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Rockingham, 1st July 2017 Race Report

By Rod Birley
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

Intermarque The Scrapco/Avon tyres intermarque championship made is annual visit to Rockingham, with a reasonably healthy 16 car entry list. Missing were Paul Knight, Joe Russell and Mark Fuller, all with accident damage from Brands Hatch, plus Reuben Taylor who had engine issues.

Qualifying saw Lewis Smith top the time sheets on 1 minute 25.879. His usual sparring partner, namely Malcolm Blackman, lined up second with a time 0.7 of a second slower. Next up was Daniel Smith, having his first outing of the year in his father’s Mercedes SLK, with Ian Hales alongside. Fifth quickest was Keith White, followed by Steve Burrows, Mike Thurley, Chris Ayling and Philip Blackford. Philip Young completed the top ten, then came Mick Robertson, John Steward, Phil Spinks and Toby Homewood. Ricky Hunn withdrew after qualifying, because of a broken gearbox, whilst Fabio Luffarelli was at the back in the guest class.

From the rolling start Lewis Smith jumped into the lead from Blackman. Hales got past Dan Smith on lap two to annex third spot, as Dan also fell behind Burrows. White tagged along in sixth, as Ayling initially led Thurley, whilst Young got the better of Blackford.

Intermarque With the leading two pulling away, all eyes were on the third to sixth place group. Dan Smith got past Burrows at Tarzan on lap five and closed in on Hales, but Ian steadfastly defended his position. White demoted Burrows on lap seven going through Pif Paf, and then Blackford suddenly slowed at the same spot. A crank shaft idler pulley had failed on the No.88 Peugeot, which meant instant retirement. The next bit of drama occurred on lap ten when Dan Smith suddenly slowed with fuel pressure issues. Ayling had to take avoiding action and had a quick spin, which allowed Thurley to consolidate sixth spot.

At the chequered flag Lewis Smith won by just over 11 seconds, with Blackman easing off to finish 5 seconds ahead of a delighted Hales. White took fourth, and won the senior cup, followed by Burrows, Thurley, a fast closing Ayling, Young, Luffarelli, Steward, Roberston, Homewood and Spinks. The top 8 were reversed for the second race grid, which put Mr. Cheese (alias Phil Young) on pole position.

Intermarque From 8th on the grid Lewis Smith had the lead by the Dean hairpin, which was very impressive. Unfortunately the bunching behind resulted in a bit of contact, which saw Blackman shoved into the rear wheel of Hales. Sadly when the dust settled Ian was facing the wrong way and Dan Smith had taken avoiding action, which delayed him as well. Up front Lewis had a commanding lead from Ayling, White, Blackman, Thurley, Young, Burrows and a fast starting Luffarelli. Lap two saw White move into second position, but a lap later Blackman grabbed this spot. Dan Smith was making progress and was up to 7th, although Hales took a bit longer to get into his stride. Ayling and Thurley squabbled over fourth position until Dan Smith picked them off, where upon Thurley nipped past Ayling as Burrows joined in as well. Lap seven saw Robertson retire to the pits, whilst a lap later Burrows had a spin as he felt the rear of his car lock up. A lap later he also pulled off, just as Dan Smith started to endure the fuel feed issues again. All his hard work came to zero, as he ground to a halt on the final lap.

Intermarque Meanwhile his brother Lewis took his second win of the day, to equal Blackman’s four wins of the year so far. Malcolm took a calculated second, with White a good third. Thurley held off Ayling for fourth, as Young just pipped a fast closing Hales for sixth. Luffarelli drove well to annex eighth (and receive the driver of the day award), followed by Steward who overtook Spinks on the last lap. Homewood completed the finishers, and Toby also got the best prepared car award. The Avon tyre winners were Lewis Smith and Ian Hales.

Next Race Meeting:

23rd September 2017
Brands Hatch (TinTops and Intermarque)

24th September 2017
Brands Hatch (QMS)

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery Quaife Modified Saloons with Cannons TinTops,
10th September 2017

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque,
3rd September 2017

Latest gallery Quaife Cannons TinTops,
2nd September 2017

Last Race Results

Quaife Modified Saloons:

1. Rod Birley
2. Malcolm Wise
3. Paul Adams
See full results

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

1. Dan Fisher
2. Rod Birley
3. Bob Hosier
See full results

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

1. Lewis Smith
2. Malcolm Blackman
3. Keith White
See full results

2017 Championship Leaders:

Quaife Modified Saloons:

Rod Birley
See full standings

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

Dan Fisher
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Malcolm Blackman See full standings