Cadwell Park is a circuit that can bring some surprises, and for rounds 8 and 9 of the 2014 ECAS 2CV PARTS.com championship, that would definitely be the case. The championship battle was almost decided - with the top two contenders of Peter Rundle and Pete Sparrow shading their closest opposition by almost 200 points. However, the battle for the title of 'Top Pete' was still to be decided, with Peter Rundle having just an 8 point advantage over Pete Sparrow - sharing the same car over the course of the year, they've scored equal points, but points for fastest laps have gone in favour of P. Rundle more times than P. Sparrow.
Qualifying for both races would be on the Saturday in the bright sunshine, and it was Pete Sparrow taking the top spot for round 8, with Mick Story taking a popular 2nd on the grid, followed by Richard Lambert. In 4th place was another popular return for Paul Robertson, Caryl Wills looked strong in 5th, and Lien Davies rounding out the top 6. Julie Walford was flying in 7th place (although a spin for her at Mansfield corner brought out the red flags) and Tony Robinson returned to the championship and qualified 8th.
For round 9's qualifying, the 'young guns' were on form, and Matt Lambert took the top spot, followed by Kris Tovey, then Peter Rundle, then Louis Tyson in 4th. Mick Storey brought some experience and wisdom to the grid in 5th, then it was the Gadget team in 6th and 7th with Tom Perry and Simon Clarke. Paul Robertson qualified 8th for this round, and Glenn Oswin 9th.
Saturday night saw another popular return to 2CV racing in the form of the club barbequeue, which was well organised and attended. Thanks to all those who helped make this a success.
Sunday's races kicked off with round 8, taking place mid-morning with more sunny weather. Mick Storey got a great start and it looked like he was going to lead into the first corner, but he was forced to give best to Pete Sparrow. Meanwhile Richard Lambert was making his way up to the front, and by the end of lap 1 it was Lambert leading, followed by Sparrow, then a hard charging Caryl Wills up from 5th. By lap 4 Wills had fought his way into the lead, with Sparrow keeping him honest, and Lambert slipping back a little in 3rd. This battle would continue at the front for several laps, with the lead changing several times over the course of a lap!
Meanwhile, further down the field, Mick Storey pulled out of the race, with fuel pickup problems, and Julie Walford tumbled to the back of the pack on lap 1, but she was able to recover. Paul Robertson decided the hairpin wasn't exciting enough and spun himself around, rejoining with no damage. Back at the front, 3rd and 4th places had settled down in favour of Lambert and Davies respectively, but Wills and Sparrow were still at it. Sparrow would lead in the latter half of the lap while Wills would lead for the first half of the race. Sparrow would audaciously outbrake Wills into the Mountain corner each lap, but on the last lap Wills held it into the Mountain, and finished the lap - and therefore the race - in front of Sparrow. This was Wills' first win in 2CV racing, and he was understandably delighted! Fastest lap went to Pete Sparrow, which would level out the points between himself and Peter Rundle.
For round 9, Wills' #36 car would be out again, but this time in the hands of young charger Kris Tovey, who wasted almost no time in getting to the front of the field. The #97 of Pete Sparrow - taken over by Peter Rundle for the second race - was not in its customary position at the front, and it quickly became apparent that all was not well with the car. Rundle slipped back to the bottom of the field for a few laps, but strangely the car's performance improved on lap 4, and Rundle was able to charge again. Sadly for him the gap to the leaders was too big, so he elected to let himself be lapped by the leaders, in order to attempt to get the fastest lap - this would enable him to extend his points lead over Sparrow.
With Rundle's problem taking him out of the lead battle, Matt Lambert inherited 2nd place, and kept Tovey at the front honest, at least for 5 laps. At this point he lost the tow and dropped back to over a second behind. Mick Story was a constant presence in 3rd, as was Paul Robertson in 4th. 5th belonged to Steve Walford for most of the race, but problems befell his car and he retired on lap 7. Other retirees were Nick Crispin after 3 laps, and Simon Clarke, who didn't complete a single tour.
With Walford's demise, the battle for 5th was taken up by Oswin and Tom Perry in the #24 car. Perry was able to squeeze past Oswin on the 8th lap, and by lap 10 was putting some serious pressure on Robertson for 4th. It was not to be though, with Robertson retaining 4th place, ahead of Perry and Oswin. Matt Hollis finished 7th and Louis Tyson 8th, the two of them enjoying each other's company for most of the race. Adam Bollons finished 9th after a sluggish start, and Tony Robinson rounded out the top 10.
Back at the front though, it was an almost easy win for Tovey, who came home in front of Lambert by just over 8 seconds. Again, it was his first win in 2CV racing, and showed that the car and its drivers are a serious threat in the championship. Meanwhile, Rundle was unsuccessful in his attempt to steal fastest lap, and so the two Petes left Cadwell Park on equal points in the championship.
With only one more race to go - the 24 hour race - which Pete will triumph for the 2014 championship?
TSL timing sheets from the event
Site gallery (Maria's photos)
YouTube on-board videos (forum link)
The Classic 2CV Racing Club has commissioned a poster to announce the 2014 24 hour race!
Click here to download the A3 sized .PDF file, or click here to download the A4 sized .JPG file.
