Adam Southgate surged ahead to lead the Boxster table after three wins at Donington
7th July 2015
Very heavy overnight rain left us with a damp paddock but two earlier
qualifying sessions, plus a fairly constant breeze, meant a dry track
for the 24 cars entered for our fourth round of the 2015 season. Adam
Southgate was very quickly posting the fastest laps in his 986 Boxster
and Adam Croft again showed his return to 924s is paying off with him
landing top spot for the grid of the first of three races this weekend.
Nizar El-Chamaa reported being down on power having posted a lowly (for
him) P7 and later examination showed the bottom end of his 2-litre
engine had failed – game over. James Coleman posted his best place of
his new season in the rented Taylors Foundary 986 with P3 and in 5th on
the Class A grid, Garry Goodwin also impressed with a best-of-career
position on his 40th birthday. The Flegg Racing pairing of Jayson Flegg
and Mark Marshall were lucky to make the round having spent considerable
time and effort repairing both of their Boxsters after incidents at both
Rockingham and Zandvoort.
Race 1 proved to be one of the closest of the season. Tony Mekwinski’s
newly-purchased 924 was an early DNF with an electrical issue leaving
his car stranded on the Melbourne straight; Richard Matthews ran into
the exact same issue on lap 2, his car cruising to a halt just after Old
Hairpin. Richard Avery span into the gravel requiring a hasty recovery
under a single lap of the safety car. Nick Hull’s finish appeared far
off the podium pace he showed at Zandvoort having been forced to pit
when a item of instrumentation came adrift to skitter around the floor
under his pedals. But the timekeepers missed his pitstop and a post-race
correction moved him back up from 17th overall to P5 in class.
On the last but one lap, Ed Hayes finally got close enough to challenge
Adam Southgate’s lead on the exit of the Fogarty Esses, powering down
the Melbourne straight forcing Adam to drive defensively – with due
attention paid to the regulations on weaving – to guard his line.
Southgate crossed the line with Hayes less than three tenths of a second
behind. Mark Marshall’s 986 sounded ropey in the opening laps and he
soon dropped back with exhaust problems – but did finish. Jayson Flegg’s
car ran well considering the rear suspension was set way too high, so he
was happy with P6.
In the 924s it was three cars abreast into the hairpin with Adam Croft
fighting to defend his lead from the attacking Kirkham and Waters and
the top five cars finished with barely six seconds between them.
Newcomer Jamie Callendar completed his first race in the white
JMG-sponsored 924 and Alfred Piesinger again proved he’s not lost his
pace after seasons away from racing, taking P4 in class.
After getting a roasting in the cars yesterday with interior
temperatures exceeding 50 deg.C Sunday morning’s conditions were a lot
cooler with cloud cover to start soon giving way to intermittent sunshine.
Ed Hayes’ extra success ballast seemed to have an effect on his pace,
having carried none in Race 1, because he was unable to challenge Adam
Southgate’s lead off the line. Mark Marshall’s extreme bad luck
continued when he lost control at Old Hairpin and neither grass nor
gravel were able to slow him enough to avoid damage to the front and
wing as the car collided with the tyre barrier. Garry Goodwin landed P5
after a suspension tweak returned the pace he’d seen in yesterday’s
The 924 race proved almost as close as yesterday’s with Alfred Piesinger
getting a great start to lead for most of the 20 minutes but a tank
slapper with just a handful of laps remaining let Adam Croft, Alastair
Kirkham and Philip Waters through to take the class podium in that
order, with Alfred himself being a non-finisher. David Jones suffered
the same bottom end failure of his 924 engine as Niz and retired after 8
Both Jayson Yates and John Cleland were missing from the Boxster grid
for the final race of the weekend, with its traditional reverse grid.
Nick Hull found himself on pole for the Boxsters with Richard Matthews
leading the 924s away alongside newcomer Jamie Callendar. Showers began
in the 1/2 hour before the cars were called to the assembly area, but
these were fairly light and the track had dried again by the time they
headed out onto the grid.
Alfred Piesinger seemed to have written the book on 924 standing starts
this weekend as once again he launched himself off the line from the
very back and by lap 3 he was 13th overall and leading his class. Once
the other 924 front-runners had caught up, a five-way battle for the
lead ensued with Philip Waters eventually taking the win over Piesinger
second and Adam Croft having to settle (for a change) for third.
Nick Hull also got a good start and impressed by holding on to the lead
for five laps until Adam Southgate managed to squeeze past. Andrew Hack
was on a charge and he grabbed second two laps later leaving Hull to
take another third-spot on the podium as he had done at Zandvoort twice
in the previous round.
Fastest laps for all three races went to Adam Southgate (Boxsters) and
Adam Croft (924s), each receiving a bottle from Fine Drinks Cooperative,
who had run a wine-tasting event for us on the Saturday evening.
Meanwhile donations to our chosen charity CMT UK have already reached
£300 with many drivers now sporting the logo on their race cars.
With the top three of the Boxster class so close on points, and with
Southgate showing such impressive form, it was inevitable that we would
see changes to the Championship tables and he now leads Class A with
ex-leader Ed Hayes six points behind. Adam Croft already had a ten point
lead over Alastair Kirkham and two wins from him stretches that further
but even here, the championship is still open for contention with four
founds – and 11 races remaining.
Our next outing is already less than two weeks away as we head for the
Lincolnshire circuit known as the Nurburgring of the North, Cadwell
Park, on 18-19th July.
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