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Snetterton, 8th-9th April 2017 Meeting Report

By Adam Grant
Photos: Rafal Biniszewski

QMS Glorious weather greeted the south eastern centre competitors when they had their away weekend at Snetterton. Unfortunately grid sizes were significantly down after Brands Hatch, but the ones who made the journey put on some good racing.

Although they had separate qualifying sessions, the Intermarque and Modified Saloons were combined for their two races. Quickest in the Intermarque was Lewis Smith who did a time of 1 minute 57.788 seconds. This was over four seconds better than guest driver Anthony Bennett, and nearly six seconds quicker than Malcolm Blackman. With the regulations putting Bennett at the back of the grid, it meant Keith White would occupy the third grid slot, followed by Mike Thurley. Both Thurley and Burrows had their quickest times disallowed due to exceeding the track limits. Sixth would be local man Ian Hales, then came Mark Fuller, Philip Young, birthday boy Reuben Taylor and Phil Spinks. Poor Volker Timm had another engine failure, so his long journey from Germany was again in vain. Quickest of the QMS drivers was Rod Birley, then came Andy Banham, Tony Skelton and David Cowan. Riku Garner did well in his class E Clio to post the fifth best time followed by Sean Fairweather and Malcolm Wise (who only did three laps due to a gear lever breakage). Marcus Bicknell should have been next, but a con rod whacked a hole in the sump of the Mustang’s engine. The grid was completed with Paul Adams, Martyn Scott and Dave Charlton. Mark Cripps withdrew with an engine issue.

Intermarque With the Intermarque cars setting off 15 seconds in front of the QMS, we effectively had two races to watch. In the first group Lewis Smith blasted off into the distance, winning by just over 22 seconds. Blackman chased hard, but was clearly unable to keep up. Instead he had to make sure he could fend off a charging Bennett, who came through strongly into third spot. White just had the measure of Thurley, who was also having to keep an eye on the good progress of Fuller. Only four seconds separated this trio in the end. Burrows had a tussle with the similar car of Taylor over 7th spot, with Young closing in towards the end.

QMS In the QMS race Birley soon got away from Banham, and went after the Intermarque VW Corrado of Spinks, whom he caught and passed two laps from the end. Banham maintained second, but Skelton started to fade and was caught by Adams. The white Ford Focus nipped past to take third as well as class B honours. David Cowan was a consistent fifth (winning class C) as Fairweather shadowed him and picked up class D. Garner couldn’t quite live with the more powerful cars, but was quick enough to beat Scott and Charlton. Wise retired with wheel bearing failure.

Intermarque The second set of races saw Reuben Taylor on pole position, as the top seven Intermarque finishers were reversed. Fellow front row starter Burrows had the honour of leading after the first lap, with Blackman already up to second. However, the man who was third (Lewis Smith) soon hit the front on lap two and never looked back. The shuffling continued as Blackman and Bennett got up to second and third, but then the Caterham pulled off at Williams on lap five. This elevated White, who was still having to fend off Thurley. Burrows kept with them and made a race of it. Fuller was fairly lonely in sixth after Taylor pulled off at Coram. Reuben did get the smartest car prize. Also retiring was Ian Hales who was having a torrid day. Young hustled his well used Mitsubishi into 7th, and received the driver of the day award.

The QMS followed a similar pattern to their first race. Birley went off to see if he could catch Spinks. This time it took a bit longer, but he did make it on the last lap. Banham went better and was only 8 seconds back this time, which earnt him the driver of the race bubbly. Skelton got the better of Adams for the final podium spot, plus class B victory. In fact Adams had Cowan in his wheel tracks when the chequered flag appeared. Fairweather won class D, whilst Garner won E. Scott and Charlton completed the finishers, with the Seat driver getting the best prepared car award.

TinTops The Cannons Tin Tops had their own pair races on Sunday, and the weather was even hotter. James Ross headed the time sheets with his Vauxhall Astra VXR, followed by Brands Hatch race two winner Dan Fisher. Bob Hosier headed row two from Matt Turner, with Trevor Collar next alongside Glen Rossiter. Row four saw the quickest class T3 runner, namely Mikey Day who was fractions quicker than Steve Everson. Ryan Brimsted broke the Saxo monopoly in his Peugeot, followed by Bradley Lane, Alfie Brooker (in his father’s BMW Mini), then Rod Birley in the diminutive Ford Puma. The grid was completed by Marcus and Chris Bicknell and the troubled Ken Angell. Missing was Dominic Ryan who had an ECU issue.

The start saw Ross scurry off into the lead, as the power of the Vauxhall certainly told on the long straights. Fisher soon became detached in second as Turner came under pressure from Hosier. Out almost immediately was Angell with gearbox failure. In the T3 battle Day had the initial lead until Everson slipped past on lap three. Steve then latched onto to Rossiter, until the last lap, when he made a mistake somewhere and Day grabbed the class honours. Brimsted watched the Saxo antics, but was unable to close in, whilst Marcus Bicknell hunted down Bradley Lane and grabbed tenth spot. Brooker had Birley for company until the last lap when the BMW Mini headed into the pit lane instead of passing the chequered flag. Chris Bicknell completed the finishers.

TinTops Race two was almost a mirror image, with Ross scampering away again. Fisher had Hosier for company this time, as Turner struggled to keep up. In fact Collar started to close on the orange Megane but ran out of time to mount a serious challenge. Trevor did win the driver of the day award, whilst Turner won best prepared car. An early casualty was Everson, who pitted at the end of lap two. Day got the better of Rossiter once a five second track limits penalty was added to Glen’s time. Likewise Brimsted suffered the same fate, which meant he lost second in T3 to Marcus Bicknell. An interesting battle between Brooker, Birley and Chris Bicknell carried on until lap 6 when Bicknell lost his brakes. Birley drew alongside Brooker into Murrays, but the super charged Mini won the drag race to the finish line. Unfortunately the No.777 car was later excluded for being under weight. So ended a very busy weekend with hopefully bigger grids next time at Brands Hatch.

Next Race Meeting:

18th-19th November 2017
Brands Hatch
QMN and TinTops Non-Championship

Latest Galleries:

Latest gallery Quaife Modified Saloons with Cannons TinTops,
24th September 2017

Latest gallery Scrapco Avon Intermarque,
23rd September 2017

Latest gallery Quaife Cannons TinTops,
23rd September 2017

Last Race Results

Quaife Modified Saloons:

1. Andy Banham
2. Graham Crowhurst
3. Matthew Turner
See full results

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

1. Rod Birley
2. Dan Fisher
3. James J.J. Ross
See full results

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

1. Malcolm Blackman
2. Matt Simpson
3. Daniel Smith
See full results

2017 Champions (Provisional):

Quaife Modified Saloons:

Rod Birley
See full standings

Quaife / Cannons TinTops:

Dan Fisher
See full standings

Scrapco / Avon Intermarque:

Malcolm Blackman See full standings