All in all it was a pretty disappointing day for TVR racing. The expected field of 15-17 cars did not materialise for a number of reasons. Cars not ready, one with a serious electrical problem the day before, and problems during testing the previous day. Iain Jones was unable to qualify or race following a blown head gasket.
But with joint Class A leader Tim Hood retiring on the first lap, fellow class A leader Darren Dowling racing but not qualifying due to a failed transponder and class B/overall championship leader Marc Hockin also retiring, it left the field wide open. Dean Cook was thus able to claim his first victory in the 2006 Dunlop Tuscan Challenge/TVRCC Challenge Cup.
11 cars qualified - Tim, Darren and then Andy Holden leading Class A, with Graham Walden in pole for Class B. Car No 7 (Darren) was warned that unless he fitted a working transponder, "he would not be timed".At the start of the race Tim Hood got off the line poorly, and almost immediately pulled off after a section of floor pan had become dislodged. Marc Hockin retired with a broken throttle.
Darren took the lead, with Andy Holden about a second behind. On the third lap Andy made a mistake at the chicane, braking too late and locking up, running over the grass and losing a little time on Darren.
At this point Andy's engine started misfiring badly, and as he approached the chicane for the 4th time a lap later, it let go fairly spectacularly, with a huge cloud of smoke and he pulled off. with another head gasket failure and suspected porous cylinder head.
What he didn't know was that he had been leading the race at that point. It appeared that Darren was disqualified as soon as the race started for not fitting a functional transponder. The commentator was confused, as was everyone else. No black flag was shown to him, and he lead the field home by a country mile. To say he was upset afterwards would be an understatement.
With the three fastest out for a number of reasons, that gave the 'win' to Dean Cook with Steve Glynn 11 seconds behind. TVRCC Competition Secretary Graham Walden had a very comfortable victory in class B and was third overall of the 7 cars which finished.
All in all it wasn't a good day - too few cars, some very bad luck for several drivers, and of course the incident with Darren. But it was good to see George Carter take to the track in the S/Cerbera
With thanks to Andy Holden for updating this report. Thanks to Debbie Morgan (except where indicated) for the photos.
The next race will be at Rockingham on 8/9 July when we hope to see the return of Topless Taz in the hands of Dorset based rookie Mark Freeman in his first TVRCC Challenge Cup race.