Tag Archives: Cadwell Park

CSCC – Cadwell Park – June 2021

Thruxton or Cadwell, Cadwell or Thruxton was the debate; an argument which Cadwell ultimately won due to MSV’s far superior ticketing system, a shorter commute and opportunity to see the highly entertaining Classic Sports Car Club crowd at one of the UK’s finest circuits.

With immediate family dropped off en route, and fortunately arriving at the scene of a lorry’s argument with an A46 roundabout before the queues developed, I was pleasantly surprised to park up at Charlies with still 15 minutes remaining of the day’s first qualifying session. Better still the early June heat-wave appeared to be continuing and I, on being instantly reminded of the exceptional spectator viewing on offer, had a feeling we were in for a good day.

Whilst some of the grids fell far short of the numbers witnessed at Donington some 2 weeks earlier the racing did not suffer. In fact some of the closest racing of the day took place in the 6 car Special Saloons and Modsports race where a slow starting Ian Everett (in Tim Cairn’s Midget) eventually found a way passed Neil Duke’s Anglia and the 2.6 litre MK2 Escort of Martin Reynolds to take the race 1 victory. Despite a close encounter with Duke at the Mountain section in the early stages, the MG Hexagon pilot was able to stretch his lead to over 3 seconds by the time the chequered flag was waved following a remarkable pass for the lead around the outside at Mansfield!

Two races for the AR Motorsport Morgan Challenge were a welcome addition to the timetable and whilst both races saw runaway victors; Oliver Pratt claiming a 47 second race 1 victory and Roger Whiteside finishing 17 seconds ahead of his nearest rival in race 2, the battles behind were far less clear cut. Class 4 was the highlight with Steve Lockett (5th overall in both races) eventually claiming a double class victory with Simon Sherry and Tom Richards finishing a close second in each of the respective races.

Morgan Challenge race 1 victor Pratt was also due to start the Future Classics race from pole. However a fluid leak after the formation lap lead to the 4.6 litre Morgan being wheeled away from the grid. This ultimately left the way clear for an intriguing battle for victory between Sam Smith’s MX-5 and Martyn & Matthew Ellis’ Sunbeam Lotus. Whilst Martyn Ellis lead the early stages, a 30 second pitstop penalty for winning the previous round entered ensured Matthew Ellis would return to the track behind the pink MX-5 of Smith. Fastest lap after fastest lap ensued and remarkably the Sunbeam pilot appeared to have snatched victory in the closing stages, only to be landed with a 30 second post race penalty for a 0.9 second too short pit stop!

The Swinging Sixties Group 1 race (for smaller engine capacity cars) was perhaps the highlight of the day where Ian Staines worked his way to the front of the impressive 27 car field by the end of lap 1. And despite never relinquishing the top position, the MG Midget pilot was under pressure throughout the opening half of the race with Chris Watkinson’s Austin Mini and Tim Cairn’s pole sitting Turner in hot pursuit. The Mini challenge would sadly fade with troubles at the pitstop leaving Cairn’s to provide the main opposition. But whilst the Turner pilot seemed to be right up there on ultimate pace, the Midget seemed more at ease in the traffic, leaving Staines to claim a well deserved 9 second victory.

The more powerful Swinging Sixties machines would form the Group 2 grid, and having cemented pole by over 1 second, Jamie Keevil in his Lotus Elan would take an early lead. Any thoughts of a stroll to victory however were quickly dispelled as the Lotus 7 of John and Tom Muirhead was able to keep the Elan in sight. But despite setting fastest lap of the race, the Lotus 7 duo were not able to mount a serious challenge for victory and ultimately ended the event 9 seconds in arrears. Following the pitstops, Jonathan Crayston and David McDonald would find themselves locked in a battle for the final podium position and it would be the TR6 of McDonald that would come out on top following a late overtake, thus ending a Lotus class lockout of the podium positions.

