Team Smart Motorsport/getanewvan.com made the long trip north to the technically demanding Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire to compete for honours in rounds 7 & 8 of the UK Legends Racing series over the May Bank Holiday weekend (28/29 May).
Spirits were high after a strong team showing at the previous rounds at Silverstone, and both Davey and Anthony set good race times during qualifying, posting the fourth and fifth fastest lap times ahead of the opening race. Unfortunately for Paul Simmons, his run of bad luck appeared to have followed him on the long trip north, and a first lap incident left him unable to post a time.
For the opening Heat, Simmons and Anthony lined up third and fourth with Davey occupying a slot on the ninth row of the grid. Nonplussed by this, Davey made an excellent start from the lights and fought hard for position as he battled through the field towards the main action with the leaders. Then, on lap six, Davey’s engine inexplicably lost power allowing the pack to filter past the defending champion as he struggled to bring his car home in 18th. Anthony and Simmons fared much better, Anthony scoring another top ten finish with Simmons just behind in 11th spot.
Davey’s engine was back running on all four cylinders for Heat 2, allowing the Hooley based rider to battle for a well deserved fifth at the flag after a race-long fight with championship leader Treherne and John Mickel.
Anthony, starting from the back of the grid for Heat 2 had a tough race, just managing to pip Whitelegg to 13th across the line. Paul Simmons faced another stiff challenge, and after a mid-field incident failed to finish the Heat, the damage such that he would be forced to sit out the Final.
Laurence Davey saved his best until last for Round 7, storming through the pack he clung to the tail of Treherne to claim his first podium finish of the day in a brilliant second place. Meanwhile, teammate Anthony had made a good start off the grid but a little over enthusiasm with the throttle saw him briefly take to the grass before planting his wheels back on the black stuff to come home in 17th.
With a new day and the three races of round 8 ahead of them came new hope of success. In Heat 1, Davey continued where he left on in Saturday’s Final, battling with Mickel and Treherne at the sharp end to finish second.
Anthony put in the race of his life, fighting hard with the mid-field drivers and was very pleased to score another top ten with ninth. Meanwhile, Simmons had worked through the night to repair his damaged car but struggled with a race set-up and retired from proceedings on lap 5.
The second Heat would prove to be the most disastrous of the season for the Smart Motorsport/getanewvan.com trio. Davey struggled and finished 18th, while Anthony was involved in a first lap crash whilst driving hard to gain third place. Simmons once again retired after opting for a non-competitive race set-up.
Paul Simmons took to the stands for the Final, a mixture of car damage and set-up issues forcing him to become a spectator for the main event of the day. Davey took the bull by the horns, using his vast experience to claim another podium finish just behind pole-sitter and race winner Brace and Mickel. Anthony came home in tenth, pleased with his overall result and weekend’s performances.
Despite a mixed bag of results around Croft’s demanding 2.1-mile course, reigning champion Davey has moved closer to the top of the table and heads to rounds 9 & 10 at Anglesey in Wales (2/3 July) in a very strong third position.
Heat 1: 1. Mickel, 2. Treherne, 3. Belcher, 10. ANTHONY, 11. SIMMONS, 18. DAVEY
Heat 2: 1. Treherne, 2. Belcher, 3. Mickel, 5. DAVEY, 13. ANTHONY, DNF SIMMONS
FINAL: 1. Treherne, 2. DAVEY, 3. Power, 17. ANTHONY, DNS SIMMONS
Heat 1: 1. Treherne, 2. DAVEY, 3. Mickel, 9. ANTHONY, 20. SIMMONS
Heat 2: 1. Mickel, 2. Morton, 3. Brace, 18. DAVEY, DNF SIMMONS, DNF ANTHONY
FINAL: 1. Brace, 2. Mickel, 3. DAVEY, 10. ANTHONY, DNS SIMMONS