By robcox, Aug 7 2017 07:17PM
A dark overcast sky greeted the 22 VAG pilots as they took the track for their 15 minute dash qualifying session. The cars began gaining heat into their tyres the proceeding were brought to an early slow as the safety car was scrabbled, with the JWB scirocco of Matthew Evans stranded in the gravel on the exit of Surtees.
The safety car period ended promptly as it took to the pits releasing the cars raced around to set their first flyers of the session with the time remaining. Dole shot to the top of the screen after the first rotation of the 2.61 mile circuit, with Martyn Culley leading the proceedings in Class B. Championship protagonists Wallace and Taylor soon took to the top of the timings separated by a mere tenth with Paul slightly having the edge so far over car number 88.
But the session took another blow as the red Golf of Doran spiked into gravel at the dip of Paddock hill bend, bringing out double waved yellows to the entry of the corner. Dole improved to briefly top the session before being displaced by Wallace, breaking earlier into the earlier 1.39s. A late entry into the top trio of times went the TT of Simon Walton breaking the Team Hard lockout at the top.
With no futher place improvements in places, Wallace went on to take the pole position from teammate Dole in second and Simon Walton completing the top three. Paul Ivens and Stephen Johansen coming across from the Volkswagen Cup took the next two places on the line up.
Martyn Culley was not to be dethroned of his previous success by claiming class pole from Richard Morgan in second, and Christie Doran lining up third despite ending the session in the gravel. Post qualifying the pole car of Ben Wallace was put to the back of the grid due to technical infringement in parc ferme, promoting team mate Kenan Dole to his maiden 2017 pole position.
The weather for race one threw a spin on proceedings with heavy rain minutes before the scheduled start of the race, changing the conditions from qualifying. As the drivers lined up the sun started to shine, and the lights went out on race one, seeing the field get a good start shooting into Paddock.
Pole starter Dole wide exiting Paddock jutted sideways, correcting the car sent it into a fish tail up towards druids. Entering druids backwards Dole began pointing the correct direction and began collecting the slide, collided with Simon Walton as Paul Taylor ducked up the inside to take the lead, the field bunch up behind as cars dart in all angles to avoid the slowing cars.
Both Dole and Walton exiting Druids departed the circuit to marshal posts with damage, retiring from the race. The safety car took to the track collecting the field after they raced to the boards, Maximum Motorsports’ Brayden Flecther making the most of the action ahead found himself in second place behind championship leader Paul Taylor. There also had been a change of place for the lead of class B with Richard Morgan following the field in procession leading the way in the B’s.
The safety car peeled into the pits releasing the pack as we went racing once more. Stephan Johansen placing third made the most of the restart by closing in behind Fletcher to take to the outside for druids, attempting to go the long way around to claim second place. The cars streamed behind entering Paddock again at full speed once more. Docker lost the rear end and slid quickly down Paddock before rolling backwards into the gravel and getting stranded.
Moments later the field were greeted by a second appearance of the safety car to retrieve the white scirocco of Docker. Another brief outing for the pace vehicle resumed the field racing once more. A change of third place saw Team Hard rookie Kyle Owen-Bradsaw sneak up the inside of Fletcher for the final spot on the podium before proceedings were brought to a third slow with Class B leader Richard Morgan stuck in the gravel at the infamous Paddock hill bend.
Owen Walton also took to the gravel on the outside of druids a few foot from the fence, meaning the field finished under safety car condtions, seeing Paul Taylor claim the win, Speedworks Johansen crossed the line second closely followed by Kyle Owen-Bradshaw in third. Class B honours were inherited by Martyn Culley, with Father Barrie in his new Seat Leon machinery snatching second. Christie Doran recovering from her Qualifying off completed the top three in class.
The reverse grid draw drew out the grid for race two, seeing the top ten reversed placing Class B points leader Martyn Culley on pole, not wishing to start on pole, Culley took to the rear of the grid with Russell Joyce lining up on the now front row of the grid in second. Mixed conditions saw mixed tyres through-out the grid, as the field slid off the line and into turn one.
Paul Taylor getting a lightning start began charging through the field, seeing the number 1 car up to third exiting Graham hill bend pulling in close behind the Passat of Graham Ewing sitting in second. The leaders appeared back into sight off the GP loop with Joyce leading from Taylor with Ewing very close behind in third. Breaking the timing beam Taylor closed in for the lead making a lunge on the inside of paddock, Joyce taking to the outside demoted him down to third with Ewing following Taylor through the inside.
As the cars entered their third rotation Martyn Culley had already made his way into the lead of class B having started from the rear of the grid. Joyce slowed with a mechanical issues before pitting in and dropping a lap behind the lead. Kyle Owen-Bradshaw inherited third while closely being chased by teammate Callum Jenkins who was doing well sitting in fourth. A lap later Jenkins ran wide and shot across the gravel exiting Sheene Curve digging in becoming stranded.
Third place sitter Kyle Owen-Bradshaw slowed with steam pouring out the bonnet, with Ben Wallace inheriting third after an impressive charge through the field from the back of the grid benefiting from a good tyre choice on the tricky conditions. Taylor lead the field across the line once more with a large gap back to second place runner Ewing who had now received a 10 second penalty for jumping the start which will be added to the times at the chequered flag.
The chequered dropped on race two with Paul Taylor claiming his second win of the day extending his championship lead over teammate Ben Wallace who’s impressive drive earned him second place after Graham Ewing was demoted to third with his time penalty post race. Class B honours were once again seized by Martyn Culley also extending his lead in class, with Richard Morgan crossing the line in second. Third in class was Goblin Racing’s Barrie Culley who finished the podium.