Saturday 4 May, Birmingham
National Championship
(sponsored by Steve Walford Motorsport), report by Marc de Land

Race 1 (National Championship)

At the green flag Tony Smith was the early leader from the yellow grade, Cliff Bunn got ahead of Neil Clarke in the Blue grade he was followed by Gordon Pooley who was looking very quick as he disposed of Andrew Bilby and set about getting pass Neil, Pete Dorrell was next up, Back in the reds Tom Keep got ahead of Dave Bonser, Dave Dollin was just keeping ahead of the Pooley brothers Daniel and Jonathan, Steve Young was next with the two Marks of Hodges and de Land at the rear of the field who was running in his new car.

As the race settled down by lap 5 Gordon had took up the lead he was followed by Cliff Bunn who had Tom Keep all over him, these three had made a small gap to Tony Smith who now had a gaggle of cars behind him, the first being Dave Bonser who found his way pass on the home straight. A car spun out on lap 7 this bought out the pace car, so on the rolling restart Gordon bunched the cars up and then made a break and pulled out 5 or 6 car lengths by the end of lap 8, Cliff Bunn found him self trying to fend off Tom Keep, these to were slowing each other down and this allowed Dave Bonser to close in for a bit of the action, Cliff went wide on the exit of turn 4 and this allowed Tom up on his inside and took second place by turn 2, Dave thought he would try his luck as Cliff had left the door open and down the back straight and took third. Neil Clarke found him self in a spin after a coming together with Pete Dorrell and ended up sitting in the middle of turn 4, all the cars managed to miss the stranded 77 car and when the track was clear he retired to the infield. By lap 14 the first three were all together and Tom was starting to put Gordon under pressure with Dave Bonser waiting for an opportunity to take a place, Back markers were starting to be lapped at this stage. Going through turns 3 / 4 Tom Keep had a slight coming together with Mark Hodges this allowed Gordon to pull a small gap and for Dave Bonser to challenge for second, Tom managed to make his car slightly wider to defend that attack. With 2 laps to go they were all together again, Tom was now trying to drive around the outside of Gordon going up the home straight but lost a bit of time going through the turns, last lap and its all or nothing for Tom, Again he gets along side and manages to stay there though turns 1 and 2 and just gets his nose in front going into turn three but carying a little to much speed and just drifts wide and this was all Dave Bonser needed to put his car up on the inside and pinch second place at the line from Gordon Pooley who took the National Championship to keep it in the Pooley family.

National Championship: 1st 33 Gordon Pooley, 2nd 10 David Bonser, 3rd 46 Tom Keep, 4th 31 Jonathan Pooley, 5th 44 Dave Dollin, 6th 32 Daniel Pooley, 7th 23 Clifford Bunn, 8th 16 Andrew Bilby

Race 2

Tony Smith took up the lead and was going well but a very quick starting Cliff Bunn set about trying to close that gap, Gordon could not find away through Andrew Pete and Neil battle. Tom Keep again got the better start ahead of Dave Bonser, Daniel Pooley got pass Marc de Land by the first turn with Dave Dollin Mark Hodges and Jonathan Pooley.

Steve Young started to slip down the order as he was trying to get to grips with his new car. Turn three and Neil Clarke found himself in the middle of an Andrew Bilby and Pete Dorrell sandwitch as they went three wide, all came out the other side in one piece with Neil loosing out dropping down a place.

Lap 5 and Cliff was now trying to get by Tony up front, there was then a clear track to a bunch of cars and it was Gordon Pooley who was first through and Tom Keep was not to far behind, Dave Bonser had to take the long way round Andrew Bilby to move up to fifth. Tony Smith was slowly being caught, As the laps clicked down and with only five to go Cliff was still leading from Tony but Gordon, Tom, Dave and Jonathan Pooley were closing in fast. Tom again was doing his best to pass Gordon, and he managed to get along side and just get ahead but came upon Tony who was still second and on the racing line, Tom found him self blocked and lost some time as Gordon then took second, Dave Bonser again took advantage to pass Tom for third, Last lap and now the first five were together going down the back straight, Gordon was tucked up close behind Cliff Bunns car so Dave Bonser went round the outside and boxed Gordon and at the line Dave just pinched second place,

Race 2: 1st 23 Clifford Bunn, 2nd 10 David Bonser, 3rd 33 Gordon Pooley, 4th 46 Tom Keep, 5th 31 Jonathan Pooley, 6th 44 Dave Dollin, 7th 32 Daniel Pooley, 8th 16 Andrew Bilby

Race 3

For the final race of the evening Tony took up the lead at the green flag, Neil Clarke got ahead of Andrew Bilby going down the home straight, Pete Dorrell was being challenged by Gordon Pooley and Cliff Bunn, Tom Keep was soon up with the blue grade cars and Dave Bonser was not to far behind, Neil Clarke lost a bit of momentum exiting turn two this allowed Pete Dorrell and Cliff Bunn through, but as Neil started to enter turn three he found him self going side ways as the steering broke, Neil managed to get off the track with out any incidents.

Lap 7 and Tony was still leading from Gordon Pooley Tom Keep Dave Bonser and Jonathan Pooley, and it was not long before they had found there way pass Tony and pulled away, there was nothing between these four, But Tom wanted the lead and was giving Gordon a hard time. Further down the field Andrew Bilby was doing well to keep Pete Dorrell and Cliff Bunn behind him, Marc de Land was keeping Mark Hodges at bay though they were a long way off the leaders.

With 6 to go Jonathan Pooley was up to third, Tom made a move on Gordon for the lead at the end of the home straight and managed to drive around the out side of the no 33 car through turns 1-2 and going down the back straight pulled clear, The next lap Gordon let Jonathan pass to chase down Tom. 3 laps to go and Jonathan was now sitting on the rear of the Cheetah Peugeot, Tom was keeping it tight so it would be hard to find a way through, 2 to go and the leaders were coming up to back markers, on the exit of turn four Marc de Land stayed on the inside line to keep out of the way of the leading two but Tom misread what Marc was doing and found himself stuck up behind the no 15 car and this was what Jonathan needed, he took the race line and box Tom and took up the lead at the start of the last lap, There was no time for Tom to catch up and had to settle for second behind Jonathan Pooley.

Race three: 1st 31 Jonathan Pooley, 2nd 46 Tom Keep, 3rd 33 Gordon Pooley, 4th 10 Dave Bonser, 5th 37 Tony Smith, 6th 32 Daniel Pooley, 7th 23 Clifford Bunn, 8th 44 Dave Dollin

Next stop Arlington Raceway Eastbourne for the Southern Championship, Can Marc de Land defend the title he won last year.