Over Before it Began

03.05.16 SWRound1 South Wales event curtailed after a glimpse of what was in store

There was huge potential for the South Wales league to produce an excellent opening Round of the Kent Cams/Simpson Race Exhausts British Autograss Series, but they were denied the chance to fulfil it as the weather forced the cancellation of the event mid way through the third heats. We previously mentioned the uncertain weather conditions at this particular venue and, like in 2010, it was the fog that put an early end to the event this time.

Credit to Oily Evans who was conscious of Sundays forecast and was aware of how many races he would need to get through per hour to stay on, if not ahead of schedule throughout Saturday. Unfortunately though the programme was behind schedule at the end of a long Saturday and some of the Ladies and Junior Special second heats had to be carried over until Sunday morning. With 550 drivers racing finished at 7.30pm on Saturday, possibly not as bad as it seems knowing this was similar to last year but with an extra 100 drivers this time. The rain started early on Sunday morning but was light enough for racing to continue, and continue at a pace too. The track was grippy and smooth providing close and competative racing and things were back on track with the third heats reaching Class Two when the fog descended at midday. Even with a short break there was potential to power through the rain and complete the race programme in a timely manner but alas the fog did not lift. By 12.30pm the decision was made to end the event and allow vehicles to get off the site before conditions got too bad.

Despite not being able to run a full meeting, the South Wales League highlighted their capabilities; the track watering was efficient, with the welcome sight of two bowsers which saved time, and the recovery of broken cars was quick. The nature of the huge track provided fast and furious racing and it was a pleasure to see moves being made on the inside and outside lap after lap. Of course the speed at which drivers reached up the start straight meant that 8 cars into1 bend didn't always go well and there were a number of incidents here. It was refreshing however to see many drivers start up and be back on their way avoiding unecessary race stoppages, something South Wales did struggle with last time we were there. The fact we were given a clear indication of the event's potential had we enjoyed two days of good weather meant that its curtailment was especially disappointing, as we could now have been looking back on a fantastic opening Round of the series.

The venue as a whole was very much what we're used to at this track. A good sized pits, large camping area, and even more trackside parking this year as camping vehicles could park the full length of the finish straight side. The Trade Stall area had the potential to be a hive of activity had the weather been warm enough for people to wander out, and had more Trade Stalls filled the space. It did seem like the half a dozen stalls were a little out on a limb at the start line end of the track.

Regarding British Series points; If ALL of your class completed three heats you will be awarded points for these heats towards your class Championship. If your class only completed two heats, including those that started but did not all finish heat three, then you are awarded points for those first two heats. NO points from this round will count towards the Overall Ttles. The League did issue trophies to drivers in accordance with their position after the heats they completed and if you need to enquire about this please contact the South Wales League directly.

Round Two is now a long way off, both in time and distance, as we head up to the Scunthorpe Club on 25th & 26th June.  Their Blyton Airfield venue is better placed than most for overcoming the weather however we still hope it is somewhat warmer and kinder to us by the end of June where we can look forward to fast and furious racing of a different kind on their tighter, harder track.


Photo: David Bennett