Race Reports For The 2003 Season.
Donington Park, Sunday October 5th, 12 Laps
Matthew Slinn clinches second championship.
Matthew Slinn clinched the 2003 MG XPOWER Clubmans Cup at Donington Park on Sunday (5 October) when he scored another victory in his Mallock Mk30EBX. However, Slinn sealed the title even before the race started, as securing the bonus point for pole position was enough to confirm him as champion in the championship that enjoys support from Powertrain Ltd and Ricardo Plc.
Slinn went into qualifying on Sunday morning knowing that his nearest rival Barry Webb needed to take pole to keep the title open. However, Slinn stormed to pole position with a lap of 1m15.617s to put the matter beyond doubt. His best lap was also a fraction under the five year-old lap record.
Mike Luck (Dart S16) and James Lindley (Mallock 29H) were the closest challengers to Slinn, but were more than three quarters of a second slower, while Guy Woodward (Mallock Mk27) and Webb (Mallock Mk23/03) were fourth and fifth.
"I wanted to win the championship in style," reckoned Slinn after scoring an emphatic victory to complete a memorable day. However, this was no walk-over victory and Slinn had to push hard in the first half of the race to deal with the challenge from Luck and Lindley.
Slinn led the pack into Redgate from Luck and Lindley as a fast-starting Mike Evans (Mallock Mk20B) forged his way into fourth from sixth on the grid. However, a big moment on the brakes into the chicane for the first time cost Evans places to Webb and Howard Payne (Mallock Mk20B).
With Luck and Lindley chasing hard, Slinn had to watch his mirrors over the opening laps but by mid-distance was starting to ease out a slender gap. Luck, meanwhile, had Lindley launching increasingly strong attacks as Webb chased them. Payne moved into a secure fifth but Evans had a gaggle of cars getting bigger in his mirrors as Adrian Lester (Mallock Mk35K) headed Peter Richings (Mallock Mk27 SG-EBX), Woodward and Des Andrews (Mallock Mk27/28).
Finally on lap 10 Lindley got the chance he needed. Luck missed a gear on the exit of the chicane and Lindley swept ahead to secure second place as Webb closed right in on both of them. Little more than a second covered the three cars over the line.
But Slinn was a clear winner, just missing out on setting a new lap record on his way to win number seven in 2003. "The advice from Richard Mallock was to take it easy, but I never listen to him," joked Slinn of his team manager. "I could see I was pushing Mike," said Lindley, who earned the www.racecarsdirect.com driver of the day award for his performance.
The hard charger of the race award went to Russell Munns (Mallock Mk28/30) after starting last on the grid when he suffered clutch failure in qualifying. He battled through a superb six-car battle raging over the lower placings to finish 13th.