Results > 6th-7th August 2011 - Croft

Another Methley Double at Croft


Croft Nostalgia Weekend 6th – 7th 2011

Classic Racing Cars supported by the Cubicle Centre Ltd.

Sixteen one litre F3s were entered for Croft but illness obliged Peter Williams to withdraw and engine maladies whilst testing at Mallory eliminated Ian Bankhurst; still a field of fourteen was a great improvement over the four entrants last year.

Weather for Friday’s testing had been ideal and everyone except Pete Thompson (who had damaged rear suspension) survived intact; however showers on Saturday mornings meant a very slippery track for qualifying. David Methley was his usual spectacular self, the orange Merlyn coming onto the pit straight on opposite lock lap after lap; his best lap of 2.02.194 being nearly seven seconds faster than Ian Gray’s Brabham twin cam. Jim Chapman seemed to have solved his recent overheating issues to post second fastest F3 time ahead of the closely matched pair of Keith Messer and Chris Holland. Steve Wilkinson always goes well in slippery conditions and was next up ahead of Peter Froude and Steve Seaman; Tizzard in the repaired Chevron B15C with new luminous orange nose was eighth F3. Leif Bosson had been flying in Friday testing but struggled in the greasy conditions to finish up ninth followed by Grant Saunders in his March; Klaus Bergs and Geoff O’nions rounded off the F3s. According to the information sheets, Peter Williams had managed to qualify his Brabham just behind Chris Holland and was to be found on the grid sheet for the first race; all from the comfort of his arm chair! hopefully Pete will be back out soon.

Saturday produced rainfall of biblical proportions which meant that four hours of racing were lost; the organisers did well to re-schedule proceeding so that we had two Classic Racing Car races on Sunday both of which took place under dry but cloudy conditions.

Neither Gray or Methley got away well, but Jon Waggitt in his twin cam got a flier to lead at the end of lap one ahead of Gray in his twin cam, Chapman in the Lotus 59 and Methley’s Merlyn. By lap two Methley had passed Chapman for third with Waggitt still leading, Gray and Methley found a way past Waggitt who held onto third until the seventh lap when his electrics failed. Gray only kept his lead for one lap before Methley took over the lead for the next three laps; eventually the power of the twin cam told and Gray eased away to take the overall win by just under three seconds. Matters were just as frantic further back, Tizzard had made a superb start, and taking advantage of Keith Messer’s throttle cable breakage found himself well up in the field. Leif Bosson was much happier in the dry conditions and soon found a way past Wilkinson before setting off in pursuit of Holland and Chapman who was  gradually falling back with a misting visor. Now we were to be treated to some classic F3 racing, Bosson was pressing on and got past the struggling Chapman, Chris Holland had a moment coming onto the pit straight and Bosson was able find a way through and keep Chris behind in spite of the Londoner’s best efforts; Bosson, Holland and Chapman being separated by less than a second at the finish. The Steves, Seaman and Wilkinson were equally matched and the last unlapped finishers; Andrew Thorpe, the series sponsor, was enduring a nightmare weekend, another engine having let go in testing, but after sterling work by the team a replacement engine was fitted and in spite of clutch troubles Andrew brought the car home safely in one piece. Geoff O’nion and Klaus Bergs ere the two remaining F3 finishers; Keith Messer (throttle cable), Peter Froude (broken Exhaust) and Grant Saunders (suspect oil pressure) were the non finishers. 

We lost Grant Saunders and Stuart Tizzard for race two, but thanks to Delta Racing’s Ian Rowley, Peter Froude was able to take the start. Jim Chapman’s Lotus 59 had refused to start on the button and had to be pushed so he joined Messer on the back row of the grid. Methley made an excellent start and led Gray’s twin cam through at the end of lap one, next time Gray had powered through and Methley had to settle for second overall after another spirited race. Holland had bested Bosson off the line and this time there was to be no way through for the Swede, meanwhile Messer and Chapman were making their way through the field and by lap five had caught up to Wilkinson’s Brabham, Chapman found his way past on that lap Messer on the sixth. Messer had designs on Chapman’s position but in spite of getting up alongside on a couple of occasions couldn’t quite find a way through, settling for fourth F3 ahead of Wilkinson and Seaman who was having gear selection problems. O’nion had eased away from Bergs and a slightly frustrated Froude to take seventh in class; Andrew Thorpe had pulled the March in at the end of the first lap with gear selection problems.

Next stop is the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting (August 27th – 29th) for the next round of the Peter Hanson Trophy.  
Race photos Courtesy of Charlie Gooding, paddock photos Mike Faloon
Practice an Race results  

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