Cadwell Results 190610

Cadwell Park 19th June 2010

“VSCC Cadwell” is always a highlight of the regular season, despite the worst the Lincolnshire Wolds can throw at us and for the second year running it had a fair go with a penetrating wind off the North Sea and horizontal showers. A mighty twenty three cars rolled out, notably more than for any other race on the card, and better than most of of the BTCC races the same weekend. These included the regulars, old friends and relatively new faces. For the first time in some years we had three Kiefts - Ashman, Ellingworth & Delves - to take on the Cooper hordes. James Holland finally reappeared from the bush, while Tim Llewellyn brought out his Cooper Mk V in 500 trim for the first circuit run in a long time. Cadwell has also become the traditional date for the Twins to join in for a race. Richard Ashford again attended with Ruth Ross’ Cooper (this time with Ruth also on hand). Freddy Harper turned up, but the Cooper Mk IV refused to run cleanly and he would scratch. And a surprise was the Formula 4 Vixen-Triumph, a mid-60’s car belonging to Sean Mooney, which was seen in the Paddock but did not turn a wheel. It’s also a good opportunity for the Northern members to come out and be seen, as well as many Southerners making a decent trip of it.. Amongst the non-drivers were Bill Needham, John Potts, Alan Croft (still restoring his JP and supporting Shirley Monro) and Geoff Gartside. Geoff has parked up his Cooper for some time, but was talking about son Martin giving it a run soon.


Practice began just before lunch, and fortunately the weather relented a bit, with the final shower of the day just before, and a brief hint of sun. The track was only mildly damp by the time the cars set out, although of course areas under the trees were notably slippier. A short session left little time for drivers to log their three safety laps and suss the variable surface before finding track space for a good lap.

Pole went to Nigel Ashman, comfortably clear of Mike Fowler and Neil Hodges but these two were trumped by George Shackleton bumping both from the front row. The inevitable jokes would come back to bite... Missing from this group was Richard Ellingworth, this time losing its carburettor and dropping him to 12th.

The rest of the field was closely bunched, Llewellyn edging out and impressive John Jones and Darrell Woods. Martin Sheppard was a second and a half off them, and led the rest, a cautious Rodney Delves & Roy Hunt, then Malcolm Bell & Mike Gilbert. Nigel Challis was also on the cautious side and led Patrick Morin (looking much stronger than at Brands Hatch the previous week), Kerry Horan and Richard Bishop-Miller. Tail-end Charlies were James Holland (with cobwebs in the carburettor as well as behind the wheel) and David Whiteside also taking the cautious approach.

Missing, though was Shirley. On her first flying lap, Shirley slid wide at Barn, and once on the wet grass slid at unabated speed into the tyre barrier. It was a fair hit that snapped the near side rear upright. Although Shirley tried to rejoin, before noticing the extreme camber of the wheel, once at the Medical centre she complained of back pain, and was sent for check-up at Grimsby Hospital. Happily it was just bruising.

We hope Bill can turn around the repairs (at least it isn’t yet another engine failure) and they can get out again soon. Surprisingly, and fortunately given the cold, problems were very limited; Ellingworth and Holland quickly had their mounts refettled and the twenty remaining crews all set in for the long wait until race time.

The starter was certainly quick off the mark.

               George struggles to find a gear at Mountain Bottom, prompting some hasty avoidance. Photo John Landamore


 ‘A bit of a cock-up on the starting front’ left a huge gap in the field trailing round the green flag lap, which had not closed as the leaders formed up on the grid. In the circumstances, it probably wasn’t helpful that the CoC then kept so strictly to his pre-race instructions - “As soon as I’ve got four of you in place I’ll let you go”...

Nigel got the best start, while Neil (“rolling up in neutral I spotted the 5-second board, and thought I better shove it in gear quick”) looked good for second until Mike’s Norton edged him back ahead before Coppice, and George wondered what had just happened. The rest of the field found themselves already four seconds behind and effectively in a rolling start. Richard Ashford made use of his extra cylinder to power into fifth, although a charging Richard Ellingworth soon dispensed with him and set off after the leaders. David Whiteside, further delayed in Assembly, rounded Barn to find an empty grid and tyre smoke.

First time over the Mountain, Mike was on Nigel’s tail with Neil 1.5s adrift. George however had fallen back to head the chasers, the reason becoming clear as he crested the Mountain at a snail’s pace, one hand desperately signalling to the pack that he was pulling off as the other fished for a gear. When the gearbox finally gave him one it was fourth and the car lurched and stalled. A thump of the steering wheel, and later throwing down his balaclava in frustrations caused some mirth later for those who'd been there before!

Only Richard E was (slightly) delayed by George’s problems, and quickly eased a gap from Tim Llewellyn, Richard A and Darrell. Five seconds back was a gaggle led by Nigel Challis, Jones, Delves, Hunt and Sheppard. Another couple of seconds and then Gilbert & Holland, then Bell, Bishop-Miller, Whiteside, Horan and Patrick Morin. This was setting up for a great race through the field.

More crowding at the Mountain as Richard Ellingworth forces his way though the field. Photo John Landamore

Lap 2 saw Mike pass Nigel for a slender lead. Neil was hanging off slightly, expecting the battling cars to come back to him. Unnoticed was Richard E, just four seconds behind and closing by a second or so each lap. A gap was rapidly opening to Tim, Richard A and Darrell, the first named retiring on the second lap. Unlike the week before, though, Darrell now had someone to race, and what followed was a fine battle as the nimbler Mk VIII Cooper challenged the grunt of its bigger, older brother. Nigel Challis still led the next group for seventh place, harried by John, Roy and Rodney, these three changing positions many times every lap. Not far off, and soon to latch on, was Martin Sheppard looking very racy, and on his tail was James, looking even more so. Poor old Mike Gilbert was now the only driver not in a battle, comfortably leading the final group of Malcolm, a battling David, Kerry, Richard B-m and Patrick - blanketed by just five seconds.

