Finally, my suntan is starting to come good after a baking hot weekend at Donington Park as the Hickford Construction LTD MG Metro Cup took to the track over two days in a slight break from the norm.
With both Saturday and Sunday in play, it meant several of the teams and drivers arrived on Friday with the fine weather providing a party atmosphere in the paddock even before a wheel had been turned on track.
However, when the cars did get out on the Donington Park tarmac, the action was fast and as hot as the weather.
A shared grid with the MG Cup once again meant for plenty of action with finding space crucial to setting a good lap time.
Once again it was Mark Eales sitting on provisional pole until Dan Willars late in the session set the timesheet alight with a 1:27.552 to snatch pole from Eales who’s 1:27.643 just fell short.
Tim Shooter would line up third with Robbie Kenning putting in a brilliant lap of 1:28.713 to line up fourth with Phil Goodwin in fifth.
The drivers were left sweltering in the assembly area for an extended period as the track was cleared from the race prior, but eventually, the one-minute board went up and it was time to head out behind the safety car for the formation lap.
As the red lights disappeared, it was Mark Eales and Tim Shooter who shot off the line with aplomb whilst Pole man Dan Willars got a little bogged down and swamped at the start.
Unfortunately, Tim Shooter was robbed of the chance to tackle Mark Eales early on as shunt damage ended his race prematurely thus promoting Dan Willars to second.
In the end, Eales would stretch his heels and come over the line with a ten-second lead from Willars. But, further back there was plenty of drama.
Phil Goodwin in third, Stephen Williams in fourth, Robbie Kenning in fifth, and Terry Wood in sixth were separated by just over six seconds over the line with David Javes a further five seconds back in seventh.
Timothy Davies and Kyla Birdseye were having a terrific dice with some of the MG Cup Class A cars with the returning Joe Ball, Peter Coleman, Andrew Youens, and Chris Savoury rounding out the finishers.
Unfortunately, alongside Tim Shooter, we also lost Neil Burnett, Jon Moore, and Richard Garrard from the race with Garrard unable to start race two over 24 hours later.
Once again, the MG Metro Cup drivers were subjected to the heat of the assembly area as another delay ensued.
Fortunately, things did get back underway, and this time Dan Willars had a much better start. Unfortunately, his charge only lasted until lap six when retirement ended his weekend, and lap later Tim Shooter was heading home too.
This promoted Phil Goodwin up to second place with the gap between the top two getting close.
In fact, as they came over the line, Eales took the win by just over two seconds with Stephen Williams recording his best finish and first podium in the Hickford Construction LTD MG Metro Cup in third.
Although Williams only just held onto third with Terry Wood closing him down but unable to get passed at the chequered flag.
Robbie Kenning completed another impressive weekend (only his second ever) to come home in fifth with David Javes three seconds further back in sixth.
Les Tyler came home in seventh just ahead of a fantastic race-long battle between Kyla Birdseye and Jon Moore with Kyla winning it over the line. By this time, Tony Howe had joined in too with the trio of drivers separated by just half a second.
Rounding out the finishers saw Chris Savoury, Andrew Youens, and Pete Coleman. Sadly, we lost Joe Ball late on with a spectacular off at Redgate.
Thus, the hottest weekend of Metro action we have had for a while came to an end with Mark Eales making it a Donington Double Delight.
We have no on-track action in August, but we will be back over the weekend of the 11th/12th of September for the season finale!
Want to find out more about the Hickford Construction LTD MG Metro Cup? Then simply click HERE