O’KEEFFE & PROIETTI SHARE THE SPOILS, BUT IT’S SPARROW’S TITLE
As the 2CV Racing Championship arrived at Donington Park, both Nick Crispin and Kris Tovey could mathematically take the title away from Pete Sparrow.
Sparrow was absent due to his clashing commitments in the Spa 24hrs, which meant Gary Adnitt took the wheel of Sparrow’s usual 97 2CV Team Lion car.
23 cars set out in qualifying with only 0.776 secs covering the top five of Nick Roads, Crispin, Tovey, Adnitt and O’Keeffe, with Matthew Hollis completing the top six.
As the lights went out Crispin led into Redgate, from Tovey and Hollis. With Tovey and Hollis side by side into the Esses, Hollis was into second place at Melbourne, which gave Crispin a slight break.
As they completed the opening lap O’Keeffe headed the chasers, from Julie Walford, Mick Storey, Adnitt and Sandro Proietti from the back of the grid, while Chris Yates and Roads completed the early top 10.
As Hollis and Tovey swapped again on the second lap, that allowed O’Keeffe to close in too as they went through the Esses.
As O’Keeffe emerged from Melbourne in third behind Tovey, Hollis had slipped to fourth with Storey now a solitary fifth after Walford pitted.
It started to close up at the front and Crispin’s domination was coming to end, as Tovey got by at the Old Hairpin. But Crispin came back to lead the four car train into the Esses on lap three, while behind Storey it was a four car train for sixth too, with Proietti, Adnitt, Roads and Yates.
It was all change though a lap later, “I was trying to hold the lead but it was so greasy and I had a slight off at Redgate through the gravel, “said Crispin.
Tovey was then side by side with O’Keeffe down the Craner Curves. “After Nick went off I got on the slippery line down the Craners, I missed the gravel but found the grass,” he explained.
O’Keeffe emerged as the new leader from Hollis, with Crispin recovering in third, while Tovey though still fourth, had lost ground.
Storey had hit trouble too, “there was muck in the carbs, otherwise I thought I could have caught them,” he said.
O’Keeffe held his gap over the final lap and took the flag 1.96 secs clear of Hollis. “They tried too hard and ended up on the slippery stuff and I didn’t. But I didn’t get away well at the start as I couldn’t get gears,” O’Keeffe explained.
“I got a really good start and the dampness of the track was a good equaliser, although there was almost a dry line in some places. I got closer to David at the end and we briefly nose to tail, “Hollis added.
Crispin and Tovey came in third and fourth, after Crispin had tried a last corner challenge on Hollis, resulting in a half spin.
Proietti was fifth. “I enjoyed racing through from the back. I struggled at the Hairpins though and it was shocking under braking,” said Sandro.
Roads was sixth while Adnitt just held onto seventh from Yates, “I hadn’t had enough track time in the car in the wet,” Adnitt added.
Turner slipped back in ninth towards the end, but was still well clear of Shirley Hennessy.
Crispin got the initial lead from Tovey into Redgate from the start of the second race too, with Luca Proietti third after storming first lap.
Neil Savage was a strong fourth, battling with Adnitt, Roads and Hollis, but O’Keeffe was well down the order. “I got wide at the Old Hairpin and Nick Crispin helped turn me,” he explained.
“Yes David lost it, came back as he hit the kerb and I tapped him and turned him into a spin,” Crispin admitted, as he lost the lead to Tovey.
As Tovey began to extend his advantage, Proietti and Adnitt made it past Crispin, with Savage down to fifth, as Roads and Hollis threatened.
As they went through McLeans on the third lap, Proietti was almost pushing Tovey, but he waited, until Goddards to make his move down the inside under braking, to exit with as a clear leader.
The lead duel had allowed Adnitt to close into, leaving Crispin a solitary fourth, while Savage and Storey continued to duel for fifth, while Roads headed Hollis, Yates and Max Wyer in growing train for seventh.
Over the final lap the gaps briefly began to open at the front, but it was all closed up again on the Melbourne Loop, with Proietti finally taking victory over Tovey by 0.592 secs. “I was a bit patient, I knew what I had to do and did it and a bit more,” said Luca.
“I tried,” Tovey replied. “My last move was just ambitious, I kept my foot in around the outside but on the grass and went bouncing. So snatched third gear and kept going,” he added.
Adnitt was another 0.270 secs down in third, “just brilliant, I had a go at it and it was my first sprint race for 15 years,” he said.
Crispin held onto a solitary fourth, while Storey managed to hold off Savage for fifth after they swapped a lap from home.
Roads, Hollis, Wyer and Yates finished line astern to complete the top 10 after a last lap reshuffle, while race one winner O’Keeffe had to settle for 11th after his recovery drive.