Our third round for 2022, this time all series present enjoyed two races, starting with a 30 minute pit-stop race, finishing with a 40 minute. We were blessed with fine weather on both Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May, whilst the BTCC at Brands Hatch got a soaking! The shorter, Coastal layout appeared to be welcomed by a number of drivers, that view from the top of the Corkscrew almost worth the price of entry by itself.
This event featured live streaming of all races, from both days. You can view each race individually on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClassicSportsCarClub/videos
If you have never raced at Anglesey before please have a look at the footage and you'll get an idea of the quality of the track, it's width and surroundings and hopefully earmark this for a future CSCC visit.
Full results are available from the TSL event page, including detailed breakdowns of pit-stops and more, by clicking 'view pdf book' underneath the series description.
David Stallard is really getting to grips with his new camera body, check out his photos from both days using the links below and throughout the following race report. If you like them please buy them.
Saturday's photos are here:
Sundays, are here, all in time order:
Marc Peters has put together a short and enjoyable compilation video for you:
On to the race-by-race report, courtesy of Autosport journalist Mark Paulson, who also published meeting reports in last weeks Autosport magazine and Motorsport News.
Mark continues the story: The Classic Sports Car Club made the trip to North Wales and across the Menai Strait to the spectacular coastal scenery of Anglesey Circuit for its third meeting of the season. Against a backdrop of Snowdonia’s looming mountains, more clearly visible on Sunday, the weather played ball for the double-header event in which all series contested two races across the weekend.
Switching to the Coastal layout of the circuit – which was completely rebuilt in 2006 – made for the additional challenge of the Corkscrew section. Styled on its famous namesake at Laguna Seca in California, it added a further challenge to an already demanding circuit. Fortunately for those unable to make the journey in person, every race was expertly streamed by AlphaLive for viewers to enjoy around the world (see YouTube link above).
The Adams & Page Swinging Sixties Group 1 set, for smaller cars, had the honour of opening the track action with a large field of 29 cars on the 1.55-mile circuit. Both races were hotly contested, with at least half a dozen genuine victory contenders among the leading ‘Spridgets’ together with Simon Benoy’s returning Hillman Imp, Tim Cairns aboard his Turner Mk2, Sam Polley’s Snetterton-winning Mini Marcos and the BMW 2002 Ti piloted by Claire Norman and her father, Charles Tippet. Through them all came Richard Perry’s beautifully prepared MED Race Engineering Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite to win both races, overcoming Sunday’s 30-second handicap in the process.
Perry had qualified only 12th on his first visit to the circuit, so left Bennoy, Polley and Abigail Whitt, in the pole-sitting MG Midget she shares with father Ian, to contest the early lead of Saturday’s 30-minute opener. With Whitt’s focus affected by a loose door on the green-flag lap – likely a legacy of damage incurred in another series a week earlier – it was Benoy who burst into an early lead with Polley second. Polley out-braked himself as he dived inside Benoy at Rocket with nearly a third of the race complete and the pair made slight contact as the Imp cut back underneath. But Polley made the move stick at Church a lap later before pitting from the lead to kick off the pitstop sequence.
Polley’s 30-second success penalty, to be served at the penalty box immediately after his mandatory stop, was always going to hamper him, but a slow getaway as the car struggled to restart impeded him further and he could only recover to a class-winning sixth.
Benoy and the Whitts would suffer their own delays too. Whitt had passed Benoy on the inside through Church and School to hold second before relaying dad Ian, but a relatively slow stop dropped them to fifth. That was just behind the Imp, which then lost time grass-tracking as Benoy avoided a spinner before a brief Code 60 period.
The chief beneficiaries were Perry, Cairns and the Norman/Tippet BMW. Perry had risen to fifth before the stops, then fired in three laps that were nearly 2 seconds quicker than he had qualified either side of pitting. Further boosted by a very quick turnaround, helped by new seatbelts with easier buckles, he emerged in the lead, pursued by Cairns. Whitt Sr. picked off Tippet for third, before another Code 60 for Mike Henney’s beached Turner, on the exit of the Corkscrew.
As it became clear that there wasn’t time for the race to go green again, a halt was called a couple of minutes early, with Perry unaware that he was leading. “I really enjoy the standing starts,” he said. “It gives you a chance.”
Further back, former rally driver Nick Edmond was delighted to see the chequered flag for the first time in his fantastic N-Sport Racing Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato. Built himself from a shell he found in Germany, the rare machine had hit issues on its two previous appearances.
