The 2018 SEGTO Championship kicked off early, on Easter Sunday at Angmering, with a much stronger entry than a year ago. The cancellation of Tongham’s opening meeting meant that, for the majority of SEGTO racers, this was their first chance of any action in 2018. SEGTO’s luck was in as it turned out that Sunday was the only dry day of the Easter weekend – the sun even shone on the finals! The Oval Race Club always try to schedule their SEGTO rounds on Bank Holidays, so that the Sunday can be given over to the SEGTO classes (with support from the local Juniors and the budget non-contact Prodstox class) while the contact racers get their turn on Monday.


The SEGTO JUNIORS opened the programme with a nine car turnout – seven K11 Micras and a pair of K10s. Ben Sanders won both heats convincingly but fell foul of the inside armco in the final, where local driver Laiton Disdle took a runaway win. Will Watson’s Gulf-liveried boxy Micra claimed second from James Holmes, Thomas Connors in the second of the K10s, Kodi Page and Oliver Adamson. Bailey Turner worked his Micra hard by entering both the SEGTO and ORC Junior classes, but after two seconds in the heats it expired in the final. Alfie Bullimore was sidelined after visiting the armco in the second heat.


The local ORC JUNIORS raced in their usual “Prod and Rod” classes, running together on the track with ten cars including Bailey Turner and Laiton Disdle doubling up in the SEGTO races. Alfie Spokes’ “Prod” and Laiton Disdle won the heats and Alfie hung on to a close win in the final from Laiton and reigning track champion Kaylee Smith. Alfie won the “Prod” class from sister Summer, with Blaine Disdle and Jack Switzer dropping out, while Laiton Disdle won the “Rods” from Kaylee Smith, Caitlyn Brann’s Mini and newcomer Sam Croucher’s Fiesta. Another new driver, Riley Murrell, made a steady debut until the armco grabbed him in the second heat.


On to the senior SEGTO stuff, PRODUCTION A had a nine car entry, unfortunately reduced to seven after a couple of them earned loading-up orders in the second heat. James Simmons held off Adrian Treagus to win both heats, which put James right at the back of the grid in the final, but he took advantage of Zak Gorrie’s slow getaway to sweep round the outside of the pack and go from last to first within a lap. Again Adrian Treagus closed up but couldn’t dislodge James, who won from Adrian with Brad Wells taking third from Alan Goddard’s AX, alone among the Micras, Steve Diaper and Zak Gorrie. Josh Simmons, Jimmy Morris and Keith Simmons were all missing from the final.


PRODUCTION B fielded six cars, but lost former Autograss racer Robert Casey’s Micra as the armco came off best in his first heat. Peter Perry’s pink Micra won both heats from Stuart Orford’s Starlet, but Stuart came through to take the final from Peter, Matt Gurr, graduating from the Juniors with his Corsa, and Barney Hayhoe’s Nova.


Five cars lined up in the 1450 HOT RODS although Mick Browne managed to miss the first heat. The Johnsey family’s familiar Novas were to the fore in this one, with Josie leading the way from Jason. Jason then led the second heat away but Josie took to the outside and managed to get ahead in the final laps, with Mick Browne catching up and looking for a way past them both. The SEGTO format puts the points leaders at the back and by final time these were Josie and Jason. Mick Browne took a lap to get past Barney Hayhoe’s Nova for the lead and Mick’s Fireblade Imp went on to a convincing win over Josie, Jason, Barney and Nathan Leader’s AX.


A varied 5 car field in the SUPER SALOONS included two Outlaw Hot Rods that naturally dominated, with Chris Carter’s Mercedes SLK holding off Andy Goodman’s 206 in all three races. Lawrence Connors’s Class 7 “growler” and Dave Bullen’s Duratec-powered Starlet fought for third, but Lawrence dropped out in the final, with Dave then finishing ahead of Michael Brooke’s FWD Peugeot. Paul Perry’s 2 litre Hot Rod Tigra retired in the second heat.


The three car line-up for the SEGTO SPECIALS soon became two when Chris Jewer’s Honda-powered car was sidelined. Ashley Lock’s re-liveried Zetec held off Shaun Page’s Yamaha in the first heat but with Shaun’s engine sounding sicker and sicker, Ashley had an easier run in the second race before winning the final by two laps!


The THUNDER RODS, now a full SEGTO class, brought out five cars, which were joined by three runners in the local FWD Saloon Rod category, which hasn’t really been on the programme (and maybe is being dropped this year). The MG ZRs of Jamie Haines and Jamie Sayers headed the first heat, then Jamie Sayers passed Jamie Haines round the outside of the last corner to win the second heat, both headed on the road by Richard Davis’ Civic Saloon Rod. The final saw Jamie Sayers holding off Jamie Haines, with third going to David Francis’ Impreza ahead of the two Tongham registered drivers, John Burt’s MR2 and Shaun May’s BMW. The Saloon Rods included a BMW Mini for Simon Croucher, which unfortunately didn’t last a lap before getting a bit bent.


Also added to the SEGTO Championship this year are the MICRA STOX, for which eight cars turned out. Ian Withers won the first heat. Mike Hale missed this race but appeared for heat two, where he completed a lap before getting out of shape, being clipped by Graham Goddard and sliding on his side down the start straight. The restarted race brewed up to a spectacular finish with winner Richard Mackley pushed sideways across the line by Chris Tullett. Chris made it to the front in the final, taking a close win over Richard, with Ian Withers third from Paul Adsett, Graham Goddard and Craig Cobb with Jack Brann not starting.


The PROD STOX fielded sixteen cars, as closely matched as ever. Eleven of them were the MG ZRs or Rover 200s that are favoured in this class, with a Micra, an Astra, a Corsa a Tigra and a Mitsubishi Colt in the mix. Dave McKeown’s Micra took the first heat and Carl Page’s MG the second, both getting a clear run from the front as everyone else raced three or four abreast and dodged all the stray bumpers. The final was closely fought with Paul Spokes’ MG taking the win over Carl Page, Jay Parsons, Richard Sharples, Paul Brett, Dean Archer, Steven Criddle, Jamie Haines, Gemma Mitchell, Phil White, Dave McKeown, Wayne Harris in the Tigra, Chris Francis, David Bailey’s Astra and Daren Wood’s Corsa.


Another five of the Prodstox had their own races as a “novices” class. Here Les Hales and Charlie Ford won the heats and then fought out the final, with Les just getting the win. Sam Spokes beat Simon Hales for third while Paul stephens dropped out.


The entertaining and well-run afternoon’s racing was all over by 4.15, giving everyone a chance to beat the holiday traffic back from the coast, while the local racers prepared for a second day’s action on Monday.