Mallory Park Intermarque Silhouettes report

The Avon Tyres/Image Wheels Intermarque silhouettes had 17 entries for Mallory Park. Qualifying saw two drivers duck below the 48 second mark, with Lewis Smith (Mercedes) annexing pole position in 47.788 seconds and Colin Smith (Ginetta) managing an impressive 47.947. Sadly Lewis popped a head gasket, which rendered him a non-starter. Next quickest would be the leading senior driver Keith White (BMW Z4) with returnee Ian Hales (Vauxhall Tigra) alongside. Daniel Smith headed up the next row in his Mercedes as Reuben Taylor (Peugeot 206cc) slotted into sixth. Paul Knight and Phil Spinks (both in Tigras) occupied row 4.
It was good to see Richard Smith back racing his Mercedes again as he qualified ninth, followed by Scott Aprigliano (SHP 206). The rest of the grid comprised Jon Price (Tigra), Philip Young (Mitsubishi Colt), Chris Ayling (Tigra), Baz Johnson (Pontiac), newcomer Sean Pooley (VW Corrado) and Mick Robertson (VW Corrado). We should have had Fabio Luffarelli in 13th with his invitation class VW Corrado, but Fabio was taken ill and transported to hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Race one saw a 2 lap rolling start after which Colin Smith held the lead from White, Hales, Taylor, Spinks, Knight, Daniel Smith (dropping back) and Aprigliano. Robertson was the first retirement as his car ground to a halt, soon to be followed by Daniel Smith. Next time around Knight had passed Spinks for 5th, as the first three had edged clear of Taylor. Knight soon closed on Taylor as Spinks dropped back slightly, but still clear of Aprigliano. Back up to 8th spot was Richard Smith having lost a bit of ground at the start. Richard was pursued by Price and Johnson, whilst Young and Ayling were having their battle over 11th . Johnson then retired on lap 7, followed a lap later by Richard Smith.
Meanwhile Colin Smith now had White and Hales in close formation, but a lap later Hales moved into second just as Knight overtook Taylor. Paul had significantly upped his pace and set the fastest race lap, as he suddenly closed on the leaders. Lap 11 and Hales emerged in the lead, whilst Knight nipped past White into second position. Colin Smith had disappeared due to a blown differential. The ensuing oil spillage lead to a bit of confusion as the red flags appeared as well as yellows. The race result was declared at the completion of 11 laps, which meant Hales was the winner with Knight second (winning the senior class) and White in third. Taylor was just half a second back in fourth with Spinks fifth and Aprigliano an impressive sixth. Price, Young and Ayling finished in a close group just 1.5 seconds apart. Pooley completed the finishers and got the driver of the race award.
For the second race the top six finishers were reversed, so Scott started on pole with Phil alongside. Spinks took the early lead chased by Taylor, White, Knight and Hales as Aprigliano was shuffled back. Daniel Smith quickly moved up to 8th from the back of the grid, then a lap later he was in 5th. Price had made a good start but then dropped to the tail of the field, whilst Robertson again failed to complete a lap to compound his miserable day. Taylor took the lead on lap 3 with Knight now second and Spinks going well in third. White was moving along in fourth pursued by Daniel Smith and Hales.
Lap six and Knight appeared in the lead, as he became the first driver to go below 49 seconds. Spinks dropped behind Daniel Smith and Hales. Next time around White demoted Taylor for second as Hales re-took Smith. The action was coming thick and fast as Taylor was usurped by Hales and Smith, whilst Price had recovered to tenth. Johnson now joined Robertson as a retiree and then Hales suddenly lost 3 positions as he slowed and dropped out. A sad end to his impressive run. Meanwhile Knight serenely motored on to take the chequered flag 8.2 seconds in front of White. This meant two senior drivers on the top two steps of the podium. Smith closed to within half second of White after a tidy drive. Taylor almost got caught by Spinks but held onto 4th, as Phil was the third senior home. Young looked pleased to get 6th with his self-prepared car showing good reliability. Ayling came home 7th with Price completing the finishers and getting the driver of the race award. Both Pooley and Aprigliano were late retirements, which was a shame for both of them. Scott did crack the 50 second barrier as he showed improved speed.
The next round is one of the calendar highlights as the series goes to Brands Hatch for the American Speedfest on June 17/18. Hopefully we will see an impressive grid of cars for this high profile event.

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