Sunday 16 March, Northampton, June Cochrane Cup

A warm and sunny Northampton greeted a good turnout of car for the opening meeting of the season, Daniel Pooley was out in a new car for 2014, Defending world and points champion Jonathan Pooley had bought back his 2009 winning car from Dave Barry, the car now having a new re-spray, also with a new lick of paint were Peter Bourne and Nick Price - both cars looking good. Newcomer to the sport was ex Hot rod driver Leon Smith, who had purchased Jonathan Pooley's multi winning car from last season, one to look out for. Allen Herbert was back racing after a couple of years out with multi problems with his car, so on to race one.

Neil Clarke was having thrust bearing trouble so he was on a rolling start and when he got near to his grid position Tony Fletcher (Mr Starter) got the cars under way, and into the lead went Peter Bourn. Pete Dorrell made a good start to get ahead of Jack Hodges and Allen Herbert in the yellow grade. Tony Smith was the first blue grader from Daz Rycroft Nick Price was giving Andrew Bilby a hard time from the start as he was trying to find a way pass, Neil Clarke was just behind these two. Dave Bonser was leading the top then there was a gap to Marc de Land who made up two places at the start by getting by Daniel Pooley and Cliff Bunn who got bogged down at the start, Jonathan Pooley was next up the came Chris Neal and Leon Smith.By lap 3 we had lost both Peters - first Bourn retired from the lead then just as Dorrell inherit the lead his engine fell silent and coasted to the infield, Now Allen Herbert was the new leader from young Jack Hodges who was going well, Daz Rycroft not far behind in third. As the chasing pack went into turn 3 Daniel Pooley misjudge the width of his car as he tried to go around the outside of Marc de Land and managed to knock his rear wheel with Marc's, That put Dan in a spin and a damaged rear suspension and out of the race. The following lap Jonathan Pooley went three wide as he boxed Marc behind Dave Bonser who was passing Jack going down the home straight. Dave was a little off the pace exiting turn 2 and that allowed Marc by who then nearly got caught out at the end of the straight as he locked all four wheels when he closed right in on Jonathan.

Daz dropped two places as JP and MdL dived through on the inside and set about Allen who still had a good lead at this stage. Nick Price was still having a good battle with Andrew Bilby and now after another 3 laps of side by side Nick eventually managed to get by and then pulled away and was now back up with Dave Bonser. Cliff Bunn and Neil Clarke were still together with Cliff just managing to come out on top. Leon Smith retired with three to go with engine trouble while lying in 7th place. Alan also lost the lead on lap 12 as Jonathan and Marc went by with just inches between them, Two to go Marc managed to get alongside Jonathan as he out braked him but just lost a bit of traction on the exit of turn 4 and that was enough for JP to take the first win of the 2014 season.

It took three re-starts to get the depleted field under way for race two, but they put on a good show, Peter Bourn once again wa the early leader from Tony Smith who was having a few problems with his car, then came Jacl Hodges. Daz was the lone blue grader and set about catching Jack. Daniel Pooley made a better start and was ahead of Marc de Land and Jonathan Pooley and slammed the door shut which ever direction the chasing two went. Neil Clarke was about 5 car lengths further back.

Lap 3 Daniel had a moment when exiting turn 2 when his rear end let go and as he tried to correct it it put his car across the track where Marc was going, another lock up by the 15 car and he just missed the stranded 32 car, Dan rejoined behind Neil Clarke.

Lap 5 and Peter Bourn retired with mechanical trouble while out in front, That promoted Daz up into the lead though Jonathan was all over the rear of him. Marc had now got himself up to third and could see the first two up just ahead, Jack Hodges was managing to hold of Neil Clarke at this stage, Tony Smith then had to retire while in 6th place.

