Saunders heads on his hols with a satisfied smile
NICK SAUNDERS was fully up to speed on Saturday and had a near-miss with his own class record at Le Val des Terres.
But beyond the superb form of the ‘FTD’ favourite, three record-setting performances decorated a Guernsey Kart and Motor Club hill climb that had thankfully defied the expected prolonged rain.
The strong winds remained, yet the shining sun made it a pleasant day for spectators tuning in on the prospect of a few new class markers.
Quad-biker Chris Law and scooter soloist Jez Mann lowered their own respective records, while Dan Bichard beat a production cars mark by the finest of margins.
After some recent work on his Eric Sturdza Reynick, Saunders’ series had been not only fast but very consistent – running like clockwork in the mid-low 28sec. range.
He eked out a few more critical hundredths on run four to end the day – somewhat early – with a 28.24.
Saunders then left for Herm not discontent with being a mere three-hundredths outside his own Racing Cars 1100-1600cc record, set four years ago.
‘The headwind on the straight was hindering some of us a little, but the conditions had otherwise been really good,’ he said.
‘I was going to pack up slightly early so I could go on holiday, but I was so close [on the third] that I had to have another go.
‘With the conditions and that, I was so pleased to have so many runs so close to each other – consistency, that sort of thing.’
Runner-up Tim Tulie also packed up at that point, ending with 29.19, but Paul Priaulx carried on and peaked at 29.56 for third.
In the Road Going Specialist Production Cars, Westfield Duratec two-litre driver Bichard delivered a 34.35 fourth run to remove a mere hundredth from Ben Batiste’s previous standard.
A much larger improvement came in the quads, for Law lowered his own class record by seven-tenths to 32.96.
The still-young Law was a tad shocked, and even impressed, to see fellow Yamaha Banshee rider Doug Barnett sign off with a stormer that put him just outside the previous mark.
Law’s record-setting antics had been mirrored somewhat by scooter rider Mann, who steered his Lambretta up in 40.29 for a similar margin of self-improvement.
On the powerhouse two-wheelers, Jersey’s Oliver Holmes could not be beaten and ended on a high with 33.61.
However, Ben Carre and teenager Josh Lambourne performed well for Guernsey and took the next two spots with times in the mid-34s.
‘To say how bad the weather was last night, it turned out really well – I got my personal best,’ said a delighted Lambourne.