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Donington Park - 1 Oct 2000


Weather / track: Cloudy / dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Time
Lap Behind
kph mph
1 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 1:20.611 8   140.67 87.41
2 21 C James Paterson +8 1:24.111 7 3.50 134.82 83.77
3 13 B Chris Acklam +8 1:24.217 8 3.61 134.65 83.67
4 4 B Chas Windridge 4/4 1:25.579 8 4.97 132.51 82.34
5 20 A Simon McDermott +8 1:25.977 5 5.37 131.89 81.96
6 35 A Chris Springall +8 1:26.150 7 5.54 131.63 81.79
7 1 B Peter Horsman +8 1:27.506 7 6.90 129.59 80.52
8 50 C Paul Burry +8 1:27.659 8 7.05 129.36 80.38
9 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:28.557 7 7.95 128.05 79.57
10 25 C Dan Ward +8 1:28.813 7 8.20 127.68 79.34
11 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:28.878 8 8.27 127.59 79.28
12 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 1:29.167 8 8.56 127.18 79.02
13 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 1:30.400 7 9.79 125.44 77.95
14 18 E John Clarke +4 SS 1:31.019 7 10.41 124.59 77.42
15 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 1:31.074 8 10.46 124.51 77.37
16 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 1:32.036 7 11.43 123.21 76.56
17 34 E Peter Sargeant +8 1:34.998 7 14.39 119.37 74.17
18 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 1:35.136 7 14.53 119.20 74.07
19 31 C Leigh Sebba +8 1:35.610 7 15.00 118.61 73.70
20 44 E Stephen Wheatley 4/4 1:39.269 7 18.66 114.23 70.98
21 26 E Brian Jenkins +4 1:45.243 8 24.63 107.75 66.95

Donington Park - 1 Oct 2000


Weather / track: Cloudy / dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph Best
1 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 11:13.833 8   83.66 1:20.111 87.96
2 13 B Chris Acklam +8 11:22.674 8 8.84 82.57 1:23.730 84.15
3 21 C James Paterson +8 11:25.249 8 11.42 82.26 1:23.821 84.06
4 1 B Peter Horsman +8 11:37.945 8 24.11 80.77 1:24.617 83.27
5 50 C Paul Burry +8 11:44.385 8 30.55 80.03 1:26.157 81.78
6 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 11:58.399 8 44.57 78.47 1:27.036 80.96
7 25 C Dan Ward +8 11:58.987 8 45.15 78.40 1:28.187 79.90
8 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 12:03.938 8 50.11 77.87 1:28.769 79.38
9 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 12:05.798 8 51.96 77.67 1:26.558 81.41
10 45 C Andy Green +8 12:14.307 8 1:00.47 76.77 1:28.503 79.62
11 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 12:15.746 8 1:01.91 76.62 1:29.964 78.32
12 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 12:18.399 8 1:04.57 76.34 1:30.720 77.67
13 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 12:20.180 8 1:06.35 76.16 1:30.764 77.63
14 18 E John Clarke +4 SS 12:31.184 8 1:17.35 75.04 1:31.959 76.62
15 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 12:32.525 8 1:18.69 74.91 1:32.360 76.29
16 31 C Leigh Sebba +8 12:32.834 8 1:19.00 74.88 1:32.183 76.44
17 34 E Peter Sargeant +4 12:40.178 8 1:26.35 74.15 1:32.962 75.80
18 44 E Stephen Wheatley 4/4 11:34.421 7 1 lap 71.03 1:34.881 74.26
19 26 E Brian Jenkins +4 12:24.090 7 1 lap 66.29 1:44.460 67.45

Not classified

  20 A Simon McDermott +8 8:28.692 6 dnf 83.11 1:23.105 84.79
  35 A Chris Springall +8 5:52.727 4 dnf 79.91 1:26.692 81.28
  4 A Chas Windridge 4/4 5:54.459 4 dnf 79.52 1:26.680 81.29

Donington Park - 1 Oct 2000

Fastest laps

  mins:secs on kph mph
  A Matthew Wurr +8 1:20.111 4 141.55 87.96
  B Chris Acklam +8 1:23.730 7 135.43 84.15
Lap record  C James Paterson +8 1:23.821 7 135.29 84.06
  D Mary Lindsay +8 1:30.720 5 125.00 77.67
Lap record  E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:29.964 3 126.05 78.32

Lap Records

  mins:secs   kph mph
5-Jun-99 A Matthew Wurr +8 1:19.15   143.27 89.02
5-Jun-99 B Rick Lloyd +8 1:22.71   137.10 85.19
5-Jun-99 C Chris Acklam +8 1:25.39   132.80 82.52
5-Jun-99 D Jack Bellinger +8 1:28.09   128.73 79.99
5-Jun-99 E Peter Sargeant +4 1:32.83   122.16 75.91

Donington duels defy disaster

Donington Park - 1 Oct 2000

Although Sunday 1 October dawned gloomy and misty, the twenty-two hopeful drivers entered for the final round of The Morgan Motor Company Challenge at Donington Park all eagerly arrived at the track for an early start. Even Paul Chauveau appeared on time blaming his previous lateness on his wife’s hair [Ed: 2 Jags Chauveau]! As Sharon was elsewhere her retort can only be imagined. Our competitors parked fairly closely together making an impressive sight for race goers and adding to an exciting atmosphere.

