Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship took place at Pembrey on 12th May

2019 WSSCC Rounds 3 & 4 – Pembrey Sunday 12th May

Entry & Practice

Once again after a chilly few weeks since the Easter sunshine, just in time for our races, the Sunshine and warmth returned! A good grid seemed to be in prospect, but several cars we thought we might see, were missing! Verity Banks’ ‘flamethrower’ Ford wasn’t fixed, and Jason Davies found a Shock Absorber fault in testing that ruled him out, and Fabio & Tyrone had truck problems after a tyre blow-out caused some damage!
On the grid though was Chris Everill, after his team of helpers put in a ’mighty’ effort to get him on the grid, after his Castle Combe prang! Namely his son Ross and his mate Matt. Also Chris great mate Neil, and with help from Ben Scrivens at Speedtec who has been very good lending Chris parts to copy and borrow till he can remake them! Chris confirmed ‘Yes she was a right mess but begged and borrowed parts to get her done”

Keith Butcher was on Pole Position for the 3rd race in a row with a time of 65.935sec! Chris Everill joined on the front row for an all Class D lock-out! On Row 2 and fastest in Class CS was the incredible turbo Mini of Jim Lyons! Jimbo was really flying, but at a cost as his engine went on to 3 cylinders due to a HGF (Head Gasket Failure). This meant a lot of work to change it for a new one, which filled in the 5 hour gap between Qualifying and the Race! Alongside Jimbo on row 2 was Damian Longotano and his Westfield SE. On the 3rd row was Nick Crompton and his Evo and having his first r\ace of the season was Andy Williams and his Ford Sierra Sapphire, making it an all CS line up from 3rd to 6th fastest! There was only few 10ths between them, so an excellent race between them was in prospect!

On the 4th row was Mike Moss, the reigning champion, who put his Caterham on the Class BS pole. Glynne Jones (BMW M3) was alongside Mike. Darren Hockly (Honda Civic R) was on row 5 with our New driver Gareth John making it an all Llanelli row. Gareth, from Swiss Valley in Llanelli, is a former biker, having his first car race in the GotBoost Ginetta G40. He had an unfortunate ‘off’ in Friday practice, but Steff of Gotboost worked wonders getting Gareth ‘On the grid’ for an impressive debut1 Mark Williams was on row 6, this time in the VW Golf as his Peugeot hasn’t been fixed yet! Mark had Roger Dowden rapid Davrian MK 6 alongside him. The last 3 places on the grid was an all BT affair with Colin Dunn on the Class BT pole with his Clio (Colin only got 4 laps due to a starter motor issue) . Alongside was Andrew Williams and his ‘new’ (to him) Ford Fiesta and finally Darren O with his series 3 BMW 1800 was the last starter.

It was nice to see former champions Martin Davies and Rhodri having a catch up in the sunshine!

Race 1 –Rolling Start-15 minutes plus 1 lap – report by Jonathon Mayne

After the lights changed everyone all go through Hatchets cleanly, with Keith Butchers R8 out in front. At the end of lap one Mike Moss made a huge dive into Hatchets on Jimbo, who held him off around the outside. Chris Everill in the Bitsa Ginetta (Bits of this and that) was closing on Keith in the R8, but Keith is able to power away down the start finish. As Keith’s tyres were now well up to temperature, he started to pull away.
A fast starting Nick Crompton and Damian Longotano were locked in a battle for the Class CS honours and the Evo seemed to have the advantage though Spitfires. Eventually Damian got past by the end of lap 4, he was never really able to pull away and Chris & Keith seemed too far away. In a ‘Battle of Bridgend’ Nick then had Jim Lyons for close company with less a second between them at times! Nick secured 4th with Jim 5th. Roger Dowden and Gareth John were fighting for position, it was an interesting battle as the G40 and Davrian are from two different eras of motorsport, as were the drivers with the experienced Dowden and the novice John, but they seemed very well matched.
The G40 and Davrian battle was eventually caught by Andrew Williams in the Fiesta.
Andy Williams and Glynne Jones were having a fun dice, with first Williams pitching his car into a lurid slide, followed by Jones, who was even more sideways! Mike Moss had dropped away from the Nick Crompton and Jim Lyons dice and was still on his way to a comfortable Class BS win, but he almost fell into the clutches of the Williams/Jones dice. Andys Seirra and Glynne M3 were virtually nose to tail! Glynne commented after ‘My rear tyres were shot at the end!’ That was no surprise to any of the spectators! Darren Hockly was the last driver on the lead lap in 9th place !
Keith Butcher was well into the traffic and had pulled out to a 7 second lead over the Chris in the Ginetta. On lap 7 Roger Dowden was on the outside going into Hatchets letting a faster car through, but he put a wheel onto the curb and spun through 360 degrees – the hot engine will not re-start and with Rogers’ car in a dangerous position and only 4 minutes left on the clock, the red flag is shown followed by the red and chequered flag. Ironically the Davrian burst into life at this point and Roger drove back to the paddock! Colin Dunn had been keeping up with Mark Williams, despite Colins’ tyres having already completed the BARC Saloons race and having a starter motor issue that required the car to be push started! With the DNF (Did Not Finish) of Roger Dowden, Gareth John was 12th with Andrew Williams’ Fiesta less than 2/10ths of a second behind him! Darren Osborn was 14th, and was driving the wheels off his car in the corners, to make up the lack of speed on the straight, but was only lapped once by the flying Audi R8 of race winner Keith Butcher!

