A FUN-PACKED BRSCC SEASON STARTER AT BRANDS HATCH


The BRSCC South Eastern Centre’s first race meeting of the season took place over the weekend of March 23-24, the FunCup and MX-5 Race Weekend, with a 19-race programme, as usual over Brands Hatch’s 1.208 mile Indy Circuit. Saturday started with the merest hint of rain, brightening as the day wore on, with Sunday staying dry and bright throughout.

The first of three pre-lunch races was for the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 1A runners, Fleet’s Brian Trott heading home Burwash’s John Langridge and Ben Short following an entertaining battle which at times featured six cars in the lead battle.

The subsequent 1B outing was Red Flagged following a first-lap coming together exiting Druids. East Leake’s Tom Smith won the 20m race ahead of Londoner Charles Mugglestone and Horsham’s Jack Moody.

Group 2A runners opened the Sunday race programme. Contact at Paddock Hill Bend saw Langridge disappear into the gravel trap and out of the race. Short claimed victory, ahead of Basingstoke’s Will Blackwell-Chambers and Hunsdon’s Joe Wiggin.

The 2B outing saw victory for Framlingham’s William Hayden, Soham’s Marcus Bailey and Woodford Halse’s David Waters.

Short made it two wins in the 3A outing, from Trott and Wiggin. Langridge’s earlier woes were made up for when he claimed victory in the shortened 3B race, from Edgbaston’s Nick Le Doyen and Ashwell’s Joseph Willmott.

MX-5 Super Cup runners were next up, Morpeth’s James Kell won the shortened 20m race, from Revesby’s Simon Fleet and Crewe’s Joseph Marshall-Birks. Sunday’s second outing was also shortened following two separate incidents, Marshall-Birks rising to first, with Fleet once again in second, and Sam Bailey third. Race three also ended a tad early, with rallycross refugee Nathan Heathcote winning from Bradley Kent (Witham) and Fleet.

Next up on the race bill was a 4hr enduro for the FunCup Championship. No fewer than 26 runners set off with the aim of reaching the Chequered Flag. There were relatively few Safety Car interruptions compared with some visits, and not a large amount of penalties to be served. The eventual winner, the #225 JPR Uvio (Fabio Randaccio, Farquini Deott) served an early Stop Go penalty for an out of position start, but had climbed to second by the two-hour mark, and took the flag a lap clear of the #146 JPR PLR Racing entry (Neil Plimmer, Ben Pitch), with the #1 ‘2 Rent Dominoes’ entry 20s down the road.

Saturday’s track action closed with a 20m race for the BRSCC Alfa Romeo Championship. St Albans man Barry McMahon’s 156 won comfortably from St Neots’ Richard Thurbin (Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v) and Ashbourne’s Mervyn Miller a lapped third. McMahon doubled up in Sunday’s outing which saw the same top three.

The first of two 20m outings for the Toyo Tyres Porsche Championship was claimed by Richard Styrin’s Boxter, with Westoning’s Garry Lawrence and Harrogate’s Nick Hull completing the podium. Race two saw the same top three.

The Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup entrants had three 15m outings, the first of which (A&B runners) saw Romsey’s Ian Jones take the flag, ahead of Edinburgh’s Steven Dailly and Southampton’s Mark Skeats. Dailly won the subsequent race B&C, from Westbury’s Ben Huntley and Norwich’s Tom Griffiths. Jones won the meeting-closing C&A race, from Huntley and Northampton’s David May.

The multiclass Track Attack Nippon Challenge/Tricolore Trophy/Multi Marques runners had two 15m encounters. Local man Nerijus Zabotka (Bexleyheath) took overall honours in his Subaru Impreza, with Banbury’s Tony Hunter and Wimbourne’s Nick Gwinnett (both Renault Clio) completing the podium. Hunter headed home an all-Clio podium in race two, Gwinnett and another local man, Bexley’s Robert Buckland joining him.

Saturday’s FunCup Grid Walk was accompanied by a minute’s silence for Charlie Whiting, who was raised and educated locally.

The BRSCC SE Centre returns to Brands Hatch over the weekend of  May 18-19, for the Ferrari Challenge UK, with races for the Ferrari 488 Challenge and Ferrari Trofeo Pirelli Classic on the programme.

Click here for the BRANDS HATCH RESULTS.

COLIN MANN