And last but least (not in race order), disappointingly just 9 cars took the start of the Mintex Classic K race which even around the relatively short Cadwell park left plenty of quiet gaps. That aside the racing remained enjoyable with little to choose between the top 3 runners, Jon Wolfe’s Elan, the David Beresford / David Morrison MG B and the TR4 of Neil Howe. Pole sitter Wolfe just had the edge throughout though with his Elan taking the flag 6 seconds clear of Morrison’s MG. The battle of the race was for 4th spot however, where for lap after lap Nick Jesty, in his 1293 Mini, tried his absolute best to find a way passed Steve Chapman’s TR4. After the pitstops it looked like the Austin pilot had finally cracked it only for the more powerful Triumph to find a way back through. Fabulous racing.

And in what seemed like the blink of an eye, the final Morgan had re-entered the paddock and the day was sadly over, 9 hours at the circuit gone in an instant! Whilst it would have been nice to see slightly fuller grids you couldn’t grumble with the quality of entry, which combined with the fabulous weather, the picturesque undulating nature of the circuit and the event running like clockwork (not a single safety car period) pleased the inner photographer (and Motorsport fan) in me! I won’t leave it as long to visit Cadwell again and next time hopefully the great unwashed will be allowed to traipse around the Paddock.


 paul.commons@yahoo.co.uk for enquiries.           


Demon Defensive Drive lands Davies Cadwell Double

For some time I had been keen to witness a race meeting at Cadwell Park and with the HSCC Wolds Trophy slotting nicely into my diary on the final weekend of June we found ourselves making the pleasant Sunday morning trip along the A46; A full schedule of races awaiting us headlined by a double header for the Pre 66 touring cars.

In my opinion the current iteration of the BTCC lacks two things, true variation and a proper multi class structure.  Conversely, catering for several different classes, the two historic touring car races at Cadwell Park boasted, amongst other marques, Imps, Minis and Mustangs all looking to take the fight to the all conquering Lotus Cortina.

After witnessing Tim Davies’ total domination at Thruxton it was with some surprise that the man from Lampeter was beaten to pole position by the similar machine of name sake Mark.  And so it was #48 Cortina of Mark Davies who lead the drivers away for the already shortened first race of the day; a red flag inducing multi-car Formula Ford accident shaving 5 minutes from the scheduled 20.


However it wasn’t long before the double Thruxton winner was back in front following the early retirement of the pole sitting car courtesy of a broken half shaft.  Meanwhile further back, Fortec Motorsport boss, Richard Dutton, was indulging in an almighty battle with not 1 but 3 very quick Mustangs.  The American machines having the power on the straights but lacking the agility of the smaller Ford in the twisty sections.


No-one was quite sure who would get the better of the immense battle for what turned out to be second before the race was prematurely ended on lap 5.  Dutton the cause of the red flag having touched the grass on the exit of the Gooseneck and not quite managing to regain control before being unavoidably helped into the Mansfield barriers.  Thus leaving the Mustang’s of Warren Briggs and Neil Brown to claim the remaining podium positions behind the run-away Lotus Cortina of Tim Davies.  Race 1 may have been only 7 minutes long, but it was great fun while it lasted.

Glorious sunshine greeted the start of Race 2 which was missing several of the casualties from earlier in the day.  And from the off it was clear that onlookers would be treated to another good old David versus Goliath battle, with the powerful Mustang’s of Peter Hallford and Warren Briggs gradually reeling in the fast staring Cortina of race 1 winner Tim Davies.


In fact it was the Mustangs which appeared more suited to the afternoon sunshine as Hallford was able to set the fastest lap of the race whilst in hot pursuit of the #1 machine; a lap time which was nearly 8 tenths quicker than anything Davies could muster.  However, having caught the rapid Welshman, such is the nature of Cadwell, that passing is a significantly more difficult task, especially at the wheel of the huge 60’s muscle car.

While Coppice seemed the most likely option to get by neither Briggs or Hallford could get the power down quick enough exiting Barn corner.  And so while Tim Davies put in a great defensive display to wrap up his second victory of the day, focus turned to the battle for second.  Where in the end Hallford’s persistence paid off as he managed to slide past Brigg’s red machine on lap 8 of another genuinely entertaining 20 minutes of racing.


In a packed schedule of events, Benn Simms rounded off a great weekends work by taking victory in the second Classic Racing Car fixture after getting the better of Ian Jones’ more powerful Lotus 59.  This, after two great drives to wrap up both FF2000 victories in his Reynard SF77!