The usual pre practice preparations were in full swing well before 8 o’clock and all seemed remarkably calm although Andy Green’s Plus 8 was feeling uncooperative and Mark Longmore was seen with a Haynes Manual propped up on the bonnet of Matthew Wurr’s motor. As Matthew had only finished bolting his car back together on Saturday evening and run his new engine in by driving to and from the garden centre a mile from home prior to loading it up, he was obviously still struggling with that “putting it all back together is the reverse of the above” bit. Rick Lloyd’s car was missing as he had demanded just that extra circuit too many of it so the car decided to end the season two days early by blowing its engine up.

All except Andy made it to the pits ready for practice where Simon O.G. discovered a case of the wrong shoes but as the marshals duly informed him that the session was due to commence in two minutes he thought it unwise to pop back and change. At this moment the fog in some outlying curve of the track decided to swirl around thickly obscuring the marshals’ view and our drivers sat patiently waiting, or studying their shoes, for at least twenty minutes until it was safe enough for them to be let out to play.

There was a rumour that the Clerk of the Course refused to let the Morgans out for qualifying because Keith Ahlers wasn’t at the head of the queue, thereby contravening Regulation J 20.14.5 of the Blue Book. However, when it was pointed out to him that Keith was still swanning around in America the pack was led out by A. N. Other for a rather short practice session.

All reported that despite rather slippery conditions they enjoyed the track, described by several as the best in the UK. A few wobbles were seen at Redgate but as these were controlled there was no repeat of the Morgan carnage at that spot a couple of years ago. Simon McDermott was the first to come in with a loss of power later traced to a dead coil, but everyone else managed to stay the course with some coming in happier than others. James Paterson had broken the lap record for a class C car so he was raring to go for the remainder of the day. Matthew, Leigh and Stephen W. were nursing new or rebuilt engines and encountered mixed fortunes. Matthew was pleased with his, as was Leigh who was more concerned with alleged driver inadequacies (and with unusual modesty for a driver, suggesting his own), but Stephen was “cross” to discover a white substance coming out of the engine and had to be handled gently until persuaded that another head gasket had not blown and that his money had not been spent in vain. Do his nearest and dearest agree I wonder? Stephen, Paul Burry and Paul Chauveau were also learning the track and Daniel Ward was driving around for the first time in the dry so they were naturally anxious about their lap times. Chas and his kart found the going tough but despite an engine misfire he was encouraged by his times. Chris S. thoroughly enjoyed being out in his newly repaired car sliding and catching it. Brian Jenkins was delighted that he had managed 100mph on the straights. Despite, or perhaps because of, his shoes Simon O G uneventfully bedded in new brakes and John Clarke complained that his engine was dropping oil (but didn’t come in!). The Sarge reported that he hadn’t really got going, so some things never change. Chris A thought himself too slow while Peter H was frustrated as he too was suffering from an engine misfire.

However, all the cars were safely gathered in from practice for the pre-race activity. John Eales received lots of calls as a coil was sourced for Simon’s car and an electrical thingy for Andy’s thereby allowing him to enter the race with a ten second penalty. Brian Gateson located the source of Peter’s misfire as a duff bit in a carburettor and fixed it, fitted Andy’s electrical thingy [Ed: rumoured to be an ECU for those of a more technical bent] and removed Stephen’s white substance before the sniffer dogs arrived, being grateful that the engine wasn’t one of his.

With their brows thus soothed, the drivers set off for an early race at the Aston Martin Owners Club Meeting with a most unusual grid. As expected, Matthew was on pole but he shared it with James Paterson whose head could hardly fit into his helmet with pride. Then came Chris A with a nervous Chas who was worried about a slow start and being mounted from behind by Chris S who was alongside Orange. Then came Peter H and Paul B on the fourth row. Alan W. was proudly on the fifth row with Daniel. Daniel’s usual sparring partner, Andy Green, was on the twelfth row taking his penalty like a man.

