As expected there was a good entry at Donington, with
six cars in Neilís class. Stalwart Peter Holton in his Rover P6 and five
Capriís; Neil, the excellent David Thomas, Nick Dann (who hadnít raced
since his shunt at Brands), Ian Clark who hadnít raced since Brands either
and Phil Rhodes who had been away since his coming together with the tyre
wall at Silverstone last year.
A new water pump and a high torque starter motor were
the only changes to Neilís car since Lydden and we were all hoping the new
pump would make the car run a bit cooler. Qualifying was uneventful for
Neil who qualified third quickest in class B, three seconds slower than
David Thomas and one second slower than Nick Dann. This put him 11th on
the grid, beside arch rival Peter Holton and immediately behind Ken Clarke
who had sold Neil the Capri! Ken was driving a Dolomite, one of four in
the race. We were hoping that the very fast Dolomites of Mark Osborne and
Tony Crudgington, and Jason Christieís Escort, would give Stephen Primett
a run for his money and push him down the results to help Neilís
Tony Crudgington was lucky to survive a coming together
with Paul Conboy whose Vauxhall came out of gear when Tony was immediately
behind him and Tony ran into the Firenza, so Neilís Porta Power was in
action again to straighten out some body panels. There wasnít a great deal
of time after practice as the Post Historic race was before lunch.
Come the race Neil made a great start. In front of Neil
Ken Clarke was slow away and Neil was able to find a gap between him and
Nick Dann to get in a really good position on the first lap. Up in front
David Thomas was battling with the big boys in their Cameroís, Mustangs,
V12 Jaguars etc. Behind them was the battles we were interested in. Mark
Osborne was ahead of Stephen Primett who had Tony Crudgington only just
behind. Neil was battling with Peter Holton and they were both some way
ahead of the slow starting Nick Dann.
On the third lap Tony Crudgington had a moment and
dropped back behind Neil who got mixed up in a battle between him and Ken
Clarke who had recovered from his slow start. Nick Dann was also getting
his act together and closing on Neil. By lap five Neil had let the two
battling Dolomites by and was having to fend off Nick Dann who got by him
at McLeans but couldnít stay in front when Neil responded and re-passed.
Ken Clarke had a moment somewhere and for a while got between the two
Capriís allowing Neil to build a small gap between him and Nick Dann.
Further in front Mark Osbourne was comfortably ahead of
Stephen Primett, who then fell into the clutches of a hard charging Jason
Christie who went by, putting Primett back to third in class. Then a
recovering Tony Crudgington came through to briefly put Stephen Primett
back to fourth in his class but then Tony had a moment and spun and
Primett regained third spot.
Behind them it looked as if Nick Dann had given up
trying to get by Neil who come home tenth overall in all important 2nd in
Full Race Results