|Mallory Park Don Truman Trophy 26th April 2009
A full month later than the same event in 2008, the weather was suitably warmer, dry with a slight chill in the breeze for the traditional early-season Mallory meet. And some 18 cars made an appearance. With a somewhat limited race schedule, the 500s found themselves with not only two races (in itself a surprise to certain competitors who hadn’t read the final instructions properly) but two practice sessions - a generous and rather optimistic 80 minutes of track time. Wisely, the races were curtailed to 15 minutes each, with the second, non-championship race to start in reverse order for a novelty.
In the first, untimed session, most drivers made the effort to shakedown the cars and clear a few cobwebs from their heads. Frustratingly, two cars were quickly lost. John Jones holed a piston in the Cousy’s Triumph engine. And a loose chain on the Dastle ripped out the chassis tube that had only just been replaced, curtailing Stuart’s return. Both would take no further part.
Richard's Martin. Photo Neil Hodges
Steve Jones had made a hesitant start, slightly spooked by Neil’s pass at Gerards, and was knuckling down in thirteenth. Thereafter, Kerry Horan was taking things carefully in the Trenberth, after a layoff and several engine failures that preceded that), and Paul Hewes was equally cautious with braking issues.
As a bonus, the BRSCC ran a second race late in the afternoon. The grid was decided by reversing the finishing order from Race 1. The official club reporter was absent so here is a personal view from the cockpit of the winner, Nigel Ashman.
"Being at the back of the grid, I had to wait for everyone to get started and Nigel Challis was having some trouble so not wanting to steal his spot I rolled slowly down through the assembly area once I was running with the idea of letting him through. I soon started to think he wasn’t going to get it going so I decided I had better get moving and went out onto the track and had a scary moment when I looked over to the hairpin from Gerards and saw the pack coming down to the start and had visions of the race starting before I had even reached the Esses! In the end I made it round in time and as I rolled down the grid towards my slot I looked over my shoulder to see Nigel approaching and was able to wave him through to his rightful slot. I pulled up alongside Gordon Russell and the lights went out immediately and somehow I seemed to react quicker from the back then from the front and found myself about third or fourth going into Gerards for the first time. Nigel had done more or less the same thing but it was immediately obvious that his tail was hanging off which he was later to be black flagged for!
Race 2 Classified Finishers