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Bscra;Area 6
2012 Area Championship Results - Round 1 (LSCC)
A healthy 13 area 6 drivers plus 2 area 10 took up the challenge at Luton SCC for the start of the combined area championships.  

First on the agenda was a poll to determine how we as an area would run sports this year (in previous years it had been Southern 32 format). A vote was taken and with a majority it was decided to have 1 minute qualifying (fastest lap to count) to determine the seeding for segmented finals. Win or lose from any final. You can see photographs from the area round here.

Production

First action of the day was the production cars and as only 2 contenders were taking part in this class, namely Cliff Bicknell and John Chance-Read, it was straight into a segmented final.  
Racing was close at the start and indeed for the first 3 sections with both Cliff and John trading blows for the lead.  John, unfortunately, had blue to finish on which proved to be his undoing with Cliff finishing on green and having a pretty strong run to go and win by 3 laps.

Saloon

Things started to hot up now with all the main contenders taking part to see who could indeed topple an in-form James Cleave.

James set the ball rolling with a good 36 laps, over 2 laps clear of the opposition, with Mark, Ian, Paul H and Stan all doing the chasing to queue up behind Mr Cleave on 33 and 34 laps. A lacklustre Greg H could only manage 31+ laps during his qualifying runs which placed him firmly in the C Final (not where he wanted to be).  

Onto the Finals and first up was the D Final. This featured, from area 10, Paul Austin and from area 6, John Chance-Read and David Farrow.  Paul started well but ran into a spot of bother with various gear issues which were replaced and he went on to win this from David Farrow who took 2nd and John Chance-Read who came 3rd.  

C Final featured Greg H, Cliff, Chris Musto and Johnny "one thumb" Ovens. Greg took the early lead and was never really headed throughout and indeed went on to win from John Ovens, who had one of his better races, then Chris and Cliff who were very close for 3rd, Chris just getting the nod from Cliff.  

On to the B Final which featured Paul H, Richard Mack (from area 10), Gavin Wills and Franz. Paul took an early lead and pulled a lap clear by half distance from Richard. These two positions never really changed. The fight for 3rd went to the wire and despite a trip to the floor, Gavin took it from Franz.

The A Final; this was to feature the fastest 4 drivers from qualifying which were, Mark H, Stan, James and Ian. James, as expected, took the lead in the early stages and was never headed. Stan and Mark ran very close for 2nd with Stan taking the advantage in the closing stages; Mark dropping behind Ian which, in the end, turned out to be the battle for 4th overall (as you can win or lose from any final).  

So the final Saloon results were:

1.   James Cleave
2.   Stan Alton
3.   Greg Harwood (from the C Final)
4.   Ian Fisher
5.   Mark Harwood
6.   Paul Harwood
--   Richard Mack (Area 10)
7.   Gavin Wills
8.   Franz
9.   John Ovens
10. Christ Musto
11. Cliff Bicknell
--    Paul Austin (Area 10)
12. David Farrow
13. John Chance-Read

Formula One

Mark set the ball rolling with the track nicely gripped up following the saloon cars to post 31.50 laps. This was top until James went and did a 35+ to top the qualifying into the semis by over 2 laps from Mark who improved up to a 32.96. Closely chased by Paul H and Greg who took 32.86 and 32.32 respectively. The unfortunate person in this class not to make the semis was Cliff who spent most of his heats getting used to his new ex Paul H machine and therefore found himself 13th when only 12 can go through.  

The semis went according to form with James topping the time sheets on a 56+ laps, Mark on 55+ laps and both Paul H and Greg on 54+ laps, Paul getting the nod by 30 feet.

The final played itself out and James took his second victory of the day from Mark who was closely chased at the start by Paul H who had to settle for 3rd and Greg on red lane finishing 4th. Local driver, John Chance-Read (80 years old), put in a notable performance during the semis to finish 10th  ahead of 3 other slightly more experienced racers.

Beyond that the finishing positions were:

1.   James Cleave
2.   Mark Harwood
3.   Paul Harwood
4.   Greg Harwood
5.   Ian Fisher
6.   Stan Alton
7.   Gavin Wills
8.   John Ovens
9.   Franz
10. John Chance-Read
11. David Farrow
12. Chris Musto
13. Cliff Bicknell

In area 10 it was Richard taking victory over Paul Austin.

Sports

First up to take his 1 minute qualifying was Cliff who set a time of 5.273. This compared to the top time of James of 4.115. The next closest rivals to James were Richard Mack (4.405), Gavin Wills (4.453) and Mark Harwood (4.467).

So the first final up featured Gavin, Richard (who both decided to go into the bottom final as Gavin had a plane to catch) and John Chance-Read. Gavin took an early lead in this and was never really headed with Richard hitting John Chance-Read's car at every given opportunity and not really making any headway.
 
The next final up (the C Final) featured John Ovens, Chris Musto, David Farrow and Cliff.  This one turned into a bit of a banger race with John Ovens having various car trouble and indeed retiring from the race all together to leave Cliff to go on and take a victory from Chris Musto and David Farrow.
 
B Final next.  This had Stan, Ian, Franz and Paul Austin (from area 10) in this.  Stan took the early lead from Ian but Ian got it all together as Stan spent a good 2 laps in a marshal's hand, to pull it back and take the victory by 23 parts from Stan. Paul was 3rd and indeed if he had started better would have caught the other two as he only really started closing in the third section.  Franz never really got going to come 4th in this race.

And so the A Final.  This had in it James, Mark, Greg and Paul H. Paul H lead at the start and indeed for two sections whilst James, Mark and Greg got tangled in each others accidents. James had the back of the body through the back tyres 3 times in the first section thanks to 3 different marshals! By 30 seconds of the second segment, James took the lead from Paul and Greg who were within a lap of each other with Mark dropping off the back with a broken chassis.

James went on to win from Greg in the end who managed to get ahead of Paul in the closing part of the race with Mark a further 12 laps down and not really being able to recover from his chassis issues.

So the finishing result of sports were:

1.   James Cleave
2.   Greg Harwood
3.   Paul Harwood
4.   Ian Fisher
5.   Stan Alton
6.   Gavin Wills (from the D Final)
7.   Mark Harwood
8.   Franz
9.   Cliff Bicknell
10. Chris Musto
11. David Farrow
12. John Chance-Read
13. John Ovens

Area 10. Paul Austin won from Richard.

Thanks to everybody who made it a very competitive and largely fun day and many thanks to James and Ian for running most of race control.

See you all at Round 2 in January at Wellingborough.

Yours ,
Paul Harwood
Area 6 Delegate
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