The entry list for sprint 8 and 9 at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire have now been published. Another good turnout of 21 cars (so far).
||Sammie Fritchley, Louis Tyson
||Team Gadget Racing 2
||Wayne Cowling, Steve Panas
||Team Gadget Racing 1
||James Dartiailh, Sean Sidley
||Lauren Storey, Katy Storey
||Team Gadget Racing 3
||Lien Davies, Tom Perry
||Crisis Too Racing
||Caryl Willis, Kris Tovey
||Richard Lambert, Matt Lambert
||The Only Left Hand Drive
||The Pie Men
||Steve Walford, Julie Walford
||Nick Clarke, "Papa" Mick Storey
||Mobility Scooters Plus
||UKIP Media & Events
||Team Sealion 1
||Peter Rundle, Pete Sparrow
Unusually for South Wales in May, the sun was beating down hard on the 21 shiny cars that entered the two sprints and the 2-hour enduro at Pembrey Circuit. Unfortunately some of those cars would be less shiny by the end!
A lap of Pembrey in a 2CV is a case of braking only twice - once for Hatchett's hairpin, and once for Brooklands hairpin. The rest of the track is pretty much flat out, full throttle. This can make for good close racing, but can also cause serious accidents if a mistake is made in close formation. Qualifying demonstrated this, when Mike Fox's car got out of control and was collected by Tom Perry. Both cars were sidelined for the rest of the event, with serious chassis damage.
Unfortunately for Mike Fox, he had qualified 2nd for the both races! However, it was the familiar name of Pete Sparrow topping the timing sheet for the first race, despite having 4 laps disallowed for exceeding track limits! Lien Davies qualified 3rd, with Matt Lambert 4th, then Nick Clarke, and then Simon Clarke rounding out the top 6.
With a gap in 2nd place where Mike Fox's car should have been, and a gap in 3rd place where Lien Davies should have been (he was sharing his car with Tom Perry), the first race got under way and all expected Sparrow to take off into the lead never to be seen again, but Simon Clarke was able to push Sparrow all the way to the finish - with just 0.178 seconds between them at the end. Clarke made a few attempts at claiming the lead, but Sparrow was able to claim back the lead each time. Things were more unsettled for 3rd place honours, with Matt Lambert initially leading over Nick Clarke, Sammie Fritchley and Steve Walford, but with Lambert, Nick Clarke and Walford all receiving penalties for exceeding track limits, 3rd was eventually claimed by Glenn Oswin who had made his way up from 8th. Fritchley took 4th just ahead of a close pack of cars consisting of Matt Hollis in 5th, Caryl Willis in 6th and Hugh McCurrich in 7th. Nick Clarke finished 8th with his penalty, and Nick Crispin narrowly fought off Adam Bollons to finish 9th and 10th respectively.
The second qualifying was dominated again by Peter Rundle in the #97 Sealion car, with Mike Fox taking 2nd spot. Mick Storey, in a different car from the one he was driving in the first race (which ran out of brakes!) lined up 3rd, followed by Simon Clarke, Nick Roads and Glen Oswin. Kris Tovey qualified 7th, and then another gap in the starting grid as 8th was claimed by Tom Perry, who would be unable to take the start due to his damaged chassis.
As the second race got underway, it became clear that Rundle was not going to have it all his own way - due to a series of engine failures, the Gadget team were running a replacement engine supplied by Sammie Fritchley, and Clarke was feeling fast and punchy. Lap after lap saw Clarke attempt to get past Rundle, particularly down to the turn one hairpin, and it was only some bold defensive driving on the part of Rundle that prevented the pass. Nonetheless, Clarke managed to get past Rundle on a couple of occasions, and on the last corner of the last lap had just about managed to wrest the lead from Rundle to take the victory - the first win for a different car this season. Mick storey led home the chasing pack for 3rd place ahead of Nick Roads, Glenn Oswin, Kris Tovey and Julie Walford.
Incidents further down the pack resulted in Sean Sidley losing his brakes and spinning into turn 1, collecting the car of Adam Bollons. Katy Storey was tagged by a sideways Nick Crispin and then spun into the side of Richard Lambert's car, causing quite a lot of damage, and Steve Panas' engine expired on lap 3. Overall, quite a race of attrition in the end.
The 2 hour enduro took place on the Sunday, and featured most of the drivers who had taken to the track the day previously, with a couple of additions. Sparrow and Rundle took pole in the Sealion car, Simon Clarke in second, and Louis Tyson and Sammie Fritchley shared the car which qualified 3rd. In the race, the duo of Sparrow and Rundle dominated the proceedings, but 2nd place was an interesting battle between Richard and Matt Lambert (#43 car) and Simon Clarke and Lien Davies (#6 car). Sammie Fritchley and Louis tyson were also in the mix certainly in the early stages, and with 3 pit stops expected of each team (to allow up to 4 drivers) during the 2 hour race, it was anyone's guess as to who would finish in second. In the end though it was the Lambert car that took 2nd place honours over Clarke/Davies by a margin of 7 seconds. 4th place went to Steve and Julie Walford, 5th was the partnership of Kris Tovey and Caryl Wills, 6th was Nick Crispin (on his own) and 7th was the Roads/McCurrich entry. A great race with battles up and down the order, and some tense moments in the pits too!
Click here to download timing sheets and full results from TSL
Click here for some YouTube video links from various cars.
Maria's Flickr album for the weekend
Next race is at Cadwell Park circuit in Lincolnshire. Don't miss it!