• Practice
  • Race
  • Records
  • Report

Snetterton - 6 Aug 2000


Weather/track: cloudy/dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Time
Lap Behind
kph mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 1:16.923 7   147.02 91.35
2 37 A Rick Lloyd +8 1:17.616 9 0.69 145.71 90.54
3 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 1:17.838 6 0.91 145.29 90.28
4 20 A Simon McDermott +8 1:19.239 7 2.32 142.72 88.68
5 13 B Chris Acklam +8 1:20.931 7 4.01 139.74 86.83
6 21 C James Paterson +8 1:22.192 8 5.27 137.59 85.50
7 35 A Chris Springall +8 1:22.994 7 6.07 136.27 84.67
8 50 C Paul Burry +8 1:23.843 9 6.92 134.89 83.81
9 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 1:24.500 8 7.58 133.84 83.16
10 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:24.528 9 7.61 133.79 83.13
11 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 1:25.519 9 8.60 132.24 82.17
12 25 C Daniel Ward +8 1:26.269 7 9.35 131.09 81.46
13 45 C Andy Green 4/4 1:26.977 7 10.05 130.02 80.79
14 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:27.398 7 10.48 129.40 80.40
15 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 1:27.526 8 10.60 129.21 80.29
16 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 1:27.889 8 10.97 128.68 79.96
17 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 1:28.467 8 11.54 127.84 79.43
18 18 E John Clarke +4 1:28.978 7 12.06 127.10 78.98
19 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 1:30.063 8 13.14 125.57 78.03
20 31 D Leigh Sebba +8 1:30.567 7 13.64 124.87 77.59
21 19 E Chris Dady +4 1:31.612 7 14.69 123.45 76.71
22 34 E Peter Sargeant +4 1:33.246 7 16.32 121.28 75.36
23 47 C David Sherman +8 1:38.100 7 21.18 115.28 71.63

Snetterton - 6 Aug 2000


 Weather/track: cloudy/dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph Best
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 13:02.215 10   89.84 1:16.673 91.65
2 37 A Rick Lloyd +8 13:07.397 10 5.18 89.25 1:17.406 90.78
3 20 A Simon McDermott +8 13:25.137 10 22.92 87.28 1:19.193 88.74
4 35 A Chris Springall +8 13:55.451 10 53.24 84.11 1:21.962 85.74
5 13 B Chris Acklam +8 13:56.458 10 54.24 84.01 1:21.859 85.85
6 21 C James Paterson +8 13:57.748 10 55.53 83.88 1:22.046 85.65
7 50 C Paul Burry +8 14:03.727 10 1:01.51 83.29 1:22.796 84.87
8 88 B Rob Wells +8 14:10.362 10 1:08.15 82.64 1:22.086 85.61
9 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 14:11.501 10 1:09.29 82.53 1:23.645 84.01
10 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 13:02.275 9 1 lap 80.85 1:25.505 82.18
11 49 C Paul Chauveau +8 13:03.378 9 1 lap 80.73 1:23.333 84.33
12 45 C Andy Green +8 13:08.017 9 1 lap 80.26 1:24.815 82.85
13 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 13:23.021 9 1 lap 78.76 1:27.434 80.37
14 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 13:24.901 9 1 lap 78.57 1:27.652 80.17
15 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 13:27.442 9 1 lap 78.33 1:27.662 80.16
16 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 13:28.619 9 1 lap 78.21 1:27.406 80.40
17 18 E John Clarke +4 13:34.604 9 1 lap 77.64 1:27.884 79.96
18 19 E Chris Dady +4 13:40.381 9 1 lap 77.09 1:28.900 79.05
19 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 13:50.351 9 1 lap 76.17 1:29.770 78.28
20 25 C Daniel Ward +8 13:58.008 9 1 lap 75.47 1:25.538 82.15
21 34 E Peter Sargeant +4 14:22.346 9 1 lap 73.34 1:33.722 74.98
22 28 A Chris Williams +8 15:08.880 9 1 lap 69.59 1:27.825 80.01
23 47 C David Sherman +8 13:39.798 8 2 laps 68.57 1:39.400 70.70

