Tulie defied fierce opposition from Nick Saunders to set a new outright record on the Fort Corblets sprint, which opened up a splendid three days of competition where a different man took FTD on every stage.
His 20.16sec. winning time was also over 1.5sec. faster than his previous racing cars 601-1,100cc class record, set in 2016.
The much-improved driver completed a full series of sub-21sec. runs, but he had suddenly found himself on the backburner when Saunders threw down a 20.24. Entering the final run on a 20.36, he found the answer he needed – and then some.
‘Thursday was a fantastic start to the three days,’ he said.
‘Having broken the 601-1,100cc class record in practice, I was hoping to improve on it as the day went on, in which I did nearly every run.
‘As we came down to the last run, Nick was leading for FTD and I believe outright track record .... so I knew I needed to be fully committed and no mistakes if I wanted to take the FTD honours, which I managed to – just.’
Saunders’ 20.24 stood as a new 1,101-1,600cc mark and records also tumbled to Nick Mann, Ethan Brehaut, Chris Law, Lee Poole, Alex Rosamond, Phil Brehaut, Adam Le Page, Harry Teal, Steve Marquis and Andy Bougourd.
The duel for top rider ran even closer than the battle for overall honours, with Andy Mechem leading for most of the day and seemingly safe with a speedy 24.19. But Anthony Poynder pinched the upset with a late 24.17.
After placing third overall at the sprint, Bougourd took centre stage in the Le Grande Val speed event.
In his fittingly powerful Force race car, he produced a barnstorming fifth run of 17.84 to edge out Saunders and come within 0.05 of his outright record. He also lowered a 1,601-2,000cc class record of Darren Warwick pedigree.
Saunders finished runner-up on 18.20 as Tulie followed in a class record of 18.60.
Just behind the top trio, Scott Rayson nearly disturbed the pecking order with an 18.74 class record in the non-transaxles.
Quad racer Law was also a class record-breaker.
In the overall two-wheeler showdown, Mechem came out top in 21.06, finishing just over a tenth clear of Jersey’s Paul Traylen on his one-litre machine.
At the Fort Tourgis hill climb finale, Saunders – this season’s Le Val des Terres king – finally got his FTD.
His 22.73 fell short of Warwick’s all-time hill record, but on the day it set him comfortably clear of Tulie (23.55) and Steve Brehaut (23.99).
Saunders also knocked a good chunk off his own class record, which he set during a clean sweep of all three stages in 2020.
There was no such clean sweep this year – prompting Tulie to praise the standard of competition.
‘These events in Alderney are very fast, with heavy braking and downshifting –something that you don’t do so much at the Val de Terres as it’s very flowing,’ he said.
‘FTD honours could go to many capable different drivers/car combinations, not just single-seater drivers.
‘It just depends on the day, I guess, and weather conditions – this year we were blessed with great conditions.’
Emma Rayson consistently won women’s honours, fresh off smashing the all-time ‘Valdees’ female record. But she could not truly test Sarah Gaudion’s decade-old record on this hill.
Saloon driver Alderney stalwart Marquis earned a class record, as did motorcyclist Mike Bourgaize.
Bourgaize had featured on two bikes in the battle for fastest two-wheeler, which Mechem won from Jersey’s Gary Hotton this time around.
Overall, around 70 entrants enjoyed quality competition and pleasant weather on the northern isle, having waited an extra year due to the rare cancellation of the 2021 edition. The event also closed the curtains on a busy sprint and hill climb season.