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Oulton Park 9 April 2005

A Sprint Race

RACERS READY FOR OULTON CHALLENGE

The first round of the 2CVParts.com Championship kicked off on the 'Island' circuit at Oulton Park, Cheshire.

Phil Myatt and Wayne Cowling were looking to continue their battles from last year, but expected strong challenges from Pete Sparrow, Matt Hollis and Steve Panas.

There was a big grid, with several newcomers adding to the excellent quality of racing throughout the field. Qualifying began at 9:45 with the race being run at 2:30.

The outcome was that Pete Sparrow claimed the first win of the new season at a wet Oulton Park after a race-long battle with reigning champ Phil Myatt. Wayne Cowling and Steve Panas also featured strongly before dropping down the field after both span at the Island Hairpin. Andy Smith completed the top 3 for his first ever podium finish.

Race Reports
2005
Championship Results
April 9th Oulton Park
May 29-30th Snetterton
June 11-12th Pembrey
July 17th Cadwell
July 31st Donington
August 13-14th Croft
Sept 17th Lydden
Oct 1st Silverstone
Oct 29th AGM & Dinner Dance

Click on picture to see enlargement

05-Oult-0004 under the bonnet 05-Oult-0006 05-Oult-0009 05-Oult-0010

It was a cold, wet and windy start for the first round of the 2CVParts.com Championship 2005, which kicked off on 9th April.

Vehicle checks and scrutineering were carried out at half-past eight in the morning, with qualifying at nine forty-five. Pete Sparrow (car 28) grabbed poll position just ahead of Wayne Cowling (car 2), Steve Panas (car 11) and Phil Myatt (car 1), for the full grid see table below.

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The next few hours were spent on final technical tweaks and getting in some well-earned breakfast.

The weather did not improve and even the race marshals hardy souls all of them complained about the cold, but the racing went ahead and shortly after 2 o'clock fifteen 2CVs were in lined-up ready for the off.

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The Grid

Row

Grid

Car

Driver

1

Pole

28

Pete Sparrow

1

2

2

Wayne Cowling

2

3

11

Steve Panas

2

4

1

Philip Myatt

3

5

8

Pete Cardell-Williams

3

6

6

Andrew Smith

4

7

22

Francis Rottenburg

4

8

4

Matthew Hollis

5

9

62

Shaun McLaughlin (did not start)

5

10

34

Neil Thompson

6

11

67

Jonathan Twidale

6

12

76

Ben Allan

7

13

55

Peter Wann

7

14

20

Aubrey Brocklebank

8

15

33

Mark Sparrow

8

16

5

Richard Hollis

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There was a good grid
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The cars presented well
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05-Oult-3838

(See Bella Report)

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After the warm-up lap, the race got under way at 2:15, and what a good race it turned out to be, highly competitive throughout, with plenty of overtaking moves.

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Francis Rottenburg failed to complete the first lap, but all the others finished the race.
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The lead changed hands many times between Pete Sparrow and Wayne Cowling, but Wayne pushed a little too hard and spun his car losing precious time, leaving last year's champion Phil Myatt to carry on the challenge.
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Richard Hollis fought his way from the back of the grid to finish in 9th place behind his brother Matthew. In the end, Pete Sparrow prevailed, with Philip second and a delighted Andrew Smith (who also put in the fastest lap) third.
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The racing was good
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The slippery track was testing
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It was a good day out, despite the weather, and a good start to the 2005 season. The 2CV racers are a very friendly bunch of people and the races are exciting, so why don't you come along and watch the fun? The next race is the 24-hour race at Snetterton on the Spring bank holiday weekend (29th-30th May 2005).

