Meeting Report (IS) Sunday by Lee Sutton

And so to Sunday. Again the weather stayed fine all day, which contributed to some excellent racing. Despite noise issues with the classic bikes, the meeting stayed on course and managed to finish on time.

A good entry of 20 cars for the Avon Tyres/Image Wheels intermarque silhouettes saw a competitive qualifying session, with just over one second covering the first nine cars. Although Steve Burrows set the quickest time he was sadly sidelined with engine problems. This meant that all 3 of our series pole sitters over the weekend had endured engine issues (Bassett, Birley and Burrows). Effectively this meant that Malcolm Blackman was now quickest, followed by Dave York and leading senior runner Keith White. Next up was fellow west countryman Reuben Taylor, then came Daniel Smith (Mercedes) and Danny Smith (Tigra) which no doubt confused the commentator. Especially as Colin Smith (father of Danny) was next but not in a Tigra, instead he was using a recently acquired Ginetta. Another Ginetta driven by the second quickest senior runner Mike Thurley was ninth, as Eric Boulton completed the top ten. Lewis Smith only managed five laps so was back in 11th, whilst Mick Robertson had a group of returnees for company. Namely Ricky Hunn, Brian Loram (who had a bad crash here last year) and Warren Farazmand. It was good to see all of them back racing again. Philip Young, Volker Timm, Scott Aprigliano, Jon Price and John Steward completed the runners.

Unfortunately German visitor Timm was a late non-starter for race one, but the other 18 drivers provided a very orderly start. Blackman led at the end of the first lap, hotly pursued by York, White, Taylor, Daniel Smith, Danny Smith, Lewis Smith and Thurley. The speed of these cars around Mallory is amazing and the frenetic pace was good to watch. As ever there was lots of place changing, particularly Daniel Smith in his Mercedes as he moved up to third. Two other drivers making progress as the race went past half distance were Mike Thurley and Colin Smith. By lap 15 the order was Blackman, York, Daniel “Mercedes” Smith and White, all covered by less than 2 seconds, then a gap to Thurley, Colin Smith, Danny Smith and Taylor in another battle. By now we had lost Ricky Hunn, Lewis Smith and John Steward with various car maladies.

Lap 16 and Daniel Smith got past York, but a lap later the positions were reversed again. However, on the final lap Daniel made the move stick, so the finishing order was Blackman, Daniel Smith, York and White, who won the senior section and also set the fastest race lap time. Fifth was Thurley, chased by Colin and Danny Smith, then came Taylor with Boulton and Robertson completing the top ten. Loram had a good run to 11th right on Robertson’s boot lid. Young kept up his consistent finishing record in 12th, followed by Farazmand and Aprigliano, as Price was a late retirement.

The grid for race two saw the top 8 finishers from race one reversed, which meant Taylor would be on pole position. The start saw everyone lined up in good formation, which no doubt pleased the race clerk. Taylor made a good getaway and held the lead impressively for 8 laps. Danny “Tigra” Smith ran second for 4 laps until York moved through, followed by Daniel “Mercedes” Smith and Blackman. This group then all closed up behind Taylor. On lap 8 there was an incident going into the hairpin where Blackman unfortunately clipped York. It appeared to be the concertina effect, but sadly it left York sidelined. Through it all Daniel Smith emerged in the lead, with Taylor still in second, followed by Danny Smith and Thurley (who was now leading the senior class). Blackman had dropped back to 7th behind Colin Smith and Boulton. Lap 11 saw Thurley retire and Danny Smith drop back to 7th, which meant Blackman was up to third as he passed Boulton and White. Meanwhile Daniel Smith was serenely on his way to his second win of the year, whilst Colin Smith did well to hold off Blackman for second. Boulton led home a close group which comprised of White (senior winner again), Taylor and Danny Smith. Robertson had another good race to take 8th with Young getting past Loram for 9th. Ricky Hunn went the distance this time to come 11th with Aprigliano completing the finishers, following Farazmand’s late retirement.

Both races provided plenty of excitement and action. The York/Blackman incident was discussed at length by the race clerk and deemed a racing incident. Everyone now looks forward to the American Speedfest on June 11-12, where there will be a race on each day:

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