Knockhill September SMRC season opener
A good entry of over 70 cars for the resumption of SMRC racing saw a shortened programme run on Saturday 12th in the afternoon. The club are limited to the amount of people allowed on site, so only 8 races were run for 4 classes. The meeting started dry but a heavy shower late in the day saw the final race finish behind the safety car. On Sunday Legends Cars were racing at the KMC, SLS meeting.
Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper Cup in association with Yokohama Tyres + Cooper S Cup.
Lone Mini Cooper S of Blake wins both races, but defending Cooper champion Dalgleish takes a brace of hard fought Cooper Cup wins.
Race 1 – The lone Cooper S entered ran in a separate class, and walked away from the Cooper cars, with its extra power showing clearly on the straights. Jamie Blake won as he pleased after breaking clear on lap 2, from the top Cooper of 2019 champion Robbie Dalgleish. It was hectic in the battle for Cooper honours. Adam Kindness racing as a guest had qualified fastest Cooper, but dropped to 5th by the first corner. Dalgleish was 2nd overall having qualified 4th. Another quick starter former champion Mark Geraghty ran 3rd up from 5th on the grid, with newcomer Chad Little driving well to stay with these two experienced drivers. Kindness stayed close in 5th The safety car came out on lap 4 as Jordan Brown was off the road at Macintyres stuck in the gravel. A few laps went by before racing resumed. Blake again raced away as Dalgleish held onto 2nd but he was under constant pressure, and despite getting a few car lengths clear of the 3 car chasing pack by lap 10 he was caught late on. Adam Kindness hunted him down having passed Little then Geraghty on consecutive laps, he pressed hard on the final lap but finished on Dalgleish’s bootlid. Mark Geraghty in 4th was a couple of seconds back, as he headed a 3 car train at the flag with Little 5th and another newcomer Daniel Patterson right with him. Patterson had taken 6th on lap 3 from newcomer Tom Porter, but dropped back a few seconds after the safety car went in, then he closed up on the top cars.
Race 2 – Once again the Cooper S of Blake led all the way, and he won as he pleased. Robbie Dalgleish held 2nd throughout, but had to work hard to keep the others behind as he headed a tight 5 car train for much of the race. He broke clear over the final 3 laps, as the rest of the chasing pack swapped places. Mark Geraghty held 3rd on lap 1 then Adam Kindness passed him and sat on Dalgliesh’s bootlid for 7 laps. Geraghty dropped to 5th on lap 7 as Chad Little took over and pressed Kindness before going past on lap 9 to 3rd. Then Geraghty followed him through taking 4th. Kindness repassed both Geraghty and Little a lap later. Frantic action saw Little run wide and he went sideways exiting the chicane on lap 10 with cars close to him, but he held on to his place. Little then took 3rd off Kindness with a lap to go. Geraghty was 5th and right behind Kindness, with Daniel Patterson close in 6th. These 4 drew away from Ross Wilkinson in 7th, who had driven well to come up from 11th place on the grid, passing Tom Porter for the place on lap 8. Dalgleish took top Cooper honours again in 2nd, with Little 3rd repeating his newcomer class win from race 1. Less than a second covered the cars in 3rd to 6th at the flag, it had been classic Mini action.
Scottish Classic Sports and Saloon Championship
Big grids with terrific variety, sees two different race winners as V8s dominate
Race 1 – Andrew Smith the pole sitter was never headed in his Morgan +8, but he was kept honest all race by the big Rover SD1 saloon of John Kinmond. These two pulled slowly away from the Triumph TR8 V8 of Andrew Graham, but he retired on lap 3 leaving defending champion Bruce Mitchell all alone in his Lotus Europa in 3rd. He kept a couple of seconds gap to the Porsche 911 of Adam Bernard. Only a few seconds behind the 911 came Alasdair Coates. He was driving his green Mk1 Escort with gusto and held off the lovely 1950s Jaguar XK120 sportscar of Darren McWhirter, which slowly closed down a 2 second gap. McWhirter then pressed the Escort for a few laps, before powering past into 5th on the final lap, just half a second separated them at the flag. Top class A (up to 1500cc) car was next. Former champion Alastair Baptie has switched back to his championship winning Fiat X1/9 sportcar. He had been out qualified by class rival Mario Ferrari in an Alfa Romeo coupe, but Baptie passed him on lap 1 and was never headed . The nimble X1/9 came up from 10th on the grid to finish 7th. Mario Ferrari took 8th place, 6 seconds ahead of the Lotus 23B sportscar of Keiron Baillie which had moved up from 14th on the grid. He went ahead of Jimmy Crow’s Mk1 Escort, that had run as high as 6th early on, then spells in 7th and 8th for much of the race, before dropping back late on. The Morgan of Smith was almost in a class of its own, but Kinmond in the big Rover saloon never gave up, and was less than 2 seconds back at the finish, even locking his front brakes and smoking the front tyres at Clark on the final lap, as he tried to stay with the Morgan as they raced through lapped traffic.