The Historic and 70’s Roadsport events contained healthy entries across several classes, where Sunday’s event for the elder machines saw Roger Waite in his Lotus Elan re-engage battle with the more powerful Morgan Plus 8 of Kevin Kivlochan.  Kivlochan possessed more than enough grunt on the straights but was no match for Waite on the twisty bits, resulting in the Lotus man claiming his second victory of the weekend.

Meanwhile both 70’s roadsport race victories were taken by Peter Shaw at the wheel of his TVR Tuscan.  Having lost out to the Lotus Europa of James Dean earlier in the season at Thruxton, Shaw proved to be the class of the field at Cadwell Park.

Formula Junior featured heavily on the Wolds Trophy schedule with 2 races for the front engined machines and a further two for the later rear engined models.  While Stuart Roach was yet another driver to take both victories in the front engined events, he could not match the pace of Stuart Wilson in the rear engined fixtures; Wilson claiming double victory at the wheel of his Lotus 20/22.

The Classic Clubman machines were the quickest cars on display during the weekend with dominant winner in both races, Mark Charteris, getting close to his own lap record in race 1.  John Harrison was running a close second in the first race however before retiring 4 laps from the end.


The Hadfield family had double reason to celebrate at Cadwell.  Not only did Simon claim double Classic F3 victory in his March 743, but son James claimed second place in the opening Formula Ford 1600 race.


It may even have turned into a brace of runner up positions but for a late retirement in race 2 of the meeting.  Hadfield the younger didn’t quite have an answer to the pace of Richard Mitchell though; the Exeter youngster going on to claim both victories in his Merlyn MK20.


Meanwhile, Amercian James King won the second Historic F3 race of the weekend, 38 years after claiming British F3 victory at the same venue.  James Denty and Dean Forward had been locked in a great battle for the lead only for a collision between the two at Park corner on lap 5, causing both of their retirements and allowing King to claim a memorable victory in his Chevron B17.




Whilst rallying at Cadwell is impressive, the speed some of these priceless historic racers were being driven around the famous Lincolnshire circuit was something to behold!  There just aren’t too many circuits like Cadwell, the very technical nature of the track making fast lap times and winning races an art form, while the ability to make a genuine pass in equal machinery borderline heroic.  Race winners at Cadwell most certainly earn their trophy!


Stone wins as Tinn’s hopes go up in smoke

John Stone & Carl Williamson would leave Cadwell Park as victors of the 2014 TJS Self Drive Alan Healy Memorial Rally following a day long battle with David & Alice Tinn in the Millington powered Proton.  



A stunning entry list convinced me that a return trip to Cadwell, following my first visit last year, was a necessity even after a couple of big names had withdrawn on the run up to the event.

Situated in the predominantly flat county of Lincolnshire, Cadwell Park, nicknamed the “Mini Nurburgring”, defies belief with it’s many changes in gradient, creating excellent views of the circuit wherever you should choose to stand.  Having been granted trackside access this year I decided to head to the Gooseneck / Charlies end of the circuit for the first 5 stages to make the most of vantage points not able to be reached in 2013.

Any thoughts of a fully dry day were soon washed away as the heavens opened just 20 minutes before the first stage.  Being a little ring-rusty, this being my first event in over a month; rain was not really what I had in mind.  It did however provide an opportunity for the spray to be captured on camera.

The downpour would not last though, meaning half the field would encounter a drier stage than the front runners.  And so It would be Tristan Pye and Stewart Merry who were quickest out of the blocks in the challenging conditions to take stage 1 victory; a great effort given the big hitting machinery seeded higher up the order.


A damp but rapidly drying circuit faced the competitors for stage 2.  David Turnbull, winner in 2013 was unexpectedly caught out; losing control of his Impreza WRC on the run down to Coppice and spectacularly rolling following a backwards collision with the armco barriers.  Thankfully both he and and co-driver, Howard Pridmore, were able to walk away.



This was not the only incident on stage 2 as a collision with the pit wall for the Renault Clio crew of Shaun McGonigal & Richard Winstanley would cause the stage to be stopped completely with the remaining competitors given a notional time.  It was pleasing to see that again both driver and co-driver were able to leave the scene unassisted.

