With half a dozen past WTC and BTCC champions participating and a reputation in some quarters for alleged ‘full contact’ racing, the Saturday and Sunday races were keenly looked forward to by the crowd.
A dozen different makes and engines ranging from a 5.4-litre V12 to four-pots of under two meant the scene was set for a varied contest. In the event, good tight racing prevailed over hooliganism and very little swapping of paint occurred.
Having qualified at the front of the grid, James Dodd’s Honda Accord set a searing pace, Stewart Whyte, also in a Honda Accord, out gunned Richard Meins’ seemingly recalcitrant Ford Mondeo on the first lap, and continued to chase Dodd for the rest of the bout. Although the lead changed several times it was Dodd who took the victory.
With reputations to restore and pride at stake, the second round on Sunday held the promise of more exciting racing.
WTC champion Rob Huff, now at the wheel of the Ford Mondeo, he got past pole-sitter James Dodd’s Honda Accord on the second lap having had a blinder of a start and so began 10 laps of close formation racing with the Mondeo’s rear-view mirror full of Honda for the rest of the event. At the flag the gap was fractionally over 0.7 seconds. And both cars were the same shape with the same number of body panels as when they started, not something that can be said of current or contemporary BTCC contests.
Stewart Whyte again took third place on the podium. Resurgent touring car stalwarts John Cleland, Vauxhall Vectra, and Patrick Watts, Peugeot 406, had a great race. Cleland recovering from a nudge just after the start to regain four places and finish fourth. A sterling effort. It’s races with drivers like these that make the Super Touring Cars such a welcome addition to events at tracks across the country.