MOTORSPORT COLUMN: Pearson tested as double race weekend throws up problems
Two days at two of Britain’s best known race circuits, and with the BMW E36 recovered from its accident earlier in the season, Chedburgh’s Stephen Pearson was looking forward to a good weekend as he took in races at Donington Park and Silverstone.
Arriving too late to test at Donington, the team booked into a nearby hotel for Friday evening. The following morning they found their van broken into and all the tools missing. Having spoken to the police, they made their way to Donington for two rounds of the Toyo Tyres Racing Saloon Series.
Qualifying didn’t go well, the car still down on power, and only P8 could be achieved. However, team member Dave Hunt located the cause, and the first race saw Pearson improve to finish in third.
Race two again saw a trouble-free run, this time he just missed out on a podium place with fourth.
Then it was off to Silverstone for the Sunday meeting which would see Pearson take in two rounds of the Kumho BMW Championship.
With several classes all running in the same race, Pearson’s aim was to get the best result for cars on treaded tyres rather than slicks.
This was achieved in qualifying which placed him eighth overall on the grid, a position he held through to the chequered flag.
Race two also saw him line up eighth, but the outcome was typical of the weekend, as he was spun out into retirement.
The team now hope for better fortune as they take in the Four-Hour Relay event, being held at Snetterton over the weekend of October 10-11.
Chelmsford MC are back in rally action on Sunday, their Online Kitchen.co.uk-sponsored Wethersfield Stages being a qualifying round of the Jelf Motorsport.co./AEMC Championship.
A rather disappointing 40 crews have entered, these containing two from West Suffolk MC. Justin Oliver/James Crook must be among the favourites for outright victory in their Subaru Impreza, and they are joined by Dave Daniel/Dennis Sutterwood in a Mitsubishi Evo 6.
I feel there could be three reasons contributing to the low entry. As the championship year reaches its later stages, several competitors, not in contention for awards, tend to look toward other things. In this case, it could be the forthcoming winter-based Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship, which gets underway at Oulton Park, on November 7.
Last week, I mentioned the current popularity of Targa Rallies, and the fact that two drivers could share a car. This could well see competitors going down this route as it becomes less expensive. However, there is no way a Targa Rally will every replace a well-run special stage version.
The Chelmsford MC event offers six special stages, giving drivers around 65 miles of competitive motoring.
nFinally, I wish to point out that last week’s column contained some incorrect information I was given about Paul Hewes.
I reported last week that the Troston driver, racing in his Cooper at The Goodwood Festival, rolled his car. In fact, he was hit very hard by a competitor, which removed a rear wheel, with video footage showing it was not his fault.
Brands Hatch, HSCC, Saturday and Sunday.
Races include Historic FF2000; FF1600; Classic Racing Cars; Historic Road Sports.
Oulton Park CSCC, Saturday.
Races include Tin Tops; Magnificent 7s.
Silverstone, BARC, Saturday and Sunday.
British Touring Car Championship plus full support programme.
Snetterton, VSCC, Sunday.
Wethersfield Stages, Chelmsford MC, Sunday.
Jelf Motorsport.com, AEMC Championship.
Mildenhall Raceway, Saturday, 6.30pm.
BriSCA F2; Ministox; Bangers.
Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, Saturday, 6.45pm.
National Hot Rods - World Qualifier; Oval Track Legends; Bangers.