Debden Sprint – 13th July 2008


This was the second of our three main events for our club this year and fortunately the weather was kind to us as it was a warm overcast day. Perfect.


We had 64 competitors of which 17 were HCAAC members.


Here are the thoughts and comments of our members after the two practice runs and again after the two official timed runs. The ones that count!






In class 0

Steve Muir driving a standard production Honda Civic.

Practice runs were mostly okay but missed a gear on one.

Timed runs – After having a FWO in first run (although Steve did question this) he then did a respectable 77.01, more than 2 secs quicker than practice.  Finishing 2nd in class.







Steven Rattue driving a MGZR 160 and only second time at Debden.

Practice runs were okay although’ very nearly came off at the roundabout.  (Don’t we all!!)                                                         Timed runs – Finished 6th in class with best time of 78.31.







Matt Wilson driving a red Toyota MR2, again second time at Debden.

Practice runs – Being sensible on first run and then tried a bit harder and took off 3 seconds.

Timed runs – Unfortunately went the wrong way round the roundabout and was disappointed with being 11/2 sacs down although enjoyed the day. Best time of 81.28 and 7th in class.




In Class 2


Peter Moore driving a Ford Fiesta.

Practice runs – Tried a friend’s theory about the roundabout that was to go slow and neat but that didn’t work so I went fast and furious and was quicker by 2 secs. (Well, I thought the friend’s theory was a good one).

Timed runs – Anyway good result in the end with a best time of 77.21, 4th in class.




In Class 3


Trevor Firmin driving a Morgan +8

I am so sorry Trevor I didn’t get to speak to you but we can see from the results you had a good 2nd practice going nearly 2 secs quicker in your timed runs to finish 7th in class with a best time of 76.69.





In Class 5


Graham Scarborough driving a Lotus Elise S1

Practice – First run okay but a very minor braking error (so he says)

At roundabout causing a flat spot on my wife’s tyre which meant she was quicker than me in the 2nd practice.

Timed runs – Two good runs with best time of 68.78. Finishing 3rd in class and 16th overall.

Graham Morris driving a Caterham Road Sport.

Practice – Very consistent times throughout practice

Timed runs – finished 8th in class with a best time of 75.36. Graham did note that if he had had more than 3 hours sleep the night before he would of course have gone quicker and not been convincingly beaten by partner Sally (see below) in the same car. Also there was a serious problem with his headrest!  Yeah right.


Sally Fitzgerald driving a Caterham Road Sport Girl Power

Practice – Very good 2nd practice 6 secs quicker than the first.

Timed runs – Both good and finishing 7th in class with a best time of 74.29.



Kahn Busby driving a Caterham SV-VVC.

Practice – Kahn says he was sure the cones had moved by themselves thus causing disappointing times.

Timed runs – Finished 9th in class with best time of 77.81.




Tony Gattuso unfortunately could not attend due to illness.

Get well Tony in time for October Sprint.


Lindy Scarborough driving a Lotus Elise S1

Practice – pleased with these times.

Timed runs – Definitely not pleased with first run after annihilating the roundabout! Second run I missed a gear. Finishing 4th in class with best time of 71.39.



In Class 6


Adrian Goding driving a Morris Mini.

Practice – Had a very good second practice

Timed runs – Not quite as good as practice. Finishing 3rd in class with a best time of 78.60.


Mitchell Perry driving a Renault Clio 182 Cup.

Practice – Mitchell said this is his wife’s shopping car and he must remember to remove the shopping lists and pens before sprinting next time !

He felt the top right hander at the end of the straight was narrow and a bit slippery.

Timed runs – Finished 4th in class with a best time of 76.05





Mark Hughes (new member) driving a very quick Lotus Elise and first time at Debden and sprinting and the day was to prove quite eventful.

Starting with a £30 fine for forgetting his MOT and Insurance documents and then had not brought a timing strut with him so with expert HCAAC engineers manufactured a timing strut with cardboard supplied by Smiffy’s and tank tape !

Practice – FWO at roundabout and we did warn him!

Timed runs – Quick times to finish 2nd in class with a best time of 67.63 and 13th overall.  Well done Mark.









Smiffy’s snack and timing strut bar



In Class 11


Jonathan Gibbs driving Dad’s ReynardFVL.

Practice – Two good clean runs but felt track was slippery.

Timed runs – Best time of 61.24 finishing 2nd in class and 2nd overall. A really excellent performance again by Jonathan who said ‘he was happy to beat Dad for 3rd time this season!’


David Gibbs driving his Reynard FVL

Practice – Had a little spin before the go kart track as very slippery on first run but had a good second one.

Timed runs – Again very quick with best time of 62.72, finishing 3rd in class and 3rd overall. David said re. son that he was a proud father and well done to Jonathan but shall now be stopping his allowance!!!



Gavin Stephens driving a Mallock Mk8.

Practice – It was Gavin’s first time at Debden and really liked the circuit and had two good runs. Improving by over 4 secs on second run but would have liked slick tyres on but this car is normally used for hill climbs.

Timed runs – Again two good runs finishing 5th in class with a best time of 69.92




Tony Staines driving a Reynard Formula Opel.

Practice – Again very quick times with every lap under 1 minute, although he thought he had overdone it into left hand corner onto back straight and also felt the track was very slippery especially through the kart track.

Timed runs – Excellent times with FTD of 58.07. Well done Tony.




It was great to see the top three places driven by HCAAC members.



A highlight of the day was to see a demonstration run of a 2.3 litre supercharged 1926 Bugatti Type 35b driven by Adrian Goding who was also driving a mini in Class 6. This car was found in France 30 years ago and has been ‘gently restored’ and today it was running on petrol although sometimes runs on methanol giving close to 300bhp.






The marshals did a good job as usual and we really appreciate their help. It was Sue Cook’s first time marshalling and she said she was glad it was a dry day and saw an exciting spin from Anton Rothwell’s Lotus in front of her and a little Renault on 2 wheels doing a handbrake turn thro’ left hander onto back straight!

 Unfortunately there were swarms of blackfly in love with the marshal’s yellow jackets!


Photo of marshall with antifly bucket hat !







There are some people who work tirelessly in our club to make these sprints work and we thank them all for all their efforts to put on such a good well organised event and here is a picture of one of them – Lionel and his famous trolley!





The day ran smoothly with only one incident when a Mitsubishi Evo had an ‘off’ at the end of the straight. Car and driver were ok with not too much damage to car and pride and still smiling at the end of the day.


These sprints are really good fun and once you have got your helmet, overalls and MSA membership sorted out this is quite an inexpensive way to be involved with motorsport.


So how about some more members getting involved and joining us.


It’s a chance to indulge your alter ego and show off your cars !


Hope to see you in October for our final sprint and any offers of help or involvement are always gratefully appreciated.



Lindy Scarborough.