Race Report - Round 12: Weather: Cool, windy. We had already lost Tom Sisley from the grid, when the Motaworld driver declined to take any further part in proceedings, on the grounds that the car needed more work (at least that was the official...
Race Report - Round 12:
Weather: Cool, windy.
We had already lost Tom Sisley from the grid, when the Motaworld driver declined to take any further part in proceedings, on the grounds that the car needed more work (at least that was the official version being bandied about). As the teams and drivers assembled on the grid to take the start, it became clear that we were also about to lose the Scholarship Class pole position man, Billy Asaro (Sweeney Racing). This was not voluntary, however, but instead was caused by a major clutch problem. The team was desperately trying to push start the car at the pit lane entrance, and when that didn't work they whipped the engine cover off and began to rummage about in the interior workings of the Dallara. None of it was any help. They were working frantically as the time ticked away but there was very little they could do in the remaining three minutes before the start. Asaro was pushed away towards his garage and would miss the start. Another Scholarship Class driver in trouble was Clivio Piccione (T-Sport), who failed to get away when the rest of the field did, although he was at least able to get round for the warm-up lap ahead of the Pace Car. This meant he was able to take his allotted place on the grid and the race could finally get underway.
As the lights went green, James Courtney (Carlin Motorsport) made no mistake at all. The Australian was aided a little in that Mark Taylor (Manor Motorsport) was somewhat slow getting away, but the start was pretty much all his own work. It may have been Taylor's pole, but it was indubitably Courtney's lead. Just to rub it in, Fabio Carbone (Fortec Motorsport) also powered past Taylor, and in effect, that was the end of any challenge for the lead, or for that matter for second. Taylor, on the other hand, was now locked into a scrap with his teammate, Richard Antinucci, which took a long time to resolve itself in Taylor's favour. In fact, it was probably only Antinucci's efforts that offered anything of interest to the spectators at Silverstone. In addition there was briefly a suggestion that it might be about to rain, but the change in the weather never materialised and so another potential source of interest was removed. Granted, after the sort of dramas that had developed at Knockhill and Croft, it was probably just as well that we were finally faced with a less than interesting race. We'd just all forgotten what a boring race could be like to get through. Of course the nature of Silverstone itself was no help either; it is, after all, still pretty much the same flat and boring airfield it has been ever since they modified Copse and Woodcote and took all the challenge out of them. We know, we were there in 1973, we've seen Ronnie Peterson sliding through Woodcote and only just catching the car in time; but we digress. Further down the order was Piccione. Having stalled at the start of the warm up lap, he managed a repeat performance at the start and was running pretty well at the back of the gird at the end of the first lap. His position was only really improved when Asaro managed to join the race five laps after the rest of the field. It wasn't looking good for either of them, though Adam Carroll was the grateful recipient of the class lead, so at least Sweeney Racing still had a driver in the lead. This was probably just as well, as Carroll settled down in 11th place, keeping well clear of the Championship Class boys. The fight for 3rd was not really developing much further at this point either, although the Promatecme International cars were now trying to join in, with Bruce Jouanny heading Matthew Gilmore this time, which was a reverse from the morning's race. Even so, no one was really close enough to make a move, and so it continued, although Antinucci did try and liven things up a bit by repeatedly bouncing off the kerbs and looking as if he was about to lose it completely. Robbie Kerr (Alan Docking Racing) was having to hold off Rob Austin (Menu Motorsport) for 7th place, but Austin's challenge also evaporated, to be replaced by one from Michael Keohane (Carlin Motorsport) which also never really amounted to anything. Apart from Gilmore having a bit of a moment and dropping back, nothing much else happened in the Championship Class. The order was Courtney, Carbone, Taylor, Antinucci, Jouanny, Kerr, Keohane, Heikki Kovalainen (Fortec Motorsport), Gilmore, Austin and Ronnie Bremer (Manor Motorsport). It was less than thrilling stuff really.
It was marginally more interesting in the Scholarship Class, but only marginally. With Jesper Carlsen (Essencial Motorsport) and Piccione both going out around the halfway mark, and Mohammed Fairuz (Fred Goddard Racing) running a long way back with a sick sounding car, Carroll pretty much had the field to himself, and came home to another resounding victory in the class. He now has more points than Courtney does, and it looks unlikely that anything much can stop him taking the title at the end of the year.