Race 2 – Race 1 winner Andrew Smith was a non starter. This left the race open for John Kinmond, his V8 River SD1 saloon in period touring Car livery, simply ran away from the rest and he won as he pleased. But a new runner up was in 2nd all race. Adam Bernard took the white 911 that looked like the one formerly raced by his father Stan to 2nd. He grabbed 2nd by the first corner and pulled out a couple of seconds gap on Bruce Mitchell’s Lotus Europa in 3rd. Adam maintained and extended the gap later in the race. Mitchell was initially tracked by Alasdair Coates Escort, who stayed in 4th until lap 6. Mario Ferrari started well and led class A in his Alfa, but class rival Baptie demoted him on lap 2 and chased after Coates. He caught him mid race and went into 4th were he stayed with his X1/9 a few seconds clear of the battle behind him. Coates ran 5th for 2 laps, but had been caught by the slower starting Jaguar XK120 of Darren McWhirter, which demoted him on lap 8. But asMcWhirter ran 5th he came under pressure from Keiron Baillie’s Lotus 23B which passed Coates on lap 9, and the Lotus was only two car lengths back at the flag in 6th. McWhirter and Baillie had Coates Escort right with them, over the final few laps in 7th. Jimmy Crow took 8th having been 6th on lap 2. Mario Ferrari got home 9th ahead of class rival William Conway who took his Mini Clubman to 10th only 3 seconds back after getting past Classics returnee Nic Boyes Mini early on. Kinmond made it look easy in the big Rover and won well. In the XR2 Championship the only runner was Duncan O’Neill who won the class again, and chased the two dicing Mazda MX5s of Neil and Andrew MacGreggor to finish 15th.
Fiesta ST Cup in association with Yokohama Tyres
Dave Colville is back in Fiestas with a brace of wins.
Race 1 – Dave Colville was on pole by half a second and he was never headed in this race. On lap 1 Lorn Murray ran 2nd in the Challenge class car, but Steven Gray was up in 2nd on lap 2 and stayed around a second behind Colville, but held off Murray before easing a second clear of him by mid distance. Colville stretched his lead to nearly 2 seconds at the flag as Gray eased further from Murray. Behind these three a battle raged all race. Veteran Peter Cruickshank finally grabbed 4th on lap 11. Peter held on over the final lap despite lots of pressure from Andrew Elliot, who had sat behind him all race and followed Peter past Simon Smail on lap 11, after Smail had held 4th for 10 laps, but finished 6th. These three were covered by a second at the flag. Russell Morgan had been with these 3 all race, but dropped back on the final lap, as he finished 7th.
Race 2 – Dave Colville had pressure from Steven Gray for the first 3 laps then eased away, as he opened up over 5 seconds gap on Gray by mid race, when light rain spots started. A heavy shower began on lap 9 which saw the safety car soon appear as Simon Smail had gone off at Leslies when in 9th. The race was declared over after 10 laps, as it was stopped behind the safety car . Colville had maintained his lead over Gray until the safety car appeared. Andrew Elliot was top Challenge class car in a fine 3rd. He was 5th on lap 1 in the middle of a tight 5 car train. He moved to 4th on lap 4 past Smail then took 3rd from Lorn Murray. These two challenge cars ran close for the rest of the race. Russell Morgan took 5th from Smail on lap 7 followed by the slow starting Peter Cruickshank on the same la. Peter closed up in 6th to within a car length of Morgan by lap 10, as the rain worsened. Duncan Langton got home 7th having been close to Peter Cruickshank for a couple of early laps, he had to defend from Mark Dickson until mid race, when Dickson retired.
