The 2010 Time Attack Series has been a closely fought battle all season. Not just in the headline grabbing pro class but all the way through the ranks. Heading into the Snetterton event, none of the seven major classes had been decided and were all there for the taking. Fair enough, some were all but a forgone conclusion but there were still some surprises in store.
The Snetterton circuit is based in Norfolk near Norwich in the United Kingdom. It's an old RAF base which favours the fast. With minimal elevation change, the course is deceptive as it is fast. Two long straights connect either end of the circuit with the pro class cars reaching speeds in excess of 160MPH before crossing the finish line.
The paddock in the morning was quiet for the most part. A full season at some of the UK's finest racing circuit is surely enough for the teams to develop a routine and be ready for each event.
Preperation is key to Time Attack, ensuring your car is not only fast but reliable and feels good is of the utmost importance when it comes to setting that fast lap.
The day would be divided into a morning warmup session, practice, qualifying and the final session for the top ten qualifiers in each class.
Starting off with the Club Challenge 4WD class, Scott Robson was looking on form to take the class championship win after a win at the previous round in Cadwell Park. However, Fiona Kindness, Warren Kelly and Walter Morris amongst others would be doing everything in there power to pip Robson to the title in what has been described as the 'most competitive class' in the Time Attack Series.
Coming into the final round of the CC FWD class, Bo Nielsen in his Astra VXR was 100 points clear of his nearest rival David Ward. With 105 points up for grabs at the final event, Ward would need an early retirement from Nielsen and then dominate the event to take the championship.
The CC RWD class saw Matthew Webb in the Dragon Performance RX7 lead Ronnie Arms' Sierra Cosworth by some twenty points as they came into Snetterton.
The CC NA title could be taken by one of three drivers. Mark Pollard, Daniel Gannon and Tony Campbell would all be fighting it out right down to the last laps of the season. The Buddy Club DC5 of Paul Hughes, although struggling with the new class layout could still find his way onto the championship podium.
In the Club Pro RWD class, it would come down to a battle between the Lotus Exige of Jamie Wilson and the Toyota Supra of Steve Linton.
With 348 points heading into the final, the Scooby Clinic Impreza of Kevin Horseley and Andy Harvey look almost certain to take the 2010 crown. If Paul Doyle could capitalise on serious misfortune of the Scooby Clinic car, he was the only one who could take the champinship win from Horseley and Harvey.
The Pro Class is the headline class for the Time Attack series and the spoils this year have been shared by two men. Both Gareth Lloyd and Steve Guglielmie have won two rounds each and have set multiple Time Attack series lap records, with Lloyd having a slight two point advantage coming into this event. Lloyd in the CPR Evo and Guglielmi in the VAG powered Lotus Elise would go to battle for the 2010 title and what a battle it turned out to be …
With seven class championships to be decided (the eighth class of NA 3001cc and above had to competitors at this round) on the day, the tension was high around the Snetterton paddock.
Uncharacteristically for October in the UK, the sun was shining all day with temperatures reaching twenty degrees celcius, allowing almost perfect conditions for the event.
As the clock rolled over onto 9 a.m. the first cars took to the track for the morning warmup session.
For some, it would be a day of fantastic success whilst others could do nothing but watch their title hopes slip away from them, out of their control.
Part II of this story will be online at the same time tomorrow …