Snetterton Results 300912

Snetterton 30th September 2012

The season closer was to be our third appearance with the VSCC, this being remarkably the club’s first ever meeting at the circuit. This led to a little confusion as everyone was required to attend a drivers’ briefing to explain which way the track went, a rather pointless exercise since most competitors got to what we used to call Sears before wondering which way they they should turn. The marshals must enjoy this so much.

Whilst a little breezy (even by Snetterton standards), it was a fine early-Autumn day to end the season on, missing the torrential rainfall not far to the North. With a little hustling, and equally fine entry of twenty-six made this the best-supported race on the card. The race would be on the new “200” course – effectively the old track, but with a funny hairpin arrangement at the old Sears.

Amongst the regular runners and riders were a few entries of note. George Shackleton was now mounted in the ex-Byron Rogers Cooper, recently bought from Mike Fowler, who in turn had reverted to his Mk V. Neil Hodges finally (and hopefully more permanently) had four wheels back on his Mk VIII, and the Cooper ranks were swelled by a group of newcomers to circuit racing – Mark Riley (in Murray Rainey’s 1980s Mk IX, and with Joy Rainey in attendance), Nick Powell (in the Mk VIII bought from David Stevenson), and Ian Phillips in his tidy Mk X. John Jones also had his Mk IX out in preference to the Cousy, and was fiddling with the Triumph engine now installed.

The usual selection of Martins (Roy Hunt and Simon Frost), Rodney Delves’ Kieft, and the Revis, Dastle, Mackson and Petty were joined by a distinctly optimistic John Potts (the super-short wheelbase Monaco would be interesting through the new Coram at any speed), and Kerry in the Trenberth. John Chisholm was down to drive the Arnott, but was still feeling a bit battered from his nasty accident at the Goodwood Revival. John was up to driving his Junior, but couldn’t face the JAP rattling his ribs and offered the seat to Iain Rowley.

Hakan was back with the JBS, now trying his luck with JAP power, and was joined by Maurice van der Brempt with the Fillingham (with an AJS motor). And three Invitation class cars completed the grid – Brian Jolliffe with Wally Cuff’s “Hells Hammer” Cooper twin, Simon Brown deputising in Freddie Harper’s Mk IV, and Sean Mooney back with the Vixen Formula 4.

To me, to you.......

A chilly early start seemed to perturb the Norton engines, with starter dollies rushing around the Paddock and pushers reluctantly doing the same. But post-practice it was the JAP runners in trouble, with most requiring a change or at least some significant fettling.

Nigel Ashman set the early pace on a circuit where he seems to have an edge, a superb line and style through the Russell Chicane was worth a quarter of a second over every other driver, and only Brian with the extra torque of the Twin could drift the car in a similar manner. So it was a surprise to find that he was just pipped to pole by Simon Frost’s Martin, which came on at the end of the session. Very healthy groups were trailing at two, five and six seconds – Mark Riley (a bit smoky under power) and Nicholas Powell impressively completing this train at just six and a half seconds off the pace, yet still only making up the seventh row. Roy had difficulty getting the Martin fired-up, and the resulting red mist had him up in fourth place. Kerry had the biggest surprise, coming out of his driver briefing only to hear the familiar buzz of the one-lungers already on track. A sprint back to the car got him a couple of laps – more than the Arnott and Simon Brown’s Twin, although they and Paul Hewes would make up the laps and roll into Assembly come race time. Unfortunately Ian Phillips’ problems were terminal and he scratched.

Smile please.

Iain and crew, with John Chisholm’s assistance, just managed to get the Arnott running in time for Assembly, but it was to no avail. In fact the parade lap was pretty miserable all round, as misfire abounded, and Iain, Sean Mooney and Neil Hodges all spluttered into the pits to retire before the flag even fell, whilst Hakan could only coax the JBS as far as the Russell Chicane before coasting to a halt. The devastation continued as three more retired on the first lap. Kerry lost power, Gordon already had broken engine mounts and was giving it a go on lash-ups. Nice try, but it wasn’t working and he wisely cruised around to retire.

Brian made more of a go at retiring with style. He was reasonably well-placed in the front half of the pack on the first lap, exiting the complex into the Bombhole. The car squirmed, and managed to find some piece of kerbing to launch the car into the air, to the consternation of all who followed. The car landed fine, but the impact kicked the primary chain off its sprocket.

From the start, Nigel had led from Simon and Mike, and it quickly looked to be all over as Nigel soon had a couple of seconds advantage. That lead was surprisingly from an invigorated Roy Hunt, who had not only passed Simon and Mike, but had just enough of an advantage that he could concentrate ahead. He held, even closed the gap slightly before the youngsters managed to drag him into their dust-up and mug him for the podium positions.

Behind these four were Nigel Challis and Darrell, who slipped away from the battle behind. Over the course of the six laps Darrell closed the small gap and the two Mk VIIIs may as well have been joined by a rope for most of the race. Darrell tried everything, but a fine drive by Nigel kept him ahead all the way to the flag, by just half a second.

Behind them was an even tougher battle, as the practice times had predicted. Mark Riley was quickly on the tail of the Revis, passing as they reached the line at the end of Lap 1 and setting off after Rodney’s Kieft. Unfortunately it ended rather suddenly as the Cooper dropped its plug on Lap 2, but Mark has already shown that he can transfer his pace from the hills. That left the way clear for Richard Bishop-Miller to ease up to the Kieft, but he was joined by David Lecoq, picking up speed.

Quickly racing through was Simon Brown in the Cooper Twin. Whilst undoubtedly benefitting from a lot more grunt from the extra cylinder, this was still a class drive. From the back of the grid, Simon passed this group and on lap three was past the Challis-Woods battle as well, going on to ultimately take third overall and set fastest lap. And this from an early chassis type.

