On Sunday 1th September, The 2021 Welsh Sports & Saloon Championship had it’s first visit to Pembrey in almost 2 years, due to the Covid 19 lock-down restrictions in force in Wales at the time. The championship, organised by the Welsh Racing Drivers Association is now in its 30th season and the pleasingly large entry was made up of regulars like the current champion Damian Longotano, and some very welcome new boys from Mid Wales, East Wales and England!
The Entry & Grid
Set to run of the National (aka the original) circuit, and heading the time-sheets, and in Pole position after qualifying, was Chris Everill, with his red Ginetta G55. Now with a 3700cc Chevy engine, Chris was bashing the 60 sec lap-time with a time of 1.00.867! Alongside him was Reuben Taylor, the first of our Guests, with a Peugeot 206 silhoutte. On the 2nd row was Deri Davies and his stunning Lime Green Darrain T90. Deri, from Aberstwyth, is in his debut year, and was also having his first races at Pembrey! Alongside him & on Class CS pole was the current Champion, Damian Longotano and his Westie.
On row 3 was Keith Butcher, and his awesome AMLS Audi R8 and he was joined by another driver making his debut, Todd Garner and his Renault Clio Cup car taking the Class BS pole!
On row 4 was new-boy Lyn Morgan who was also Westfield mounted. Gareth John and his Class BS Ginetta G40.
On row 5 and making a welcome return was Fabio Lufferleli and his VW Corrado Suzuuki. Alongside Fabio was C1 escapee James Harvey! His other car is a Porsche Boxster which his mate, Alistair Hall would use in Race 2.
On Row 6 was another new boy Wayne Spiller and his non turbo Class BS Maxda RX8 (Wayne is from Barwell near Mallory Park) and Wayne was sharing the row with our Chairman, Roger Dowden who was peddling his Davrian Mk6 to good effect!
On row 7 and on Class BT pole was Mark Williams, and he would share the row with new boy Steven Gray and his Honda Interreg!
Row 8 was a new boy zone with Jack Boulton and his Turbo VW Golf and Aled Dark and his massive supercharged 3.9 litre MGB GT V8. Both drivers had joined us for the Thruxton races, but they were making debut at Pembrey.
Row 9 and also making his Pembrey Debut would be Rodney Teague and his Renault Clio, and he was joined by Andrew Williams who was looking after Rodneys car and 2 other cars as well as his own!
On Row 10 was the 2nd of his equipe was Jason Peard (Honda Civic) and Mike Cook (BMW 330) Both had raced with us in the early season races but were also making their Pembrey debuts!
On Row 11 its was Ford Ka row, with Alan Smith joined by Andrew Barron whowas also making his Pembrey debut too.
On Row 12 was Verity Banks with a brand new Ford Focus built for her by Andrew Williams with help from Rodney & Jason Peard), She should have been joined by new boy Neil Thomas and his MGB, however his engine suffered a big blow-up and left a lot of oil on the circuit! Roger Dowden commented ‘I almost got caught out and so did a few others!’ However Steven Gray could not avoid making contact with the barriers! However later in the week both Neil and Steven hoped to make it to Donington Park!
Although with oil and several other races laying rubber down, it was perhaps that anyone would fall foul of the 60 second rule! This rule is designed to make sure that everyone is able to have a good race, meaning that the cars in the smaller engine classes, are not lapped too many times! Keith Butcher confirmed ‘ You have to drive really quickly to lap in the 60 second bracket!’
Race 1 (round 5) – 15 minutes – Rolling start
After the pace car, driven by Blake Edwards, had bought the grid round to the start , Chris Everill got the best start and was building his lead, but then Mark Williams crashed at the hairpin, causing the race to be red flagged! At the restart, Chris Everill again got the best start and had a fast staring Damian Longotano for company. Keith Butcher also had a good restart, making up places, whilst Reuben Taylor lost a few places. Deri Davies had a spin after the restart but did well to recoup the lost time. Mark Williams was able to take the restart after only having minor damage, but then battery issues at the end of the race that plagued him throughout the day, stopping on lap 6, but not before he set the Class BT Fastest Lap. However having played his Joker car, a single point, doubled to 2,was a small crumb of comfort! There was only time for 8 laps in the remaining time, but both Chris& Damian were both able to get into 60 second bracket! Chris setting a time of 1.00.373 & Damian 1.00.577. Damina was the Class CS winner. In 15th overall Rodney Teague was the Class BT winner. Alan Smith again proved he is quick driver by finishing 19th and winning Class AT, and getting the extra point for fastest lap after beating fellow Ford Ka driver Andrew Barron! Fabio Luferrelli was Driver of the race for race one, having started from the pit-lane, as he sometimes does. He then came through the field to finish in the top ten!
Race 2 (round 6) 15 Minutes – Rolling Start
At the end of the ‘Green Flag’ lap, Chris Everill took the lead and was never headed! Keith Butcher kept him honest and finished 3.3 seconds behind in 2nd place. Damian was 3rd and was the Class Cs winner. Gareth John was 9th and the Class BS winner but he had Todd Garner ( Renault Clio)in close attendance and Wayne Spiller ( Mazda RX8) all in a close Class BS grouping. Alistair Hall powered from the back of the grid to finish 11th in the shared Porsche Boxster
Mark Williams also came through and finished 12th, winning Class BT in the process, but RodneyTeague was only ½ a second behind! After having those issues in race one, Mark was given ‘Driver of the Race’ . Aled Dark lost the ‘Green Monster’ and had a ‘head on’ collision with Jack Boulton’s VW, causing them both to retire from the race. However the damage was not as bad as feared and both cars should be ok for Donington Park! So Chris was won the last 4 races and has one hand on the ‘Blake Edwards Trophy’
The Penultimate races in the 2021 WSSCC is at Donington Park on Sept 26th with the final races at Pembrey on Oct 10th