Cadwell park 2010

When Chris Woolgar asked me to cover the opening event of the Dunlop European TVR Challenge at Cadwell Park he may or may not have been aware that the task was going to be made a little more difficult by the low number of cars entered but if he did I am prepared to forgive him as in the end it turned out to be a great weekend of mixed racing.

With some 6 new cars in build and not completed and a couple still being repaired from last year delayed by the poor Winter we were unlikely to see a huge grid but if you add into the mix the feeling in some quarters that Cadwell Park, a tight twisty technical circuit, is best suited to bikes, add a dash of prior commitments and serve the whole thing over the expectation that Cadwell is always cold and damp in April and you have a recipe for only five cars on the grid.

From a writer’s viewpoint that doesn’t give a lot of scope but fortunately while the DTEC series was out on Saturday there was the Historic Sports Car Club out on Sunday. The added bonus for me was that one of the HSCC races features a number of historic TVRs. So this article has a sister feature in the HSCC section.

So first to the DTEC series, the winter saw a fair bit of car trading. Keith Vaughn Williams has moved up a class and now has Phil Dickinson’s RV8 Tuscan although the car wasn’t ready delayed by a house move and a lack of opportunity to work on it Keith was there to provide sterling support to the other member of the Happy Endings Motorsport team. His old Tasmin was there however, now in the parental hands of Kevan Gore, the car is being made ready for his son Alex but this time it was the driver who wasn’t ready, Alex has yet to get his race licence. This did provide an opportunity for a series newbie to get out for his first race though. Nick Chandler is rebuilding a Tasmin that hasn’t been seen in the series for a few years and the top to bottom rebuild is taking a lot of time and money. Although new to racing Nick is no novice, he and his beautiful Pearl White Cerbera have lots of track day experience and when the Tasmin is complete I’m sure they are going to be very competitive.

© Mal Gwynne

Keith’s old car still has some bad habits though; he was plagued all last year will gearbox problems and it did it again munching through another Type 9 during testing on Friday. The Cerb came in very useful as Nick made the round trip to the other side of Gatwick and back in a reported six hours to get a replacement box. It also had noise problems and was seen sporting some patented Dave Chant beer can silencers that though not pretty were effective. Saturday morning then had Mr Gore on his back fitting a new gearbox.

© Mal GwynneThe other Happy Endings Tasmin, now with the pedigree of winning the championship twice, has changed hands as well. Tim Davis sold the car to Dave Stewart at the end of season party last year. Dave is the son of the very popular and highly competitive Tom Stewart of Class B Griffith fame so it should be no surprise that when the car arrived on Saturday morning it looked superb in the new white and orange colour scheme and a closer look showed it was very well prepared. Tom also made a welcome appearance, and we all wished him continued progress with his recovery and remind him to be patient, not something he is famous for. Although it was also Dave’s first time out in the series he also has a bit of previous, so he and the car were quick from the off and he put in a very respectable qualifying time just a bit behind Dave Chant’s Tasmin that also looked resplendent after a lot of work over the Winter.

© Mal GwynneRichard Hewitt was the only entrant in class B and for 2010 he has the welcome addition of some help and support, I’m sure this will make a huge difference through the season, however the car was plagued with a misfire all day and Richard settled for nursing it round.

After a difficult winter, 2009 champion Tim Davis was nearly without a car. In November he had one hand on the wheel of Sam Head’s class A Tuscan. Problems with sponsorship however meant the deal fell through and we may see the car and Sam out together later in the year. February/March isn’t the ideal time to be without a race car but a late deal with George Carter saw Tim with  the unique S3erbera, last seen at Brands at the end of 2007. The car is a S3 body on a shortened Cerbera chassis and was out with a fresh 4.5 AJP putting it in class A. The car looked great, resplendent with the number 1 although we all had to keep telling Tim to take it easy, fresh car, fresh engine and a mix of cars. He sort of listened and qualified at the top of the TVR’s and 5th overall. The only issue was as a result of a broken oil cooler in practice the car started to overheat while in the pits during qualifying while the tyre pressures were adjusted and Tim had so cut short his qualifying stint.

