Motorsport - Wet Win For Thorn
7:04am 1st May 2012
Whilst the weather ravaged the south west drivers at the first hill climb of the season (Saturday April 28th) at Wiscombe Park battled not only with the rain and high winds but also different levels of adhesion from the track following a total re-surface of the course.
The morning practice runs of the Woolbridge Motor Club organised meeting showed that the new tarmac surface was yielding good levels of grip even in the wet conditions but this was not to be maintained as the grip levels were to deteriorate during the morning as competitors dragged debris onto the track as a result of short cutting the first left hand bend at Wis.
This was not to be a problem for Axminster driver Lee Moore who took his Citroen AX from second place at the completion of first timed runs into the premier position in the up to 1400 c.c. division of the Road Going Series Production Car class. Early leader Matthew Searle, in his turbo diesel Volkswagen Lupo, could not match the speed of the window cleaner and eventually finished over 1.5 seconds in arrears.
The Modified Specialist Production Car class saw Weymouth's Geoff Blake trailing the Ginetta G33 of Graham Beale on the first of the morning practice runs but unfortunately the reigning Wiscombe Young Driver Champion was unable to take the battle to Beale when, with his father Graham at the wheel, the Westfield SEi left the track and smote the crash barriers at Bunny's Leap. Fortunately Blake senior was un-injured in the incident but the same cannot be said for the car.
Other local drivers to experience problems were Haley Thorne and Colin Pook. Pook took the first run in the car when the belt to the oil pump broke sidelining the Pilbeam MP43 sports racer and requiring a trip back to Frampton to substitute the Westfield. Hayley Throne took a fifth in class with the car she has campaigned for the last two seasons . Colin Pook however moved over to share the driving duties with Rod Thorne in the single-seater Pilbeam MP58.
The challenging conditions were far from ideal if you were making your debut in a new car, as was Ottery St Mary driver Ed Hollier in his Pilbeam MP62in the afternoon. Having posted the fastest time in the first practice session a spin followed but second place was achieved in the afternoon with the win being secured by previous Wiscombe champion and OMS SF1100M pilot Mike Lee.
Reigning Wiscombe Champion Craig Moore battled with Tim Porter for supremacy in the Rally Car Class. The former, from Lyme Regis, was the quickest in practice but come the afternoon he had no answer to the Porter's well driven Ford Escort who took claimed the class honours with a time of 51.29 seconds, just under seven tenths of a second up on Moore.
The anticipated battle for the overall victory between Rod Thorne (Pilbeam MP58) and Terry Graves (Gould GR37) took an interesting twist when the latter left his braking too late and took to the escape road at the Martini hairpin on his first timed run when he was chasing Thorne's time of 44.26 seconds. On their second visit to the hill it was the MP58 driver who left the course between The Gate and The Esses which left the road clear for Graves. However, the Launceston driver was unable to match Thorne's earlier pace and was forced to surrender the Channon Trophy to the Dorset driver.