There was much relief all round, given the record-breaking cold March as Rockingham (almost) basked in sunshine for the opening of our 2013 season. A total of 24 drivers queued for qualifying and there were no surprises as reigning champion from 2012 Rick Styrin set a scorching 1:38.9 qualifier to take pole for Race 1. In the 924s, Hen Sharpe pipped Simon Hawksley to their pole position by 0.369 seconds, with Julian Brown ahead of Bernie Printy in the Class B Boxsters.
A disappointing qualifying session saw experienced joiner Jonathan Greensmith go from the back of the Class A Boxsters grid to take 5th, but it was Steve Boyles in his red and black 987 who stormed to take the first win of 2013 after Rick Styrin suffered the same throttle pedal failure that dogged him at Donington last year. Will Sharpe took second over an impressive third from Adam Croft – the first of two we’d see from him. Bernie Printy took his first ever win in the Class B Boxsters over Julian Brown.
Simon Hawksley’s fastest lap in the 924s was for nought after a spectacular engine explosion put him into the gravel at Gracelands, leaving Hen Sharpe to win with Tony Mekwinski third.
Sunday morning saw the arrival of popular pedaller Sean Siddall with Mark Mackenzie’s 924 in tow to bail out the unfortunate Hawksley. Fudge and Tony set to work on the poor Porsche that had sat unused in Sean’s barn since the end of last year and soon breathed life into the car just in time for Simon to take his position on the grid for the first of Sunday’s races.
For Race 2, with no way to properly qualify, Simon started from the rear of the pack but managed an impressive 2nd behind newcomer Clive Morison. A long battle between Tony Mekwinski and Hen Shape resulted in contact and a spin for Tony at Tarzan who, unable to restart, could not finish. The incident was reviewed by the BRSCC Clark of the Course who judged Hen’s actions to be contrary to MSA regulations and Hen was excluded from the result.
Will Sharpe and Adam Croft repeated their finishing positions but even Will fastest lap pace couldn’t match that of Rick Styrin who stormed to take the Class A win with a nearly 4-second margin after a brief safety car intervention. Jonathan Greensmith was fourth while Bernie Printy took the Class B win over Julian Brown.
The final race of the weekend again proved a disaster for Tony Mekwinski whose 924 looked a sorry sight on its trailer after a second DNF. Hen Sharpe took his second win of the weekend together with fastest lap, Simon Hawskley 2nd and Peter Smith third. Bernie Printy snatched Julian Brown’s lead to make a clean sweep of Class B. Steve Boyles made a hard charge from 9th at the start to get back on the podium for a third behind Will Sharpe and Rick Stryin, finishing with an even more impressive lead.
The PDA were happy to welcome three of our championship sponsors at the weekend: Naoki Gonsui, Managing Director of Toyo Tyre (UK) Ltd.; Brian, Alan and Sue of Jasmine Porschalink UK; and of course JM Littman of webheads who competed in the Class A Boxsters on Saturday. The drivers now look forward to an even bigger grid for Round 2 on Silverstone’s National circuit on 11/12th May.