Round four of this year's championship was at Cadwell Park, the circuit used most often in this championship's 32 year-old history. Leading the title chase by a fair margin were Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley, hoping to leave Cadwell a bit happier than they did last year – their first meeting together and Jevon was ejected at Charlies!
A select group of 13 regulars were joined by two wildcards, Shane High and Jenny Stainton, along with Bruce Collins and Peter DeAngelis, this last pairing having made the journey from Australia and are due to be at Assen next weekend in their whirlwind global tour! Their first impression of the Cadwell circuit? – A bit different from anything previously seen!
Bruce Collins and Pete De Angelis (I might have spelt the names wrong, but great to meet you guys - SE)
Qualifying saw Pete/Jevan top the list from Lewis Blackstock/Paddy Rosney and Sean Reeves/Andy Winkle but less than a second separated this trio, while Lee Crawford/Pat Farrance, Dave Wallis/Harry Payne and Steve/Mattie Ramsden had just 0.6 second separating them. Clearly the start would be crucial. But on this occasion everyone kept their placing and the top six at the end of the opening lap were as per qualifying!
John and Jake Lowther were 7th just ahead of two father-son pairings Gary/Darryl Gibson and Simon/Tom Christie, Gordon Shand/Phil Hyde were in 10th, Nick Dukes/William Moralee and Roy Hanks/Kevin Perry completing the top twelve with Collins/DeAngelis winning the battle of the wildcards. On the second lap Crawford got past Reeves for third, and two laps later the Ramsdens relegated Reeves a further place. Their racing came to a halt with retirement on lap six and the Lowthers moved to fifth ahead of Wallis. The only other changes saw both Shand and Dukes get past Christie. So, a fifth race win from seven for the championship leaders but just a 1.045 second gap to Lewis/Paddy. Our Aussie visitors were chuffed to finish, albeit a lap down on the winning pair.
Gary and Daryl Gibson. SE here.. to me they're going better than ever
Race 2 in very warm conditions saw the three race-one podium pairs lead the way, but Reeves had retired with more engine problems to solve. On the third lap Crawford nabbed second place from Blackstock, could he close the gap to Founds? Every time it looked likely, within a second or so it would widen again. The Ramsdens, Wallis and Lowther completed the top six, Gibson, Christie, Dukes and Hanks made the top ten while Shand had non-started after problems developed in the earlier club race. High, Collins and Pettman was the order of the wildcards. As is often the case at Cadwell, the racing while close, can be a bit processional. Founds edged away to a six-second victory, Crawford and Blackstock did swap places a couple of times but backmarkers put an end to their dice, and that was that. The Lowthers retired on the penultimate lap but otherwise the order was unchanged.
SE - Nicky Dukes and William Moralee. Good to see them again
Jim Norbury, FSRA President, kindly made the presentations to the podium lads and then the Steve Norbury Trophy was presented to the overall weekend winners, Pete Founds and Jevon Walmsley. Thanks also to Bill Barrowcliff for his awards on Saturday evening.
In the championship, Founds has a massive lead, 170 points to Crawford's 117 and Ramsden's 110, Blackstock now up to fourth on 81. In the F2Cup, The Gibsons have 157, Blackstock 125, Dukes 110. Round 5 is at Croft in four weeks time, August 27-28.
Words by John Newton, photos courtesy of Derek Donsworth.
Our hosts for the weekend. Pete and the Jevan Walmsley.