Round 4,5 & ^

Snetterton 300

22-23 June 2019

1st R1: Wayne Marrs (355/Ch) / R2: Wayne Marrs / R3: Wayne Marrs
2nd R1: Tim Mogridge (355/Ch) / R2: Tris Simpson (355/Ch) / R3: Tris Simpson
3rd R1: Tris Simpson / R2: Tim Mogridge / R3: Pete Fisk (550 Maranello)
report by William Moorwood
photography by Jakob Ebrey, Leigh Quinell, Tom Horsfall

Snetterton was the venue for the second race meeting of the season and we were again the support races for the UK Ferrari Challenge. The big tent provided by FNE for the race cars is a great asset. It is a very sociable place and was particularly welcome as over this weekend a number of cars needed attention. The ability to share information, spares and for competitors to help each other has always been a feature of the series and this is made much easier when we are all located together. The Snetterton café is also one of the better eating places and this was made good use of particularly on Saturday evening when all those in motorhomes could meet for an evening meal.

The entry list of 17 was perfectly respectable and it was good to see both Nick Cartwright back after a short absence and Burgo Wharton back after a somewhat longer absence in their 328 GTB’s. Qualification took place in dry conditions and a welcome change from the torrential rain encountered when were there last September. Just as he did at Brands Hatch Wayne Marrs put his 355 Challenge onto pole position by a clear margin. One suspects he gains an advantage by also entering the Ferrari Challenge races and benefits from the copious amount of track time available. Pete Fisk in his 550 Maranello was 4th behind the 355s of Tris Simpson and Tim Mogridge. Chris Butler was the best of the rest in his shiny black 328 GTB.

The Races

The best racing in all three races was the competition between the Group 2 308 GTB of Chris Goddard, the Group 3 328GTBs of Peter Everingham and Chris Butler, the Group 4 cars of Nick Cartwright328 GTB and Colin Sowter 348 Challenge and the Group 5 355 Berlinetta of Tim Walker.  In all three races they were very close together and their best lap times were all within one second of each other. Within their groups the best lap times were shared.

In the final analysis it appears that Chris Butler’s ability to qualify better allows him to come out on top even if in the races his lap times are not the best as he has to spend a lot of time looking in his mirrors to keep his position. Colin Sowter is going quicker this year and threaten to lead the group at times but fell foul of track limits with a 5 second penalty in the first race which cost him three places but did particularly well in the second race. Tim Walker had running problems with only a single lap in the first race and nearly did not make the grid for the second race as he debated whether to start or drop out but thankfully he did start and had two strong races. The spectators really enjoyed the close racing of the group with its interesting mix of tipos.

At the back of this bunch there was at times some close racing but the nature of the circuit tends to allow cars to be spaced out after a few laps. A good start can help if you can get ahead of a quicker car or two and certainly makes the first few laps very entertaining. Of the 328s Darren Mills seems to be just a bit quicker than Burgo Wharton and Carl Burgar and it will be interesting to see in the next few races how these cars and drivers progress.

At the front it was three wins for Wayne Marrs. Pete Fisk did not start the first race due to brake problems and despite running at a weight disadvantage Tim Mogridge finished ahead of Tris Simpson in the first race. Another of the good features of the Ferrari Racing Days is the podium presentation directly after the races. The drivers are all fully suited and the race very fresh in their minds as they discuss, or possibly dispute, what actually happened during the race. The interviews of the drivers by the commentator gives some a great opportunity for hyperbole and seemingly over optimistic predictions on the outcome of the next race. Unbelievably the predictions on the podium after the second race did actually come true.

In the final race Tris Simpson did indeed take the race to Wayne Marrs and although he did not get ahead of him he did track him all the way and finished very close behind him. Pete Fisk also delivered on his promise to get ahead of Tim Mogridge and keep ahead of him for the whole race.

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