The circuit we were to use was the 100, an infield circuit nestling behind the main paddock, flowing and deceptively quick. The main circuit, the 300 as its known, was being used by a Citroen/Mini 24hr race which was great fun to watch and seemed to be a hugely friendly event attracting drivers and cars from all over Europe.
Round 9 Saturday 26th
The Sprint event began on a bright Saturday morning. The Porsches were the last class of cars to go out and so the track was cleaned a little by the cars before them and although there were comments about low grip on some sections some impressive speed was delivered.
Andy Fagan laid down an early practice marker in his Boxster with a 100.16 second run, leaving Karl Lupton and his Supercharged 944 some work to do. Howard Cressey and the road legal 718GTS4 was smooth and collected as he drove a best practice time of 105.26 seconds.
It was the shared drive of Ian and Nick Wadsworth that were to be the only P2 runners of the weekend in their 911. The car is quick and seems to handle sprints and hills equally well. It’s one problem this year has been its gearchange which unfortunately was again proving troublesome despite efforts to improve things at the circuit and some gearbox work prior to the event. All was not lost though as the pair drove around the issue and despite Nick locking up the brakes, he finished practice the quicker of the two in 107.79 seconds.
It was at this point the timing system developed a problem and several of the P3 and P4 runners didn’t get a practice time. Of those that did get a time Geraint Evans was quick in his 911 3.0 recording 102.41 seconds and Stephen Jory in P4 drove some great lines to achieve a 105.81 second run with his 944 3.0
Andy Fagan took a little under 2 seconds off his P1 time to set a best of 98.62 seconds, his second run ended prematurely by a broken driveshaft which also put him out for the third and final run. That first run time was good enough to take the class win. Karl Lupton in the mighty supercharged 944 was consistently quick taking over 10 seconds off his practice time by the end of the day gaining him second in class with a 101.59 second time. Howard Cressey was third just 3.11 seconds behind.
Ian Wadsworth completed all three scoring timed runs within a second or two with the quickest time coming in the second run at 105.88 seconds. Nick took the P2 win however with a best of 102.90 seconds, this after a lock up on his second run and clearly showing there was more to come the next day.
In P3 Geraint Evans achieved his best time on the first of the scoring runs having run wide at the hairpin on his final run of the day. His best time was 102.06 seconds, good enough to take the class win ahead of Wayne Eason who wasn’t far behind in his Boxster with a best of 103.15 seconds. Jon Baldock was quick with three timed runs just a second or two behind Wayne to end the day in third place and although Graham Rose was fourth in class the car was clearly performing better by the end of the day and would be in the mix on the Sunday.
With three scoring timed run differences of 0.04, 0.06 and 0.73 seconds P4 couldn’t really have been much closer! The lead seemed to swap with every run but it was Martin Leach and the 911E that ended the day quickest (just!) to take the P4 win in a time of 103.22 seconds.
Sunday 27th Round 10
The 24-hour race had been running all night, the constant drone of the cars not so loud as to badly disturb sleeping for those in Motorhomes or camping in the paddock but ever present. Also present in the night time paddock were Andy Fagan and Wayne Eason who worked until quite late to swap the offending broken driveshaft on Andy’s Boxster. Another fine example of how sporting our championship is with championship rivals helping each other out.
For the Sprint folk Sunday morning was again bright, but a bit cooler and the weather did look like it might be in the cusp of turning. Spits and spots of rain were noted as the cars set off for their first Practice. Andy Fagan took it easy in his Boxster, testing the water with his replaced driveshaft. Quickest in P1 practice was Howard Cressey bringing the 718GTS4 home in 105.58 seconds, just over a second faster than Karl Lupton in the Supercharged 944.
Nick Wadsworth was doing his best to avoid locking the front of the 911 and put in a great practice run at 102.57 seconds, some way ahead of Ian who was first out on cold tires.
In P3 Geraint Evans was again quickest in practice with a 103.01 second run but only 0.51 seconds ahead of Wayne Eason. Stephen Jory completed his P4 practice run to sit around 0.6 seconds quicker than Martin Leach in his 911, but we all knew that the class could go to either of them at the end of the day.
The weather was still dry but looking like it could rain as the cars headed out for the first scoring run of the Sunday. Andy Fagan, now confident the car would hold together, was able to better his Saturday best time with a 98.05 second run but was caught out by rain that started part way through the second scoring runs and so it was his first time that was his quickest and the P1 class winning time. Proof that the effort made to repair the car overnight was very much worth it!
Howard Cressey was similarly affected by rain on his second run but ended the day a second or so quicker than his practice to take third in P1. Runner up in the class went to Karl Lupton who managed a great time of 100.25 seconds and would surely have cracked the 99 second barrier had the event not be shortened by bad weather.
In P2 Ian and Nick Wadsworth had devised a plan to improve the front gip of their car by adding some weight. The plan worked very well with Nick taking the class win with a very speedy time of 101.66 seconds, second quickest of all the Porsche cars present. Ian too made a significant improvement in his first scoring run but unfortunately was another of the cars affected by the rain arriving during the second timed runs and so couldn’t match the first run time.
In the P3 class Graham Rose had made some suspension adjustments and it showed with a strong performance to end the day just 0.5 seconds behind Geraint Evans who took third. The two Boxsters of Wayne Eason and Jon Baldock each made it into the 102 second bracket. Both looked very sorted as they powered around the Snetterton circuit but Jon Baldock used his track knowledge to good effect to take the P3 class win with a time of only 102.02 seconds
Martin Leach in his P4 911E was also one of the cars affected by rain towards the end of the second scoring run, however his first scoring run time of 103.23 seconds was just quicker than Stephen Jory in his 944 who ended the day just 0.04 seconds behind in second place in P4.
In summary then, 2 days at a great circuit, with close competition, brilliant driving and 24hr racing entertainment laid on, what’s not to like!
The next rounds are Brands on 3rd September and Shelesley Walsh on September 16th. Why not come along and see the cars in action?