September 2007 - Mallory Park
23 September: MALLORY: 1 x One hour race
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Mallory Park always provides great 2CV racing and this year was no exception. 20 cars lined up to take the start on what was the penultimate round of the Championship.
Phil Myatt was aiming for a win which would see him crowned 2007 champion but plenty were out to stop him. The one hour race kicked off cleanly as all the cars survived the first lap scrabble around the hairpin. Out front Myatt lead from Steve Panas, Matt Riley, Pete Sparrow and the rest of the lead pack which stretched back to 15th! The worst starter of the race, and possibly the entire season so far, was Oli Hall in the JB Doors car as he selected 3rd, 4th and settled for 2nd after the lights changed. He dropped back to almost last and an epic climb up through the field was called for.
Myatt held onto the lead till lap 8 when Panas squeezed past briefly and Wayne Cowling took 3rd having clawed up from a lowly 11th on the grid.
The 11th lap saw another man at the front. Matt Hollis (car no. 4) crossed the line first for the next 2 laps, after starting from 10th, having qualified on a slipping clutch. This lead battle was something Formula One could only dream of, with Myatt recaptured the lead again from Panas on lap16 only to be displaced by a fast charging Smith/Cardell-Williams in the Rocket Dog Racing machine. Elsewhere Trevor Williams and Sparrow had slipped down the order after exhaust problems.
Aubrey Brocklebank and Mark Heywood had even worse luck, crawling round only to lap 9 before retiring with a mystery problem.
After 20mins the pitlane window opened and Jon Davis and Richard Hollis (driving the Hollis hire car) were amongst the first to pit. Jon completed a smooth stop, whilst Richard casually stood around waiting for his brother to pit as part of their car swapping strategy which would see them in a comfortable lead after everyone else pitted.
Lap 23 saw disaster for Pete Cardell-Williams as he found himself stranded on the run off of the hairpin after begin punted off. The car was in a dangerous enough position to warrant the Safety Car. The majority of the field now dived in to the pits, although some too soon to gain the full benefit of the safety car period. The train of cars circulated for several laps and, as the cars caught up the pack, so the Hollis brother’s lead was effectively slashed.
When the race went green again, around 10 cars were realistically now in contention for the win. Richard managed to slingshot Matt in the sister car on the restart, lapping him in the process. The move looked almost choreographed and into Gerrards, Davis and Coghill were lapped next, leaving a clear track ahead of the lead car but plently of flat out racers behind.
Myatt quickly closed the gap and passed a few laps later allowing Steve Panas and Christian Callandar to nip through as well. In the move Richard was squeezed out and ran a new line across the grass before the hairpin dropping to 4th.
By now a small gap had developed further back as the fight for 4th to 10th rumbled on. Slowly inching up from a long way back was sensational rookie man and former professional jockey Martin Hindley in his first ever race! He would use a stealth mode to slip into 3rd unnoticed by the flag. Richard regained the track and set about reclaiming some places. Callander was overtaken quickly and then he lost the lead group’s tow, slipping back into the clutches of the rest of the field. Richard slipped past Panas for 2nd before Steve hurled himself into a spin on the braking down to the hairpin.
With the race quickly coming to an end, Myatt and Hollis fought side by side for much of the last laps, with Richard bringing home the Niggellspeed engined car just inches ahead of the Tete Rouge Machine. In the chaos of the fight for 3rd Hindley slipped away and crossed the line ahead of the chasing pack. So Matt and Richard claimed their first championship win after 6 years of trying and 2nd was enough for Phil to once again be crowned the 2CV Racing Champion.
Well done to Phil for some faultless drives this season, a deserved Champion.
Described in Autosport as ‘the best club race of the entire year’, the spectators and drivers alike certainly got their money worth and this amazing action-packed race once again demonstrated the reason why 2CV Racing is the UK’s premier low budget race series.