The CSCC Special Saloons + Modsports series
The opening CSCC Special Saloon and Modsport round at Silverstone saw 2 superb races and the series at its best with exciting cars and great racing through the field. After a week of unsettled weather we were blessed with sunshine for race one.
In qualifying the top six were only seperated by 3 seconds and headed by the Peugeot 309 of brothers Danny Morris and Ricky Parker-Morris. Steven Moss` Anglia was second fastest ahead of Wayne Crabtree ( Escort ) , class C ploe man Paul Sibley`s Elan was 4th from class rival Chris Southcott in the newly relivered Midget. Tony Ellis in the deceptively fast Mazda RX7 completed this fastest group.
18 cars should have started but 11th quaifier Terry Nicholls` Castrol Supra was a DNS with plug issues. The CSCC were delighted that legendary driver Tony Sugden was in the Pace car to get the grid off to a rolling start. Ricky Parker-Morris lead a 4-car train over the line after lap 1 covered by less than one second with Crabtree,Moss and Southcott in this gaggle. These fastest cars hitting speeds up to 140 mph down the pit straight. The 4 continuned to put on a great display changing positions for 5 laps but only covered within a second of each other throughout. Crabtree had got ahead by lap 6 until Morris took him at the right hander at Maggotts onto the return straight called Brooklands. Just as the Peugeot was about to lap the 2 back-markers and at a speed of 88mph suddenly the car`s right front centre-lock wheel broke free , actually bouncing on the car`s roof before rolling safely off onto the grass without causing any damage. Morris did well in bringing his car to a halt having lost his brakes too , waiting for the space to his left off track to rotate the car to a halt. The 3 drivers behind had all kept their cool and nipped past the stricken Peugeot. Thankfully incidents like this have been very rare in the series and the Peugeot itself was relatively undamaged from its 3-wheeling experience.
Steven Moss thereafter took the lead and held a slight advantage for the rest of the race over Crabtree. Moss was delighted to take his second ever series win after that first one in the last round of the previous season , managing his tires well to the end. Southcott had to pit on lap 7 thus elevating the dueling pair of Paul Sibley ( Elan ) and Tony Ellis ( RX7 ) to eventually finish 3rd and 4th in that order. Sibley winning class C in the process.
Series debutant Craig Percy was enjoying a trouble-free race in the ex-Chris Isaac Morris Minor-Chevy V8 , a car that epitomises the spirit of special saloons and took 5th in this and race 2. Sixth was Tony Paxman who took class D from Tim Cairns`Midget , the 2 class rivals having been only around a second apart throughout the entire race. 8th was the gorgeously rumbling Capri V8 who took second in class C from Lee Jones` Mini , the latter having lost his 11-second advantage and finished the race with only 4th gear. Neil Duke`s Anglia completed the top 10. Kevin Cooper was the only Class E runner and took 11th.
The other series debutant was Dan Minton in the family`s well known mark2 Escort RS. The team had been able to record a qualifying time , getting the beautifully restored car out later in another series` qualifying session and had to start last. Storming from 17th through to 5th by the final lap only to run out of fuel at the last corner in which was a real shame for the team.
Fastest lap of the race was set by Wayne Crabtree at 61.46 seconds. Superb stuff.
For race 2 Steven Moss had to take the so-called `winners penalty` and start race 2 in 11th. Thus Wayne Crabtree was firm favourite to win after such a strong showing in race 1 and was effectively in pole position.
Cars that didnt make the grid this time around were the Supra , the Peugeot , the Mini and Phil Price`s eerily quiet Porsche turbo that had whispered round to 13th in race 1. Moss` wasnt the only car expecting to be on a charge from his `false` position for the back row had both Chris Southcott ( Midget ) and the Minton Escort eager to make up for their race 1 disappointments. Steve Minton now in the Escort.
So when Wayne Crabtree spun at Maggotts on lap 1 and the whole field got passed the Escort before he was able to recover the race was blown wide open. The 2 red sports cars of Paul Sibley ( Elan ) and Tony Ellis ( RX7 ) led the pack into lap 2 with Moss already in 3rd . The green Anglia picked off Ellis on lap 4 and took the lead on lap 6. Consistent fast laps with an eye on tyre wear took Moss to his second win of the day with a 4-second lead by the end. Southcott wasted no time in his charge from the back and was already 4th after 1 lap and he too picked off both the red cars to go 2nd by lap 8. Ellis retired the Mazda on lap 8 after a great dice with Sibley who continued to finish 3rd and take class C. The Elan man remains the series most consistent performer with a record 36 starts to date and 27 class wins to his credit.
There were so many cars charging from the back even if unwittingly it did make for a very entertianing race. Crabtree having spun from first to last had recovered well to take 4th by the flag. Steve Minton brought the family`s old Escort racer home in 6th from the back , one place behind Craig Percy in the Morris Minor V8. Minton clinching class D from Tony Paxman ( Escort ) and Tim Cairns ( Midget ) having got ahead of his class rivals on lap 10.
9th was Kenny Coleman in the Capri V8 , Neil Duke was again 10th , the evergreen Jerry Burgoyne 11th ,Kevin Cooper took class E in 12th and Gary Cole 14th. Steven Moss recorded the fastest lap in 61.18 seconds. It had been another enjoyable spectacle with the variety of interesting cars and great dicing made all the more entertaining by the different strengths of each at different parts of the track.
Next race is at Brands Hatch on June 5th.
for a comprehensive breakdown of the 2 races TSL Timing had the every lap covered...