MOTORSPORT: Rod roars back to claim Wiscombe victory

Dorset Echo: ROD’S REVVED UP: Two class wins, and two second overall finishes, for Rod Thorne in his mighty five-litre V8 powered Pilbeam MP43 ROD’S REVVED UP: Two class wins, and two second overall finishes, for Rod Thorne in his mighty five-litre V8 powered Pilbeam MP43

HAVING replaced the faulty water pump which sidelined their participation last week, Rod and Hayley Thorne returned to Wis-combe Park with their Pilbeam MP43 sports racer to take up the challenge of Doug Bennett in his rapid 2.3-litre Sylva Striker.

Whereas last weekend the mechanical gremlins befell Rod Thorne this time around the fickle finger of fate was directed at Bennett who suffered mechanical maladies across the two meetings.

However, Rod Thorne was right on the pace from the off with a sub-40 second first competitive run of 39.84 seconds.

Although this time was just shy of the class record it was good enough to take the class victory and to put the Frampton garage proprietor into second place overall behind the fleet OMS 2000M Suzuki powered single-seater racer of past Wiscombe champion Mike Lee.

The second runs were generally slower so Mr Thorne had done enough to secure the win ahead of Mrs Thorne.

The second day saw a replay with Rod storming to a class win again shadowing Lee in the battle for fastest time of the day with the large five-litre sports racing car unable to equal the more nimble and lighter single-seater.

Double victories across the two days became the norm for local competitors with Weymouth’s Geoff Blake taking two comfortable wins in his two-litre West-field SEi in the Modified Specialist Production Car Class.

Blake bettered his Saturday winning time of 42.19 seconds the following day with a climb of 40.92.

Lyme Regis driver Craig Moore also subscribed to double success as he contested the over 1600cc Rally Car category in his Ford Cortina GT.

The former Bridge Tyres and Wheels Wiscombe Park champion saw off the challenge of Paul Harewood and his Vauxhall Astra GSi to leave his best time at 43.95 seconds.

In doing so, he rose to second place in the 2014 Wiscombe series, trailing current champion Mark Shillaber in his Ford Fiesta Supersport.

Fast times and success were not limited to those with four wheels however, as members of the National Hill Climb Association and the motorcycle fraternity travelled from around the country to enjoy a two-day meeting at the demanding 900m Wiscombe track.

The culmination of which would be a top-10 run-off for the fastest 10 national championship contenders.

Weymouth Aprilia SXV rider Keith Haines claimed a third place finish in the 501cc-750cc class on the Saturday on a time of 44.75 seconds following home the similar machine of Mark Short and class winner Peter Short on his Honda CRF who took the honours with a 43.21 second ascent.

The following day he closed the gap to the victor having put together an improved climb, which netted a time of 43.81 seconds just seven tenths in arrears of Short.

The performance was good enough for Haines to qualify in ninth place for the prestigious Top Ten shoot-out in which he finished 10th with a climb of 44.64 seconds.

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