Professional race preparation and management

Reports > Walter Hayes Trophy - Silverstone November 2nd/3rd 2013

A mixed bag for WPR at the Walter Hayes

The Wayne Poole Racing team had plenty of interest in the 2013 running of the Walter Hayes Trophy event with six Formula Fords and a singleton GT for the allcomer's closed wheel race.

First up was Doug Crosbie in Heat 1. The Oulton Park regular had a good run in his Van Diemen RF00 to take sixth place and an automatic entry into the semi finals. Olly Bull was in Heat 3 in his Swift SC92 and very happy with the speed of the car in the dry. Unfortunately as they sat in the assembly area it began to rain and with only Father, Bob, to assist there wasn't time to fully change to wet settings. Olly wasn't comfortable with the set up in the wet and was disappointed to finish tenth just missing out on an automatic semi final slot. However, following the exclusion of the heat winner Olly was elevated to ninth and a place in the semi final.

Ray Smith (Swift SC93), Calum McHale (Mygale SJ01) and Don Boyack (Van Diemen RF88) were all in Heat 6. Calum's race unfortunately didn't get further than Becketts on Lap 1 as a front upright broke on entry although most of the braking had been completed by that time and little other damage was caused. Ray ran well to finish 11th and disappointed to just miss out on a semi final place especially as he felt that the engine was running very strongly after the team had replaced a bent distributor shaft. Don concentrated on 'keeping it on the black stuff and out of trouble' and finished 16th.

So on to the Sunday and the team had grown by one driver as Wayne Poole decided to put in a last minute appearance and by completing the required number of laps practice in the morning was able to line up at the back of the Progression race alongside another Wayne, Boyd this time, who had been excluded from his Heat results. They were joined by Don and Calum but trouble intervened from the off when both Don and Wayne Poole were caught up in a first corner melee at Copse bringing about their immediate, no fault and disappointing retirements. Both cars lost corners and Don's (ex Vincenzo Sospiri) car had some chassis damage. Calum, by contrast, had an excellent race steadily working his way through the field to finish an encouraging 10th but, sadly, not high enough to make the Last Chance race. Still, it was his first visit to Silverstone and early on in his racing career and can look forward to 2014 with optimism.

Ray lined up for the start of the Last Chance race to find he had lost his clutch but still managed to get away and was running strongly in the race getting up to 10th and a place in the Semis but began to drop back until a red flag intervened. On the re-start Ray was in embroiled in a large mid filed battle and after running wide at Brooklands he spun at Luffield and, without a clutch, was unable to re-start.

Doug and Olly were both out in Heat 2 and both had good races. Doug had a largely uneventful race and by the end was on the back of the leading group of six to take a fine 7th. As was the case in most of the races the mid filed was a very crowded and hectic place to be making it very hard to take the normal racing line on any corner. However, Olly managed to break through to the head of the midfield bunch to take 12th.

Going into the Final both Doug and Olly were hopeful of good showings but both got tagged in the early running, fortunately without too much damage.

In the GT race Steve Bracegirdle lined up on the front row in his Nemesis GT and lead for a portion of the first lap before being relegated to second place which he held for a while until a gearbox bearing failed causing his retirement.