HAREWOOD 2014 SEASONAL REVIEW
Hollis and Martin Share the Spoils!
Harewood Hillclimb Championship
The 2014 season got under way back in April at the Spring National meeting and it was the ladies to the fore. The Lotus Elise class saw Sarah Bosworth win with Tracey Taylor-West hot on her heels. Their performances were so close to the mark that they were 1-2 in the championship by the end of the day.
Daniel Hollis took his Integra to a class win and grabbed third spot ahead of fellow 2 litre tin-top driver James Kerr.
Ben Tranter took his ‘new’ Formula Ford Vector to a class win and grabbed fifth place overall ahead of Ian Butcher in the developing R5 turbo.
The May Open meeting was the second round and it was all change at the top. Ian Butcher moved into the lead just ahead of Ben Tranter whilst the Elise drivers both gave the event a miss.
Daniel Hollis retained third whilst Richard Archbould charged up to fourth spot ahead of Chris Brooks in his Elise.
Round 3 was held at the June Jim Thomson Trophy meeting and it was very wet indeed. Points were hard to come by and the Top 4 remained the same. Up into fifth splashed Robert Spedding whilst Mike Geen also moved up the table to sixth.
We had to wait until August 2nd for round 4. The Top 3 remained unaltered although Ian Butcher extended his lead over Ben Tranter whilst up into fourth came Robert Spedding – the two Formula Ford drivers were pushing each other hard in their shared Vector. Vini Dobson moved up to fifth spot in his indecently quick Golf whilst Mike Geen held onto sixth.
The following day it was Round 5 and Ian Butcher continued to lead although Ben Tranter did close the gap. The order of the Top Six remained unaltered. August Bank Holiday weekend saw the sixth round and once again it was The Usual Suspects. Ian Butcher continued to lead but both Tranter and Hollis were closing the gap. Robert Spedding in fourth was dropping away whilst Richard Archbould and Graham Cox moved up to fifth and sixth as Vini Dobson missed the event and Mike Geen’s change of car meant he scored fewer points.
The final two September rounds were pivotal. Ian Butcher had an engine failure prior to the meeting and missed the two events so dropped down the order. On the Saturday at the Greenwood Cup meeting it was Daniel Hollis who took over the lead however Ben Tranter was only 0.11 points adrift.
Robert Spedding also closed up, moving into third just ahead of Richard Archbould and the absent Ian Butcher. Graham Cox remained sixth whilst Tracey Taylor-West came out of the pack to move to a threatening seventh place.
The final round of the championship at the Mike Wilson Memorial meeting again proved that the dropped scores element is key. Daniel Hollis again won his class in the Integra and scored well but he was dropping a lower score than Ben Tranter and despite Tranter outscoring Hollis over the season he just failed to overhaul him and had to settle for second. Tracey Taylor-West, as well as missing a round, only had the score from the wet third round to drop so made massive inroads at the top of the table finishing in a fantastic third place overall.
Michael Bellerby was in a similar situation to Tracey as he too missed a round so was only dropping 3.46 from Round 3. This propelled the Striker driver up the order from twelfth at the start of the week-end to fourth place. Robert Spedding just held onto fifth by the narrowest of margins – 0.02! Sixth was Richard Archbould finishing his season with a flourish ahead of fellow saloon drivers Vini Dobson, Ian Butcher and Graham Cox.
The suspense at the final meeting was palpable. Trying to keep track of who had to do what was almost impossible. Yet on-track the battle raged on and on.
I can’t remember a closer finish and one where so many drivers came out of nowhere to grab a spot near the top. If 2015 is half as good it will be a cracker!
Harewood FTD Championship
With many drivers only doing part seasons at Harewood, keeping track of the placings in the FTD Championship was difficult to say the least.
Round 1 for example saw Richard Spedding take the win from Steve Owen neither of whom would be doing a full season. John Chacksfield was third and looked likely to repeat his win from the previous season; however he soon sold his OMS and wouldn’t be out again.
Channel Islander Jason Mourant was fourth ahead of Lynn Owen and Paul Martin. Ed Carter was next ahead of John Prickett (another who would change car during the season), Sarah Holdsworth and finally Ben Lovell.
Round 2 saw more interlopers as Oliver Tomlin took FTD with his mother Sandra seventh.
Steve and Lynn Owen were second and sixth whilst Ed Carter’s third place overall saw him tie for the Championship lead with Paul Martin who was fourth.
The wet Round 3 saw a great victory for the returning Richard Vaughan in his single seat sports libre OMS ahead of an equally fantastic effort from Simon Dawes in the Porsche 911. John Prickett was third ahead of Ed Carter, who now took the overall lead by one point ahead of fourth placed Paul Martin.
Round 4 and Jason Mourant returned to grab top spot ahead of Nev Rollason. Paul Martin moved into the overall lead taking third ahead of Steve Owen and Steve Carter whilst Ed Carter failed to score. Richard Vaughan was sixth ahead of fellow Libre driver Sarah Holdsworth.
Round 5 the following day and again Mourant took the win from Rollason, Martin and Steve Owen. Ed Carter took fifth and dropped further behind Paul Martin. Steve Carter was sixth with more interlopers filling out the places.
Round 6 and Paul Martin posted his first win extending his lead in the process. Ben Lovell returned after problems with the OMS Sports Libre and finished a fine second ahead of fellow libre drivers Sarah Holdsworth, John Prickett (now running a Radical PR6) and Richard Vaughan. John Hoyle, an occasional visitor these days, took sixth ahead of Dale Cordingley, Derek Leetham, Ben Tranter and Michael Bellerby.
The final weekend saw the return of the Tomlins. Oliver took FTD on Saturday in Round 7 with Paul Martin taking second spot and closing out the championship. Richard Vaughan took third just ahead of Sarah Holdsworth and Sandra Tomlin.
James Wilkinson was back with his Formula Vauxhall Lotus and took sixth ahead of Richard Paterson, Derek Leetham and the Bellerbys. On the Sunday for Round 8 it was another win for Paul Martin as he finished ahead of Ed Carter. George Bleasdale took third ahead of the Sports Libre battle. Fourth went to Sarah Holdsworth with John Prickett and Richard Vaughan fifth and sixth. Simon Bailey grabbed seventh ahead of Dale Cordingley whilst John Hoyle took a well-deserved ninth ahead of Steve Carter.
In the championship it was great to see the Top 3 places going to regular competitors as Paul Martin deservedly took the title ahead of Richard Vaughan and Ed Carter. Steve Owen’s occasional visits netted him fourth ahead of John Prickett, who should be a bigger threat next season now that he has just the one competition car! Sarah Holdsworth was sixth ahead of a flurry of occasional visitors headed by Jason Mourant.
2015 promises to be even better as we should see Richard Vaughan doing a full season in the reliable OMS sports libre, John Chacksfield plans to be back with a new OMS and defending champion Paul Martin is determined to defend his title. I can hardly wait.
From the pen of Steve Wilkinson