Sammy Venables Takes The Win, Darri Simms Moves Back To The Top

C10017 R3 2246 scaled

Qualifying – Group 1

Sammy Venables was quickest initially before being usurped by Chris Woodger and Sammy Nash both breaking quickly into the 42’s. But it didn’t take Sammy long to reassert himself on his local track and set the fastest time ahead of Woodger and Nash with Mathew Hale fourth quickest. These were the only drivers to get below forty three seconds.

C10017 R3 1053Group 2

Darri Simms reckoned he would struggle to get in the top ten but he wound up quickest despite two spins. He set his time on his final lap over a tenth quicker than Christopher Bell and over three tenths quicker than Bobby Dawes. Again there were only four in the session to break the forty three second mark with the highly experienced Andrea Fioravanti just slipping under the mark by 0.006.

Pre B final

Rasaan Malcolm-moore found himself on pole with Seb Algieri alongside. Darren Martin and Mike Noon shared row two with newcomer Adam Wall and James Venning on three from Ben Smith and Dean Wood with the veteran Keith Segal and Adam Wheeldon completing the top ten. Four places up for grabs then for the pre A final. Malcolm-moore led the pack away. Algieri got forced wide around Stadium and fell to fourth whilst Walls chances of a top four finish ended as he spun at the hairpin allowing Venning and Smith into fifth and sixth respectively. With three run Noon decided he’d rather be second and moved ahead of Martin whilst a lap later Algieri moved into third chased by Martin with Segal into fifth having made steady progress. Martin had dropped to sixth with Venning close behind but looking out of contention.

C10017 R3 1252

Malcolm-moore continued to lead but Noon was intent on first and with two to go he moved ahead. Algieri looked comfortably set in third but then it all went badly wrong as he spun down the order to the back of the field. A cruel blow. At the front Malcolm-moore moved back in front to take the win but it was surely an unnecessary move. Yes, pride is stake but why take the risk when second would have been good enough? Both he and Noon were well clear of the rest. The same argument applies equally to Noon. Still, I guess racers are racers. Smith came home third and set the fastest lap whilst Venning was fourth on the road but penalised allowing Segal into the top four.

Pre A Final

Simms on pole from Rye specialist Venables with Bell and Woodger on row two. Nash and Hale on three from Dawes and Fioravanti on four. Buck and Hall completed the top ten. Simms led the pack into stadium but Venables got forced out wide and slipped back to seventh allowing Nash and Woodger into second and third. Dawes was fourth whilst Ben Atkinson had made a fantastic start moving up from grid thirteen to fifth ahead of Bell by the end of the first lap!

C10017 R3 1727

Simms was already beginning to create a gap back to Nash who had Woodger close behind. Dawes slipped back to eighth as Atkinson moved himself up to fourth closely followed by a recovering Venables. As Simms continued at the front Nash was holding off Woodger who then promptly spun, putting himself out of contention and allowing Venables to move up two places to third. Hale though was fighting back and within two laps had taken the place back. Simms reeled off the laps to take a comfortable win by over four seconds helped by Nash having to defend from Hale in third. Venables came home fourth ahead of Atkinson and Bell who had suffered a two place penalty to drop to eighth promoting Fioravanti and Dawes. Fincham came ninth moving up ten places through the race whilst Watkins completed the top ten. Atkinson set the fastest lap.

B Final

Seb Algieri on pole from James Venning with Dean Wood and Darren Martin on row two from Adam Wall and George Wilson. Just two to qualify for the A Final. Would wise heads prevail? Algieri led the field into Stadium with Venning tucking in behind from Wood and Martin and a particularly feisty Wall. Benjamin Carew’s chances evaporated as he spun his chances away. Into the hairpin for the first time and Algieri was comfortably ahead of Venning but Wall got a great run out of Reg’s Elbow to pull past Wood before dispensing with Martin at the hairpin. A great move but one that would have consequences a few laps later. Algieri led across the line pursued by Venning with Wall a length back in third.

C10017 R3 1314

Two laps in and Venning saw a gap at the front and made it through into the lead. But Wall wasn’t being dropped by the front two and they were pulling steadily clear of the battle for fourth place between Wood and Liddiard. Three quarter distance and Wood again got a great run out of Stadium and through Reg’s Elbow. He pulled alongside Algieri as they headed down to the hairpin. Imbibed with confidence after his earlier passing manoeuvre he went for the lead but he was too far back. The gap closed rapidly as Venning turned in. Wall locked up and promptly spun. He’s one to watch though. His fastest lap was just 0.003 away from being the fastest so he has the pace. Just needs to work on his race craft and read the regulations.

C10017 R3 2240 1
With Wall gone Venning and Algieri ran down the clock with the former taking the win. Liddiard came home a distant third but did have the satisfaction of setting fastest lap.

A Final

Pole for Ben Atkinson with Matthew Hale alongside from Sammy Venables and Darri Simms.

Chris Bell and Andrea Fioravanti on row three ahead of Bobby Dawes and James Haslehurst with Samuel Nash and Miguel Hall completing the top ten. Atkinson led the swarm down into and around Stadium but Hale got baulked and would complete the first lap down in eleventh. It would get worse as he tried to fight his way back up the order he tangled with Jon Buck spinning the latter to a halt. Hale pulled off two laps later.  Venables slipped behind Simms but Haslehurst was the real man on the move vaulting up to second from grid eight. Nash was another quick starter moving up from grid nine to fifth. Atkinson continued to lead from Haslehurst but it was Venables up to third courtesy of a good move on Simms into the hairpin.

C10017 R3 2009

Two laps later and Venables was up to second. He looked particularly quick and clean through Stadium and the following left hander and his greater momentum was allowing him to make a good pass into the hairpin. Simms meanwhile had settled into a good rhythm and duly moved ahead of Hazlehurst into Stadium.  Venables meanwhile moved into the lead, again at the Hairpin and a lap later Simms followed suit. Haslehurst was a spent force and began to fall steadily down the order. Simms kept Venables honest over the final laps but there was no catching the Rye specialist as he crossed the line over a second to the good. You could hear his screams of joy as he crossed the line above the noise of the engine and he would later admit he was overjoyed to have won at his home track. Simms second place gave him valuable points in his quest for the Championship. Bell came home third snatching the place from Atkinson with one lap to run. Nash took fifth after an eventful race which had seen him up to fifth, back to ninth and then working his way steadily back up the order. Dawes took sixth losing fifth to Nash right at the end with Hall seventh ahead of Fioravanti with Haslehurst a disappointed ninth after a strong early showing. Becker completed the top ten. Venables set the fastest lap.

Podiums and Standings

Sammy Venables stood on the top step for the first time this year and on this form it won’t be the last.

C10017 R3 2100 2

His win leaves him third in the overall standings. Darri Simms was satisfied with second particularly so after his disastrous last lap at Whilton. He heads the standings. Chris Bell took a fine third. He’s down the standings having missed the first round but on this form he’ll be there or thereabouts come the season’s end.

Once again our thanks to all the staff and marshals who did a terrific job.

And the best bit is it’s only two weeks to Llandow!!