By the end of the second stage 2 crews were starting to stand out at the head of the field, with John Stone and Carl Williamson holding a 12 second lead over the father and daughter Proton pairing of David and Alice Tinn.

Those expecting the WRC machine to pull away were in for a shock though as the grunt of the Millington powered Proton was more than a match for Stone’s Fabia.  And having dropped time on Stage 3 Stone and Williamson would find themselves 7 seconds adrift of the Tinn’s at the halfway mark with the Subarus of Karl Simmonds, Johnnie Ellis and Tristan Pye rounding out the top five.


Martin Hodgson and Tony Jones were leading Class C in 8th, closely followed by Royston and Bridge Carey’s Clio in 10th.  One place further back in 11th sat class D leaders Andrew Bayliss and Chris Sharpe-Simkiss in their M3 Compact, who were making a mockery of their lowly seeding.


Accidents and inclement weather aside it had been a cracking morning’s entertainment leaving a very close battle at the front to be settled.  With this in mind I headed to the opposite end of the circuit for the more conventional clockwise running of the afternoon stages.

And with two afternoon stages down the dual was really heating up; Stone taking stage 6 by 1 second and Tinn taking 7 by the same margin leaving the two cars still separated by just 7 seconds.  Could The Proton really keep the Legend Fires Fabia at bay?  Stage 8, the final of the short stages, suggested it possible as they both posted a time of 3 minutes 20 for the 3.5 mile test.

By now the crowd in front of the clubhouse had doubled in size with spectators eager to see who would come out on top.  One mistake over the final two 6 mile stages of the event could cost either contender the victory.

And so into stage 9 they headed with both crews flat out over the first lap of the circuit …..

…. but then tragically, on the second climb up the mountain, the engine in the high revving Proton let go, causing plooms of white smoke to emit from the bright yellow machine.  This was a huge anti-climax and a terrible end to a fantastic push for victory; the Knowledgeable crowd showing their appreciation with a round of applause for David & Alice’s efforts as they climbed out of the stricken car.

This left John Stone and Carl Williamson to cruise to victory by 1 minute and 14 seconds from the Subaru’s of Tristan Pye and Stewart Merry and Johnnie Ellis and Dave Green.   Alan Oldfield and Steve McNulty would bring the second Millington powered Proton home in 4th with Craig Pennington and Wayne Priest taking fifth.


Away from the lead battle the star performers of the day were Andrew Bayliss and Chris Sharpe-Simkiss who finished a sensational 6th overall  and with it took the Class D victory by over half a minute in a not far from standard M3 compact.  Remarkably they set the second fastest time overall on stage 9!  Who knows what they could have achieved with a higher seeding.

Class C had turned into a front wheel versus rear wheel drive battle royale.  Royston and Bridge Carey tried everything to claw back the deficit they suffered to Martin Hodgson & Tony Jones’ MK2 at the half way stage, but ultimately ended up just 4 seconds in arrears with 8th overall.


Class B would go the way of Andrew and Dennis Turner with 27th overall in their Citroen C2R2, with Class A being claimed by Ian Barnard and Andy Bull in their very rapid Vauxhall Nova.



For the second year in succession I left the circuit with a smile on my face; a sign of a great days entertainment in my books.  There had been some fantastic looking machinery on display and some even better sounding; the Proton’s, BMW’s and the glorious 306 Maxi being my personal favourites.

There is just something about tarmac single venue rallying.  Maybe it is the all day action …. maybe it is the greater difficulty in capturing the action that makes obtaining a good image even more rewarding ….  One thing that is for sure is that I will be back at Cadwell Park next April.  If the entry list is half of as good as this year it will be more than worth it.


1. John Stone / Carl Williamson  44.00
2. Tristan Pye / Stewart Merry  +01.14
3. Johnnie Ellis / Dave Green  +01.20
4. Alan Oldfield / Steve McNulty +01.40
5. Andrew Pennington / Wayne Priest +01.52
6. Andrew Bayliss / Chris Sharpe-Simkiss +01.58
7. Martin Hodgson / Tony Jones +01.59
8. Royston Carey / Bridge Carey +02.03
9. Simon Chapman / Michael Calvert +02.06
10. Pete Gibson / Josh Davison +02.16

Full Results

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