SEGTO Championship Round 1 - 13 March 2022


As has become the pattern since the SEGTO Championship was reduced to just two venues, the series kicked off with the first of three rounds on the hard surfaced track at Angmering, before moving on to three rounds on Tongham’s dirt track in the summer. Angmering’s Oval Raceway is sadly almost certainly in its last season before succumbing to the developers, which will leave a very big hole in the southern independent racing schene, but for now it’s attracting big turnouts of both racers and spectators, keen to make the most of this unique facility while they can.


When the SEGTO Championship comes to Angmering we’re treated to almost two race days in one as most of the track’s own non-contact classes are still included, the exception being the Hot Rods, which all slot into one or other of the SEGTO classes. Many of the Juniors were able to double up, racing in the SEGTO round as well as the Oval Race Club’s “Premier” Junior Rods, while most of the back-to-basics Thunder Rods also had two opportunities to race, despite slight rule differences, and a bit of confusion among drivers who weren’t sure which races they’d booked in for! A fine weather forecast was belied by a cold and damp start to the day, but the drizzle soon cleared to give a mostly fine and dry day’s racing, with an impressive 36 races turned round in the afternoon.


PRODUCTION A, with a 14-car grid, provided fraught action all day, although the wet first heat saw a flag to flag win for Adam Dade’s Micra, with Bailey Turner, Josh Simmons and James Simmons closing in at the end, while Rory Bennetts’ Nova lost third after bouncing off the pit gate. The second heat was red flagged for a bizarre reason – a novice Junior car, complete with passenger, had somehow found its way into the line-up! The restart was led by local driver James Richards’ Micra until he spun into the wall, letting another of the local “Hot Rod A” contenders, Joe Brown, take up the lead until Josh Simmons came through. There was more drama as Josh headed off the last turn to the flag, as he had a driveshaft pop out, sending him pin-balling between the barriers as far as the pit gate, although he’d secured the win from Joe Brown, with Thomas Connors’ K10 Micra reinstated in third and Bailey Turner excluded after an incident in the closing stages.


Everyone made the final apart from Graham Goddard, who’d had a troubled day in the only Mini in the field. With the SEGTO rules handicapping the day’s top three point scorers, Joe Brown joined Thomas Connors and Josh Simmons at the back of the grid, but all three were soon battling through the traffic until there was an early red flag after Bailey Turner hit the wall. James Richards again led from the restart, then, after James was left facing the wrong way on the top bend, Billy Turner took it up under pressure from Thomas Connors. Thomas made it to the front with two laps to go, only to be surprised exiting the last corner as James Simmons took advantage of another mishap for James Richards and nipped through to take the flag. James Simmons, though, had picked up a one place penalty for overtaking under yellow flags earlier in the race, so Thomas Connors was awarded the win from James, Billy Turner and Lee Young’s Nova. Joe Brown came through to fifth ahead of Matt Gurr’s smart new Micra, Alan Goddard’s new AX, Aaron Hough’s Nova, Adam Dade and Rory Bennetts, while Josh Simmons made good progress until another driveshaft failure left him finishing a lap down.


PRODUCTION B brought out six cars, all from Tongham. Barney Hayhoe’s Nova took over the lead when Terry Searle’s Corsa hit the wall in the first heat, with Barney then winning from Rob Salter’s Peugeot, making up ground after a delayed start. Second time out Terry Searle again led, despite a misfire, but Kodi Page’s Micra soon took over for a runaway win, with Rob Salter again second. In the final, though, Peter Barber took over from Dave Blackburn’s Tigra in the lead and Peter never put a wheel wrong as he held off Kodi Page all the way to the flag. Barney Hayhoe and Rob Salter raced lap after lap side-by-side, with Barney just getting the verdict for third.


A few non-starters just left a three car grid in the 1450 HOT RODS and a hat-tricks of wins for the well driven Micra of local track specialist Sam Harriss. The other FWD Micra of Ben Stockley chased Sam home in the first heat but dropped out of the second, although Ben’s car was back on song in the final, chasing second placed Jason Woodgate in the ex-Nicky D’Souza RWD Mini-Vauxhall.


