National Championship
Birmingham Wheels, Saturday 5th May, report by Marc de Land

Race 1 - National Championship

Tom Keep made a good start to take up the lead from Neil Clarke and Tony Smith. Dave Dollin got ahead of Steve Young and Pete Dorrell from the blue graded cars. Back in the reds Cliff Bunn had his mirrors full of Daniel Pooley`s car, Chris Neal went wide on turn one to allow Marc de Land and Jonathan Pooley who had borrowed his dads car after having oil pressure trouble on his own just before the meeting started to go past, Mark Hodges and newcomer Jeremy Bouckley managed to get past Dave Barry who had not been racing for a while.

Dave Barry then spun out on lap 5 the yellows came out and all the cars had a rolling start behind the control car, Tom Keep was pulling clear of Tony Smith but after a couple of laps started to slip back into the clutches of the chasing pack, The men on the move were Cliff Bunn and Jonathan Pooley, and it was not long before they could see the leaders. Tom Keep lost the lead to Tony Smith and the retook the lead going into turn three. By now Jonathan and Cliff were in the group of six cars with Neil Clarke in second and Tony Dollin third but by the end of that lap Jonathan and Cliff had moved into the top three. Further back down the field Daniel Pooley had worked his way up to fifth spot and then had to retire to the infield with mechanical trouble, This allowed Marc de Land to take up that place but that was short lived as he to retired with suspension problems. Mark Hodges was just keeping ahead of Jeremy Bouckley and was going well for his first time out. Back at the front Tom Keeps Cheetah Peugeot has a miss-fire at the end of the straight and that was enough to let Jonathan grab the lead and the following lap Cliff moved up to second, Chris Neal who had been having a quiet race now found him self up to fifth place and Mark Hodges had gained from the retirees and was now sixth. Top Keep started to reel in Cliff Bunn in the closing stages but he held on for second but the race winner went to Jonathan Pooley who had a faultless drive to retain the National Champion title.

National Championship: 1st Jonathan Pooley, 2nd Cliff Bunn, 3rd Tom Keep, 4th Dave Dollin, 5th Chris Neal, 6th Mark Hodges, 7th Steve Dawson, 8th Neil Clarke, 9th Tony Smith, 10th Jeremy Bouckley, 11th Peter Dorrell.

Just before the start Dave Barry pulled of to the infield with a misfire so it was Tom Keep who jumped into the lead from Neil Clarke Tony Smith and Dave Bonser. Mark Hodges was the first of the blue grades followed by Steve Dawson Dave Dollin and Pete Dorrell who was not having one of his better meetings. Back in the red grade it was Cliff Bunn who was making the break from Daz Rycroft Daniel Pooley Marc de Land Chris Neal and Jonathan Pooley, Jeremy decided to start at the rear of the field,

Tom went wide going into turn three allowing Neal Clarke through and the next bend Dave Bonser did the same to move up to second and looking very quick the next lap he took up the lead, Mark Hodges and Dave Dollin were now challenging Tom Keep for third, Dave managed to squeeze through a gap between Mark and Neil as they came on to the back straight, by now Cliff Bunn was up to this group of cars and Jonathan was only four car lengths back, As this group went into turn one Tom just touched Neils rear wheel putting the 77 car in a spin, Tom had nowhere to go apart from over Neils front wheel, Mark Hodges stopped just in time as he was about to past Neil when he spun. As the racing continued Dave Bonser lost the lead to Dave Dollin, The race brought under yellows while Mark Hodges stranded VW was removed and on the restart we lost Dave Bonser with gear trouble, this put Dave Dollin in the lead but Jonathan took that up when no 44 went wide going into turn one, back down the field Pete Dorrell Steve Dawson and Marc de Land were having a three way battle, Going into turn one Steve Dawson went wide this allowed Marc de Land to move to the inside and on exiting turn two Steve started to spin and caught the rear of the no 15 car putting them both in a spin and into the fencing and out of the race, another yellow flag and restart and Jonathan pulled away with Dave in second Cliff had to fend of Daniel Pooley for a couple of laps but Dan faded in the closing stages, Dave went wind on the last lap to let Cliff pinch second.

Heat one: 1st Jonathan Pooley, 2nd Cliff Bunn, 3rd Dave Dollin, 4th Daniel Pooley, 5th Chris Neal, 6th Jeremy Bouckley, 7th Neil Clarke.

With most of the cars repaired that got damaged from heat 1 there was a good field for the final race of the evening. Dave Bonser got the lead from Neil Clarke and Tony Smith. Mark Hodges was up to fourth as he past Steve Dawson. But Pete Dorrell did not get away so out came the red flags and we had a restart. And this time Neil was the one who got the better start as he took up the lead. Dave`s gearbox cried enough and he retired to the infield, Make Hodges and Steve Dawson had a moment as they both went for the same piece of tarmac to pass Tony Smith but they both came out the other side in one piece. Marc de Land tried to take Daniel Pooley on the pit turn but could not make it stick and on the home straight it was three wide as Jonathan Joined in, going into turn one JP moved up to places as he had the inside line, Mark Hodges slowed from second place this moved Steve Dawson up one place. The next lap he caught Neil Clarke and past him for the lead, Dave Dollin was right behind and Jonathan Pooley was closing fast. The length of a straight behind the leading cars was Neil Clarke and Dave Barry side by side as these pair were dicing for position this allowed Marc de Land, Daniel Pooley Cliff Bunn and Chris Neal to close in Marc took the out side line to pass Dave Barry be he did not see the no 15 car and pulled out in his path and got a tap on the rear for his trouble, this then let the chasing pack through and demoted Marc to the rear of the field. Daniel Cliff and Chris Neal past Neil Clarke Dave Barry and Marc de Land in one swoop. Jonathan had now took up the lead from Dave Dollin, with Five to go Daniel was now got up with Mark Hodges and was challenging for the fourth place, this went on for a couple of laps but he could not find a way pass, and with two to go Cliff, Chris and Marc had now closed in to make it a five car battle for fourth, on the last lap Daniel hit the rumble strips on the side of the track and this allowed cliff to get a better drive around the out side and take the position from Daniel, The race win was taken by Jonathan Pooley and his hat trick of wins for the evening.

Heat two: 1st Jonathan Pooley, 2nd Dave Dollin, 3rd Steve Dawson, 4th Mark Hodges, 5th Cliff Bunn, 6th Chris Neal, 7th Marc de Land, 8th Neil Clarke, 9th Dave Barry, 10th Jeremy Bouckley, 11th Daniel Pooley