A job well Dunne as John posts a new PB

JOHN DUNNE vied with the ever-impressive Nick Saunders for the toast of Le Val des Terres on a sizzling Saturday.

John Dunne lowered his own class record. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29874819)
John Dunne lowered his own class record. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29874819)

Saunders’ feat spoke for itself – he sped up Guernsey’s flagship hill in a blistering 27.26sec. to steal the Kart and Motor Club record from renowned climber Darren Warwick.

Warwick remains the fastest Guernseyman ever, just, having been two-hundredths faster in a Motorcycle and Car Club event, but how long will this last?

Yet it was a particularly sentimental day for Dunne, another long-term quality driver.

Driving his new Clarkspeed Mitsubishi Evo, Dunne produced the fastest run of his lengthy career and lowered his own Road Going Series Production Cars Over 2000 record to 33.91, an improvement of three-hundredths.

There was more to his record run than met the eye initially.

‘I am really chuffed,’ Dunne said before explaining why he was so driven to perform.

‘I lost my stepfather, who was a racer as well, earlier in the year.

‘I had him strapped in the passenger’s seat today – one last ride up the Terres.’

That is not entirely figurative – Dunne indeed had the ashes of his stepfather, Dave Clark, with him for the ride.

It is only Dunne’s second outing in this vehicle, with his first being hampered by a few teething problems.

‘More to come,’ the passionate driver added.

Now back onto Saunders.

The Eric Sturdza Reynick star shone brighter than ever when, on his second competitive run, he knocked a decent margin off his personal best and a whole 0.51sec. off his club-specific Racing Cars 1101 to 1600 record.

He reached Terres House in a remarkable 9.90sec. – his second-fastest yet – but an excellent charge to the top made the difference.

Efforts to rework his gearing have helped him get the best out of his car, with his latest result putting new pressure on Warwick and even Englishman Scott Moran, whose 26.99 hill record looks that little bit less invincible.

Nick Saunders has been threatening to beat Darren Warwick's GK&MC hill record and today he went to the top of the list as fastest ever. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29874811)

‘Really pleased – it’s been a fantastic day and to get that time today, I’m just so happy,’ he said after a series of 27.86, 27.26, 27.45 and 27.54.

‘Darren is a very, very talented driver and to be up there, competing in the same times, it is really good.

‘It’s just a shame that he’s not here to race against.

‘At the end of the day, the next big target has to be a 26. Whether it’s achievable or not, we’ll see.’

Matt Bougourd (29.27), Simon Carre (29.62) and Tim Tulie (29.87) also cracked the half-minute barrier, with Emma Rayson just getting the edge over Jackie Le Cheminant for top woman as both peaked in the mid-31sec. range.

Two more records also tumbled, courtesy of young karter Sam Heathcote and impressive newcomer Lee Poole.

Heathcote ducked under Adam Le Ray’s Senior Rotax Max record on three occasions, but his 31.69 on run four was the one that stuck.

That represented a 0.12sec. improvement on a mark set four years ago.

In Poole’s case, the second-season driver edged down his own Road Going Series Production Cars best from 36.35 to 36.20.

Jamie Le Page’s 36.52 brought him close to the old record and earned him runner-up within a particularly large class of 14 competitors.

On two wheels, Andy Mechem continued his impressive form to take top honours with a superb season’s best run of 34.16 on his fifth and final run.

But the quality veteran did not have it easy – Leigh Digard’s 34.31 made him a good runner-up.

Meanwhile, Owen Poynder finished off with a swift 34.96 on his lower-powered bike, missing the Motor Cycles 251 to 350 record by just five-hundredths.

The glorious sunshine made a pleasant difference to the previous weekend’s downpour, which caused the Vazon Sprint to be cancelled, and similarly favourable conditions will be in demand for the ‘Valdees’ season finale on Monday 30 August.

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