Results > 20th March 2011 - Donington Park
Bancroft wins as last minute tweak foils Methley
Donington Park March 20th 2011
HSCC Classic Racing Cars Supported by The Cubicle Centre Ltd.
A somewhat battered Donington Park heralded the start of a new season, Kevin Wheatcroft’s men had been hard at work trying to repair the ravages of the previous regime, and while there is still much to do, the progress so far is encouraging.
This year the Classic Racing Cars are sponsored by One Litre F3 racer Andrew Thorpe’s company, The Cubicle Centre Ltd. Twenty one cars practised, and it was no surprise to see last year’s champion Ian Gray in his 1600cc Brabham on pole a comfortable 1.35 secs. ahead of the second class G runner Anthony Ross. The first of the one litre F3 cars came next, with David Methley’s Merlyn heading Nigel Bancroft in Tony Mantle’s Chevron B17 and Chris Holland’s Brabham BT21. Paul McMorran was having a torrid time in his overheating Formula B Crossle 12F, just behind him was Leif Bosson’s BT28, the next of the screamers in seventh.
The usual eclectic mix of Classic Racing Cars filled the next ten places, before Andrew Thorpe’s F3 March in 17th and Geoff O’Nion in 19th; Geoff’s Tecno had misfired its way round so an improvement was hoped for by race time. The second Tecno of Peter Froude had missed qualifying altogether with clutch problems; over lunch Dave Methley adjusted his brake bias thereby creating problems for the race.
The grid was joined by three Formula Juniors from their oversubscribed grid, and Paul McMorran, who started from the back, after abandoning his Formula B Crossle in favour of his regular F3 Crossle. Anthony Ross made a demon start to head Ian Gray into Redgate, behind them Methley was ahead of Bancroft, Holland, Bosson who were ahead of a mix of Formula Twos, Fords and Juniors. McMorran had made a superb start and was already ahead of Froude, O’Nion and Thorpe, Gray took the lead from Ross past the pits, while behind them Bancroft was the beneficiary of Methley spinning at the chicane, now having too much rear braking! Dave recovered, remaining ahead of Holland. Further back McMorran continued his rapid progress through the field, progress which eventually took him to fifth overall and third F3 home; O’Nion found a way past Andrew Thorpe who nevertheless kept in touch as Geoff started to reel in the group of Formula Fords ahead. Peter Froude was circulating steadily, but was obliged to retire after eight laps; Bancroft was hustling the Chevron along, keeping Ross in the 1600cc Lotus honest. Methley in the Merlyn was having a torrid time and was most spectacular to watch down the Cramer Curves, eventually a spin at Mcleans lapping a backmarker settled matters. Chris Holland and Leif Bosson, having succumbed to the flying McMorran had lonely races, eventually finishing fourth and fifth in class. Andrew Thorpe appeared ahead of Geoff O’Nion who then re-passed in a brave move down the inside at the Old Hairpin.
All in all an excellent start to the new season, David Methley managed fastest lap even with his ‘adjustment’ but it was Nigel Bancroft who takes the maximum class D points. We all meet again at Cadwell Park at Easter where twenty two starters will take part in the two free standing F3 races for the Justin Haler Trophy; a significant number will also be out in the Cubicle Centre Ltd Classic Racing Cars races; an excellent weekend looks in prospect.