Saturday 27 October, Arena Essex
Southern Championship
Report by Marc de Land

With a rain shower a couple of hours from start time and being rather on the chilly side the track stayed damp all evening, When it came to race time what was going to be the best tyre choice?

Race 1

Neil Clarke got ahead of Andrew Bilby to take up the lead before turn one, Darren Clarke got a better start being on the inside line from the blue grade, Marc de Land had to fend of Pete Dorrell going down the home straight with Tom Keep tucked in behind Pete. Back in the red grade Cliff Bunn was the first away with Daniel Pooley challenging to take that place as they came down the home straight. Dave Bonser was next up with Mark Hodges behind Gordon Pooley got ahead of Dave Dollin before going into turn three, Jonathan Pooley brought up the rear. On lap 3 Daniel had past Cliff and was closing in fast on Tom Keep who was not enjoying these very slippery conditions, Marc de Land got along side Darren Clarke on the home straight but then slide out wide going into turn one, a lap later he was back up with Darren and tried again this time staying in a bit tighter and managed to box Darren behind Andrew Bilby by going round the outside to make the pass then he did the same to Andrew behind Neil Clarke to move up to second, By now Daniel Pooley was at the back of this group and was looking for a way of getting by Darren. Jonathan Pooley was now up to 7th and looking to take 6th from Pete Dorrell, Tom Keep had kept a gap from himself and Gordon Pooley who had Mark Hodges and Dave Dollin for company.

On Lap 9 Marc was leading from now Daniel Pooley who was closing the gap fast, Jonathan Pooley retired to the infield with engine trouble when laying in 6th place, Pete Dorrell had now caught up with Neil Clarke and Andrew Bilby battle and was looking good to take at least one of those positions. Lap 11 and Daniel got along side Marc going into turn one, on the exit going onto the back straight Daniel had better traction and pulled clear to take the lead, Darren Clarke had moved up to third and started to challenge Marc for second,



1/D.Pooley 2/M. de Land 3/D.Clarke 4/A.Bilby 5/G.Pooley 6/D.Dollin 7/N.Clarke 8/P.Dorrell

Race 2

At the flag Neil got into the lead but Andrew was not letting Neil have it all his own way as the cars banged wheel and sending Andrew out on the slippery part of the track at the exit of turn two. Darren Clarke again got ahead of Marc de Land with Pete Dorrell just behind these two. Tom Keep miss out on race two as the pit gate had closed by the time he got there, Cliff Bunn had pulled away from the pack of red graded cars with Dave Bonser Mark Hodges Gordon Pooley Dave Dollin and race one winner Daniel Pooley. The end of lap two and Andrew managed to drive around the out side of Neil to take up the lead, Lap 5 and Andrew was pulling well clear but Neil had his mirrors full of Darren Clarke and Marc de Land, as these three were battling for second Mark Hodges was starting to make his move passing Dave Bonser and chasing down Cliff Bunn. Darren went wide on the exit of turn four to allow Marc through to third, But the next lap he gave that up when trying to pass Neil on the pit bend and slid out wide, Darren and Marc traded places Five or six times over the next five laps with Marc eventually getting a small gap to Darren, but while these three were battling away Mark Hodges was now up with them making it a four was battle for second. Daniel had got clear of the red graded cars and up to seventh and chasing down Cliff Bunn who was still closing in on Pete Dorrell, lap 11 and Mark Hodges drove up the inside of Darren when he went wide on the exit of turn two then managed to drive around the outside of Marc de Land on turn three and four to take third and try to pass Neil which the other two could not do, But No he to lost traction and slipped back to fifth going through turn one/two. Lap 13 Marc de Land tried to get on the inside of Neil going up the back straight but it was very wet and as the cars braked Marc locked up just clipping the rear of Neils car and slid into the path of Darren Clarke who was just about to try and pass Marc, both cars hit the fence with Darren tacking the worse damage, with both cars out this handed Mark Hodges third, Daniel had caught and passed Cliff with a lap to go Pete Dorrell had a good fight with Dave Dollin to hold onto sixth.


1/A.Bilby 2/N.Clarke 3/M.Hodges 4.D.Pooley 5/C.Bunn 6/P.Dorrell 7/D.Dollin 8/G.Pooley

Final Southern Championship.

Darren Clarke could not get his car repaired for the final, and Jonathan Pooley had made an engine change between races.

Neil took up the lead from Andrew, Marc de Land took up third from the Tom Keep who made it out in time for this one, then came Pete Dorrell. Cliff Bunn had Mark Hodges all over him, next came Dave Dollin and Gordon Pooley, Jonathan had managed to get by brother Daniel and Dave Bonser by the end of lap two. Marc had a heart stopping moment when he accelerated on the home straight and suddenly was heading for the fencing , gently braking he just managed to get the car back a foot or two from the fence, Mark Hodges took Pete for fourth place, Dave Dollin was now trying to find a way pass Pete. Back up front Andrew decided to have a go passing Neil who was keeping it tidy on the only dry line, But you only have to go a foot or so to wide and you find there is no traction and that's what happened to Andrew to allow Marc up to second, Daniel found a away pass Jonathan to take up sixth but trying to find away pass Dave and Pete would be tough. Lap 10 and it now a four way battle for the lead as Mark Hodges had joined them, Marc de Land was putting Neil under loads of pressure looking inside then out and on the exit of turn two Neil went a little wide, Marc started to put the nose of his car on the inside up the back straight Neil braked a bit later to close the door going through turn 3 but then made one mistake on the exit by going out too wide and that was enough for Marc to go by and pull away, Neil closed the door so Andrew and Mark could not get by, lap 14 and Dave Dollin was with Mark Hodges who still could not find a way through, over the next couple of laps these four battled away, with Mark trying to make a move on Andrew and ended up loosing his place to Dave when going wide, Dave him self then tried his luck passing Andrew but stayed in to tight on the no 16 car putting Andrew up and the high inside curb and bouncing Andrews car back at Dave so the wheels touch on the apex of the corner and which just started to put Dave wide and ended up going in a spin on the back straight and down to eighth. Back up front Marc was catching back markers but had a far lead on second so took no risks, Neil Clarke took second marking it a Birmingham one two and Andrew Bilby took third from ever pressing Mark Hodges.


1/ Land 2/N.Clarke 3/A.Bilby 4/M.Hodges 5/D.Pooley 6/D.Dollin 7/P.Dorrell 8/D.Bonser