|Lydden Hill 3rd & 4th October 2009
An excellent entry of 19 cars gathered at Lydden Hill over the weekend of 3rd and 4th October for the final round of the 500 OA Circuit Racing Championship organised by the BRSCC. For some this was a rerun of events of 20 years ago when Formula Junior and 500’s raced together at the Monoposto Racing Club meetings of 1989 and 1990. The entry list was amongst the most interesting and varied of the season. We were delighted to see the familiar faces of Peter Kumlin, Rickard With, Per Hageman and Olle Linde who had made the very long journey from Sweden and brought with them the line up of two Effyhs and two Coopers neatly presented in the paddock.
Darrel Woods leads Nigel Challis, Gordon Russell and JB Jones. Photo Kitty Chisholm
JB Jones has suffered more than his fair share of breakdowns and set backs and his perseverance has been something marvellous, and sometimes bewildering. It has been a real pleasure through this year to see the Cousy not only reliable but actually going quickly and we were treated to more of this at Lydden. JB benefited from Roy being missing from the grid and was encouraged by the marshals (and entirely against his wishes) to move up from his qualifying position of eighth to the third row. As the race started Mike Gilbert made a fast start from behind but JB managed to get up to fifth and stay there for the entire race, never quite able to get in the battle ahead but nevertheless achieving his aim of “getting a sniff of the podium” and beating all the JAPs too!
Rickard With (Effyh) leads Paul Hewes (Cooper) Photo Kitty Chisholm.
Close behind Martin Sheppard, were Per Hageman, Mike Gilbert, John Chisholm and Mark Palmer. Whilst Paul Hewes enjoyed a race long battle in his yellow Cooper with the Effyh of Rickard With and Olle Linde and John Potts brought up the rear. As a result of the re-start, the race time was cut to 17 minutes and by the end we had lost only one car with Peter Kumlin having to retire the Effyh with a broken gear lever….a remarkable degree of reliability.
The Formula Junior drivers joined us for what turned out to be an excellent meal of homemade tomato soup (by Nigel), steak, sausages, (provided by Simon Frost) followed by fruit salad, cheeses and brownies…wonderful! Light rain at around 10.00 pm probably saved a few sore heads the next day although the Chairman’s appearance in his “village people” leather jerkin sent even the most determined on their way.
Race 1 Classified Finishers
Sunday dawned bright and dry without the wind that had sand blasted everyone and everything the day before. With no racing until lunchtime and with the second 500 race not due until later in the afternoon most drivers couldn’t resist some fiddling. Roy hunt was loaned a spare Magneto and set about fitting it with help from Simon and Martin. Mike Fowler was loaned an engine by Mark Palmer and was up early to remove his and fit the replacement. Work also resumed on Philippe’s car with the petrol pump being dismantled and cleaned and the clutch being fitted with a new cable and adjusted to get the best out of it. John Furlong, Nigel Challis, and JB Jones all helped and eventually Philippe was able to do some laps of the paddock and gain a little more familiarity with the car prior to Race 2.
Darrel parks for the day. Photo Kitty Chisholm.
With Darrell out, Nigel Challis was promoted to third but was not to have an easy time of it. First contestant was JB Jones who managed to close the gap when the pair approached back markers and hounded Nigel for several laps. The two were level on a couple of occasions and at one point they travelled down the start/finish straight side by side and split to pass Rickard With on either side crossing the line with only one hundredth of a second between them. To achieve this performance, the Cousy was operating way outside its design tolerances and it was perhaps therefore inevitable that something was going to go horribly wrong at some point. So it was then that on lap 14 the exhaust pipe came loose and started to make a lot of noise but JB managed to continue until Lap 17 when the engine finally expired, the spark plug having unscrewed itself and whilst still attached to the HT lead had fallen down near the carb and ignited the fuel…thankfully it was “only a small fire” !
Keep your foot hard down! Photo Kitty Chisholm
Like Mike, Roy Hunt had started at the back and also moved through the field steadily dicing with Mike on the way until his composure ran out with a trip into the gravel and a stall at Paddock. Roy managed to push the car onto the track, jump in and get himself going again while cars passed him on either side but unfortunately another spin later on put paid to his reaching the front and Roy had to settle for tenth at the finish and a visit to the Clerk of the Course to discuss his excursions….Lydden proving to be as memorable as it had been 20 years earlier.
John Chisholm's Arnott. Photo Kerry Anderson.
Race 2 Classified Finishers
Nigel Ashman and Martin Sheppard. Photo Kitty Chisholm.
As the weekend drew to a close, we were treated to the Challis and Russell show as they performed their latest routines for the assembled crowd whilst at the same time handing out prizes for the aggregate of the two races. Nigel Ashman was first overall with Gordon, second and Nigel Challis completing the podium and it all turned very “Laurel and Hardy” when each had to present to the other. Other prizes were presented to our Swedish friends, to Philippe for his debut and for John Potts for being the most gentlemanly of all Gentleman Drivers. Finally we all gathered for a group photo before packing up and drifting away….roll on 2010 !
End of term photo. Kitty Chisholm