Round 2 of the 2013 Area 6 championship was held on Sunday 13th January at NLSME (North London), and after round 1's fun and games at Luton, it was game on to see who would take the laurels at ' THE LIONS DEN'!
First up as ever was the judging for the Area concours prize, this time won by Cliff Bicknell with his Pink and White Lola Judd LeMans car.
Production got us underway with the on track action for the day and just as it was at Luton, 4 competitors took to the start of a straight segmented final to determine the day’s champion.
In the end this turned out to be a straight fight between Cliff and Chris C, with Cliff taking the spoils on his home track (with a fresh Harwood Racing prepared car) from young Chris, who were both well clear of the battle for 3rd which went down to the final segment between Nick Clements and David Hackforth. Nick coming out on top for the place and very happy he was too.
Next up Saloon cars, and after his disappointment at his own track, question was, would James bounce back and steal it from the local aces?
A good 41.39 in the heats laid down his intentions, with Paul H being the closest challenger on 40.45, beyond this, both Greg and Ian put in 40+ runs to bag their places in the A final.
D final was first up, and Chris Musto turned up late and had a small bit of practice and then straight into this race with Nick Clements and Dave Hackforth. This he won at a canter from the other two, headed again by Nick with his newly acquired saloon car.
C Final next and this saw John Ovens, Chris Clements, Paul Austin (Area 10) and Cliff Bicknell all doing battle. 'Johnny One Thumb' Ovens taking the win this time from Chris C, Paul A and Cliff, who was finding things a little hard going after his production win.
B Final - This one starred the few who did not quite get things together in the heats. Mark H took this by the scruff of neck and never really looked back, from 'The Rockinham Rocket' Gavin Wills, Stan Alton and Richard Mack. Mark’s finishing score was good enough to take 4th place overall.
A Final - The 'BIG ONE'. James led from the start and set a new Blue lane lap record. He was never really challenged and didn’t look back. Paul H came closest with Greg H fading with motor issues and Ian never really getting things together. So first blood to Mr Cleave as F1 beckoned.
Once again, James got a stranglehold on things very early to top the laps sheets, with Bro's Harwood in close company all punching in 40+ laps. But this would all be about the semi finals and who would go through to the top 4?
A good run in the heats came from Chris Musto, who pitched in 7th overall, just behind Gavin Wills. Getting in to his first F1 semi was Nick Clements, who once again managed to hold off David Hackforth.
So the semi's, and James decided to take white in semi 1, lined up alongside him was Chris M, Gavin and Chris C. This turned out to be a straightforward run to the flag for James, 5 laps clear of Gavin, who in turn had Chris M 3 laps adrift and Chris C with his falcon powered car a further 7 laps down. The gauntlet had definitely been laid down in this race as James averaged a lap faster than the current outright F1 record!
Semi final 2 - and Paul H took this by the scruff of the neck after an early challenge by Ian F to take the victory, with Stan and Cliff trailing a bit on Yellow and Blue.
Semi final 3 - and with Greg and Mark H lining up together, this should have been a straightforward run to the final for both, but ' LADY LUCK' decided is was not meant to be for Mark, after 42 laps and in the lead , the gears cried no more and Mark was forced to retire. This allowed Greg to take an easy win from John Ovens and Nick Clements.
So the final , and after Mark’s problems, Gavin found himself promoted to this race all be it on the unfavoured Blue lane. James took a comfortable win from Greg this time who pulled 2 laps of Paul H for 2nd place and Gavin coming home 4th.
With the 1 minute timer installed (modern tech' or what?), qualifying began. First to put in a sub 4 second time was a delighted 'Johnny One Thumb' Ovens who bagged himself a place in the B final along with Gavin, Stan and Ian (well done John). It was not long however before the 3.5sec barrier was beckoning, with both Greg and Paul H (who was running the brand new Audi R18 shell for the first time), getting down to the 3.6sec mark. Then James came along and, as predicted, put in a 3.44 second lap to take pole, with Team Harwood taking the remaining places in the the A final.
D Final - With just the 3 in this one, Chris C took the win with Johns spare car from Brother Nick and David Hackforth.
C Final - Area 10 racers Paul A and Richard Mack in this one along with Chris M and Cliff. Richard taking the win from Chris , Paul and Cliff.
B Final - Ian took the victory in this one (and set a time that would put him 3rd overall), from Gavin and John. Stan pulling up after the Mother of all crashes in the 3rd segment.
A Final - Mark took an early lead and settled into a good rhythm with the chasing pack of Paul H, Greg and James. Mark then started to drift away a bit and Greg did not have the best of runs on Blue, so going into the final segment Paul H just led from a hard charging James (was the R18 shell going to win first time out?). With Paul finishing on Blue and James on Yellow, the writing was on the wall and James got by to win by 2 laps in the end from a hard charging but unlucky Paul H. Mark and Greg could only come in 4th and 5th respectively after Ian’s good drive in the B Final.
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So another good days racing in Area 6, with James taking all 3 but being made to work hard for them, and Cliff taking production. Next stop Rockingham , and I'm sure Mr Wills and Co will find their form and give Mr Cleave something to think about. See you all there.
Paul Harwood( Area 6 Coordinator)