SPARROW DOUBLE BUT GADGET TAKE ENDURO SPOILS
Pete Sparrow proved unbeatable in both 2CV Sprint races at Cadwell Park, but it was master tacticians Gadget Racing to the fore in the two hour Enduro, with Lien Davies and Tom Perry victorious.Full results PDF
Only 0.212 secs split Sparrow and Sandro Proietti after qualifying, but it was Proietti that nosed ahead onto the Mountain for the first time in race one, with defending Champion Lien Davies in third, from Nick Crispin, Alec Graham and Matthew Hollis.
As they crossed the line to start lap two, Davies got a monumental run down the inside into Coppice, surging passed both Proietti and Sparrow, who then went into Park side by side. “I couldn’t believe how quickly I came upon the leaders,” Davies admitted.
Sparrow stuck to his guns and was into second at Mansfield and quickly began to harass for the lead, as Proietti lost ground to come under pressure from Crispin. “It was exciting, I was on the back of Sparrow and thought we would get away until Lien got that tow. I worked well with Nick though until Pete and Lien worked together and got away again,” Proietti added.
As the lead duo started to escape, Crispin was third into Park on lap four, but Proietti stayed close as Sparrow retook Davies into Park for the lead a lap later.
There were further duels behind the lead quartet as Graham diced with Hollis and Ainslie Bousfield with Mick Storey.
As Sparrow started to build a lead, Davies, Crispin and Proietti ran in formation for second, with Proietti back into third on lap six. “We worked together to catch the leaders, but I was down on power and lost out through Hall Bends after breaking a shock absorber, maybe on the kerbs,” said Crispin.
On lap eight however the safety car was out as Ronald Mears’ car had expired on the crest of the Mountain and he was out of the car.
The safety car took the race to the chequered flag, leaving Sparrow, Davies and Proietti on the podium as Crispin just missed out. “It was all well managed but I didn’t really want to lead onto the last lap. I had a good start and it went to plan,” said Sparrow.
Graham and Hollis completed to the top six, with Bousfield retaining seventh over Storey. “It went noisy part way through the race, didn’t lose any power though,” said Graham. “Awesome start then I lost out in a pincer movement between Crispin and Graham, got sandwiched but managed to stay with Alec,” Hollis explained.
“I was in a perfect position to watch a great race until the safety car but I thought Mick would pass me as he caught me very quickly,” Bousfield added. “I could get close but not enough, the others were just too quick,” Storey replied.
Steve Walford and Nick Roads rounded off the top 10 after an entertaining duel. “I was a bit down on power, lost the tow and they got away,” said Walford.
Sparrow was on pole again for race two, but this time it was Tom Perry alongside, taking over the Davies Team Gadget car.
It was Luca Proietti however that went into Coppice locked in combat with Sparrow, but he soon lost out as Graham and Crispin got by exiting Charlies, before Proietti reclaimed third on the Mountain approach.
Sparrow briefly got away on lap two, the next four paired off, before it became a nine car lead train a lap later.
Graham put Sparrow under pressure through Coppice as Proietti waited in the wings, but Crispin had fallen back in fourth and had Perry closing in, after he had lost out at the start.
Perry was into fourth by lap four and latched onto the Graham and Proietti duel for second, which had given brief respite for Sparrow.
Proietti had second into Gooseneck a lap later, but Graham took it back exiting Charlies, continuing side by side into Park, but Perry had got passed them both.
Six cars as one and Proietti had shot back into contention to challenge for the lead, but it was now Perry in front and Sparrow had dropped to third.
A lap from home it all changed again, Sparrow led out from Proietti with Perry under pressure from Graham for third, after he ran very wide at Hall Bends and peeled part of his bodywork back.
Sparrow held on for win number two, from Proietti, while Graham snatched third on the last lap from Perry.
Crispin managed to hold onto fifth, while Matthew Hollis just held off Simon Clarke for sixth, after he demoted Kris Tovey on the last lap.
Brian Heerey and Martin Riman completed the top 10 after escaping from a three-way fight between Mick Storey, Marc Grasby and Roy Eastwood, but Katy Storey lost a front wing with last lap contact.
The varying tactics in the 2 Hour Enduro left victory uncertain until the very end.
With Graham saving all three of his 3 compulsory stops until the end, he was the hare at the head of the field. He pitted on laps 38, 39 and 40, so the hard work done in the early stages by Davies paid dividends and left Gadget team mate Perry with comfortable lead. “Lien did such a fantastic job it was just left to me to bring it home really,” said Perry after the duo took the win by a healthy 25.808 secs.
The winners may have become clear cut but it certainly wasn’t behind. Sparrow had shared with returning ex Champion Gary Adnitt and Luca Proietti had taken over from Dad Sandro, while the solo running Crispin made it a triple battle.
On the last lap it was side by side with Sparrow and Proietti, but Luca got through at the Gooseneck and allowed Crispin to challenge for third.
“I had a moment at Park, a bit heart stopping but didn’t have Sparrow’s pace either,” said Proietti, who still managed to hold onto second.
For third it was 0.013 secs but Crispin got it, despite the timing screen initially showing Sparrow. “I had got ahead of Luca and Pete, but went wide at Park, then went off at Barn and Pete had to take to the grass to avoid me,” Crispin explained. “I thought he had beaten me on the line too,” he added.
Graham finally finished in fifth ahead of Bousfield/Clarke, with Matthew Hollis seventh and Yates/Ash Carter eighth. “If holding our position was the plan, then it worked,” Yates admitted,
Grasby/Walford were ninth while Heerey/Roads came in tenth, a lap down.
Published by Peter Scherer for the 2CV Racing Club, April 16th 2018.