Drivers’ favourite Cadwell Park was the destination for rounds 5 and 6 of the 2015 2CVPARTS.COM championship. Often described as the “Mini Nordschleife” because of its many hills and challenging corners, it’s always been a thrilling place for a 2CV race.
With the weather set very fair for the entire weekend, qualifying for race 1 got underway. There were a few spins as each driver pushed the envelope, including one spectacular one from Nick Clarke at Hall Bends, and some cars succumbed to mechanical gremlins – with Phil Myatt, Christine Savage and Simon Crook all experiencing carburettor problems. Previously this year Pete Sparrow would be topping the timesheets for qualifying, but for race 1 it would be Tom Perry starting on pole after setting a blistering time of 2:06:73. Sparrow was 2nd with 2:07.39, and the on-form Caryl “DEFINITELY NOT A WOMAN” Wills took 3rd on the grid. Mike Fox was disqualified from the results of first qualifying due to missing post-session scrutineering, after becoming stuck in 3rd gear.
Qualifying 2 was also held on the Saturday (both races being held on the Sunday), and just for a change, Pete Sparrow took over Nick Crispin’s car for this race. That didn’t stop him taking pole position though, despite later finding the car had variable toe-out on the rear. Phil Myatt was 2nd on the grid after fixing his earlier carburettor woes, and Caryl Wills was once again in 3rd. Sammie Fritchley qualified a creditable 8th place in an unfamiliar car – her first race since her large shunt at Oulton Park at the start of the season.
A club BBQ was staged on the Saturday night, and some teams took the opportunity to fettle or repair their cars. Or in the case of Adam Bollons and Ash Carter, almost completely rewire Adam’s car, and replace an engine valve. Such is the friendly spirit of the club, a number of other drivers and mechanics dived in to help!
Race 1 was held on the Sunday morning, and Matt Lambert got a great start and was able to defend the lead from the chasing pack for the initial part of the race. Tom Perry was bundled down in the pack to 3rd, and swapped places with Pete Sparrow for 2nd place for a few laps before dropping a little to 4th. Caryl Wills was back to 3rd. Also in the mix were Kris Tovey in 5th in the early stages, and the 77 car of Nick Clarke up into 6th from grid 9th.
By lap 5, Sparrow had nosed into a slender lead over Lambert, but a charging Wills was challenging for, and taking, the lead by lap 7. Wills would continue to swap places with Sparrow until the end, but it was Sparrow who took the flag first at the end of the race just just a shade over Wills. Perry recovered into 3rd, demoting Lambert to 4th. 5th was Kris Tovey, ahead of Paul Taylor, Nick Crispin, Phil Myatt (recovering well from grid 21st!), Nick Clarke in 9th, and Steve Walford rounding out the top 10.
Mick Storey completed only one lap after an early coming together with Alec Graham, and Matthew Hollis was somewhat lucky to finish after a monster spin coming down from Gooseneck chicane (See video links at the bottom), which is taken almost flat out in 4th gear!
Race 2 was held later on Sunday. With Pete Sparrow now in Nick Crispin’s car and sitting on pole, it would be interesting to see if he could keep the place. In the early part of the race the lead pack was somewhat shook up, and Kris Tovey emerged as the leader, storming to the front from grid 5th. Myatt and then Sparrow keeping Tovey honest, but by lap 4 Sparrow had edged ahead of Tovey, and the race would finish with those two in that order. Behind them Matthew Hollis was in 3rd for many laps, with Richard Lambert in 5th and Louis Tyson in 6th – up from grid 10th. Tyson was on a charge, and was up to 3rd place by lap 8, but then he went a little wide at the final corner (Barn), slid off onto the grass and into the tyre barrier! Fortunately Louis was uninjured, but the accident brought out the red flags and the race was declared at that point. Sparrow took the win in Crispin’s car, with Tovey in 2nd and Richard Lambert 3rd. 4th was Matthew Hollis, Sammie Fritchley took 5th, Mick Storey was 6th and Myatt, Alec Graham, Neil Savage (up from grid 22nd!) and Jon Davis (in Pete Sparrow’s usual mount) rounded out the top 10 places.
Footage of Louis’ last corner crash:Race one from Matthew Hollis’ car: Matthew Hollis’ monster spin down the Gooseneck: