The midfield reporter has been lured out of retirement to report on what may be the best racing yet seen by the FV category. Certainly that’s true for your biased reporter.
17 vees entered for the meeting which offered practice plus 5 races – that’s a good deal!
Consistent through the weekend was the spectacle of David Cutts and Tony Paynter duelling for the lead with Nigel Jones just behind them. Then there was the real race behind that with 9 or 10 cars duelling for 4th place.
The class is maturing with a large number of cars running around a 2 minute lap of SMSP providing great close racing for the drivers and a great spectacle for the viewers.
Friday private practice: most of the FV entrants were there to blow out the cobwebs and find any car problems in time to fix them. Kevin O’ Toole was an unfortunate casualty with a brand new engine having terminal problems. Kevin’s suffering more than his fair share of teething problems, hang in there, it all gets better!
Saturday was busy with HSRCA scheduling practice plus 3 races for the day. FV was grouped with L & M which includes some wonderful cars but there’s a compatibility problem on the race track. Vees are fast in the twisty bits and slow on the straights, L & M have the opposite characteristics. This problem was resolved with a HSRCA agreement to a staggered start with the L & M’s starting 10 seconds behind.
Race 1 before lunch was a screamer. The usual suspects at the front of the field ran away but the next group of about 9 cars had a fantastic race–long dice changing places and slip streaming and weaving continuously and all finishing within a few seconds of each other after the usual lunge to pick up another place at the finish line.
Race 2 started as a continuation of race 1 but was interrupted by a pace car after 2 laps which continued to the race end. Given the obstacle car drove back the pits no-one was able to understand why the racing couldn’t resume. So that has to be called as a non-event after finishing behind the pace car.
Race 3 was a vee only race with now 14 starters. Alex was having some teething problems with his car so had to miss this event. Bernie Cashin was also absent. Your reporter can’t make much comment on race 3 as a combination of a missed gear into turn 6 (twice) and avoiding a spinning car at turn 9 left him some way behind the pack. It’s a tough school, miss a gear change, run wide and you lose touch with the pack. Lose the tow down the straight and it’s virtually impossible to catch up.
The result sheet shows 7 cars continued the race for fourth with the two Ians having their own little race behind them.
At the end of Saturday there were some very tired but happy drivers.
Sunday was less demanding with one race in the morning and another in the afternoon. In the morning we shared with L & M again and in the afternoon with our old friends FF. Your reporter adjusted the gear shift and added some more air to the tyres to overcome his race 3 issues. Both adjustments worked!
The race pattern continued in the morning with the front runners having their own race and the rest tightly bunched. The race was enlivened by a couple of slow starts from Liz and Nigel with Nigel aggressively carving back through the field to work up to third place at the end. The mid field was split after our president Kevan was punted off the track again (it’s become a tradition) and those behind lost touch with those in front. So this time there was a group racing for 4th and another group fighting for 7th place. This was also the race of the last lap spinners with Liz, Ian B and Alex all managing to throw away hard earned places on the last lap. Your reporter benefitted with his best placing of the weekend.
The final race started with some very strange grid positioning that had nothing to do with the results of the previous race couldn’t be reconciled with best lap times. This time Nigel joined the mid-pack after being helped to spin in turn 2 on lap 1 and having some anxious moments while the rest of the field missed him. Turn 2 can be very exciting on the first lap!
President Kevan had ignition problems and his car wouldn’t go. Sunday was a bad day for him! Tony and David again had a close tussle at the front resolved in Tony’s favour – just, I’m told. I’m also told it was extremely entertaining to watch.
This time the mid field again split into two groups each finishing in close company again after the usual place swapping within the group.
So there was some serious good racing. Newcomers Peter Mohasci (new to vee that is), Alex Kelty and Phil Parkinson were never far behind and had a lot of fun together. I’m sure they’ll be joining the big group shortly as they gain experience and sort their cars.