Saturday 10th June
And so back to the hills after a wet/dry sprint around Pembrey, to our second double header of the month.
The Epynt Military Ranges were a hive of activity this weekend, with 49 drivers on the Saturday, and 57 drivers on the Sunday, along with the Military who were also on manoeuvres.
Once again a mixed bag of weather with rain all day on Saturday, but a little dryer on Sunday with rain at times.
Rebekah (and Dora) back to their usual running order competing in the Standard Series Production Car class up to 1400cc were the first to set up the hill. Unfortunately Rebekah was the only one in the class, but pushed both herself and Dora in each and every run, starting with a practice run of 88.16 and finishing with a timed run of 83.23, getting within 0.77s of Martin Davies’ target time of 82.46 set last year. A great result, and a deservedly Class Win.
Next was Standard Series Production cars over 2001cc and out of a class of three cars, all were Championship Contenders, namely Ben Burggraaf, Gordon Hick and Anthony Bailey.
Ben managed a timed run of 70.17 which secured him a 1st in Class in his black sleek Lotus Elise S2 (author being slightly biased), followed by Gordon with a time of 71.55 and third was Anthony with a timed run of 73.47.
Not quite certain of how the classification of cars were chosen this weekend, but we saw Mike Hall in his Renault Clio Cup 172 placed in the Road going Specialist production cars over 1700cc ! alongside Eifion and Sioned in their Audi Quatro S3 !
Having done is his first sprint at Pembrey last week, Mike took to the hill, like a duck to water, which is fortunate, as there was plenty of water to contend with during the day. Starting practice with a competitive time of 77.49 having never done a hillclimb before, Mike ended the day with an impressive time of 75.06 and a Class Win. Eifion and Sioned double driving their Audi Quattro A3 also improved throughout the day, with Eifion getting down to a time of 78.82 on his last run of the day, followed by Sioned on 82.48.
In the Modified Production Cars 1401cc up to 2000cc, which consisted of 5 cars, we had four championship contenders competing for podium places.
The four championship contenders were Paul Meadows, Frank Lyndsay Harries, Lloyd Bettinson and Dave Mockford.
Lloyd in his Peugeot 106 set the bench mark for the class, with a P1 time of 73.05 with Dave Mockford (a new championship contender) in his lime green MG Maestro fighting it out for second place with Paul Meadows, followed by Frank Lyndsay Harries in his immaculate Renault Clio 197 Sport for fourth. The day ended with Lloyd achieving a timed run of 71.68 securing first in class, followed by Dave for 2nd in class on a timed run of 74.40, third place to Paul 74.52, with Frank taking fourth on 75.66.
And so to Martyn Ferris who was placed in the Modified Production Cars over 2001cc alongside a Ford Escort Mexico Mk1. Martyn having his work cut out competing against a powerful 3lt Millington Engine, managed to not only secure 1st in class but also achieve a great timed run of 70.12.
Following on from the Modified Production cars was the Specialist Modified Production Car Class up to 1400cc. Once again another Father and Daughter challenge within the class, with Charlotte Phelps double driving their family Westfield Megabusa with Dad; John Phelps. Not only did Charlotte get down to a sterling time 67.88 on here second timed run, but she also finished the day in amongst the top 10 drivers of the day and whilst on a fun run recorded a time of 67.18 !
In the Sports Libre Car Class over 2001cc was a lonely Honda CRX driven by Lyndon Evans. Still a few developments to implement, but finished enough to not only do the Epynt hillclimb, but travel home each evening to Merthyr Tydfil. A clutch issue meant that Lyndon had to conserve the car and therefore only did one time run. Having had two practice runs, Lyndon recorded a time run of 94.22 on T1 and retired the car for T2, giving him the opportunity to not only get home but to save the car for the following day.
Following on from Lyndon, we saw Andrew Bisping and Gary Morgan in the Standard Car class 1401cc – 2000cc. Both Andrew and Gary started off with some great times, Andrew got a 73.22 in P1 and Gary not far behind on a 74.86, unfortunately when it came to timed runs neither Andrew or Gary managed to replicate the practice times and had to settle for slightly slower times in the afternoon, but still a podium finish for both drivers. Andrew secured 1st in class with a 74.78 and Gary 2nd in class with a 76.35.
FTD was awarded to local driver Terry Brown in his immaculate prepared Ford Escort Mk2, using his vast rally experience to produce a timed run of 62.81 in true Welsh weather conditions (wet).
Sunday 11th June
And so everyone reconvened for a second day of runs, with a fine mix of rain.
Rebekah and Dora continued from where they left off the day before with a first practice time of 83.16 and with each and every run improved, finishing on a time of 80.17 which resulted in a new target time for Championship Class 1A for 2018, and once again a 1st in Class trophy to take home.
