26th October 2013

NORFOLK TROPHY - F.2, Snetterton

PIPER DEFEATS THE COOPERS

DAVID PIPER'S VICTORY IN HIS LOTUS 16 MAY LOOK TO HAVE BEEN PRETTY COMFORTABLE AS THE BRIGHT GREEN CAR FINISHED 18 SECONDS AHEAD OF SECOND PLACE BUT THAT DID NOT TELL THE WHOLE STORY. PIPER WAS INVOLVED IN A TREMENDOUS TUSSLE WITH DENNY HULME'S COOPER AND THE VICTORY LOOKED TO BE IN REAL DOUBT AS THE YOUNG NEW ZEALANDER HELD OFF HIS MORE EXPERIENCED OPPONENT BUT THE EXCITEMENT OF LEADING GOT THE BETTER OF HULME AND HE CRASHED OUT ON LAP 31 OF THE 38, LEAVING PIPER TO CRUISE TO VICTORY.

*         *         *         *         *         *         *         *

ENTRY

A small entry arrived ay Snetterton for what was almost a British club race with just one exception. It's a very long way from Nice in the south of France but nevertheless, Bernard Collomb brought his Cooper all the way to Norfolk fpr this race. Nine of the twelve runners were Coopers - all being T.45s. In addition to Collomb there were cars for McKee, Wicken, Parnell, Ouvaroff, Ballisat and Carter with the two New Zealand cars for Hulme and Lawton completing the nine.

The remaing three consisted of David Piper with his Lotus 16 and Frank Gardner in his Lotus 12, with Henry Taylor completing the entry in the one-off Laystall.

PRACTICE

Denis Hulme set an extremely fast time in the first practice session and although he failed to improve on his time in the second session his time in that session was still the quickest and he looked a very solid bet for a first victory in the Northern Hemisphere. Mike McKee was second fastest in both sessions and these two were joined on the front row of the 4-3-4 grid by Piper, who improved from 4th in the first session and Lawton, who removed over three seconds to move to the front row from 6th in the earlier practice. The big loser from the first session was Wicken who only managed to trim fractions from his earlier time, dropping from third to sixth.

Collomb did very well to place fifth on the grid despite his unfamiliarity with this British airfield-type circuit. Alongside him was Wicken with Henry Taylor completing the second row. Tim Parnell was appearing for the first time in 1960 and was rather frustrated to find himself down in ninth place when he was expected to be one of the front runners - with only Gardner, Carter and Ouvaroff behind him.

GRID ORDER for the 38 lap race:

   1.
18
D. HULME COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.42'40
   2.
2
M. McKEE COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.42'84
   3.
14
D. PIPER LOTUS CLIMAX 16
1.43'27
   4.
19
G. LAWTON COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.43'85
   5.
10
B. COLLOMB COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.43'99
   6.
3
G. WICKEN COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.45'16
   7.
17
H. TAYLOR LAYSTALL CLIMAX
1.46'34
   8.
7
K. BALLISAT COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.46'48
   9.
4
T. PARNELL COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.46'75
 10.
16
F. GARDNER LOTUS CLIMAX 12
1.47'01
 11.
8
R. CARTER COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.48'13
 12.
6
S. OUVAROFF COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.48'52

THE RACE

Mike McKee made a great start, set the fastest lap of the race as early as lap 6 and looked as though his local knowledge might serve him very well but by lap 10 he found himself down in 4th place, albeit within four seconds of leader Denis Hulme but behind Piper's Lotus and Lawton in the second New Zealand Cooper. Trying hard to get back to the front, McKee sadly spun off the circuit on lap 22. By this time Hulme had pulled away to a ten second lead but was having to try very hard in order to keep Piper at a sensible distance. Alas, it all got the better of him eight laps from the end when the black Cooper spun out of the lead and out of the race. This left David Piper with a clear lead which enabled him to cruise to a very well deserved victory. When Hulme spun off Piper was closing in and the feeling was he would have caught the young Kiwi anyway.

George Lawton drove a steady and promising race into second, at least giving the New Zealand team something to cheer about. Once McKee and Hulme had retired it was quite a surprise to see Bernard Collomb coming along in 3rd place, the Frenchman having driven splendidly to beat Tim Parnell into 4th. The Parnell car had run much better in the race than it did in practice. George Wicken and Ron Carter completed the top six with Gardner and Ballisat making up the eight finishers, both the latter two being lapped.

The only other retirements were Ouvaroff who had a serious vibration problem, thought to be caused by a broken chassis and Henry Taylor who had brake troubles with the Laystall.

HERE IS THE FULL RESULT OF THE 38 LAP RACE:

   1.
14
D. PIPER LOTUS CLIMAX 16
1.07.17'14
   2.
19
G. LAWTON COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.07.35'06
   3.
10
B. COLLOMB COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.08.42'05
   4.
4
T. PARNELL COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.08.47'81
   5.
3
G. WICKEN COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.09.06'97
   6.
8
R. CARTER COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.09.34'70
   7.
16
F. GARDNER LOTUS CLIMAX 12
37 laps
   8.
7
K. BALLISAT COOPER CLIMAX T.45
37 laps
Fastest lap:   M. McKEE, COOPER CLIMAX T.45,   on lap 6,   1.41'61
Retired:
18
D. HULME COOPER CLIMAX T.45
30 laps
17
H. TAYLOR LAYSTALL CLIMAX
22 laps
2
M. McKEE COOPER CLIMAX T.45
21 laps
6
S. OUVAROFF COOPER CLIMAX T.45
9 laps

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