team Bengineering and finally McAttack Racing who started an hour adrift after a gearbox change.
Having led from the 48th lap, Team LMPC1 had a lap of almost everyone from the 64th to the finish, apart from a few laps during their final stop for Bailey to bring it home. “We thought we might have to change tyres but it was the kerbs that did the damage and we were good. So we just took a fuel and I maintained the gap,” said Bailey.
Pollo Rosso’s James Matthews had just missed being involved in the early shunt, but having alternated with Frank Claydon who took the car to the finish, they were second after three hours. But they still had a stop to make which eventually dropped them to fifth.
Sundial were a strong second but had a late duel with NGMsport. “I did the last 1 ½ hrs and it was a great battle. I was defending and he got the run on me into Park, but he made a few mistakes so I got back through Barn two laps later,” said Roddison.
“We had a great day, I started and pitted early behind the safety car to use one of the stops. Then Peter Fisk went in for another hour, stopped refuelled and handed to Will Rayson to finish, but he outbraked himself in the battle for second, touched the barrier and still finished third,” said NGM’s Neil Garner.
Despite their earlier incidents the Bend it and Mend squad were fourth with Steve Atkinson, Nick Dougill and Craig Deakin taking over from Theaker. C’est La Vie were sixth behind Pollo Rosso, “Jonathan Cool had a spin after the first hour and I had a puncture, but it was James Macintyre-Ure that got the track limit penalty, “said co-driver Paul Dickinson.
Willow Racing came in seventh, with 2CV driver and championship winning rally navigator Paul Rowland taking the third stint.
Tom and Callum Hutchings Old Hat Racing were next, “that was my first ever race start and we are sharing the helmet too,” said Callum. “Loved it though, great fun,” Tom added.
Advantec Endurance came home ninth, with Sean Whatley and Matthew O’Hare and PT Sportscars completed the top 10 with Rich Bernard and Mark Benson. “We lost a lot of time on a refuel stop and Ian Payne got hit during his stint, a real endurance though,” they reckoned.
Although Ben and Karen Atkinson didn’t take the flag, they were classified 11th. “Five minutes to go and I ran out of talent and went off at Park. I just got back on but had no drive,” Karen explained,
McAttack’s perseverance took them to the finish too in 12th, with Simon Walker-Hansell, Chris Nylan and Dave Whitmore sharing the driving. “As well as the gearbox problem, someone had to go to Rockingham to take the seat out of Dave’s BMW Compact , as he is an ex Rugby League player and wouldn’t fit in ours,” said team boss Declan McDonnell.
For Sunday’s two hour race, we had lost LMPC1, NGM Sport and Rent Boys, but gained Maximum Effort’s Matt Owen and Mission Motorsport’s Ben Norfolk, Basil Rawlinson and Joe Byrne for another 14 car grid.
Stacey had the initial lead for Sundial from Bend it and Mend its Atkinson and Pollo Rosso’s Matthews, until Macintyre-Ure began to carve his way through for C’est La Vie.
Within five laps Macintyre-Ure had the lead, “it was a bit slippery but just went for it. I did go off at Park but the others followed,” he admitted. “He drove past me easily on Park Straight though,” Stacey added.
C’est La Vie retained the lead until their first stop when Dickinson took over after 14 laps. Pollo Rosso and Old Hat’s Bruce had already made their initial stops too.
The top five had got away for a while and as the stops continued Joe Wiggin began to climb the leaderboard for McAttack.
Sundial, Bend it and Mend it and McAttack all had spells in front, but after the first hour it was Sundial from Pollo Rosso, McAttack, Bend it and Mend it and Team Bengineering on the lead lap still.
During the second half Sundial began to take charge and from lap 34 were never headed as Roddison brought the car to victory by over a minute. “I just watched the lap times and conserved fuel to bring it home,” he said.
“We hadn’t intended doing this race but glad we came back. We were solid and consistent,” Stacey added.
The Bend it and Mend Squad had taken over second from Pollo Rosso in the latter laps when they pitted, but they too had to make a stop and the McAttack car of Wiggin and Declan McDonnell took the place. “We lost time at the start but matched the rest on times and then got quicker,” said McDonnell. “My front tyre was going down though after I hit a kerb,” Wiggin added.
Dougill brought Bend it and Mend it home third, from the closing C’est La Vie. “I could see them catching, thought it was under control and then had the fuel light on for the last lap,” he explained. “My front left wasn’t at its best, but they were just too far ahead,” C’est La Vie’s Dickinson replied.
Anderson snatched fifth for Willow Racing from Pollo Rosso on the last lap. “I got a run through the Gooseneck and had him under brakes for the Mountain,” he said.
Matt Owen’s Maximum Effort was a lap down in seventh having run solo, while PT Sportscars, Mission Motorsport and C1 want one completed the finishers.
Old Hat were classified 11th but Callum Hutchings had crashed out at the Gooseneck. “I just got a bit squiffy, but thought I had saved it,” he reckoned. A few laps earlier Karen Atkinson had put the Bengineering car into the barrier at the same point.