© Mal GwynneWith only the five cars out the BRSCC could have cancelled our races but as we are not the only race series suffering a slow start we were matched up with the Quaife Intermarque League.  This did cause a rumble of concern but in the end worked out very well. The eclectic mix of cars in this series ranges from modified saloons, Caterham Roadsports and on to the highly developed and ultra light space frame chassis and plastic bodied Silhouettes. The lightness of these cars matched to highly tuned Ford and Vauxhall race engines mean these cars get round in the same sort of time as a top end Tuscan challenge car.

 

As the Challenge series has championship status the organisers decided to ignore the actual qualifying positions and start the TVR’s at the back of the grid in qualifying order. This would make for an interesting race in the very un Cadwell like warmth and sunshine as the quicker TVR’s would need to make their way through the slower Intermarque cars. In the end it is in everyone’s interest that the racing draws spectators and this was certainly the case.

Race 1

© Mal GwynneWithin the first two laps Tim had passed three of the Intermarque cars despite still feeling his way around with the new car, by lap four he was up with the Silhouettes and had an interesting little battle until the pure power of the AJP allowed him to pass on pit straight and make it stick going into Charlie’s. Tim finished 4th overall behind three of the Silhouettes with the very sorted Audi TT of Steve Hall taking the win. In class B Richard had the circuit to himself and despite the misfire finished just ahead of newbie Nick Chandler. Dave Chant didn’t have it all his own way in class C and found Dave Stewart pretty hard to shake off. They finished a little over 2.3 seconds apart. Dave S took the class C fastest lap.

Race 2

© Mal GwynneIn the second race it was more of the same but with the added spice of one of the Peugeot shaped Silhouettes shedding a front wheel and parking in an awkward little spot on the grass at the bottom of Mansfield.

While overtaking the now heavily misfiring Griffith of Richard Hewitt, Tim Davis was unsighted coming out of the Goose Neck and found himself heading straight for the parked Pug. A little evasive steering on the grass got him back on the black bit and he finished in an overall 4th spot.

© Mal GwynneAgain Dave Chant had Dave Stewart for a shadow and did make it two from two but this time only 1.13 seconds separated the two Tasmins. Dave Stewart also took a second fastest lap.

Richard nursed the Griffith to a finish but unfortunately the Tasmin of Nick Chandler shed the alternator belt somewhere and run out of sparks resulted with only six laps completed.

 

The resulting point table is adjusted as the rules mean that less than three cars entered equals half points and looks like this

 

Posn Driver No Class Car Points
1 Dave Chant #24 C Tasmin 2.9L V6 42 points
2 Dave Stewart #95 C Tasmin 2.9L V6 40 points
3 Richard Hewitt #69 B Griffith RV8 5L 21 points
3 Tim Davis #1 A S3erbera 4.5 AJP 21 points
4 Nicholas Chandler #26 C Tasmin 2.9L V6 17 points

 

 

Results Dunlop TVR European Challenge/TVRCC Challenge Cup Cadwell Park
Class position
Race 1 Race 2
Class A Class A
1
Tim Davis S3erbera Tim Davis S3erbera
Fastest Lap
Tim Davis 1:39.145 Tim Davis 1:39.547
Class B
1
Richard Hewitt – Griffith Richard Hewitt – Griffith
Fastest Lap
Richard Hewitt 1:50.739 Richard Hewitt 1:55.589
Class C
1
Dave Chant – Tasmin Dave Chant – Tasmin
2
Dave Stewart – Tasmin Dave Stewart – Tasmin
3
Nick Chandler – Tasmin Nick Chandler – Tasmin
Fastest Lap
Dave Stewart  1:47.817 Dave Stewart 1:45.901

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