Marcus Pett (Boston) and Sy Harraway (Weston-super-Mare) starred at Anglesey in North Wales over the weekend, 25th/26th May, with two race victories apiece during the second event of the completely unpredictable 2019 Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season.
Harraway, last year’s Rookie Champion, got the weekend off to the perfect start with success in Heat One on Saturday, before adding his second win during Sunday’s Heat Two and departing Anglesey with the series lead. Pett claimed victory in Heat Two on Saturday, before adding another during Sunday’s Final.
While those two did take the lion’s share of attention, Sean Smith (Marlow) and Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield) weren’t to be denied time in the spotlight with the former making a long overdue visit to the top step of the podium in Saturday’s Final and Rudman winning Sunday’s opener.
Three more names join the 2019 winners’ list at Anglesey
In qualifying on Saturday morning Jack Parker (Wolverhampton) topped the timesheets to get his weekend off to a great start, but the competitiveness expected among the front-runners was also clear to see with less than nine hundredths of a second covering the top four.
Nick Bridgeman (Baldock) led at the end of the opening lap in the first 10-lap Heat, before Harraway moved to the front on lap two. Sensational action followed with Parker, Rudman and Connor Mills (Upminster) all taking turns at the head of the pack. Going into the final lap, Mills led Harraway by 0.6 seconds but the latter took the win from Rudman and Pett, with Mills slipping back to fourth.
Saturday’s second Heat featured a masterful drive from Pett, securing the rapid youngster his first victory of 2019. Leading by a fraction over a second into lap two, Pett was untouchable and went on to claim the win by 2.3 seconds from reigning champion John Mickel (Horsham).
Rudman battled through to take third place, right on Mickel’s tail, with Harraway just a few tenths further shy at the flag in fourth position. Taking a superb fifth, the best result of his maiden season in Legends Cars, was Matt Rainbow (Gnosall) ahead of Parker rounding out the top six.
In the day one Final around the 1.55-mile Anglesey Coastal Circuit, the first few laps witnessed multiple lead changes with Robert King (York) making the early running before Parker moved ahead on lap three. King swiftly hit back, leading again on the fourth tour, and then Smith moved into contention by taking first place on lap five.
Although there was nothing to choose between the very evenly matched podium contenders, Smith was able to stay out front and he went on to make a long overdue return to winning ways by just 0.3 seconds from Parker, with King an excellent third from Pett, Harraway and Bridgeman – the latter celebrating a superb sixth following a penalty for Mickel.
For the first of Sunday’s Heats, a wet track surface greeted competitors and Rudman absolutely reveled in the conditions with a superb and dominant drive. By the end of lap one he was well over two seconds to the good, and as much as five seconds clear on lap seven before going on to win by 4.6 seconds.
Harraway continued to rack up big points with second place, ahead of Smith and Parker with Paul Simmons (Lingfield) rounding out the top five. Will Gibson (Camberley) was a real challenger for the bulk of the contest but some dramas on lap nine dropped him back to an eventual finish of ninth, behind Mills, King and Mickel.
With a tight timetable for the Legends Cars on Sunday, all three races scheduled for the morning, the track was still damp going into Heat Two and this time Harraway picked up the baton and became the dominator.
Leading by half a second at the conclusion of the opening tour, a lap three shake-up just behind enabled him to pull 3.5 seconds clear. During the second half of the contest, though, Parker closed in quickly and applied huge pressure but Harraway held on to win by 0.4 seconds. Rudman finished third from Mickel and James Hall-Morton (Cleckheaton).
Sunday’s Final took place around lunchtime and the track was dry by that point, with Pett again returning to the head of the field. Having won Saturday’s third round of the season ‘overall’, meaning he scored the most points of any driver on day one, Pett confirmed his Anglesey speed in the weekend finale with a tremendous drive to take the win by a second.
Harraway made it three podiums from as many races with second place, closing down Pett quite substantially over the last couple of laps and setting a new lap record of 1m18.004 seconds in the process, while King wrapped up his second top three of the weekend. He led home a long train of cars, including Rudman in fourth, Mickel in fifth and Smith in sixth place.
“Saturday was definitely the highlight, taking a win and winning the day overall was fantastic and my car was faultless – it was on rails. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend, getting another win on Sunday was perfect and hopefully I can take this forward now and see what the rest of the season has in store.”
“We’ve had a great weekend at a great track, I’m very happy with a brace of wins and the new lap record. We head to Brands [next weekend] leading the championship, it’s early days but I’m very confident we have the pace to be in the fight at the end. Big thank you to Craig [Phillips] who has built me a very special car.”
“It’s all gone a lot better for us this weekend to be fair, Craig [Phillips] gave me a great car and made sure it was 100% and I’ve driven a lot better. Getting consistent points and good finishes, some decent results, is what we needed and I’m obviously very happy to have my first win of the season. Hopefully we can keep this going.”
“It’s been a good weekend, we didn’t have a great deal of issues and we’ve come away with the car in one piece which is the important thing – especially with Brands Hatch so soon next weekend. It’s all gone to plan really, we finished five out of six races and had a win, so the aim now is for more consistent results.”
After another sensational weekend of Legends Cars action, there’s no rest at all for the drivers and teams with the category’s second visit of the year to Brands Hatch Indy Circuit taking place next weekend, 31st May/1st June. Rounds five and six of the season will form part of the huge American Speedfest VII event at the Kent track.
Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Points (after Rd4):
1st Sy Harraway, 1950pts; 2nd Miles Rudman, 1890pts; 3rd John Mickel, 1795pts;
4th Jack Parker, 1555pts; 5th Connor Mills, 1510pts; 6th Marcus Pett, 1505pts