TOVEY SETS THE PACE AGAIN
It’s rare for anyone to take a dominant win in 2CV Racing, but that was the case for Kris Tovey in the first of the weekend races at Oulton Park.
Andrew Bull led the charge down the Avenue, as Tovey duelled for second with Sandro Proietti. “I had great traction at the start, but was too hot into Island and it snapped away from me,” said Bull.
“He was sideways so I sneaked through on the inside,” added Tovey as he led into Shell, from Nick Roads, Proietti, David O’Keeffe, Max Wyer and Nick Crispin, with Bull recovering in eighth, behind Chris Yates.
Tovey soon began to extend his lead on the damp track, with Roads consolidating second initially. Crispin was on the move too, into fourth at the expense of O’Keeffe, who had sixth placed Julie Walford closing on him.
Roads exited wide at Cascades on a lap three, compromising his run along Lakeside, as Proietti, Crispin and O’Keeffe all charged by. But Crispin then squeezed past Proietti into Knickerbrook after cresting Hilltop side by side and it was now a six-car train for second up Clay Hill.
With Tovey long gone, Crispin started to get away in second too, but once he was back into third, O’Keeffe closed in again and went nose to tail through Knickerbrook on lap five, as Proietti led seven cars vying for fourth, from Bull, Walford, Roads, Matthew Hollis, Yates and Ethan Sparrow.
Tovey took his win by over 15 seconds, “I really didn’t expect to get away like that and I was just able to pick my own lines,” he said.
Crispin just held off O’Keeffe to retain second, “it went much better after the hub problem in qualifying. David was very close but I knew where I was quickest and kept him behind,” he said.
“I thought about a late lunge for the last three laps or so, but didn’t want to hit Nick,” O’Keeffe replied.
Proietti looked to be heading for fourth, until it all went wrong on the last lap. “I got a good start, but as the track started to dry it became a handful and they were queuing to get by, then I went wide at Cascades on the last lap,” he explained.
Bull fought back to take fourth, from Sparrow, while Proietti managed to reclaim sixth from Roads, who also lost out to Yates in sight of the finish.
Hollis was ninth with Walford completing the top 10, after she had to slow due to brake problems, but still had plenty in hand to keep Wyer at bay.
Simon Turner was next up, with Nicholas Home 12th, just ahead of Martin Riman.
Giles Owen was on his own in 14th, while Matthew Arrowsmith-Brown, Shirley Hennessy and Seb Jones-White came home in line for 16th.
Chris Hall, Andi Donaldson and Howard Wright all made it home, with Laurence Broadhurst completing the finishers a lap down, after Storey and Etchells retired.
The second race was due to be 15 minutes, but was reduced to 12.
Luca Proietti led into Old Hall on a damp track, but was soon under pressure. “They had a better run out of Cascades,” he said as Tovey was ahead, with Pete Sparrow in the Walford car, Bull, O’Keeffe and Hollis all challenging.
Sparrow snatched second as the lead trio made the break on lap two, leaving Bull a solitary fourth. Hollis and O’Keeffe had little between them in the dual for fifth, but after a strong start Wyer started to fall back, as Riman advanced.
There had been a few exchanges at the front, but Sparrow finally took charge and took victory by 0.350 secs from Tovey. “I was a bit sideways exiting Knickerbrook lap after lap, but I don’t mind losing to Pete,” said Tovey.
Proietti was still in with a shout until the last lap, “then I went wide at Druids,” he said as he still held onto third. “Lonely but challenging,” said fourth placed Bull, who managed to stay well clead of O’Keeffe.
“It was bone dry at Shell but damp elsewhere, but I just concentrated on keeping it on the black stuff,” O’Keeffe explained, after escaping from Hollis after three laps.
Riman had climbed to seventh, but then started to lose ground again on the last lap. “I picked up a small misfire and the chasing cars got a run on me into Island on the last lap,” he explained. Seventh had become ninth by the flag, as both Yates and Roads got by, while Mick Storey headed a three-car train for 10th, from Ainslie Bousfield and Wyer.
Crispin battled through from the back of the grid to take 13th, from Jones-White, Turner, Hennessy, Neal Graham and Glenn Oswin, while Donaldson, Etchells, Wright, George Broadhurst and Jennifer Hall were a lap down, with Knight completing the finishers two laps down.
That’s the end of the 2CV Sprint season, as all eyes are now on Snetterton’s August Bank Holiday weekend, for the 33rd running of the annual 24hr race.