Similar to Rebekah, Gordon and Anthony kicked off with a practice time quicker than the day before in the Standard Series Production cars over 2001cc, resulting in Gordon in his Seat Leon getting down to a time run of 68.15, securing a 1st in Class, followed closely by Anthony taking 2nd in class with a timed run of 69.47
Once again, Mike, Eifion and Sioned were placed in the Road going Specialist Production cars over 1700cc, with Mike taking the lead in his Renault Clio Cup 172, followed by Eifion and Sioned double driving their Audi A3 Quattro. Mike finished 1st in class on a time of 70.41, with Eifion securing 2nd place with a time of 73.73 followed by Sioned on 76.39
Modified Production Cars 1401cc up to 2000cc, saw five championship contenders running in a class of 7, with the inclusion of Martyn Ferris in his Renault 5 GT and a Westfield that were in different classes the day before. Martyn secured 2nd in class with a timed run of 67.89, followed by Dave Mockford for 3rd in class with a time of 69.52, resulting in Lloyd having to settle for 4th by a narrow margin, having achieved a timed run of 69.54 ! Frank Harries in his Renault Clio 197 Sport secured a time of 70.79 with Paul recording a timed run of 71.73
Joining Charlotte and John Phelps in the Modified Specialist Production Car Class up to 1400cc was the current Hill Record Holder, Simon Rogers in his Caterham Hayabusa. Simon set the hill record back in 2014 (54.55) and managed to break his record by recording a timed run of 54.54 on his last run of the day ! Charlotte had to contend with a failed starter solenoid, fuel pump issues and 2nd gear selection problems, and through all of this she recorded a time of 62.51, securing once again her place amongst the top 10 cars.
Lyndon in his Honda CRX only completed one Practice and one timed run in order to preserve his clutch, recording a time of 89s, just over 4 seconds quicker than the previous day.
And so to Standard Cars 1400cc to 2000cc with Andrew Bisping and Gary Morgan battling it out for 1st in class. Andrew recorded a first timed run of 71.24 with Gary hot on his tail with a 71.97. Andrew’s second time run was a second slower with a T2 time of 72.39, but unfortunately for Gary he was also unable to improve on his first time, recording a second time of 72.51. So the class position was to be settled on both T1 times, with Andrew taking the class win on 71.24 in his Renault Clio and Gary a close 2nd in his Pegeout 206
Next on the Calendar is Shelsley, one of the oldest motorsport venues in the world, to still run events on the original course.
Championship update Results uploaded after Rounds 9 and 10. Click Here to view
Championship update Results uploaded after Rounds 7 and 8. Click Here to view
Saturday 3rd June
We kicked of June with a double header at Pembrey, the first day being run on the original track and the second on the new layout.
Weather proved to be challenging and changeable, with the morning session being one of torrential rain with the afternoon full of sunshine ! Unfortunately due to weather conditions, a full entry list and a few mechanical issues on track, some 34 drivers did not get a second time run, due to track time curfew. This meant that only T1 would count towards the Championship results as not all contenders has the opportunity to do two timed runs on Saturday.
Unlike other sprint events, we did not kick off with the SP Class, but with Class 3B, Modified Production Cars 1400cc up to 2000cc. In a class of four we had three Championship Contenders battle it out for podium placement, namely Paul Meadows, Lloyd Bettinson and Martyn Ferris. The first time run saw Martyn take the lead, followed by Paul and then Lloyd, but not content with third place Lloyd managed to improve on his last run of the day by over 6 seconds, resulting in second place at the end of a challenging day, only 1.81 seconds behind Martyn. After two timed runs Martyn achieved a time of 131.66, Lloyd 133.47 followed by Paul on 136.47.
Next followed the Modified Production Cars over 2000cc with only one Championship Contenders battling out amongst 5 cars. Paul Townsend in his Seat Leon Cupra experienced mechanical issues and had to withdraw from his second timed run. Fortunately Paul managed to set a first timed run of 147.96 setting a new target time for 2018 for the Championship class, and completing his first Sprint at Pembrey.
Our first Lady Championship contender to take the track was Charlotte Phelps in her family Westfield Megabusa, in a class of Mod Prod Kit, Replica and space-framed cars up to 1800cc. Charlotte and her fellow class competitors (including her bother Adam) had to contend with some wet weather trying to dry their race suits out between runs. Charlotte’s best time of the day, was her first timed run of 121.37.
Following on from Charlotte was our second Lady Championship contender of the day, namely Alison Lock in the Rally Car Class. Similar to Charlotte, Alison’s best timed run of the day was her first timed run, which was a very respectable time of 155.07 for her BMC Mini.