Snetterton - 6 Aug 2000

Fastest laps

  mins:secs on kph mph
Lap record A Keith Ahlers +8 1:16.673 7 147.50 91.65
  B Chris Acklam +8 1:21.859 4 138.15 85.85
Lap record C James Paterson +8 1:22.046 4 137.84 85.65
  D Jack Bellinger +8 1:27.434 4 129.35 80.37
Lap record E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:27.406 4 129.39 80.40

Lap Records

  mins:secs   kph mph
30-Mar-97 A Peter Garland +8 1:17.69   145.57 90.45
25-Apr-99 B Rick Lloyd +8 1:20.54   140.42 87.25
25-Apr-99 C Graham White +8 1:22.83   136.53 84.84
25-Apr-99 D Peter Horsman +8 1:25.75   131.89 81.95
23-Apr-00 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:29.09   126.94 78.88

Ahlers wins three in a row

Snetterton - 6 Aug 2000

Avid readers of this exciting serial will recall that we left our intrepid normal scribe’s spouse (Peter H to new readers, also known as Number One) sitting on the beach at Brooklands (Silverstone) where he had also carried Simon OG so that they could play sandcastles. Sadly, there were no buckets - so Peter missed the next race to carry his usual playmate, and your normal scribe, off to a traditional beach to play whatever accountants play with buckets [counting money?].

This episode of the gripping Race Report is therefore brought to you in totally unbiased form by Kate assisted by Eleanor Orebi Gann standing in for Ruth Horsman.

The day dawned fine with only (to quote our resident farmer) a 10% chance of 1mm of rain during the afternoon. The hot air balloons were out in force in the skies of Norfolk and some of us had memories of the 12 hour Birkett in June when one appeared to have plans to land on the racetrack during the race. Several people had tested on Friday with no major alarms or excursions on the track, though Keith Ahlers had lost his gear lever and was only able to be with us on Sunday because of the welding skills of James Paterson in his farm workshop. Thank you James.

Despite the absence of the Horsmans, there was a good turnout. Only Chas Windridge failed to make the sign-on, so there were 25 cars for qualifying. James Paterson and Simon OG confused the Class A boys by getting ahead of them in the queue for practice, and partially succeeded by splitting them up. Keith Ahlers and Rick Lloyd were soon well away, and for all of 2 laps there was an uneventful practice – until the red flags came out. Chris Williams and Rob Wells were parked not far from each other past Seer. After a long, long, wait on the grid (about 12 minutes) the practice restarted minus the 2 dead cars. More of them later...

The restart was not without event; those on the pitwall were astonished when Matthew Wurr stopped his engine on the grid without Mark Longmore rushing up with a battery trolley; his faith was justified as 99 restarted at first firing. What is the battery normally used for? No, it was Chris Dady who needed four marshals to bump start his Plus 4! A wire had fallen off and the solenoid was not working.

The Class A men qualified at the front with only Chris Springall being behind Chris Acklam (B) and James Paterson (C); and Chris Williams not qualifying. Keith Ahlers finished in pole and was delighted with a great time of 1:16.92, closely followed by an unhappy Rick Lloyd whose tyres (now filled with nitrogen) were overheating and causing him handling problems. Sadly 3rd placed Matthew Wurr had made a slight diversion off the track at Seer and on returning to the track had thumped down onto the concrete and broken the back axle. We look forward to his getting a replacement to return to the series for Bentley Drivers and Donington – don’t wait until next season, Matthew! Simon McDermott was disappointed with his car as it did not want to rev between 5.5 and 6k. He reckons (as they all do) that he lost about 2 seconds a lap. Returning to Chris Williams, we have to report that he is unusually honest for a racing driver. How many of you would admit that the reason you ground to a halt and the marshals could not move you was because you had tried to drive round Snetterton at an average of 80 miles an hour with the handbrake on? (The brakes seize up!) Once he had learned how to release the handbrake (a strange mechanism on a Morgan) he was able to qualify in a later session.

