meeting was to be spread out over two days with races on Saturday
and Sunday although both races were virtually at the end of
each day's program, giving drivers a lot of spare time and
an opportunity to watch some of the other racing for a change.
This event is part of a double headed each year, where although
a car meeting there is one race for motorcycles and towards
the end of the season there is a bike meeting with one car
race. This mix gives a nice feel to the day with some very
nice bikes being given an airing, one or two so nice that
if I could have found a little hidey hole in the transporter...........................
Saturday morning and for the first time in a long time our
Practice was not until nearly mid day which gave most people
a chance to have a leisurely build up towards signing on
and scrutineering. From what I gather most of us went through
without a hitch and it was good to see some more familiar
faces and a couple of new cars. Although we managed finally
to muster 20 cars for the grid, we had already been merged
with the JEC guys with their BIG Jaguars, which gave rise
to one or two ribald comments as they went through scrutineering.
It must have warmed Nigel's heart to see so many cars
as the late entries showed that drivers had rallied to his
call for a bigger grid, so well done everyone.
First casualty of the day before we got out was Nick Taylor
with the TART Cobra, Ian who runs the car told me that they
had been having concerns for a little while about a head
problem they suspected, this finally manifested itself here
at Snetterton and the wise decision was to withdraw the
entry. Although they were not going to be racing, the team
decided that they had to stay and support the rest of us,
which confirms the bonding within the SRGT Series. The bigger
disappointment had to be for our man Cheng who was down
to race the Cobra in Nick's absence on the Sunday.
Cheng and Nick usually go head to head and so I guess Cheng
was relishing the thought of getting behind the wheel of the
Tart Cobra to see if he could filch one or two tweaks for
the new car he is hoping to have out in the series soon. What
a bummer eh !! Mark Jordan having pulled out at Donington
when he suffered disappearing brakes was back at Snetterton
hoping that he had found a cure for the problem with a change
of fluid, as was John Suckling with the Taydec having sorted
the electrical gremlins.
The cars all went through the 'noise test' without
a problem as far as I am aware, although one or two drivers
were looking a little nervous, especially after the discussions
with the sound marshals last year. We were one of these
as we were over the limit last year but were well inside
this year much to our amazement, as the only change from
then is the replacement engine block that was forced on
us last year. For some reason unbeknown to us this block
is noticeably quieter.
Our cars interspersed with the Jaguars set off in practice
and it soon became apparent that John Dickson had not only
sorted his car out from Donington but was really starting
to fly, subsequently picking up pole with a time that would
not have disgraced him had he been out with the Porsche GT3s.
Mark Jordan also seemed to back on the pace just piping Clint
to the second slot on the grid. So with the Cobras taking
the first three positions it was the Crossles that took the
next three led by Nigel Edwards. Next on the grid was Ken
Culverwell in the Mamba, Ken having only just come out of
hospital from a relatively major op, but got bored sitting
around the house and thought he would test the doctor's advice
about 'taking it easy'.
The rest of the grid was then made up of a mix of our Challenge
and the Jaguars, although a strange looking device called
a Luengo Viento which looked just like a Lotus Seven on steroids
rather upset the applecart being the fastest of all the Jaguars
to end up 11th on the grid. Snetterton also saw Myles Castaldini
on the back end of the grid in the ex Richard Wos Marcos GT
that he was to share later in the weekend with Nigel Edwards.
Being new to the car Myles was trying to get a measure of
his new steed despite a problem with the either the clutch
or the gear change and it emitting a blue haze from underneath,
which was eventually traced to a faulty breather on the cam
cover. Graham Paddick was to bring the Kougar in after a few
laps to investigate poor running.
And so to the race which being late in the afternoon was
inevitably subject to the usual problem of the meeting running
late due to accidents and delays. In fact it is surprising
we got to race at all as we did not start until after 6.00pm
with following bike race cancelled as the meeting was so
far past its deadline. In the event our race curtailed to
Watching from the pit wall is a problem for the start as
the marshals clear the wall until the cars are clear and
away, this means that you cannot always see who gets away
clean and who makes up the places. Also when you are looking
out for your own driver amongst the pack you again can miss
some of the action, but here is what I did manage to see.