A varied field 6-car field for the SUPER SALOONS ranged from Laurence Connors in the famous Peugeot 205 “Growler”, not ideally suited for the track or conditions, to the immaculate Outlaw Hot Rod Starlet-Zetec of young Teddy Goodman-West. None of the RWD machinery could stay with the FWD Nova of Jody Goddard-Withers though, and Jody took three very impressive wins, chased home in the first race by Dave Bullen’s Starlet and local contender Peter Dell’s Fiesta. Teddy Goodman-West gave Jody her toughest opposition in the second heat and final, and Teddy ended up a good second in the final, chased by the dirt cars of Laurence Connors and Dave Bullen. Richard Mackley, in the ex-Trevor Harvey/Rowland Passey 2-litre Hot Rod Clio, was black flagged for hiding the circuit in smoke in his first race, but recovered and held off Peter Dell for fifth in the final.


A couple of the SPECIALS entries didn’t make it, leaving Ashley Lock’s Blackbird-powered Class 8 up against Billy Mellish’s vintage Zetec powered car, and Chris Carter, who’d turned out in daughter Poppy’s old Junior Special. Billy, the third generation of his family (among others) to drive the 25-year-old car, took a good win in the damp first heat, but Ashley persuaded his NASA-spec car to turn in at least somewhere near the corners after the track dried out, and won the second heat and final, with Chris Carter inevitably third each time, but losing remarkably little ground.


The standard over 1600cc THUNDER ROD class caused much confusion with slightly different specs between the SEGTO contenders and the local drivers’ version of the class. Most drivers initially entered in both groups, but in the end just eight raced in the SEGTO points races. Jim Dell’s Ford Puma won both heats, after John Burt’s Audi A3 blew up while leading the first race, while another of the local racers, Kim Holmes, had a good run to second with her BMW in the second heat. Racing both classes, but in different cars, Danny Brett took his borrowed MG ZT to victory in the final, chased by Aaron Coomber’s BMW, Shaun Maynard’s MG ZR, Lewis White’s Mazda MX3, Kim Holmes and Bradley Bowden’s BMW, while Jim Dell dropped out.


The SEGTO JUNIORS fielded ten cars, with seven of them doubling up in the local ORC Junior Rod races. Last year’s SEGTO runner-up Kyle Wells was starting right at the back but came through to relieve Frazer Denyer of the lead and win the first heat, with local driver Joe Boot third ahead of two more of last year’s top SEGTO runners, Francesca Ellis and the Nova of James Kerr. Second time out it was the other Boot brother, Sam, who led most of the way, but Frazer Denyer got past before Kyle Wells grabbed the win on the last lap, ahead of Frazer, Sam, Austin King and Joe Boot. The final was down to eight cars after Callum Penfold’s Corsa and Austin King came to grief in the previous Junior Rod race. Kyle Wells completed a hat trick of wins after catching Sam Boot for the lead, while James Kerr took second from Francesca Ellis, Joe Boot and Sam Boot. Frazer Denyer came in sixth, with Cherie Wells completing the finishers after lacey Chance retired.


The SEGTO Juniors were just one of four Junior classes in action, with the three local Junior groups also featuring. Ten cars lined up for the PREMIER JUNIOR RODS, which caters for some of the cars that also race in the RTS 1-litre Hot Rod class at Swaffham, as well as overlapping with the SEGTO class. Kyle Wells set off just as he’d done in the SEGTO class, winning the first race narrowly from Frazer Denyer, with Swaffham regular Jack Farley taking third from Joe Boot. Jack Farley then led the second heat in fine style but as he came round the last corner to take the flag, a couple of cars had problems in front of him, and as Callum Penfold’s Corsa headed for the safety of the “bus stop” he tangled with Jack, taking Jack into the barriers while the unfortunate Callum caught the big corner tyre and ended up on his roof in the infield refuge. Sam Boot steered through all this to win from Archie Mucci and Kyle Wells. The final had a red flag at half distance, but the leaser, Sam Boot, took off in front again on the restart and still hadn’t been caught when the reds came out again, for a coming-together between Joe Boot and Frazer Denyer. Sam took the win, with Jack Farley holding off Archie Mucci for second, followed by Kyle Wells, James Kerr, Austin King and the Corsa of Harry Clark.


