First corner


Race Reports For The 2005 Season.
Rounds 4 & 5 
Pembrey, Saturday/Sunday May 21st/22nd, both 16 Laps

Changeable conditions produce two new pole sitters and one double winner.

Defending champion Barry Webb was a double winner on the first of two visits to Pembrey.

Saturday's qualifying was very wet and gave Vaughan Thomas his first pole in his Mallock Mk30. "I just got fired up and this was the result," he said. But the next six cars were covered by 0.5 secs with Peter Richings just having the edge over Paul Freeman, Stefan Mumm, Webb and Guy Parr. "My battery went flat towards the end, but it was certainly getting quicker," said Richings. "I have never experienced wet like it before and I had one spin," added Mumm. Title chaser Howard Payne was down in seventh but reckoned he could have gone quicker. "The only problem was the spray, I had more pace if I had wanted to use it," he said.

Alex Osborne was next up, with Adrian Lester now back in his own Mallock, and race debutant Nigel Parr completing the top 10.

It was still raining when the cars formed up on the grid, with the Mallock's of Peter Burnham and Alze da Silva Fulco both absent, there were 16 starters.

In the charge to Hatchetts Richings emerged with a good lead over Mumm, before Osborne charged by leaving Mumm and Freeman to slip back. "Peter beat me away and I misjudged the wet at Hatchetts and went straight on, my moment of glory over," said Thomas. With Osborne spinning at Hatchetts on the second lap and Freeman having already spun at the Esses after a tap from Parr, Richings lead increased, with Mumm back into second. Payne chased Webb for fourth and as both caught Parr, they headed for Hatchetts three abreast on lap five, before Payne emerged with his nose in front.

Richings lead started to reduce as Payne closed in on Mumm making it a four-car train through Honda on lap seven. Having snatched second at Brooklands Payne was poised to challenge for Richings lead through Honda. "I could see the others catching me and would have been happy with top three, then I was hit and Stefan had already hit me twice that lap," said Richings. The result was the top three all spun and Webb was left to cruise through and ease himself to another win.

"Peter was slower through Honda and as I braked I got a nudge from Stefan and we all spun," said Payne, who managed to recover to retain second. Richings made his top three finish after taking Parr on lap 12 and the recovering Osborne and Freeman completed the top six.

Sunday's qualifying was bright and dry and provided another maiden polesitter. Paul Freeman was the delighted recipient, "I just stayed glued to Barry towards the end, didn't realise I had got pole though," he said. The top seven were really close once again with 0.698 secs covering them.

Payne was second best, "I sort of understeered off a bit," he said after taking to the grass. Webb was in third but "unable to get a time" out his car. Osborne and Richings were next up, with Guy Parr just edging out John Kelly's Mallock for sixth. Kelly had damaged his nose after hitting Parr, but in true clubmans fashion was then loaned a replacement by his victim.

The sun was still shining as the grid formed up. Both Burnham and Fulco were out for race two, only Mumm being a non starter after damaging his steering rack in the previous days race.

Freeman held his advantage from pole as the field came through Spitfires, with Webb, Payne, Richings, Osborne, Parr and Kelly following on. After Payne had tried for second into Hatchetts on lap two, Webb upped his pace and snatched the lead from Freeman as they rounded Honda on the next lap.

The lead trio started to escape as Osborne started to press Richings for fourth. With Webb showing signs of making another break, Payne attacked Freeman through Honda on lap four, but had to back off as they headed for Hatchetts.

But on lap six another attack into Hatchetts nosed Payne ahead, but lost it again on the exit, before challenging again successfully through Dibeni. Osborne also managed to slip past Richings for fourth "I had to back off when Paul and Howard decided to go side by side and Alex got a run on me through Honda," said Richings.

Payne made ground on Webb in the closing laps but was unable to stop the reigning champion from taking a double win and consolidating his championship lead. Freeman held onto third and Osborne fourth, despite Richings efforts to rechallenge. A delighted Kelly completed the top six.

The next round is at Oulton Park on June 4th.