The grid formed up and as the lights turned green it appeared
that Mark Jordan led the field away with the rest of the
pack in hot pursuit. At Snetterton once the cars disappear
towards Riches corner they are lost until they reappear
at Coram, so immediately they disappear everyone’s
eyes are glued to the other end of the track waiting to
see who is first into the line of vision.
As they came into sight it was the unmistakable new colour
scheme of John Dickson's Cobra with Mark Jordan, Nigel
Edwards' Crossle and Clint in the Cobra heading the
field. Next Mike Walker had moved up to fifth where he was
to remain for the rest of the race with Ken Culverwell hanging
on in sixth. Gary Wilson had made a good start from 11th
to move up into eighth where he also remained to the flag
in the Crossle that he prepares with his son.
From Coram it's a short run to Russell Bend and the
leading four were close together as they braked for the
much slower corner and then they were away thundering up
the Pit Straight, John Dickson you could see was not going
to give up the lead easily, but the noise as they all come
past together is quite deafening. This was the order they
stayed in until lap five when Clint got past the Crossle
and set out after Mark Jordan to then pass into second place
on lap six. The chase was on but despite setting fastest
lap Clint could not quite make up the distance to John Dickson
who won by less than a second and a half. Mark Jordan meantime
was putting up a great fight despite having more brake problems
which was later thought to boiling of the fluid. Given the
way he was chasing the other two Cobras it's hardly
surprising that the fluid was getting hot!!
In the mid field the order chopped and changed a little
with the Crossles of Gary Wilson, David Hughes, Nick
Ledger and Andy Todd holding their places in the centre
of the field. Richard Abels E Type also put in some very
consistent laps to finish eleventh and the Taydec of John
Suckling despite losing a number of places at the start
of the race, managed to climb back up to twelfth by the
Further down the field there were many tussles going on with
the XJ12 of Rick Walker and the Luego Viento of Alan Glover
showing that the big cars are not so slow, holding their positions
mid field of 13th and 14th with a bit of swapping to the end
of the race. The Jaguars provided a big of excitement for
the crowd as they thunder down from Coram and then swing them
through Russell with the inevitable rush over the rumble strips.
The only problem being that at this corner the rumble strips
are like upturned house bricks which can easily upset the
balance of the car. For those following this can translate
into a large metal object suddenly filling your windscreen
as this horrifying two ton ballerina scrabbles to regain its
posture, throwing clouds of dust into the air in the process.
Hearing the oohs and aahs of the crowd at Russell once or
twice as the cars circulated, I guess they were being treated
to the manic dance as cars tried to avoid one another. However
as I walked back through the paddock later there were no funny
smells so I take it no one had a brown trouser day!
Further still down the field the Westfield of Adam Wilkinson
dropped a couple of places to 18th and finally retired after
six laps, the Crossle of Gwyn Pollard joining Adam and Graham
Paddick who had retired after three laps with the recurrence
of a cylinder head problem that they thought had been resolved.
The Marcos of Myles Castaldini was having a bit of a scrap
with the Ginetta of David Stafford and the XJ6 of Richard
Dorling. The little Ginetta at 1300cc giving away quite
a capacity difference to the 3 litre Marcos and the XJ6,
but the three cars stayed together right to the flag despite
swapping places several times, although the blue haze from
the Marcos was I understand giving concern to the following
drivers as to exactly what was being ejected from the engine!
It was also good to see that we had Jeremy Knight and Norman
Davidson out in the Revival D type and E type respectively,
although the last eight finishers were lapped by the leaders
which is hardly surprising as Snetterton suits the big Cobras
allowing them to stretch their legs down each of the long
When the flag finally fell it was a jubilant John Dickson
that crossed the line in what was to be the first of two
wins over the weekend. Just to keep the drivers on their
toes they were also subject to a weight check when they
returned to the pit lane, that is their cars were weighed
as I am sure there are one or two drivers that really don't
want to know how much extra weight their cars are having
to carry this season.
The day ended very satisfactorily with no major incidents
as far as I am aware, obviously as I am unable to see all
of the track and so if you were the 'spinner'
or the one who 'nudged' someone else out of
my sight providing a bit of spectacle for
the crowd, I will leave you to own up and put an additional
observation on the end of this report.
Not being there for the Sunday race I am unable to add comment,
but I am sure that a review of both races from the driver's
cockpit would be welcome and add a different perspective
to those who read the site. So come on guys let us know
which bits of the races you enjoyed most.