2016 Pace Ward MLR Sprint Series Round 6 – Cadwell Park Report
3rd November 2016
2016 Pace Ward MLR Sprint Series Round 6 – Cadwell Park
Round 6 Report
29th October 2016
The tenth consecutive season of the Pace Ward MLR Sprint Series ended on a high, with the sixth and final round of the 2016 at Cadwell Park attracting the highest number of entries of the year. Stamping his authority on proceedings was Anthony Lidster, who recorded his third Class D win and fastest time of the day this season and, in doing so became the category Champion for the second year in succession.
Other winners on the day were Logan Black, Steve Peel and Simon Griffiths, who set the fastest times in classes C, B and A respectively. Whereas topping the end-of-season points tables in those classes were Alan Rochell, Steve Peel and Alex Bones.
The layout and topography of the Cadwell Park circuit made the driver’s first visit to the Lincolnshire track a highly popular addition to the calendar. The sprint course started at the top of the elevated section below the paddock and, after almost a full lap of the 2.19-mile circuit, crossed the finish line after Mansfield before the rise towards the part of the track affectionately called The Mountain.
After the initial sighting convoy, drivers headed to the circuit on an individual basis for the first of three practice runs which, at Cadwell Park, are an important factor due to the technical demands of the track – especially if a quick time is to be achieved.
Although the overcast skies in the morning threatened to do their worst, the rain held off and things brightened up. Consequently, conditions were perfect for a day of competitive motorsport. So much so, it encouraged drivers to push their cars to the limit – the upshot of which resulted in a few stoppages while the results of their over enthusiasm were returned to the paddock on the back of a recovery truck.
It soon became apparent that the battle at the top of the timesheets would be fought out between the two Goliaths in Class D: Anthony Lidster in his familiar bright red Evo VI and Phil Reed in his equally recognizable blue example – both cars highly modified specifically for the purpose. On the first run it was Reed who held the upper hand, but an aborted second run handed the baton to Lidster.
Determined to redress the balance, Reed went on a mission in his third competitive outing. But his efforts were cut short, when towards the later part of the run an excursion onto the grass was followed by significant contact with the barriers. Fortunately Reed emerged unscathed, but the same could not be said for his car. Lidster however, posted FTD on the same run and consequently, with just one run left due to the stoppages, secured himself his third victory of the season and another Class D title in the process.
Class C was a less fiercely fought affair and Logan Black’s experience of the Cadwell Park circuit clearly shone through, enabling him to take an unchallenged win in the category in an Evo VI. Unusually, Rochell and his Evo VI were not battling for the top spot – and didn’t have to – as third place behind Rob Loftus and his Evo VII would be enough to secure him the end-of-season category title.
In contrast, Class B was, as it usually is, a close run thing. Peel was fastest out of the blocks and so much so, driving his Evo VI he set a time that was not to be beaten by anyone else in the category. In fact it was so good, he found himself hot on the heels of the more modified Class D cars, his performance serving to strengthen his already firm grip on the Class B title. His closest challenger on the day was Brad Sheehan, who was driving an Evo VI on this occasion rather than his usual Evo IX. He was followed by Robert Jane in an Evo X.
Class A witnessed a clear winner in the shape of the Evo VI of Simon Griffiths, who got quicker and quicker as the day went on and saved his fastest run to last. Next home was Ross Walker in an Evo V, with last year’s Class C Champion Paul Allin in an Evo IX Wagon third. Notable by his absence was Alex Bones, who had opted to miss the final round of the series having previously secured the honours for this year’s Class A title.
Stoppages notwithstanding, organisers were delighted with the way the day had run and were congratulated by competitors for their efforts – not just for Cadwell Park, but for the whole season. Their thoughts now turn to 2017, with an announcement on plans for next year’s series due to be made in the next few weeks.
Increasing the series’ profile this year is the addition of live commentary and video filming at every round that will be broadcast throughout the season on social media.
The six-round 2016 Pace Ward MLR Sprint Series is sponsored by: Pace Ward performance insurance, SuperPro suspension parts, AP Tuning, Ross Sport, Turbosmart and HKS Europe.
Track Days / Test Days / Motorsport Days
Class B champion: Steve Peel
Class B winner: Steve Peel
Class C Champion: Alan Rochell
Class A winnor: Simon Griffiths
Class C winner: Logan Black
Class D champion: Anthony Lidster
Class D winner & FTD: Antony Lidster
Class A champion: Alex Bones