The big change in the race was on the third lap. Mike came through alone in the lead, comfortably clear of Neil. In his efforts to regain position, Nigel  had overcooked it at the exit of Charlies, pirouetting away. Eventually regaining the track amongst Richard A and Darrell, he quickly disposed of them but was a good twenty seconds adrift of the leaders. He would press on, but made little impression and finished fourth. Third, though was Neil, the Parker-Kieft tailing him through the forest section before blasting past across the start line.

The battle for seventh was the key area at this time. John Jones finally found a way past Nigel Challis (gaining three places in that lap, showing how close the battle was). John was wary that Roy would be the threat if he could pass Nigel, so knuckled down to some clean laps and eked out an advantage of five seconds or so. The remaining five-way battle continued raging. Roy found his way to the head on the fifth lap and immediately set after John. Nigel managed to stem the tide, but both James and Martin mugged Rodney, whose engine was starting to sicken.

Mike continued to circulate alone, but the final group also continued to fight. David Whiteside was the best and moved ahead on the fifth lap, able to pull clear. Kerry retired on the fourth lap, but Mike, Patrick and Richard B-M would battle all the way to the flag. Patrick planted his nose inside Mike a couple of times, but his motor stuttered both times. Richard also got a look in, passing Patrick and losing out again. It would go right to the wire, Mike and Patrick getting muddled at the final corner, Richard sticking an optimistic nose up the inside, and nearly stealing two places before the others powered back ahead on the run to the line.

At the front, the Richard’s Parker-Kieft was showing its class. On Lap 5 he finally found his way into the lead. Neil took this as the chance to attack, quickly closing a two-second gap and fighting hard on the final lap (and some of the cooling down lap), but the short race was against him, and the final podium was Richard, Mike, Neil.. Fourth went to Nigel Ashman, clear of Richard Ashford who held off Darrell. The middle group also took it down to the final lap. Clear of Nigel, Roy had made short work of John, and passed the Cousy on the final lap for seventh. Ninth was Nigel Challis, the Prez completing the whole race looking in his mirrors, which right to the end were filled with the apple green of James’ Cooper. Martin was also in this battle until his motor suddenly died on the final tour. Rodney picked up eleventh. Twelfth was lonely Mike Gilbert, chased by David Whiteside (again, this pair showing very similar pace), then Mike Bell, Patrick Morin and Richard Bishop-Miller completing the finishers.

 Classified Finishers

Pos Name Car Class Time Laps Best

Fastest Lap: Richard Ellingworth - Parker-Kieft-Norton - 1:55.66

DNF: Martin Sheppard - Cooper Mk XII-Norton, Kerry Horan - Trenberth-Vincent, Tim Llewellyn - Cooper Mk IV-JAP, George Shackleton - Cooper Mk VI-JAP

Report by Richard Hodges, Photos John Landamore & Carol Woods

Our thanks the Vintage Sports Car Club.

Points Table


1 Richard Ellingworth Parker-Kieft-Norton C 11:58 6 1:55.66
2 Mike Fowler Cooper Mk XI-Norton C 12:01 6 1:58.14
3 Neil Hodges Cooper Mk VIII-JAP C 12:02 6 1:57.30
4 Nigel Ashman Kieft CK52-Norton B 12:29 6 1:59.69
5 Richard Ashford Cooper Mk II-JAP D 12:57 6 2:07.09
6 Darrell Woods Cooper Mk VIII-Norton C 12:58 6 2:06.82
7 Roy Hunt Martin-Norton B 13:03 6 2:03.47
8 JB Jones Cousy-Triumph C 13:06 6 2:07.52
9 Nigel Challis Cooper Mk VIII-Norton C 13:12 6 2:07.98
10 James Holland Cooper Mk VIII-JAP C 13:12 6 2:07.90
11 Rodney Delves Kieft CK51-Norton B 13:17 6 2:09.83
12 Mike Gilbert Cooper Mk IX-Norton C 13:40 6 2:12.53
13 David Whiteside Cooper Mk VII-Norton B 14:00 6 2:15.72
14 Mike Bell Cooper Mk VIII-JAP C 14:04 6 2:16.83
15 Patrick Morin Cooper Mk XI-JAP C 14:04 6 2:15.34
16 Richard-Bishop Miller Cooper Mk II-JAP A 14:04 6 2:16.25

Not surprisingly, there were some very happy faces back in the Paddock. Sixteen out of twenty starters crossed the line at or close to full steam, and pretty much everyone had been in a proper race with someone else (and whether it’s for first or fifteenth place, that’s what it’s all about really, isn’t it?). Even the retirees were smiling. As news came through confirming Shirley was OK, and with the roads quiet and dry, everyone set off home pleased they had made the effort.

As we go into the Summer break, Nigel Ashman deservedly leads with three class wins from five. This could open the door for Richard Bishop-Miller, who seems to have won his hardest battle with reliability and now needs some more early cars to open out the class. And Darrell is the surprise leader of the late-model class, still grinding out the results over the faster but flightier Mike Fowler and Neil Hodges. And there’s a host of runners through the field who are impressing - George Shackleton, John Jones, Mike Gilbert and David Whitehouse leading but not exclusive to this list.

Richard Ellingworth in the Parker-Kieft on his way to a fine win

James Holland drops down to Mansfield in the ex Bob Gerard Mk VIII