As the lights changed Matthew fumbled his gear change and, seizing his moment of glory, James’ helmet roared off into the lead, a position he held until the exit of Redgate (erm, that’s the very first bend) when Matthew, now fully engaged, overtook and led the race and that was that. Once his lead was well established Matthew slowed down to give others a chance of eight laps and to rest his engine which was a little out of sorts and was wanted for a second race later in the afternoon.

Everything was happening behind Matthew, with Simon having too few or too many revs and suffering the inestimable indignity of being passed by My Man. But Simon was let through into the Craners and set about the flying farmer. Chris A held fourth with Chas (who got the poor start he was expecting), Chris S and Peter H all contending for fifth place, racing together into bends and corners and constantly changing places. The story appeared to be that Peter outbraked Chris into the bends and was stuffed shortly afterwards, whilst Chas looked ready to pick up the pieces. There was one moment when Chas had a go into the chicane and got past Peter but blew his line into and out of it, so allowing Peter to put the hammer down first into the straight. Paul B was in the 1/9d stall seats behind, watching the action.

Mary did one of her flying starts and was ahead of Alan W at the end of the first lap. These two then scrapped their way around almost kissing at Redgate on the second lap. Stephen W also delighted the crowd at Redgate on the same lap as he nearly lost his car to the menacing gravel but just caught it to continue on his substance-free way.

Daniel got off to a good start tucking in behind Paul B. but was then overtaken by Paul C. flying past, so he battled it out with Simon O G instead, keeping ahead of Simon until the last corner when Simon, trusting that his brakes were working, outbraked him at the last corner to pass the chequered flag first.

As for Paul C, he kept ahead of Daniel and Simon until the fifth lap when he spun dramatically on an uphill right hander (could this be Coppice?) and then stalled in the middle of the track. This presented Philip McK and Andy with an interesting moment or two as they found him sitting on a blind bend. Fortunately both took appropriate avoiding actions and Paul managed to restart both his car and his race to re-overtake Mary, Alan and Andy G who had all sneaked past as well.

Simon managed to stay in second place despite some problems with his brakes and a lack of power coming out of the corners but then suddenly on the seventh lap it was all over again for Team Orange as the casting holding the alternator and water pump broke along with all hope of ending the race.

Chas thought in an idle moment nipping down Starkeys Straight on about lap 5 that it was time for another attempt to show these Plus 8 boys what late braking is all about, and what a hoopy idea it would be to show two said boys rather arrogantly in front of him this fact at the same time. But Peter, sensing that Chas’s brain was working overtime (or maybe not at all) and spotting him positioning himself, thought that it might be interesting to see what happened if he braked just that little bit later for the chicane than when Chas had last had a go. Peter was very impressed with Chas’s confidence in his stopping ability as he shot up the inside at a huge rate of knots and then used an external source of brakes to slow down for the bend. Sadly for Chris, his car was that external braking source and they both speared off into the no-go area where they no-went again. Peter avoided the melee and motored off for a lonely fourth place enjoying the sound of his properly firing engine and clocking up some fast lap times.

Further down the field Mary continued to hold back her fellow Class D racers, allowing Alan past on lap three but keeping Kelvin firmly in her wing mirrors. Ian H stayed behind Kelvin for most of the race but was overtaken by John C on lap six on some bend or other, leaving Leigh and Ian the chance for some further dicing to the line with Ian crossing first, but with Leigh feeling a little happier with his performance than of late thus postponing for a bit longer plans to pass the car on to his son. A lonely Sarge crossed next, followed by an encouraged Stephen W and Brian J defiantly bringing up the rear.

Andy Green, who you may recollect from the general excitement of reading this truly gripping report, had started from the back managed to make up ten places to finish tenth enjoying the sensation of overtaking so many other cars in one race. Matthew of course finished first by a country mile, the only member of Class A. to survive the race. Chris A was absolutely delighted to finish second followed by an equally happy James P with an amazed Peter H in fourth (another Autosport to treasure). Alan W in eleventh place won class E while in twelfth place Mary was ecstatic to clock up her first class win ever and was last seen clutching her long-coveted class winning cup.

It was certainly a memorable race for many people. Mary with her class win, James on the front row of the grid and first off the start line, two Class B cars and one Class C car in the first four while James Paterson and Alan Wickenden positively shattered the existing lap records for their respective classes.

The next challenge awaiting our intrepid and ever-optimistic drivers involve intricate calculations with the relationship between that elusive extra second and the chequebook before the new season. I might as a passing shot and before I run away from this onerous but honourable task of being your faithful scribe suggest that £150 or so invested in a few hours with a professional instructor may pay handsome dividends. But what do I know about that noble art of race-driving? See you all at the Drivers’ dinner when I will be happy to receive drinks from those drivers whom I have amused and abused.

Ruth Horsman