Both Chris and James had driven such a storm that they both thought the practice had finished before it actually had – Chris A came in early because the 3 cars in front of him went into the pit lane so he thought he must have missed the flag; and James found himself all alone because of that so he slowed down also thinking he had passed the checkers without noticing. (And I thought you didn’t get your race licence if you didn’t recognise the flags...).

Of the other Class B cars, Philip McElvey had his best qualifying this season, and even had time to notice a dead hare on the track on Revitt Straight (not seen by anyone else during practice though Peter Sargeant saw it during the race). Philip and his son, Robert went off hand in hand to look for it between practice and race – some concern about seeing things like 6 foot high white rabbits on Philip’s part I fear! Rob Wells departure from the scene had been caused by an intermittent ignition problem but he had qualified already for Race 1, the Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship, so was given a place at the back of the grid, plus 10 seconds.

Behind James Paterson in Class C were Paul Burry and Simon OG who both said that they had had a good race with each other during practice (not that one does race in practice, of course). Paul B kept dropping back to give himself some room and then Simon would encounter traffic and Paul would catch up again. Close behind them were Paul Chauveau, Daniel Ward and Andy Green. Paul Chauveau is loving Martin Kurrein’s old car and in his second ever outing logged a good time. Daniel suffered from his stylish tendencies – Mark 1 version of his new aero meant that he could not see to go around corners – some of us think that can only be an advantage on a race track but it cost him 3 seconds a lap! He switched back to Mark 0 for the race itself. The jinx of the Bombhole which attacked Andy Green in April was overcome but he was a little circumspect in his approach - probably another 3 seconds a lap... Finally in Class C was David Sherman, who had raised concern among the spectators at Russell with his casual straps-off-the-shoulder look.

Jack and Mary had their usual quarrel over the front placed Class D (though both of them were slower than Alan Wickenden in Class E). The new brake callipers that John has put on Mary’s car gained her 3 seconds but Jack still was faster. Of course he had to battle with the Clerk of the Course about overtaking under a waved yellow, but since they were wrong about which car he had overtaken, 71 (Kelvin) not 7 (Mary) he got away with it! It must have been the usual charm and diplomacy Jack displays when dealing with authority. Kelvin Laidlaw qualified 3rd in Class D and then disappeared. Would we ever see him again? The final surviving Class D car (Leigh Sebba having qualified but retired with electrical problems) was driven by Ian Hepburn who decided that he would not trust the people who had told him that the concrete at Seer was rough and so he would explore it for himself – it is rough... He clearly bribed Peter Sargeant who was following him to wipe clean the video record of the incident – what is the going rate, Peter?

Peter himself, Chris Dady and John Clarke all qualified safely – John just said it was boring – better than in the barrier or gravel I suppose. Then on to the long long wait between practice and race – but not for James Paterson who wanted to change his tyres and discovered that the key to unlock the spares was 50 minutes drive away - each way! No problem to the leader of Class C who knows the roads (and the magistrates).

Still dry for the race itself, and although there had been some delay because of accidents earlier, everyone was eager to start – except there was no Kelvin who had joined his family for lunch and was obviously enjoying their company more than ours – just because he was supposed to be on holiday with them… But then, given that he had spent the first weekend of married life (before the honeymoon) Morgan racing you’d have thought that a holiday would not interfere with a few laps of Snetterton. And Simon McDermott was obviously feeling jealous of Chris Dady and his bump start because he had relays of people trying to start him in the paddock until they gave up and resorted to Graham White’s Mondeo to start him. What a come down! 23 lined up, (no Matthew, no Leigh) and after a long red lights, they were off. Rick Lloyd and Keith Ahlers were equal into the first corner. Keith kept ahead and retained his lead throughout the race. “It’s easier when you are in front” he said afterwards. Looking for new challenges elsewhere next year, Keith? Rick was still struggling with grip but maintained a healthy gap between himself and Simon McDermott who felt OK with the car in the first couple of laps but then was losing fuel pressure and possibly a cylinder as the race progressed.