Lap 8 and Jonathan was in the lead from Marc who took Daz going through turn 1 and 2. these two then pulled clear and it was a rematch of race one. as the laps ticked down there was nothing between them then fluid was appearing on the track and as it turns out Chris Neal was losing water from an overheating engine, this caught a few cars out going through the corners they started to slide wide. This was the chance for Marc as he got alongside Jonathan going through turn 3 and 4 and up into the lead, as the pair were on the last lap at the end of the back straight entering turn 3 Marc hit the water and slid towards the fence as he released the brakes the car got grip and started to take the corner, by now Jonathan was along the inside and the pair dragged raced to the line with Marc just holding on to take the win.

Final June Cochrane cup - Peter Bourn sorted his car out and was the early leader. Allen Herbert was up to second from Tony Smith and Jack Hodges. Daz was ahead of Andrew Bilby from the blue grade. Cliff Bunn was still having trouble getting away and lost places to Dave Bonser Daniel Pooley Marc de Land and Jonathan Pooley, Next up was Neil Clarke and Leon Smith.

Daniel managed to catch the concrete curb to the infield going through turn 3 and broke his rear suspension and he coasted round to the infield to retire.

By lap 5 3rd place driver Daz Rycroft through to Jonathan Pooley 9th were all bunched up, as the drivers tussled for position. Nick Price slipped down the order as he found himself stuck on the outside as the cars filed through on his inside. Daz had rear suspension failure and started to slow, taking a wide line around turn 3 and 4 and trying to keep out of the way Jonathan had the same idea and was going around Daz the two just touch spinning Jonathan out, Jonathan rejoined from the infield behind Marc de Land a lap down Andrew Bilby was just behind Dave Bonser who was sticking with Marc, these were now closing in on the first three where Peter Bourn was keeping Allen Herbert and Jack Hodges behind.

With 7 laps to go steam started to come from Pete’s header tank as his engine started to get hot. The chasing pack were starting to have poor visibility as rusty water was getting on their visors. Marc de Land dived up the inside of Jack Hodges at the end of the home straight, he did the same on the following lap to Allen Herbert to move up to second, now it was Marc`s turn to have water spray from Petes car, it took three laps to find away pass Pete and Jonathan plus Dave Bonser followed. At this point Marc did not know Jonathan was a lap down. Leon smith was going ok back in 7th and was now up with the Jack Hodges Andrew Bilby battle.

The start marshal showed Peter the white flag with red x showing he had a problem, but Pete kept going keeping Allen Herbert behind in fourth place. 4 to go and Leon Smith went a little wide going into turn 1 and went on the marbles putting him in a spin and out of 7th place, Jack lost two places to Neil Clarke and Andrew Bilby in the closing stages. Back at the front it was Marc de Land who took the win from Dave Bonser. Allen Herbert was promoted to 3rd spot as Peter Bourn ignored the flag and was docked to 9th place.

Race one: 1st 31 Jonathan Pooley, 2nd 15 Marc de Land, 3rd 76 Allen Herbert, 4th Daz Rycroft, 5th 34 Nick Price, 6th 23 Clifford Bunn, 7th 10 Dave Bonser, 8th 16 Andrew Bilby, 9th 77 Neil Clarke. Dnf: Leon Smith, Chris Neal, Jack Hodges, Peter Dorrell, Antony Smith, Peter Bourn. Fastest lap: Marc de Land

Race two: 1st 15 Marc de Land, 2nd 31 Jonathan Pooley, 3rd 69 Daz Rycroft, 4th 17 Jack Hodges, 5th 32 Daniel Pooley, 6th 77 Neil Clarke. Dnf: Chris Neal, Antony Smith, Peter Bourn. Fastest lap: Daniel Pooley

Final: 1st 15 Marc de Land, 2nd 10 Dave Bonser, 3rd 76 Allen Herbert, 4th 34 Nick Price, 5th 16 Andrew Bilby, 6th 17 Jack Hodges, 7th 77 Neil Clarke, 8th 31 Jonathan Pooley, 9th 35 Peter Bourne, 10th Antony Smith. Dnf: Leon Smith, Cliff Bunn, Daz Rycroft, Daniel Pooley. Fastest lap; Marc de Land