Warren Wows as Styrin Consolidates
18th May 2016
Unexpected good weather put a shine on an exciting weekend that saw a first-time win for our only lady racer. Angus Archer was out after crashing taking aviding action to miss a spinning BMW in Friday’s test session. His car is quite badly damaged – at both ends – and as a result its possible be may not make the next round. Its the first ever outing for many of our drivers on the new version of Toyo’s R888 tyres and the differences in compound and construction were to become apparent as the weekend progressed.
In qualifying, James Coleman sustains damage at the hairpin and is out having posted a flyer on just his second lap. Ed Hayes took pole from him five laps later with Rick Styrin on P3 in the #99 car.
Championship newcomer Kevin Mollyneaux parked his ex-Johnathan Greensmith Boxster in the gravel at Gracelands just before the flag. In the 924s it was Linda Warren who landed a class front spot ahead of an impressive Hugh Peart with Niz El-Chamaa in third.
20 cars take to the grid including Linda Warren’s first pole and Jayson Flegg’s first race of the season, squeezed in to his increasing busy business schedule.
Lights out and its four wide into turn 1. Rossin grabs the 924 lead with Niz also past Linda into 2nd; meanwhile Rick Styrin has got to the front of the Boxsters with Ed Hayes dropping back to 5th and a poor start droping Garry Goodwin back a row too.
Niz is gaining; Linda is battling with Hughes; Hayes is trying to get past Hack on the banking; Goodwin and Lawrence are neck and neck; then Hull passes Lawrence in Turn 1; Darren House retires his Gulf-liveried 924 on lap 5.
Linda Warren has the bit between her teeth now and is right up alongsize Niz. Styrin and Coleman have pulled away leaving the Boxster fight on for 3rd, 4th and 5th. Warren is right up with Rossin now, determined to grab the 924 lead.
Hack is through to third in the Boxsters; Warren goes low, Rossin goes high into the banking at Turn 1 and Linda takes the lead of the 924s. As the flag approaches, Lawrence’s rear bumper is hanging off after contact with Hull. Hayes is up to 4th and right on Andy Hack’s tail for third. Jamie Callendar pulls into the pits with an overheat and sadly its game over again from him. With Styrin visibly slowing through back markers and oil warning flags and Coleman slowly catching him, Hayes retires after emission of excess smoke hinting at further engine problems for the current title holder. But seasoned racer Flegg makes a rookie’s mistake and accidentally follows him into the pits thereby missing the chequered flag. Andy Hack takes third in the bright orange 986. Sole 987 driver (at this point) Nick Hull is penalised post-race for his contact with Garry Lawrence, dropping him to 9th.
Another win then for title-chasing Styrin, Coleman 2nd and Hack third. But its headline news for Linda Warren who lands her first ever win after a cool, calm and collected drive keeping Rossin at bay in 2nd with Niz taking third.
Before gathering in the assembly area, Ed Hayes’ 986 is making a lot of smoke in the pits but makes it out for the second race, at the back of the Boxster pack along with the hapless Flegg. Warren again takes pole spot in the 924s. Callendar and House both return to the grid after their Race 1 DNFs.
Avery makes a cracking start and is up to 2nd; Rossin is past Warren to the front of the 924s. Lawrence is close enough to Hack’s tail to read his shirt size and there’s a massive multi-lap battle for 4th between Callender, Broadley and Peart in Class C.
Flegg has dropped back almost into the 924s but Warren is challenging Rossin for the 924 lead – the battle for 4th continues, but Hayes’ Boxster now coasts to another retirement.
Coleman is challenging Avery for 2nd in the Boxsters but Styrin maintains a comfortable lead; Warren is right up with Rossin, Niz slightly back in third.
Goodwin is looking at another 5th in his 986 but Warren is showing no sign of letting Rossin pull away. Coleman weaves behind Avery in a desparate bid to get past in the braking zone for the chicane. Peart is now 4th in the 924s. A back marker allows Hack to gain on the Boxsters battle for 2nd so that fight is by no means over.
The exhaust of Callender’s 924 is dragging, adding to the aural entertainment; the 2nd-4th place Boxsters are virtually together at the hairpin. Coleman gets past Avery but he’s sideways on the exit from Tarzan, desparate not to loose another place to Hack.
Hack is now through into third while Rossin continues to keep Warren at bay. Peart’s 924 appears to be loosing power but taking the flag its a win for Rossin with Warren 2nd and Niz third.
In the Boxsters, Styrin takes a second win ahead of Coleman and Hack in third. Newbie Kevin Molyneaux was given a 10-second penalty for jumping the start, but was a DNF anyway.
Brilliant sunshine greets the assembled Porsche drivers after a leisurely lie-in for the third race late Sunday morning. Ed Hayes has jumped into the Taylors Foundary ‘spare’ car that will on occasion be raced by Gerry Taylor this season, the failure of his own 986 apparently down to a holed piston.
Some drivers predict the reverse grid has bun-fight potential at the first hairpin but all cars are clean through the first three turns. Niz has made good headway in the 924s; Styrin and Hull are neck and neck on the next lap; Niz and Callender are together up front in the 924s. There’s a scary moment on the banking with Garry Lawrence’s Boxster spinning but missing concrete – and everyone else – after a tap from behind. Coleman is now up to 2nd and Callendar is running brilliantly, holding on to 2nd behind Niz.
Styrin and Coleman are now pulling into a lead. Hack’s damaged rear bumper is rubbing on a tyre and his retirement is imminent. Callendar is still holding off Warren but she finally gets through in braking for first hairpin.
Flegg is battling for fifth in the Boxsters; Niz is extending his lead ahead of Warren. There’s a Boxster cluster staying together with Hull 3rd and newbie Mollyneaux 4th.
The two 987s are together now as Hayes is up to 3rd ahead of Hull with Alex Stocker 4th; meanwhile there’s a 4-way battle for 5th. Rossin jumps two other 924s to take 3rd but Callender is not giving up. Flegg has made it past Avery for 5th and Garry Goodwin past Garry Lawrence for 7th. Flegg spins out; Warren spins but recovers. Lawrence nearly looses it at Tarzan getting up with Goodwin; Hack is out with serious damage down the right-side of his Boxster and Bernie Printy’s engine dies after a series of backfires along the start/finish straight. His car is stranded on the banked section leading to a series of yellows which catches Styrin out resulting in a post-race points penalty. At the flag, Styrin takes Boxster honour ahead of the consistant Coleman and the resurgent Hayes; Niz a commanding win in the 924s with Warren 2nd and Rossin making a full set of silverware in third.
So three in a row in Class A for Rick Styrin puts him 35 points ahead of Richard Avery with James Coleman now closing in third. Linda Warren sits at the top of the 924 table, grabbing three extra points from fastest laps too, with Niz El-Chamaa second and Hugh Peart third. Lawrence collects a post-race grid placement penalty for hindering manouvers. Fine Drinks Cooperative awards for the weekend go to Ed Hayes’ team, Jamie Callendar (for grim determination) and James Coleman. Our next outing is a two-race, single-day event at Oulton Park on Saturday 25th June.
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