Classic Sports Car Club Winter Warmup – Race 2 (Part 2)

With the pit stops done, the field had only lost two of its BMWs, the Sapra & Bransom car, and Klaas Kooiker had pulled off early in the race with more smoke than was healthily emanating from the car. After 10 laps, Tommy Grouts E36 had decided that enough was enough, having run as high as third at one point, adding the third BMW to the list of retirees. Despite this, there was still plenty of action to be enjoyed out on track, Dave Harvey’s incredible progress was incredible, Dominic Malone was back into 2nd place, now being kept honest by relative newcomer Chris Murphy in his M3 E46, over a minute behind the leader.

Other battles through the field included the thunder from down under Dave Griffin in his E90 trying to get past the pink accented E36 Evo of Mark Smith, with another pair of Amspeed prepared cars behind them of Ashley Muldoon and Alex Heynes, and the Petch family Ginetta arguing with the Interceptor racing E92 of Mark Wyatt & Russell Humphrey. Joining the Heynes & Muldoon dance was racing veteran Nigel Greensall, having taken over the E46 from racing debutant James Collins by lap 12. A lap later, another addition to the now Greensall-led parade was one of several CSCC new entrants, that of Mark Lee in his Ginetta G55.

As the closing stages of the race began, almost all the aforementioned battles were still raging on. Greensall had (some would say inevitably) broken away from his pursuers, and trouble was to befall the Tom Gannon-built “Gannon Cannon” Honda Civic of Manoj Patel. He won the Tin Tops race on the previous visit to the Silverstone GP circuit in 2021, but alas the car was to experience trouble and retired from the race. He didn’t have long to fix the issue, as the Honda was due out in the very next race.

The next victim was the green Petch family Ginetta. Petch senior Chris has been with the CSCC since 2005 in a Triumph TR5, and his boys Harry & Max often share the big G50, but this time the car simply lost drive. Chris was able to limp the car back to the garage for the team to work on before the final race of the day, in which the Ginetta was due to reappear.

Motorsport, at all levels, can provide many memorable moments, both of joy and despair, and the final non-finisher of the race was about to remind the spectators of exactly this, as on the final lap, the pole sitter Malone was found stationary at the side of the track. From pole and fastest lap, looking set to secure second place, but sadly the renowned German engineering of the BMW failed him this time. Like the Petch crew, Malone had time before the car was on parade again to get the E90 back on song.

David Harvey and his lunar Lotus 340R would not be denied the top honours of the day, winning by over 30 seconds, even with a post-race 20-second penalty applied for the Code 60 infringement. Chris Murphy secured second, with Dylan Popovic bringing his snarling Ginetta home in third, all three of the podium sitters from the Open Series category. As for New Millennium, the winner of that category was Mark Smith, very narrowly from Dave Griffin, and the Collins & Greensall shared car in third.

Classic Sports Car Club Winter Warm Up – Race 2 (Part 1)

The second race of the day was the WOSP New Millennium and Verum Builders Open series. CSCC welcomes Luke Wos’ performance tuning business, which has taken the title sponsorship role for the New Millennium category, catering for post-2000 production cars and their racing variants, as well as Rob Hardys Wiltshire-based Verum Builders company continued support of the Open series, which provides a home for all production saloon, hatchback, sports & GT cars of any age, as well as some kit cars.

In contrast to race 1 which focused on the Lotus 7-inspired design, this combination attracted 33 entrants to take to qualifying, of which 30 made it to the grid. No less than 10 marques were represented through the field, with neither the New Millennium nor Open series holding dominion over the other, as the first three rows had one representative of each category.

A familiar face secured pole position, that of bath-based dentist Dominic Malone in his BMW M3 E90, previously raced by Sir Andy Priaulx MBE. Right next to him was the lead Open Series car of Dave Harvey in his moon buggy-esque Lotus 340R, reportedly the only one racing in the UK. Throughout the grid were some amazing driving talent, along with debutants, such as James Collins who was taking part in his first-ever race, partnered up with racing veteran Nigel Greensall in a BMW M3 E46.

With Malone & Harvey leading to the field to the green light for the first 40-minute race of the year, the various roars and screams of the hugely varied engine notes kicked in and the race began. As the lights went out, so did Malone’s momentum as Harvey stole the lead through Copse. Behind them was a superb start from Bosnian-born Dylan Popovic in his Chevrolet-powered Ginetta G50, demoting Malone to 3rd. It wasn’t long though before the race was neutralised, this time by a code 60, caused by Warren Tattersall who had buried his Seat Leon TCR into the gravel trap at Copse. He was recovered by the ever-hardworking marshalls and was allowed to continue, but a lap down from the rest of the field.

As the code 60 concluded, curiously Harvey was nearly a minute ahead of Popovic, who in turn was about 12 seconds ahead of Malone, after which point there was a flood of competitors, a 5-way BMW battle going on for 4th, a 3-way fight for 9th that was led by the first non-BMW outside of the podium contenders, and various clusters of cars all arguing for their own segment of Northampton real estate.

The first pit stop of the year belonged to the BMW owned by the class champion in the Kumho BMW championship Jasver Sapra, whom this time was sharing the car with usual playmate Bryan Bransom. It was Bransom who brought the car in, and there they remained for what felt like an eternity for them as the new paddle shift system was being checked over, this being the first race the car has had with this system in place, however a lap later, Sapra brought the car back in and into retirement. The pitlane was a hive of activity as the next few laps progressed. Mark Smith, whose son runs the Amspeed outfit that looks after a number of the BMWs seen on the CSCC grid, stalled trying to get going from his stop, requiring a push start to get himself going again.

Continued in part 2

©2014-2024 ThePitCrewOnline