If Perry was a surprised winner on Saturday, he would be even more shocked at overcoming a 30s success penalty to triumph again in Sunday’s race, scheduled for 40 minutes. He and Polley put on a fine show as they traded the lead in the first half of the race before pitting, but Polley would exit in a cloud of smoke after blowing a hole in his gearbox at the Corkscrew. Benoy had already exited, losing drive with a suspected input-shaft failure.
Polley’s dumped oil created a hazard for the rest of the race, Abigail Whitt among those to spin before she pitted. She had managed to set the fastest lap while enjoying a scrap with Cairns and Nik Aveyard’s MG Midget, which the latter relayed to Rob Sinclair in the lead once the stops had played out. But Sinclair was passed by Norman, then suffered his own oil-induced spin as he dropped to sixth.
Fourth after the stops, Perry picked off Sinclair, Cairns and Norman to take his second win, admitting it was “hard work”. In her first season of racing for nine years, Norman was named driver of the day for her performance on the way to second. Cairns was third when the chequered flag came out early with Mark Cloutman’s Sebring Sprite stranded on track after gyrating on the oil. Connor Kay finished a terrific fourth from the back of the grid after an overnight gearbox change, ahead of the Whitts and Aveyard/Sinclair.
The Adams & Page Group 2 field was a little thinner, numbering 17 cars, and was joined by a pair of 1970s Advantage Motorsports Future Classics cars. It was one of those, Geoff Beale’s Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, that qualified on pole position ahead of Jamie Keevill’s Series 2 Lotus Elan.
That pair had the legs on the field, with Beale setting the fastest lap as he attempted to keep the pressure on race-leader Keevill ahead of the stops. A slow stop for Beale’s Rodwell Motorsport Sunbeam, resplendent in its refreshed paintjob, handed Keevill what appeared to be a decisive advantage. But it wasn’t to be, as the Elan sheared three of the four wheelnut studs on its right rear. A disappointed Keevill quickly parked up on the approach to Church before a repeat of his Snetterton wheel-shedding antics of a couple of years ago could occur.
Beale therefore eased to a comfortable win on the road by nearly 30s, only to be slapped with a one-minute penalty for pitlane speeding. That handed Stephen Pickering victory in his Sunbeam Tiger, repeating last year’s Anglesey success. Having passed Phil Otley’s Reliant Scimitar GTE late on, Jonathan Crayston (Elan S4) was delighted to claim a podium finish in second. Otley was also passed on the final lap by David Thompson in the TVR Tuscan V8 started by Jon Wolfe, as Thompson recovered from an earlier spin.
With Beale absent, Keevill’s luck turned in Sunday’s sequel. He carved through from the back of the grid to relieve Wolfe of the lead in the first quarter of the 40-mimute race before easing back after the pitstops. As the Wolfitt Racing TVR, now piloted by Thompson, began to close in, Keevill responded with a flyer to dash his hopes.
“I wasn’t teasing him, I promise!” said a slightly sheepish victor. “I was trying to save the car a little bit, make sure the wheels didn’t fall off again!”
Behind the lead pair, Dean Halsey’s Datsun 240Z completed the podium after Crayston pulled up mid-race. It was a fine reward for Halsey’s efforts to get the car back on track after its Thruxton accident, with repairs performed by CSCC safety car driver Phil Woods’s Kent-based bodyshop. Otley was fourth, while Pickering withstood pressure from Bill Watt’s Elan for fifth.
Recording their best result as a pair in seventh overall, and third in class, were Triumph TR6-mounted David McDonald and grandson Bailey Frost, in Frost’s first season of racing.
Congratulations to Mike Stephenson, recording his first outright win with the CSCC, taking Advantage Motorsport Future Classics 1970s glory.
The 1980s group of Advantage Motorsport Future Classics machinery paired up with their successors in the Speedpanel A2 Modern Classics series for two hard-fought bouts of BMW versus TVR machinery for the outright wins.
After polesitter Dave Griffin (West Suffolk Racing BMW M3 E36) was jumped off the line in Saturday’s opener, the lead quartet paired off with Stuart Daburn (Tripack Supplies TVR Tuscan Challenge) fending off Oliver Smith (E36) and Griffin trying to find a way past Matt Holben’s Tuscan.
The contest was effectively decided in Smith’s favour – who took a 7 seconds victory – by Daburn’s 10 seconds success penalty, earned from his third place at Thruxton. Delight was mixed with relief for Smith, who had thrown away victory in Hampshire – with a grassy excursion that bent the JR Racing M3’s wing enough to depress its cut-out switch – in his eagerness to lap the entire field.