Behind them was a real battle. At the start, Chris Springall got past James Paterson and Chris Acklam, but James stayed with Chris S and Simon McD for a while before they used their bigger engines to pull away. Chris Acklam passed James on lap 2 and then spent the race overtaking and being overtaken by Chris Springall. On corners; Corum: twice inside, once outside; Riches: once: Chris A was ahead. But on the straight Chris S would get ahead again and was in front each time they passed the finish line. Chris Acklam gave the spectators at Russell a thrill as he tried to keep ahead of Chris Springall mid-race. His comment later of “Wobble? Never! I always drive round there one handed with the steering wheel spinning” did not convince.

James Paterson meanwhile was fending off Paul Burry who was fast into the first corner and kept his 7th position throughout the race. Simon Orebi Gann passed Philip McElvey at the start and then had a fairly lonely race until Rob Wells caught up with him later. Philip had been the highest on the grid that he had ever been and although, as well as Simon, Andy Green and Daniel Ward passed him at the start, he retook the latter pair on the straight and kept ahead of the fast Class C of Paul Chauveau.

Paul himself is planning to practise starts. (I seem to remember another driver doing this at traffic lights in Central London). He says he was petrified as they all went past; actually it was only 3 of them and Paul had recovered his position by the end of the race. Helped of course by a little spinnette from Daniel, which Andy was grateful to avoid. Daniel said it was interesting going backwards into the field at Seer after his brakes faded. So much for reverting to Mark 0 of the aero – it didn’t help him get around that corner!

Alan Wickenden had his usual flying start getting ahead of Andy Green and Paul Chauveau but then in lap 5 he missed a gear in the chicane and after collecting 1st rather than 3rd he slowed up to check there was no irrevocable damage to the engine. (You see how frightened of you they are, Mr Bourne). Around here as well was the fantastic and exciting tussle between Jack Bellinger and Mary Lindsay. Jack started ahead but Mary was soon past him and stayed so until the fifth lap when he sneaked through at the Esses on the inside. They both agree that it was the best dice they have had for a long time.

Kelvin Laidlaw, recovering from his extended lunch hour was watching all of this and hoping from hope that one or other of them would make a mistake. They both knew that if they did he would swoop past, because he’s done it before! John Clarke was also watching. After a less good start – he accuses Ian Hepburn and Chris Dady of bullying (and he somehow find himself on the grass) he was then able to retake Ian on the 2nd lap and Chris D on the straight on the 5th. Ian described the whole thing as a prolonged testing session though he delighted us spectators with a little shimmy at Russell.

A lonely race was had by Peter Sargeant, who had enough time to notice Philip McElvey’s hare, but not enough time to pick it up and jug it. David Sherman and Chris Williams started at the back and swapped places, with Chris having an engine problem (and a private spin at Russell) and David still being circumspect about his first outing for a year.

Meanwhile, scything through the field, was Rob Wells, not as successfully as in the 1st race where he finished 3rd (probably because the Morgan drivers are made of sterner stuff than the MGs, Triumphs, Aston Martins and Jaguars) but still finishing 8th overall. He passed 2 on the first lap, 4 on the second, 4 on the third, 1 on the fourth, 2 on the fifth and then got stuck behind Simon OG for three laps overtaking on the ninth but with no hope of catching Paul Burry before the end.

There was not as much racing as sometimes but the speed of Keith Ahlers (with a new Class A lap record) and Rick Lloyd; the tussle between the 2 Chrises, Springall and Acklam; the dicing to the death of Mary and Jack; with Rob coming through the field, made for an exciting race (with no injury to car or person).

See you all on 2nd September at Bentley Drivers for the next round of the Championship, and even earlier at Donington for the special invitation race on 26th August if you can make it!

Kate Orebi Gann