The NOVICE JUNIOR RODS had a good grid of fourteen cars, many of which were already well up to speed. Their first race was interrupted by three red flags, but in the end Joe Planson took the win, chased by George King, Frazer Lyons, Kayleigh Sewell, Abigal Finney and Riley Murrall. Second time out George King came through to take the lead from Frazer Lyons, and George then win with Joe Planson just taking second from Frazer, Abigal Finney and the ex-Kyle Wells car of Alfie Waller. There was another stoppage in the final as some of the newer drivers ran into problems, but there was a good fight for the lead with George King just holding on in front of Abigail Finney and Joe Planson. Alfie Waller came in fourth from Frazer Lyons, Riley Murrell, Justin Johnson, Tyler Roberts, Kayleigh Sewell and the only non-Micra in the field, Fin Chance’s Nova. Completing the runners and gaining experience were Riley Pentecost, Jake Wollven and Charlie Plant, while Kye Wiltshire dropped out after the first heat.


The JUNIOR PRODS, which cater for a basic Junior Banger-style build, but non-contact racing, featured a nine-car grid after Sky Plant was a non-starter in a car shared with the previous novice class. Jack Hughes took the first race, chased by Albert-Lee Garrett, Charlie Finney and Vinny Bullen. Charlie Finney took the second heat, ahead of Ryan Hampton‘s Fiesta, Jack Hughes and Albert-Lee Garrett The final was another hectic one, with three red flags before Albert-Lee Garrett came in the winner from Jack Hughes, Charlie Finney and Alexa Bowden’s Fiesta. Vinny Bullen, George Colvin and Taylor Huntley were the other finishers while George Rumary and Ryan Hampton were both involved in race stopping incidents.


The local THUNDER ROD races brought out fourteen cars, who did well to make all the races after a first corner pile-up stopped the first heat. Danny Brett, this time driving his own Civic, won this one, chased by Peter Dell’s Fiesta, which was also racing as a Super Saloon. Second time out Peter held off Danny, while third in both races, heading a mixed pack of cars, was Matt Power in a Mk5 Escort. We slightly lost track of the final after Wayne Drew’s Ford Cougar had a dramatic encounter with the armco, but we thought Jim Dell’s Ford Puma was in front, from Connor Pfeffer’s BMW , Peter Dell, Danny Brett, Matt Power, and Kim Holmes, who was going well after straightening her BMW from the first race shunt. Ben Reynolds (Focus), Keith Richards (Subaru), Shaun Maynard (MG), Dean Page (Sierra Estate), Ash Willingson (Fiesta) and Lee Pfeffer (Civic) completed the varied field, with Aaron Coomber’s BMW retiring..


Last but not least were regular Angmering favourites, the PRODSTOX, with the day’s biggest field of eighteen cars. The Rover 200/MG ZR are still the weapon of choice in the 1400cc class, although no longer totally dominant with four Micras and a Corsa in the field. One of the Micras, driven by Chris Tullett, ran away with the first race, with the expected battling packs of cars behind headed by Paul Spokes’ Micra in second and Dan Smith with the best of the MGs in third. The second race was led all the way by Liam Jordan’s MG, with Chris Tullett not quite having time to catch him once he’d extricated himself from the pack, which was  again headed in the end by Paul Spokes. The final saw Rory Tate’s MG leading all the way, but only just as he fought off the close attentions of Jason Terry’s similar car. Chris Tullett fought from the back to the front of the pack battling for third, with Paul Adsett’s Micra, Paul Spokes, Dan Smith, Brad Allen (Micra), Liam Jordan and Jason Parsons (Corsa). Paul Brett and Dean Archer bounced off the pit gate on the last lap as the next bunch sorted itself out, Steven Criddle coming in ahead of David Ware, Peter Wood, Paul Brett, Gemma Mitchell and Dean Archer, with Willow King and Helen Sharples completing the field and Jamie Hales dropping out.