As most were waking up to chocolate eggs the island petrol heads were gathering at the IOW college for round 1 of the IOW car clubs 2012 season. A damp start was not going to be enough to deter the hardy motorsport enthusiasts on this Easter Sunday as over 30 drivers prepared for the day ahead. A selection of new machinery was on show as well as the usual crowd. Most notable was a Special built by Terry Steele with an MR2 rear end and custom built front end. We shall have to see how it fairs later on!
With a forecast of drying throughout the day competitors were holding off for the moisture to lift from the track. Phil Munday lead early-on in his Mazda 323 making of the most of his FWDs grip to record a 1:14.06 whilst most struggled with the slippery conditions. As the clouds slowly ebbed away the surface showed signs of drying and the times begun to tumble. The Dutch brothers in their Minis looked fast and the timer confirmed this, Dave driving the blue Mini pickup was looking to be the one to try and beat. A time of 1:10.08 in his second run laying down the gauntlet to the chasing pack. Dan Morgan, fast, as ever recorded a 1:07.64 only to be bettered once again by Dave Dutch with a 1:06.62. With the half-way point upon us Dave topped the table with Dan second and Martyn Cutler in third. The surface was pretty much dry by this point and times started to fall off the cliff. Matt Griffin driving his new Honda ‘wedge’ for the first time stunned the regulars by putting himself in to third place with an extremely smooth 1:07.08. The battle of the minis had ensued however and Chris Greenen, Dave Goodwin and Dave Dutch all posted sub 1:06.00 times to top the table. Dan Morgan replied with a 1:03.53 to retake the summit only to be cut down by an immense effort by Dave Dutch 1:02.97. With only Dan left to run he looked to have done enough to snatch victory at the death but unfortunately carried too much speed into the finish box sailing straight through and incurring a 10 second penalty. Round 1 to Dave Dutch!
There were no class 1 competitors however there were some newcomers to class 2. Matt Price and Brian Robbins both bringing standard cars to add some competition to the class 2 stalwarts Dean Long and Daryl Turner. Dean and Daryl were their usual flamboyant selves in their Mk1 Mx5 and Brian and Matt could not get close time wise. Dean took the number one position in class with a 1:11.28 and Daryl 2nd on 1:13.02. Those two boys are worth coming along to watch alone, their RWD car control is extremely entertaining.
Class 3 was as always the class of the Minis, 8 competitors on the day. Dave Dutch drew the battle lines with a 1:06.62 midway through the event only for Dave Goodwin to show his hand and put a 1:05.72 on the timecard. Chris Greenen was feeling left out so he went out and recorded a very respectable 1:05.65. Goodwin replied with 1:05.12 but Dave Dutch was never going to let this one go firstly recording a 1:03.36 but incurring a 10 second penalty for exiting the finish box then went on to startle the on looking crowd to take the victory in both class and overall by making a remarkable 1:02.97 proving that the Minis may be old but they can still mix it with the modern machinery. Well done Dave, well deserved!
Class 4 was the most competitive class of the day with 19 entrants. As stated earlier Phil Munday topped the tables early on but was soon cut down to size as the track dried out. Matt Griffin looked smooth and tidy throughout the day and the times were a result of this. Dave Bizzill, Steve Glasbey and Toby Allen all looked fast as well. Toby was the first to gain places with a 1:06.12 which Dave Bizzill tried his best to cut the deficit but just came up short on 1:07.07. Matt Griffin and Steve Glasbey both had the final say though as Matt recorded 1:06.06 and Steve pipped him at the post driving a TVR to take the class victory by just a hairs breadth 1:06.04. Excellent drives from both Steve and Matt.
Class 5, the Special class! A couple of new entrants into this class this year from Terry Steele and Sam Beckley, an unusual contraption featuring an MR2 rear on a special type front end.
At the sharp end was once again Dan Morgan, Andy Williams tried his hardest to keep Dan in touch but it was a step too far for all of the other class 5 entrants. Dan had overall victory snatched from him at the death but his time of 1:03.53 was enough to take Class honours and 2nd place overall. Andy took second in class and 10th overall.
And so an end to the first event of the season, it is shaping up to be very interesting. A couple of newcomers looking fast and a few of the old heads at the sharp end. I am sure some have gone away now knowing what they need to do to improve whilst others will be happy with a good days work. Steve Glasbey and Matt Griffin are joint drivers of the day, Steve for showing great improvement over last year and Matt for being the season’s newbie showing old hats how it should be done. Fastest lady driver of the day was Vicky Cox finishing an overall 17th with 1:10.73.
Well done to all the class winners and a massive well done to Dave Dutch.
Dave Dutch 1:02.97
Dan Morgan 1:03.53
Dave Goodwin 1:05.12
Chris Greenen 1:05.65
Steve Glasbey 1:06.04
Next event is an unsealed surface event held at Knighton on Sunday 13th May.