Race Reports For The 2001 Season.
Cadwell Park, Sunday September 9th, 10 Laps
The 2001 Championship was decided at Cadwell with a suitably thrilling battle between the two quickest contenders - Peter Clark and Daniel Eagling. Unfortunately, the duel didn't go all the way to the flag as Peter fell foul of traffic with a couple of laps to go and spun down to third, leaving Dan to amass another perfect 27 point tally. Third was enough to ensure that Clark wins the crown with two races still to go. If only Dan's F3000 commitments allowed him to take on more races we could still have a contest on our hands.
The Lincolnshire Wolds looked like continuing the late summer trend of lousy weather with a strong north wind bringing frequent blustery showers and ensuring that the wets and quick lift jacks were on and off the trailers like mad. Cadwell often only attracts a moderate grid (can't imagine why, it's such a challenge) so it was good to see a healthy entry of 18 cars. This was depleted to 17 when poor Chris Burnham's left rear hub departed company complete with wheel on Saturday afternoon testing - fortunately without causing any other serious damage.
Qualifying saw Dan Eagling once again annex pole with a time half a second clear of Peter Clark. These two were well clear of Jim Lindley, who in turn, was well clear of Clive Woodward. Unfortunately though, right at the end of the session 'Olive' put Barry Webb's car off on the exit of the Gooseneck and clobbered the wall quite hard backwards. The previously immaculate car was hence hors de combat for the remainder of the weekend with a bent axle, trashed rear wing, etc.
Nick (Caterham) Frost was guesting in Chris Hart's Mk16, having previously driven the Webb car at the season opener at Silverstone, and did a great job to put the car into 5th spot ahead of John Kelly, who looked more racy than for a long time (in the car I mean!). Adrian Brown also went well to be 7th, ahead of Howard Payne, who would be subsequently be sidelined with a broken gearbox baulk ring, Paul Freeman (flying in the Ardmore), a subdued Peter Richings (suspecting the car wasn't quite recovered from Mallory yet), Brian Jordan, Mike Luck (off at Gooseneck - no serious damage), Alan Avery, Ian Mitchell, Mike Taylor, Nick Bailey (off at Gooseneck - no damage) and Marcus (down on power) Bicknell.
Clark seized the lead at the start and was chased away by Eagling. There was never more than a few tenths in it and once Dan got almost alongside at the top of the Mountain (I think a little paint may have been exchanged...) but it looked as if Peter had the measure of the situation. That was until they came across Mike Luck who was well adrift of the field having had an off earlier. Lets just say that there was a misunderstanding at the foot of the Mountain, Peter thinking that Mike had seen them coming and was leaving space, and Mike... not. No contact was made but Peter spun and fell well back to third leaving Dan to relax for the last couple of laps.
Jim Lindley made an awful start and fell back to 5th. Once he got into his stride he passed Nick Frost and then caught John Kelly and then after Clark's spin found himself in second. John Kelly had his best race for ages taking a lonely 4th ahead of Frost who drove extremely well to take 5th although he was almost caught at the end by Paul Freeman who had the race of his life to (a) withstand considerable pressure throughout from Adrian Brown and (b) never put a wheel wrong. Adrian unfortunately couldn't chase him home as a halfshaft broke with a lap to go. So it was Freeman's teammate Peter Richings who was able to do that having spent the whole race looking at the back of Adrian's car!
Mike Taylor was 8th well clear of Brian Jordan and Nick Bailey. Alan Avery had a spin but recovered to 11th ahead of Ian (new racesuit -'I had to Araldite the old one at Donington') Mitchell and Mike Luck. Marcus Bicknell ground to a halt towards the end of the race - his lack of motivation seemingly being an ailing battery, which eventually gave up the ghost.