SMTA Citroen C1 Cup supported by Yokohama tyres
Two hard fought wins for different drivers, as a big field enjoys close racing. Qualifying was tight after 14 of the 23 cars qualified within a second of each other.
Race 1- Pole sitter Tom Denham was out dragged into Duffus Dip by two cars. He was now 3rd behind leader Ross Dunn and Colin Main. The front two ran nose to tail all race, Dunn won a race in C1s last year and again showed he has pace and racecraft. He eased over a second clear by the end of the race. Tom Denham got onto Colin Main’s bumper by mid distance, and stayed virtually attached to it until the flag as he was 3rd. Denham had made a lunge up the inside at Clark mid race, but didn’t get past. Main ran wide exiting Clark as he defended but held on. James McCracken ran 4th all race with Dan Martin right with him for the entire 10 laps. Kieren Preedy took 6th, after heading a 7 car train of C1s running nose to tail in the early laps. He broke clear mid race. In 7th was defending champion Finlay Brunton, he sat on Preedy’s tail for a few laps then dropped behind Cameron Bryant, before repassing him on lap 8. He was followed home by Steven Morrison who took 8th on lap 9. Richard Jobson took 9th also on lap 9 after he’d started 12th.
Race 2- The track was wet for the final race of the day. A heavy shower made conditions tricky. So the start was behind the safety car. A dry line appeared after a few laps, but a safety car period mid race bunched everyone up, after a car rolled at MacIntryes and ended up next to the tyre wall. Ross Dunn led from Colin Main and they ran nose to tail all race. But Main grabbed the lead with a lap to go, and held on to win by 3 tenths of a second. Tom Denham had been right with them until the chicane on lap 2, when he got on the kerb and spun round at the exit, stopping mid track. The marshals quickly warned the following cars with flags, and they all missed him as he restarted down near the back. The safety car period began on lap 4. When racing resumed Dunn just led Main, with a few car lengths back James McCracken heading a 5 car train. McCracken had Dan Martin all over him, but close behind was Finlay Brunton, who moved up to 4th with two laps to go. He was followed by Ryan Smith in 5th. Ryan Smith had started 11th but was last season’s C1 Cup runner up and has won races. He worked his way through the pack, passing two cars with two laps to go for a well deserved 5th. Dan Martin took 6th just over a second back as he headed a 4 car group, with Cameron Bryant 7th and Steven Morrison 8th only 3 tenths of a second back. Tom Denham passed a few cars as he recovered to finish 14th.
Sunday 13th September Knockhill (KMSC)
Scottish Legends Cars Championship supported by McGill Motorsport.
Heat 1 (6 laps)
Mark French led lap 1 from Pino Palazzo. Then Jon Critchlow who was 3rd passed both cars ahead of him and took the lead. He then led all the way to the flag, but it was close as he was less than a tenth of a second ahead at the end. Pino Palazzo maintained 2nd all race. Billy Wait grabbed 3rd on the final lap from Mark French, who finished 4th as they also finished very close together. Stewart Black retired from 5th late on.
Heat 2 (6 laps)
Stewart Black led for 2 laps then Pino Palazzo took over at the front and went on to win. Jon Critchlow ran 3rd early on then took 2nd on lap 3. He ran close to Palazzo as less than two tenths of a second separated them at the flag. Mark French was 3rd less than a second ahead of Billy Wait who came 4th after swapping places with Stewart Black mid race. Black retired on lap 5.
Final (8 laps)
Stewart Black started 1st and led all the way. He won by over 10 seconds, but the racing was close behind him. Guest Jon Critchlow finished 2nd. In the early laps Mark French held 2nd for a lap then Billy Wait took over until mid distance, before Critchlow moved ahead of him into 2nd. Wait was only a tenth of a second behind in 3rd at the flag. Pino Palazzo finished 4th only a car length back with Mark French just a second further back in 5th.