Classic Sports Car Club Winter Warmup – Race 3 (Part 1)

The third race of the day combined three series together to form the biggest grid of the day. Co-Ord Sports continue its support of one of the most popular series in the entire CSCC, the Tin-Tops. Lohen are a new sponsor on board to support the Turbo Tin Tops this year, with the third category being the Puma Cup. A near-capacity 52 entries took to qualifying, of which 46 would take the start, and the pole spot was taken by six seconds over the second fastest time. You might think that this was a Turbo Tin-Top on pole, but six of the top seven qualifiers were naturally aspirated Tin-Tops. Again, a mixture of fresh faces joined the racing aces for the monster grid ready to do battle.

Danny Cassar was the man responsible for the blistering pace at the top, with fellow Honda pilot Manoj Patel alongside him. The fastest Turbo Tin-Top was in third place Phiroze Bilimoria in his VW Scirocco, and the best Puma was Luke Johnson starting in 36th place. There were some drivers who had just completed the previous race in the New Millennium class, pole sitter Cassar being one of them, having just jumped out of the 2.3-litre Integra into the Tin-Top spec two-litre car. Patel retired from the aforementioned race but did manage to take the start of this race.

As Cassar & Patel led the field to the lights (the back of the field can’t actually see the lights turn green, such is the length of the grid), it was clear that not all was well with Patels Civic as he was soon plummeting through the field, and retired the car, unable to downshift. Cassar extended his lead from anywhere between four to nine seconds per lap over the rest of the field, and no matter where you looked on the circuit, there were groups of cars all arguing for position.

Adam Brown, who had shared the other of the Nigel Ainge owned Civics in the previous race with Cassar, now in his own Fiesta ST, was battling hard for 2nd place with Russell Hird in his Honda Integra, and with the Turbo Tin-Tops leader Bilimoria, the three of them displaying excellent punch and counter-punch moves repeatedly in each lap. In fact, it would be possible to write a university dictation on the amount of battles going on. Very few cars didn’t have a playmate, either through a mistake or retirement, though there were a couple of cars that were simply out-gunned in this field, the works-liveried MG Metro of Ray Kershberg and Daniel Goldberg in particular. Though they were lapped quite early in the race, this didn’t stop them pushing the little Metro to it’s limit, and they are just as welcome in the CSCC as the top guns.

If you can imagine how busy the track was, it was organised chaos in the pitlane when the pitstop window was opened, yet the well-disciplined drivers of the club were able to navigate everything and everyone without incident. A few cars had fallen by the wayside, the Guntons Ford Focus ST225 didn’t make it to the pitstop, Robert Chittocks Polizia liveried Alfa Romeo 147 returned to the paddock, and the Warburton VW Golf GTI didn’t last very long after it’s stop before grinding to a halt.

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