Once again it was a close call between our two Renault Clio drivers, namely Andrew Bisping and Rob Thomson, battling it out amongst four drivers in the Standard Production Class. It was the first time for both drivers, so both had to find their driving line and learn the track quickly in order to secure a podium finish. Rob produced a 1st timed run of 136.91, with Andrew close behind on 137.05, so all to play for on a dry 2nd timed run. Andrew was first to take the track, and manged to get down to 136.56 on his 2nd time out, but unfortunately for Andrew, Rob managed to find a further second of his time and finished the day on 135.82. So once again a 1st and 2nd in SP Class for the Welsh Sprint & Hillclimb Championship drivers.
Due to the change of running format of the weekend, Rebekah Edwards in her VW Lupo found herself not amongst the first of the drivers to take to the track (as is usually the case), but middle of the running schedule. Similar to Andrew and Rob, this was Rebekah’s first time at Pembrey, which meant that she not only had to contend with weather but had to learning a new track under challenging circumstances. Fortunately for Rebekah she managed to get a second time run in dry conditions and took 1st in Class with a time of 144.01. Well done Dora !
In the Standard & Road Mod Cars 1400cc up to 2000cc saw Sam Bacon experience some mechanical issues but with the help of fellow contenders, friends and family members managed to get the car fixed in time to get out in T2 resulting in a time of 165.88, also in the class was Wynne Morgan in his Williams Renault Clio who did a competitive time of 131.36. Fortunately for both Sam and Wynne their class was the last set of drivers to take to the track before the day was suspended.
Unfortunately for the Standard & Road Mod Cars over 2000cc they were not given the opportunity to do their second timed run, So Gordon Hick, Brian Jones, Eifion Jones and Sioned Jones had to contend with only having the one timed run posted on the day’s results.
Brian Jones in his Porsche Cayman GT4 got a timed run of 124.93 (resulting in 3rd in class), and I’m sure had Brian been able to get a second run, would have got closer if not surpassed his target time of 123.66 which was set in 2016. Gordon in his Seat Leon Cupra set a competitive time of 138.82, followed by Eifion with a time of 140.52, and close behind was Sioned in their Audi Quattro S3 with a timed run of 147.50.
Sunday 4th June
Similar to Saturday, we started the day with Rain, and plenty of it, but this time on the new track layout.
The new track continues straight on from the apex of Dibeni (the paddock crossing), for about 100 metres before taking a sharp left followed by a sharp right, re-joining the old track at the Esses. This resulted in changing the line at Dibeni 2 and the Esses.
We once again, we saw the Mod Prod Cars 1400cc up to 2000cc take to the track firstly, with our intrepid three amigos battling out for podium placement once again. Martyn took the lead in T1 with a timed run of 148.83 in the wet, followed by Paul Meadows with a time of 150.58 and then Lloyd Bettinson with a 153.13. Similar to Saturday, the second Timed run was to be on a dry track and saw times improve for all three drivers. Martyn finished the day on 143.31 in his Renault 5 Turbo, closely followed by Lloyd in his Peugoet 106 achieving a time of 144.75 and Paul in his Peugoet 106 with a 146.82.
The next Championship contender to take to the track was Charlotte Phelps in the Mod Prod Kit and Space-framed cars up to 1800cc. Having done her first timed run in the wet, improved by just under 13 seconds on a dry track, achieving a timed run of 132.77, and coming fourth in class.
Using her vast Rally experience, Alison Lock put her Mini to test on the new section with some late braking in the wet and got down to a timed run of 165.90 in the dry on her second time out on track.
And so the learning continued the second day for our new Pembrey Clio drivers in the SP Class. Similar to Saturday there was not much to separate the two, Andrew achieved a time of 147.34, but once again was pipped to the post by Rob who produced a time of 146.73 and so the battle continues.
Rebekah on a high from yesterday’s 1st in Class was looking good after P1 & P2, leading her class by over 2 seconds, but was unable to replicate the day when it came to T1 and T2, but put in a great time of 157.26 for her VW Lupo.
Next to run was Standard & Road Mod Cars 1400cc up to 2000cc, with Mike Hall in his Renault Clio Cup having only just joined the Championship and getting his MSA licence within the last week, proved that no sprint or hill climb experience was going to hold him back, improving with each and every run, finish the day some 12.89 seconds quicker that his first time on track in the wet. Sam Bacon’s mechanical issues from the day before continued to be challenge in the morning, but managed get a timed run on T2. Wynne Morgan got 2nd in Class with a timed run of 141.94, with Mike Hall achieving a final timed run of 153.59 (which is a great result for his first ever sprint, look out Epynt), followed by Sam in his Peugoet 106 with timed run of 163.04.
In the Standard & Road Mod Cars over 2000cc, saw two Championship contenders take podium, Brian Jones took 1st in Class in his Porsche Cayman GT4 with a timed run of 137.89, followed by Gordon Hick achieving a timed run of 147.81 in his Seat Leon taking 2nd in Class (after having a quick cat nap between runs). Eifion achieved a time run of 156.10 followed closely by his daughter Sioned in their Audi Quattro A3 on a 157.82.
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