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Snetterton report.

By Shawn Herrington

In a week in which temperatures were often above 30 degrees Celcius, it was strange to be greeted by a cloudy and drizzly start to the day at Snetterton. With 38 cars roaring out onto the 3 mile "300" circuit, it soon became a very bust track for the QMN and Tin Top brigade. Initially Rod Birley topped the timing screens, closely pursued by the similar car of Rick May, then suddenly returnee Darren Bly leapt into pole position with a time two seconds quicker than any one else. Paul Eve was heading for a good time when his engine suddenly expired, thus rendering him a non-starter.

In the Tin Top section newcomer Nigel Innes had over three seconds advantage with his BMW E36, from the familiar Honda Civic of Chris Whiteman. This car had just been thoroughly checked by the MSA and declared fully complient. Chris was only just in front of Glen Rossiter.

QMN From the rolling start Bly slotted into the lead, but Birley was hanging on determinedly. These two edged clear of May and Gent, who in turn pulled away from Barrow and Wise. Malcolm was to suffer an engine issue, as he slid down the leader board and he ended up 17th. Ricky Davies headed the similar BMW of Jamie Liptrott, whilst Ian Butler fended off the attentions of Peter Taylor and championship leader Andy Woods-Dean. A first lap skirmish had seen the demise of Innes's BMW and an excursion for Dave Thomas in his Renault Clio. Dave fought back to second in class behind Steve Rothery's similar car, just pipping Bob Hosier in his BMW Mini.

QMN Peter Wilkinson had repaired his Peugeot after the Lydden accident and he managed a creditable second in class B, whilst also staving off a determined Whiteman who comfortably took the Tin Top honours. Rossiter was the next car home in the Cannons group and then there was an entertaining three way scrap between Graham Richardson, Cliff Pellin and Tom Bridger, who finished in that order, separated by only 3 tenths of a second.

Meanwhile the overall lead had changed hands, as the yellow Nissan retired with a broken differential. This left Rod in front of Rick and a close following Dale. At the chequered flag less than three seconds covered the podium trio. Barrow held off Davies for fourth.

QMN The second race was minus Bly, Bridger, Innes and Russell Turner with their various ailments. From the start Birley headed Gent, as he squeezed past May. Rick was soon in trouble as smoke appeared inside the car from a burning exhaust. He pulled off on the Bentley Straight. Meanwhile Gent mounted a serious challenge for the lead and sling shot past on lap two, going into the Agostini hairpin. Unfortunately his challenge was short lived as rounding Coram on lap four a huge plume of smoke indicated imminent retirement. A power steering hose had failed on the Subaru. This left Birley clear of Barrow, who was soon joined by a recovering Wise. Ray did well to hold off the newer car, and his reward was to receive the driver of the day prize.

QMN Ricky Davies again had the measure of Liptrott, whilst Butler had to work hard to beat Taylor. Rothery, Woods-Dean and Thomas squabbled over the next three positions, whilst Wilkinson was again pursued by Tin Top winner Whiteman. Richardson claimed the runner up spot this time, as Rossiter fended off Searles and Pellin. Cliff's efforts earnt him the tin top driver of the day award. The best prepared car prizes went to Alan Phillips with his rebuilt Sapphire and Vic Hope with his Honda Civic.

On Sunday it was the turn of the Quaife Intermarques to take to the track. The only non HR class car was Matt Moore with his rapid Mk.1 Escort RSR. Although this has much more power than the "hot rods" it does weigh 150 kilograms more. However, Matt annexed pole position by 0.4 of a second from Matt Simpson with Chris Brockhurst lining up third from the impressive trio Luke Armiger, Lewis Smith and Ben Taylor. Ross Loram, Simon Smith, Daniel Smith and Richard Smith completed the top ten.

Intermarque Moore blasted into the lead and appeared to have everything under control. However, Brockhurst made an audacious move around the outside of Coram, not once but twice. This settled into an entertaining scrap, as both drivers exploited their different car's advantages. In the end Moore edged clear to take a five second win. Matt Simpson had clung onto Brockhurst gamely, hoping to sneak past, but a late race problem dropped him back towards Simon Smith. The green BMW Z4 had eased clear of the other Smiths as Lewis headed home his father Richard. Daniel had removed his rear wing, in an effort to gain more straight line, but unfortunately it did not work out and he fell back to 14th.

Intermarque Keith White progressed well to take 7th, from the battling Tigras of Russell Humphrey and Jeff Simpson. Chris Ayling was involved in this scrap, until he went wide at Oggies. A man on the move was Baz Johnson who really does push hard in his rather heavy Pontiac. He climbed from 20th to 11th, just heading home local man Mike Thurley. Loram slipped back when his gearbox jammed, and Armiger pulled off when his unit also failed. Taylor went off at Coram as his engine expired and Malcolm Blackman suffered two broken halfshafts.

Intermarque The grid draw for race two produced a top nine reversal. This meant Jeff Simpson would be on pole position from Humphrey. Russell got the jump and led as far as Oggies when he suddenly gyrated. The closely following pack scattered in all directions. The first car around Coram was Matt Simpson with a huge lead over Brockhurst and Moore, as Simon Smith appeared in fourth. The No.30 Tigra pushed on whilst the erstwhile challengers battled against one another, until Moore dropped back with fuelling issues. Brockhurst tried really hard to close the gap, but it was still 3 seconds when the chequered flag was waved. Simon Smith usurped Moore for third and a charging Loram almost caught the slowing orange car. Ross really earnt the driver of the day accolade, courtesy of Motorsport News.

Intermarque An equally impressive Armiger battled up to sixth position, passing a consistent Lewis Smith. Blackman had better fortune this time on his way to eighth, whilst a recovering Humphrey annexed ninth from Jeff Simpson. Fuller was next, whilst Richard Smith fought back from his first lap delays. Ayling, Harding and Young completed the finishers, after Daniel Smith, Thurley and White retired. Johnson and Taylor non-started, Baz suffering a head gasket problem.

The Avon tyre awards went to Blackman, Simon Smith, Harding and Richard Smith. As the championship now takes a 7 week summer break, Brockhurst still leads by a slender two points.

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