Race 2 –Rolling Start-15 minutes plus 1 lap – report by Jonathon Mayne

After the lights changed everyone all got through Hatchets cleanly, with Keith Butchers R8 out in front again. Chris Everill in the Bitsa Ginetta kept Keith under pressure in the early laps. A fast starting Nick Crompton and Damian Longotano were locked in a battle for the Class CS honours again but this time Damian got past by the end of lap 2. Mike Moss lost ground and was down three places! Gareth Johns spun at the crossing in front of the marshals at post 3, but he was able to keep going but had dropped to the tail of the field.
Having got up to 3rd place Damian Longotano was slowing out of Hatchet, and everyone expected him to limp back to the pit but he surprised everybody by staying out! This promoted Nick Crompton into 3rd overall and the Class CS lead! Behind Nick, the Mini of Jimbo Lyons had a train of cars behind him, all the way down to Andy Williams in 8th place
Keiths’ R8 is on song down the front straight, having pulled away. Headlights ablaze he is catching the tail of the field. Longotano is still lapping slowly
Colin Dunn had caught Mark Williams in the Golf and they are battling despite them being in different classes. The leaders were well into lapping traffic, and Keiths R8 was a few cars behind Damian Longotano, who suddenly returned to full speed and is off o the races! After the race Damian revealed the problems was with the Westfield gears. ‘I got stuck in 4th Gear, I couldn’t shift the gear stick but then eventually I started to get the gears again!’
Damian sets a new personal best lap on lap eight! Keith caught up with Dunn and Williams battle, who did their best to let the fast car through, but Mark is on the grass coming out of Hatchets, and they were 3 wide at the apex!
Keith has the 44 of Longotano in his sights as he comes to lap him. He is matching his fastest lap but Longotano responds with a near identical lap time, the little Westfield is being driven hard! As Keith was within blue flag distance, Damian moved over in a gentlemanly fashion into Hatchets! It seems Keith Butcher’s April gearbox gremlins had moved on and were now attacking some other cars! Late in the race, Andrew Williams looped the Fiesta through at the crossing and continued! ‘I couldn’t get a gear and then I got 4th so I kept going’ This dropped Andrew back to Darren Osborn, who passed him to move into 14th place, and 2nd in Class BT! However on the last lap Andrew found 5th Gear and channelling his ‘Tiff Needell’ repassed Darren O to retake 2nd in Class BT! Darren finished and 15th and 3rd in Class BT. Damian Longotano Westfield was staying with the Keith and on the last lap, Keith eased off, allowing Longotano to catch and pass the R8 coming out of Honda before the chequered flag. He then had another lap can to catch Glynne Jones in the BMW M3. He caught the BMW and passed him into Carters Curve on the very last lap to take 6th place overall and 3rd place in Class CS! Glynne was 7th and the last runner on the lead lap. Andy Williams was 8th, Darren Hockly was 9th . Colin Dunn was 10th and first in Class BT. Gareth John recovered to finish 11th (and earn himself the ‘’Driver of the Race’ award) Mark Williams was 12th and Roger Dowden was 13th Andrew Williams was 14th and Darren Osborn was 15th’

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