Mallory Park Race Report
28 April 1996
A dry, bright morning heralded the first round of the Morgan Motor Company Challenge at Mallory Park on Sunday 28th April 1996.Of the 23 cars entered only 22 appeared for practice as newcomer to the series, lan Bulinski, was stranded on the roadside somewhere in Leicestershire. Other newcomers included Simon McDermott, in the Class A car formerly owned by Patrick Lund, and James Paterson in the ex-Mark Longmore Class D car. We also welcomed Maurice Standish in his +8 who was joined in Class B by Malcolm Paul making a popular return to the series in the familiar ROB 8R.
As practice got underway the circuit became bathed in a blue haze signalling problems with his +8 for Matthew Wurr. In spite of this he managed to put himself alongside pole position man Peter Garland on the front row of the grid. The second row would be taken by James Edgerton and Grahame Walker. After a short practice in another session, two visits to scrutineering and a generous donation to OPEC, Jan Bulinski was allowed on the grid at the back and with a ten second penalty!
The race began shortly after 2pm with a superb start from Peter Garland taking James with him from the second row. Grahame suffered - the poor start by Matthew enabling both Craig Jones and Simon McDermott to get in front of him. With much squealing of tyres, Peter almost lost it going into the Esses for the first time, just managing to keep it together and get back on the track but letting James through to lead the race at the end of the first lap. Matthew was now third, Craig in fourth, Simon fifth, Malcolm sixth and Grahame seventh. Mike Fellows led the middle of the field followed by Chris Phillips, Martin Kurrein, Mark Baldwin, Maurice Standish, Chris Acklam and John Clarke. Stephen Lockett, the sole Class C runner, was in front of Chris Springall, Jack Bellinger, Peter Sargeant and Simon Orebi Gann. Mary Lindsay was ahead of David James with James Patereson and Jan completing the field.
By the end of lap two Peter had passed James to regain the lead, Malcolm was up to fifth and John Clarke was recording fastest lap for Class E prior to retiring with a broken oil pump. Matthew was up to second place by the time they crossed the line for the third time but the blue haze was returning, indicating more problems with his axle. Undaunted he was starting the lap which would also secure him fastest lap in class and a new lap record. Meanwhile Mark was in front of Martin and Simon Orebi Gann had taken Peter Sargeant.
By the halfway point Mark had also taken Chris Phillips while Grahame was closing the gap and catching Simon McDermott. Chris Springall and Jack were lying 14th and 15th with Stephen close behind. Unfortunately with the smell of burning oil even reaching inside the commentary box, the officials were obliged to black flag Matthew's car, and, at the end of the ninth lap, he pulled into the pits to retire. There is no doubt that James would have picked up the baton to chase Peter's ever-increasing lead had he not been suffering a broken accelerator. He did carry on to finish second ahead of Craig, third. Malcolm Paul finished fourth and in doing so set a new lap record for Class B.
A spirited and entertaining drive from Peter to give him a well-deserved first win of the year and a field of twenty three cars bodes well for the season which continues at Brands Hatch on May 6th.
(c) Serena Aston Race - Series Coordinator