Silverstone BLOWN with a BANG!
Last weekend Swansea based SVG Racing were competing in round 7 of the UK Sports 2000
Championships at Silverstone. International driver and instructor Tim Matthews was racing as the
leading driver in the prestigious Derek Bell Championship whilst rookie Cameron Davies was
competing still with an outside chance of the overall Sports 2000 title.
Race day dawned dry and sunny and both drivers were optimistic about their chances. Matthews
with a new sequential gearbox fitted to his TS 6 GUNN was looking forward to quicker gear
changes thus improving lap times. Davies on his second visit to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit
was confident of improved performance. Sadly qualifying did not go according to plan. For
Matthews a loose adjuster on a gear box cable meant gear changing didn't happen when made
and gear selection became impossible. Despite a trip into the pits Matthews struggled to keep the
car in gear and qualified at the back of the pack.
Davies was trying hard and on several occasions exceeded the track limits and was docked lap
times by the officials. On old tyres he was struggling for grip and was unable to match the pace of
the leading drivers eventually qualifying in seventh.
Matthews gearbox was readjusted and tested and he knew that getting into the top ten in the
championship would be difficult. Davies mechanics made some minor changes to the car set up
and both drivers spent much time looking at the downloaded data to see where performance
could be improved.
The race conditions were perfect, slightly overcast and cool, but both drivers knew from there
starting positions that good results on the very fast grand prix circuit would be hard to achieve.
As the lights went out the leading seven drivers including Davies rounded the first corner in a tight
pack. It stayed like that for the first lap before Davies managed to squeeze past into sixth. Pusing
hard Davies threw his MCR race car into the maggot complex but disaster struck and the engine let
go blowing a hole in the side of the block. Before Davies managed to get the car onto the side of
the track oil spewed all over the circuit.
Matthews meantime had made a lightening start and by the end of the first lap had moved from
28th to 16th and was catching the front pack of drivers. On the second lap he moved through into
14th and was closing on the six drivers immediately in front. Unfortunately as he moved up the
inside of the 150mph Hanger straight and turned into the next corner the car shot sideways on the
oil lost from Davies car. Despite catching the slide something broke on the suspension and the car's
handling became unstable. Knowing he needed to finish and collect the points the Swansea driver
backed right off and still managed to reach the flag 3rd in his Championship. This now means that
with just one final round at Brands Hatch Matthews has an unassailable lead in the Derek Bell
Championship and wins his second UK title in two years.
Despite Matthews Championship victory Team SVG were disappointed that Davies was unable to
continue to show the amazing performance he can deliver due to the engine failure. The team now
have to work hard to repair both cars for the final round of the Championships in October.
Press release produced by Julie Caulfield.