BRANDS HATCH BLAZES AFTER SENSATIONAL SPRING RACING

The Britcover National Formula Fords kicked off in fantastic fashion with 3 tremendous races - Photo: Rachel Bourne

The BRSCC South Eastern Centre’s first race meeting of the season took place over the weekend of April 8-9, with a bumper 23-race programme dubbed the BRSCC Season Opener, as usual over Brands Hatch’s 1.208 mile Indy Circuit. Despite dawning foggy in nearby towns, a gloriously sunny Brands greeted early arrivals, lasting throughout the weekend.

Mazdas dominated the entries and race count, with a 20m pre-lunch race for the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship (1A) runners. Basingstoke’s Will Blackwell-Chambers put down a marker for the weekend by taking a comfortable victory in a 9m rerun following a Red Flag interruption. MK’s Robert Fisk and Leicester’s Samuel Smith claimed the remaining podium spots.

The subsequent 2A race saw the same top two, with Simon Baldwin joining Blackwell-Chambers and Fisk on the Podium.

Sunday’s 3A race resulted in a hat-trick of wins for Blackwell-Chambers, with Godalming’s Oliver Allwood second, and Baldwin once again third.

Following a brief lunch break, it was on with further Mazda action, this time a 20m BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup qualifier. Doncaster’s Rob Boston made his long trip south worthwhile, heading home Wakefield’s Jack Harding and Mazda perennial Tom Roche.

Also well represented were Fiestas, with the afternoon’s second 20m race featuring the BRSCC Fiesta Championship. South Benfleet’s and Fiesta Junior graduate Danny Harrison finished well clear of Swansea’s Samuel Watkins and fellow Junior alumnus Lewis Kent.

Kent went two better in the afternoon’s second outing, claiming a maiden ‘Senior’ victory, with Samuel Watkins taking another second and brother Joshua third.

Local man Simon Horrobin from Snodland broke clear in the third encounter to take the Chequered Flag, ahead of Samuel Watkins and Kent.

Race 4 mixed MX-5 1B and SuperCup competitors. Huntingdon’s Jeremy Crook headed home the SuperCup field, ahead of Kenny Hill’s Andy Coombs and Stanford-Le-Hope’s Alex Miller. Nick le Doyen was the leading 1B entrant.

The fastest cars on track over the weekend were the BRSCC Formula Jedis, with their first 15m encounter claimed by Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s Don Clowes from Kings Lynn’s Robert Sayell and Kris Prosser. Their second outing kicked off Sunday’s racing action, with Prosser claiming first, ahead of Ely lady racer Bryony King and Cambridge’s Paul Butcher.

Further single-seater action ensued with the first of three 15m encounters for the Britcover National Formula Ford 1600 Championship with Avon Tyres. A first lap Paddock Hill Bend tangle brought about an immediate Red Flag and full rerun, with Thirsk’s Luke Williams’ fending off Mucaernich’s Neil Maclennan’s Ray GR14 and James Roe Jr’s ex-Niall Murray title winning Van Diemen.

Sunday’s second race saw the same top three, with Gloucester’s Stephen Daly, an accident victim in the first race, charging through from the rear rows of the grid to eighth, which was converted to pole position for the afternoon’s third, reversed grid race.

Williams’ hopes of a hat-trick were dashed when contact with Daly at Druids took the pair out. Chippenham’s Luke Cooper’s Swift SC16 just managed to fend off Roe, with Naas’s Jake Byrne’s Ray GR13 third.

Saturday afternoon closed with a 20m MX-5 2B/SuperCup race. Mere’s Ben Short took overall and SuperCup honours from Liverpudlian Steve Dolman and Weybridge’s Jim Hart. Former Fiesta front-runner John Langridge was leading 2B runner.

Race 19 saw another mixed MX-5/SuperCup grid for the 3Bs. Grays man Colin Bysouth was overall and SuperCup top dog, from Bowdon’s Simon Orange and Crook.

Mazda MX-5 SuperCup (3A) runners had their own 20m race, with Harding heading home Bognor Regis’s Luke Herbert and Boston.

Having had their practice and qualifying on Saturday, the BRSCC Fiesta Junior runners had to with until Sunday afternoon for their first 20m race. Shipdham’s James Hillery won from Falkirk’s Jack Davidson and Barking’s James Waite. Davidson went one better in the second race later that afternoon with Specialized Motorsport's Nicholas Reeve in second and Hillery 3rd.

A welcome guest category was the HRDC Touring Greats, with added TC63 runners. Once Mike Jordan hit the front in the Austin GT40 shared with BTCC star son Andrew, the pair were never headed, lapping the entire field during the 45m race. Rob Myers and Michael Caine trailed in their similar A40, with Glenn Pearson and Peter Dorlin third in their Jaguar Mk1.

A combined field of HRDC Academy and A Series Challenge runner had a 30m race, with Thomas Grindall’s MG W&P GT finishing comfortably clear of Steve Jones’ Mini Cooper S. James Wood’s Works MG Midget was a distant third.

Just appearing on the Sunday were the Teekay Couplings Production Gti Mk 2 Championship & Mk5 series. Chipping Norton’s Martyn Walsh claimed overall and Mk5 honours, from Londoner James Howlinson and Stone’s Paul Blackburn. Haddenham’s Chris Webb was leading Mk2 runner. The categories’ second outing closed the weekend’s racing, with the same overall and class outcome.

The weekend saw the first use by the Centre of the ‘Code 60’ race neutralising flag, which seemed to work a treat. By the end of the weekend, the Radio Controller and Clerk of the Course had the flag countdown off a treat, sounding like a cross between Manfred Mann and Sonny and Cher. “5-4-3-2-1 …”.

The BRSCC SE Centre returns to Brands Hatch over the weekend of June 3-4, with assorted Caterhams; TVRs; Track Attack Asia Challenge & Tricolore Trophy, with the FunCup at the heart of Saturday’s action.

Click here for the BRANDS HATCH RESULTS (http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/171433)

COLIN MANN

11 Apr 2017

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