Joining the Kieft, Revis and Petty was Stuart Wright in the Dastle, running in much higher company than we normally see. Then hunting down the group was George in the Mk XI, practice troubles sorted and driver getting comfortable with the new car. By the end of Lap 2, George was on the back of the group and looking for a way through and at the Challis-Woods fight ahead. Nick was also tailing this group, but retired on the second lap.

Slow away from the start was JB in the Cooper-Triumph. JB looked uncharacteristically cautious at first, and quickly slipped from the big battle ahead. But after a couple of laps he seemed to settle into the car, drifting it more and more as his confidence grew (until he got a major wobble on at the Chicane at the fifth time of asking).

Paul Hewes was not too far from JB, the Mk VIII now running fairly cleanly. Bringing up the rear, but by no means cruising round, was the Monaco, getting quite a workout and pulling away from the Fillingham. All three would make it to the finish, as indeed did everyone else who survived the mechanical carnage of the first two laps.

All very well behaved at the old chicane.

Back to the front, and having dragged Roy into their fight, it was now Simon in second place as they started Lap 4 and he started to close the three-second gap to the leader. Roy fought back on Mike and retook third place, while the rapid Cooper twin was quickly moving in on both of them. On the run from the Chicane to the start line, Roy got a small slide on (the track was noticeably slippery from the earlier sessions), and Mike was past as the Twin thundered through to third. With Nigel picking up the pace at the front, that would be how the top five finished.

With Nigel and Darrell battling all the way over sixth and seventh, the biggest fight was over eighth place. On Lap 4 it was George who had got through the group and was pulling away, the two Coopers ahead beckoning him on. If there’s one thing we love about George, it’s that he never just settles for the points, and an eight-second gap with three laps to go was worth a punt. Following George were David Lecoq, who struggling to make a gap from Rodney, who in turn had Richard pushing so hard through the corners, only for Norton power to beat JAP power, aero body or not (although the car did look so stylish around the sweeps of Snetterton). Closer still was Stuart, all over the back of the Revis and driving with real aggression.

Lap 5 re-shook the dice. George had the gap down to six seconds, but exiting Russell the back end was sliding wider and wider, eventually getting onto the grass and dragging the car round. Without completely stopping, George got headed back in the right direction, having only lost one place to David, but with the pack catching him up Senna Straight and he rebuilt his momentum. He managed this in time and pulled away again.

That pack was now led by Richard Bishop-Miller, who took the long way round the outside of Coram to set up a neat block pass on Rodney – fortunately completing the move as the yellow flags for George’s spin were withdrawn. Rodney hung onto the tail of the Revis throughout the final lap, but never quite had enough for the repass. Then at the death, he missed a gear exiting the Chicane for the run to the flag. Stuart finally got a break and the two were side-by-side all the way with the Norton-engined Kieft coming back. But it was not enough, and Stuart took the place by just three hundredths. It may only have been for eleventh place, but it was mightily deserved and enjoyed.

Paul and John completed the positions, the Monaco a lap down, and Maurice just being lapped a second time as the flag fell. Beers and smiles pretty much all round in the Paddock with a successful end to the season. Decent weather, a great grid and no seriously expensive damage meant pretty much everyone had something to be happy about. Both the VSCC and a very healthy crowd appreciated our efforts.

You Tube Video Click Here

Simons Frost and Brown

Classified Finishers

Pos Name Car Class Time Laps Best

Fastest Lap

Class A: John Potts - Monaco

Class B: Mike Fowler - Cooper Mk V-Norton

Class C: Simon Frost - Martin-Norton

JAP: Richard Bishop-Miller - Revis-JAP


Invitation: Simon Brown - Cooper Mk IV-JAP, Brian Joliffe - Hells-Hammers-JAP


DNF: Mark Riley - Cooper Mk IX-Norton, Nick Powell - Cooper Mk VIII-Norton, Kerry Horan - Trenberth-Vincent, Gordon Russell - Mackson-Norton   DNS: Hakan Sandberg - JBS-JAP, Neil Hodges Cooper Mk VIII-JAP, Ian Rowley - Arnott-JAP, Ian Philips - Cooper Mk X


Our thanks to the VSCC


Words: Rich

Pics: John Landamore. Carol Woods, Robin Shackleton, Mike Wood



1 Nigel Ashman Cooper Mk XI-Norton C 10:13 6 1:41.11
2 Simon Frost Martin-Norton C 10:15 6 1:40.80
3 Mike Fowler Cooper Mk V-Norton B 10:20 6 1:41.30
4 Roy Hunt Martin-Norton B 10:22 6 1:41.59
5 Nigel Challis Cooper Mk VIII-Norton C 10:37 6 1:43.97
6 Darrel Woods Cooper Mk VIII-Norton C 10:38 6 1:43.68
7 Dave Lecoq Petty-Norton C 10:51 6 1:45.40
8 George Shackleton Cooper Mk XI-Norton C 10:55 6 1:44.53
9 Richard Bishop-Miller Revis-JAP C 11:00 6 1:47.02
10 Stuart Wright Dastle-JAP C 11:01 6 1:47.69
11 Rodney Delves Kieft-Norton B 11:01 6 1:47.88
12 JB Jones Cooper Mk IX-Triumph C 11:43 6 1:53.86
13 Paul Hewes Cooper Mk XI-Norton C 12:08 6 1:57.27
14 John Potts Monaco-Norton A 11:56 5 2:18.63
15 Maurice van der Brempt Fillingham-AJS C 10:17 4 2:30.72

Always lovely, John Potts in the Monaco