First corner


Round 1 
Silverstone National, Saturday April 16th, 14 Laps

Barry Webb starts the season in style.

Defending Champion Barry Webb opened his season's account with a dominant lights to flag win at Silverstone, in the opening round of the BARC Clubmans Cup.

In the morning's qualifying session Alex Osborne debuted his new Mallock Mk30PR and promptly secured pole by 0.207s over Webb, despite having two 360 degree spins. "I couldn't get the car started at first, so came out of the pitlane and put a quick one in early, just in case the battery went," said Webb. Stefan Mumm was third quickest in his Mallock, with Mike Evans completing the second row.

Of the 23 car grid, the top eight qualified within 0.9s, while languishing down in 14th was Guy Woodward, who felt his lack of pace was probably an aerodynamics problem. It was dry but cloudy as the grid assembled, all 23 cars were present with no casualties from qualifying. On the green flag lap however, Mumm's Mallock was sidelined with a gearbox failure.

From the start Webb was straight on the pace, "I didn't expect that at the start, I was just flat to Copse and pulled out 50 yards," he explained. Osborne held second initially from Paul Freeman's Ardmore, but Freeman ped through to snatch the place into Brooklands on the second lap. A lap later Osborne spun at Becketts and allowed Howard Payne's Mallock to go by into third, before recovering to find Peter Richings and the rapidly closing Mike Evans bearing down on him.

As Webb began to increase his lead, Payne started to close on Freeman. Having lost out a the start with gear selection problems, Evans charge took him past Richings on lap seven and Osborne a lap later for fourth.

With Freeman consolidating his hold on second during the closing laps, he followed Webb to the flag 3.347 secs adrift. "I had a really good start, but reckon I looked in my mirrors too much, "he said breathlessly. Evans charge took him closer Payne, but not close enough to mount a challenge. While after laps of frustration in Osborne's wake, the poleman's defence was finally breached on the last lap, to hand fifth to Richings.

Seventh place Marcus Bicknell had Osborne in his sights too towards the end, while Jamie Champkin's Phantom escaped from an early dice with Ian Crombie's Mallock to chase Adrian Brown's Mallock to the flag for ninth. Apart from Mumm there were only two other retirements, Clive Fidgeon spun out at Maggotts and Gareth Salter blew his engine on the last lap.