By Stuart MacMaster
Following my pair of second places at Oulton Park in May, I was trying to keep the momentum going at Anglesey albeit with a different club doing a slightly different race.
The CSCC Tin Tops is a championship for normally aspirated hatchback cars, no bigger than 2000cc. Being just under 1800cc ment I was in the second class down with the 2.0 cars being in the top class – with one of the entries being no other than the BTCC driver Andrew Jordan, who was doing a shared drive in a DC5 Integra.
The race format is a 30 min qualifying session, and 40 minute race. 2 Drivers are allowed, with the best time from qually being used for the race. The race features a compulsory pit stop for driver change, or, if doing the full drive on your own, this involves coming in to the pits, shutting off the engine, getting out of the car, closing the door before getting strapped back in and going out again.
As per usual Dave Hill had also put an entry in, and we were also joined by Andy Davies in his BMW 2002, though he was in the more aptly named “Swinging 60’s” race.
Thankfully all the car needed following Oulton was a wash and some fuel and she was ready for qualifying on the 1.55 mile, Coastal Circuit! During qualifying we where also joined by the “Deutsche Marque” Cars as they had a small grid – this ment there where 31 cars on track, so fining the right gap for a good lap could be tricky.
Anyway, I think I found a reasonable gap, and put the car 14th, this was to get even better when I was promoted to 9th once the German cars had been removed for their race. Dave was 16th, but Id be watching for him after his demon start at the last outing at Oulton!
As the race came round we went out on our green flag lap, and got the cars lined up for our standing start. Watching the lights, I got the car in gear, set the revs and waited for them to go out before dumping the clutch.
I got a pretty good start, and past a couple of cars going in to the first corner. It got a little tighter in the second corner and I got a slight rub on the exit from a Fiesta ST (which turned out to be no more than a scuffed wheel – even though it sounded like he had come through the rear ¼ at the time). I grabbed another place going up to church and then tried
to settle as I found a little space around me. Heading down the corkscrew for the first time, one of the cars repassed me – guess he had found his feet after the hectic start and began to settle and find some pace, whilst at the same time, none other than Dave Hill was trying to get round the outside of me!! 16th up to 8th on the first lap! I managed to
hold Dave off, and got myself settled for the race.
After about 20 mins, I noticed my pit board and it was time to come in for the pit stop – 50kph on the pit lane, and it felt like a crawl! I think I did a pretty reasonable stop, and got the car back out. Of course, no everyone is out of position during the stops, so you never really know if you are racing for position, or lapping cars, this was coumpounded
even more so when the safety car cam out and bunched everyone up as they removed a broken car from an awkward position.
Race got back underway with about 15 mins left to go, and it was push, push, push to pass whoever you could – again, you didn’t really know who you where lapping, and who you where overtaking for a position.
Flag went out after the 40 mins, and I finished a very respectable 6th overall (out of 24 starters) – 1st in class, with my nearest class competitor in 18th place and had been lapped by myself! Dave came home in 10th overall, though we did have suspicions that his car wasn’t running as well as it should have been.
Quick mention for Mr Davies…. He put the car 9th on the grid for his race. He had a great 1st lap, and was in 4th place at the end of lap 1. He made a stunning pit stop, and finished 3rd overall, and 1st in class!
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