Drama & Celebrations as Team Honeywell & Sherardize Share Anglesey Victory Spoils
While Team Honeywell celebrated their first win for four years and Team Viking their first ever podium, a five car collision near the start of the first race at Anglesey left Despatchbay.com, RAW Motorsports and a Team Brit car out for the count.
As the lights went out Chris Weatherill made his expected flying start for Team Lane Roofing, with Rory Brown into second through Church for Team 7 Fun Bikes 3, before snatching the lead into Rocket a lap later.
Ellis Hadley’s JPR Gt Radial car had just started to close on Weatherill too, when there was chaos exiting the Banking Hairpin. Ash Hall’s Team Brit car had slowed and as 2Rent Dominos Chris Hart took avoiding action, he was hit by MAK Racing’s Stuart Hall, before Paul Turner’s DespatchBay.com car had heavy impact front and rear as the unsighted Alex Macleod hit him.
Hart and Hall made it back to the pits, Hart with damage to the rear and Hall with a broken radiator, but Turner had to have a hospital check-up before being given the all clear. Both the Team Brit car and Macleod’s RAW car were out for the weekend.
There were 10 laps behind the safety car before the green flag was waved, but Brown reacted well and got way again with MCAC Racing’s Gareth Jones rapidly taking Hadley and Weatherill to settle in second as the first pitstop window approached.
Also making progress was JPR UVio’s Fabio Randaccio, sixth into Rocket and fourth around Hadley’s outside into Church, before the engine let go a lap later and he limped to the pits. “There’s a good chance of a random team like Honeywell getting points now,” reckoned UVio’s Farquini Deott.
MCAC were the first of the frontrunners to pit and as the others followed Matt Jones led for one lap, before he was back in the pits. “The clutch went, I could get gears but no power,” he explained.
Team Honeywell became the new leaders, with Neil Plimmer having taken over from Tim Wheeldon. They had Sherardize’s Marcus Clutton closing however and at the end of the first hour, CCS Media’s Ciro Carannante was third, with Team Kennedy’s Jack Lang, Apollo Motorsport’s Ryan Burke and Team 7 Fun Bike 3’s Alan Brown completing the top six.
Although Clutton got alongside Plimmer through the Corkscrew on lap 37, they held position, which allowed Carannante to close in with Lang not far behind too.
Clutton finally went by into Rocket just before he pitted again to hand to Peter Belshaw.
The rest of the race became a battle between the Honeywell and Sherardize cars, but from the penultimate stops it was Honeywell to the fore.
“We had a final safety car near the end and it didn’t help. I had quicker cars behind me but a lap down, before Marcus. So I couldn’t let them go or he would follow,” said Plimmer.
It was nose to tail over the final lap but Plimmer held on with 0.571 secs to spare from Clutton. “I did expect to be punted off on the last lap though,” he admitted.
“We lost out in the pits when the dump churn split and we didn’t get any fuel and the bottom balljoint had gone too, so a rear wheel was loose,” Clutton added.
The fight for third went down to the wire too, with Team Viking’s Nick Nunn just holding off Sean Cooper’s Track Focused car, after a terrific second half from Nunn and team mate Mark Holme.
“I just stayed out of trouble in the first stint and we knew the last stop would be critical, so came in early to get Nick clear air and we got and our first ever podium,” said Holme. “I knew Sean was catching me but that last lap I just held the line and stayed defensive as one error could have lost me two places,” Nunn added.
Guy Wenham brought the Apollo car in a close fifth, with CCS Media lap down in sixth. Track Torque FNS were seventh, with JPR GT Radial and Team Fun Bikes 2 and 1 completing the top, 10.
Earlier frontrunners Team Kennedy lost out when a driveshaft broke with Rob Croydon at the wheel and Team Fun Bikes 3’s Rory Brown lost a wheel.
1 Team Honeywell (Tim Wheeldon/Neil Plimmer) 117 laps in 3h00m48.620s (60.17mph); 2 Team Sherardize (Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton) +0.571s; 3 Team Viking (Mark Holme/Nick Nunn); 4 Track Focused (Sean Cooper/Mike McCollum/Neil Smith); 5 Apollo Motorsport (Guy Wenham/Zoe Wenham/Ryan Burke); 6 CCS Media (Nigel Greensall/Ciro Carannante/Bob Tomlinson/Alan Honarmand); 7 Track Torque FNS (Steve Walton/Greg Evans); 8 JPR GT Radial (Ellis Hadley/Michael Oliver/Martin Gibson); 9 Team 7 Fun Bikes 2 (Chris Bridle/Edward Bridle/Chris Dovell); 10 Team 7 Fun Bikes 1 (Jon King/Jay Shepherd). Fastest lap: Nigel Greensall (CCS Media) 1m19.754s (69.96mph).
2Rent Dominos and Apollo Motorsport led from the start of the second race, but both Chris Hart and Guy Wenham had CCS Media’s Nigel Greensall soon closing in.
On lap three he made his move and was second into Rocket, before leading with an identical move a lap later. With JPR UVio’s Farquini Deott taking fourth from TLR’s Chris Weatherill on the second lap, Stuart Hall brought MAK Racing up fifth with Gareth Jones’ MCAC car sixth.
Jones and Hall then had contact which left MAK with a broken throttle cable, moving Jay Shepherd in to sixth for Team 7 Fun Bikes 1.
Following the first driver exchange, Clutton brought Sherardize up to the first hour four seconds up on 2Rent Dominos’ Henry Dawes, with JPR UVio’s Fabio Randaccio and CCS Media’s Carannante both well in contention.
From thereon Sherardize dominated and despite a spin through Turn One from Belshaw, Clutton brought the car home over 40 seconds clear. “I just had to bring it home in that second half,” said Clutton.
Last year’s title rivals 2Rent Dominos and JPR UVio managed to duel for most of the race for the other podium places, with UVio in charge from the last stop, but only 0.430secs up. “That was good,” said Deott, despite Randaccio having a collision on the very last corner. “Another lap and we would have had him though,” Dawes replied, after both he and Hart spent much of the race holding the left hand door to.
Apollo were the last unlapped runners in fourth, after they demoted MCAC. But the Jones family safely held onto fifth from CCS Media, leaving Team Viking, FNS, JPR 99 and Team 7 Fun Bikes 2 to complete the top 10.
1 Sherardize UK (Peter Belshaw/Marcus Clutton) 130 laps in 3h00m36.758s (66.93mph); 2 JPR UVio (Farquini Deott/Fabio Randaccio) +41.371s; 3 2Rent Dominos (Chris Hart/Henry Dawes); 4 Apollo Motorsport (Guy Wenham/Zoe Wenham/Ryan Burke); 5 MCAC Racing (Gareth Jones/Mat Jones/Philip Jones); 6 CCS Media (Nigel Greensall/Ciro Carrannante/Bob Tomlinson/Alan Honarmand); 7 Team Viking (Mark Holme/Nick Nunn); 8 FNS (Steve Walton/Greg Evans); 9 JPR 99 (Kristian Rose/Phil Martindale); 10 Team 7 Fun Bikes 2 (Chris Bridle/Edward Bridle/Chris Dovell). Fastest lap Clutton (Sherardize UK) 1m19.257s (70.40mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for Fun Cup, April 30th 2018.