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Richard Knight listens to Adrian Sparrow's story of the race while the winner, Pete Sparrow, demonstrates the elegant way of getting out of a car
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Not only did Pete Cardell-Williams have a good race, it was his birthday too and he was presented with the winning 'Overall Personality (2005) award.' Some after race drinks were supplied    
RESULTS
Pos No Name
 28   Pete SPARROW 
 2   1   Philip MYATT 
 3   6   Andrew SMITH 
 4   8   Pete CARDELL-WILLIAM 
 5   2   Wayne COWLING 
 6   11   Steve PANAS 
 7   34   Neil THOMPSON 
 8   4   Matthew HOLLIS 
 9   5   Richard HOLLIS 
 10   20   Aubrey BROCKLEBANK 
 11   55   Peter WANN 
 12   67   Jonathan TWIDALE 
 13   76   Ben ALLAN 
 14   33   Mark SPARROW 
 Not Classified
 22   Francis ROTTENBURG 

SPARROW FLIES AT OULTON (reporter: Matt Hollis)

2CV racing is turning into Formula 1.  Admittedly, the drivers are not global superstars, the cars can’t quite get to 200mph, and there isn’t a 5ft man in the paddock who controls everything (although he does edit Snails Pace).  In the winter months though, there was the sound of 2CVs being tested.  This was a shock to a few of the racers – the normal policy for the off-season is store the car for 4 months, then a few days before the first race give it a wash.  Consequently, it was unclear who would be up at the front.

Phil Myatt returned to defend his crown, Wayne Cowling returned to steal it.  Pete Sparrow, starting to get jealous having not won a Sprint Championship race for over a year, made a big effort by getting his own car out instead of borrowing someone else’s.  Andy Smith, unhappy with the colour of his 2004 car, built an entirely new one.  It was good to see three rookies on the grid, including Pete Sparrow’s brother.  The Hollis’ were lucky to even be in the paddock as a “serious situation” prompted the security guard to not let them in for an hour on Friday evening – under the Terrorism (and Over-Zealous Security Guards) Act 2001 it is not permissible to allow anybody into a race paddock if somebody is upset that they can’t get into their pit garage.

By qualifying, everybody was present and correct, although Francis Rottenburg and Matt Hollis were in danger of being disqualified for noise infringements.  By the end of the session, it was Pete Sparrow on pole, but only 0.067s ahead of Cowling.  Phil Myatt was ‘only’ 4th, behind Steve Panas.  0.6 seconds covered the first four, but then there was a 2.5s gap back to Mad Pete Cardell-Williams in 5th.  Richard Hollis, shocked at overtaking his brother after his terrible season last year, had to park up after one lap to get his breath back.  Aubrey Brocklebank was strangely off the pace in 14th, between Smoking Peter Wann and Marc Sparrow.  Top rookie was Shaun McLaughlin in 9th, despite breaking a tie-rod after 5 laps.

Much work was carried out on McLaughlin’s car between qualifying and the race, but ultimately he had to watch from the sidelines.  Francis Rottenburg also didn’t make the start, his coil packing up on the formation lap – at least he got a good view of the race.  Rain made the track wet (as it tends to do) for the start, where Cowling got the jump on Sparrow into the first corner.  Panas went off on the exit but managed to rejoin without losing too much time.  Richard Hollis gained 5 places by the first corner, putting him right behind his brother.  Into the 2nd lap it was Cowling who still led, but eight cars were right behind him.  Jonathan Twidale was going well until a 360-degree spin at Old Hall, in front of Wann, dropped them both back behind Marc Sparrow and Ben Allan.  Up at the front, it was Panas who made the first mistake, dropping back to 7th after just missing the tyres at the Island hairpin.  A few laps later, Cowling did the same, though it was becoming clear that oil was on the track at this point, making braking an interesting experience.  Wayne’s departure left Sparrow, Myatt and Smith battling for the lead, with Mad Pete, Panas, Neil Thompson and the recovering Cowling further back.  Andy Smith was driving brilliantly, and eventually came away with 3rd place and fastest lap.  Sparrow and Myatt battled to the line, but it was Pete who just claimed victory by 0.3s.  Mad Pete came 4th, ahead of Cowling, Panas and Thompson.  The Hollis brothers had their own race for 8th, which Matt won after Richard’s engine went off-song with a few laps left.  Aubrey Brocklebank just held off Peter Wann for 10th, followed by Twidale, Allan and Marc Sparrow, all of whom visited the pits at during the pits - the bent wings on Twidale’s car suggested a bit of contact had occurred.

It would seem that Myatt has a real fight on his hands this year – Pete Sparrow, having abandoned his “drink to win” policy at Oulton, leads the Championship at this early stage, with Cowling, Panas and Smith all showing they have the speed to win.  2005 is going to be a great year for 2CV racing!

(reporter: Matt Hollis)

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