DAILLY RETAINS COMPACT CUP POINTS LEAD WITH BRANDS HATCH DOUBLE
As everyone that has ever followed or competed in Compact Cup racing will know….Brands Hatch Indy + Nankang Tyre BMW Compact Cup cars = action-packed racing throughout the grid, and this meeting proved to be no different!
It was a great sight seeing 33 cars and 33 fully focussed drivers heading onto the historic Kent circuit for our penultimate rounds of the 2020 race season, where reigning and multiple champion Steven Dailly took yet another pole position. Steven actually cut his qualifying session short due to a concern about his car being under fuelled…and with the post-session weight check showing his car just 1kg above the minimum required weight, it proved that this was indeed a wise decision!
Proving that age is no barrier to having real pace in a race car, Steven was followed home by the 2019 Masters Champion Wayne Flint taking P2 overall, and a resurgent Ben Huntley rounding out the Top 3. Another Masters competitor David May was flying in P4 having rebuilt his car following a massive shunt at Thruxton, and he was closely followed by Ian Jones and Jordan Stilp. Unusually, another championship contender and regular front row starter Tom Griffiths could only bring it home in P6…however with the top 15 cars separated by less than a second in qualifying, that was still a pretty decent achievement.
After a flyer of a start for Wayne Flint in race one where he managed to get the jump on Steven Dailly off the line, he was immediately in no doubt that he wasn’t going to have it easy! Whilst defending his position against Steven and a hard-charging Ben Huntley, he knew he a proper race on his hands. Possibly as a result of the pressure he was under from the cars behind, Wayne ran wide at Druids hairpin allowing Steven to take the lead, this resulting in leaving Wayne to defend against Ben Huntley who himself had another closely packed gaggle of drivers closely following.
With Steven Dailly then managing to create a bit of a gap, the fight for the next positions was at some points 5 cars deep and was fantastic to watch. As the race progressed, you could have picked any driver from Wayne Flint, Jordan Stilp, Ben Huntley, Ian Jones or Tom Griffiths for the next podium places, with others like Paul Maguire, Mikey Doble and Oliver Faller not too far behind them either.
Further back we saw many cracking drives also, and maybe none more so than Thomas Langford taking 8 places by the end of lap 2 having started 18th. This was the first outing in a new car for Thomas following an unlucky shunt with David May at Thruxton which left the car he has raced for the past few seasons unrepairable.
At the end of the race, Steven Dailly took another win and in doing so reached 28 (English) BMW Compact Cup race wins, meaning he equalled the long-standing race win record held by a previous championship winner Steve Roberts. The win also meant he took the 2020 championship lead from Tom Griffiths who was unable to finish on the podium for the first time since the end of the 2018 season! Jordan Stilp finished in second after a clever last corner move on Wayne Flint who took the final podium slot and with it another Masters Trophy win.
Onto race 2 and we experienced a bit of déjà vu for our podium positions, with Steven Dailly once again finishing in 1st, and in doing so now breaking Steve Roberts win record. Congratulations to Steven on this, which in one of the most competitive single-make UK race championships is a pretty significant achievement. After yet another cracking race-long battle between a number of drivers, Jordan Stilp secured 2nd place, again managing to get the better of Wayne Flint who crossed the line less than 2 tenths of a second behind him in 3rd. This gave Wayne his second Masters win of the day as well.
Following the top 3 home were Ian Jones, Paul Maguire and Mikey Doble…all of whom crossed the line only a few tenths apart after swapping positions throughout the race. Championship contender Tom Griffiths’ race weekend didn’t go to plan as he followed the leading pack though in 7th place overall, however he’s been around Compact Cup racing long enough to know that nothing is settled until it’s mathematically impossible…and with 3 races to come at Donington, that is far from the case!
So with a triple-header Donington Park meeting to come, the 2020 championship title is still very much up for grabs! Steven Dailly is currently ahead of Tom Griffiths, however when championship “dropped scores” are taken into account, this brings Jordan Stilp and Ian Jones right back into the mix as well! As things stand, Wayne Flint looks set to keep hold of his Masters Trophy title for another year…but as we all know only too well…in Compact Cup racing, the final standings are not likely to be decided ‘til the chequered flag drops on the 18th October…