Having traded third place in traffic, the Holben/Griffin battle ended when Griffin’s own leaking fluid sent him into a tank-slapper at Rocket. With his temperatures soaring, Griffin sensibly parked up, his weekend over with head-gasket failure the suspected cause.
His Nissan Skyline side-lined after its Thruxton engine failure, Mark Chilton wheeled out the “old faithful” Porsche 928 to win the Future Classics section. He claimed third overall, taking advantage of the Future Classics’ quick-as-you-can pitstop regulations to jump Holben. Next came the class-winning Ginetta G20 of Roger Hamilton, rarely separated by more than a few seconds from brother Nick, who would claim class honours the following day.
Daburn shot into the lead of Sunday’s rematch, but was denied an opportunity for revenge by an unfortunate accident while lapping traffic. It left Daburn’s gun-metal Tuscan with heavy front-end damage and its pilot nursing a suspected broken wrist. All wish the club stalwart well for a speedy recovery.
After a lengthy safety-car period, under which almost everyone completed their pitstops, Smith jumped Holben and then withstood pressure from the Gulf-liveried TVR to clinch his second win, despite struggling for grip. Holben remained a comfortable second despite a quick spin and won driver of the day, while Chilton repeated his Saturday result in third overall, ahead of the fabulous Porsche 911 993 RSR of Irishmen David Whelan and Aiden Farrell, which brought him the driver of the day award.
Strong pace all weekend made Phill Briggs the man to beat in the Motorsport School Turbo Tin Tops. But for taking his mandatory pitstop early on, his Briggnorth Classics SEAT Leon would have led from lights to flag in Saturday’s opener.
The Adam Chamberlain/Scott Carruthers Vauxhall Astra VXR, Chamberlain’s former road car, was Briggs’s nearest challenger until an off for Carruthers – struggling with his brakes – while lapping traffic. After a precautionary pitstop to release bodywork fouling the tyre, the Chamberlain Car Care Astra dropped to fourth.
Club chairman John Hammersley – driving solo as a bad back sidelined regular partner Nigel Tongue – took his Fives Garage VW Scirocco to second, more than half a minute down after serving a 20s winner’s penalty and suffering with fading tyres. Stephen Berry was thrilled to bring his Mini Mafia Cooper S R53 home in a class-winning third overall on his Anglesey debut.
Briggs was unable to overcome his 30s winner’s penalty in Sunday’s longer race and had to settle for second behind Andy Baylie’s Class D Ford Fiesta ST, who unlocked more pace from the Mint Alloys Mk7 overnight. Baylie was “over the moon” to clinch his first victory in the car after a challenging development.
A clash between Hammersley and Chamberlain at the Corkscrew left Chamberlain with rapped knuckles as the cause of the collision and Hammersley with plenty of damage to the Scirocco’s carbon-fibre bodypanels. He brought the car home fourth behind Andrew Marson’s little Abarth Assetto Corse, which impressed on its way to a class-winning third overall and driver of the day award. Berry’s race was hampered by a slow puncture, which let in Lee Campbell’s Blueprint Racing Mini for the Class C honours.
There were two wins for Jon Glover in the concurrent Mr Tyre Motorsport Puma Cup. His closest challenger was James Clare, who was twice penalised for pitstop infringements, the second costing him victory in Sunday’s race.
Stuart Eardley and Jack Hordley shared Mazda RX-8 class honours across the two races.
Local driver Rob Phillips scored a maiden victory in Saturday’s Co-ordSport Tin Tops race, holding off a fast-closing Adam Brown. Thruxton winner Brown had qualified his Mk6 Ford Fiesta ST on pole by 1.8s and built a lead of nearly 10s in the first half of Saturday’s race despite seeking to take care of his tyres.
Returning in third after his penalty-extended pitstop, Brown picked off John Ridgeon in the Renault Clio 182 started by Stephen Reynolds then set his sights on eating into Phillips’s lead. The young charger, finally able to demonstrate his class after overcoming engine and gearbox troubles on the Fiesta, fell just short as Phillips’s Honda Civic R Type held on by 0.7s. “I think another lap, he’d have got me,” admitted a chuffed Phillips.
Behind the front two, the Reynolds/Ridgeon Clio held a class-winning third, ahead of Richard Bethell’s 172 version. Lewis Alexander-Williams had starred in the early portion of the race, trading fifth with the Civic of Kev Smith in his underpowered Citroen Saxo shared with dad Mark until afflicted with a puncture from a damaged wheel rim after contact.
