2019 Season
2019 was a case of best laid plans and all that. It all began with an eagerly anticipated test at Blyton Park in November 2018. After competing with the new (for 2017) Force TA for a couple of years the car had been to Triple M Motorsport for a full suspension analysis and setup. Unfortunately the engine let go on the first lap resulting in a fairly serious oil fire and consequent damage, which was largely restricted to bodywork and hoses. The cosmetic repairs were quickly completed by Ian Dayson at Force and the car appeared on the Pirelli stand at Autosport International 2019 looking none the worse for wear.

However, the not so minor matter of a replacement engine needed addressing. Replacing the Suzuki GSX R1000 (a K9 version) with a like for like motor didnít really seem like the way forward and we were introduced to the idea of the latest gen GSX R1000 (2017 onwards) which had the advantage of good power (200bhp) with stock parts but the downside of not having much history of 4 wheeled applications.

However, a new dry sump and exhaust manifold were going to be needed along with a new loom as we had been persuaded to go with the latest MBE MBE9A9 ECU which would provide more future development opportunities. To cut a long story short all this work plus the installation took over a year so I was relegated to the Caterham for the season. Chris J was invited to guest drive the mighty (up to 350bhp on tap) SBD Westfield in the first half of the season and later drover the Caterham for the last few events.

Far from being a total disaster I had a good year in the Caterham and despite not getting around to fitting some new tyres, had some good wins and won the class in the HSA Championship!

The Year:

January: Autosport International. This was the seond time we had displayed one of our cars at the NEC but this was at an entirely different level. The Pirelli stand was huge and in a prinary location right next to the F1 display. The standard of presentation, particularly the lighting was fantastic and we felt a little out of place but the car really looked the part.

March: Castle Combe GWS for the first event of the year. Up against Mike Smith's Striker. I was ahead in practice and T1. I improved a bit on T2 with a 147.54s but Mike just piped me by 0.09s. Disappointed but competetive.

May: Blyton for a Longton double header and a reasonably competitive class. Day 1 on the Eastern circuit:Lying second after T1 and T2 I got ahead on T3 and put in a really quick 78.96s on T4 which was god enough for a satisfying win. Day 2 on the Outer circuit. Much the same as the day before but I kept ahead, improving all the time to set a 72.51s best on T4 for another win. Well pleased.

June: Pembrey for a BARC Wles double header. Up against two other Caterhams but unfortunately a CSR and an R500! Day 1: Second with a 123.47s. Day 2 on the 'new' layout: Second again (out of four) with a 148.37s in the wet. Not too bad.

July: Loton park for another double header. Day 1: A competitive field with all five covered by less than two seconds with me at the back with a disappointed 61.34s but OK HSA points. Day 2: Same again with a 60.76s. New tyres would have made the difference?

August: To Three Sisters, chasing HSA points on the 2 lap course. A wet and dry day wasn't very satisfactory and a close third (out of 3) with a 84.49s

September: To Shelsley with Chris J having his first run in the Caterham. He declared it to be 'the most comfortable run in a race car he had experienced'! He still managed to win the Class with me a couple of seconds adrift on a 35.16s

October: Chris J and I entered the Anglesey double header as BSC competitors (not much point really) but I managed a 61.97s on the National circuit and a 100.59s on Day 2 on the International circuit.

I entered the HSA Curborough Saturday 2 lap sprint to secure my championship lead and had a good battle with Stephen Laing's R500 finishing a half a second behind with a 65.03s. Job done.


A winning week-end at Blyton, May 2019*

CCC Racing at Autosport, January 2019

Over the hill at Anglesey, Oct 2019#

* Anthony Mitchell
# Neil Lambert

Back to the Bennett Home Page.