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Snetterton 7th/8th July June, Peter Scherer

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ANOTHER HATTRICK FOR WOOD IN SNETTERTON SUNSHINE
For the second successive meeting Clive Wood reigned supreme, as he took his Mallock Mk23 to a winning treble at a blisteringly hot Snetterton.
Wood qualified on pole for the opening race of the weekend, 1.419 secs up on Monika Arvidsson’s Mk29 Mallock. But there was one casualty when Adrian Lester crashed his Mk35 in qualifying and was out for the weekend.
It was a dramatic start to the race when Arvidsson broke a driveshaft at the start, but fortunately everyone avoided her.
Wood stormed away into the lead, with Alan Cook and Steve Dickens heading the chase, from Peter Richings and Ian Crombie. With the Lester car missing, Morris Hart made a great start and took the class lead but was quickly under pressure from Michelle Hayward for sixth, before they exchanged at Agostini’s, as Barry Webb looked on. “I just wish I could stay with her for more than a lap,” said Hart.
As Wood added to his lead, Dickens briefly closed on Cook, while having been clear fourth, Richings started to come under pressure from Crombie by the end of lap six.
“Once I was clear in the class I set a comfortable pace, but still pushed on to try and catch Peter and Ian,” said Hayward. Cook had started to edge closer to Wood too as the chequered flag was readied, but the leader was lucky that there wasn’t another lap. “It made a horrible noise coming through Coram, then my left leg felt hot, so I switched off as soon as I took the flag,” said Wood after finishing with a blown engine.
“I had been lucky at the start as I lined up to avoid Monika in case she had a problem. Steve got close to me for a while in the race too, he got a better run with backmarkers,” added second placed Cook. “I would agree with that, but I had to back off near the end too, when the water temperature went up,” said Dickens after retaining third.
Crombie had just managed to oust Richings from fourth, when he hit trouble. “It got stuck in third gear,” he explained.
So Richings retained fourth and class winner Hayward came through in fifth, followed by class rivals Hart and Webb, while Crombie finally finished in eighth, as Rod Player and Chris Burnham completed the top 10.
Wood had to dash back to Southampton overnight for a new engine, but was still able to take up pole for Sunday mornings race.
From the start it was a five car break, with Wood heading Dickens, Richings, Crombie and Cook, with Hayward in sixth, as class rivals Webb and Hart ran nose to tail behind.
Having started from the back, Arvidsson was soon making progress taking seventh on lap two and rapidly closing on the cars ahead.
Cook had lost out at the start. “I struggled with second gear, missed it and then had to get my head down and work,” he said. He demoted Crombie on lap three and a lap later Richings was in his sights too, as Arvidsson continued to close after passing Hayward.
Suddenly it was a four car train for second, as Dickens pulled off. “I think it’s the flywheel,” he explained.
Although Arvidsson managed to take third from Richings, she couldn’t catch Cook, who once again sealed a solid second behind the dominant Wood. “It was fun coming through the field, but I had to work hard. Very happy with the result though,” said Arvidsson. Richings came in fourth again, “I had a very good first half of the race, but just seemed to slide about a bit in the second,” he explained.
Crombie had been poised to challenge Richings again, but his plan didn’t come to fruition. “I was determined to be on Peter’s tail into Coram, so left my braking late into Nelson, too late and went off,” he said. He finally took sixth, losing out to Hayward on the last lap.
Hart built a comfortable gap over Webb for seventh and second in class 2. “I got Barry into Brundle on the fourth lap, by which time Michelle was long gone,” he said. Player and Burnham completed the top 10 again too.
From the moment the lights went out Wood’s third win didn’t really look in doubt. Richings was quick away too and opened an early gap over Cook, but despite another poor start, Arvidsson was on the move again, taking Hart for fourth on the opening lap.
With Arvidsson joining an evenly spaced top four, Hart was able to focus on the defence of his class lead from fifth. He held Hayward off for a while, but was forced to surrender at the Nelson Brundle chicane as she swept around the outside on the third lap. Arvidsson took Cook for third exiting Agostini’s on lap four, but had to work hard to close the gap on Richings. She made it and clinched second at Agostini’s, but was still over eight seconds shy of Wood at the flag.
“Peter kept me on it at the start, but once I got the gap it was OK,” said Wood. “An awful start again, so made it hard for me,” added Arvidsson.
“I just decided to miss out second gear and go straight to third at the start, but did lose time later fighting to get the gears,” Cook explained.
Hayward completed her hattrick of wins in class 2 from fifth overall. “I had a good start but then got held up and Morris got me into Riches on the first lap,” she said.
Hart and Webb were next home, with Player, John Drinkwater’s Messer and Ben Mallock completing the top 10. The class 3 spoils were shared, with Trish Hunter taken victory on race two to split Pippa Tanner-Wood’s two wins.
Published by Peter Scherer for Clubmans Register, July 9th 2018.
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