VSCC Formula Vintage – Snetterton – 16th & 17th September
Since the first visit in 2012, the VSCC’s Seaman Memorial Trophies Meeting at the celebrated Norfolk circuit has gone from strength to strength, fast-becoming one of the venue’s biggest draws behind only high-profile National series.
Three Club Members in four cars competed over the two days of Saturday Sprint and Sunday Circuit Racing.
This was a two day event with a sprint on Saturday and circuit racing on Sunday. Our club members competed in four cars.
Sue Darbyshire was out in the road-going Super Aero and the blue racing Super Aero. Simon Edwards was campaigning his green Aero Supersport. Iain Stewart raced his Super Aero. Some great results for all three of them but an unfortunate engine problem for Sue.
Saturday’s sprint at Snetterton was a meeting of two halves. It started with a damp track which dried out quite nicely so that the first timed runs for classes 1 to 10 enjoyed a dry track. However there was a long stoppage for a crash during which we sat and watched the rain clouds roll in, such that by the time the racing classes did their runs the rain was pelting down in sheets. Fastest time of the day was therefore a sports car for the first time in many years and the racing classes slipped and slid around the course with varying degrees of success. Sue Darbyshire set the fastest wet time of anyone but it was nowhere near the dry times set earlier in the day.
[Sue competed in Race 1 in the road-going Super Aero. Iain’s report covers that event].
On Sunday she ran the blue race car again in Race 3, the Vintage Seaman race which had been combined with the Historic Seaman for later more powerful cars, and also the Williams trophy for period Grand Prix cars mainly Bugatti. She was a little apprehensive about this not least because the engine of the blue car has been quite problematic this season. She qualified 13th and anticipated a race near the back of the high class field of racing cars. Once again the weather played a part and it hammered down through the race. By lap 8 she was up to 6th place and looking good for a finish in that position when the crankcases let go in fine style half way round the final lap.
It was husband George’s birthday on Sunday and this was not a great birthday present for him but we were happy enough overall with the weekend performances. George prepares Simon Edwards’ sports car for the ODM series and Simon’s 6th place was good enough for him to take the 1100cc class win and the ODM Championship overall.
The racing conditions were very wet and extremely slippery. There had been some truck racing the week before and it was suspected there were still traces of spilt diesel where some trucks had altercations.
Race 1 was for Standard and modified pre war cars. The conditions were ideal for Morgan Three Wheelers and not so good for the powerful cars. The two Morgans of Sue and Iain eventually got into the lead whilst being harried by a much faster Bugatti T35B. Sue led for most of the race with Iain and the Bugatti very close behind. It was only when they began lapping backmarkers that the two Morgans managed to extend a tiny lead over the Bugatti. Iain eventually managed to overtake Sue on the second last lap and stayed there to take the chequered flag, winning the Redgate mug. Sue finished second (0.19 sec behind Iain). The Bugatti T35B finished third and 5 sec adrift. Simon Edwards finished in 6th place and was awarded 1st in his class (A).
Race 9 The final race of the day was a pre war Handicap. Iain was sitting on the Grid (on Row-7) alongside another car. Just as the flag marshal raised his flag, this other car took off like a bullet. He then realised that the flag had not dropped so he slammed on his brakes. As he skidded to a stop – the flag dropped. This poor fellow was completely out-fumbled as Iain took off. Conditions were very slippy and Iain worked his way through to the lead on the final lap only to be overtaken just before the chequered flag. The winner was Ian Baxter in his very fast Alta and Iain Stewart was in second place 2.30 seconds behind. The poor jump starter finished 5th having received a 10 second penalty to add to his woes.