St Georges Park, Newport was the venue for the third round of the Isle of Wight car club Autotest championship. A brand new setting and it proved to be both a very nice circuit to drive and a nice circuit for spectators, able to see the entire circuit from just one vantage point.
With the promise of rain ahead competitors were eager to get on with proceedings, something not often seen at these events as drivers are usually waiting for optimum grip.
As seems to be the way Andy Williams set the first time of the day with a 39:93, if the rain held off it was looking to be a very fast circuit. At the last sealed surface event the challenge from the Mini’s was unassailable and again today the two Dutch brothers both looked fast out of the box. Dave Dutch threatening the top of the table with an extremely quick 36:95 in his Mini pickup.
Later in the day we were promised the attendance of both Daniel Morgan driving his new 7 style race car, supplied by Island PC Services, and Dave Goodwin with his Mini. As soon as Goodwin took his car out he posted a notably quick 37:40. Dave Bizzill driving a Subaru Impreza and Toby Allen driving a Mazda Mx5 were also keeping the fast pack honest, Toby even topped the table for a while with a time of 37:13, unfortunately for him though after that he struggled to remember where he should be going and his place tumbled down the leaderboard.
When Dan Morgan finally arrived we all expected great things, his first four runs all involved hitting cones and incurring time penalties. On his fifth run however he recorded a quite brilliant time of 35:48 over half a second faster than second placed Dave Goodwin.
Class 1 was swooped up by Jemma Western posting a time of 44:37 driving a totally standard Ford KA, with no other competitors to challenge her Jemma collected a cool 50 points for her class.
Class 2 again very poorly attended with only two drivers this time. Dean Long and Daryl Turner seem to have made this class their own, both driving a standard Mazda Mx5 the battle was on. With Daryl having beaten Dean for a couple of previous events Dean was on the offensive, driving a very clean 38:49 which Daryl found just too much to handle. Well done Dean for getting back on top!
Class 3 is the class of the Mini’s, with seven competitors fighting for the class honours. Dave and John Dutch looked very quick in the morning, their cars setup just right for autotesting. Unfortunately for them the party was spoilt by Dave Goodwin arriving late, he was on it from the get go recording a 36:02, which under most circumstances would have taken the overall win, Dave had to settle for 2nd overall but 1st in class and 50 class points.
Class 4 was hotly contended as ever, with over 20 competitors it promised to be a great spectacle. Toby Allen was the first to record a noteworthy time with 37:13 which not only led the class but the overall standings as well. The FWD cars were struggling to match the RWD and 4WD cars in this class, the fastest of the FWD was Matt Price in a race prepped Saxo with a 37:22. Dave Bizzill, driving a Subaru Impreza broke Toby’s supremacy with a very tidy 36:82 to top the class and scoop the 50 points, just 0.01 seconds behind was Martyn Cutler driving his Vx220. Also notable in this class was a very tidy run by Steve Glasbey in his recently rebuilt TVR with a very respectable time of 37:05 to finish 4th in class and 7th overall.
Class 5, the special class! Just two drivers to fight this one out, Andy Williams and Dan Morgan. Andy completed most of his runs early, I think the track rubbered in later in the day, his special looked good and he set a very respectable 38:15. Acclaim must go to Dan Morgan though, only the second time he has driven his new car and he looked at one with the machine. Struggling at first with cone demolition he pulled it all together in his 5th run, a time of 35:48 sweeping the rug from under everybody else. Well done Dan, the car was a long time in coming but now it is here it is where it belongs, at the top!
And that was the end of the day, fastest lady goes to Vicky Cox with a time of 39:91 and driver of the day to the latecomer Dan Morgan. Some fantastic drives from the likes of Dave Bizzill, Dave Goodwin, Dave Dutch and Steve Glasbey. This season is shaping up to be a very competitive one. Well done all!
Top 5 Positions
Dan Morgan 35:48
Dave Goodwin 36:02
Dave Dutch 36:81
Dave Bizzill 36:82
Martyn Cutler 36:83
Overall SS Top 3
Dave Goodwin 50
Dan Morgan 50
Andy Williams 49
For full results see www.iowcc.co.uk
Next event at Atherfield on Sunday 3rd July, see you all there.