Sports 2000 Enduro – Round 2 -Pembrey – 3rd August 2014
We were again treated to fine weather on the Sunday for the second race of the 2014 Sports 2000 Endurance Series. This combines both the Duratec, Pinto and Crossle cars for massive grids and has the option for 2 drivers and an obligatory pit stop mid-way through. Rolling starts make for some added interest and a different technique to the standard standing start of the main championship
I soon got down to some good times and managed to get pole by 0.7 of a second from Tom Stoten. Tom sadly was unable to take the start due to the start another wheel failure showing up in post qualifying checks.
As I have mentioned previously Pembrey is famous for the very tight first corner hairpin so a good start is vital to maintain the advantage. As the lights went out I got a reasonable start but David Houghton was bold on the brakes and the Van Diemen loomed large in the rear view mirror. I moved out wide to give him space and he got alongside out of the hairpin. I had to move over due to the narrow exit, got one wheel on the grass and was promptly passed by Peter Needham in his MCR. I then had team boss and MCR supremo Clive Hayes snapping at the gearbox but fended him off as we roared through Paddock crossing.
A safety car came out on lap three and then battle commenced again as I was entertained by Houghton and Needham scrapping for the lead. Peter wrestled his way by out of the hairpin and I set about trying to pass David Houghton whilst fending off Clive who had either taken his Weetabix that morning or had been sniffing the Welsh mountain air!
It became a four way fight for the lead as we caught Peter Needham. I took a wide line into the second hairpin to try and get the power on early for the long drag down to Honda curve and was promptly passed by Clive who dived down the inside – so now down to 4th!
I got him back a lap later and pressed Houghton again getting very close a couple of times but still no way through. Clive then caught me napping again as we encountered slower cars and it was his go to try and find a way past for second place. He tried an almighty lunge at the second hairpin and made the pass of the season – for about a second as the MCR only just failed to defy the laws of physics and swapped ends and he took to the grass.
This allowed my back on the tail of David Houghton and as we caught slower traffic I made the pass out of the hairpin and into the lead as Peter Needham had taken his pit stop in the MCR.
It was now time to pit which I did and restarted having built up a 9 second lead but then the safety car came out again which bunched up the pack. This stayed out until Lap 40 but thankfully I managed to get a good restart and took the win ahead of David Houghton in the Van Diemen and Clive Hayes / Will Arif (enjoying his first run in an MCR)
Pole, Win, Fastest Lao