With Phillips sidelined from Sunday’s sequel by a damaged steering rack, the Reynolds/Ridgeon Clio became Brown’s prey. In something of a repeat, Ridgeon just resisted the looming Fiesta by the even smaller margin of 0.26s! “I did the last few laps looking in my mirrors,” beamed Ridgeon. “Fantastic race.” The winning pair were named the series’ drivers of the weekend for their efforts.
Richard Bethell was pleased to claim third in his new Clio 172, ahead of the similar machine of Tom Mensley, who was making his first appearance of the season and settling in to a lower-spec car. Just 3s further back was the Alexander-Williams Saxo after another starring drive from the duo.
The Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens was the only series to squeeze all of its action into a single day, as David Watson (Spire RB7) and Tim Davis (Caterham C400) shared the Sunday spoils.
For John Cutmore in the sister Atomic Racing Spire, the day began well with pole position, before rapidly deteriorating. His RB7’s engine cutting out caused Cutmore to spin out of the lead at Peel on just the second lap of the opener. Starting from the back in race two, he had climbed to seventh within a lap. But when the issue returned a frustrated Cutmore parked the car up.
Davis inherited the lead of the first race but, under immense pressure from Watson, the BOSS Racing man yielded at Rocket after six of what would be 25 laps. Watson eked out a lead either side of his pitstop and crossed the line 4s clear, only to be slapped with a 30s penalty for an unsafe release. Such was the leading duo’s advantage that Watson was still well clear of third-placed Richard Carter (Caterham R300) who benefited when Tim Davies spun at the Corkscrew. Davies recovered to fifth behind Jeremy Adams (Caterham 420R).
Davis’s victory gave him a five-place grid penalty for race two, and meant that Watson never came under any real pressure on his way to victory. As Davis’s tyres wilted, the gap opened to more than 30s at the flag, with Carter again third, more than a lap adrift. Carter had resisted pressure from Davies, who had another spin but this time held on to fourth. Robert Cooper (Caterham Supersport) claimed a double win in Group 1, for lower-powered cars.
Rounding out both days’ racing were the TrackRoadRace New Millennium and Verum Builders Open series.
Daniel Petters, returning after missing Thruxton while he awaited parts for his Porsche 911 997 GT3 Cup car, qualified on pole by over a second, and made the early running in Saturday’s race as Mark Smith (BMW M3 E36 Evo) tried to cling on. Once the pitstops were complete, Petters’s lead was just over 2s, but Smith immediately whittled that down. He then drove around the outside of the Porsche he himself previously campaigned in GT racing at Turn 1 as Petters pulled off suffering with a vibration caused by a tyre letting go.
So Smith eased to a comfortable win but admitted he would have “rather come second and given him an honest fight,” adding that Petters was “keeping me focused.” Tom Houlbrook completed a New Millennium 1-2 for the Amspeed team, sandwiched by Stuart Daburn’s more agricultural TVR and Oliver Smith, who reprised their Modern Classics battle in the Open series.
Fifth overall, and third in the Open series was Dylan Popovic’s Chevrolet V8-engined Ginetta G50, which climbed through from the back of the grid after a multitude of problems in qualifying. His final place was inherited after the standard Ford V6-engined G50 of Chris and Harry Petch was penalised for Chris relaying his son before the pit window had opened.
Daburn’s absence, Mark Smith’s winner’s penalty and repeat problems for Petters (having carved through from the back to run third) helped the Petch Ginetta to victory in the curtain closer. Petch Jr ran a long first stint to assume the lead during the pitstop phase, which his dad then held to the flag as Smith closed in while the clocked ticked down. Houlbrook again completed the podium.
Popovic claimed Open series honours ahead of Oliver Smith in fourth and fifth overall. Popovic’s Ginetta, which also features an uprated gearbox and wider tyres this year, again had to work its way through from the back of the field, this time after being tipped into a spin at Rocket on the first lap.
Tenth overall, but third in the Open series, was enough to clinch Ramair boss Jamie Sturges the series’ driver of the day award, at the wheel of his evocative BMW M535 E28. Ginetta G40 Cup pilot Ross Irvine scooped the New Millennium award after two disciplined drives.
Two days of entertaining racing had been filled with plenty of thrills, while most of the spills resulted from a challenging circuit made trickier still by dropped oil. Barely a handful of instances of contact demonstrated once more the club’s reputation for close and clean, fair and fun racing. As drivers invariably emerged from their steeds grinning from ear to ear, it was clear that the Anglesey Coastal Classic had gone down a treat. Even the weather gods had smiled on the event, with only a light shower on Sunday as the heavy rain held off until crews were safely on their way home.