Snetterton Report from Lee

The annual trip to Snetterton produced a reasonably good sized grid of super saloons and tin tops. The paddock parking was a bit cosy, as everyone had to squeeze into a rather small area. Scrutineering was a bit challenging, but everyone made it out for qualifying.

Rod Birley set the pace in his Ford Escort WRC, going much better than recently. Alex Sidwell had a time consuming spin in his Holden Commodore which confined him to third spot, then Mark De’Ath snatched pole position in his Subaru in the last minute. Lining up fourth would be Adrian Bradley in his class B leading BMW, followed by Peter Seldon back in his very rapid class D BMW. Row three was completed by returnee Paul Watson in his BMW, then came Ronan Bradley (BMW) and Martin Reynolds. Martin was using his Ford Anglia instead of his usual Mk.2 Ford Escort but was nevertheless quickest in class C. Completing the top ten were Nick Sutton (Mitsubishi) and the leading Tin Top driven by Matt Rowling (Honda Civic). The rest of the qualifying details are here:

Missing at the start of race one was pole man Mark De’Ath, but the rest of the field set off on a rather sedate rolling lap. Birley led into Riches and around the Wilson hairpin, then unexpectedly slowed. It transpired that Rod had found a pot hole on the edge of the track, which damaged the nearside rear wheel and smashed the brake caliper. This left Sidwell in the lead with Adrian Bradley chasing along in second. Ronan Bradley was a bit detached in third, whilst Nick Sutton soon climbed up to fourth. Reynolds had his rapid Anglia going well in fifth, as Seldon battled with Watson. Martyn Scott made good progress with his VW Golf moving up to eighth, just in front of Rowling who was the leading tin top. The next tin top was Neal Gardiner, but he was behind Paul Restall (Sierra Cosworth) and Jacques Whitehead (BMW). Further back there was a terrific scrap for T1 honours between Graham Richardson (Honda), Dave Charlton (Seat) and Ken Angell (BMW). Charlton got the upper hand when Jeremy Sutton joined in with his class B Sierra and split the group up.

At the chequered flag Sidwell held off Adrian Bradley by 1.4 seconds, with Ronan taking third and Nick Sutton fourth. Reynolds (class C winner) was comfortably fifth as Seldon (class D winner) got the better of Watson. Scott, Rowling and Restall completed the top ten, followed by Whitehead, Gardiner and  Charlton (T1 winner). Jeremy Sutton was next home as Richardson just held off Angell. Dominic Ryan (Fiesta) had a race long battle with Liam Pauling (Saxo) and just took T3 honours. Alex Baldwin was best in class TP as Gideon September, James Seale, Richard Skelsey, Angelo Massonetto and Ian Seale completed the finishers. Joining Birley in retirement were Adrian Matthews and Steve Dann.

25 cars made the start of race two, missing were Birley, Seldon and Nick Sutton. However, De’Ath had fixed his car, so he joined in at the back. Sidwell made a good start to lead away and set a steady pace easing away from the battling Bradley’s. All attention focused on De’Ath’s progress as he quickly came through the field. By lap 5 he was fourth and right with the Bradley’s, having set the fastest race lap. Adrian and Ronan fought hard to keep the blue Subaru at bay but in the end turbo powered prevailed, as Mark took an impressive second place. Adrian got back to third on the last lap (winning class B) as Ronan suddenly lost ten seconds out of our sight. Reynolds almost caught him on the run to the flag, but still won class C. Watson was three seconds back in sixth after a steady run. Rowling got the better of Scott to take the Tin top section again, although Gardiner was closer this time in 9th overall. Whitehead completed the top ten. Steve Dann got past Angell on the last lap to come home 11th after starting 24th. Angell meanwhile took T1 honours, as he battled past Charlton and Richardson. This trio were chased home by Matthews going well in his Volvo. September got his Honda up to 16th with Pauling winning T3 this time from Ryan as Baldwin got between them (winning TP). Skelsey, James Seale, Massonetto and Ian Seale completed the finishers. Both Restall and Jeremy Sutton retired their Cosworths.

Both groups now head back to Brands Hatch for their final races on November 12/13th.

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