Huggins snatches it again

It was another blazing success for the Cayman Motor Sports Association’s Time Attack last Saturday night.

‘Everyone pulled together during the day and did whatever they could to get things going. It worked perfectly and we got off to a great start for the night,’ noted Bobby Hulse, head organiser.

But Murphy’s Law came into play and after two cars had runs through the course it started to rain.

Thankfully it was short lived and the surface was not affected. After a 15 minute break racers revved back into action.

A record 28 participants showed up to race, notably two new faces in the women’s category and a 2006 Maserati Gran Sport Convertible.

Expecting the large turnout, the organizers kept the course in the 60 second range.

The Front Wheel Drive class was unusually populated with 14 participants.

Once again there were enough women (three) to form their own class in FWD.

New comers Olivia Pollack and Susana Bowerman felt out their cars and TA for the first time, leaving Vicki Hulse room to dominate.

Finishing a respectable sixth among the men in FWD and first in the women’s class, Vicki impressed many.

In the men’s FWD class Donley Hunter emerged in a borrowed Dodge SRT-4 to take the win with a best of 59.214 seconds.

Donley usually competes in an Evo III in All Wheel Drive class but mechanical difficulties have kept him out.

Donley borrowed the car from TA first timer Terry Ballard who was trying to get a handle on the car throughout the night.

In second place was another relative newcomer Josen Ebanks in his Turbo Starlet Glanza V.

Josen put on a good race with clean runs improving his times through the night.

His car has a lot of potential so he will be a competitor to watch out for in the future.

Excitement in the Rear Wheel Drive class came in the battle for second place. Wayne Kirkconnell dominated as usual in his Orange 350z and took first place in 56.811secs.

Kirkconnell claims this is the last race for the orange car as he is in the process of building a black 350z.

Back at second place, friends John Godfrey in his Toyota Supra and Peter Jurgens in his Toyota Altezza were clawing for tenths of seconds.

Peter never gave up and his 59.752secs time just bested John’s mark of 60.276secs.

Saturday night also was a test for a potential corporate class. Paul Bodden Heavy Equipment donated the car and Automotive Art sponsored the modification and maintenance of it.

The plan for the car is to offer it up to companies who can have five employees run the car in a separate class at a regular TA event after going through a skills day.

The car is a Volvo S40 with an automatic transmission so it is very safe and easy to drive. Two Automotive Art employees put the car through its paces in Shaun Mitchell and David ‘Bread’ Terry.

Shaun came away with the win beating David by 1.109 seconds. This could prove to be a very interesting class as the car is always the same and it comes down to the driver’s skill to come out on top.

The All Wheel Drive class was the least populated class of the night.

However it in no way lacked excitement. Keith ‘Speedy’ Tibbetts and Sean O’Neil were back and forth the whole night.

Tibbetts won by 0.308 seconds in the first run while O’Neil took the lead by 0.163 seconds in the second run.

On the last run O’Neil bettered his time again with 55.17 seconds leaving only Tibbetts to run.

‘Sean is a great driver and his car is close to stock,’ Tibbetts said. ‘If he gets a little more comfortable with it or makes any modifications I’ll really be in trouble.

‘I went out in the last run focused on bettering my time by being as smooth as possible. It’s great having people always making you push to increase your skill.’

Speedy would go out and blast through in 54.423secs for the win.

In third place was Andrew Ngyou in his yellow Evo 7. In only his third TA and only second in this car, Andrew showed significant improvement in his handling the car.

Perhaps the most impressive drive was put on by Ajoni Ambersely in his Subaru Legacy Wagon.

He typically has problems with the big car in the 180-degree turns but the absence of them at this TA, as well as some intelligent suspension tuning, saw Ambersely produce one of the fastest times overall.

Thereafter would come the championship round. With a reverse grid start, the slower finalists began first and as usual the times dropped progressively as they ran.

However the additions to the course included two 180s so the people that could do those sections better gained an advantage.

Wayne Kirkconnell used it to the utmost, upsetting Sean O’Neil’s run of 77.858secs with a time of 76.913secs. Again the last to run was Keith Tibbetts.

Speedy did everything he could to do the run to perfection but hit one cone. The two second penalty onto his run of 74.811secs gave him a time of 76.811secs.

In the end Tibbetts proved true to his nickname by edging out Kirkconnell by 0.102 seconds to nab the overall title.

The unlimited class saw three competitors again in the usual mix of race compound tires and loud exhausts.

The ever present Gary Huggins lead the pack in his KP61 RWD Starlet with Andy Bodden in his Mitsubishi Mirage and Gary ‘Rambo’ Barrett in his race prepared Civic in the mix.

In the first three runs it would be Bodden who dominated with a quick run of 53.131secs for the fastest overall time on the night.

Unfortunately, Rambo was unable to run due to technical difficulties, leaving only Huggins and Bodden to fight it out.

Huggins went through the course with his usual flair and style, drifting through the 180s but uncharacteristically hit a cone to end up with a time of 77.102secs.

Surely Bodden would beat that. But not so, as anyone familiar with racing will tell you, anything can happen.

Bodden made a series of minor mistakes that added up quickly to give him a time of 79.859secs handing Huggins the win.

Hulse said: ‘Overall I think tonight we perfected it: the timing, the marshals, the gridding, everything. We had a maximum of 10 seconds between runs and we ran the smoothest event ever.

‘If every night runs like it did tonight, I’ll be happy. Everyone involved should be very proud of what they put together.’

The next race is scheduled for 1 November and there will most likely be a skills day in between. For more information e-mail [email protected] or call Bobby at 916-5137 for more info.